Posts tagged family home evening
When kids know that Santa is bringing presents it’s kind of hard to keep the spirit of Christmas focused on Christ. So I wanted to have a dinner and Family Home Evening lesson that really focuses on Christ. Tonight we’ll have having a “Night in Bethlehem” dinner followed by the reading of the story of Jesus’s birth.
What to serve for dinner: Dried fruit, nuts, honey, cheese, pita bread, roasted chicken, and shortbread cookies. With grape juice for a drink.
What to wear: Have your family dress in something that represents the time period. But, if you’re like me, you don’t want to have to buy anything to do this. So I suggest pillowcases, scarves, sheets with rope belts, and other things that probably aren’t even close to authentic but will do just fine.
Table Centerpiece: I’m going to put our nice nativity in the center of the table, but you could use a number of things. If you have something that represents the gifts from the wisemen that would be fun as a centerpiece. Or, if you know you’re kids are safe around open flames, using candles in the center of the table as a light source would makes things seem more authentic. I think I’ll be putting those fake candles throughout the house that run on batteries, because I am not comfortable with open flames around my children (they’re a little crazy, and the last thing we need is to burn our house to the ground).
Sounds: I know there were no sound systems back in the days of Christ’s birth, but I’ll be playing some reverent Christmas songs while we eat. Just because I really believe in the power of good music and it’s ability to set a positive tone.
After Dinner: As dinner is nearing an end I’m going to announce that we must gather in the other room to pay our taxes. I’m going to name a specific spot in our living room to meet, like the loveseat – somewhere I know my whole family can’t comfortably fit on when we’re all together. (Get it? There’s not enough room?) And that will be my segue into the story of Christ’s birth found in Luke 2:1-20. Or you can watch this amazing video the church put out a few years ago:
FHE Theme: Tithing is Important
Scripture: Alma 13:15, D&C 119:4, 2 Corinthains 9:7, D&C 97:10-12
Songs: ”I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing” and “Choose the Right Way” Children’s Songbook
Discussion: God blesses us with things we need. A home, clothes, food, jobs, and other things can be considered blessings. Money is also a blessing – without it we wouldn’t have the home, clothes, food and other things to enjoy. With all that Heavenly Father has blessed us with, he only asks for a tenth of our money in return. This is called tithing. Our tithes are used to build church buildings and temples that members all around the world can use and enjoy. Without the tithing paid by members of the church we wouldn’t have buildings to meet in or temples to make covenants in. Tithing is important for everyone.
Read Alma 13:15, and D&C 199:4 and discuss the commandment of tithing as a family. If you have young children you should probably explain how much a tenth is.
Read 2 Corinthians 9:7 and talk about why it’s important to be a “cheerful giver”. And how even though it would be nice to have the extra money to spend on toys or vacations (or something your family likes) we shouldn’t pay our tithing with a bad attitude.
Read D&C 97:10-12 and discuss what our tithing money is used for. Talk about your local church building and how tithing helped build and maintain it. Talk about favorite temples and what it would be like without any temples on earth. How do these buildings bless us?
If you have ever had an experience with tithing, share it now. Such as, a time when money was tight but when you paid your tithing the Lord blessed you with the ability to make it through your financial struggles, or something like that.
If you’d like to share a story with your lesson, try “Is My Tithing Too Small” from the 2009 January Friend.
End your lesson with a prayer and a treat!
Have the child in charge pick their favorite Primary songs to sing. Give them the chance to pick who says the opening and closing prayers. Let them know that you are confident in them being in charge, and make sure the rest of the family respects their authority.
If your child doesn’t know what topic they want to teach about, or they’re too small to really do much preparation, have them talk about the same principle or scripture story they learned about in primary the day before. Or have them pick their favorite scripture story. If your child is struggling to come up with talking points during the lesson aid them by asking questions you know they can answer (if you just ask questions it doesn’t look like you’re taking over, and will show your child that you know their knowledgeable and capable).
Most importantly, make sure to praise your child for a job well done when they are finished, even if the lesson happens to be 45 seconds long and includes a lot of “ummmmm”s.
With Thanksgiving later this week, today’s Family Home Evening is a great opportunity to talk about being thankful. Because I don’t think gratitude is a topic that can be talked about too much. I mean, who has ever said, “Man, that person is way too grateful for what they have”? I know it’s never been said about me.
FHE Theme: Thanksgiving
Scripture: Alma 26:37
Songs: ”Thank Thee for Everything” and “I Am Glad for Many Things” Children’s Songbook
Game: After discussing everyone’s list, have each family member take a turn acting out, without speaking, one of the things they are grateful for (like the game Charades). Don’t let the other family members see their list before guessing. Hopefully everyone paid attention to each other’s lists and can guess.
You can end the lesson by watching this great video from The Mormon Channel:
It’s no secret that family history and genealogical work is important, but my kids have a hard time understand what it is and why we should do it. So I thought it might be a good idea for a family home evening.
FHE Theme: What is Family History?
Scripture: Malachi 4:6, Moses 6:5-8
Songs: ”Families Can be Together Forever” and “Family History – I Am Doing it” Children’s Songbook
Discussion: I know that my kids respond really well to watching videos during out lessons, so I thought it would be great to start the lesson with this cute video from Family Search:
For the next part of our family home evening I want to share stories from my ancestors. I have a few stories that I’ve never told the kids that were told to me by my parents and grandparents. If you have any good stories of extended family members (whether they be from 2 to 20 generations back, it doesn’t matter), you should share them with your kids too. This will help your family see that family history isn’t about names and dates, but about real people who had real lives.
Have a family discussion on why we should know our family history. Here are some suggested topics for your discussion:
• Knowing where we come from can help us know who we are.
• Being an eternal family isn’t just about the people sitting in the room but extends to past generations.
• Knowing who our ancestors are will help us make sure they have their temple work done.
A lot of the times I get overwhelmed when I think about family history, but there are a couple of ways that each member of your family can begin. One way is by keeping a journal. Recording our life for future generations will help future generations to know us. And by reading the journals of our ancestors (if they’re available) will help us to know them. Here is another great video from Family Search about journals:
Another way we can start Family History work with our kids is by giving them each a family tree. Just having them know the past three generations will give them somewhere to begin. You can get an official family tree for them using different family history computer programs or research facilities.
After you’ve watched the videos and had the discussions, make sure to answer any questions your family may have about family history. Then end your lesson with a prayer and maybe some treats that came from grandma’s stash of family recipes!
We read scriptures as a family, but I don’t think my kids are too invested in it’s importance. They’re little and it’s hard for them to sit still during most of the reading. But I still think it’s a good idea to remind them how important the scripture are, so that’s what I want to talk about during our Family Home Evening tonight.
FHE Theme: Studying the Scriptures
Scripture: D&C 19:34, Mosiah 1:7, 2 Nephi 4:15
Songs: ”Scripture Power” and “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” Children’s Songbook
Discussion: The scriptures are important because of a few reasons: they teach us gospel principles, they teach us about past prophets and peoples, they help us to know Jesus, and they can provide personal answers to our prayers.
God loves us and wants us to return to Him. There are many stories in the scriptures where God has reminded the people of the gospel principles they should be living, and the way they can return to their heavenly home in good standing. Through those stories we can also learn the principles which God wants us to live our lives, and see His love through the examples we read. Ask your family what they’ve learned through the scriptures.
The scriptures help us learn the history of people who lived a long time ago. This by itself is pretty cool because it’s fun to know what life was like that long ago. But also it’s important because we can learn from the mistakes and successes of those people, and adjust our lives accordingly. Have a small discussion about what your family’s favorite scripture stories are.
Knowing the Savior is really important. Jesus sacrificed everything he had to teach us and save us. The scriptures tell many stories of Jesus and the great things He did. Getting to know Jesus through the scriptures is invaluable. Ask your family members what their favorite story about Jesus is, and why they like it.
God can answer prayers through scripture study. Even the biggest questions can be answered in the smallest of ways. Remind your family that if there is ever a time where they are seeking help and need answers that they should not only pray, but also search the scriptures. Many times this has answered personal prayers for countless others. If you have an experience, share that with your family.
If you’d like to talk more about this as a family here are two great articles that you can read and discuss:
“Becoming Like Jesus” by Pres. Uchtdorf
“Getting the Most Out of Your Scripture Study” by Henry B. Marsh
End your family home evening with a prayer and something tasty to eat.
My son turns eight in December and even though he’s our second child to be baptized and confirmed, we are taking a few Family Home Evening nights to remind the kids how important this decision is. We started covering the topic of Baptism in July (you can get all the details on my Green Jello with Carrots blog in the “FHE Idea: Why Are We Baptized?” post) and now we’re going to talk about the Holy Ghost.
FHE Theme: The Gift of the Holy Ghost
Scripture: Romans 5:5, Article of Faith 1, Article of Faith 4, 3 Nephi 26:17, Moroni 10:5
Songs: ”The Holy Ghost” and “The Still Small Voice” Children’s Songbook
Activity: You will need to gather some items for your lesson, you’ll need something that provides comfort like a blanket, something that provides knowledge like an encyclopedia or a laptop, and something that provides direction like a one-way sign or a stop sign.
Without telling your family the topic of the lesson, pull out the items and talk about how each one provides us with something valuable. The blanket gives comfort when we are upset, frightened, or just a little sad. The encyclopedia or laptop provide knowledge when we are searching for answers. The one-way sign or stop sign provide direction when we need to find our way.
Now tell your family that all of the things you discussed have something in common, and that there is one way we can have all three with us at all times. Tell them that it is through a gift from Heavenly Father and through our actions and decisions that we get to have this great blessing. Let them guess what you’re referring to. Hopefully someone can guess that it’s the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Pull out the items again, and have a discussion about how the Holy Ghost provides comfort when we are worried or upset. Explain how it feels to have the Holy Ghost comfort you. Talk about how the Holy Ghost is a valuable tool in providing knowledge. Read the scripture Moroni 10:5, “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Discuss how the Holy Ghost can provide us with directions any time we need them.
Here is a great quote about the Holy Ghost providing direction:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart. . . . It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church.”
After the discussion, bear your testimony of the Holy Ghost, provide an experience where the Holy Ghost helped you, or praise your family members who have made the decision to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And make sure, as always, to provide a great treat and closing prayer!
I’m a little late getting this post up today so my FHE idea is just a super simple, no preparation needed, suggestion about judging others.
FHE Theme: Judge Not
Scripture: Luke 6:37
Activity: This video is entertaining and has a great message (and is pretty much the whole lesson):
Once your family has seen the video, read the scripture Luke 6:37 and then discuss what it means to “look through dirty windows” and why we shouldn’t judge others.
You can hang this free “Judge Not” printable (courtesy of greenjellowithcarrots.com) in an 8×10 frame to remind your family about the video and the lesson. Every time the members of your family walk by the printable hanging on your wall, the discussion you had during FHE will come into their minds and it will be like the lesson is new and fresh all over again! (You can even swap out the printable each week to coincide with your FHE lessons.)
As always make sure to end your Family Home Evening with a prayer and treats!
FHE Theme: The Beauty of Nature is a Gift from God
Scripture: Genesis 1:6-30
Songs: ”All Things Bright and Beautiful” and “It’s Autumntime” Children’s Songbook
Story/activity: Before you begin your FHE lesson go on a walk as a family. Point out birds, trees, clouds, etc. Then once you’ve gotten home again and have settled down for the lesson ask each member of your family what their favorite part of the walk was. Emphasize the all the beautiful things you’ve seen.
Read the scripture Genesis 1:6-30, and discuss with your family how God made the world, and then gave it to all mankind. He created fish, and birds, and trees, and fruit, and animals, and meat, and then He gave us dominion over all things. It was a gift. A beautiful gift for us to take care of enjoy.
The New Era August 2010 article “Beauty All Around” includes eight pictures taken by readers of place on Earth that they find beautiful. Share the pictures with your family and try to talk about what they like about each picture and what makes that particle part of nature so amazing.
There is a great quote at the end of that article by Russel M. Ballard:
“To truly reverence the Creator, we must appreciate his creations. We need to plan to take time to observe the marvels of nature. … Take time to sit on a hillside and feel the tranquility of the evening when the sun casts its last golden glow over the horizon. Take time to smell the roses.”
These cute leaves will surely make singing the song more fun, plus they can be used in a variety of ways during your lesson. You can hold a question and answer period where each leaf is assigned a particular question – each member of your family gets to pick a leaf and answer the question. You can also give everyone a leaf in exchange for something they learned from the lesson – they get to keep the leaf as a reminder of the beauty around them during autumn.
I personally think this lesson would particularly end well with a yummy pumpkin flavored dessert, but I’m sure your family would be happy with anything delicious!
General Conference will be happening this weekend, so I thought it would be a good idea to get my family prepared to listen and appreciate the opportunity to hear our church leaders instruct us.
FHE Theme: Getting Ready for General Conference
Scripture: D&C 21:5-7
Story/activity: Assign someone in your family to read the scripture D&C 21:5-7, and have them stand in front of the rest of the family while they read. Just as they start reading, distract the rest of the family by talking, shouting, getting up and leaving the room, poking someone, etc. Make sure that no one in the family will be able to hear the scripture, but make the assigned person read the whole thing.
After the scripture has been read ask your family what it was about. Ask them if they felt the spirit while they heard the scripture being read. Ask them if it seemed like the scripture was important to hear. If you distracted them well enough no one should even know what the whole FHE is about yet.
Now have the same person get up and read D&C 21:5-7 again. But this time make sure the rest of the family is sitting still, being quiet, and paying close attention. After it has been read, ask the same questions as before. But also ask if anyone noticed what was different about the second reading.
This activity will hopefully show your family why it’s important to be quiet and attentive during General Conference, even if you are sitting in your own family room watching it on tv or hearing it on the radio. (I know that my family has a tendency to take General Conference less seriously because we are just at home.)
Once everyone can see the difference between paying attention and being distracting, discuss the words of the scripture. Ask questions like:
• What does it mean to receive the prophet’s words “as if from mine own mouth”?
• Why do we want the heavens to shake for our good and the gates of hell to prevail against us? What does that mean to us personally?
• Who is the verse 7 talking about, and why is it important to know this?
Bear your testimony about the importance of listening to General Conference and being reverent and attentive when hearing our prophet speak. Then, as I always say, end your Family Home Evening with a prayer and something delicious to eat!