This is another family home evening lesson from the last swap we did. It is based on Pres. Hinckley’s talk Slow to Anger from the October 2007 General Conference. It was put together by Melinda B.
Here’s a copy of part of the lesson so you know what you are getting when you download the pdf file above.
Preparation: You will need a wood board, hammer and nails for the object lesson. A bag of mini marshmallows and a box of toothpicks for the activity
Objective: To remind each of us it is important to control our anger and think carefully before we act or when our minds are full of anger, fear, or confusion.
Opening Song: Kindness Begins With Me (Children’s Songbook p145)
Scripture: “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
Object Lesson: Have each family member hammer a nail into the board.
Story: There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said “you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.”
Discussion: A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one and can leave irreparable damage. Have each family member pull out the nail they hammered into the board. Notice how much harder it is to pull out the nails than to hammer them in. Point out the holes to the children. It is easy to do things that hurt others or ourselves when we do not think carefully before we act or when our minds are full of anger, fear, or confusion. Because our actions follow our thoughts, thinking about Jesus Christ can help us. Thoughts of His life, His example, and what He wants us to do can calm our minds and help us make righteous choices.