Weekly Thoughts and Tips

June 2014


Your Family’s Pioneers

By Carolyn Colton
June 27, 2014

Young girl speaking at a pulpit

Do your children know who your family’s pioneers are?

There is a Chinese proverb that states, “When you drink the water, remember the person who dug the well.” You are enjoying membership in the Church because others in your family—or maybe you!—accepted the invitation to be baptized. Do your children know the conversion stories in your family?

For a fun family home evening, learn the stories of your ancestors who first converted to the Church. Open an atlas and find the country or city where they were born, baptized, or went to church. You could scatter clues throughout the house for your children to find and use to piece together the story. Or have the children turn the story into a play and reenact it. 

Editor’s note: Pioneer Day is next month! Click here for stories, games, and activities about pioneers. 

Talk Time

By Marissa Widdison
June 20, 2014

Young girl speaking at a pulpit

Do you remember the first time you gave a talk in Primary? While it can be a really positive spiritual experience, talks can also be nerve-wracking. If your child needs to give a talk in Primary anytime soon, two pages in the June 2014 Friend might be especially useful. On page 28, I Hope They Call Me on a Mission includes tips for writing a basic talk about a gospel topic. On the next page, children share suggestions for overcoming nervousness while speaking in front of others.

The stories below might also provide some additional ideas and encouragement. Helping children learn to share stories and testimonies in their own words is one way we can help them prepare for lifelong missionary service and meaningful gospel conversations!

Brave Enough” (April 2014 Friend)—Luke is sad that his dad is gone on military duty and can’t help him give his talk, but he prays to be brave like his dad.

My Heart Is Happy” (February 2012 Friend)—Jennifer uses pictures to give her Primary talk. 

Just Like Heavenly Father” (January 2008 Friend)—Krista gives a simple talk about the Plan of Salvation.

Nathan’s Primary Talk” (November 1992 Friend)—Nathan’s mom helps him create unique talk notes.

Teaching with Stories

By Joy Jones, Primary general board
June 13, 2014

Primary teacher and class

Recently I taught a Primary class and was reminded how much children love to hear a story. Later in sharing time, the children were asked to share what they remembered from the past general conference. Hands immediately shot up. I was amazed by the detailed and accurate recollections from several of the children. All of their responses had something in common—they remembered a story.

In Teaching, No Greater Call we are reminded that, “Everyone likes good stories. Stories enrich lessons and capture the interest of learners as few other teaching methods can. Stories can be used to answer questions, introduce or reinforce principles, or summarize lessons. They can be especially effective to clarify and teach gospel principles by giving examples of righteous living, reaching all listeners on their own level of understanding”.

The Savior is the example we should follow in all our gospel teaching. He frequently used stories or parables as He taught. At home and in Primary, stories can be a great teaching tool.

Conference on the Menu

By Jocelyn Christensen
June 6, 2014

Conference menu

One way our family keeps the teachings of general conference in our daily lives is by posting key phrases on a menu board in our kitchen where we can all see it. We change the phrases about every week and work to memorize the lines and who said them. Sometimes I write the week’s phrase—minus a few words—on notes and put them in my children’s lunch boxes. It’s a little game we play to see if they can remember what they have learned at home. I hope it gives them the spiritual boost they need to brighten up their day!

Editor’s note: You can read and watch past general conference talks at gc.ChurchofJesusChrist.org