PURPOSE: This FAMILY HOME EVENING LESSON is to help you be able to prepare yourself and your family for GENERAL CONFERENCE.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather together in chapels, buildings and homes all over the world twice a year to receive insight, inspiration and guidance from church leaders. This lesson is focused on helping prepare the minds and hearts of family members to receive the inspiration they're looking for through these inspirational messages.
Scripture: Doc & Cov 21:4-7
Song: "Come Listen to A Prophet's Voice"
The beginning of General Conference dates back to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the early Saints who helped grow the restored Church. On June 9, 1830, shortly after the April 6, 1830, organization, the first conference was held. Only 27 members were present.
As of the end of 2015, the membership was reported as 15,634,199. The church has continued to grow and flourish and fill the earth. Now more than ever, the Saints understand and appreciate the hope, assurance and guidance that is received during these conference addresses.
Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He has given us a prophet in today's world to lead and guide us through the many ways Satan works to deceive, destroy and tempt us away from doing what is right and good.
Staying close to the prophet and the words he speaks, along with other church leaders, will help us HOLD TO THE IRON ROD and lead us back to our Savior. We can show our gratitude for having a living prophet by studying his words to us TODAY through the General Conference messages.
1. Why do you think it is a good idea to have General Conference?
2. How can General Conference help us? List 3 ways.
3. What can we do as a family to take our favorite talk from this General Conference and be a better family member?
Here are some free printables that we have found from some fantastically-talented people...
PURPOSE: The Law of Tithing helps teaches us obedience and sacrifice. Whenever the Lord gives us a commandment, His blessings for us being obedient are always waiting for us as well.
With this Family Home Evening Lesson on Tithing, you can begin teaching your children this important gospel principle early and repeat it throughout their lives.
Hymn: I'm Glad to Pay A Tithing
Scripture: Malachi 3:10
Lesson: This lesson starts with an opening activity to help teach the concept.
Prepare by creating "Jobs" for your children to do. Keep this very simple and short because it's only to provide an example of the principles being taught.
Example: Job #1: Wipe off kitchen table= 10¢
Be sure to create enough small jobs or a few large jobs and have each child earn 50¢ or $1.00 (paid out in nickles or dimes)
Discussion: Working is something everyone needs to do. We do chores at home to help keep our rooms and home clean and tidy. Sometimes you may earn money by doing chores at home or jobs in your neighborhood.
Sometimes our Mom, Dad or both parents work outside the home to help pay for your home, clothes, food and other things. What are other things your parents pay for?
When we earn money from working, the Lord asks us to pay 1/10 of our earnings to Him. This is called TITHING. Tithing means tenth.
1. Why does the Lord need us to pay money to the church?
2. What are some ways tithing supports our church?
3. How do we pay our tithing?
*You may also want to have an actual tithing envelope for the children to fill out. You can practice what you do when you hand in your tithing and discuss who you give it to.
ACTIVITY: Tithing Coloring Page
Purpose: On July 4th, each American celebrates the country’s Independence with a day full of reflection and activities focused on country, freedom and family. As members of the church, we also experience independence as we follow the commandments and learn about the Plan of Salvation.
Song: “My Country, Tis of Thee”
Brief Lesson: Today we celebrate the founding of our country and the day that our Forefathers declared our Independence from Great Britain. The country has experienced many great times and many hard and difficult times. One of the greatest blessings about living in America are the religious freedoms that we enjoy as well as all of our other freedoms. What are some other freedoms we have?
Although we have freedoms, we also have to be responsible for the choices we make using that freedom/agency. The gospel of Jesus Christ also gives us tremendous freedoms. For example, we know that when we obey the Word of Wisdom, our bodies have freedom from certain diseases, addictions and illnesses. However, if we are not careful and we don’t use our freedom or agency appropriately, we have consequences of our actions.
What are some of the freedoms the gospel gives to our lives?
1. What does Independence mean?
2. What are some examples of independence from the scriptures?
3. Name other ways the gospel give us independence.
US History Trivia:
What day did Congress vote for Independence in 1776? July 2
What day was the Declaration of Independence signed?
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival,” wrote John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776.
The second U.S. president had the date wrong, but Heintze maintains that the U.S. really should observe July 2nd—the day Congress voted for independence—as Independence Day. (The signing of the Declaration of Independence didn’t begin until August and wasn’t complete until November.)
“They didn’t have the written document completed until the 4th,” Heintze said.
“When they took that document to the printer on July 4th, he printed that date on the top. And that was the broadside that was sent out to all of the new states and the generals in the field. It became widely circulated, and July 2nd was forgotten.”
What year was the 4th of July made a federal holiday? 1941
4th of July Color Pages - see below
Hand print American Flags - Need materials
- Red, white, blue and yellow paint
- Paint the palm of the hand blue, the fingers paint red, white, red, white for the strips. Place the hand on a piece of construction paper.
- As your hand print dries, paint the flagpole (white) and a yellow star on top.
- Once the hand print is dry, paint white stars (or dots for younger kids) on the blue section.
PURPOSE: You may have been born with the same eye color as your Mom, or you may have the same uneven toes as your Father.
We receive many physical traits of our parents and ancestors, but one thing that is unique for us to build and create on our own -- is our own testimonies.
SCRIPTURE: Helaman 5:12
SONG: "How Firm A Foundation"
LESSON: During the April 2009 General Conference, President Monson shared a story of the importance of building strong roads...
"In 1959, I met N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), who later would be a counselor to four Presidents of the Church. President Tanner was president of the Canada Calgary Stake. We discussed the cold Canadian winters, where temperatures can linger well below freezing and icy winds lower those temperatures even further.
I asked President Tanner why the roads in western Canada remained intact during such winters, showing little or no signs of cracking or breaking, while road surfaces in many areas where winters are less cold and less severe developed cracks and breaks and potholes.
Said he, “The answer is in the depth of the base of the paving materials. In order for them to remain strong and unbroken, it is necessary to go very deep with the foundation layers. When the foundations are not deep enough, the surfaces cannot withstand the extremes of weather."
President Monson suggested 3 Ways to Build A Strong Testimony:
2. Daily Scripture Study
1. How do these three things help us create a strong foundation?
2. What do you think would happen to our foundations if we started taking out one of these three things?
3. What are other ways in which to build a strong testimony?
How A Road is Built
First: A bulldozer drives over the dirt, leveling bumps and filling in dips.
Next: A sprayer puts water on the dirt, and a roller presses it down.
Then: A 12-inch layer of gravel is added. Workers put water on the gravel and press it down. Then, more layers of gravel are added. The more layers, the stronger the road.
Last: Asphalt or concrete is spread on top to make the road smooth for cars and trucks to drive on.
Prayer, scriptures, and service will give your road through life a strong foundation.
Create and build your own Testimony road. Use a sidewalk, cardboard, whatever is easiest for your family to create a fun road with stops along the way that will help build your testimony.
1. Go to the temple
2. Hold weekly Family Home Evenings
3. Attend church meetings
4. Daily prayers
5. Daily scripture study
And so forth!
Purpose: We all have a unique identity and role. We learn in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" that "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
We also have unique gifts and talents (tools) that will help us in our lives, plus be able to help others around us.
Let us work harder to learn about, develop and honor our divine roles and use our heavenly gifts for good.
Scripture: Mosiah 4:15
Song: "I Am A Child of God"
Have you ever looked through all the tools in your Dad's or Grandpa's toolbox and wondered what in the world can all these tools possibly do? Have you ever wanted to create something or fix something that was broken, but didn't have the right tool to use?
As we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day during May and June, may we contemplate all the gifts and tools that come with these divine roles. (Divine means like-God)
Name 3 roles/jobs Mothers play in the family.
Name 3 roles/jobs Father's play in the family.
There are also many jobs, or roles, that each child plays in the family as well.
Likewise it is the same with our earthly family. We each have our own gifts, or tools, that we have been given to help others.
For example, Brother Stoddard loves riding bikes! He also is very willing to help others fix their broken bikes. He shared an example from when he was repairing a broken bike:
As I used the wrench to tighten a certain area of the bike, I looked at all the other tools that I have available to me. I have a air pump, pliers, screw driver and so on. However, I can't use a wrench to do the job of the air pump and the air pump can't do the job of the screw driver.
This doesn't mean that one tool is better than another. Each tool has a task or job that it can help out with specifically.
We have many spiritual and physical tools we have been given as well. We have gifts that others don't have and others have gifts that we don't have. Our Father in Heaven needs us to be willing to help each other out and use our gifts we've been given. If he didn't want us to help others, we would only have one tool in the toolbox.
But, because we are all different, we need to learn what our gifts and talents are, develop them throughout our life and be willing to use these gifts to help others. In this way, we are honoring the gifts He has blessed us with and perhaps, He'll put more tools in our toolbox.
1. What are some gifts/tools of those individuals in your family?
2. How can these tools help you today?
3. How can these tools help you become the kind of Mother or Father you want to be?
4. What are some ways we can honor our gifts/talents?
Paint with Kitchen Tools
Purpose: Personal revelation is when we receive guidance for our own lives. Growing up, our parents give us guidance (which means to direct or teach). They help us know that hot ovens can burn us, so we don't touch ourselves. They teach us to look both ways before crossing a street - their guidance comes from loving us. They want us to be protected and give us the correct directions to help us have that protection.
Personal revelation is when we seek our own understanding and guidance in the life. You are faced with many choices and need to learn to listen to how the Holy Ghost talks to YOU individually so that you can continue down good paths.
Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 11:12-14
Hymn: "Let The Holy Spirit Guide"
The summer before starting 4th grade, my family moved from a very, very rural town in South Carolina to a much bigger town about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta Georgia. My father had moved to down to start his new career earlier and after school ended, my mother loaded my older brother, me and my baby brother into her car and headed to Georgia to join my dad.
The trip was going well until we came upon the "Spaghetti Junction" in Atlanta - a detail my Dad left out when giving my Mom directions. When this small town girl approached a string of roads going in every direction, it was too overwhelming for her. She pulled over and cried and cried. This was in the 80s, before cell phone, beepers or GPS navigational systems.
She was alone in a huge new town, three small children in her car and so many roads ahead of her, how would she know which one to take?
My mother was the greatest example of prayer. That is all we could do as we sat on the side of the highway. That is how we knew which road to take and have the courage to follow that answer as well.
Was my mother scared? Absolutely.
I remember the fear and tears streaming from her eyes as she pressed on the gas pedal and with courage continued on.
This is the same for all of us today. There are MANY paths in which our lives can take. How will you know which path is right for you?
Personal revelation is just that:
PERSONAL: just for YOU.
REVELATION: divine guidance, protection, inspiration
It wasn't to far down the road that she realized we were headed in the right direction. Our loving Heavenly Father is the same. There's not a path that He will lead us down that is wrong. If we seek to know which road to take - and take the courage to follow the RIGHT path - we will be blessed.
We have also been promised to know if a decision we've made is right or wrong.
The Holy Ghost speaks to each of us differently and in different ways. Learn how He speaks to you and have courage to act...
From President Monson's 4-minute General Conference address in April 2016; "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
How to Receive Personal Revelation: Pray, Read Your Scriptures, Fast, Attend the temple, Act on Good thoughts, block out outside influences (phones, TV, social media, bad music, etc), Listen to the still small voice, ACT! These are some of the ingredients to help you learn how to receive revelation for yourself.
1. What is understanding personal revelation important?
2. How does or has the Holy Ghost taught you?
3. What personal revelation are you currently seeking? What ingredients are you missing in order to receive the revelation you're seeking?
4. What are the two different ways Elder Bednar describes receiving revelation in this video?
5. Name other thoughts that stood out to you during the video.
The next time you lose your cell phone, keys, homework, etc. - I challenge you to go to the Lord in sincere prayer to know where to look for the lost item(s). Pay attention to the thought(s) that come into your mind - even if it seems silly or even if you've already looked in those spots. It's vital you ACT on every thought.
Doing so, I am confident you will begin to learn the power of personal revelation!
Even though you may think Heavenly Father doesn't care where my keys are -- He does care, because it is important to YOU and you are the most important to Him!
PURPOSE: We live in a society that is rapidly changing where we are constantly in communication with people all over the country and world at the tips of our fingers.
Learning, discussing and teaching basic manners will help us be better connected people in a world that is becoming unconnected socially.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:31
SONG: "Kindness Begins With Me"
Manners are basic rules that a society practices to show respect for one another.
There are different manners used in every country of the world, even different mannerisms used
in different places around the United States.
Japan: Bow to greet. The younger person bows lower than the oldest person when greeting one another. It is also impolite to blow your nose in public or stand with your hands in your pocket. Leaving a little bit of rice in your bowl indicates you want seconds.
Kenya: Use handshakes to greet one another. Eating is usually done in silence. Kenyans do not like to say
“no” or “yes” and you must ask permission to take pictures of them.
1. Why are manners important?
2. What are some manners that you know?
3. How can work on using our manners better?
1. Perform various manners/customs from around the world and have your family/group guess what country practices those manner/customs.
2. Print and do the Manners Matching Game below.
Purpose: If your Spring or summer days are dragging on and you’re wondering what adventure you can do next, then pack up your sidewalk chalk and go for a little service stroll for Family Home Evening!
Lesson: Service is a trademark attribute of the followers of Jesus Christ. There are many, many ways in which we can serve others. At times we may have the thought that someone could use a visit, but do we choose to go and visit them?
The Lord uses us to help his children here on earth. He has entrusted each of us to serve one another, as He would serve us as if He were here.
Service helps us to set aside our selfish thoughts and desires by putting others first. Doing kind acts help each of us grow in character, as well as in testimony of the importance of serving and being served.
Discussion: Serving others doesn’t have to be a huge under-taking. Review these questions with your family, group or ward.
– How does it feel to serve others?
– Why is important to serve others?
– Have you ever received service from someone else? How did it feel to be served?
– What are some ways you can serve someone this week?
Think of 2-3 people or families that you can create a “Sidewalk Service” to. Be sure that adults supervise and OK which homes you visit and where you draw your pictures.
Create a happy message to let the family/individual know how much they are loved and appreciated.
You can leave a note on their door so that they can find your drawing.
Check out this fun, easy and delicious treat for Family Home Evening! It would be simple to have as you walked around doing your Sidewalk Service as well!
(photo from Ziplock)
Purpose: To reinforce some of the topics that each person learned from watching/attending General Conference.
Hymn: “Teach me to Walk in the Light”
Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 19:23
Lesson: In the ancient times, prophets and apostles taught the people God's laws and commandments. We have the record of their teachings in the Holy Scriptures.
Today, we also have the gift to learn from our Prophet, Apostles and other church leaders twice a year during General Conference. They give us guidance for what we face in our day. Reading General Conference talks is like reading the scriptures of OUR day.
We should study often their words and put them into our hearts and lives.
General Conference Talks - CLICK HERE
Conference Quote Bingo:
1. Find quotes teaching basic gospel principles and doctrine from the speakers. Share a quote and use a button, bean, etc to fill the space of the topic discussed.
You can also play portions of conference online with the speaker saying the quote as well.
Conference Bingo Squares
2- Name all those in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. If available, use or print individual photos of each leader, then write their names on other pieces of paper, tear individually and play a name/face matching game.
3- Write down a family goal that you want to have as a result of knowledge gained from General Conference. Make a poster with the family goal and have it hanging where everyone can see it daily.
(Example: Hold weekly FHE, Go to the temple monthly, play church music daily, have family scripture study daily, etc)
4. Study the areas where new temples were announced in General Conference. Where are these places on the map? What is life like there?