The Gift of the Holy Ghost FHE

Purpose: To help family members appreciate the privilege of receiving the Holy Ghost and to recognize its holy guidance.


Possible Songs: When Jesus Christ was Baptized, Children’s Songbook page 102; 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; Search Ponder and Pray, Children’s Songbook page 109; Let the Holy Spirit Guide, hymn 143; Thy Spirit Lord Has Stirred Our Souls, hymn 157; The Spirit of God, hymn 2

Possible Materials: picture from Gospel Art Kit of girl being confirmed, wrapped up like a present; An illustration of stairs for the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (From the Fourth Article of Faith); a picture of Christ in America; Cards discussing the ways the Holy Ghost can speak to us from the discussion. 


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself how often you have experiences with the Holy Ghost. Do you feel satisfied that these experiences come as often as they should? Do you feel that you receive personal revelation to guide your life?  Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Watch the videos about the Nephites receiving the Holy Ghost. Have a parent or teenage sibling summarize Doctrine and Covenants 138 for you and to help you understand the scriptures given in the discussion.

Lesson:

Introduction: Whisper. Quietly say things like, “if you can hear me, blink your eyes. If you can hear me cross your toes.” Etc, until you have everyone’s attention. Talk about how the Holy Ghost is like a still small voice, and if we’re not listening, it’s really hard to hear.

            Then make an illustration of stairs going up with 4 steps. On the bottom step, write “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Review Faith from the previous FHE lesson. On the second step from the bottom, write “Repentance.” Remind them about the lesson on repentance. On the next step, write “Baptism by emersion for the remission of sins.” Remind them that that was last week’s lesson. Ask the family what comes next (The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost).

            Pull out the wrapped picture of the girl receiving the Holy Ghost. Ask the family to open it, and then to discuss why you wrapped it and what a gift is. Discuss that we do not have to open the gift, but that it is given to us so that we can open it and use it.

Discussion: Discuss how in a previous lesson, we talked about the Holy Ghost. Have the family talk about what they remember from that lesson. Briefly discuss who the Holy Ghost is and what is his role in the Plan of Salvation. Talk about how the Holy Ghost influences our lives if we will let him. It is by him that visions and dreams and prophecies usually become, but He doesn’t always speak to us in a loud voice, in fact he rarely does. He communicates with us by:

  1. Warning us of danger or evil (Remind the family of the story of President Harold B. Lee).

  2. Giving us our testimonies (Alma 5:46).

  3. Helping us know and choose the right (D&C 11:12).

  4. Helping us understand things (D&C 6:15).

  5. Helping us recognize truth (Moroni 10:5).

  6. Guiding us in important decisions (2 Nephi 32:5).

  7. Comforting us (Galatians 5:22; Moroni 8:26).

  8. Helping us remember things (John 14:26; D&C 6:22).

  9. Helping us know when we need to act for ourselves (D&C 58:26).

  10. Giving us words to speak. Helping us understand and communicate with each other. (D&C 84:85; Luke 12:12)

  11. Talking to us in our minds and in our hearts (D&C 8:2-3; D&C 11:13-14).

  12. Causing our bosoms to burn or giving a feeling of peace (D&C9:6)

  13. Causing a stupor of thought (D&C 9: 9)

  14. Weighing heavily upon our minds, ideas that won’t go away (D&C 128:1; D&C 6:23).

            Activity: Have cards labeled with the ways the Holy Ghost helps us and cards that have the scriptures. For really young children, tell of an anecdote describing each clue and have them point to the clue (I highly suggest taking quotes and anecdotes from The Unspeakable Gift of the Holy Ghost by elder Jay E. Jensen). For younger ages, have the clues already turned over, but flip over the scriptures. As a family find each scripture and discuss which clue it goes to. For older ages, have all clues and scriptures hidden.

From the Book of Mormon: Read 3 Nephi 19:9-23. Discuss how important the Holy Ghost is. They really wanted its influence in their lives! How did Jesus feel that they wanted the Holy Ghost? Note that they followed the principles and ordinances of the gospel. First, they believed and repented, and then they were baptized. Then the Holy Ghost could come upon them.

From Church History: Discuss what we need to do to feel the Holy Ghost in our lives. Remind the family that we can lose the spirit by partaking in profanity, uncleanliness, disobedience, rebellion, sin, and anger. Just as we can lose the Holy Ghost, we can choose a lifestyle that will bring Him closer to us. President Joseph F. Smith set a perfect example of what is expected of us before we can receive revelation or promptings from the Holy Ghost. Read Doctrine and Covenants 138. What pattern did he follow (Make sure to discuss pondering, asking, worthiness and alertness)? Explain that Heavenly Father has given us the Holy Ghost to help us live our lives successfully. He was not meant to be a reward for when we are perfect. Learning to be guided by the Holy Ghost is, in fact, necessary to help us reach perfection.

Activity: Show the family a small object you will hide for this game. Have a family member volunteer to leave for a moment while you hide it. When they return, tell them that he must listen to find it. Use a quiet noise, such as lightly tapping a pencil to show the child which way to turn to look for it. Make sure that the noises you make are very soft and reverent. Tap more quickly as the child moves closer to the hiding place. A variation would be to have a few family members constantly giving bad directions or just plain making noise while a quiet family member gives correct information.

Further discussion: The Holy Ghost is not the only source of promptings in our life. Satan can deceive us with his own voice. We must keep these basic rules in mind when we feel we have received revelation:

  1. Promptings of the Holy Ghost do not violate any gospel principles, including the agency of others.

  2. The promptings are in harmony with the teachings of the scripture and of the prophets.

  3. The promptings are in harmony with the order of the Church. See D&C 28:2,6-7

  4. The promptings bring peace to the soul; they do not raise doubts and questions. See D&C 11:12-14, 50:23-24


Challenge: Have each baptized member of the family write down and act on any impressions they have received from the Holy Ghost this week. For any members of the family not yet baptized, challenge them to memorize Article of Faith number 4.


Resources:   Primary 3 Lesson 12;  Come, Follow Me lessons on the Holy Ghost; Gospel Principles Chapter 21; The Unspeakable Gift of The Holy Ghost by elder Jay E. Jensen (the whole talk is amazing, but this lesson only focuses on the second half. The first half is covered in The Holy Ghost Helps Me).Family Home Evening Resource Book lesson 15; True to the Faith section on the gift of the Holy Ghost, starting on page 83;

School Blessings FHE

We have found that if we don’t make a specific Family Home Evening night dedicated to Father’s Blessings before school that they don’t happen, so we dedicate one Family Night a year for that purpose.

A father’s blessing is a special time. It allows our children’s father to receive revelation for his children and it gives the children a feeling of comfort and peace before school starts. It also is a guaranteed time for everyone to build a relationship with our Father in Heaven, on an individual basis and as a family. And since we are building our family an individual at a time with blessings, we DO grow stronger as a family.

But what about homeschooling? Does that change things? Nope. Well, mostly nope. I am guessing it changes the things discussed in the blessing, because circumstances would be different, but mostly, we feel it’s still important to grow as a family whether its public school or homeschool. And they will be studying and learning, and could use that extra reminder that God is proud of their choice to do so.

Child Highlight FHE

Purpose: To help each family member pay close attention to one another and to give each child a sense of belonging in a family. 

Possible scriptures: The Child’s Favorite scripture or John 3:16, Matthew 7:11, James 1:17, or Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 (God’s birthday present);  or Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, Psalms 8:4-6, or Jeremiah 1:5 (Individual Worth); or John 13:34, 1 John 2:10, 1 John 4:21, Doctrine and Covenants 88:123, (Love one another)


Possible Songs: The Child’s Favorite song, A Happy Family (Children’s Songbook page 198), or any birthday song.

Possible Materials: Any items that are significant for the child being highlighted (awards, favorite toy, a picture they drew or a story they wrote, baby pictures, favorite book, something they collect, any musical instrument). You could draw an outline of each child on butcher paper. If all else fails, this is a good printout to put in a scrapbook by A Day in My Life.


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Collect items that are significant for the child being highlighted. Really get to know the child being highlighted. Focus on what makes them who they are. If possible, conduct an “interview” with the family member.

Lesson:

Introduction: Say that there is a special person in your family this week and you would like to focus on them. Ask the VIP member of your family to sit front and center (you could make the seat special somehow, if you’d like).

Discussion: Introduce the child being highlighted and what makes them so special. Include thinks you know about them, as well as any information collected during an interview.

From the VIP: Ask the child to teach the family something that they know, read their favorite story, or show a cool trick.

Challenge: Pass around a booklet with enough pages for your family, or an envelope with paper to everyone in your family except the VIP. Have each family member write something special or a good memory that they have had over the past year. Compile the notes into something that the child can keep safe and refer to over the next year. Challenge the family to keep the memories that they wrote down in their mind when they are with the VIP and notice if it makes a difference in how they treat that person all week.


Resources:   Believe it or not, there are not many resources I’ve found for this lesson! 

General Conference FHE

Purpose: To help each family member properly prepare for General Conference in order to ensure that each may get the most out of the opportunity to listen to the prophets and learn together as a family. 

Possible scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 1:38; Doctrine & Covenants 68:4; Doctrine and Covenants 43:8–10. Reread some talks from last conference. Prepare a quote from your favorite talk to share with the family
(Younger family members may benefit from watching the excerpts of conference found from the conference page of The Church website under “watch highlights” or “Relive the stories;” or via YouTube Mormon Channel).


Possible Songs: We Thank Thee, O God For a Prophet, hymn 19; Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice, hymn 21; The Spirit of God, hymn 2; Testimony, hymn 137; Again We Meet Around the Board, hymn 186; Come, All Ye Saints Who Dwell on Earth, hymn 65; Come, Sing to the Lord, Hymn 10; Oh, Holy Words of Truth and Love, hymn 271; Latter-day Prophets, Children’s Songbook page 134;

Possible Materials: 3 different sizes of containers and 3 containers of water full enough to fill the largest sized container, as well as something to catch the extra water (towels or a cake pan?). A set of each of the standard works (or illustrations of them) and the most recent copy of the conference report. 


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Consider your present attitude towards General Conference and ask yourself what you could do in order to receive greater spiritual renewal and personal guidance from the Conference addresses. Read the conference talks from the last General Conference (or watch them), as well as any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Have fun playing with measurements and how much water will fit into each cup. Then get the help of a grownup and explore LDS.org Conference website for children, especially this video about the Conference Center.  


Lesson:

Introduction: Ask the family to join you in a place that is okay to spill and get wet. Present a small cup (the smaller the better) and a large cup (larger, the better), as well as a medium-size. Tell the family that the Holy Ghost is like water. We are each like the glasses. When we are being taught, the teacher who has done his work to prepare and invite the spirit in is like the pitcher that pours water into our glass. Some of us spend very little time preparing. We are like the small glass (pour the water into the small glass, let the extra water overflow). When conference comes, we are able to receive some of the blessings of the Holy Ghost, but we are easily overwhelmed and cannot hold more than a little enlightenment. Sometimes we are like the medium glass (pour the water into the medium glass. Just a little should overflow): we are looking forward to conference, we have plenty of room for the Holy Ghost, and we come away feeling refreshed and enlightened, but we still long for just a little bit more. But what happens if we could be as prepared as the full glass (Pour water into the third glass. It should fill it entirely)? When Conference comes, we are eager and well-prepared, we have prayed for enlightenment, studied past conference addresses, and are eager to receive more enlightenment. As we listen to conference, we receive every blessing and insight that the Lord wishes us to receive.


Read this statement by President Boyd K. Packer:

 “In a few days there opens another general conference of the Church. The servants of the Lord will counsel us. You may listen with anxious ears and hearts, or you may turn that counsel aside. … What you shall gain will depend not so much upon their preparation of the messages as upon your preparation for them” (Follow the Brethren, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Mar. 23, 1965], 10).


Discussion: Ask the family what we consider scripture. Hold up each book as it is called (I have a drawing of each book so that Old and New testaments are separate, as well as The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price). Then hold up a copy of the Conference Edition of the Ensign (or draw one, as well).


From a Modern Prophet: Ask the family why we have General Conference. According to President David O. McKay (in Conference Report, Oct. 1954, 7), General conference is:

1.        “To inform the membership of general conditions—whether the Church is progressing or retrogressing, economically, ecclesiastically, or spiritually.

2.       To commend true merit.

3.       To express gratitude for divine guidance.

4.       To give instruction ‘in principles, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel.’

5.       To proclaim the restoration, with divine authority to administer in all the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to declare, quoting the Apostle Peter, that ‘there is none other name under heaven given among men’ than Jesus Christ ‘whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12.)

6.       To admonish and inspire to continue in greater activity”

President Howard W. Hunter also said,

“Conference time is a season of spiritual revival when knowledge and testimony are increased and solidified that God lives and blesses those who are faithful. It is a time when an understanding that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is burned into the hearts of those who have the determination to serve him and keep his commandments. Conference is the time when our leaders give us inspired direction in the conduct of our lives—a time when souls are stirred and resolutions are made to be better husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, more obedient sons and daughters, better friends and neighbors” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 15)


From the Doctrine and Covenants: Read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38; Doctrine & Covenants 68:4. Discuss how each time a Prophet speaks the words Heavenly Father wants him to say, it is scripture.




From President J. Ruben Clark: President Clark once asked how we would know if the Prophets were speaking as themselves, or as one speaking for God. In answer to his own question, he said,

“I have given some thought to this question, and the answer thereto so far as I can determine, is: We can tell when the speakers are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’ only when we, ourselves, are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’

 “In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak” (“When Are Church Leaders’ Words Entitled to Claim of Scripture?”Church News, July 31, 1954, 9).


Further discussion: Ask your family what they can do to receive all of the blessings of General Conference. Make a list of options. This may include taking notes, discussing conference between sessions, setting goals to study conference in the future, praying to receive inspiration for your life, and thinking of questions you have that you would like answered and then listening for those answers.

            Discuss with your family a time that you received an answer to a question that you had during General Conference, or just bear your testimony about General Conference and how you feel about getting to listen to men of God.


Challenge: Ask each family member to prepare for conference this week. Ask them to think of a question that they would like answered, and invite each member of the family to take notes so that they can invite the spirit of revelation into your home.


Resources:   LDS.org’s website on General Conference and how to prepare for it; Institute manual on Teachings of the Living Prophet, chapter 6. A copy of the most recent conference addresses.



Easter FHE

Purpose: To help each member of the family focus on the Savior this Easter and remember that through the resurrection, we can return to our bodies and live forever. Jesus Christ gave us great gifts that no one else could give us. The Family Home Evening Resource manual states:
“Religious holidays provide parents with some very natural teaching moments when they can share with their children those feelings and experiences that will bind them to each other and to the gospel throughout their lives…We need to find ways to celebrate Easter that are meaningful and that help them grow in love and appreciation for the Savior.” 


Possible scriptures:Any in Matthew 21-28, Mark 11, 14-16, Luke 19-20, 22-24, or John 12-13, 18-20 (clearly, there is more to the last week of the savior’s life, but these scriptures cover the events); Guide to the scriptures on the Atonement; 1 Ne. 11:32–33; 2 Ne. 2:7; 2 Nephi 9:6–26;  Alma 7:11–13; Alma 11:41–45; Alma 40–41; Doctrine & Covenants 19:16–19; 1 Corinthians 15; Article of Faith #3
 


Possible Songs:

Possible Materials: An Easter basket filled with eggs and bunnies, with an empty egg for each member of the family. Gospel Art pictures (or any other pictures of your choosing) involving the Savior’s last week; including the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, Christ in Gethsemane, the Crucifixion, and Christ as a resurrected being.


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources. Address this lesson with enthusiasm and gratitude.

Children: Think about what Easter is all about. Fill an Easter basket with your favorite things about Easter, then gather enough empty eggs for each member of your family. Then watch the videos about the week of Jesus’ death, including the triumphal entry, the Last Supper, Christ in Gethsemane, Christ on trial, Christ being crucified, and Christ risen again [Note to parents: for younger attention spans, pick the videos you deem most appropriate for your child].

 

 
Lesson:

 

Introduction: Pull out an Easter basket filled with commercial Easter items. Hand the family each an empty egg and ask them to find something that fits in the egg that makes them think about Easter. Make suggestions throughout about new birth and spring flowers starting to grow, or about bunnies and candy. The idea is to understand that each of these things has a place, but that they are not the purpose of Easter. When the family has regrouped, start with the youngest member of your family and ask each person what they found. Each selection is good, because it brings happy memories, even if it doesn’t focus on the Savior. 

 
Discussion: Ask the family why we celebrate at Easter time. The responses will turn towards focusing on Jesus, but get the family to think even deeper. Emphasize the word Celebrate. Easter is about Jesus’ death and all of the pain and agony he felt. Why, then, do we celebrate? 

We celebrate Easter because Easter is about Jesus’ final triumph in that he overcame death, both spiritual and physical. Easter is Christ’s final victory! We celebrate Easter because of the Atonement! Explain to the family that the Atonement has two parts: the first part is when Christ suffered for the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane. The second part came when he was resurrected after he died on the cross. Both sin and death are part of the mortal experiences we came to earth for; both were part of the plan for us to learn and progress. But both, without the atonement, would keep us stuck and unable to return back to Heavenly Father. 

 
From the New Testament: Read the scriptures involving the last week of the saviors life listed in the suggested scriptures. Or read any of the following summarizations: 

·         Easter Week from the April 2013 Ensign 

·         Easter Week from the April 2011 Friend 

·         Easter Footsteps from April 2012 Friend 

Activity: Many people find it convenient to explore the last week of the savior through another Easter egg hunt. I discuss a few of my favorite examples on my blog. 

 
Further discussion: Read the following statement from the Family Home Evening Resource Manual. It sums up the entire lesson in 2 lines. Then talk about the importance the atonement has in your life. 

“Without the Atonement, it wouldn’t matter how good we tried to be; we would not be able to return to our Heavenly Father or regain our bodies. We would all be lost.” 

 

Challenge: Challenge your family to memorize the 3rdArticle of Faith as they celebrate Easter this week.
 


Resources:   Behold Your Little Ones lesson 29;Sunbeams Manual Lesson 45;  Come, Follow Me lessons on the Atonement; Family Home Evening Resource Book lesson 36; Easter Weekfrom the April 2013 Ensign; Institute manual on The Life And Teachings Of Jesus Christ, section 5; Easter Weekfrom the April 2011 Friend
 

 

 

Jesus Came to Earth FHE

Purpose: To share, as a family, special experiences in Christ’s life. To draw closer as a family to the Savior who came to Earth and lived among his brethren and sisters.  We cannot have a testimony of Jesus Christ if we do not know Him. 


Possible scriptures:Spend this week studying the scriptures contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, paying close attention to Luke 2:40;  


Possible Songs: When Jesus Christ Was Baptized, Children’s Songbook page 102; Jesus Loved the Little Children, Children’s Songbook page 59; I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus, Children’s Songbook page 78; Jesus Once Was a Little Child, Children’s Songbook page 55; Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, Children’s Songbook page 57; Come Follow Me, Hymn 116; Our Savior’s Love, Hymn 113; Master, the Tempest is Raging, Hymn 105; Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains, Hymn 212


Possible Materials: I think this bookmark is pretty perfect! Also, any pictures from the life of the Savior as found in the New Testament. I highly suggest watching Finding Faith in Christ. If it will help your family, consider making a timeline of Christ’s life, including events such as his birth, fleeing to Egypt, his trip to the temple, the wedding of Cana, when he began his ministry, when he called his disciples, his triumphal entry, the last supper, the atonement, and the crucifixion.



Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself ­­­­­how you would have felt to be alive at the time of our Savior and see Him in person. Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.

Children: Print off the bookmark found above, and assemble it to use as a guide to teach your family about Jesus and his Life. Make sure you know the stories. Then watch the videos about Jesus as a boy and any other videos you’d like to learn more about involving Jesus’ life on earth.  


Lesson:

Introduction: Ask the family who is Jesus Christ? What did he do and why was he important? How did he come to earth? What did he teach? Have the family share their favorite stories of when Christ was alive on Earth. Ask the questions “What think ye of Christ?” and “But whom say Ye that He is?”


Discussion: Discuss how every prophet before Christ testified that he would come and that every prophet since Christ has testified that he did come.


Ask the family if Jesus ever made any mistakes. Discuss that Jesus was always doing the work of Heavenly father. Remind them of the story of the boy Jesus at the temple, and discuss how Jesus was baptized even though he had never done anything wrong, because he wanted to keep ALL of God’s commandments.


Then talk about how Jesus loved everyone, even those that did not love him. He taught us how we can love other people and serve them. He loved those that other people didn’t like, and spent time with them.

·         Read John 3:16.  Talk about how Jesus loved us so much he came to earth in order to help us.

·         Read Matthew 22:36–39. Discuss that Christ summed up everything we need to do into 2 big rules: Love God and Love the people.

·         Read Matthew 25:35–46. Talk about how Christ performed miracles out of love, and then said that if we serve other people, we also show love to God.

·         Read Matt. 5:3–12. Talk about how Christ loved us by teaching us about love.

·         Read Luke 23:34. Talk about how Christ also loved those who hurt him.

·         Read Doctrine and Covenants 19:16. Discuss how Christ suffered for our sins out of love.

·         Read John 15:13–14. Discuss how Christ paid the ultimate price and died for us that we may live again.


From the scriptures: Due to the nature of this lesson and its magnitude, pick your favorite story (preferably saving his birth, death, baptism, the atonement, and his parables for other lessons, as they are already included therein) from the New Testament and share it with your family.


Further discussion: For older children, discuss what it means to be the only begotten, how Christ was both mortal and divine, and how that allowed him to suffer for our sins.


Bear your testimony of Jesus Christ and how you feel about His time on Earth.


Challenge: Throughout the week, find opportunities to serve and love others, in the name of the Savior. For younger children, you could give them a token that they can leave in as a sign that they served (it also acts as a visual reminder that they are challenged to serve others).



Jesus Created the World for Me FHE

Purpose: To help the family learn about the creation and gain respect for the world around them because it is a gift from their Heavenly Father.

Possible scriptures:Moses 1-3; Abraham 3-5; Moses 1:39; Moses 6:63; Moses 7:28, 32 (the whole chapter is beneficial); Genesis 1-2 (include JST); John 17:3; Colossians 1:16; 1 Nephi 17:36; 2 Nephi 2:14; Jacob 4:9;  Mosiah 3:8; Mosiah 4:9; Alma 30:44; Mormon 9:11,17; Doctrine and covenants 29:31; Doctrine and Covenants 38:1-3;  Doctrine and Covenants 59:14-21Doctrine and Covenants 76:24; Doctrine and Covenants 104:13-17;


Possible Songs: Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow, hymn 242; All Glory Laud and Honor, Hymn 69; O My Father, Hymn 292; If You Could Hie to Kolob, hymn 284; I Am a Child of God, Children’s Songbook page 2 and Hymn 301; My Heavenly Father Loves Me, Children’s Songbook page 228; Thanks to Our Father, Children’s Songbook page 20; The World Is So Lovely, Children’s Songbook page 233;

Possible Materials: Visuals for the story of the Creation;


Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself again if you feel God’s love for you. Do your family members know? With a feeling of God’s love comes a sense of safety and personal confidence, as well as the feeling that someone cares even when no one else knows. This is so important that it cannot be neglected. Take a moment to think over the creation and how it is evidence of God’s love for you. Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources. If you are able, attend the temple.

            There are many different focuses to take in a family where everyone knows the basic creation story. Pray to know what is the best direction to take for your family, but some of the areas of focus include: why we have so many creation accounts, That all things were created spiritually before they were created physically, . The article by Keith Meservy is incredibly helpful. There are many different focuses to take in a family where everyone knows the basic creation story.

Children: Watch the video on Creation.


Lesson:

Introduction: take an imaginary nature walk with your family (If it’s warm enough, you could ACTUALLY take a nature walk). Imagine what you see. Have the family describe what is “around” them. Start with the basic senses. Ask the family what they feel. Then ask the family HOW they feel. What does thinking of the world around us remind us of our Savior and Heavenly Father? Why do we have an earth to live on (to have a place to be tested so that we could return to God because He loves us and wants us to become like Him)?


From the scriptures: Read Moses 1-3, Abraham 3-5, and Genesis 1-2 (along with the Joseph Smith Translation). Discuss the order and blessings given in the creation accounts, that Jesus Christ acted by God’s direction, and that the earth was created for man.

            Activity: Use the visuals or create hand symbols for each day of the creation account.


Further Discussion: Express gratitude for God’s love and that he created such a beautiful world for us to live.  Discuss ways we can show God we are grateful for this world.


Challenge: Challenge each family member to look for ways God loves them throughout the week. At dinner each night, have each family member share what they noticed that day. Invite the members of your family to make sure those things end up in prayers as well, focusing all week on only expressing gratitude in prayer. 


Resources:   Behold Your Little Ones lesson 7; Sunbeams Manual Lessons 8-13;   Gospel Principles Chapter 5; Family Home Evening Resource Book lesson 6; Four Accounts of the Creation by Keith Meservy


Testimonies and Faith FHE

Purpose: To help family members to increase their faith in Jesus Christ and grow their testimonies of Him.

Possible scriptures: Matthew 8:5-33; Matthew 17:20; Mark 5:25-34; John 11:25; Romans 10:17;James 2:17,26; Hebrews 11:1,3(the entire chapter is beneficial); 1 Nephi 2:16; 2 Nephi 9:23; Alma 5:45-47; Alma 32:21, 26-43; Alma 34:17; Alma 37:33; Ether 12:6(the entire chapter is beneficial; Moroni 7:25-26,36-37; Doctrine and Covenants 5:16; Doctrine and Covenants 42:48; Doctrine and Covenants 76:19-24; Doctrine and Covenants 88:118;


Possible Songs: I Feel My Savior’s Love, Children’s Songbook page 74; I Know My Father Lives, hymn 302 or Children’s Songbook  page 5; Come Follow Me, hymn 116; I Need Thee Every Hour, hymn 98; Father in Heaven We Do Believe, hymn 180; I Know that My Redeemer Lives, hymn 136;

Possible Materials: a mustard seed and a picture of a mustard tree (the best one I can find is here, copyright M Mandella); A picture of Noah(and this one); pictures of Christ performing miracles; drawings of soil and flowers; A picture of Nephi and his brothers. A picture of Lorenzo Snow

Preparation: Begin with prayer. The best way to teach faith is by example. Ask yourself how you are doing with the basics of the gospel. Can your family see you praying, studying the gospel, and following the Savior? Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources. ALSO NOTE: this would be a great lesson to invite the missionaries over.

Children: Watch the videos on Noahand your choice of videos on Christ doing miracles. There are many to choose from.  Think about what faith is. Think about how plants grow from a little seed.

Lesson:

Introduction: Begin the lesson by asking the family the difference between belief, faith, and knowledge. Then have a strong family member (the father, if possible) lift each child. Ask them if they know that the family member is strong enough to lift the child? Ask them why (because they experienced it)? Ask the family if they believethe family member wouldn’t drop them? Belief and knowledge are part of testimonies. Now ask each child to get in front of the family member and close their eyes and fall backwards. Regardless of how they respond, teach them that this is faith: willingly accepting the promise to catch him or her made by the family member and doing what they were asked to do.

Discussion: Ask the family, “What else do we know about faith?” Answers may include “it is the first principle of the gospel,” “A spiritual gift,” “a hope for things which are not seen which are true,” “a principle of action,” “a strong belief of truth that makes us want to be good,” and “faith causes miracles.” Discuss how faith really drives us through our day, even if we do not recognize it. We eat breakfast because we have faith that our bodies will work enough to need the nourishment. We learn new things because we have faith we will benefit from the knowledge in the future. We work because we have faith we’ll receive a paycheck. We plant seeds because we have faith that the plants will grow. Next ask who our faith should be in (Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father), what that means (that we trust him so much we’ll do whatever he asks), and what can happen when we have faith in Him (the Atonement becomes applicable, we can be forgiven and gain eternal life).

From the Old Testament: Noah showed immense faith even in the face of mocking because he listened to the Lord and built a boat on dry ground and gathered animals when the Lord commanded him. Read Hebrews 7 and Genesis 6:12-8:19.

From Jesus’ Teachings: Read Mathew 17:20. Show the family how big a mustard seed is. Then show them the picture of the tree. Discuss how something so little grows into something so big. Faith usually begins as a small thing, sometimes only the desire to believe. Also how if we had faith as big as that tiny seed, we would be able to move mountains. Discuss as a family ways to grow our faith. Just as we develop talents by studying, practicing, and working at something until we get it, we can build our faith.

From Jesus’ Ministry: Jesus Christ often interacted with people who had faith. These people had the faith to be healed, to ask healing for others, and many other miraculous events. As a family, study Matthew 8:5-33and Mark 5:25-34. Discuss how miracles come after we ask in faith, and sometimes after we have been tested a while to make sure we believe. It’s called “trial of our faith.”

From the Book of Mormon: Alma taught a lesson on faith. He said Faith is like planting a seed. Read Alma 32:21, 26-43 as well as Alma 34:17. Discuss the different types of growing conditions. Also discuss that we can best cultivate our faith with desire and with prayer. It also takes searching and studying (See Doctrine and Covenants 88:118) and living his teachings that we have already received; that is the cultivating of the soil.

            Activity: create illustrations for the different soil types and plant “flowers” in the “soil” and see how they grow.

From the Book of Mormon: Read 1 Nephi 2:16. This is how Nephi gained his testimony. Ask the family what steps Nephi followed (first he desired. Then he asked Heavenly Father. But is that all? Lastly, he acted upon it. He didn’t rebel like his brothers did. He applied faith to his testimony).

From Modern Prophets: How do we know that Christ even existed? This is a fundamental and important realization. Very few people have ever seen Him or His miracles. Yet the power of their words touches our hearts (through the Holy Ghost we learned about last week), and their testimony can become our testimony. Discuss as a family how the testimony of others is enough to give us the desire to plant the seed of faith. {I’m a Forgotten Carols groupie, and the song that comes to mind is “The Shepherd,” a song sung by a shepherd that missed the whole visitation because he was asleep.} Discuss how many testimonies we have of the Savior. Read Doctrine and Covenants 76:19-24, and discuss The Living Christ; also share the story of Lorenzo Snow in the Salt Lake Temple found in chapter 20 of Teachings of Presidents of The Church: Lorenzo Snow, first section.

Further discussion: Discuss the difference between faith and testimony (Faith is doing, testimony is knowing). Go back to the introduction at the beginning of the lesson. Our testimonies only come by revelation through the Holy Ghost. We have to work and live for them through faith. Everyone must gain a testimony for themselves; others cannot give you their testimony. Also discuss how testimonies are usually not gained overnight, but continually. We are often just given a piece at a time. For older audiences, you may also wish to discuss the difference between a testimony and conversion.


Challenge: Challenge each family member to be prepared to bear their testimony at the beginning of next Family Home Evening. Help them to be comfortable with the idea, and tell them it is a safe environment to practice where they know that everyone loves them and will benefit from their testimony. If anyone does not feel comfortable doing so next Family Home Evening, do not make them. Offer to help younger children.


Resources:   Primary 3 lesson 7; Come, Follow Me lessons on building spiritual self-reliance; Gospel Principles Chapter 18; Family Home Evening Resource Booklessons 11 and 16; Bible Dictionary: Faith;

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).