The wise little pig built a house of bricks to keep the Big Bad Wolf at bay. What can we do to stay protected from the destructive spiritual winds in our lives? This lesson will help you find ways to build a solid brick-like foundation that will not fail.
We had a severe wind storm at our house a few nights ago. The winds were howling. Our house creaked and squeaked. The trees outside were tossing and swaying making scary shadows on the walls through the windows. It felt like the Big Bad Wolf was huffing and puffing to blow our house down. The storm was nerve wracking and stressful for my children. Luckily, the winds eventually died down and we were able to get some rest.
Just like there are physical windstorms in our lives that blow leaves off tress and rattle our homes, there are also spiritual wind storms, or whirlwinds, that can shake our testimony and faith in the Gospel. Luckily, we don’t have to blow here and there with each storm that comes our way. We can protect ourselves by planting strong spiritual roots that will keep us grounded and safe from the storms.
Start the lesson by showing this short film that was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is titled Spiritual Whirlwinds and was taken from a talk that was given by Elder Neil L Anderson. It is animated and appropriate for all ages.
In the video, the character is attacked by numerous “spiritual whirlwinds.” Talk with you family about what could be considered a spiritual whirlwind. Draw a tree on a big piece of paper.
Then, add lightening, rain, fire, storm clouds, and other threatening weather surrounding the tree.
As a family, give each element a label. Sin and temptation come in different packages for people and age groups. As a young child, a temptation could be to lie to their parents, or participate in bullying a kid at school. A teenager may be threatened spiritually by dressing immodestly, spending too much time on Social Media, or skipping school to be with their friends. Adults could be plagued by anger, church attendance with children, and comparing themselves to others online.
Talk about how if we let those sins and temptations have power in our lives they can uproot us from where we want to be. Sins take us away from Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The wind storm my family experienced at my house took away our peace and robbed us of rest. These spiritual winds take away the happiness and peace in our lives.
So, what can we do to stand strong? Read the scripture Helaman 5:12: And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Then draw big giant roots to your tree.
Give each root a label. Talk about things you can do to strengthen your roots in Christ. What can you do to build a solid foundation? Answers might include things like: read the scriptures daily, attend church and take the sacrament, pray as a family, attend the temple, listen to General Conference, read Church magazines, choose good friends and stand in Holy places, follow the Strength of Youth guidelines, memorize the Articles of Faith, study the life of Christ, listen to the Holy Ghost, and more!
Talk about the tree you have made as a family. Does having solid roots help you to stand up to temptation?
Test how roots help you stay grounded in your position. Have everyone stand with one foot on the floor and the other foot lifted off the ground. This is their root. Then, ask them to rise up so they are just standing on their toes. Tell them to stand strong.
Proceed to tap them with a finger and blow them over. Everyone will most likely fall to the ground–if they don’t tip over on their own for lack of balance.
Explain that they only have one tiny root that is keeping them in place. It is hard to stand strong in that position.
Now, let them stand with two feet planted solid on the ground. Tell them to stand strong. Then, poke and push and blow on them. It makes it harder to tip them over, but most people will still fall.
Next, let them go on their hands and knees. Now they have four big roots helping them. They can even use their fingers to grab onto the grass or carpet. More roots mean a more solid foundation.
Poke and push and blow and try to gently knock them over in this position. It is much easier for them to stay strong with so many roots.
When we have roots firmly planted in Jesus Christ we are able to withstand temptations and sins that try to steal our peace and happiness. Take time as a family to develop habits and goals that strengthen your spiritual roots so you won’t be carried away in the storms of the world.
The safety we find as we are sheltered in the Savior’s care is such a blessing. He knows us, understands our needs, and wants us to have joy. He is our Shepherd. He wants to protect us from spiritual whirlwinds. He said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” And he also relayed this beautiful promise,“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
In the shelter of the Good Shepard, we can feel His love and experience joy. Elder Anderson taught, “Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I encourage you to add your own testimony to that of the apostle and charge your family to build their lives on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
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