The Holy Ghost Helps Me FHE


The Holy Ghost Helps Me

Compiled by Keira



Possible Songs: I Know My Father Lives, Children’s Songbook page 5; Listen, Listen, Children’s Songbook page 107; The Still Small Voice, Children’s Songbook page 106; The Holy Ghost, Children’s Songbook 105; Let the Holy Spirit Guide, hymn 143

Possible Materials: Wordart for the quote from True to the Faith and the quotes by President Joseph Fielding Smith; A picture of the Ascension of the Savior; Graphic story of President Lee hearing a voice and President Woodruff avoiding danger (Or pictures of President Harold B. Lee and President Wilford Woodruff as prophets).



Preparation: Begin with prayer. What experiences in your own life have taught you about the roles of the Holy Ghost? Ask yourself ­­­­­if you feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life. If not, bring that gift back into full effect.  Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources, making sure to read the entire section in True to the Faith and the Guide to the Scriptures. Allow an old piece of clay to harden.

Children: Get an old piece of clay and let it dry out so that it is hard. Then watch this video of the Holy Ghost and Spiritual Gifts and King Benjamin. Also listen to this story of President Lee and this story of President Woodruff.


Lesson:

Introduction: Give a family member some fresh clay. Tell that family member to mold it into a specific shape. Then, give someone the hardened piece of clay and ask that person to make the same shape. Talk about how we need to be “moldable” so the Holy Ghost can direct us to do Heavenly Father’s work. Discuss what it takes to be moldable. Watch this Mormon Message about being in tune.


Discussion: Remind the family about the lesson on Heavenly Father answering prayers. One of the ways he answers prayers is by a feeling. That feeling comes from the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is one of the members of the Godhead.  The Holy Ghost does not have a body like Heavenly Father does, because he needs to speak to our spirits. He couldn’t do that if he had a body.


The Holy Ghost has many important responsibilities. Some will be discussed in depth in the lesson on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Discuss each in turn, based on your audience. They are:


  • ·         Witnesses of the Father and the Son, see 3 Nephi 28:11
  • ·         Comforter, See John 14:16-27
  • ·         The Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • ·         Inspiration and confirmation (Give you words to speak, and bring things to your remembrance, an audible voice)
  • ·         Discernment (Confirms right choices, guides, protects you, Revelation, Teaches and testifies of truth)
  • ·         Touch hearts, soften hearts
  • ·         Gifts of the spirit, see D&C 46:7-33
  • ·         Sanctification and Sealings (binding on Earth and in Heaven), see Ephesians 1:13 and D&C 132:19

Activity: tie a visual to each of the roles of the Holy Ghost. For instance, a picture of the Savior symbolizing witnessing of the Father and Son, a favorite blanket for comforter, a  big gift for the gift of the Holy Ghost, lip gloss for inspiration and confirmation, heart for touching hearts, flashlight for discernment, lots of little presents for gifts of the spirit, rope to tie things together for sanctification,


From True to the Faith: This quote from true to the Faith is just too powerful not to share:

“His communication to your spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses…As the soothing voice of a loving parent can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm your fears, hush the nagging worries of your life, and comfort you when you grieve.”


From a prophet’s voice: President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:151).


President Smith also said, “Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:48).


From the life of the Savior: Read John 14:16-27. Discuss how Jesus knew his Disciples would miss him when he was gone, so he said that he would ask Heavenly Father to send a Comforter to help them deal with their grief. Discuss how that comforter is the Holy Ghost and he can comfort us when we are sad and lonely, too.


From the Book of Mormon: Read Mosiah 5:1-6. Discuss how King Benjamin and his people had just had a great meeting. It was sort of like a big General Conference. He wanted to know how the people felt after his words, so he sent messengers. They all felt a change come upon them because of the Holy Ghost. It testified of truth.


From Church History: Read this story {the link takes you right to the paragraph to read. Otherwise, it’s the 5th paragraph} by Elder Harold B. Lee and discuss how the Holy Ghost is a voice of warning. Sometimes, but not always, the Holy Ghost is a voice we can hear. For younger children, use this story with pictures that is found in the friend. You may also like the article that he talks about his mother using the Holy Ghost.


From Church History: Tell the following story about how President Woodruff listened to the Holy Ghost and it kept him safe. For younger audiences, use this graphic story. For older audiences, it is found in originally, but is retold starting in the 14th paragraph of Prayer and Prompting by Elder Packer.


From Church History: There is an amazing story of Brother Brigham Young summarized in The Unspeakable Gift of the Holy Ghost. It starts under the heading The Importance of the Holy Ghost, and is the 2nd story shared. Discuss the story and why the Holy Ghost is so important.


From your own life: Tell of a time that the Holy Ghost gave you guidance or answers. Discuss feelings. Feelings speak to your audience truer than words do, and those are the stories that will stay with them in times of need.


Further discussion: The spirit is not always with us. It never abandons us, instead we make it leave. Discuss times that the spirit withdraws from our lives and what we need to do to get it back. Focus on profanity, uncleanliness, disobedience, rebellion, sin, and anger. Discuss what would have happened in any of the previous stories had the people not been receptive to the Holy Ghost?


Challenge: Hand each family member a note card. Have them think of one way they can better prepare themselves this week to hear the Holy Ghost.


Resources:   Behold Your Little Ones lesson 6; Sunbeams Manual Lesson 7;  Come, Follow Me lessons on the Holy Ghost on; Gospel Principles Chapter 7; True to the Faith section on the Holy Ghost (Page 81); Harold B. Lee: A Polished Shaft in the Lord’s Quiver, by Petrea Kelly, Prayer and Promptings by President Boyd K. Packer, The Unspeakable Gift of The Holy Ghost by elder Jay E. Jensen (the whole talk is amazing, but this lesson only focuses on the first 2 parts. The second half is covered in The Gift of the Holy Ghost lesson).


Jesus Christ is Heavenly Father’s Son

Purpose: To help family members understand who Jesus Christ is and how to follow Jesus’ example when they make their daily decisions.


Possible scriptures:Due to the nature of this lesson, the magnitude of scriptures makes it impossible to list or limit the choices to a decent list. Therefore, I leave it in the hands of the lesson preparer to research their own scriptures, and give only these 2: Doctrine and Covenants 110:4; Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24;


Possible Songs: I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus, Children’s Songbook page 78; Jesus Said Love Everyone, Children’s Songbook page 61; Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, Children’s Songbook page 57; Teach Me to Walk in the Light, Hymn 304 or Children’s Songbook page 177; Come, Follow Me, Hymn 116; I Know that My Redeemer Lives, Hymn 136;

Possible Materials:He Lives” by the Apostles; As many pictures of the Savior as possible (Make full use of the Gospel Art Kit, especially this picture of Jesus at the temple). This booklet found on A Year of FHE ;or these flashcards by ldshandouts.blogspot.com; or theseflashcards by beinglds.blogspot.com Wordart with “What would Jesus Christ have me do?” on a small card.


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself ­­­­­if you have a testimony of the Savior. If not, work on it this week. Think about the Savior’s life and ministry. Think about all He did for you and your family. Read the suggested scriptures, study some of your favorite scripture passages about the Savior, and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: look at pictures of Jesus. If there is a story that interests you, learn more about it. Watch the bible video about Jesus as a boy in the temple.

Lesson:

Introduction: Turn out all the lights in the house, or use a blindfold if it is still light. Ask one of the family members to perform a difficult task, such as writing a sentence on a piece of paper or finding several household items and putting them in one place. Then turn on the lights or remove the blindfold, and show how easily the same task can be done in the light. Have a family member read aloud John 8:12. Ask, “How is Jesus the Light of the World? (He is the one who lights our way.) How does he give us light? (He gave us his example and teachings.) Why is it easier to make the right decisions with the aid of Jesus’ light? (His examples and teachings light the way for us. We can see the paths we should take more clearly.)”

Discussion: Who is the Savior? How do we come to know Him? Discuss that he is our brother, a mortal son of God. Discuss characteristics and attributes of his life. Remind the family of the role he played in the Plan of Salvation that we learned about last week.

From the First Presidency: Watch this video as a family. Discuss the feelings that come from this video. It is truth, from men who know. Also discuss The Living Christ, paragraph by paragraph.

            Activity: print off the booklet from A Year of FHE (I’m kind of irked… it’s a copyright thing. She takes all credit for the work, and the coloring pages are from the friend… I’ll keep credit where it’s due, and thank her for her compilation, but know that these pictures come from The Church) or the flashcards from here.

From the New Testament: Read Luke 2:41-52; show the pictureof young Jesus at the temple. What “Father” is Jesus talking about? What is his Father’s business?

From the life of the Savior: Pick a few stories from the life of the savior, noting that there is an entire lesson on his mortal life in the coming weeks, as well as a Christmas and an Easter lesson. Discuss how everything he did was perfect and can be an example to us. Discuss his divine characteristics of love and loyalty, always doing the right thing, and serving others. Use pictures.

            Activity: For younger children, have them pick a picture, draw a story out of a basket, or some similar activity.

More from General Authorities: Read this talk by Elder Oaks and discuss what Christ has done for us, study the names of the Savior and his various roles by looking in the bible dictionary, and companion it with this talk by Elder Packer.

Further discussion: Discuss what it means to us that He lives again. How has He set the perfect example for us? What are some ways we can show Him how thankful we are? Discuss again how He is the perfect example for us, and that whenever we are unsure of what to do in our life, we can look to Him for answers. Come up with personalized scenarios and ask what Jesus would want a person to do in each circumstance. 


Challenge:  Hand out the little reminder cards and/or a CTR ring for each family. Invite each member to ask themselves what Jesus their older brother would have them do in problems that arise in their lives this week.  Tell them to write their most meaningful decision in their journal and be prepared to share one next week (it can be a less personal one if they would rather).

Heavenly Father and Jesus Love Me FHE

Purpose: To help each member of the family feel that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love and know each of us personally and that they have worth as children of God.


Possible Songs: How Great the Wisdom and the Love, hymn 195; ‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love, hymn 176 or 177; God is Love, hymn 87; God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son, hymn 187; Our Savior’s Love, hymn 113; Where Love is, Children’s Songbook page 138; Because God Loves Me, Children’s Songbook page 234; My Heavenly Father Loves Me, Children’s Songbook page 228 [my favorite choice]; God’s Love, Children’s Songbook page 97; I Feel My Savior’s Love, Children’s Songbook page 74; Jesus Is Our Loving Friend, Children’s Songbook page 58.

Possible Materials: A crisp dollar bill; a simple puzzle; wordart for quotes given in the discussion; Pictures with Christ and the children of the New Testament and Book of Mormon, as well as any other picture you have of Christ in the Americas; A pictorial representation of the prodigal son, the lost coin, and the lost sheep (There is also a PowerPoint here) ; Hidden pictures from the Friend;




Preparation: Begin with prayer. Review the appendix to the Family Home Evening Resource manual titled “Unconditional Love.” Ask yourself ­­­­­if you believe that God really loves you. How do you know? What is keeping you from believing He loves you and from knowing of your own worth?  Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: ask your parents to get you a crisp dollar (not to keep, silly), and find a really easy puzzle that you can put together pretty fast. Put a piece in your pocket. Then watch as many of these videos as you can: Jesus Tells 3 Parables and Parables 1, 2, and 3, as well as Jesus blessing the Children and Jesus in the Americas and blessing the Book of Mormon children.  


Lesson:

Introduction: Take a crisp dollar bill (doesn’t have to be a dollar, but dollars are easier to come by and hold onto…). Ask the family what it is. How much is it worth? Now wrinkle it up, crumple it, stomp on it a few times, and get it looking pretty haggard. Ask the family how much it’s worth now? Did the value change?

            Secondly, take a basic puzzle and have the family put it together, but keep one piece hidden. Ask if the puzzle is complete. But we used all the pieces that were here?


Discussion: Discuss how a dollar is a dollar no matter what hardships it has to face. Some value is there and cannot be taken away (if you have a smart-alecky family member who points out that if you rip the dollar or shred the dollar, it’s worthless, point out how you can tape that dollar back together and a bank will still trade it in).  Point out how even a simple puzzle piece is necessary. The puzzle is not complete without each piece. Discuss how important we all are and every person is necessary to complete the puzzle. That puzzle is like our family and our church and our earthly life. Share the following quotes:


President Spencer W. Kimball: “God is your father. He loves you. He and your mother in heaven value you beyond any measure … You are unique. One of a kind, made of the eternal intelligence which gives you claim upon eternal life.

“Let there be no question in your mind about your value as an individual. The whole intent of the gospel plan is to provide an opportunity for each of you to reach your fullest potential, which is eternal progression and the possibility of godhood.” (“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” p. 105.)


Elder Marvin J. Ashton, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “As children of God we are somebody. He will build us, mold us, and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with him. What a great blessing to be created in his image and know of our true potential in and through him!” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 21; or Ensign, July 1973, 24).


From the Life of the Savior: Hold up the picture of Christ teaching the Children. Read Mark 10:13-16. Show a picture of Christ with the children of the New Testament. Discuss how Jesus took time out for the little children, and even little children are important to the Savior. Did everyone have the same idea? Even His apostles thought the children would be a waste of the Savior’s precious time.


From the Book of Mormon: Hold up a picture of Christ in America. Discuss key points of the savior in the Americas, as found in 3 Nephi. Focus mainly on chapters 11-20. Bring to the attention of the family that not only does He bless the children, but he also blesses the sick and the afflicted. But that was not all; Christ took time for each person that would come to him! Point out that there weren’t just a few people. Think about if the savior only spent seconds with each person, mere seconds, how long he would have been there. But I don’t believe he stood there with each of them for just a second. Or even hurried them along!


Activity for Young Children: Sing “Happy Family” but use Heavenly Father and Jesus as the names in the song.


From Jesus’ Teachings: The Savior often taught in Parables. Read the 3 parables found in Luke 15:4-32. Discuss how we feel when we lose something. Discuss how we are more important than money and sheep and will be as graciously received as the prodigal son. In what way might a person be lost?

            Activity: Print off a few Hidden Pictures from the friend, or copy some of your own.


From Modern Leaders: Watch this message by President Uchdorf and discuss one of the articles found in resources.


From your own life: This lesson is so personal in nature that it will not be enough to share stories of people in ancient times. This lesson needs a personal story. If you are uncomfortable with sharing one, ask the family members to think of ways they know that God loves them and experiences that they have had.


Further discussion: Discuss how this message is not only important for us to understand, but it’s also important that we share that God and our Savoir love all of us. We all need to get back to him, and need to do our part to show others how God loves them. We need to be nicer to those we know, because they are Children of God, too. We need to share the gospel with others because they are the lost or the prodigal. Close with Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, 15-16.


Challenge: Encourage each member of the family to take better care of themselves and others this week by remembering that each person is important. Have the older kids write down any negative thoughts they had about themselves each day and how those thoughts were not in line with what they know about their divinity. Heavenly Father sends positive reinforcements and ways to improve, but never negative or demeaning thoughts. Note that this challenge would also make a great Young Women Personal Progress project.


Resources:   Behold Your Little Ones lesson 4;Sunbeams Manual Lesson 6;   The Lord Has Not Forgotten You by Linda S. Reeves; The Worth of Eddie Porter by Ray Goldrup; The Power of God’s Love by John H. Groberg; What the Book of Mormon Teaches about the Love of God by Russell M. Nelson; Our Divinely Based Worth by Barbara Day Lockhart; The Love of God and You Matter To Him  by Dieter F. Uchtdorf; Where is the Pavilion? By Henry B. Eyering; Sugar Beets and the Worth a of Soul by President Thomas S. Monson

Heavenly Father Has a Plan for Me FHE

Purpose: To help family members understand that we lived with Heavenly Father as spirit children before we came to earth, why we are here, and that we can live with him again after this life.


Possible Songs: I Am a Child of God, hymn 301 or Children’s Songbook page 2; I Lived in Heaven, children’s songbook page 4; Families Can Be Together Forever, hymn 300 or Children’s Songbook page 188; God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son, hymn 187; I Stand All Amazed, hymn 193; O Thou, Before the World Began, hymn 189; Teach Me to Walk in the Light, hymn 304 or Children’s Songbook page 177; He Sent His Son, children’s songbook page 34; I Will Follow God’s Plan, Children’s Songbook page 164; The Third Article of Faith, Children’s Songbook page 123.

Possible Materials: a special treat; Wordart for the timeline of the plan of salvation. You can use a string with a knot in it to display your timeline.

Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself ­­­­­if you understand the 3 basic philosophical questions of mortality (Where did I come from? Who am I? Where am I going after I die?).  Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources, as well as this website on the plan of salvation, the second and third part of Gospel Principles chapter 2 and the first part of chapter 5, and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Prepare a special treat.

Children: Prepare a special treat. Get another person to volunteer to get the treat and take all the credit. Then watch the video about Before the Old Testament.

Lesson:

Introduction: Start out by saying you’ve prepared a special treat for the family, and all it will take is for everyone to go to the kitchen to get it and a member of the family will hand it to them. Have one person say they’ll go get the treat for everyone and bring it back, but everyone will have to like it and eat it the way they say to eat it and everyone will have to give credit to him, even though he didn’t make the treat.

Discussion: Discuss how there was a council in heaven where God told us he had a special opportunity and gift to give, and like the person who wanted to make us eat our treats a certain way, there was a person who wanted to take away our ability to choose in the war in heaven. Luckily, God picked Jesus to help him with his plan, and Jesus let us have our agency and gave the credit for the plan to the Father.

From the Pearl of Great Price: Read Moses 3-4:4, and Abraham 3:22-28, as well as Revelation 12:4-11 and Doctrine and Covenants 76:25-44. Summarize.

            Activity: Divide antemortality into categories (Pre-mortality and living with God, Council in Heaven, War in Heaven; Satan’s fall; Foreordination, and Waiting to be born) and discuss them in turn, creating a timeline using cards with the categories written on them. It will also be beneficial to define such big words for smaller children.

From True to the Faith: Watch this video as a family. Read or summarize the Plan of Salvation from True to the Faith.

            Activity: Add to the categories above by including the Creation, the Fall, Birth, the Veil, Mortality, Death, the Atonement, and Resurrection. Discuss what we have to do to return to our Heavenly Father, and what has been done because God loves us.

Further discussion: Make sure that each family member understands the following:

  1. We lived with Heavenly Father as spirits.
  2. When we came to earth, we forgot what it was like in heaven.
  3. We came to earth in families.
  4. We came to earth to have a body.
  5. We came to earth to learn things we couldn’t learn with Heavenly Father.
  6. What we need to do to return to Heavenly Father (baptism, Holy Ghost, Endowment, Sealing, keep commandments).
  7. Messing up is part of gaining experiences.
  8. The atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to return to Heavenly Father.

Challenge: Challenge each family member to memorize the third Article of Faith. Make sure everyone knows the meanings the big words, like atonement, mankind, obedience, and ordinances.


Resources:   Behold Your Little Oneslesson 2; Sunbeams Manual Lesson 3;  Come, Follow Me lessons on the Plan of Salvation (February); Gospel Principles Chapters 2 and 5 (first part); Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Chapter 17; The Family: A Proclamation to the World; Plan of Salvation from True to the Faith
; see also “Plan of Salvation” on LDS.org

Heavenly Father Answers Prayers FHE

Purpose: to develop a sincere desire to pray and to know that we will always receive an answer because Heavenly Father loves us.


Possible Songs: “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” Hymns 142; “How Great Thou Art,” Hymn 86; “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” Hymn 26; “Be Thou Humble,” Hymn 130; “I Pray In Faith,” Children’s Songbook page 14; “A Child’s Prayer”, Children’s Songbook page 12.

Possible Materials: Wordart for the quote by Elder Peterson; Picture of David O. McKay; a picture of a girl pioneer (I like this one or this one, even though it’s a handcart); A picture of Hannah (I had to make my own!); A picture of Oliver Cowdery and Joseph translating. Picture of Joseph Smith in Carthage (I love this one but I think it’s copyrighted). Index cards of 7 ways Heavenly Father answers our prayers.



Preparation: Begin with prayer. Consider if your family members feel comfortable going to Heavenly Father in prayer. Reflect on your own experiences of receiving answers to prayer. Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Listen to the story “Shoes,” From the June 1997 Friend and the story of David O. McKay from the August 2004 Friend. Watch the first two minutes of the video “Samuel,” and the story of Alma and Amulek.  

Lesson:

Introduction: Watch the video “O Remember, Remember,” then share this quote by H. Burke Peterson:

“I want you to know that I know that whenever one of Heavenly Father’s children kneels and talks to him, he listens. I know this as well as I know anything in this world—that Heavenly Father listens to every prayer from his children. I know our prayers ascend to heaven. No matter what we may have done wrong, he listens to us.

“I also believe he answers us. I don’t believe he ignores his children when they talk to him.” (“Prayer—Try Again,” Ensign, June 1981, p. 73.)

Discussion: Ask if the members of your family believe Heavenly Father answers Prayers. Does he listen to everyone’s prayers, even when someone has made mistakes? Does he always answer the way we would like him to? Ask, “What are some ways Heavenly Father answers our prayers?” Read Resource story one, then discuss each of these topics in turn…

1.         He grants our prayer (Read Church History story on shoes).

2.       He gives us something better (Read Resource story 2).

3.       He makes us wait, and then our prayers are granted (tell the story of Hannah)

4.       He grant’s comfort and peace through the Holy Ghost (Read Church History story David’s Prayer).

5.       He sends people to help (Share the story of Alma and Amulek).

6.       We learn his will through scriptures or the words of the prophet (Tell the story of Joseph in Carthage).

7.       A thought enters our mind, or we just “know.” (Tell the story of Oliver Cowdery)

From the Resource Book: Read story one (found below) and ask, “Did the father of this story listen to everyone? Did he always answer the way his children would like him to? What were some of the answers he gave (Yes, no, wait, and comfort)? Why do you think the children went to their father? How is this story like prayer?

            Activity: Role play. Give each child a role in the story and have them act out the parts.

From Church History: Read, “Shoes,” from the June 1997 Friend (here is a summarized version for younger children). Discuss how sometimes our prayers take time to answer.

From the Resource Book: Read story two (also found below) and ask, “At first, did it seem like the family’s prayers were being answered? Sometimes we do not recognize the answers to our prayers because we need to gain more knowledge to help the answers become clear.

From the Old Testament: Read Samuel 1:1- 2:11. Tell the story of Hannah. Talk about how Hannah cried unto the Lord, how he blessed her, and how she thanked Him and kept her promise. Does it sound like Hannah simply prayed and got what she wanted? Or is it more likely that this had been a continual prayer for her, and it took some time?

            Activity: I made a picture of Hannah where her arms are closed in prayer and open to show a baby.

From Church History: Read “David’s Prayer,” From the August 2004 Friend.  Discuss how sometimes answers to prayer are just a feeling of comfort.

From the Book of Mormon: Read Alma 8:14-27. Do you think Alma prayed that he’d find someone to help him? How was Amulek and answer to Alma’s sorrows?

From Church History: Read Doctrine and Covenants 121. Explain that although God didn’t take away the problem, peace, understanding, and answers came from relating to the scriptures.

From Church History: Read Doctrine and Covenants 8:1-3. Tell the back-story of how Oliver Cowdery desired to translate.

Further discussion: What difference does it make to know that Heavenly Father will really listen to your prayers? Do we talk to strangers differently than our friends? It is the same with prayer. Share how much peace it brings knowing that each member of the family can call upon God when they need help, even when they think they’re alone.


Challenge: Encourage each family member to make their prayers more meaningful this week with the knowledge that Heavenly Father loves them and will answer each prayer.


Resources:   Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson 7; Gospel Principles Chapter 8 (End); Come, Follow Me Sunday School lesson on seeing the Lord’s hand; “O Remember, Remember,” By Elder Henry B. Eyering; “Shoes,” Friend , June 1997; David’s Prayer,” Friend, August 2004. See also: “But If Not…” by Elder Dennis E Simmons of the Seventy, and, “Hannah,” from a Bible Study by Vickie Kraft on Bible.org (it made me cry).


I Can Pray to Heavenly Father FHE


Purpose: To teach that prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have and that through prayer we can talk with our Heavenly Father and seek His guidance often.

Possible scriptures:Psalm 55:17; Matthew 6:9–13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 1:5; 2 Nephi 32:8–9; Alma 34:17-27; Alma 37:37; 3 Nephi 18:19–21; Moroni 10:3–5;


Possible Songs: I Pray in Faith – Children’s Songbook #14; A Prayer – Children’s Songbook #22b; A Prayer Song – Children’s Songbook #22a;; Children All Over the World – Children’s Songbook #16; Did You Think to Pray? – Hymns #140; Heavenly Father, Now I Pray – Children’s Songbook #19; I Love to Pray – Children’s Songbook #25b; Love Is Spoken Here – Children’s Songbook #190; We Bow Our Heads – Children’s Songbook #25a; Sweet Hour of Prayer – Hymns #142


Possible Materials: A container that says “I am Thankful For” and a container that says “Please Bless That…” along with papers that say “Heavenly Father,” and “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” A picture of Enos, a picture of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, praying figurine (or this one), Parts of a prayer craft or Ponder Pray Listen craft.



Preparation: Begin with prayer. Take a self-evaluation. Have your prayers been meaningful lately? Have you paused at the end of your prayers? Is there something you could work on? Also consider the difference between knowing OF God and knowing God. Read the suggested scriptures, the stories of Enos and Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Gather up things that people can be thankful for (food, pillow, toy, shirt, etc.), then watch the video of Enos and Daniel in the Lion’s Den.


Lesson:

Introduction: Pull out a bag that says “I am thankful for…” and ask the family what are some things they’re thankful for. Pull out pictures of some ideas (i.e. clothes, house, family, food, scriptures, etc.) When the family is done naming things, talk about prayer. Ask what are the parts of a prayer? When they talk about asking for blessings, pull out a second bag, labeled, “Please Bless That…” and pull out pictures of things we often need (health, we will listen, safety, our friends, etc.) Place the papers with “Heavenly Father,” and “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen,” on either side of the bags. Discuss that there are important steps to saying a good prayer. For older children, modify to include the bags, and the steps, but make them write their own responses to include in the bags.


Discussion: Ask the question “what should we pray for?” Here are some answers provided by the Gospel Principles manual:

1.           Strength to resist the temptations of Satan and his followers ( 3 Nephi 18:15; D&C 10:5).

2.          Confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us (see Alma 38:14).

3.          Guidance and help in our daily lives.

4.          Families and friends, neighbors, crops and animals, daily work, and other activities.

5.          Protection from our enemies. (See Alma 34:17–27.)

6.          Express love to our Heavenly Father and to feel closer to Him.

7.          Thank Him for our welfare, comfort and all things He gives us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

8.          Ask our Heavenly Father for strength to live the gospel.

9.          Help in keeping on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life.

10.      So we may be righteous in our thoughts, words, and actions.


You should also discuss the language of prayer, using respectful words such as Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine in place of you and your. For older kids, discuss how we should take time before we pray to think about what we really want in a prayer, who the prayer will include (i.e. for a congregation or a whole family) and any special things the members of the prayer may be seeking. Then discuss taking time after a prayer to listen and reflect.


From the Friend: Discuss how we get ready for prayer.  For younger children, discuss reverence by sitting or kneeling quietly, folding their arms, closing their eyes, and bowing their head.

Activity: Use the figurine from “When I Begin To Pray,” The Friend Oct 1982 or “Fasting and Prayer,” September 2000.


From the Book of Mormon: Discuss or read the story of Enos.  Talk about being able to pray when you need to; It doesn’t have to be in the morning or at night. For older audiences, focus on what and WHO Enos prayed for. Help them realize that you should pray for your enemies as well your friends.


From the Old Testament: Read Daniel 6:4-27. Discuss how Daniel never quit praying, even when it was hard. Ask how we can know that Heavenly Father listened to Daniel’s prayers.

Further discussion: Discuss times that we pray, which includes when we wake up; when we go to bed; meals; as a family; in church; when we need strength; when we are scared, or lonely, etc; when we need answers; when we don’t feel like praying; and “continually.” Discuss the importance of listening after we pray. I’ve heard of many analogies to use, like paying for a theme park ride and not getting on it.


Challenge: Challenge each member of your family to pay closer attention to his or her prayers – before, during, and after.


Resources:   Sunbeams Manual Lesson 4; Nursery Manual lesson 3; Gospel Principles Chapter 8;  Come, Follow Me;;



I Can Pray to Heavenly Father FHE by

How To Set Goals: Starting Off the New Year FHE

Purpose: teach the importance of setting and reaching goals.


Possible scriptures:Matt 5:16; Matt 5:48; Galatians 6:10; James 2:17-22; Jacob 2:18-19; 3 Nephi 13:24; 3 Nephi 13:33 (see also Matt 6:33); 3 Nephi 27: 27; Doctrine & Covenants 67:13

Possible Songs:The Iron Rod,” Hymns 274; “As Zion’s Youth in Latter-days,” Hymns 256; “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission,” Children’s Songbook 169; “The Things I Do,” Children’s Songbook 170; “I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook 95; “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook 78.

Possible Materials: Heber J Grant 3 stories (1, 2, 3); Tree of Life story aides (or this one. I made my own); Graham Cracker Story aides; Neil Armstrong Picture; Wordart for last line of Kimball quote.



Preparation: Begin with prayer. Consider some possible goals for yourself. Think of your own struggles with keeping goals. Is there ways you can improve, so that you can help others? Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Listen to the audio for the Heber J Grant stories and watch the video for the Tree of Life. Gather up random game pieces.


Lesson:

Introduction: Distribute random game pieces from a variety of games (Lara,from whom I borrowed this idea, has a picture you can use if you don’t have any – Page 3). Give random pieces to everyone, and tell them to go ahead and start to play. Don’t give them any instructions; the idea is to get the blank stares. When they ask how they’re supposed to play a game they don’t know, talk about how it’s the same with goals. It’s hard to make it where we want to be if we don’t know what goals we have in mind or what the point is. Goals are like instructions; they tell us where we want to be and how to win the game.

Discussion: Read the following quote from President Spencer W Kimball. Talk about some worthy life goals to set and what steps need to be taken to get there.

… My dear young friends, the positive things you will want to accomplish need only be decided upon once—like going on a mission and living worthily in order to get married in the temple—and then all other decisions related to these goals can easily be made. Otherwise, each consideration is risky, and each equivocation may result in error. There are some things Latter-day Saints do, and other things we just don’t do. The sooner you decide to do what is right, the better it will be for you!  —Spencer W Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out On Planning Your Life,” June 1982


From Church History: Picture of Heber J Grant (The link to download the picture can be found on this page). There are 2 different ways to talk about Heber J. Grant. The first is to readthis story, this story, and this story, from the Friend Magazine, and ask, “What goal did Heber make? What did he do to reach his goal? What happened because he made the goal?” after each story. The second option is to print out the church’s discussion on Heber J. Grant found here.

From American History: Read the following story and ask, “What would have happened if Neil never pursued his goal of being a pilot? What about if he’d quit after he flew in the Navy? What if, when life got hard, he said he was done?”

When Neil was two years old, his dad took him to an air race. Neil decided that when he grew up, he wanted to be a pilot. When he got older, he took flying lessons at the county airport. He earned his flight license at 15, before his driver’s license.  He started college at 17 and began studying Aeronautical Engineering. When Neil turned 18, he was called up to serve in the Navy. There, he studied Naval Aviation. Right after he turned 20, he was a qualified Naval Aviator. Neil had lots of jobs in the Navy and continued to improve his skill. When he finished his military service, Neil became a test pilot. Soon, Neil was selected to participate in the space program that was trying to get a man on the moon. It took lots of work, and many different tries, but on July 21st, 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. 


From the Scriptures: Read or summarize Lehi’s Dream as found in 1 Nephi 8. Discuss how the Tree of Life represents Eternal life, our ultimate goal. The Iron rod represents what we have to do to reach this goal. {It was hard for me to read the right verses to get to the meat of the story, and I didn’t want to mark in my scriptures just to make the story easier, so I wrote it out. I’ve summarized the scripture in the additional resource section.}

            Activity: Read the story; lay the story pieces out as each part of the story is mentioned.


From The Friend:  

Activity: Read “Graham Crackers, Grapes, and Goals.” This story talks about how each step is important for us to reach our goal. Use illustrations (I made mine) to help younger children pay attention to the story. I drew graham crackers and grapes and toys, etc. for my story.

From a Conference Talk: Read Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance. Discuss the steps:(1) Think out your life and your priorities. What is most important? (2) Set short-term goals that you can reach quickly. (3) Balance needs and wants. (4) Stay close to family and study the scriptures (5) Study the scriptures (6) Plan time for sufficient rest, exercise and relaxation. (7) Family Home Evening (8) Pray often as individuals and as a family.


Further discussion: Talk about how to set SMART Goals. S = Specific (or Significant). M = Measurable (or Meaningful). A = Attainable (or Action-Oriented).R = Relevant (or Rewarding). T = Time-bound (or Trackable).   Also discuss the importance of prayer in setting goals. By taking the time to prepare, pray, and ponder about our goals, we are able to focus on what will be most beneficial for our family.


Challenge: Remind your family about how we need to keep goals in our mind AND we need to work to achieve them. We need to cling tightly to the rod and to the things we know will bring us to our goals. Now help each person think of a challenging, but attainable goal and have them write it down and keep it in a place they’ll see it.


Resources:   I got inspiration for this lesson from this site and from this site. Elder Ballard, Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance;Graham Crackers, Grapes, and Goals”, The Friend, Jan. 2005.


ALSO: there’s a cute printable here that you could use as a reminder, if you’re interested in Disney Movie  reminders. Here’s the pic I had in mind. 

I am a Child of God: New FHE

Purpose: To teach that each of us is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents. We lived with them before we were born. Our Heavenly Father knows us personally and loves us.


Possible scriptures: Psalm 82:6 (In the nursery manual, it replaces “Most High” with “God” to aide childhood understanding); Malachi 2:10; Matthew 5:48; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 17:28–29; Romans 8:16; Hebrews 12:9; Doctrine & Covenants 76:23–24; Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56; Moses 1:1–7; Mosiah 4:9-12;  1 Nephi 17:36; 3 Nephi 27:13-22;


Possible Songs: O My Father,” Hymns 292;“I Am a Child of God,” Hymns 301, Children’s Songbook 2; “I Lived in Heaven,” Children’s Songbook 4;  “I Know My Father Lives,” Hymns 302Children’s Songbook 5; “My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Children’s Songbook 228


Possible Materials: Family portrait(s); 

Wordart of “Our Heavenly Father”; 
Picture of Heavenly Father
“Parents” puzzle (On the blank pieces, tape a family picture on one side, and tape a picture of Heavenly Father on the other side)
Moses Figure
poster about each child; 
Crown; Coloring page “God Knows…”;


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Think about your relationship with your Heavenly Father. When have you felt closest to Him? How do your family members feel about themselves? How can having a strong relationship with Heavenly Father strengthen their self-worth? Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: watch the video of Moses as a prophet (only need from 0:55-1:45) and read this story from The Friend .


Lesson:
Introduction: Hold up the family portrait or separate pictures of each family member (for a twist, use baby pictures), and ask, “Who are these people? How are the members of our family different from each other? (Facial characteristics, age, talents, etc.) In what ways are members of our family alike? (Facial features, interests, desires to learn, etc.)” Talk about how we inherit some of our characteristics from our parents. Hold up the paper on which you have written “Our Heavenly Father,” or use the clipart found here. Ask, “Who is Heavenly Father? How are we related to our Heavenly Father?” Use the responses to give you direction in explaining the lesson on the appropriate level. Make sure they understand that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, and we are his spirit children.


Discussion: Explain to everyone that because they are God’s children, they are worth very much. What is it about us that Heavenly Father would love so much? (First of all, he loves us because we are his spirit children; we are his family. Secondly, he loves us because of what we are capable of doing and becoming.) How does your knowledge that you are a child of God influence your thoughts, words, and actions?

 Explain that your children/siblings will always be members of your family and that you will always be their father and mother/ sibling. Nothing can change that. {In Lilo and Stitch, Lilo teaches us about ‘Ohana.’ “’Ohana’ means ‘family.’ ‘Family’ means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten. But if you want to leave, you can. I’ll remember you though.” We always use this concept in our family because we did have someone that left. We point out that it’s a choice, but we don’t have to forget them when they make that choice.} The same is true of God’s family. He will always be our Father. We will always be his children. But to return to him we must live his commandments. Remind everyone that their worth, like their family membership, is unquestionable. Ask them what if someone was to tell you that you are not a child of God? After listening to their answers, reinforce the fact that regardless of what others may say, they are still children of Heavenly Father.

From the Friend: We grow to be like our parents” The Friend, April 1984

Activity: The puzzle pieces only fit together with the right parent, showing that babies always grow up to be similar to their parents. Include dialogue like, “What is a baby frog called? What will that tadpole grow up to be?” Explain that just as animals grow up to be like their parents, we will grow up to be like our parents. Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, so we can grow to be like him. Talk about what you learned in God the Eternal Father last week. When we have attributes like Heavenly Father, we are being like Him. Explain that we should try to become more like Heavenly Father every day. Discuss what qualities we would need to develop for us to be more like our Father in Heaven.


From the Scriptures:  Read Moses 1:1-22, or read the summary from the friend for younger children. Point out how many times God says, “My son.” Was this an important concept? Explain that Heavenly Father has important things for us to do while we live on the earth, such as being a mother or a father, a missionary, a teacher, a helper at church, or a helper in the community. What important work might Heavenly Father want you to do?

Further discussion: As you discuss the idea of worth and potential, have your family members analyze Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 and Moses 1:39 together so that they will get a feeling of how important we are to our Heavenly Father as his children. Emphasize to them that it does not matter what we look like or where we live, Their love is unconditional and very real. We should always remember that not only are each of them specifically children of God, but also the annoying kid from school, their teachers, and their family members and that this knowledge should affect the way we treat one another. Briefly bear your testimony or share a personal experience about how remembering to treat others as the children of God has changed or affected you (or the other person).

Closing Application 1: Explain that Heavenly Father is the king of heaven and earth. Because we are his children, we are princes and princesses. Watch or listen to Daughter of a king by Jenny Phillips. {We have the book written by Rachel Ann Nunes titled Daughter of a King. I highly recommend it. It’s about a girl who knows she is a princess and will one day return to her father in his castle. If you don’t have access to the book, you can make up a story of your own about princesses who are returning to their Father the King.} Make a simple crown for each child and write the words I am a child of God on each crown. Let everyone color the crowns.

Closing Application 2: To emphasize that Heavenly Father knows and cares about each child, have the children color pictures based on sentences like “Heavenly Father knows I am sad when _____,” “Heavenly Father knows I am happy when _____,” “Heavenly Father knows my favorite thing to do is _____,” and so on.
Closing Application 3: Explain that Heavenly Father knows about each child’s admirable characteristics. For example, you could say, “Heavenly Father knows that Emily is a loving daughter.” Make a personal poster for each family member that lists some of their admirable characteristics.


Challenge: Give each family member a note card with the sentence “I am a child of God, and I can become more _______.”  Each morning before prayer the family member looks at the card and identifies a godly quality he could develop to fill in the missing word, such as loving, forgiving, educated, or accomplished. He should use whatever quality he may feel he needs to develop at the time. Encourage family members to seek the Lord’s help in being true to their capacity to become like him. In the evening, they should ponder the chances they had during the day to work on their potential. Challenge each person to examine the experiences he has had each day and share with his Heavenly Father what he, as one of God’s children, has learned from them.


Resources:   The Family Home Evening Resource book lesson 5; Nursery Manual lesson 1; Sunbeams Manual Lesson 1;  Gospel Principles Chapter 2, Part 1; Come, Follow Me lesson on knowing Heavenly Father;  We grow to be like our parents” The Friend, April 1984; “Moses” The Friend, Feb. 1994

God the Eternal Father: New FHE

Purpose: To teach that we can come to know God, that he has a body, and is a perfected being who loves us.


Possible Songs: A Child’s Prayer,” Children’s Songbook 12; “My Heavenly Father loves Me,” Children’s songbook 228; “I Need my Heavenly Father,” Children’s songbook 18; “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” Hymns 68; “Because God loves Me,” Children’s songbook 234; “God’s Love,” Children’s Songbook 97; “Dearest Children, God is Near You,” Hymns 96; “I am a Child of God,” Hymns 301 or Children’s Songbook 2; “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” Hymns 26; “Our Saviour’s Love,” Hymns 113; “The First Article of Faith,” Children’s songbook 122a;

Possible Materials: Creation picture from Gospel Art BookFirst Vision picture from Gospel Art Book, or this onePuppets of Ammon and Aaron





Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself how understanding the nature of God will help yourself and each member of your family. Read the suggested scriptures, the articles listed in Resources, and the section on the Godhead in True to the Faith.

Children: think about how to prepare a camping scene in your living room. Then watch the videos on Joseph Smith’s first vision and Ammon teaching Lamoni and his father.


Lesson:

Introduction: Have everyone pretend we’re on a camping trip in the middle of nowhere. There are no lights besides our warm and cozy fire. Lay down like we’re all in our sleeping bags looking up at the stars. Ask how many stars there are. How did they get there? Was it an accident? Do you think that our universe could have happened by chance? Show a picture of what it’s like in the universe. Now sit up and look at the “Forest” around you. Have people tell you what they “see.” Talk about how it is so amazing that God created this earth for us. Read Alma 30:44, starting at “yea, even the earth.” Then read this quote by President Thomas S. Monson:


If there is a design in this world in which we live, there must be a Designer. Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a Designer? (source)


Discussion: Begin by asking “Who is God? What are some of God’s attributes?” This will help lead your discussion. For younger children, focus on that God has a body of flesh and blood, and that he is a loving Father. For older audiences, possible discussion topics include Divinity, perfection, love, mercy, truth, justice, goodness, glory, and creation.

From Church History: Show picture of The First Vision. Tell the story of the First Vision, as found in Joseph Smith—History 1:14–17. How did Joseph Smith know what Heavenly Father and Jesus look like? What kind of bodies do Jesus and Heavenly Father have? What else do we learn about the nature of God from this story? Explain that because we are spirit children of Heavenly Father, we also look like him. We have bodies like his. That what it means when it says “created in Heavenly Father’s image” (see Moses 2:26-27; 6:9). Our bodies are like His body. His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). God’s body, however, is perfected and glorified, with a glory beyond all description.


From the scriptures: Ammon and Aaron, two missionaries in the Book of Mormon, knew that it was important to start our faith with an understanding of who God is. They taught people who did not grow up knowing about God or Christ. They taught simple truths and invited their investigators to pray. Two kings, Lamoni and his father were converted.

Activity: Hold up Ammon and Aaron finger puppets. Read Alma 18:24–40and 22:4–23, allow the children to “teach” Lamoni and his father.


Further discussion: Ask, “why is it important for us to understand the nature of God? How can we come to know God?” some possible answers include:

  • Knowing God is so important that the Savior said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

  • The first and greatest commandment is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (Matthew 22:37).

  • The more we know God, the more we love Him and keep His commandments (see 1 John 2:3–5). By keeping His commandments we can become like Him.

We can know God if we will:

  1. Believe that He exists and that He loves us (see Mosiah 4:9).

  2. Study the scriptures (see 2 Timothy 3:14–17).

  3. Pray to Him (see James 1:5).

  4. Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21–23).


Challenge: Have the children stand. Help them memorize the first article of faith. If too young, just help them memorize the first part: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.” Practice all week. If the article of faith is already memorized, memorize Moses 1:39. Discuss what unknown words mean.


Resources:   Sunbeams Manual Lesson 2;  Gospel PrinciplesChapter 1; Preach My Gospel Chapter 3, part 1 (You’ll have to scroll down);  Come, Follow Mediscussions on the Godhead and knowing Heavenly Father. Fundamentals to our Faith by Elder Dallin H. Oaks; In These Three I believe by President Gordon B. Hinckley; Gaining a Testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost by Elder Robert D Hales; Encyclopedia of Mormonism: God the Father; LDS Study Topics, God the Father; Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, lesson 2