Here is my guest post from the Family Proclamation Celebration over at Jocelyn’s blog, “Talk of Christ, Rejoice in Christ”!
We all want our families to be happy and successful. I love a good list – and the one found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, to help us in our quest for family success – is solid. It states that, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
I want to be reminded of these principles more in our home and family. I want to discuss them often, and there is no better time for us to do that than around the dinner table.
With this in mind, I’ve made a placemat which incorporates these principles of successful families. It is meant to be used during a family home evening, and then for subsequent dinners. With each table set, we will be reminded of values we should be focusing on daily, while at the same time getting our utensils on the correct sides of the plate!
To introduce the placemat at a Family Home Evening, the principles can be covered with matching shapes, and then revealed and discussed one at a time. I’ve tried to make a connection between each principle and the item it is printed on. Below is a brief explanation of each shape. Follow the links attached to the principles for wonderful thoughts and quotes relating them to our families.
- Faith: The seeds in the watermelon are to remind us of the principle of faith. (Faith is like a seed! Alma 32:28)
- Prayer: A pretzel reminds us of arms folded in prayer.
- Repentance: The lollipop reminds us that repentance is sweet.
- Forgiveness: The bread reminds us of the sacrament, and forgiveness through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
- Respect: The many tines of a fork remind us of respect - no one is put ahead of another, and we live in peace and harmony, being mindful of the worth of each member.
- Love: Spoons can snuggle close together – and thus symbolize love
- Compassion: The tear drop in the cup is for compassion, to remind us of tears shared when feeling empathy towards one another.
- Work: The knife is an essential tool in the kitchen, and reminds us of work.
- Wholesome recreational activities: Napkins can be folded and played with, and remind us of wholesome recreational activities
Once each principle has been uncovered and discussed, you can play a memory game to see who remembers what each symbol represents. Later at the table, try interchanging an object’s name for it’s principle. For example, “Anyone need a little more compassion in their cups? Please wipe your mouth with your wholesome recreational activities. Save your love for later to eat your dessert!” You get the idea.
I hope this is a fun, helpful approach to focusing on the principles that will guide your family to greater happiness and success!
Click to download the Family Proclamation Placemat.
Click to download the Blank Placemat Shapes.