Weekly Thoughts and Tips

October 2013


Conference Follow-up

By Jocelyn Christensen
October 25, 2013

During general conference, Elder Hales taught that "the greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over," and that conference is not above the spiritual comprehension of children and youth. Here are three things you can do to help young children learn messages from general conference.

  1. Help children become familiar with the names and faces of the prophets and apostles by posting their pictures in a place where you can review them often as a family.  
  2. Prayerfully select key words and brief phrases from conference talks that will be easy for your children to remember and match with the correct speaker.
  3. Look for object lessons used in the talks that are easy for you to replicate during family home evening lessons. 

Our family has had a lot of fun with the third tip listed above. After April's General Conference, we built a campfire in our backyard and spoke about how Elder Holland said to "fan the flame of your faith." We made a wave in a bottle and discussed Elder Nelson's encouragement to "catch the wave" of missionary work. President Uchtdorf's promise that "with Christ, darkness cannot succeed" prompted us to create glowing lanterns out of milk jugs.

In this conference, Elder Bednar shed some light on the blessings of paying tithing when he mentioned that light filters in through a window continuously. President Monson taught that in the great race of life, the question to be asked is, "Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" and that when it comes to adversity, "The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees."

With a little thought and planning, you can tailor the teachings of the prophets to your family by tapping into the individual interests and needs of each family member. Do you live by an ocean or did you recently visit the beach? Are you planning on going on a family hike or walk? Use these shared experiences to teach lessons from conference to your children in a simple way that is sure to resonate with them.

Sabbath-day Communication

By Tiffany Lewis
October 18, 2013

I grew up an avid journal writer and always assumed my kids would follow in my footsteps. They haven’t! Most of them find writing a bit of a chore. But since I think writing is such a good way to record moments in our lives and communicate with family members, we've come up with a system that seems to work for us. My children have an aunt on a mission, so we sit down each week at the computer and write letters to her. The older children, who are learning typing skills, write their own letter, while the younger ones dictate their thoughts to me so I can send them in an email. If they want to include a drawing, I’ll snap a picture of it and attach it to the email as well. Then I keep a copy of whatever we send her. This exercise has proven to be a two-for-one special: we are able to stay in touch with family members while also making a record of our days.

Teaching Children With Disabilities

By Mary Durham, Primary general board
October 11, 2013

A wise Primary leader once said, “Having children with disabilities is not a problem to be solved but rather an opportunity for the whole Primary.  The Lord is aware of these children.”

During His mortal ministry, the Savior showed great compassion to people with disabilities. 

Lesson 5 of Teaching, No Greater Call offers these helpful suggestions: “Try not to feel uncomfortable about their disabilities. Recognize that all people are different in one way or another. With love and sensitivity, you can help class members with disabilities participate in lessons.”

As Primary leaders, we should seek to follow the example of Jesus Christ by offering hope, understanding, and love to those who have disabilities.  

Editor's note: We've recently updated this site to include content addressing the topic of disabilities. Click here to view it, or go to Resources by Topic and click on "Disabilities."

Conference Highlights

By Marissa Widdison
October 4, 2013

Did you know that the youth section of ChurchofJesusChrist.org posts highlights from general conference throughout the weekend? You can watch these clips online or download them to watch later. I appreciate that they are short, yet capture the essence of each talk. They'd be perfect to use during family home evening or on Sundays to help your family remember what was taught. Go toyouth.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and select “From Church Leaders,” or click here.