What is Family Home Evening

Leaders of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints have instructed members to set aside Monday night as "family home evening." This is a time for families to study the gospel together and to do other activities that strengthen the family spiritually, create family memories, and increase unity and love. To learn more visit this website.

Why Family Home Evening

"I wonder if having unplanned and infrequent family home evenings will be enough to fortify ourselves and our children with sufficient moral strength to meet the complexities of our day. Infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm ourselves and our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which we live. Where in the world will we learn chastity, integrity, honesty, and basic human decency if not at home? These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but teaching them in family home evening can be particularly consistent and effective. To combat the world's evil influences, we need the strength that comes from family home evening."

James E. Faust, “Enriching Our Lives through Family Home Evening,” Ensign, Jun 2003, 2–6

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Daughter of God

Next week is the first Sunday of the year and how appropriate to begin with the understanding of our divine heritage.... A Daughter of God, with YW Lesson 1 from Manual 1. Here are the handouts that I've created for this lesson.

Here are the PDF versions, too. Version One. Version Two.

Here are the JPG versions. Version One. Version Two.

Friday, December 26, 2008

January Desktop Background

I've had some fun and created this desktop background for January. Thought I'd share. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

D&C 121

This week for FHE we read as a family D&C 121, which was revealed during Joseph's imprisonment at Liberty Jail in 1839. This chapter has a few of my favorite scriptures....

Verse 7-8:...thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high....

This is a terrific promise that offers comfort during trying times. In the midts of difficulties the severity may seem to magnify itself and overshadow hope and reason. Keeping it in perspective that it is "but a small moment" and perserverance will be rewarded can be reasuring.

Verse 39: We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

I feel reminded of this so many times throughout life from the small to the largest of circumstances. From folsk in pominent positions abusing their power to power company taking advantage because they can.

Verse 43: Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy....

I find this a terrific piece of parenting advice.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sincere Prayer

I couldn't resist making something of this adorable picture. I wish I could give that dog a hug. It reminds me of my dog. He was a great dane and one time while my husband and I were going to break a fast, we went to the bedroom and kneeled at the side of the bed to have a prayer. The dog came in and wanted to visit with us, but it was prayer time. So, he took his head and laid his chin onto the bed. He stayed there until we were finished with prayer.

Lessons From Liberty Jail

Last weeks FHE was the CES Fireside talk by Jeffrey R. Holland that he gave in September 2008. We watched the actual video from this site. You can read the transcript from this PDF link. I would highly recommend watching the talk first, though. Nothing beats the feeling of compassion and the Spirit when he talks nor hearing from his lips the special blessing he gives "as if my hands were on your head." This is a talk that I will want to always keep on hand and read when I'm going through a difficult time, when I feel alone in my struggles, or when I'm tempted to be vengeful or angry because someone has done me wrong.

Three Lessons From Liberty Jail:
1. Everyone faces trying times.
2. Even the worthy will suffer
3. Remain calm, patient, charitable, and forgiving

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the talk:
[A] spiritual experience, revelatory experience, sacred experience can come to every one of us in all the many and varied stages and circumstances of our lives.

You can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experience with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced… Every one of us, in one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking.

These difficult lessons teach us that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples—or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace.

Jesus, in the course of the Atonement, experienced all of the heartache and sorrow, all of the disappointments and injustices that the entire family of man had experienced and would experience from Adam and Eve to the end of the world in order that we would not have to face them so severely or so deeply. However heavy our load might be, it would be a lot heavier if the Savior had not gone that way before us and carried that burden with us and for us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Gift Tags

Last year I found a terrific way to go green for Christmas. Rachael Ray showed us how to use fabric, scarves, handkerchiefs to wrap gifts (see here for instructions). I've been using them all year long for birthdays and other gifts. Although, not all of my Christmas gifts are wrapped this way I still have quite a few that I did wrap with fabric or handkerchiefs. I've never been a fancy gift wrapper. Normally, when using wrapping paper, I take a piece of scrap paper and write on the back who it is for and then tape it to the gift. It's hard to do this with fabric. So, I made these gift tags that are the size of business cards. I used the font "Santa's Sleigh" to add their names. Then, printed them out as if I were printing photos. This would allow me to choose different names per page, instead of my usual Publisher and having all the names be the same on the entire page. I plan to reuse them a few times before they are garbage. Here is the template if you would like to use them, too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Handout Background Tempates

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Avoiding Crisis Living

I love this lesson. Every week I enjoy reading, studying and preparing the YW lessons. I am reminded of just how inspired they are and am relieved that through this inspiration our leaders have thought of everything our youth need to be taught. This is one of those lessons I wish I could teach to many adults.

Here is the handout I prepared for this lesson and below is a blank version as a template for future YW handouts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handout Background Templates

Four more fun backgrounds to use for YW handouts.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Handout Backgrounds Templates

I've had a bit of fun making some blank YW backgrounds for handouts. Just add the words, titles, etc. to these already made templates. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know and I can adjust or re-create. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Associations With Others

I really like the Young Women Manual 3 Lesson 43 lesson about Associations With Others. This explains why we were not meant to be hermits or to give into shyness, etc. Here is the handout I created for this lesson.

Recently, I read a question asking if we could spend a lifetime of nothing but learning and reading without anybody else and simply devote our life to reading, and "understanding humanity on a more broader level than what the majority of people know?" I thought that a very bold and naive conclusion that we can only understand people by being away from them. I appreciated the answer one person gave...

"We do spend our life learning.... and living life in it's fullness still allows plenty of time for a lot of reading. It just takes less TV time.

The ONLY way to understand humanity on a more broader level IS to live with people, associate with them, and even better and more especially with your companion or soul mate.

It would be a gullible assumption to think that one can understand better than the majority through isolation and books. It takes a well-rounded education and experiences to obtain that which you have described. A great objective, none-the-less, and one that we should all be striving is to understand more about each other and to immerse ourselves in good books where we can draw from the experiences of other folks to help enhance our own understanding and personal growth."

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Test

Tonight for Family Home Evening we read President Boyd K. Packer's November 2008 Conference Talk, The Test. What I really liked about this talk is the reminder to hold a higher standard when dealing with those who mistreat us. The world would try to convince us that the response would be revenge, but Pres. Packer reminds us that "something much stronger than human nature [can] prevail...."

I can think of a few times in my life when someone does me wrong it can be very frustrating and tempting to fight back with equal determination. Then, to remember that this life is a test and I don't want to fail that test.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lesson 41 Being Dependable

Today's lesson was on Being Dependable. We had opening exercises in Relief Society then we all went to the YW room. We had three young women, a very small class. So, rather than splitting the classes we met together. Our plan worked perfectly. In fact, it worked too perfectly. We walked into the room and I announced that since we were meeting together today Sis. D. would be teaching. Well, Sis. D., the advisor, wasn't scheduled to teach until Fast Sunday's. So, it was easy for her to say she wasn't prepared. Oh, NO! Whose teaching?! I looked around at the other leaders and asked them if they had prepared. Nope. No one had, they said. What is the lesson about? Don't Know! What was last week's lesson and one of the girls reminded us it was on learning to love ourselves. Does anyone have a book? Nope. Oh, then I will just look in my purse and see what I have in there. One YW said we could just make something up, maybe discuss something from the For Strength of Youth Pamphlet. How sweet. I pulled out of my purse some colored paper that I had printed the lesson onto so that I wouldn't have to bring my manual along. I announced that today's lesson would be about "Being Dependable" I had the lesson, quotes to handout, a skit to play (the Cindy story found here), and handouts (see above). One yw said "Wow, you're really prepared!" I thought they had figured it out. I must've forgotten to really make it clear that we had played a practical joke on them because at the end when we were talking about our "mix-up" at the beginning of the class the leaders and I were laughing because we weren't sure if we could pull it off without laughing or being believable. I admitted that I'm not a very good actress and cannot usually pull something like that off. Then, the one YW said "That was all acting!?" The other said she couldn't figure out if was a joke or not but found it coincidental that the lesson being taught fit so well that it must've been planned. How funny! We all had a good laugh. I hope this will be one they will remember for a long time. I just wish all of the other YW had been there, too.

Preparing for Change

This next Sunday's Young Women lesson is from Manual 3, Chapter 42, Preparing for Change. I have made this handout for the lesson. I thought about incorporating a bit of the book "Who Moved My Cheese" but decided against it because it's really not church approved.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Word of God as a Standard

For the Young Women Manual 3 Lesson 37, The Word of God as a Standard, I prepared the following visual aids and handout.

To distinguish between Worldly Philosophies and Gospel Principles and Truths I created this table in order to discuss the topics one by one.

As we discuss the topics one by one, I prepared The Word of God as a Standard document for the youth to reference as we read and discussed them together. They are separated by the YW value colors.

Finally, I prepared this handout for the YW to take home.

None of the three Laurels that I teach attended this Sunday. So, I joined the Beehive class instead. In addition to using the Worldly Issue Poster, she used an orange with commandments written on it in permanent marker. She discussed how we are like the inside of that orange and when we follow those commandments that they help keep us afloat. Then, she placed the orange in a clear bowl of water to demonstrate that the orange floats while the peel representing those commandments is still surrounding the orange. After that she removed the peel and demonstrated how the orange now sinks to the bottom of the bowl. The commandments give us the ability, tools, and strength through our lives. (Idea found at Sugardoodle and described as follows: for an object lesson she had taken an orange and with a permanent pen wrote: chastity, temple marriage, pro-life, honesty, etc. She had a bowl of water and dropped the orange in it, after a second or two, it floated up!! She talked about the skin of the orange being kind of like a life jacket - keeping the orange a float - she likened this to the standards of our church. She then peeled the orange and asked the girls what they thought would happen if she put it back in the bowl - it sank of course! I thought this was a great object lesson for the girls that they could relate to. It was also good for them to hear each other talk about the differences between the world's view and ours. (Idea shared by Lynette Packard))

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scavenger Hunt

We had the most fun with this Scavenger Hunt. Even the adults wanted to join in. This is how it went. My counselor took pictures that morning of the building. She made sure to use items that would not move, would be there (like the cars), or they could access (meaning not using any rooms where classes would be taking place.) She made sure that within the picture there was enough information to distinguish between similar choices. For instance, the exit sign. It was the only one to the left of the door, rather than above the door. The outside windows, they were the only ones that had one smaller to the right of the larger with a bush, and so on. She did such a terrific job making us guess. I couldn't figure out how she took pictures of screwdrivers (see #2) that were even at the church and wouldn't be moved by that night. It turned out to be a New Era Mormonad behind the glass case/bulletin board. Do you know which one?

Here are the photos she took. She divided the girls into two teams. Each team had a different set of photos and a blank answer sheet numbered with numbers corrisponding with those in their set of pictures. The girls had so much fun running all over the building and outside of the building. It turned out only one item had been moved, which was the wood. She didn't realized that the YM were going to be using it that night and they had taken it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dating Basket

For the young women who are moving from Mia Maides to Laurels I created this dating basket. All of the contents are dating related. For instance, there is the Kissing Poem.

Then, there is the other fun stuff. (I had found this online) I didn't use them all. Here are the tags I used to make it.

1. Two dates (wrapped in saran warp) -"Double date, it's twice as fun."

2. Gum - "Eternity is a long time to be married, be Chewsy."

3. Small bar of soap - "Be morally clean - Keep yourself and your thoughts pure and clean."

4. Sucker - "Don't be a sucker for the temptations of Satan." OR Avoid all Immoral and Suggestive Materials and Entertainment - "Lick temptations! Don't participate in activities that aren't appropriate."

5. Ruler (or cut up measuring tape) - "How does he measure up? Choose now to only date young men who "Measure up" to high standards."

6. Eraser - "Repentance is like an eraser, it rubs out wrongs."

7. Hershey Kisses - "Save your hugs and kisses for someone special."

8. Tootsie Pop (with different color wrappers than the flavors) "Don't judge by outward appearances."

9. Frog Sticker or plastic toy frog- "You have to date a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming."

10. Ring Pops (or play rings) - "Beware of Imitations - Date young men who are honest in thought, word, and action."

11. Candle - "Let your light shine - be an example in your appearance, speech and actions."

12. Now & Later candy - "What you do 'now' will affect what happens 'later' - make temple marriage your goal."

I printed out 7 articles (enough to cover the seven YW values).

I folded them and put them into the Seed Template packets. I had to fold them four times length wise, then in half to fit them into the envelope.

Finally, there was the Candy Bar Men. I clipped them together using silver rings, a white ribbon and groom or bride wedding rings all found in the wedding section of Hobby Lobby.

Finally, I took little flowers, one each of the YW
value colors and tied them together with their own wires and placed them into the basket, too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Visiting the Sick

For FHE this week we visited a dear friend who is recovering from surgery. We stopped by DQ on our way (made sure first what her diet restrictions were so that we didn't tease or dissappoint her) and enjoyed a nice treat and a visit with her.

Seed Packet Templates

This has been so fun. I'm in the process of creating a Laurel's basket for those YW who are moving up from Mia Maids and the focus will be on dating. This focus was chosen because girls become Laurels at the age of 16 when they can begin dating in groups. I thought to make a cute little "seed" packet to go along with a quote I had found. I had so much fun that I just kept making them and making them. Mostly I used clipart that I already had with a YW theme. I cannot remember where I found them. I will post all the Seed Packets as I am able. Here are a few to get started.

First Set
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works

Second Set
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works

A Couple More Favorites
I will add them as I make more

Temple Marriage
Reap What You Sow
Reap What You Sow - Blank
6 YW Values - One page for each value
6 YW Values - one page covering all 6 - Having Fun

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dating Decisions - Candy Bar Men

Using So What Kind of Man do You Want to Marry? as my inspiration and guide (with the exception of the one I created myself to omit a gap) I created these "candy Bar Men" cards (4 per page) to print onto card stock, back to back. I will cut them into their respective four postcard sized info cards, punch little circles in the upper left corner and connect them with a little ring for the lesson this Sunday: Young Women Manual Three Lesson 35, Dating Decisions. There are four cards that I made for the beginning of the group. The first card will be the temple one, on the back of that will be the disclaimer. The next card will be the Ezra Taft Benson quote "Remember, Young Women..." and on the back of that will be the "Qualities that are important to me in a future husband" where the YW can list what they are looking for in their future spouse. These are always interesting and fun to look at years later. The wife of our current Stake President talked about what she had put on her list years ago. Among some important qualities, that he met, she also included something about him being a football player. He didn't meet that one. What fun this will be!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ward Friendship Circle

A few years ago my family and I enjoyed getting to know the ward members better and building a closer relationship with them through this activity.

To begin with, I made this cute little circle using a poem that is often found on plates that folks are supposed to move from house to house, like a chain letter - but, it's a plate. Instead, I made a circle to remind them that we were thinking of them... and it is cute and I like to make things. I used clipart from programs that I had purchased at a LDS bookstore to put together the people around the circle.... this includes the word "WARD." For the name of the ward, using Microsoft Publisher, I added a word art and using the font "SnapITC", a shadow was added and the word was changed to the color orange and placed just above the word "ward." You can see that in the example above, but for the one that I am sharing below I removed it. I printed the circles onto purple paper, had them lamenated, and punched a whole in the top center for a suction cup. Finally, I cut them out using curvy scrapbooking sizzors.

For the activity I would make a homemade apple pie and we would grab some store-bought ice-cream and a game and show up at someone's house. There we would enjoy a dessert of pie and ice-cream and either visit or play the game we brought. I would give them the friendship circle, which was for them to keep - not share. It did invite them to do something nice for someone else, though. Showing up at someone's house uninvited worked most of the time. We still remember how one family kept insisting that they must have invited us and that they had forgotten and that we were just being polite about it. We always had a good time with the family we were visiting and we could always tell that they enjoyed it, too. So, all was well as the uninvited guests.

We really miss these outings. Maybe one day we will continue them. For now, I am happy to share with you our little "Ward Friendship Circle"

Ward Friendship Circle

Thursday, September 11, 2008

YW Mini Golf

Last night the Young Women played a homemade mini golf game. Using these printed onto cardstock the area was set up as follows:

There are 7 groups. One representing each of the YW values. Each group contains four things.

1) What NOT to do
2) What TO do
3) Blank Sun representing the Celestial Kingdom where they will write the blessings they would recieve by following the commandment or council that group is suggesting. Ex: NO PEER PRESSURE, instead CTR. What are the blessings of choosing the right over peer pressure.
4) Quote cards for them to receive when they get the golf ball into the hole. There are four per page. Print as many as needed for all the girls.

How to set it up.
What NOT to do should be put in the direction you do NOT want the ball to go. The arrows should be placed heading in the direction you want the ball to go. The sun should be placed at the final destination and the girls can decorate the cans however they like in addition to the sun. Then, as each hole is played, the girls get a quote card.

Because I was too late getting to the dollar store for plastic golf clubs, they used crutches and whatever they had for hitting the ball. We didn't have enough used cans, so they used pitchers for the holes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Young Women Quotes

During the Spring of 2008 I felt compelled to compile a daily calender with quotes from leaders of the Church pertaining to youth for my dd. I used Publisher to create this collection, dividing a page into quarters. Each quote has it's own background image using one of the colors from the Young Women Values. After I printed out the pages, back to back, and divided the pages in half I took them to a local print shop where they bound them to the stand I had made for it. The stand was a box of crackers (because the fold was a perfect width and didn't require that I make my own folds) that I cut to the size of the pages and then the pages were bound to it. The whole project was a very daunting task, yet very worth it.

Because each quote often took all the room I had alloted for quote space there was not room for the source. Furthermore, I would use the same article for many quotes... sometimes, I would even use the ENTIRE article somewhere within the entire collection. So, I have a source list at the very end of the calendar. I had read so many articles pertaining to youth and the councel that our leaders have given them that I learned quite a bit about that organization, the expectations and counsel provided to them, and the love that our Church leaders have for them.

When I finished the calendar I presented it to her as a gift. She must like it because she is always making sure that she reads what it has to share each day. This was my original intention. I wanted her to have a daily reminder of specific counsel for youth that could serve as a strength and guidance throughout the year. It turned out to be that and more.

There have been three examples of it's use thus far. First, one day she was having trouble with a specific situation in her life. I don't even remember what it was. Something told me to check the calendar to see what it said that day. It just so happened that she hadn't yet flipped it to the current date. When I did so it turned out to be the EXACT council from a leader that pertained to that situation. I referred her to the calendar.

Then, by mid-summer I was called as YW president. The research I conducted to create the calendar provided some excellent training to understand the councel and direction provided for the youth, especially considering I had never gone through the YW program myself.

Third, but not finally as I am confident that I will continue to find additional blessings from this project, as I prepared an activity for the YW and needed quotes from our Church leaders I simply did a "ctrl" + "F" to find what I had already previously collected... and, even had multiple choices from which to choose.

This document is a list of all of the quotes and below are all of the sources. YES! I had read ALL of these and a few more. Toward the end of this quest I became addicted to the CES Firesides and overwhelmed with the amount of information and councel they had to offer. Again, what perfect training for a future YW leader. This list will allow you that same training and spiritual blessings while perhaps something specific will stand out to you for your own youth. Where available, the links are provided.

Rhett Wilkinson, “A Note to the Good Girls,” New Era, May 2008, 23
"A Reservoir of Living Water", Elder David A. Bednar, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, CES Fireside for Young Adults • February 4, 2007 • Brigham Young University
“I Have a Question,” Ensign, Apr 1981, 24–25 Are the movie ratings a reliable way to select movies?
Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Plague on the World,” New Era, Jul 1990, 4
Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Ensign, Jan 2001, 2
Becoming You, Bishop Richard C. Edgley, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, CES Fireside for Young Adults, 3 November 2002
Ryan Jenkins, “Don’t Chance It,” New Era, Jan 2008, 34–36
Dallin H. Oaks, “Eight Ways God Can Speak to You,” New Era, Sep 2004, 4
Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr 1997, 7
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Jul 1996, 72–73
"Experiencing Happiness in Marriage" Teachings of Presidents of the Church, David O. McKay, Chapter 15
Joyce Kinmont, “I Have a Question,” How can parents make Halloween a fun time while avoiding practices and behaviors that may grieve the Spirit? Ensign, Oct. 1996, 33
Faith and Families, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, CES Fireside for Young Adults, February 6, 2005
Faith and Works in a Secular World, Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. CES Fireside for Young Adults, Nov 5, 2006.
Jennifer Parry, “Fitting In,” New Era, Mar 1997, 26
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Gambling,” Ensign, May 2005, 59–60, 61.
Gordon B Hinckley Given at the Dedication of Gordon B. Hinckley Building (Oct. 22, 2002)
Excerpt from Hearing the Voice of the Lord, a book on personal revelation that was written by Elder Gerald N. Lund. (I don't even have this book and now cannot find where I had even found these quotes)
James E. Faust, “Honesty-A Moral Compass,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 41
Gordon B. Hinckley, “How Can I Become the Woman of Whom I Dream?,” Ensign, May 2001, 93 Russel and Brad Wilcox, “Keep Texting from Taking Over,” New Era, Aug 2007, 30-33
R. Gary Shapiro, “Leave the Obscene Unseen,” Ensign, Aug 1989, 27
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Lessons I Learned as a Boy,” New Era, Oct 1998, 4
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly,” Ensign, May 2007, 115–17
Virginia H. Pearce, “Listening with New Ears,” Ensign, May 1996, 85
Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Obedience,” Ensign, May 1994, 39
Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices,” Ensign, Nov 1994, 37
Making Ourselves A Perfect Fit In Marriage By Orson Scott Card
Joseph Walker, “More than Hemliness and Haircuts,” Ensign, Feb 1992, 22
Jack R. Christianson, “Music: Apples or Onions?,” New Era, Apr 1984, 14
Spencer W. Kimball, “Oneness in Marriage,” Liahona, Oct 2002, 36
Neal A. Maxwell, “Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame,” Ensign, May 1987, 70
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Overpowering the Goliaths in Our Lives,” Ensign, Jan 2002, 2
Ezra Taft Benson, “Prayer,” Ensign, May 1977, 32
Victor L. Brown, “Preparation for Tomorrow,” Ensign, Nov 1982, 79
Chapter 14 Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: David O. Mckay Preparing for an Eternal Marriage and Family
Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality,” New Era, Nov 1980, 39
Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Profanity,” New Era, Jan 1981, 4
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, CES Fireside for Young Adults, Nov 4, 2007, “Push Back Against the World”
Dallin H Oaks, “Standards of Dress and Grooming,” New Era, Dec 1971, 46
H. David Burton, “Standing Tall,” Liahona, Jan 2002, 75-77
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay on the High Road,” Ensign, May 2004, 112
The Blessing of Work, Elder David E. Sorensen, Of the Presidency of the Seventy, CES Fireside for Young Adults, March 6, 2005
Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73
Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Other Prodigal,” Liahona, Jul 2002, 69–72
The Power of Music “FYI: For Your Info,” New Era, May 1994, 34-37
The Two Guiding Lights, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Of the Quorum of the Twelve, CES Fireside for Young Adults, 1 February 2004
“The Value of Self-Esteem” President James E. Faust, 2nd Counselor in the 1st Pres, CES Fireside for Young Adults May 6, 2007 Salt Lake Tabernacle
James E. Faust, “The Virtues of Righteous Daughters of God,” Liahona, May 2003, 108–11
L. Tom Perry, “Thy Speech Reveals Thee,” Liahona, Jul 2007, 30-33
Robert D. Hales, “Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 26
Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 1988, 96
Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Liahona, Nov 2005, 28–30
“Unlocking the Door to the Blessings of Abraham” Julie B. Beck, RS General Pres, CES Fireside for Young Adults, March 2, 2008 Brigham Young University
“What Can One Do to Keep Profanity (spoken by others) From One’s Mind and The Tip of One’s Tongue?”Q&A: Questions and Answers Russell L. Osmond, New Era, Sept 1977, 42-43
John Bytheway, “What Do Kisses Mean?,” New Era, Oct 2004, 39
Withstand Every Temptation of the Devil, Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, Of the First Quorum of the Seventy, CES Fireside for Young Adults • February 5, 2006
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Words of the Prophet: Daughters of the Almighty,” New Era, Nov 2003, 4
Dallin H. Oaks, “Worship through Music,” Ensign, Nov 1994, 9
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Liahona, Jan 2001, 113–16

Patriarchal Blessings

Our opening hymn was 219 "Because I've Been Given Much" Then, we learned about Patriarchal Blessings by reading together an article titled “About Patriarchal Blessings,” found in the March 2004 New Era. Then, we enjoyed a delicious and creative dessert brought by our friends. It used a chocolate rice cake, with a layer of whipped cream spread on top and then some sliced strawberries on top of the whipped cream. It was delicious.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My FHE Chart

This is a FHE chart. I've seen many types of charts to keep track of who is in charge of different parts at the next FHE. These hats have velcro behind them so they can be removed and rotated among the family.

If you have a FHE chart, I would love to post it on this site. Please contact me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

FHE Outline

This is copied from lds.about.com

New to Family Home Evening or need a little help to get organized? Then check out this outline. Just fill in the information, do a little planning, and change it to fit your family's needs.

The person assigned to conducting Family Home Evening should fill out the following outline ahead of time, as well as assign family members for the prayers, lesson, activity, refreshments, etc.

Here is a Printable Outline (The underline is where you write the title of the lesson.)


Objective: What your family is to learn from the lesson.

Opening Song: Select a hymn to sing, from either the LDS Church Hymnbook or the Children's Songbook. Choosing a song that accompanies the lesson is a great way to start your Family Home Evening. For help see the LDS Music resources.

Opening Prayer: Ask a family member, ahead of time, to give the opening prayer.

Family Business: This is the time to discuss things of importance to your family, such as meetings, trips, and activities of both parents and children. Some items of family business can include:

Discussing events of the upcoming week
Planning future outing and activities
Talking about family needs or things to be improved/worked on
Finding ways to serve others in need
Scripture: Ask someone (ahead of time so they can prepare) to share a scripture. (This optional item is perfect for larger families and groups.)

Lesson: This is where the heart of the evening should be. Whether it is a story or object lesson it can focus on an LDS topic, a community issue, or other topics of interest. Some ideas include eternal families, respect, baptism, the Plan of Salvation, littering, the Holy Ghost, etc. Youth and children should have opportunities of preparing and teaching a Family Home Evening lesson although they may need some help. For lesson helps check out the Lessons and Talks and Visual and Musical Aids categories.

Testimony: The person teaching can share their testimony about the topic, if applicable, at the end of their lesson. Alternatively another family member could be assigned to share their testimony after the lesson.

Closing Song: You can select another hymn or song that reflects on the lesson topic.

Closing Prayer: Ask a family member, ahead of time, to give the closing prayer.

Activity: This is the time to bring your family together by doing something together! It can be anything fun, like a simple family activity, a planned outing, a craft, or a great game! It doesn't have to go along with the lesson, but definitely can if you have any appropriate ideas.

Refreshments: This is just a fun option that can be added to your Family Home Evening. If you know of a cute treat that can represent the theme, that would be ideal, but is not necessary. See these Family Home Evening Refreshments for some tasty ideas.

Note: To help remind each family member of their assignments for FHE you could create a FHE Chart.

Amazing Grace

While reading the Book of Mormon I came across a section that reminded me of the song Amazing Grace. So, for FHE, I printed out the words to that song and we sang it as the opening song. Then, we read the scripture that reminded me of it, which is Mosiah 27:28-30. This was our FHE... really, a simple spritual thought.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

8 Ways God Can Speak To You

This past week our Family Home Evening was about how we hear the whispering of the Holy Ghost. We based our lesson from the talk Eight Ways God Can Speak To You by By Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Then we discussed how other prophets had described the voice of the Lord, outlined below.

This FHE turned out to be a stepping stone for our next intended lesson about Patriarchal Blessings and the 12 tribes of Israel.

How Do Prophets, Seers, and Revelators Describe the Voice of the Lord?
“It” refers to the voice of the Lord.

Joseph Fielding Smith:
It can be as deep and meaningful as anything tangible.
It is penetrating.

Spencer W. Kimball:
It comes as deep, unassailable impressions that settle on the mind as dew from heaven.
They are deep feelings.
It is an impressive consciousness of direction from above.

Dallin H. Oaks:
It can take the form of enlightenment of the mind.
It can come as positive or negative feelings about how to act.
It can uplift our emotions.

Harold B. Lee:
It is not audible to our physical hearing.

Joseph B. Wirthlin:
It enters quietly into our mind and heart.
It is so simple and precise we assume it is our own idea or a passing thought.
As we reconcile these whisperings to what we know to be true, we learn to recognize them.

Joseph Smith:
It yields the fruits of the kingdom.
If our hearts are open it brings conviction.
It whispers consolation to the soul.

Boyd K. Packer:
It caresses gently.
It is a sweet, quiet voice of inspiration.
It comes more as a feeling than as a sound.
Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind.

(I think this came from excerpts from Hearing the Voice of the Lord, a book on personal revelation that was written by Elder Gerald N. Lund. I'm not sure because I had written them down, not sure where I originally found the information, and don't even own the book.)


It may have been a couple of weeks since my last post... but, we have had Family Home Evening. First, we had a funeral to attend during one week. This was heartbreaking as it was an 11 year old girl who was a cousin, by marriage, as well as a good friend of my daughter. As was pointed out during the funeral, it is easier to accept, even if we do not like it, the death of those who are sick or elderly. It is much harder to accept, or even understand, the death of a child. As a latter-day saint, though, we have a much greater understanding of the purpose of this life which explains why bad things happen to good people. There is an understanding that the fullness of the gospel provides as a strength to carry us through these tragedies. I couldn't imagine the extra burden of grief that I would carry should I be without these understandings and the testimony of the truth of the gospel.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Prophets and Apostles

Family Home Evening tonight was about the current Prophet and Apostles. Since there have been a lot of changes I thought it would be fun. We started out by singing from the children songbook "Follow the Prophet." Then, using the YouTube on my computer and we listend to the Apostle Song (see below). Then, I took this document from which I had previously cut out all the pictures of the apostles and once set (the one all spaced apart) of the words to the song and played a matching game. After we had listened to the Apostle Song I flipped upside down all the pictures and mixed them around. Then, we took turns picking one picture up and trying to remember which name and fact was about that person. When we were done, we listened to the Apostle Song again. We had made many mistakes, which made it more fun. We finished the lesson by singing to the Apostle Song along with YouTube video and a closing prayer.

FHE - Modesty

Last Monday our Family Home Evening was on Modesty. I choose this topic because I had a young family member visiting who I had overheard sharing wardrobe choices for school, like short-skirts. I realized this was an opportunity to discuss all the important avenues of choosing to dress modestly.... self-respect, not attracting unrighteous young men, not making righteous young men uncomfortable, and respecting our Temple to name a few. We also discussed what exactly is modest and what isn't. The lesson was color coded to share equally the reading between all involved, and we discussed a lot as we went through it. When the lesson was finished I gave them a copy of the New Era Poster "Don't Be A Dummy" from the July 2001 New Era.

This is not a comprehensive lesson as I wanted to have a primary focus. This could easily be more in depth.

Here is the Lesson... (Sorry, I didn't keep track of my sources. I'm sure a search on LDS.org would quickly find all the sources.)

(Family Home Evening)

Imagine you are in a courtroom. All of the attorneys and officials are dressed in their finest clothing. Then the judge enters wearing a T-shirt and shorts!

You certainly are more likely to take the judge seriously when he dresses to fit the occasion. The way the judge is dressed says a lot about the climate of his courtroom and about the type of behavior expected there. Similarly, the way you dress may say a lot about you.

The way an individual dresses reveals a lot about attitudes and priorities. We’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it’s hard not to form an opinion of a woman who always wears plunging necklines and short skirts, or a man who goes out in public wearing nothing more than a pair of skintight biker shorts. That’s why Church leaders counsel us to dress modestly. According to the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth, published by the First Presidency of the Church, modesty is one way we can show our respect for Heavenly Father—and for ourselves.

“Because the way you dress sends messages about yourself to others and often influences the way you and others act, you should dress in such a way as to bring out the best in yourself and those around you. However, if you wear an immodest bathing suit because it’s ‘the style,’ it sends a message that you are using your body to get attention and approval, and that modesty is not important.” (For the Strength of Youth, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990, p. 8.)

The problem for us, then, is how to determine what is modest and what isn’t. Modesty is, after all, fairly subjective. One person may consider a sleeveless dress too immodest for a young Latter-day Saint woman to wear, while another could look at the same dress, note the modest length and design, and find nothing wrong with it.

Our own confusion is sometimes fueled by the constantly shifting public standards of modesty, which can be hard to keep up with. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when it was considered indecent to expose an ankle or a knee—even on the beach. When I was in high school, the raging debate was the question of whether or not it was appropriate for girls to wear jeans to school. Today, my children have to contend with school standards so liberal that nearly anything goes except wearing your underwear outside your clothes. And these days, who can tell?

It is a great blessing that we have a definition of appropriate Latter-day Saint dress standards: “Immodest clothing includes short shorts, tight pants, and other revealing attire. Young women should refrain from wearing off-the-shoulder, low-cut, or revealing clothes…. All should avoid tight fitting or revealing clothes and extremes in clothing and appearance.” (For the Strength of Youth, p. 8.)

Many people think immodest dress relates only to an insufficiently covered body. But a tight fit is also immodest, even when the body is fully covered. This applies to men as well as women. Many do not realize that tight clothing draws attention to the anatomy, which distracts from the purpose of education, business, leadership, or worship. Adequate ease in the fit of our clothes allows the viewer’s attention to go to the other person’s face for more effective communication.

Even within that definition, however, there is room for interpretation. Exactly where on the thigh do shorts become “short shorts”? How tight do pants have to be before they are “revealing”? And does “low-cut” mean anything other than turtlenecks?

Clearly, For the Strength of Youth teaches the correct principles and leaves us to govern ourselves. And that’s the way it should be. Heavenly Father has given us the freedom to choose, and we can’t grow or receive blessings from obedience if all the decisions have been made for us.

If we are unsure about whether our dress or grooming is modest, we should ask ourselves, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?" We might ask ourselves a similar question about our language and behavior: "Would I say these words or participate in these activities if the Lord were present?" Our honest answers to these questions may lead us to make important changes in our lives. Prophets have always counseled us to dress modestly. This counsel is founded on the truth that the human body is God's sacred creation. We must respect our bodies as a gift from God. Through our dress and appearance, we can show the Lord that we know how precious our bodies are.

An event some years ago changed my attitude toward modesty. As I got ready to go to a Mutual activity, I put on some short shorts; it never occurred to me that they were inappropriate. The activities planned for that Tuesday included having the missionaries give us some practical advice about missionary work. One of the last empty seats was next to me. For a brief moment the elders began to argue, as discreetly as they could, over who had to sit next to me. Though they never said so specifically, I understood they were uneasy because of the way I was dressed.

At that moment, notwithstanding my embarrassment, I began to understand what it meant to be modest. I realized that I was making virtuous young men feel uncomfortable—and that I could also be making unvirtuous men feel too comfortable. I began to better understand what type of person I wanted to be with and, more important, what type of person I wanted to be. From that moment on, I was not only prepared for the changes I was about to make, but I looked forward to making them.

Make it a matter of prayer. (READ 1 Nephi 3:7) After a discouraging day of prom-dress shopping with two of my daughters, we returned home in weary tears. We had not found one modest dress. I encouraged my daughters to take their desires to the Lord in prayer. They looked at me quizzically, not at all certain that a wardrobe concern was prayer-worthy. I promised them that Nephi’s conviction applies to the mundane as well as the monumental, My daughters agreed to pray about the problem, and within a week we found beautiful dresses in unexpected places that we could alter to be perfectly appropriate. We continue to make modesty a matter of prayer.

Our clothing expresses who we are. It sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. When we are well groomed and modestly dressed, we can invite the companionship of the Spirit and exercise a good influence on those around us.

Dress and Appearance
36550, For the Strength of Youth, Dress and Appearance, 14
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Your body is God’s sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you.

Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.

Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner… All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?”

Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings.

Show respect for the Lord and for yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities, whether on Sunday or during the week. If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask your parents or leaders for help.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

YW Manual 3 Lesson 29

I was having a hard time with this lesson. I hadn't intended to teach it and then it turned out that I was given the opportunity. I had to pray and think a lot.... very tiring.

So, this is the plan. I have created this handout that prints back to back with room for it to be folded into 3 and mailed to those who were unable to attend.

Then, using the Change of Heart Bookmarks printed on cardstock I had the girls (auction style) hold up these during the lesson when they heard of a quality found in someone who has had a change of heart. I started this AFTER I had told the story about the missionary who was taken aback by the change of heart that a convert had made in my lesson layout below. Also, whatever quote is in the above handouts, I had one of the girls read. Finally, I had printed answers to the questions throughout the lesson to place on the board as they were given as visual aids.

Here is the lesson intermingled with an article from the Ensign (Keith K. Hilbig, “Experiencing a Change of Heart,” Ensign, Jun 2008, 29–33).

Lesson 29 – Change of Heart
Read Alma 5:26 (p219)
Read Alma 5:12 (p218)
Read Alma 5:14 (p219) Keep Open for later
Read Alma 7:14 (p225)

Some years ago in Eastern Europe, I listened as a young elder stood before his fellow missionaries in zone conference to share an experience that shaped his life. He and his companion had found and taught a middle-aged man named Ivan (name has been changed) in a distant city. Their investigator came from a difficult background, as was reflected in his well-used clothing, ragged beard, and hesitant demeanor. Life had been harsh and unkind to him.

Without any prior religious training, Ivan had much to overcome. Practices not in harmony with the restored gospel had to be set aside. New principles needed to be accepted and then incorporated. Ivan wanted to learn, and he prepared himself diligently for his baptism and confirmation. His clothing remained threadbare and his beard ragged, but he had taken the first steps. Shortly after Ivan’s baptism, the missionary was transferred. He hoped that he might again cross paths with Ivan.

Six months later the mission president reassigned the young elder to his former branch. Surprised but eager to return, the elder, with a new companion, came early to sacrament meeting his first Sunday back in the branch. The members were pleased to see the missionary in their midst again. They rushed forward with broad smiles and warm greetings.

The elder recognized nearly everyone in the small congregation. However, he searched in vain among the faces for the man he and his companion had taught and baptized six months earlier. There arose within the elder a sense of disappointment and sadness. Had Ivan returned to his harmful habits? Had he failed to honor his covenant of baptism? Had he lost the blessings promised by his repentance?

The elder’s fears and reflections were interrupted by the approach of an unfamiliar man who was rushing forward to embrace the missionary. The clean-shaven man had a confident smile and an obvious goodness radiating from his countenance. Wearing a white shirt and a carefully knotted tie, he was on his way to prepare the sacrament for the small gathering that Sabbath morning. Only when the man began to speak did the elder recognize him. It was the new Ivan, not the former Ivan they had taught and baptized! The elder saw embodied in his friend the miracle of faith, repentance, and forgiveness; he saw the reality of the Atonement.

The missionary told his peers attending the zone conference that Ivan had changed and grown by every measure during the months the elder had been away from the branch. Ivan had embraced the gospel, and it radiated from him. He had experienced a “change of heart” (Alma 5:26) sufficient both to be baptized and to press forward in the continuing process of conversion. He was preparing for the higher priesthood and the ordinances of the temple. Ivan had indeed been “born again” (Alma 7:14).

As the missionary concluded his remarks, he asked himself aloud, “How much of a ‘change of heart’ have I experienced in the past six months?” He continued his self-examination, asking aloud, “Have I been ‘born again’?” These are two profound questions that each of us should privately pose on a continuing basis.

In the intervening years I have reflected upon the words of the young missionary and the actions of Ivan. I have pondered the role that a “mighty change” (Alma 5:12) in our hearts and being “spiritually … born of God” (Alma 5:14) play in the process of embracing the restored gospel. I have concluded that they are clearly an important part of the Lord’s doctrine, not just one-time experiences in mortality. They are ongoing opportunities, intended to deepen the process of conversion and individual personal refinement. They prepare us more fully for eternal life.

What is the intent of a change of heart? Deepen the process of conversion, individual personal refinement, and prepare for eternal life

How often is this suppose to happen? Ongoing (not just one-time experience)

A Change of heart is a change in a person’s entire life – her thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions, everything that the heart represents. She gives her love, dedication, intelligence, and talents to the Lord and wants only to serve the Lord.

Read Mosiah 3:19 (p153)
We know from the standard works that baptism by immersion allows us to become a member of the Church, but that ordinance alone does not constitute the spiritual rebirth that allows us to return to the presence of Heavenly Father. Similarly, as we are confirmed following baptism, we have the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. However, only when we have truly repented—and thus actually receive the Holy Ghost—can we be sanctified and thus be born again spiritually. Hence, Alma’s piercing inquiries are valid for each of us repeatedly throughout life.

The challenges of being born again and experiencing a mighty change of heart are challenges we all must face. The Book of Mormon is a wonderful resource to better understand the process of experiencing a mighty change of heart and of being born again. Its prophets provide a fuller doctrinal declaration of the process.

Read again Alma 5:14.
What are the three questions posed to members of the Church by Alma? Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

(YW READ) Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminds us that “those members of the Church who have actually been born again are in a blessed and favored state. They have attained their position, not merely by joining the Church, but through faith (1 John 5:1), righteousness (1 John 2:29), love (1 John 2:7), and overcoming the world. (1 John 5:4.)”

READ D&C 4:2 (p7) This change is what the Lord was speaking of when he commanded us to serve Him with all our heart, might, mind and strength.

Alma the Younger personally experienced the transformation from being an enemy to God to becoming a new creature, a being who was converted and, therefore, committed to building the kingdom. (YW READ) If all people must be born again and have a change of heart, it matters not if we were born into the Church or were converted later as youth or adults. We all must at some point experience that change of heart and that rebirth of the Spirit as we continue in the process of conversion. The process of rebirth and change of heart is intended to be comprehensive, available to all nations, and, hence, each individual.

Why do you think a person’s heart must be changed in order to become like God? It is a necessary step in becoming like God.

Elder McConkie, speaking at a Brigham Young University First Stake conference, offered these comforting and encouraging words: “With most people, conversion [spiritual rebirth and accompanying remission of sins] is a process; and it goes step by step, degree by degree, level by level, from a lower state to a higher, from grace to grace, until the time that the individual is wholly turned to the cause of righteousness…. this means that [she] overcomes one sin today and another sin tomorrow. [She] perfects [her] life in one field now, and in another field later on. And the conversion process goes on until it is completed, until [she becomes], literally, as the Book of Mormon says, saints of God instead of natural men.”

It matters not whether our spiritual rebirth is sudden or, as is more common, gradual. While the process may be different, the results will be similar. There is no difference in the quality of the conversion. For each individual, experiencing a mighty change of heart is manifested by feelings of joy and love, both of which eliminate the prior pain of disobedience (see Alma 36:20-21). How kind is our Heavenly Father! How encompassing is His Son’s Atonement!

King Benjamin asked the people if they believed his words and if they would trust in the Lord and be faithful all their lives. Let’s read the following scriptures for the answer?

Read Mosiah 5:2 (p157) and 5:5 (p158)

Repentance and obedience to the commandments brings the greatest possible joy in this life.