Weekly Thoughts and Tips

November 2013


A Growing Gratitude Tree

By Marissa Widdison
November 29, 2013

Our gratitude tree at the Friend is filling up with leaves! Emphasizing gratitude is a great way to help youngsters focus less on the presents and more on the blessings associated with the holiday season. You can create a gratitude tree at home by using leaf patterns from the November Friend.

Quiet Breakfast

By Tiffany Lewis
November 22, 2013

On school mornings I’m usually occupied making lunches, finishing up breakfast, and generally bustling around the house putting things in order. This can mean that the breakfast table goes unsupervised, and things can turn chaotic. One of the best methods I’ve used for keeping everyone calm is to turn to the Mormon Channel on my phone and allow the kids to listen to Stories from General Conference while they eat. This keeps them quiet and focused, and allows them to learn and feel the Spirit before they head off to school. We’ve had great conversations come out of the stories we hear. It seems like a good way to lay a foundation for the rest of the day.

A Friendly Gift

By Hilary Watkins Lemon
November 13, 2013

My family and I recently moved to a new city and were surprised to learn that our next-door neighbor was a less-active member of the Church. We had the opportunity to assist the missionaries as they taught two of our neighbor’s Primary-aged daughters the gospel. We rejoiced with the girls when they accepted the invitation to be baptized!

Most members of this family still choose not to attend church or be baptized. I was worried that my neighbor girls would not have a strong gospel presence at home, so I made sure the girls had a subscription to the Friend. Whenever I visit their home, I see the magazine proudly displayed on a table in the living room, and even family members who are not members of the Church sometimes read the magazine and complete activities together.

Are the children in your Primary receiving the Friend? You could look at page 12 of this month’s issue with your own children and see if they have a friend who might like to receive a subscription of the magazine as a gift.

Editor's note: You can order a Friend gift subscription here.

The Savior Is Our Example for Teaching Children

By Erin Sanderson, Primary general board
November 8, 2013

As teachers of children, we can look to the Savior for the perfect example for how we should teach and lead. When the resurrected Savior ministered to the Nephites, He showed His great love for little children. “He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them… And He spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes toward heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them” (3 Nephi 17:21, 23-24).

On page 108 of Teaching, No Greater Call, Elder M. Russell Ballard refers to this account: “Clearly, those of us who have been entrusted with precious children have been given a sacred, noble stewardship, for we are the ones God has appointed to encircle today’s children with love and the fire of faith and an understanding of who they are.”

Teaching with love and faith helps children to gain a testimony, live the gospel, and make choices that will keep them on the path back to our Heavenly Father.

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

By Jessica Larsen
November 1, 2013

I’m blessed to serve in my ward’s nursery. Because many of the children are still learning to talk, we rely heavily on pictures to teach gospel principles. Though these children can’t give eloquent testimonies or recite scriptures, they can all point to a picture of the Savior and say, “Jesus.” They are young, but they are learning to recognize the Savior.

Images are a powerful way to teach children the gospel. The Church has gathered more than 130 beautiful paintings and photographs in the Gospel Art Book. You can use these pictures to tell scripture stories and teach why we should be like the men and women in the scriptures. If your children are older, you could invite them to use the Gospel Art Book to teach short lessons to younger siblings. Read this short article to learn more about the Gospel Art Book, which is available through distribution centersor online in the ChurchofJesusChrist.org media library.