I am so looking forward to this year with our theme “Come Unto Christ”. We are hoping that these family lessons will enrich your personal monthly study of each topic and allow the whole family to get involved as we all come closer to the Savior and come to know him in deeper ways.
Thanks to our friends at The Apricot Tree for our first lesson of the year on discipleship. Even if it’s winter where you are (like me!) this lesson can be the perfect way to plan an indoor hiking experience and maybe try and feel some of that summer heat. This family lesson is all about the journey it takes us on our road to discipleship and is great for all ages. Enjoy!
During the Savior’s earthly ministry, He called disciples to participate in His work. He likewise extends this invitation to all of us who are willing to “take His yoke upon us, and learn of Him…” (Matthew 11:29). A disciple is a student, a follower. To be a disciple is to embark on the wonderful journey of BECOMING like the Master. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Exaltation is our goal; discipleship is our journey.”
You can help even the youngest members of your family understand the importance of discipleship by teaching them that it means to do what the Savior would do. This may not always come naturally—the process is a journey. We’ve come up with this simple lesson that likens the journey to a hike.
Prepare: Pack a back pack with some iconic hiking items like a compass, hiking boots, maps, and trail mix or granola bars for a treat at the end of the discussion! You may also choose to print the hiking scenarios we’ve come up with for your discussion, to get those just click on the download here button at the end of the post.
Set the scene: Ask family members to think back on a time they’ve gone on a hike. Was there some preparation involved? Was it an easy journey? What was the purpose? The journey of discipleship, or following the pathways of the Lord, is similar in many ways. To embark on this journey, we must leave the world behind. It can be a challenge at times, with steep hills and rocky terrain, but if we are careful to follow our guide, we are promised spectacular views—we are promised all the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for us.
Activity: To help your family start thinking more like the Savior, take turns reading each scenario that one might encounter on a hike. Read the portion in bold first. And then follow up with the rest after the family answers. Use this as a starting point, but feel free to do more or less. You can print this portion of the lesson out and fold it up like a map, cut it into strips, or whatever you like!
- As you’re hiking, you notice some garbage on the side of the trail. What would a disciple do? // Jesus “went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38) The Savior blessed and healed others. He improves every situation, and every person. We can do our part to improve the situation around us, too.
- There are many signs along your hike that say “stay on the path,” but another hiker encourages you to climb a tall cliff off the path to get a better look at the view. What would a disciple do? // Some people believe that commandments are a burden, but the Savior taught us that a true disciple is obedient, and that the commandments provide us safety and freedom. “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8: 31-32
- As you’re hiking, one person in your group becomes tired. They need to stop and rest, but tell the rest of the group to continue without them. What would a disciple do? // The Savior taught that to be his disciples, we must be unified in our hearts and minds. We stick together. Jesus’s sheep were numbered, and if one was lost he sought after it. “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind.” (Moses 7:18)
- After a few hours of hiking you start to feel your energy get low. What should you do? (Rest, drink water, eat a snack). Just as we must nourish our bodies, a disciple of Christ nourishes their spirit with His word. Disciples are students of the scriptures, and do their best to learn and know His teachings so they can follow them. “The holy scriptures adorn our bookshelves. Make certain they provide nourishment to our minds and guidance for our lives” –Thomas S. Monson “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”—Thomas Jefferson
After your discussion, enjoy a favorite hiking snack together such as trail mix or granola bars. You may want to look at some photos of past hikes you’ve taken, or simply look up pretty photos on the internet of amazing views of nature. Emphasize that discipleship is the journey, and the end result is something truly worth working for.
Thank you to the fabulous trio (Aimee, Leslie and Kaylie) over at The Apricot Tree for creating this lesson for us! They are three sisters and best friends who love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of that they are dedicated to promoting the joys of womanhood and motherhood through sharing ideas and inspiration on their blog and instagram @theapricottree.