Creating a Spiritual Experience


The following are some excerpts from articles / talks that I've researched to help you build spirituality and temporal welfare into your reunion. Remember, family prayer, devotionals and the sharing of testimonies are always a critical part to strengthening the spirits of your family members.

Grandpa/Grandma and Return Missionaries Share Stories

"An exciting part of the program may be when Grandpa and Grandma tell stories of their younger days, and sing the songs that were popular when they fell in love. It will be a spiritual feast to hear the report of a newly returned missionary. Some families select a different ancestor to honor each year. Even though some families may not come prepared to participate on the program, the emcee could bring some readings or skits that can be done impromptu by those families." By Alma Heaton

Family Patriarch Conducts Business

"In the spirit of family unity, the reunion is also a time when the family patriarch conducts progress interviews with the family heads. Financial or other problems may also be discussed. The patriarch of the family may give special instruction to the entire family or to an individual member. Such counsel is not resented, but sought. As with the Prophet Joseph Smith, the family members esteem “it one of the greatest earthly blessings to be blessed with … parents, whose mature years and experience render them capable of administering the most wholesome advice.” (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2:289.)" By William Nelson

One family even sets up Bylaws, a Family Corporation, and share a Family Prayer:

The corporation bylaws state this purpose: “The corporation will promote the social and spiritual welfare of the members … and their descendants through socials, reunions, genealogical research, temple ordinances,missionary work, and similar interests.” The “heartbeat” to that purpose, however, is better appreciated when the words from the dedicatory prayer of the “B-13” ranch are read:

“Help us, Father, to refrain from desecrating this hallowed spot. May we be slow in anger, criticism, complaint, or fault-finding, but give us abundantly of tolerance, understanding, forgiveness, and desire to know and abide the rules that will be made to govern this family project. We thank thee for inclining our hearts to this area and for the generous support of the family members in securing this blessing unto ourselves. … Inspire our minds, our Father, to make this a sacred place—a place of social, cultural, spiritual and financial development, and let this valley be happy with the laughter of delighted children, and wilt thou keep us safe from harm in our incoming, sojourn, and outgoing. Let this lovely valley be a refuge from tiresome burdens, perplexing cares and distress incident to evil, designing men. May it be a refuge from fear, want, and sorrow, and may thy peace rest our souls as we sleep under thy star-studded canopy and enjoy the song of the forest borne to us on the gentle breezes among the sighing pines.”

The corporation also created the offices of genealogist, historian, and family patriarch, and named committees for reunions, landscaping and beautification, building and sanitation, operations, recreation and education, children’s interests, and finance.

Building a Family Welfare System:

"Ways to meet family preparedness goals developed spontaneously when one sister-in-law mentioned that she had access to discount rates on food storage items. Another told us that she had started selling (in her home) wheat grinders, canners, juicers, and other home-production-and-storage items, and a recently married brother shared his bewilderment about what and how much he and his wife should be storing.

The result? We elected a family welfare representative to provide information on discount items and recommended storage items and make suggestions on preserving food.

Since then, she has expanded her responsibilities to include the other areas of personal and family preparedness. She sent a newsletter and a copy of the personal and family preparedness worksheet to each family. (These sheets can be ordered from Church distribution centers at no charge, stock no. PGWE1191.) The assignment was to start on goal no. 1 in each of the six areas: physical health, literacy and education, career development, social-emotional and spiritual strength, financial and resource management, and home production and storage. When each individual family reported progress on the first goal in each area, the whole family moved on to the second. Not only are we progressing, we’re progressing together." By Marvin Gardner

Discussing Family Finances

"Dad brought up the subject of family finances. He reminded us that the extended family is the second resource, after the individual, for financial help, and advocated setting up a system to help each other. At the time, several of us were struggling with school expenses, and others were beginning to buy a first home. All of us will eventually have children on missions. And of course, emergencies are unforeseeable. So we elected a family financial chairman and established policies on dues and paybacks."

Set up Family Trust and Wills

One brother, a lawyer, taught us how to prepare a will and offered individual help as we wrote our own wills.

Hold Family Home Evening Together

Here are some lesson topic and sample activities you can use to prepare a fun family home evening together at your reunion:

  1. 1. 

    Deliverance from Egypt

    Prepare and eat unleavened bread or crackers

  2. 2. 

    Creation of the earth

    Put twigs, flowers, and dirt in small containers and ask children to close their eyes and smell the contents. The teacher then asks on which day of the Creation the objects were made.

  3. 3. 

    Tithing

    Hand out 10 nuts or raisins and let the children eat nine of them to appreciate what a large percentage of our increase the Lord allows us to keep.

  4. 4. 

    Faith

    Hold a fresh clove or cinnamon stick briefly under each person’s nose while his or her eyes are closed. They know something spicy is there but cannot see or feel it. Faith is also an unseen yet powerful influence, for through it we see the truth or evidence of things that we cannot see.

  5. 5. 

    Love thy neighbor as thyself

    Make two identical desserts, one for your family and one for a neighbor.

  6. 6. 

    Obedience

    Let half the family members make cookies without using a recipe while the rest make cookies following recipe directions carefully. Point out the better results achieved through obedience to directions by those who know how things should be done.

  7. 7. 

    Pioneers

    Prepare a typical pioneer trailside dinner.



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