FHE: A Foundation on Christ

Scripture of the Week:
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
Helaman 5:12

Lesson Plan
Read the following quote by President Monson from the February 2010 Ensign

“If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.
“Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.”
Thomas S. Monson, “On Being Spiritually Prepared,” Ensign, Feb 2010, 4–6

Sing “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (CS, 281)

Discuss what a foundation is, read Helaman 5:12, and discuss how we should build a foundation centered on Jesus Christ.

Look up the following verses and discuss what we can learn in that verse that helps our testimonies grow stronger.

Mormon 7:5

Moroni 10:5

D&C 11:12

Articles of Faith 1:10

Ephesians 6:11

Moroni 7:41

D&C 1:37

I taped each scripture reference on a different block and had the girls pick which verse to read. Then we added the block to our foundation and built a tower.
Reality check: My children were getting pretty restless as we were looking up scriptures, so we opted to start eating our treat (popsicles) while we finished reading. Admittedly, that happens quite often during our lessons. So when all else fails, get their mouths and stomachs busy and hopefully they’ll still absorb a little of the lesson!

FHE: Holiness to the Lord

Scripture of the Week:
“Wherefore…thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me.”
D&C 21:4

Lesson Plan:
-Read/tell the story of John Moyle in the February 2010 Friend, A Banner of Faithfulness by President Uchtdorf.
-Discuss what “holiness” means: something that is set apart for a sacred purpose, purity of a persons heart and intent, sacred, consecrated, etc.
-Discuss the scripture.
-Make and decorate our own banner of faithfulness to display.
Our banner is not a work of art by the standard of the world, but it definitely shows the personality of our children!

FHE: Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer

Scripture of the Week:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Lesson Plan
Complete the January and February pages of the Primary Scripture Journal. Use the suggestions from the January and February Friend magazine.
The January issue of the Friend magazine states the following:

“The scriptures are a record of God’s teachings and dealings with His children. A scripture journal is your own book where you can write how you are learning to understand and live the teachings of the gospel. Every month this year you can learn a scripture and practice doing what it teaches. Heavenly Father will help you as you choose to learn and live by the scriptures. You will feel the power of the scriptures, and your testimony will grow.

Make or buy a notebook that has at least 12 pages in it. This year each issue of the Friend will contain a scripture and an activity for you to do in your scripture journal. If you need help reading, writing, or understanding the scripture or activity, you can ask parents, older brothers or sisters, friends, or Primary teachers for help.”

Isn’t this a fabulous plan?

For a recent Primary Quarterly Activity in our ward we wanted to put together a scripture journal for our children. I saw a really great journal posted here on Sugardoodle, but the 56 pages of that document was a little too large for our needs.

So I made a simpler version that focuses on the monthly themes only. Each page has a small coloring picture, with blank space for each child to write or share their thoughts. It is 15 pages, and each sheet should be cut in half to make two books. I just punched a hole in the top corner and tied it together with string.

I am excited to have this journal for my children to do this year. This will give us one Family Home Evening lesson each month, all ready to go. If you would like a copy of the journal, contact me and I would be happy to email you the pdf.

FHE: Joseph Sold Into Egypt

Scripture of the Week:
“And they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.” Genesis 37:28

“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

This week we changed things up a bit so the Ant Bug was in charge of the lesson. I asked her if she would teach us a story from the scriptures, and because she loves listening to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, her first choice was to tell the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

We found a very helpful index of Primary and Friend clipart and printed off this lesson about Joseph. The Ant Bug colored the figures and attached them to popsicle sticks. This evening as she read the story she and the Sweet Bee took turns holding up the people. She drew her own Jacob, because she felt he was an important person in the story that should be included. We also used the applicable pictures from the Gospel Art Picture Kit.
This was a great way to involve the children more in FHE, so I’m sure we’ll be doing more lessons like this in the future!

FHE: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Love Me

Scripture of the Week:
“11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.
12 So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.
21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;
23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and aencircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.”
3 Nephi 17: 11-12, 21-24

Lesson Plan
Tell each individual child that you love them. Explain that there are two others who love them more than anyone. Do this puzzle to find out who.
Read 3 Nephi 17: 11-12, 21-24 and discuss the story it tells. Show a picture of Jesus blessing the Nephite children.
Sing verse 1 of I Know that My Savior Loves Me. This is the new song that the Primary children are learning this year. You can listen to it here, or get a copy of the music on p. 28 here.

Share testimony that I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each person.

Use pictures from the Nursery manual (p. 35 and 67) to show some of the blessings that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given us because they love us. Hide the pictures around the room and let the children find them and discuss. Color the pictures while the treat defrosts from the freezer.

Our FHE lesson was inspired by the following sources:
FHE Planner
Behold Your Little Ones lesson manual, lesson 4
Sugardoodle Sharing Time Help

FHE: Jesus Christ is the Son of God

Scripture of the Week:
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
John 5:39

Our Family Home Evening lesson came from the 2010 Outline for Sharing Time. The Ant Bug was sick for week 2 and missed the Sharing Time presentation, so I pretty much just followed their suggestion exactly, except we just discussed all three pictures together as a family:

Post three pictures on the board: John Baptizing Jesus, Christ Appears to the Nephites, and The First Vision. Divide the children into three groups, and give each group one of the following scriptures: Matthew 3:16–17; 3 Nephi 11:6–8; Joseph Smith—History 1:17. Have them discuss the scripture in their groups and then report to the rest of the children (1) the event, (2) what Heavenly Father said, and (3) how they would have felt if they had been there. Invite a child to read John 5:39. Explain that we can gain a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God when we read the scriptures and pray.

We had a little bit of time at the end, so we found some coloring pages of Jesus from the clipart section at Sugardoodle.net.

FHE: Remember Jesus Christ

Scripture of the Week:
“O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.”
Helaman 5:9

Our Family Home Evening lesson came from this lesson at The Family Home Evening Spot. We showed a picture of Jesus and read the sacrament prayers from the scriptures (D&C 20:77, 79) and then we talked about ways that we can remember Jesus.

Then we played the memory game. I placed 5 items on a tray (one was a picture of Jesus), had the family look at them for 25 seconds, and then they wrote down what they remembered. The Ant Bug really enjoyed this, and we played a few rounds. She even hid some items for mom and dad to remember (we only looked for 15 seconds!).

To wrap things up, we read the above scripture of the week and emphasized the importance of remembering Jesus and his atoning sacrifice for us.

Scripture of the Week

“Scripture study as individuals and as a family is most fundamental to learning the gospel. Daily reading of the scriptures and discussing them together is a powerful tool against the temptations of Satan. This practice will produce great happiness and will help family members love the Lord and his goodness. Home is where we become experts and scholars in gospel righteousness.”
(President Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 129)

Prophets through all of the ages have taught the importance of studying the scriptures, both individually and as a family. But what the prophets haven’t said is specifically how that should be done. From all of my research no prophet has ever commanded “Thou shalt read 42 verses a day in your family”. And nobody has ever said “Thou shalt read 5 verses per family member every morning and night”.

The nice thing about family scripture study is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of each family. So today I am sharing something that is working well for our family, in case it might help you. But feel free to tailor my system to find something that meets the needs of your family!

A year ago I was pondering about ways that I could improve both the quality of our family scripture study and our Family Home Evenings. I decided that I could start by making sure to focus on the scriptures each week during Family Home Evening. Here is how it works for us:

1) Plan a family home evening lesson.
2) Chose a scripture that corresponds with the lesson.
3) Read and discuss the scripture as a family at FHE.
4) Make a poster to display the scripture. This is really simple. I just type it up large to fill a 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and then I tape it up on the wall near our kitchen table.
5) Refer to the scripture and talk about it throughout the week.
It’s a pretty simple thing, but it has made a difference in our family. We usually end up discussing it during mealtimes, and it allows me to review the key concepts from the lesson. We don’t spent a lot of time on it (and we aren’t required to memorize it), it just gives us a reminder or a starter for a gospel discussion with the children each day.

Focusing on one verse a week is a nice, manageable amount for my young children (ages 5 and 2). A number of times the Ant Bug has surprised me by memorizing the scripture, and in all cases she ends up reading the scripture on her own at some point–a bonus for encouraging literacy skills in early readers!

Here two other posts that I liked that share good ideas for daily family reading:
Mormon Women: A family scripture treasure chest
A Peaceable Walk: Daily scripture cards

I have previously been posting our scripture of the week on Nurture Mama’s Reading List, along with notes about our Family Home Evening lesson. The good news is now it will all be here! So now you can check in each Tuesday to see what we did for Family Home Evening, as well as our scripture of the week.

I would love to hear how family scripture study works at your home! Feel free to share your stories in the comments.

“Everything in the scriptures is applicable to our lives. The scriptures answer our questions, they provide role models and heroes, and they help us understand how to handle challenges and trials. Many times the scriptures you read will be the answer to your prayers.”
Elaine S. Dalton, “Believe!,” Ensign, May 2004, 110

FHE: Children of God and New Years Interviews

Scripture of the Week:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”
Romans 8:16

My husband planned our Family Home Evening lesson this week. We sang “I Lived in Heaven” and read the above scripture and talked about the important doctrines that they teach.

Our activity was conducting a New Year’s Interview. Using the great printable from Teach Mama, we took turns asking each other questions and recording the responses. This was a fun activity that I plan to make an annual January tradition in our family.

The question we nearly all answered the same? “What do you look forward to this year?…A baby brother joining our family!”

Inspiration for Family Home Evening Lessons

“Well-planned family home evenings can be a source of long-lasting joy and influence. These evenings are times for group activity, for organizing, for the expressions of love, for the bearing of testimony, for learning gospel principles, for family fun and recreation, and of all things, for family unity and solidarity” (source).

When I am planning our weekly Family Home Evening Lessons, these are the resources I often turn to for ideas:

The Home and Family section of www.lds.org. They have lots of ideas, including lesson topics, activities, and resources.

The Outline for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation
(available online here)

The Friend magazine
(available online here)

Primary Lesson Manuals (age-appropriate for my children)
(available online here)

General Conference Addresses
(check out this article: Adapting Conference Talks into Family Home Evening for Children)

Gospel Art Picture Kit
(Available online here)

Sugardoodle
(always a lot of ideas here, check out the Family Home Evening Index)

Mormon Messages
(available on YouTube here)

Each week I post our Family Home Evening lessons on my other blog, Nurture Mama’s Reading List. (They are all grouped under the Scripture of the Week label). Feel free to adapt any of my ideas to fit your family. Here are just a few of my favorites to get you started:
I Will Say I’m Sorry
Family Proclamation
Sabbath Day