Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Elder Bednar - Windows of Heaven

After the last General Conference, I asked readers to share the FHE lessons that they have done to help their children and families learn the teachings of General Conference.  I have shared some of them here already as part of our General Conference Review Lessons
Here is another one that was submitted by Jill Martin. 
Hopefully, as you watch General Conference this weekend, you will look for ways to relate the teachings to your children and jot your ideas down! Enjoy!  Here's Jill:

Jill Martin (My four children are ages 7, 4, 2, and 5 months)
I have a strong testimony of tithing, and I loved Elder Bednar’s talk called The Windows of Heaven.  As I read through it I pulled out some points that I wanted to teach my kids.  They are:
*We are blessed as we pay our tithing.  Some of the blessings are easy to see and others are not as easy to see.
*For the blessings that aren’t as easy to see we need eyes of faith, which means to be “spiritually attentive and observant”. 
*Some of the blessings that come are not what we expect.
I liked the part of this talk that explained the imagery of the windows, so I used and expanded on that to teach this lesson.  
I started by turning out all the lights and closing all the curtains.  I asked the kids what they could see.  They named a few things and most of the things they named were things that were big.  I told them that those were like the big and easy to see blessings we get from paying our tithing.  I said there are many more blessings we get that are harder to see.
 I then opened the curtains and let the light shine through the window (it was dark when we did this but the Christmas lights were on outside so it still made quite a difference).  I asked the kids again what they could see and this time they could name a lot more things.  I used this analogy:
-Opening the window was like using “eyes of faith”.  It allowed the light or “spiritual illumination” to come in and then we could see all of the blessings, even the “significant but subtle ones”.
I told the story of how Sister Bednar’s mother had done that by keeping track of all her expenses and then using her eyes of faith to see that they had been blessed with lower medical bills.  I love how she recognized this as a blessing for paying her tithing. 
As a family we talked about the blessings we’ve received from paying tithing and we used our eyes of faith to find some that were harder to see.  One example is that we have older cars but we haven’t had to pay very much money for maintenance on them because they have always run well.
We talked again about how we have to open the window so the light can come in so we can see our blessings.  I had the kids draw pictures of light that would come through a window.  Previously I had made a window picture frame for each of them.  I found the directions here

They then stuck the pictures in the frames and could open the curtains to let the light in to remind them of Elder Bednar’s talk.

We ended by talking about how sometimes the blessings we get are not what we expect.  I loved the example of gratitude being one of these blessings.  We also talked about the prayer of the stripling warriors and how Heavenly Father answered that prayer by giving them assurance, peace, faith and hope- not the expected blessings but exactly what they needed.
I know Heavenly Father blesses us as we pay our tithing and he blesses us with exactly what we need even if it’s not what we expect.  As we apply faith by looking for our blessings, Heavenly Father will shine a light on those ones that are harder to see so we can have an understanding of all we’ve been given.

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