Blog Archives

Pin the Kiss on Cupid

I was sooooo excited to create this little game from Tricia’s way cute Cupid.  I think your children will love being able to put the Kiss on Cupid.  Play it the same way you would any game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  Have fun this week and enjoy your children. Extra Hugs and Kisses makes a world of difference, even if they act like they don’t want them. 😉

Pin the Kiss on Cupid Large e-mail view

Pin the Kiss on Cupid PDF file (12×18) size

Christmas Jars!!!!

After reading the book,
“Christmas Jars”
I decided
that I wanted to take the opportunity with
my family to give as the Savior did.
I wanted my boys to have a selfless Christmas.
What an amazing year it turned out to be!
We read the book as a family
and then started filling jars for our neighbors.
Each jar contained 1 roll of pennies….
that was it!
We added a poem to the jar so that
the neighbor’s wouldn’t be left to wonder
what the purpose of a gift of 100 pennies meant.
Here’s the Poem:
A jar of pennies JUST FOR YOU . . .
we really went all out!
But the real meaning of this gift I
S WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT!
A pocket full of change, can be
a heavy thing to pack . . .
So just place it in this little jar,
and remember – NOT TO TAKE IT BACK!
When filled, this jar can CHANGE THE HEART of
someone who is in need.
The story is told in “Christmas Jars”
a book you’ll definitely want to read.
Jars are given in SECRET . . .
NO ONE MUST EVER KNOW,
just where their CHRISTMAS JAR came from,
or the next place it may go.
So we hope this year you’ll FILL YOUR JAR,
AND SEND IT ON IT’S WAY . . .
To follow the Savior’s example,
and make Christmas HIS HOLIDAY!
May the TRUE meaning of Christmas be with
you throughout the year!
Tricia O. Smith
Here’s the PDF:
Green Gift Tag:
Here’s the PDF:
Gift Tag:
Here’s the PDF:
Gift Tag
Here’s the PDF for the Gift Tags:
I tied a ribbon to the neck of the jar
and added the gift tag.
…..
This was one of my
favorite neighborhood gifts to give
because I knew it had the potential to
BLESS
the lives of others in need.
It was truly a blessing for my family! …..

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!

FHE – The First Vision

The church was officially organized on April 6, 1830.  To commemorate that date, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the First Vision.  We have all heard this story several times but each time I hear it my testimony grows.  In the Faith in God book, one of the goals is to give a lesson on Joseph Smith.  I plan on having my 8 year old help me prepare and give this lesson so he can pass that off.

I found this link on lds.org http://lds.org/friend/2001/07/sharing-time-joseph-smith-prophet-of-the-restoration?lang=eng&query=first+vision.  It is a great resource.  I am going to have my child read the article and create the box with the figures to show what happened.  When I printed the graphics on the page, I changed it to landscape and printed them on a scale of 180%.  It made it bigger so that we can all see them when he gets it put together.  I hope that makes sense.  Let me know if you have questions.  Here is the outline for the lesson:

Opening Song:  The Ninth Article of Faith, CS 128a  or  Joseph Smith’s First Prayer, Hymns 26

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Joseph Smith History 1:14-17

Lesson:  Read the first two paragraphs from the lesson.  Then present the puppet show that you created from the figures provided.  You can either do this yourself with the help of your children or have your child do it to pass off the goal in Faith in God.  I have found that having my children give the lesson is a pretty powerful tool.   Not only does my child grow and learn that is giving the lesson, but my other children learn to respect each other.

Activity:  Puzzle Pieces – Use the following puzzle for a fun family activity.  Have each child pick a puzzle piece and answer the question.  Then as you get more puzzle pieces, try to put them together to see what the picture is.  Once the picture is complete, bear your testimony of the restoration of the gospel.  Tell your children that the church was organized on April 6, 1830.  Encourage them to think about that this week.  Explain that there were about 30 people present but only six members that first day.  We now have over 14.1 million members!  The Lord is spreading his gospel and we can be a part of it!  We are so lucky to have the true gospel in our lives.  Joseph Smith sacrificed everything including his life for the gospel.  We need to share that will others.  Encourage them to pray for a missionary experience.

The First Vision

Closing Prayer:

Treat

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

Nephi’s Broken Bow FHE Lesson

Opening Song: Nephi’s Courage p. 120 CS

Opening Prayer:

Lesson:

Tell the account of Nephi’s broken bow (see 1 Nephi 16:18–32). Review the account by using the arrows provided below.  On each arrow attach the corresponding question.  After all of the questions are answered, explain that Nephi served his family by working hard, being cheerful, and being forgiving. Point to each arrow and ask the children to liken (see “Likening,” TNGC, 170–71) the quality written on the arrow to their own families. Ask for specific examples such as “I could share a treat I received with my little brother.”

1.  Why were Nephi’s brothers angry with him?  (1 Nephi 16:18)

COMPASSION

(We can show compassion instead of anger.  Nephi did not break his bow on purpose.  Is it better to get angry or work together to solve the problem?)

2.  Why were they so hungry?  (1 Nephi 16:19)

BLESSINGS

(Do we ever go hungry?  Do we hunt for our food?  We are very blessed.)

3.  How did Laman and Lemuel react when they returned to camp with no food? (1 Nephi 16:20)

SPEAK KINDLY

(It is important to support one another.  We should not murmur against our parents or our siblings.

4.  Why couldn’t the others obtain food?  (1 Nephi 16:21)

TOOLS

(We need tools to accomplish what we have been given to do.  We can work together to make the tools we need to be successful – it could be as easy as helping a younger brother or sister with their homework.)

5.  Who did Nephi ask for direction in where to hunt?  (1 Nephi 16:23)

PARENTAL GUIDANCE

(We have been given parents that can help us.  We can answer questions and help you when you are making a choice.)

6.  How did Lehi know where to get food?  (1 Nephi 16:24-26)

PRAYER

(We should always pray for direction morning and night.)

7.  Where did Nephi go to obtain food?  (1 Nephi 16:30)

HOLY GHOST

(The Holy Ghost is our Liahona.  If we listen to the still small voice it will guide us to do what is right, protect us and comfort us when we need it.)

8.  What did they do when they got the food?  (1 Nephi 16:32)

GRATITUDE

(Make sure you take time to say thank you both to our Heavenly Father for all of our blessings and to those that serve you – your parents, your teachers, your brothers and sisters, etc.)

Activity:

Since we are a hunting family, my boys went out to shoot their bows for our activity.  We did this ahead of the lesson so we could refer back to it.  You can also find bows at the dollar store that the kids love to shoot at targets.  You can talk about how hard it would have been to hunt for every meal.

Another idea is to have each member of your family pick one of the things that this lesson talks about that they can work on this week.  Have them write it down on one of the blank arrows so that they can post it somewhere to remind them.  Then check back next week to see how they did.

Closing Prayer:

Treat:

Nephi’s Broken Bow


Family Home Evening – Teaching your Sons and Daughters to Honor the Priesthood

I was so impressed with the General Conference Talk given by the Apostle L. Tom Perry on The Priesthood of Aaron.  As he spoke with his grandson many years ago, 1985, about the priesthood these are some of his words.

“We have brought into our homes radios, record players, and television sets. While each has the potential of providing wholesome entertainment, so much of what has been produced for our listening and watching pleasure is not of the caliber to inspire and encourage young men. In fact, most of what is produced is degrading. The flip of a switch right in your own home has the potential of destroying within you a sense of what is right and what is wrong.”

What a prophetic thing to say and how even more true it is in today’s world.  I humbly believe that if we do not teach our boys and our girls the importance of the priesthood and what it signifies it, we are not arming them with the knowledge they will need to combat Satan in today’s world.

Preparation:  Copy, & print out the Honoring the Priesthood goal dates for boys and Honoring the Priesthood goal dates for girls from our blog.  Be sure there is one for every male in your family and also every female.

Opening Song:  “Praise to the Man” Hymn 27 or “Love Is Spoken Here” CS 190

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Doctrine & Covenants 112:30. Read this and discuss with your family what it means to them.  Remember to point out that Heavenly Father blessed us on either to have the Priesthood keys restored in their fullness.

Lesson:

In today’s world there are so many blessings Heavenly Father has given us to use for the good of sharing and spreading the gospel throughout the world.  Satan, as he will always do, has taken these blessings and turned them into temptations that lead us away from Heavenly Father.  What are some of the blessings we have been given today that Satan has twisted and made ugly to use against us? (T.V., internet, movies, music, books, Ipods, cell phones, etc.)

The Apostle L. Tom Perry gave a wonderful talk in this last General Conference, October 2010.  Who can remember his talk? (Hint: The Aaron Priesthood) (Read the highlighted part of the talk included in the lesson packet.  Be sure to included any other parts that you are impressed to share with your family.  Talk about the message he shared and get your families feelings on what the Holy Ghost is testifying to them as they here and listen to an Apostle of the Lord.)

Young Women can also honor the Priesthood throughout their life as they are blessed with opportunities to influence Young Men around them.  (Read the talk by President Ezra Taft Benson touching on the highlighted parts but also include any other parts you are impressed to share with your family.  Talk about the message he shared and get your families feelings on what the Holy Ghost is testifying to them as they here and listen to a Prophet of the Lord.)

Activity:

Give each of your family members a “My Goals to Receive the Offices of the Priesthood” or “My Goals to Honor the Offices of the Priesthood” depending on their gender.  Let them know that they are to keep this in their wallet or purse, or somewhere they can always see it.  Maybe up on their mirror for now until they are old enough to put it in their purse or wallet.  (You may want to laminate it for them after they have filled it out. I have included different sizes if you would prefer a slightly larger one for their mirror and a wallet size one so they can have it in two places.)

Challenge your family to set dates as to when they will obtain these goals.  Have a future calendar out to make the process a lot easier for them.  Bear your testimony of the power of the priesthood in your own life and how it has changed you and made you a better person.

Closing Prayer:

Treat:

Teaching your Sons and Daughters to Honor the Priesthood FHE Lesson

Each of these PDF files can be typed into and then printed if you would prefer to do it that way.

FHE – Where is it in the Scriptures?

The children are studying the scriptures this year in primary.  They have been learning about the standard works.  What are the standard works?  What books are included in the standard works?  Where are certain scripture stories found?  All of these questions will be answered in their studies in primary this year.  The very first lesson in the manual for the senior primary discussed what each book in the standard works is and what they contain.  Here is an outline:

Opening Song:  Scripture Power  ( You can find it here – http://lds.org/cm/display/0,17631,6506-1,00.html)

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Mark 12:24  Why would it be an error to not know the scriptures?  Why are they important?

Lesson:

Start by asking what the scriptures are.  Discuss what the word Standard Works means.

In The Guide to the Scriptures found on LDS.org the following definitions are found:

Standard Works is defined as:  A recognized, authoritative collection of sacred books. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called the standard works and include the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Scriptures are defined as:  Words, both written and spoken, by holy men of God when moved upon by the Holy Ghost. The official canonized scriptures of the Church today consist of the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament regarded the books of the Old Testament as scripture (Matt. 22:29John 5:392 Tim. 3:152 Pet. 1:20–21).

Why is it important that we teach from the scriptures?  The scriptures were written by prophets.  They are the word of God.  He wants us to return to live with Him.  In order to do that we must make the right choices.  To know which choices are right we must study His words and follow His example.

Which books are in the Standard Works?

The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  What is the purpose of each book?  Who wrote them and who are the stories about?

The Old Testament was written before the birth of Jesus Christ.  It testifies that he would be born and tells the stories of those that lived before His time.

The New Testament tells of His life here on earth and what happened following His death.  By reading the New Testament we can become better acquainted with our Savior.  We can learn from His example and gain a testimony that He lived and that He lives today.

The Book of Mormon was written about those on the American Continent both before the birth of the Savior, during His life and following His resurrection.

The Pearl of Great Price tells us of our premortal existence, of the purpose of our life here on earth as well as our potential in the life to come.  You can also find Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price.

* It is important that children learn where these books are in the standard works and why they are so important.

Activity:

Start by looking up the beginning of each book.  Show them where they are and talk about the books that are in them.   Then use the article I listed above.  Print out the very last page.  You will need a copy for each child.  Do the coloring activity.  Even older children would benefit from the discussion that will come as you do this activity.  They can either color their own or help their younger siblings.  See if they know all the answers! 🙂  As you go through each story and decide which book it is in, discuss again what that books teaches us.  For example, Nephi and the broken bow is found in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon took place before, during and after the Savior’s life.  It teaches of the people on the American Continent.  This story happened before the birth of the Savior.

Go through each story and where it written.  Discuss how important it is to be familiar with the scriptures.  You may want to have your older children look up the story so they can show the family where it is located.

Bear testimony of the scriptures and the importance of studying them each day.  Tell your children you will be studying each one of the stories in detail in future Family Home Evenings so they can be more familiar with the teachings of the scriptures.

Closing Prayer

Treat

For the next few weeks study each one of the stories listed on the activity.  It is so important to teach our children from the scriptures even if they are very young.  Kids of all ages love stories!

FHE – The Living Christ Week 8

My family just returned from a trip to Disneyland.  I LOVE Disneyland!  It’s such a magical place.  In fact, I think I love it more than my kids! 🙂  Anyway, sorry about last week.  I meant to have it all prepared but I think I am way overbooked this December!

However, this is it!!  The final week.  This lesson is a little longer than the others (just a few lines!) so that we can finish up this week.  Hopefully you will have it all memorized for Christmas Eve.  I have really enjoyed putting these lessons together.  We have really been able to focus on the Savior during these weeks leading up to Christmas.  We have shared stories, thoughts, and testimonies.  I hope you have done the same.

Here is your outline this week: The Living Christ Week 8

Opening Song:  “He Sent His Son” CS p. 34

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Luke 2:4-7  Talk about what these verses mean.  Discuss the meaning of Christmas.  You may even want to share the complete Christmas story here of the Savior’s birth.  Explain that while memorizing The Living Christ we have been talking about the life the Savior.  It began in a stable in Bethlehem.  We have talked about His life, His miracles and His example as we have studied The Living Christ.  Our testimonies have been strengthened and we have been able to learn more about our Savior.

Lesson:

Go over the first part of the Living Christ and begin memorizing the last lines.

1.  We testify that He will someday return to earth.  “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isa. 40:5).   (GAK 238)  –  Jesus was born, he lived and he died for us.  He will come back someday and everyone will know that He is our Savior.  Not everyone is lucky enough to know about Jesus Christ or to accept Him in their lives.  When He returns to the earth we will all know who He is and He will know each one of us individually.

2.  He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him.  (GAK 120) –  Everyone will worship Him when He returns.  The picture is of Enoch and his people being taken up to Heaven.  It shows how they may have worshipped Him when they saw Him coming.  This gives us an idea of what it will be like when He comes again.

3.  Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts. (GAK 615) – This life is a time for us to try to follow His example.  By serving others and thinking of others first we show that we are trying to be like Him.

4.  We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. (GAK 608) – Our apostles today bear witness that He is the Living Christ.  During the time of our Savior’s life they did the same.  They were witnesses during His life and after His death.  We have been given prophets and apostles in our day that are special witnesses of our Savior.  This is why “The Living Christ” is so important and the reason we are working to memorize it.

5.  He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. (GAK 403) – Jesus Christ will rule as King when he returns.  He stands on the right hand of His Father which is our Heavenly Father.  This means that He does what His Father asks of Him.  If we follow His example we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do.

6.  He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. (GAK 315) – Jesus Christ brings hope to the world.  He died for all so that we can all be resurrected again and live with our Heavenly Father.

7.  His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. (GAK 502) – If we follow Him by being baptized and confirmed, then receive our endowment in the temple and then the sealing ordinance when we are married in the temple, we can become like Him.  We can find true happiness by keeping the commandments and following His path by preparing to go the temple.

8.  God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son. (GAK 240) – Christmas is a time to be thankful for our Savior.  We should be thinking of Him and His gift to us.  His life was given for us.  He was born, lived and died for us.  His was a gift of sacrifice and love.  Let’s remember Him this Christmas season as we celebrate His birth.

Activity:

Make a birthday cake for the Savior and sing to Him.  Share with your children that the reason we give gifts is to remind us of the gift our Savior gave to us.  It is His birthday.  If you haven’t done the white stocking yet, you can do that now.  Get a stocking that is for the Savior.  Write down your gift to Him this year and put it into the stocking.  These could be things such as service you will complete this year, how you will help your testimony to grow, or kind things you can do for your family.

Closing Prayer:

Treat:

FHE – The Living Christ Week 7

We’re getting closer to being done!  Here is The Living Christ Week 7.  It seems like each week is packed with a possibility of 4 or 5 really good family night lessons.  There is so much to tell and to learn about our Savior.  I have been teaching the principles but not in depth.  It may be a wise idea to revisit the living Christ around Easter and go into more depth on some of these lessons.  Maybe by Easter I will have the flip chart done!  (I have to apologize but I don’t think it’s going to happen this month!  We are going on vacation next week and trying to accomplish all that needs to be done for Christmas.  I do want to finish them at some point.  I think my kids will love them.)

Opening Song:  Follow the Prophet CS p. 110

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Ephesians 2:20

Lesson:  Discuss the lines you will learn tonight.  This can be deep doctrine but just explain what your children are ready for.  You can talk about our potential to become like Heavenly Father and how he has created other worlds just like ours.  You can teach about the Godhead and talk about a modern day prophet and apostles just like the Savior had when he was alive on the earth.

1.  “For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— This is a doctrine that not all churches believe in.  Discuss how Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are 2 separate people.  The father always introduces the son who then speaks.  This line also tells us that Joseph Smith actually saw Jesus Christ sitting next to Heavenly Father in a vision.  He heard Heavenly Father tell him that Jesus Christ is his son.  What would that be like?

2.  “That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, – Jesus Christ created the world that we live in as well as other worlds.

3.  and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24). – We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father.  He loves and knows each one of us.  You can sing “I am a Child of God” here and talk about what the song is teaching.  We have earthly parents who love us and are here to care for us on earth.  Think about how much your parents love you and how sad they are when you do something wrong.  Heavenly Father loves you just as much and he is watching over you too.

4.  We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—  The priesthood was taken from the earth a little while after the Savior died because the apostles were killed and the people were not righteous.  It was restored through Joseph Smith.  The priesthood is what gives us the authority to act in his name.  For example, when we baptize or bless the sacrament.  Without the priesthood we can’t do any of those things.

5. “built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20). – Jesus Christ is the head of our church.  We have a prophet and apostles to testify of Him and to guide us in the way He wants us to go.  If we follow the prophet and apostles we are doing what Jesus wants us to do.

Activity:   Go over what you have learned and start to learn the new lines.  If you have not written your testimonies, you can do that tonight or you can also start the White Stocking tradition.  This is where you write down a gift that you can give the Savior this year.  For example, you will serve others by ____________, or you will be kind to your family by ________, etc.  Then you put these in a white stocking that hangs next to your other stockings.  The next year you get your stocking out and read what everyone wrote and discuss how they each did.

Closing Prayer:

Treat: