Weekly Thoughts and Tips

March 2012


Speakers and Snacks

By Linda Davies and Marissa Widdison
March 30, 2012

A friend of ours has a fun idea for watching general conference with his children. Before conference, his family sits down and reads about the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They look at where the Brethren were born, where they served missions, their favorite hobbies, and their professions before they became General Authorities. Then, as each of the Brethren speaks in conference, the family eats snacks they have creatively associated with that speaker.

For example, since Elder Bednar served as president of BYU-Idaho, they munch on potato chips while he speaks. Pretzels and peanuts go along with President Uchtdorf and his airplanes. Elder Perry liked playing baseball with his friends as a boy, so why not have hot dogs?

Our friend says that since they started this activity, their kids have learned a lot about each of the Apostles and look forward to watching every session. 

You can find short biographies for each of the Brethren by clicking here

Filling Your Home with Bright Ideas

By Marissa Widdison
March 23, 2012

I love the Bright Ideas in each month’s Friend! This month’s Bright Idea is about courage. Here are some ideas for using this fun feature at home.

  • Put Bright Ideas in page protectors and hang them in high-traffic areas. In our house, my favorite places to post are by the bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator. The page protectors keep the pages looking nice and allow me to easily swap out an old Bright Idea for a new one each month.
  • Repeat the scripture or quote on the Bright Idea at the beginning of family home evening each week. Cover some of the words with sticky notes so you have to remember them from week to week.
  • Make the most of shower time by making waterproof Bright Ideas that will stick to the wall. Get a clear, gallon-sized re-sealable bag—I found the freezer ones work best—without any holes in it. Trim about a quarter of an inch off of the top or bottom of your Bright Idea, and it should fit nicely into the bag. Press all of the air out of the bag and seal it tight. Next, put some water on the back of the bag. The wet side of the bag should stick to any smooth, tiled wall. Voila! It’s amazing how much you can remember by reading something in the shower every day.

Advice for Dad

By Katie Steed, Associate Clinical Professor of Special Education at Brigham Young University
March 16, 2012

One day my father called to ask how he could help a boy in his Primary class who had a disability. As someone who has spent years studying and teaching about special education, I was happy to help. I suggested the following:

  • Create a class schedule outlining the order of prayer, song, lesson, etc. to help this student feel more at peace.
  • Speak to the boy’s parents and find out what he enjoys. For instance, if this boy loved baseball, you could use stories about baseball to teach a principle.
  • Look for ways to keep the students engaged. For example, begin the lesson sitting in chairs, stand up to sing a hymn, and maybe even sit on the floor to read a story.
  • Every few minutes, take time to compliment students for good behavior. Sometimes adults are good at catching children when they are not behaving appropriately but not nearly as good at catching them behaving well.
  • A co-teacher might be helpful. When two leaders share the responsibilities of the class, one of you can focus more fully on assisting the individual.

My dad called me a while later and said that he was able to use these tools and create a wonderful learning environment.


By Tiffany Lewis
March 9, 2012

My husband and I felt like our four young boys needed a respect reminder—especially when it came to honoring their parents. I dug through the Friend archives and found a sharing time lesson featuring Sister Chieko Okazaki’s story of how her Buddhist parents taught her respect at home (see “Sharing Time: Showing Respect, Honor, and Love for Parents” in the July 1992 Friend). For family home evening, we sat in a circle and shared suggestions of how we could be obedient and respectful without being asked. I was pleased—and a little surprised—at some of the examples my kids came up with.

Bringing Primary Home

By Hilary Watkins Lemon
March 2, 2012

Are you familiar with the Bringing Primary Home department of the Friend? Check out this article to learn more about how this section of the magazine has changed over the past year or so.

Bringing Primary Home is a great way to keep up with what your children are learning in Primary. Each month the Friend prints an activity to supplement the sharing time lessons. For example, this month the sharing time outline focuses on prophets. Bringing Primary Home in the March issue is called Living Prophets Teach Me to Choose the Right.” In addition to a short story about a girl listening to the prophet during general conference, you’ll find a printable game and small photo of President Monson. All of these activities could be done by a child individually, with a friend or sibling, or in a group setting such as family home evening.

This month’s Bringing Primary Home is perfectly timed for general conference! Print out a copy for each child in your family and prepare them to have a special experience as they listen to the words of the prophets.