This lesson is a follow up from The Parable of The Sower.
Goal: To Help Family Members see how they can create good ground for their seed to grow.
Elder Dallin H Oaks gave a talk in the April 2015 General Conference about the Parable of the Sower. After discussing the different grounds our seed can fall into he stated that “spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong.” This spiritual food comes in a variety of “flavors” and all needs to be attended to in order to create strong, prolific plants.
You can find this talk at:
Supplies-The three seed cups you planted last week
Bring the plants out that you planted last week. After a week they should be just visible if they were going to grow. Examine all three plants. Did any of the seeds sprout? Did the seed in the rocks try to sprout? Which plant grew the best?
Discuss the future of each plant and how to help improve its soil.
Go on a family walk back to the garden you visited the previous week. Observe the plants again, making special note of those plants that were not doing so well the previous week. Also make note of the plants that are continuing to grow well. Discuss how the garden’s soil helped certain plants grow better than other plants.
Remind your family that the seeds which Jesus spoke of in his Parable (Mark 4) are the seeds of the gospel. They have all felt the spirit and have had those very seeds planted in their hearts and their minds, just as you planted seeds the previous week. Remind them that the seeds that fall into the rocks or the poor soil end up withering and not bearing good fruit.
There are many things that can destroy the soil a seed is planted in. Discuss each one as necessary:
Popular Media- Elder Oaks stated that “In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel.”
Money- Elder Oaks stated that “wherever we are in our spiritual journey- whatever our state of conversion- we are all tempted by this. When attitudes or priorities are fixed on the acquisition, use, or possession of property, we call that materialism… Those who believe in what has been called the theology of prosperity are suffering from the deceitfulness of riches. The possession of wealth or significant income is not a mark of heavenly favor and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor.”
Keyhole view of the gospel- Elder Oaks stated that “Another potential destroyer of spiritual roots…is the keyhole view of the gospel or the Church. This limited view focuses on a particular doctrine or practice or perceived deficiency in a leader and ignores the grand panorama of the gospel plan and the personal and communal fruits of its harvest…To be securely rooted in the gospel, we must be moderate and measured in criticism and seek always for the broader view of the majestic work of God.”
We all know the ways to help our soil be good and to grow good fruit, but sometimes we forget that we have to root out the rocks before we can add in our fertilizer. After reading what Elder Oaks had to say about the ways our roots can become choked, discuss a few things your family specifically needs to work on in order to improve your soil.
If appropriate, begin asking your family what behaviors you can use to replace the negative ones that you will get rid of. These new behaviors need to help your family focus on the core teachings of the gospel- reading the scriptures, praying, taking the sacrament, and serving others.
If appropriate, discuss the goals that your family talked about the previous week and measure your growth. If desired, create a chart to measure your goals and even set a motivational reward for the family if needed (a good reward for meeting goals would be a family activity like going to a new park or buying ice cream together).
Make sure each family member leaves after your meeting with a clear understanding of something they can do to help their own faith and testimony grow and make sure they know that you are there to help them, whatever they struggle with.