Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen? Family Home Evening Lesson

I’m joining up with some fantastic bloggers to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Family Home Evening program. We all prepared FHE lessons based on talks from the latest General ConferenceI chose to prepare a Family Home Evening lesson on President Eyring’s talk on fasting and fast offerings, because I know it is an area in which I could really use encouragement and something I’d like my children to understand more fully.



Opening Song: Love One Another
Share the story of Sister Turay from President Eyring’s talk.  For smaller children, you may want to tell the story in your own words.  
“Sister Abie Turay, lives in Sierra Leone. A civil war began in 1991. It ravaged the country for years. Sierra Leone was already one of the poorest countries in the world. “During the war, it was unclear who [controlled] the country—banks … closed, government offices were shuttered, police forces [were ineffective against rebel forces], … and there was chaos, killing and sorrow. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives and more than two million people were forced from their homes to avoid the slaughter. 
Even in such times, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew.
One of the first branches was organized in the city where Sister Turay lived. Her husband was the first branch president. He served as a district president during the civil war.

“When guests visit Sister Turay’s home [now], she loves to show them two [treasures] from the war: a blue-and-white striped shirt [she got] from a bale of used clothing [given by members of the Church] and a blanket, now worn and riddled with holes.”7She says, “This shirt is the first … clothing I [received]. … I used to wear it to go to work—it was so good. [It made me feel so beautiful.] I didn’t have other clothes. 
“During the war, this blanket kept us warm, me and my children. When the rebels [would] come to attack us, this is the only thing I [could] lay [my] hands on [as we fled to the bush to hide]. So we [would] take the blanket with us. It would keep us warm and keep the mosquitoes away from us.” 

“Sister Turay speaks of her gratitude for a mission president who would make his way into the war-torn country with [money] in his pocket.” Those funds, from the fast-offering donations of people like you, allowed the Saints to buy food that most Sierra Leoneans could not afford. Sister Turay, speaking of those who were generous enough to donate for them to survive, says, “When I think [of] the people who did this … I feel that [they were] sent by God, because ordinary human beings made this kind gesture for [us].”  

A visitor from the United States sat with Abie not along ago. During his time with her, he found his eyes “drawn to a set of scriptures that were on the table.” He could tell that they were a treasure, “well-marked with notes in the columns. The pages were [worn;] some were torn. The cover was detached from the binding.”

He held the scriptures in his “hand and gently turned the pages. As [he did, he found a] yellow copy of a tithing donation slip. [He] could see that, in a country where [a dollar was worth its] weight in gold, Abie Turay had paid one dollar as her tithing, one dollar to the missionary fund, and one dollar as a fast offering for those who, in her words, were ‘truly poor.’” 

The visitor closed Sister Turay’s scriptures and thought, as he stood with this faithful African mother, that he was on sacred ground.

Discussion questions:

How does hearing Sister Turay’s story make you feel?  

Take a moment and imagine how her life is different from yours.  What differences can you think of?

Why is it important for us to pay fast offerings?

Watch this video about how fast offerings are used.

Share your testimony or share a personal story about when you or a loved one were blessed by fasting and/or fast offerings.

Read Matt 25:40 and discuss how it applies to fasting and fast offerings.

Additional Study:

Read  Isaiah 58:6–11 and make a list of all the promises and blessings the Lord gives us when we pay our tithing.  (Discuss and explain the imagery as you go).

Additional Resources:

Where do our fast offerings go?

Family Home Evening 100th anniversary blog event

Visit these other bloggers to find more great family home evening lessons based on a talk from the April 2015 General Conference! Be sure to leave them comments thanking them for their hard work in putting the lessons together.
Ginger @ Ginger Snap Crafts | Kerry @ My Random Sampler

Whitney @ Southern Hope | Jocelyn @ We Talk of Christ | Montserrat @ Cranial Hiccups