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When Bad Things Happen: Understanding Trials FHE Lesson

When Bad Things Happen: Understanding Trials FHE Lesson

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Scripture

Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

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Hymn

Where Can I Turn for Peace? Hymn #129

1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?

2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

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Lesson

 

*For Children*

Begin by giving each child a piece of paper and instructing them to draw their favorite kind of cookie. When they are done, ask them why they love that cookie so much and give everyone a moment to explain.

Read aloud: Cookies are delicious! Today, we can make many different kinds of cookies in a variety of different ways.

Ask: Do you know the things that are used to make your favorite cookie? (Give everyone a chance to list off as many things as they can think of)

Read aloud: There are many different ways to make cookies. In most cookie recipes, you have things like flour and salt and then things like sugar and butter. When you look at salt, it may seem crazy that you want to put it in a recipe for something sweet. And who would just want to eat a stick of butter by itself? But the truth is, all of these things are necessary to making a cookie delicious. Our lives, and the plan Heavenly Father has for us, works much in the same way.

Here are on Earth we have many different experiences. Some are sweet and make us very happy. Some are very hard and can make us very sad. Sometimes, we may want to yell at Heavenly Father or get very upset at Him because these bad things have happened. Many times, the trials are not even our fault. We often do not understand why these trials have happened. But our trials can be just like salt. At first, if we just look at our trials by themselves, it can seem crazy that they are part of our lives. However, when we put our trials and hard times into an eternal perspective, we see they are necessary to making life sweet. When we realize our trials are just part of a recipe, one that will produce the very best thing of all (eternal life with God), we can be stronger when bad things come our way.

In fact, the entire plan of salvation, which is also called the plan of happiness, is like a cookie recipe that is meant to bring us happiness forever. (Much more happiness than a cookie!)

Ask: What can trials teach us? How can we keep an eternal perspective when bad things happen? Do any of you have personal experiences about learning something from a trial?

Finish the lesson by discussing any personal experiences you have and bearing your testimony of the plan of salvation. If time permits, you can discuss more in-depth why trials are a necessary part of our life on Earth.

*For Teenagers and Adults*

Begin by watching this video:

Ask: What are some things that stood out to you in this video?

Read aloud: We know that the plan of our Heavenly Father requires us all to go through the refiner’s fire. Elder Holland has described it as taking a few steps towards Gethsemane. Whether the trials we experience come from the actions of others or for seemingly no reason at all, we know none are exempt. However, just as this woman in the video described, we can find strength in Jesus Christ when these times come. Elder Quentin L. Cook has said:

While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence.

Some of these principles we can hold onto in hard times include that we have a Father in Heaven and a Savior in Jesus Christ. We also have a greater perspective and understanding through the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation answers the questions of the soul, and lets us know we lived before this life and we will live again after this life, where, if we are righteous, we will be compensated for all the unfairness of life.

Ask: How does the Plan of Salvation help us through the refiner’s fire?

Read aloud: The greatest key to the Plan of Salvation is our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave us a perfect example in how to face trials.  He lives today to comfort us and to help us understand why trials are sometimes necessary. In instances where the trials are not our fault, He helps us find peace that evil must exist, but joy and justice will eventually come to the faithful.

Have everyone get out set of scriptures and instruct them to spend the next few minutes looking for a scripture that can comfort us during trials. If they struggle, encourage them to look up Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide. Discuss the scripture each person chooses and finish by sharing any personal experiences and bearing your testimony. 

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Ordinance Guide Oil Vial

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Chocolate Chip Cookies or Strawberry Dole Whip

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

-2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons c ornstarch
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, melted and cooled
-1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will work as well if you want a more molasses-y flavor)
-½ cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1½ cups dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter and the sugars with a hand-mixer for about one minute. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix briefly, just until there are no flour clumps left. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325 degrees, making sure you have the racks in the middle of the oven.
  6. Scoop ¼ cup of cookie dough at a time and roll into balls. Then, tear the balls in half by pulling gently on both sides. Smush the two halves together again, but this time have the lumpy, torn sides face upward. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the cookies have plenty of space to spread.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden, but the center of the cookie still looks soft and just slightly under-cooked. Let cool on the baking sheets until the cookies are firm enough to remove. Every oven is different, so I recommend starting with just one or two cookies on the tray to see what baking time works best for you!
  8. Repeat with remaining batches, until all cookies are baked. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!

(Courtesy of Toast the Host)


Strawberry Dole Whip

Ingredients:
-1 cup sliced frozen strawberries (120g)
-1 cup frozen raspberries or more strawberries (120g)
-level 1/4 cup milk of choice or canned coconut milk (60g)
-pinch uncut stevia OR 1 1/2 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice
-2 tsp lemon juice
-1/16 tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Scoop out and eat OR put in a plastic bag and freeze ten minutes, then cut a hole in the bag’s edge and squeeze out in a swirl. (Or you can use a Yonanas machine if you have one – I used the bag method.) The addition of lemon might sound strange, but it really makes the recipe!

(Courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie)

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Activity

Cookie Making or  Plan of Salvation Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Cookie Making

Use the recipe above (or a family favorite) and make cookies with your family. If time permits consider asking your family to think of someone going through a trial and who could use some sweetness. Wrap up some of the cookies and go deliver them with a nice note.

 

Plan of Salvation Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

This website has a fun activity that uses the classic game show to help your family or group understand the Plan of Salvation. There are free game pages, questions and answers, and more. Find it all here. 

 

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About Aleah Ingram

Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a social media manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is addicted to organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.
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