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.