The next topic in the “For the Strength of Youth” guide is “Language.” This is a great topic for family home evening. As you plan your lesson make sure that you take into consideration what your family most needs to gain from this topic. If you have a specific child that concerns you, be sure that you do not single him out during the lesson.
Open the lesson by reading James 3:2-13. Ask your family what they think the scripture means. Ask your family why the words they choose are so important. Read the section on language from the “For the Strength of Youth” guide as a family. Discuss what you read as a family. It is important to talk about inappropriate language, and what constitutes it. It is also important to talk about the importance of using words in a positive fashion. It is important to praise rather than to criticize. Words are truly powerful things. As a family discuss ways that you can use your words to help build others up instead of pulling them down. You may want to read and discuss “No Swear Zone,” and this question and answer section from the New Era. For the conclusion you should read and discuss Ephesians 4:29.
If you have primary age children you will want to still read the scriptures and discuss the standards in the “For the Strength of Youth” guide. You may want to define what your family considers inappropriate language. You should spend time discussing using nice words instead of hurtful words. You may want to make a chart listing the good words to use. If name calling and criticizing other family members is a problem you may want to make a chart of outlawed words (for example stupid, dumb, and ugly). You may want to read and discuss “Good Words,” and “Speaking Kind Words” from “The Friend.” You may want to have a sticker chart and when you hear your children saying something positive to another they can put a sticker on the chart.
If you are teaching a lesson to adults you will still want to discuss the standards set forth by the church. You will also want to discuss the power of words and the affect that they can have on others. You may want to read and discuss “President Kimball Speaks Out on Profanity,” and “Standing Up to Profanity.”
“Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words” on p 232 is an excellent hymn to sing with this lesson. You can choose another favorite song as well. Don’t forget to have refreshments.