Category Archives: April

FHE – Day 3: Cleansing the Temple

Today is Day 3 on Valerie’s Christ Centered Easter.  As I read through the devotional, I thought it would make a great Family Home Evening.   I chose to focus on the temple.  (I usually use the Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday because the Easter Bunny visits our house on Saturday.  I LOVE the Easter story in eggs – it is one of our favorite traditions!)  Here is an idea for an outline:

Opening Song:  I Love to See the Temple

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Matthew 21:12-18, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-48

Read the scriptures and talk about the story.  You can use the Gospel Art Book to find a great picture (p. 51 in the Gospel Art Book).  Discuss why Jesus would be so angry and why it was important for the temple to be cleansed.

Discussion:  Relate cleansing the temple to your own family’s home.  If Jesus came to your home what would he see?  Would you want to change anything?  Would you change how you talk, how you keep your house, or what you are reading or watching on television?  What are some things you would change?

In the Bible dictionary it says that “Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”  What does that mean?  How can we make our homes more like the temple?  What is the temple like?  How do people act in the temple?   Our homes should be somewhere that we feel safe.  How can we make them a safe place?  How should we treat each other?

Activity:  Once you have discussed some of these questions, as well as some of your own, talk about some goals you can set to purify your home so it can feel more like a temple.  Choose 2 or 3 that everyone feels like they can work on and write them on your goal sheet.  Let them know that you will be talking about how you are doing throughout the week.  Post the goal sheet somewhere that everyone can see it during the week and continue to mention it before family prayer or at the dinner table.  You may also choose to use gentle reminders throughout the week.

Cleansing the Temple FHE

Once you have set your goals, bring the focus back to the Savior.  Let your family know how happy it would make Jesus if you made your home more like a temple.  The spirit will dwell where there is less chaos, more cleanliness and organization; less contention and more love and kindness;  less influence from the media and more influence from the scriptures, prayer, and service.  You may want to have “secret pals” or do secret service, write them down and place them in a jar to share at the end of the week.  If you are working on a Love One Another table or wall this is a great time to reinforce it. 🙂  There is nothing like service to change the attitude at home!

Closing Prayer

Treat:  Embrace spring and make some homemade vanilla ice cream – talk about how white represents purity and that’s why we wear it in the temple!

A Christ Centered Easter – Celebrating Easter Week

I am so excited for everyone to see this post.  I have to give a HUGE thanks to the following resources which I used to bring everything together into one place and one item: A Christ Centered Easter by Janet and Joe Hales, and the following Conference talks; Believing Christ, Reflections on the Savior, The Greatest Week in History, The Victory over Death.  This was truly a labor of love and I am completely excited for each and everyone of you to use this with your family.

The standard Easter week long celebration usually starts with Palm Sunday Triumphal Entry by Christ.  However, after much research I felt it important to include the previous weeks journeys into the celebration.  So I have added a day to the celebration.  Our family will begin this on the Saturday that is 2 Saturday’s before Easter.  Which is April 16th this year.  You may choose to include this in yours or not, but it IS an important part of Christ’s life leading up to His Resurrection.  The way this works is you take each day and follow the instructions on the card.  Each day has a prophecy scripture, suggested reading scriptures to use, discussion topics, and activities to do.  I have also included a description of the day that you can use for your family in order to explain what was happening that particular day.  Everything you need is either in the PDF or a link has been provided on this blog.  Please pray carefully about how this would best work in your family and follow the guidance of the spirit in your life.

I have a STRONG testimony of including Christ in our lives each and every day, not just during the holidays.  I KNOW, through a sacred experience, that he KNOWS my name.  Undeniably, I know He knows it.  He knows who I am and wants nothing more for me than to have me come back to Him one day.  I know He lives and I pray that what you find here will inspire you to draw closer to Christ.  This work that I did was inspired by Him for you to use to help those around you.  Use it, love the teachings by our prophets, and make it a part of your daily life.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

The PDF for this is a LARGE file.  It is 63 MB, so be patient when downloading.

A Christ Centered Easter

Just a quick picture of what you are downloading….ignore all the other download buttons.  This will be true of any file you download from our blog.

What Mediafire download looks like

If you want to share this with others, please link us.  It shows your gratitude in all the work we do to share with you and your family.  Thanks!

HAPPY EASTER WEEK CELEBRATION!!!!!

Mormon Messages Videos:

His Sacred Name: An Easter Declaration

An Apostle’s Easter Thoughts on Christ

Sunday Will Come

He Lives

Link to other places that can help you in your celebration:

How to make your own oil lamp.

Triumphal entry play

General Conference – Questions & Answers

I love listening to General Conference, it’s 2 of my favorite times of the year.  I know that Heavenly Father has special messages for me if I can only focus and listen.  So, how can I do that with teenagers and young children?  Well, I feel lucky when I can remember what was said 2 hours after it was said. Last year, I started using my scripture study journal to write down my thoughts and impressions of Conference.  I can say for sure that every FHE Lesson, or idea that I have created something for, then shared with you, came from inspiration during our last General Conference.  I felt the Lord touch my heart through different speakers and was able to write down those promptings where I could reference them later and remember those inspirations I felt and heard.  So here is my challenge to you for Sunday’s Conference:  Find a notebook, big or small, or even use your journal if you would like and take notes during one of the sessions.  Note any difference, even how you felt as you were trying to not just listen but study the words of the Prophet and Apostles.  I promise that even with all the distractions that come from family time, you will get something, even if it’s a small glimmer of inspiration.

The other challenge I give to you is to write down your questions that you have.  It can be related to ANYTHING that you feel you are in need of answers or help for.  Then, keeping these in your journal, (I like to print them on crack and peel and place them in my journal) write down the impressions or answers you get.  I promise you, that if you go prayerfully with a question or questions, Heavenly Father will give you help in someway at some point during Conference.  I would love to hear back from anyone who would like to share their story, after Conference.  In turn, I will share mine, by creating and creating just for all of you.

Meanwhile, our family will be building their tents tonight in preparation for the first session of Conference, where we will listen, be inspired, use our Conference packets, and play a little Conference Bingo too!

Questions & Answers Card 8.5×11

Questions & Answers Card 3×5

General Conference – “Going on a Search”

A Message for Me?

As we participate in general conference, President Eyring says we “might pray and ponder, asking the question: Did God send a message that was just for me?”

We also need to exercise faith in God in order for us to learn from the messages and receive inspiration, President Eyring teaches. “You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks. If you trust God enough to listen for His message in every sermon, song, and prayer in this conference, you will find it.”

We can continue to find those messages even after conference ends, says President Monson. “I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life. . . . They are deserving of our careful study.”

I loved that message from President Monson and President Eyring.  I found it on http://www.lds.org.  I think in every conference there is a message for each one of us.  This is an important teaching tool for your children.  My children think it can be rather boring and the messages don’t really apply to them anyway. However, this message from President Eyring lets us know that conference applies to everyone.  We just need to have the faith to search for our very own message.   Let’s all go on a search for what God is trying to tell each one of us individually through his servants.  After all doesn’t he say that “whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38)?

Here are some suggestions to make your “search” more fun!  You can do this activity on Friday or Saturday night.   Tell your family that you are taking a trip and there is something you will all be searching for.  Begin by reading Mosiah 2:5-6.  In the time of King Benjamin families came from all over to hear him speak.  They pitched their tents and put their doors toward the temple so that they could hear the words of King Benjamin.  This was general conference for them at that time.  They went to hear the prophet of the Lord.  You may want to discuss how hard it may have been for families to travel or tell of an experience when you were young that you may remember about watching conference.  Bear testimony of how important conference is and how lucky we are to have modern day revelation – prophets that speak with our Heavenly Father and teach us what His will is.

Tell your family that you are going on a journey to hear the words of the prophets.  Have them get in their pj’s, brush their teeth and gather blankets and pillows.  Tell them you will get the rest of what they need.  Then have everyone meet back in the room with the TV.  You gather a tent and meet back with them as well.  Once the family is back together, explain that you have now arrived at your destination and you will need them to help you set up your tent.  Make sure your door faces your TV so you will be prepared to watch conference in the morning.  You can either let your kids have a “sleepover” in the family room or you can tell them to meet back at the tent at 10:00 a.m. to begin their search.    My kids are not allowed to have sleepovers with friends so it makes this activity extra exciting! 🙂

On Saturday (or Sunday) morning prepare a simple breakfast and then prepare your kids for watching conference.  Have them bring a notebook (or prepare the handouts that are attached below) – that way they can take notes in when they find something relevant to their search.  Explain to them that when we hear the words of our apostles it is just like reading the scriptures.  When we read the scriptures we are taught to study them.  One way to study them is to take notes when we read.  We are going to take notes as we listen today to help us find what we are looking for.  Tell them that they are searching for a couple of things 1.  things that pertain to them individually – have them listen for things that they can work on, that they think are important, or that they just really like and 2.  things that pertain to the family – explain that after conference is over you will talk about things that they can work on as a family.  If you don’t have a family motto or family flag this is a great way to get ideas.  Have them list their ideas and then create a flag that will mean something to the family.  If you decide to do this option, have all the materials ready so they are motivated to come up with some ideas that you can use to make the flag after the last session is over.  Your little ones may not be able to write but they can still participate.  Have them use the Bingo cards and as they play tell them to let you know what they think is important and you can write them in your notes (that’s right lead by example – make sure you are paying attention too!).  The kids can either take notes or they can use the magnifying glasses to keep track of what is important to them.  You can create a conference wall (see a previous post from last year) with topics that kids can put the apostles photos next to when they speak about a particular topic and your magnifying glasses could go on this wall as well.

Creating A Family Flag

Magnifying Glass

Conference Notes – A Message Just for Me

These are just a couple of additional ideas to make conference more fun and engaging for your kids.  Make sure you talk about the notes they take.  They may be something you want to discuss in a personal interview or at a family home evening next week.  Follow up on what they got out of conference.   If they used the magnifying glasses and put them on the wall be sure to talk about each one to help them discover what goals they want to set.  This is a great way to teach responsibility and independence!  It is also a great way to pass off some items in your Faith in God book.  Enjoy your campout! 🙂

General Conference Activities and Packets

Now a days, with technology so prevalent, there are oodles of places you can go to get General Conference ideas.  Today, we thought we would make a list for you of different websites you can visit.  There are tons of great ideas out there that you can use for your family this weekend.  Be sure to say thanks if you use someone’s idea.  Gratitude is always appreciated. 🙂

Our blog, our course, is a great place for FHE ideas, activities, and our famous Conference Bingo.  Just click on the link under the categories menu, to your left, that says General Conference Games & Ideas.

Then there is Tricia’s preparedness blog that has oodles and oodles of different ideas. She even has one on today.  Preparednotscared

SugarDoodle is always a great resource! They have Conference Packets and many more items for your family.

I found this YWBelive blog by accident, but it has a great idea for YW and General Conference.

VisitingTeaching.net is another great resource.  I have used it for V.T. as well,lots of times.

The Red Headed Hostess is another blog I found stumbling through the internet.  Way cute ideas for General Conference.

A fun filled blog that has some really cute ideas to read and to link to. A Mama B’s

If any of you have other blogs or websites you have found that people would be interested in, just leave a comment with the address and I will add it to our post.

Tomorrow, watch for some fun ideas you can do for the Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon session.  We will also have a freebie that you can  use for your family throughout the whole conference.

The First Presidency and The 12 Apostles

I looked all over the internet at the different Apostle fact cards and they all looked pretty good, and yet it wasn’t quite what I was looking for either.  Nothing I wanted to use my ink on, so what did I do?  I made my own, of  course.  One of my many talents or flaws depending on the circumstances. 🙂

Opening Song: “We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet” Hymn 19

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Luke 6:12-13, Luke 9:1–2, 6, and/or D&C 124:128

Lesson:

It’s surprising how few of our children know the First Presidency by picture and name as well as the 12 Apostles.  It’s true, next time you are in a group of children ask them and see how many get them right.  How about you?  Do you know our Apostles by name and face?  This would be a great time to hold a Family Home Evening bout these wonderful men.  Use this lesson as a basis for all your other activities for the week leading up to General Conference weekend.

Start off your Family Home Evening with the video from LDS.org on “Why Conference Matters

(Go over President Boyd K. Packer’s talk from April 2008 General Conference included in this packet.  Prayerfully decide how to present his talk to your family and how it can apply to each person’s individual life.)

For a more visual experience, I have put together a video with pictures that tells the story of President Kimball and the Christus statue that is mentioned in President Packer’s talk. (You can also just scroll down, and the video is below the post.)

President Boyd K Packer April 2008 General Conference Video

End with your testimony of Prophets, Apostles and General Conference in your life today.  Give everyone in the family a chance to bear their testimony if they would like it.  This is a great way to bond siblings to each other and parents to children as you listen and share testimonies with each other.

Activity:

I have included First Presidency and Apostle cards that you can use for your activity.  There are a number of ways to use these for your family.  If you have younger children then use the picture only matching game.  Have them try to find matches of each of the members of the First Presidency and 12 Apostles.  Be sure to print off two sets of this file so you can two of each person.

If you have a family that is older and can read words then use the other game that has the fact cards in it.  This will challenge your children and your family to see if you know who is who.

For an even greater challenge use the third game where there are no pictures and only names and fact cards.  This is a great way to test your knowledge and is perfect for adults and teenagers who might be a bit more familiar with the leaders of our church.

All these can be found below this post.

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:

Treat:

The First Presidency and The 12 Apostles FHE Lesson

The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles Matching Game.pdf

The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles Name Only Matching Game.pdf

The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles Pictures Only Matching Game.pdf

Seeking Christ in our Lives

With Easter coming up on us next month, Tracey and I wanted to focus on starting Family Home Evenings with the theme of Christ in them.  I hope you enjoy this little creation!

Seeking Christ

“ . . . those that seek me early shall find me.”

Proverbs 8:17

Object:
The family will learn what they must do to find Christ in their lives.

Preparation:
l. Prepare the clue cards by following the directions given below.
2. Place a picture of Christ where the final clue reads.
Suggested Song:
“Seek the Lord Early” Children’s Songbook, page 108.

Lesson:
This is a fun activity of reading scriptures to help us learn what we must do to find Christ in our lives. It also allows us to look up other scriptures as clues that will help lead us in our search for Christ. At each stop, spend time discussing the topic and scripture mentioned on the clue card. Continue the search by reading the scripture listed on the card that contains the next clue. After all the clues have been read and the picture of Christ has been found, close by sharing your testirnony of Christ.

Set card 1 aside for your family to use in beginning their search for Christ.
Place card #2 in a cup.
Place card #3 on a pillow.
Place card #4 by a salt shaker.
Place card #5 in the oven.
Place card #6 by something musical (piano, stereo, instrument, etc.).
Place card #7 by a furnace or heater.
Place card #8 by an iron.
Place card #9 by a sewing machine or needlework.
Place card #10 in a closet.
Place card #11 by a water faucet.
Place card #12 by a window.
Place card #13 by soap or detergent.
Place card #14 with a picture of Christ by a bright lamp.

Seeking Christ in Our Lives

Family Time – Earth Day

First I need to apologize for not posting a Family Home Evening idea yesterday.  I have to confess that I have been reading “The Hunger Games” and I had a hard time tearing myself away in my free time (really – free time? – okay so not free time, but down time like waiting in carpool line and at night before I go to bed).  I should warn you that it is a bit violent but I was glued to it nonetheless!  It was a little like my Twilight experience. 🙂   My husband also works at home on Mondays so getting computer time is quite a feat!  Anyway, I hope you will all forgive me.  I also hope that you planted a tree last night as a family.  If that is the case, I have just the thing for you.  I finished the scrapbook pages for Earth Day and they are attached below.  I  want to give credit to http://polkadotscraps.blogspot.com for the cute components of my scrapbook page.  They are fabulous! 🙂

Earth Day 2010 Scrapbook page

Earth Day 2010 Scrapbook page 2

The first page is for your first year and the second can be used in later years to keep the tradition going.  Plant a tree, and plant some hope!  Have a great week!

Family Fun – Earth Day tradition

Happy Earth Day!  I thought I should post today instead of tomorrow since it relates to Earth Day.  I hope you are enjoying this crazy weather we are having today if you live here in Utah.  It almost feels like the earth is making itself known on its special day!  🙂  I was out with my children this morning on Fieldwork for school planting trees, pulling weeds, and beautifying a local trail here in Ogden and we were doing it in the snow!  Now (of coarse after we are finished!) it is actually sunny and beautiful outside.  What a crazy day!

I was recently talking with my friend and she was on her way to purchase a tree for her new baby boy.  She said that they plant a tree for each child the year they are born so they can watch the tree grow as they grow.  What a great idea!  I love it!  Unfortunately I have had my 5 children and have yet to plant a tree.  However, I think this is something my children would really enjoy.  I think if you are just starting your family, this is an awesome tradition.  If not, it can be started with older children or even grandchildren.  Take advantage of Earth Day and plant a tree that they can take care of and nurture.  As the tree grows they will be reminded that trees are important and they will take pride in the fact that they planted it and took care of it.  There are so many things we can teach our children about taking care of our world.  Teaching them about the importance of trees and nature seems like a great place to start!

I am working on a scrapbook page for you so make sure that you take pictures of your beautiful kids and/or husbands while you are planting your trees!  I’ll let you know when we have it ready.  Making memories is so much fun and looking back brings so much joy!  You can choose to plant a tree every year (there are a lot of parks and places in your area that could use some trees or plants of some kind) or you can pick something new to do each year (i.e., pick up trash along the road or at the park, learn about recycling, pass off something in scouts that has to do with taking care of the earth, start your garden if you haven’t already or plant something special in honor of Earth Day, etc.).  The possibilities are endless and your children will appreciate learning how to be responsible for the world around them.  Have a happy Earth Day!

Family Fun – General Conference BINGO

O.k. I have been wanting to create these for years and I finally got around to creating 5.  I am working on the rest of the 19 right now, so that you can have a total of 24 individual BINGO cards for Conference.  I love these because they are FULL COLOR and they are me!  Enjoy everyone!!  Leave some comments if you enjoy these, or as other people say on their blogs, leave some LOVE!!!!

General Conference Bingo Cards 1-5

General Conference Bingo Cards 6-10

Conference Card 1 640x800

Here’s a sample of one of the cards!  Isn’t it beautiful?!?!?!