Monday, March 3, 2014

Stronger the Wind, the Stronger the Trees by President Monson

It's about that time again...In a little over a month, we will hear from our prophet and leaders again in General Conference.  Have you found time to study the messages given in the last General Conference?  Have you taken Elder Hales' advice and used General Conference to strengthen your faith and testimony by pondering, praying about, studying, and sharing the messages given?  

Elder Hales promised that, "Those who put their trust in the Lord and heed this counsel [to study the messages of General Conference] in faith will gain great strength to bless themselves and their families for generations to come." 

We've still got about five weeks to take him up on this promise, so let's get started!

Tonight at Family Home Evening, we will start round 2 of our General Conference Review Lessons, starting with President Monson's talk "I Will Not Fail Thee; Nor Forsake Thee."

Tracie Carter shared her family's study of this talk on this blog previously. (You can see her lesson here.)

Tracie focused on the imagery of finishing a race, but for our purposes this evening, we will focus on the line "Good timber does not grow with ease, The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees."  

To facilitate our lesson and discussion, we will be making these trees (pictured above) which appear to be blowing in the wind.  (I modeled it after this tree found online.)

And we will talk about this experiment:

Trees Made Stronger by Bending in the Wind

A number of years ago, researchers in Illinois placed a number of young trees in a greenhouse. One group was supported by (tied to) a stake. A second group was left to grow unstaked. And a third group was left unstaked but manually waved back and forth for several minutes every day. At the end of several months, the three groups of trees were measured for growth in height and trunk diameter. The staked trees were the tallest and weakest (small trunk diameter), the unstaked trees were intermediate in height and trunk diameter, and many were not growing straight. The unstaked trees that were waved back and forth each day were the shortest but had the greatest trunk diameter, thus were the strongest.
This research showed that when you plant a tree, it should only have enough support to allow it to stand upright. Let the top of the tree wave in the wind to promote the development of a strong trunk.

The other teaching that I want them to remember from President Monson is that although we will pass through hard times in this life, God's love is simply always there for you.  He will never abandon us.  On the leaves of our tree, we will write evidence that we have seen of God's love for us.

(Since this is her "favorite prophet," Autumn taught our lesson, and did a great job!)
Here are our General Conference Review Lessons for the October 2013 Conference so far:

Angels to Watch over Us - President Eyring

Come, Join With Us - President Uchtdorf

The Key to Spiritual Protection - President Packer

The Articles of Faith - Elder Perry

Like a Broken Vessel - Elder Holland

Trust in the Lord - Elder Ballard

No Other Gods - Elder Oaks

Beware of Bondage - Elder Cook

Decisions for Eternity  - Elder Nelson

Repentance: The Hope-filled Path - Elder Scott

The Moral Force of Women - Elder Christofferson

Each Day is a Day of Decision - Elder Nelson

Windows, Priesthood & Tithing - Elder Bednar & Elder Andersen

"Oh, How We Need General Conference!" - Elder Hales


  1. Thank you for this, it has given me some ideas for our FHE.

  2. I just wrote on my plan for the week to start reading last conference talks to prepare me for April conference. I always enjoy the month before conference because of the time I spend studying the talks!

    1. Good job!! Share any insights you have!! I'd love to hear it!

  3. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with the on-line world. I was just thinking that we needed to revisit General Conference and review the talks we have covered and work on the many more we have not covered in prep for April's conference. This helps me so much!