Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.
1. In fasting we approach thee here
And pray thy Spirit from above
Will cleanse our hearts, cast out our fear,
And fill our hunger with thy love.
2. Thru this small sacrifice, may we
Recall that strength and life each day
Are sacred blessings sent from thee–
Fill us with gratitude, we pray.
3. And may our fast fill us with care
For all thy children now in need.
May we from our abundance share,
Thy sheep to bless, thy lambs to feed.
4. This fast, dear Father, sanctify–
Our faith and trust in thee increase.
As we commune and testify,
May we be filled with joy and peace.
Begin by asking your family what they know about fasting, then read aloud:
Fasting is a commandment from Heavenly Father. When we fast, we do not eat or drink for two meals. However, fasting is not just about going without food. If we just didn’t eat or drink, we’d just be hungry. Unlike going without food, when we fast, we choose to do so for a specific, spiritual purpose. When we fast, we pray to Heavenly Father with this purpose in mind.
Ask: What are some things we can fast for?
Read aloud: Fasting can be done for many reasons. We can fast for someone who is sick. We can fast if we are going through a trial. We can fast to understand the teachings of Christ. We can also fast to express gratitude and tell the Lord thank you.
Here is a story from a boy named Jeremy:
My mom was sick. If she was sick, she couldn’t lead the choir. I fasted for her to help her feel better. Fasting means not eating food during the day. This was the first day I ever fasted in my life. I didn’t know what it would feel like. I was hungry. It was really hard to fast, but I didn’t ask for food. I prayed for my mom, too. I wanted her to get better because I love her. After I fasted, my mom felt better. She was able to lead the choir. I think Heavenly Father hears my prayers, even when I whisper.
Ask: Like Jeremy, we can have some trouble fasting at first. What can make fasting hard? What are some ways we can make sure to focus on our purpose to make things easier?
Share any personal experiences you have with fasting. Then, discuss the promised blessings of the fasting.
Read aloud: In the scriptures, Christ promises He will be with us when we fast. You can think of it like this: Fasting has the word fast in it. Christ will run fast to our side when seek Him out through fasting.
Ask: How does it make you feel to know Christ will run to us when we fast?
Finish by bearing your testimony of fasting and asking anyone if they have any questions about fasting.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by watching this video:
Ask: How are we like the young man in this video sometimes? What struggles do we face with fasting?
Read aloud: In the video, and in a talk given by President Henry B. Eyring, a scripture from Isaiah in the Old Testament is quoted. Read together as a family or group Isaiah 58:6-11:
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Ask: Based on these scriptures, what are some of the things the Lord asks us to do when we fast? What are some of the promised blessings of fasting?
Read aloud: Fasting really can be work, but just as any other principle in the Gospel, we can become better as we diligently practice and do our best. Fasting does not mean we simply refrain from food. We should accompany fasting with diligent prayer, study, and service.
Ask: What are some ways we can improve our fasts? What experiences have you had with fasting?
Finish the lesson by committing everyone to find a purpose for the next fast and by bearing your testimony.
Practicing for Heaven: The Parable of the Piano Lessons
Oreo Pudding Pops or Homemade Gummy Snacks
-1 box White Chocolate Instant Pudding
-16 Oreo Cookies
-2 Cups Milk
-6 Popsicle Sticks
-6 Dixie Cups
1. Break up 10 Oreos into pieces.
2. Add milk to pudding and stir to mix.
3. Add Oreo pieces to pudding.
4. Put 6 Oreos in food processor and crush.
5. Put pudding mixture into cup and top with crushed Oreos.
6. Place stick in cup and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.
You can optionally also put crushed Oreos in bottom of cup before adding pudding if desired.
(Courtesy of Cincy Shopper)
– 1 1/2 cups fruit and/or vegetable juice
– 4 tablespoons plain gelatin
– 2-4 tablespoons raw honey
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or other extract of your choice)
– up to 1 tablespoon extras like Vitamin C powder, protein powder, etc. (optional)
Pour juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let sit for a few minutes until it starts to “bloom” (it will get wrinkly looking on the surface and all of the white powder from the gelatin will absorb into the liquid). When all the gelatin is absorbed, whisk to combine.
Place the saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Let the liquid warm through, but never boil. You are looking for the liquid to go from thick and batter-like to thin and runny. You want all of the gelatin to dissolve (you can test this by dipping your finger in the liquid and rubbing it against your thumb- if it’s smooth, you’re ready, if it’s grainy, keep it on the heat).
Next, whisk in your honey, extract and any extra ingredients, if using. (*Note- if you are using powdered probiotic, wait until the juice has cooled to room temperature before adding to avoid killing any of the good bacteria.)
Pour into candy molds or a loaf pan and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set.
Remove from molds. If you used the loaf pan, cut your gelatin into small squares.
Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
(Courtesy of Modern Parents, Messy Kids)
Cotton Ball Relay or Don’t Eat Pete Game
Cotton Ball Relay
You’ll need two bowls, cotton bowls, spoons, cups, and blindfolds. Split up into two teams and place ten cotton balls in each bowl. Place the bowls on chairs at the end of the room. Blindfold one person from each team and give them a spoon. On the word “go,” the two blindfolded team members are led by another team member to the chair. Each person has two chances to dip the spoon into the bowl and get as many cotton balls into the cup as they can. The spoon is the only thing allowed to touch the cotton balls.
Repeat until everyone has had a chance to go. Each cotton ball in the cup counts as a point. When the activity is over, discuss what made it difficult. Relate how when we cannot feel the cotton balls or use our sense, it is hard to succeed. When we fast, it helps us feel Jesus Christ in our life.
Put one candy in each square of the playmat. Send one person out of the room. Pick a face on the grid to be “Pete.” Call the person back in the room, but don’t tell them which square you picked. The “it” person picks up candy one piece at a time. If the candy is not “Pete,” the person is allowed to eat it. If the candy is “Pete,” everyone yells “Don’t Eat Pete!” and that person’s turn is over.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.