In my last post, I told you guys how my dear, dear friend is picking up and moving to Idaho--off for new adventures in midwifery! So, last night we had them over for dinner and had a rip-roaring good time.
I really love her kids too! So while they were here killing time on a Sunday, we decided to do a craft after dinner that related to a lesson I wanted to do on Elder Oaks' talk Loving Others and Living with Differences.
Honestly, it was just thrown together on the spot, but we are running out of time to get all of our lessons in before the next General Conference, so we keep moving along, plugging in spiritual thoughts/lessons whenever we have a moment.
We started by making these rain clouds...six children, making rain clouds! They did great. We tried to listen to Elder Oaks' talk as we worked, but it was a little hard to hear, so while we did talk about the concept I was trying to teach, we had to talk about it again this morning to get in more of the actual point of our lesson!
And the point that I was attempting to get across was this: Sometimes, people we have relationships with will disagree with us on matters great and small. These moments can feel like rain clouds, but good things can come out of these interactions if we are wise and know how to conduct ourselves in a loving manner. To prepare ourselves for what we would do in these types of situations, we brainstormed about what we might say or do if we found ourselves in disagreement with someone we know.
One of the children, earlier in the day, had followed her mother's counsel to "walk away" when her brother started making her mad. We said that was a good thing to do, but it's even better if we can stay with our friends when we disagree and show our love for them.
We made raindrops that could "fall" from our clouds, and on the back of each rain drop, we wrote some things we would do to show love to someone with whom we may not agree.
Scarlett's list is above: "I will be happy. I will be kind. I would not be blue. I will be loving. I will not be greedy." She also wrote, "I will laugh," which I think means she'd find a way to lighten the mood, which is also a good way to nourish a relationship.
These are pretty good mantras to have in our mind as we interact socially with people with whom we strongly disagree on matters of importance to us.
Here is my list: "Express love and admiration often. Play nicely together. Always be kind. Focus on the things on which we do agree. Say, 'I don't agree with you about this, but I love you anyway. And serve those with whom we might have disagreed in the past."
I know that when we do these things, we can often gain a friend, instead of losing one. And although it often seems more comfortable to gravitate toward people who think like we do, if we are strong enough to show love for those with whom we disagree, we may find a friendship that can weather any storm! This is yet another way that we can emulate the Savior.
So that was our semblance of a lesson. I normally like to get more in-depth with my children, but talking about it over a number of days also helps to peel back the layers of meaning in a talk. I think this is an important topic for children and adults...an important skill to have in relationships in general. So, I'm sure we'll talk about it more as the days go on.
Alright, I've got some work to do. Hope you have a great Monday!
You can find the rest of our General Conference lessons here.