Alternate Family Night Lessons

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Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by slavereeno » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:53 pm

Ok I wanted to start a thread for non-correlated Family night lessons that we can share here. Lessons should teach generally universal morals/ethics while still valuing reason, logic, and thinking for ones self etc. Here is my first suggestion, I did this one with my family a couple of weeks ago and it worked well. We read the following aloud and discussed how and why this Russian Naval officer made the decision he did.

Why did he decide go against the other officers?
What were the consequences of his actions?
How would you have felt in a situation like this?
How might his background have contributed to this brave act?
What would have happened if he just "went along" with his fellow officers or followed the bias of his culture and training?
How can we develop this kind of courage and ethos?

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov Saves the World


If you were born before 27 October 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov saved your life. It was the most dangerous day in history. An American spy plane had been shot down over Cuba while another U2 had got lost and strayed into Soviet airspace. As these dramas ratcheted tensions beyond breaking point, an American destroyer, the USS Beale, began to drop depth charges on the B-59, a Soviet submarine armed with a nuclear weapon.
The captain of the B-59, Valentin Savitsky, had no way of knowing that the depth charges were non-lethal "practice" rounds intended as warning shots to force the B-59 to surface. The Beale was joined by other US destroyers who piled in to pummel the submerged B-59 with more explosives. The exhausted Savitsky assumed that his submarine was doomed and that world war three had broken out. He ordered the B-59's ten kiloton nuclear torpedo to be prepared for firing. Its target was the USS Randolf, the giant aircraft carrier leading the task force.
If the B-59's torpedo had vaporised the Randolf, the nuclear clouds would quickly have spread from sea to land. The first targets would have been Moscow, London, the airbases of East Anglia and troop concentrations in Germany. The next wave of bombs would have wiped out "economic targets", a euphemism for civilian populations – more than half the UK population would have died. Meanwhile, the Pentagon's SIOP, Single Integrated Operational Plan – a doomsday scenario that echoed Dr Strangelove's orgiastic Götterdämmerung – would have hurled 5,500 nuclear weapons against a thousand targets, including ones in non-belligerent states such as Albania and China.
The decision not to start world war three was not taken in the Kremlin or the White House, but in the sweltering control room of a submarine. The launch of the B-59's nuclear torpedo required the consent of all three senior officers aboard. Arkhipov was alone in refusing permission. It is certain that Arkhipov's reputation was a key factor in the control room debate. The previous year the young officer had exposed himself to severe radiation in order to save a submarine with an overheating reactor. That radiation dose eventually contributed to his death in 1998. So when we raise our glasses on 27 October we can only toast his memory. Thank you, Vasya.

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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by deacon blues » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:16 pm

This is a great idea. I would suggest another. Read the short story "Many Moons" by James Thurber. It should be available online, at the library, or in a bookstore. Use the following suggested discussion: https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy. ... /ManyMoons
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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by Corsair » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:10 pm

This is a great story and deserves to be widely known. The problem is that Family Home Evening has now been subtly replaced by material in the "Come Follow Me" manual. It's not that FHE was removed. It was casually supplanted by families already taking up an evening doing "Come Follow Me". Families are not likely to have two separate home based religious events during the week.

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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by BriansThoughtMirror » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:03 pm

This is a great thread! I really enjoyed the first story, and I will look up the second one shortly. I hope these ideas keep coming! My wife has agreed to do some form of modified, inclusive FHE with me and the kids (still too young at the moment though), and I really want to give them chances to feel some real moral elevation in a non-church context. This is exactly the kind of thing I've been hoping for. Thanks for starting it!
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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by wtfluff » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:55 pm

Read through Deseridata, and chat aboot it.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel


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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by græy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:56 am

I love this idea. And pre-2019 this is the direction I was going with nearly every FHE I planned. But then... du du duhhhhhh
Corsair wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:10 pm
The problem is that Family Home Evening has now been subtly replaced by material in the "Come Follow Me" manual.
Now all FHE's are scripted as to their topic and content. DW already feels frustrated that I don't push for nightly CFM readings as strongly as she feels I should. Breaking the mold for FHE would likely result in her doubling down even harder. :/

Still, I will absolutely try to implement some of these in some way.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by crossmyheart » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:25 am

Read from "Man's Search for Meaning" and tell the story of Viktor Frankl

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Re: Alternate Family Night Lessons

Post by Linked » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 pm

This is great Slavereeno! I've got a bunch of topic ideas bouncing around now, but they all need fleshing out.

- How the solar system works; swing around a tennis ball on a string to show gravity, let it go to show what would happen if the sun disappeared; get a globe and a light bulb to show the day night cycle on earth; etc.

- Meditation (I'm trying it out and find it very helpful to get myself back to a functional state when I get anxious, I found this NYT guide that I'm not sure I like, but it's something)

- Thinking for yourself; object lesson where I tell the kids to do something obviously immoral then discuss some situations where that has happened (the Russian guy's story would fit in perfectly here); discuss situations the kids may see now and in the future

- How computers work
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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