Based off the General Conference we just had, I am going to be creating a series of Family Home Evening Lessons. This is a good opportunity for families to review the recent conference addresses! (If you aren’t familiar with any of this, just click on the links!)
The first talk that really struck me was President Henry B. Eyring’s talk on paying a fast offering. Here is the lesson I developed to go along with that talk:
What is a Fast Offering?
Goal: Help Family Members understand the value of a fast offering, where the money goes, and how it benefits others in need.
President Eyring, in the Spring 2015 conference, encouraged all the members of the church to fast and to pay a fast offering according to what we can pay. This fast offering allows the church to help those in need.
You can find this talk at: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2015/04?lang=eng&vid=4153434760001&cid=3
Play money (see attached sheet or use board game money from a game like Monopoly or Life)
Pretend budget (see attached sheet)
Pass out the budget papers and corresponding money. Each person will receive a different amount of money, not always enough to cover all their budget needs.
Help each person go through their budget, setting aside everything they need to pay for the items in their budget. After everyone has paid for their needs, some will have excess and others will find they don’t have enough to pay for all their needs. Choose one member of the family to be the “Bishop” and ask each member of the family who has money left over to donate some of their money toward fast offerings.
After the Bishop collects all the fast offerings, ask them to start passing out money to those who still need it to cover their needs.
Play the game as many times as necessary to teach the principle. You can adjust the game by giving everyone enough and more than they need to show how some wards and stakes have enough excess to pass their money to areas of the world that need more, like the people who have been caught in natural disasters.
If anyone chooses not to donate their excess to fast offerings, use it as a teaching opportunity and explain what would happen in a real-world setting.
Lesson: In addition to paying tithing, we are commanded to give of our substance to assist the poor and needy. One way to do this is by fasting and going without food and drink for two consecutive meals. The Lord restored the principle of fasting through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the Church designates one Sunday a month as a day of fasting. Fasting, which has always been an indication of the true church, is an opportunity for spiritual renewal and growing closer to our Heavenly Father.
As part of the fast, members of the Church contribute a generous fast offering for the care of the poor and the needy. This offering should be at least the value of the two meals the Church member went without while fasting. These funds are used to provide food, shelter, and other necessities to people in need, both locally and worldwide.
There is no standard donation amount for fast offerings. As you contribute generously to these funds, you will be blessed both spiritually and temporally for your desire to help others. Tithing and Fast Offerings, (2007), 1–14
Challenge your family to be more faithful in paying fast offerings. If appropriate, share how much fast offerings comes out of the main household budget and allow the children to input their suggestions. Also if appropriate, help children determine how much fast offering is appropriate coming from their personal money.
To print the budgets and play money follow this link: Fast Offering Family Home Evening