“78 And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts.
79 And it is my will that you shall humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility and the prayer of faith.“
1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
2. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
3. I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Read aloud: Even though you probably don’t hold a job right now, learning to save money now is really important. When you want toys, clothes, candy, etc. you need money to buy them. Can you or your parents buy you something if none of you have money? No! It’s important to learn now to save money for the things you want and the goals you have.
Ask the Following Question: What are some important things to start saving for now? (Missions, college, etc.)
Read the following true story aloud from the December 2011 Friend Magazine.
I know this might sound strange, but I have been saving money to pay for my mission since before I was born. When my mother learned she was going to have a baby, she took an empty milk can, put a hole in it, and labeled it, “Mission Fund.” Since that day, my family and I have been saving for my mission.
Saving for my mission has been a family effort. After I was born, my uncles and aunts who came to visit would drop Philippine pesos into the mission fund can. And when holidays like Christmas or New Year’s came around, family members gave me money to add to my mission fund.
Sometimes my grandparents give me money for doing well in school and competitions. These gifts go to my mission fund too. Once, when I received several medals, my aunt counted all the medals I earned and gave me money for each one. After I paid tithing, this money also went into my mission fund.
When I was baptized, my desire to serve a mission grew even more. My family set a goal to save enough money to pay for my mission in full. Because I now have siblings, money we save is added to their mission funds too.
I am now nine years old and almost halfway to the age I will be when I serve my mission. My desire to serve a mission has increased because I know there have been so many people who have contributed to my mission fund.
I will continue to save for my mission. I know that Heavenly Father will bless me so that I can serve Him as a missionary one day. (This story can also be found here.)
Read aloud: Like Spencer, you can start saving now for what you want most. He was able to have family help him save for his future mission. How can you save money now to obtain your goals? (Piggy banks, do work for family and neighbors, make sure to pay tithing first, etc.) The Lord blesses us to achieve our goals when we make tithing a priority. The Lord wants to help all his children. By paying tithing we help others and the Lord helps us with our needs.
Discuss the importance of managing your money wisely and how you can make financial decisions as a family.
*For Teenagers or Adults*
Read aloud: Saving money and spending it wisely is something we either have been doing since we were kids or it’s something we’ve learned the hard way later in life. Money isn’t everything, but it’s a means to an end. Money can buy us education, transportation, the ability to afford serving a mission, and more. Money assists us in worthwhile goals and helps to build temples, church meeting houses, and more. Money can also be vicious when we misuse it or aren’t prepared for difficult, unforeseen times. The church strongly advises having good savings to prepare for unexpected times ahead and to also be able to afford the worthwhile goals in life.
Read the following talk by Franklin D. Richards, formerly in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to inspire you about the importance of savings and how to save.
Throughout the history of the Church, the doctrine of personal and family preparedness has been emphasized by the leaders of the Church. Six phases of personal and family preparedness have been stressed by our leaders: education, career development, financial, health, and spiritual preparedness, and home production and storage….
We must recognize that financial problems are the reason for much unhappiness and are certainly a major factor in family difficulties and divorce.
The Lord has told us that if we are prepared, we shall not fear (see D&C 38:30). What a blessing it is to be free from financial fear.
I would like to suggest a three-point formula to attain and maintain financial preparedness:
1. Pay your tithes and offerings.
2. Get out of debt and stay out of debt.
3. Use your surplus funds wisely.
This formula is equally applicable to young and old. Let me discuss each of these three points briefly.
First, pay your tithes and offerings. The Lord has said:
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. …
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:8–10.)
In this dispensation, the Lord has revealed to us that this is “a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people” (D&C 64:23).
Brethren, compliance with the law of tithing opens the windows of heaven, bringing material and spiritual blessings through sacrifice and obedience. It is truly the first step towards personal and family financial preparedness.
As long as one is honest with the Lord, the amount of tithing paid is not material. The widow’s or child’s mite is as important and acceptable as the rich man’s offerings.
When men, women, and children are honest with the Lord and pay their tithes and offerings, the Lord gives them wisdom whereby they can do as much or more with the remainder than they could if they had not been honest with the Lord. They are blessed and prospered in various ways—spiritually, physically, and mentally, as well as materially. I know this to be true, and I am sure that many of you can bear such a testimony. And always remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Now, the second point of the formula—get out of debt and stay out of debt. In modern revelation, the Lord has given us these commandments: “Verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts” (D&C 104:78). And again: “Pay the debt thou hast contracted. … Release thyself from bondage” (D&C 19:35).
President Joseph F. Smith advised the Saints to “get out of debt and keep out of debt, and then you will be financially as well as spiritually free” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1903, p. 5).
In getting out of debt and staying out of debt, there are certain basic principles that we, as individuals and families, can apply, such as:
1.Live within your income.
2.Prepare and use short- and long-term budgets.
3. Regularly save a part of your income.
4. Use your credit wisely, if it is necessary to use it at all. For example, a reasonable debt may be justified for the acquisition of a home or education.
5. Preserve and utilize your assets through appropriate tax and estate planning.
I know that by following these simple, basic principles it is possible to get out of debt and stay out of debt.
What will this mean to us as individuals and families?
President Heber J. Grant said, “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means, and if there is any one thing that is grinding, and discouraging and disheartening it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Relief Society Magazine, May 1932, p. 302). Brethren, I can personally bear witness that this is true.
The third point of the formula is to use your surplus funds wisely. In many respects, the real test of a man is his attitude towards his earthly possessions. A person who places earthly possessions in the scales against the things of God evidences little understanding of eternal values.
President Brigham Young had this to say about this matter:
“When this people are prepared to properly use the riches of this world for the building up of the kingdom of God, He is ready and willing to bestow them upon us. …
“I like to see men get rich by their industry, prudence, management and economy, and then devote it to the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth” (Journal of Discourses, 11:114–15). (Read the full talk here.)
Read aloud: Brother Richards gives us many good reasons to manage our finances wisely and live within our means. He also inspires us as to why it is so important to live within our means.
Discuss what you can do in your personal financial situations to better live within your means.
What ways can you use your financial gain to bless others?
Encourage family members to share stories where they were blessed from paying tithing.
Savy Saving Book
Boys Tithing Bank
Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time
Spooky Boo Brownies or Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
Spooky Boo Brownies
1. 1 box Betty Crocker™ Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
(Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box)
2. 1 ¼ cups Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting (from 16-oz container)
3. 16 large marshmallows
4. Betty Crocker™ black decorating gel (from 0.68-oz tube)
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make brownies as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; remove foil. For 16 brownies, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.
2. Heat frosting in microwavable bowl uncovered on High 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until frosting can be stirred smooth and fluid. If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave 5 seconds; stir.
3. Top each brownie with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Let stand until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. Use black gel to make eyes and mouths.
(Recipe From BettyCrocker)
Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
1. 3 tbsp butter
2. 5 cups mini marshmallows
3. Red and yellow food coloring
4. 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
5. 12-15 Tootsie Rolls
6. Green piping gel/frosting
1. Melt butter over med/low heat
2. Stir in marshmallows and begin to melt
3. Add food coloring drops until desired color is reached
4. Once butter and marshmallows are combined, slowly stir in cereal
5. Remove from heat and mix until the cereal is evenly coated in sticky goodness
6. Allow to cool until you can handle it and then start rolling into balls. Stick your thumb down in the center a bit to create a well for the Tootsie Roll stem
7. Add Tootsie Roll to make a stem and then pipe green leaves or vines to create your pumpkins
(Recipe From 365ishpins)
Paper Pumpkin Craft or Pumpkin Bowling
Instructions: To make this little pumpkin, you’ll need a piece of orange card. Use a ruler to mark out eight strips, using a dashed straight line to show where your child needs to cut. If you use a darker orange marker pen you’ll be able to see the lines to cut them, but they won’t show every much in your finished craft.
Then let your child have a try cutting along the lines. You can make it easier and safer by using a child-sized pair of scissors that have a rounded tip to the cutting blades. Using card rather than paper will help too, as it will hold its shape more as your child cuts along.
Cutting out all eight strips gives you plenty of practice. The edges don’t need to be perfect – your pumpkin will still look great with a few wobbles, so encourage your child to have a try.
Once cut out, place your card strips in this circular arrangement, and hold them together using a split pin. Your child might find it easier if you poke through the ends of all the strips with a sharp pencil or craft knife first, and then your child can thread the pieces on to the split pin. This in itself is a great workout for fine motor skills.
Then you need to repeat this threading, gathering together all the opposite ends of the strips of card to form your 3D pumpkin shape. Use a second split pin to hold them in place, adding a piece of green card on the top to make a stalk.
Your child can then add their own Jack-o-lantern design on the outside of the pumpkin, making it as friendly or as scary as they like.
(Craft from NurtureStore)
What you need: One small/medium round pumpkin, six rolls of toilet paper, and black construction paper
Instructions: To play, you simply need a deck of cards and enough spoons for one less than the number of players. (So, if you have 5 players, you only need 4 spoons.) The deck is shuffled and four cards are dealt to each player.
The goal of the game is to collect 4 of a kind. You draw from the stack and discard any card you wish: either from your hand or the one you drew. You can never have more than 4 cards at a time in your hand. Your discard stack becomes the next person’s drawing stack and it goes on and on around the table.
The object of the game is to move very fast. The faster the better. When a player gets 4 of a kind, he picks up a spoon from the table. Other players may follow. The last player will be left without a spoon. He then gets a mark against him. The letter “s.”
You keep playing rounds collecting letters for the one without a spoon until someone spells the whole word “spoons.” That person is out. The game can continue without him and with one less spoon.
(Activity from Jeanetics)
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.