One of the goals we have here at LDS Earth Stewardship is to provide materials that will help church members to be better stewards in their church callings. So, this lesson is plan is part of our series of lesson plans to help members teach the Relief Society/Melchizedek Priesthood lessons.
I have to admit that I kind of geeked out while I was preparing this lesson plan and prepared 8 pages of notes for this lesson. Rather than post the entire thing here online (and create a HUGE blog entry), I’ve put it into a PDF document. I’ll provide a brief summary of it here and you can download the file if you’re interested in my detailed notes.
Summary: In order to be sensitive to differing circumstances, I open with a disclaimer by talking about the gap between what I call “The Ideal” and “The Real.” Since this lesson covers The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it can sometimes make that gap feel especially wide, to feel like we’re so far from measuring up to the ideal. It’s important to remember that every family, no matter how perfect they look on the outside, has problems, challenges, and things that they struggle with. No one is exempt. And we would all do well to have a little charity for ourselves and for others as we all muddle through this thing called life together.
We then go on to read a few sections from the manual discussing the roles of fathers and mothers. I then bring up an interesting finding among marriage therapists that having children can sometimes cause you to feel less satisfied in your marriage. Does this challenge the Proclamation by suggesting that children do not make you happy? Building on findings by marriage researchers, I show how some aspects of the Proclamation can actually help make your marriage stronger and happier—kids and all.
Download the full lesson notes: GP_37_Family_Responsibilities-outline
Additional Resources for further study:
- For Better: How the Surprising Science of Happy Couples Can Help Your Marriage Succeed by Tara Parker-Pope
- The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services
- The Future of Mormon Motherhood by Neylan McBaine
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World on lds.org