Heavenly Father Hears Your Prayers (FHE plans)

My five year old son came home from Primary yesterday with this poster (from the September 2015 Ensign).september-2015-ensign-magazine-mormon_1523495_tmb

I thought this poster would make a great focus for a Family Home Evening lesson, so Zach and I prepared and shared a lesson to go with it tonight.

Lesson Plan

Show the video You’re Never Alone: A disciple of Jesus Christ, Elaine S. Dalton, shares how her experience of running in the Boston Marathon taught her about prayer and the strength we can receive from God. She was comforted by the words, “I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand.”

Discuss how we can offer prayers at anytime of need, in addition to daily morning and evening prayers.

Sing “How Firm a Foundation” vs. 1 and 3 (Hymns, 85) and review our family theme for 2015

Discuss the following quotes from President Henry B. Eyring.

“Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He loves you. He knows your name.” (“Continuing Revelation”. October 2014 General Conference).

“God the Father lives, loves us, and hears our every prayer.” (“Priesthood and Personal Prayer”. April 2015 General Conference).

On Fasting (FHE plans and quotes from President Eyring)

After attending a recent stake training meeting, my husband expressed a desire to me that we teach our children about fasting. This is a direction that came down the lines of church leadership to our stake leaders. It didn’t escape our notice that the first talk at General Conference was given by President Eyring on the topic of the fast. With Fast Sunday approaching this week, this is a perfect time to share this lesson with our children. As I am putting it together, I know this will be a topic of discussion for more than just one night.

What is a fast?

Use the points from this Friend magazine article. Cut up the points and hide them around the room, have the children find them and discuss them in order.

  1. Fast Sunday is on the first Sunday of each month. It is a special day to humble ourselves before the Lord by fasting, praying, and attending fast and testimony meeting.
  2. On fast Sunday, members of the Church do not eat or drink for two meals. Children may be encouraged to fast when they are old enough.
  3. Members donate the money they would have spent on food for the two meals to help the needy. This money is called a fast offering.
  4. Members can give fast offerings to one of the bishopric or branch presidency members. The bishop or branch president uses the money to help those in need in his ward or branch.
  5. Fast offerings may be used to help feed the hungry.
  6. Fast offerings might be used to care for the sick.
  7. In each way a fast offering is used, it helps take care of Heavenly Father’s children.


Discuss the following teachings from President Henry B. Eyring, “Is Not This the Fast I Have Chosen?”. April 2015 General Conference.

“When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.”

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).

“So the Lord has given us a simple commandment with a marvelous promise. In the Church today we are offered the opportunity to fast once a month and give a generous fast offering through our bishop or branch president for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Some of what you give will be used to help those around you, perhaps someone in your own family. The Lord’s servants will pray and fast for the revelation to know whom to help and what help to give. That which is not needed to help people in your local Church unit will become available to bless other Church members across the world who are in need.”

“Rich promises are made by the Lord to those who fast and assist the needy. … Inspiration and spiritual guidance will come with righteousness and closeness to our Heavenly Father. To omit to do this righteous act of fasting would deprive us of these blessings” (President Spencer W. Kimball).

Stories of helping others through fast offerings:

-Tropical Cyclone Pam hitting Vanuatu

“Other storms and tragedies will come across the world to people the Lord loves and whose sorrows He feels. Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were His own.”


An earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, has killed thousands and left many more injured and in great need. How can we help?

Other scriptures about Fasting

“Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting” (Joel 2:12).

“They did fast much and pray much” (Alma 45:1).

“Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer” (D&C 59:14).

Further Study  

“Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73.)

Teaching our children to pray (FHE plans and quotes)

Teaching our children to pray is one of the most important responsibilities of parents. There were a number of talks in the most recent General Conference relating to prayer, so I felt it was an important topic for Family Home Evening.

Our FHE lesson tonight will be based on two lessons from A Year of FHE: here and here.

Discuss how Heavenly Father wants to hear from us, just like our earthly parents want to hear from us if we are far away.

Review the four parts of prayer.

Coloring page: Give the children a “Did you think to PRAY?” coloring page: prayer reminder page (adapted from the page available here)

They can hang this in their rooms as a reminder to say daily prayers. Especially encourage the habit of daily morning prayer. Discuss the following quotes from General Conference while they are coloring.

“As parents, we can teach our children to pray for things of eternal consequence—to pray for the strength to be morally clean in a very challenging world, to be obedient, and to have the courage to stand for the right.

No doubt most of our youth have their evening prayers, but perhaps many of them struggle with the habit of personal morning prayer. As parents, as their prime gospel teachers, we can correct this. Which parent in Book of Mormon times would have let their sons march out to the front of battle without a breastplate and shield and sword to protect them against the potentially mortal blows of the enemy? But how many of us let our children march out the front door each morning to the most dangerous of all battlefields, to face Satan and his myriad of temptations, without their spiritual breastplate and shield and sword that come from the protective power of prayer? The Lord said, “Pray always, … that you may conquer Satan” (D&C 10:5). As parents, we can help instill within our children the habit and power of morning prayer.”

Tad R. Callister, “Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children”. October 2014 General Conference.

“We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.”

“Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He loves you. He knows your name. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and our Redeemer. He loves you beyond your ability to comprehend. God pours out revelation, through the Holy Ghost, on His children.”

President Henry B. Eyring, “Continuing Revelation”. October 2014 General Conference.

God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice. God wants you to find your way back to Him, and the Savior is the way.God wants you to learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, and experience the profound peace and joy that come from following the path of divine discipleship.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth”. October 2014 General Conference.

“Choose to converse with your Father in Heaven often. Make time every day to share your thoughts and feelings with Him. Tell Him everything that concerns you. He is interested in the most important as well as the most mundane facets of your life. Share with Him your full range of feelings and experiences.”

“Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.”

Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority”. October 2014 General Conference.

Additional Resources

Bright Ideas posters from the Friend magazine:

Make and keep your covenants (Highlights from President Eyring-April 2014)

A common theme in the remarks of President Eyring during the April 2014 session of conference was that of covenants. It came up in all three of his addresses. I especially appreciated the reminder to let God be the leader of my family. Things will work out!

“You hold in your hands the happiness of more people than you can now imagine. Every day and every hour you can choose to make or keep a covenant with God.” (leave a heritage of hope and faith for those who come after you)CC---POST-GC-April-2014-012-Page-13“Keeping our second estate depends on our making covenants with God and faithfully performing the duties they require of us. It takes faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior to keep sacred covenants for a lifetime.”

“Heavenly Father and the Savior are our perfect examples of what we can and must do. They never force righteousness because righteousness must be chosen. They make righteousness discernible to us, and They let us see that its fruits are delicious.” (how to be a parent)

“There are things you can do early, when those you love are young. Remember that daily family prayer, family scripture study, and sharing our testimony in sacrament meeting are easier and more effective when children are young. Young children are often more sensitive to the Spirit than we realize.”

President Hinckley and President Monson are optimists. They say “Oh, things will work out”.

“If you let Him be the leader of your family, things will work out.”

President Henry B. Eyring, “A Priceless Heritage of Hope”. April 2014 General Conference.


“It is our free choice whether we make and keep those covenants. Only a few of His daughters have the opportunity in this life to even learn of those covenants. You are one of the favored few. You dear sisters, each of you is a daughter in the covenant.”

“He sees that glorious potential in all of His daughters, wherever they are. Now, that puts a great responsibility on each of you. He expects you to treat every person you meet as a child of God. That is the reason He commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and to forgive them. Your feelings of kindness and forgiveness toward others come as your divine inheritance from Him as His daughter. Each person you meet is His loved spiritual child.”

“While Satan may be attacking sisters at earlier ages, the Lord is lifting sisters to higher and higher levels of spirituality.”

President Henry B. Eyring, “Daughters in the Covenant”. April 2014 General Conference.


“You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord.”

“I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest.

(Great instruction on how to pray sincerely and with real intent. Describe to Heavenly Father the blessings you received that day, pray for forgiveness, thank God for his kindness…)

President Henry B. Eyring “The Priesthood Man”. April 2014 General Conference.

Living after the manner of happiness

This year our family has chosen 2 Nephi 5:27 for our family scripture:

“And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness”

I am really excited about this scripture, and the lessons that it will inspire. We have already had a few FHE lessons focusing on this month. As I have been studying the talks from the recent General Conference  a few quotes along this theme have stood out to me.

“Heavenly Father has made each of us unique. No two of us have exactly the same experiences. No two families are alike. So it is not surprising that advice about how to choose happiness in family life is hard to give. Yet a loving Heavenly Father has set the same path to happiness for all of His children. Whatever our personal characteristics or whatever will be our experiences, there is but one plan of happiness. That plan is to follow all the commandments of God.” (President Henry B. Eyring, “To My Grandchildren”)

“The Savior’s way of life is good. His way includes chastity before marriage and total fidelity within marriage. The Lord’s way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness. His way brings sustained comfort to our souls and perennial peace to our homes. And best of all, His way leads us home to Him and our Heavenly Father, to eternal life and exaltation.This is the very essence of God’s work and glory.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Decisions for Eternity“)

“The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome despair, to leave darkness and turn toward the light of the everlasting gospel.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Key to Spiritual Protection”)

Love is the key in our family relationships-pray for it!

“The message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can and must expect to become better as long as we live.”

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” (Moroni 7:48).

“Love is the motivating principle by which the Lord leads us along the way towards becoming like Him, our perfect example. Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others.”

“He has offered us the family as an example of an ideal setting in which we can learn how to love as He loves. That is because the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships. The joys come from putting the welfare of others above our own. That is what love is.”

“Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion.” (Or see the good in anyone I need to see the good in!)

President Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example”. October 2009 General Conference.


Our most important assignments are in the family

So we help God’s children best by providing ways to build faith in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel when they are young. And then we must help rekindle that faith quickly before it dims as they wander off the path.”

“Heavenly Father has assigned us to a great variety of stations to strengthen and, when needed, to lead travelers to safety. Our most important and powerful assignments are in the family. They are important because the family has the opportunity at the start of a child’s life to put feet firmly on the path home. Parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles are made more powerful guides and rescuers by the bonds of love that are the very nature of a family.”

Henry B. Eyring, “Help Them on Their Way Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 22–25