Weekly Thoughts and Tips

September 2014


Show and Tell

September 26, 2014

Family watching General Conference

Did you know that the Friend prints a special post-conference “Show & Tell” the month after general conference? Here’s what it looked like in the May issue. These pages wouldn’t be possible without one special ingredient: YOU! As your family watches the general women’s meeting on September 27th, or general conference on October 4th and 5th, please write down the special experiences your children have and send them our way. Or just write and tell us what their favorite talk was. Including a nice picture increases the likelihood that their responses will make it into the magazine, and a statement of permission to use the content in Church publications is essential! You can send everything to friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org the Monday after conference for it to be considered for the November magazine. We hope to hear from you!

A Note about New Music

By Marissa Widdison
September 19, 2014

My Covenant Path sheet music

Did you know that some favorite Primary songs were first published as new music in the Friend? This year the magazine will feature four new songs, and one of them is printed in this month’s issue! What I like about “My Covenant Path” is that the lyrics can help children better understand the promises they are going to make, or have recently made, at baptism. It also describes how that covenant fits into the context of the larger path of life. 

Sneak peek: next month’s magazine will feature a song called “Our Time to Shine,” which can help children feel courageous about choosing the right! Audio files and sheet music to both of these songs will be posted on the Friend music site.

Matching Names, Faces, and Teachings

By Jocelyn Christensen
September 12, 2014

Matching game

When we put this chart together three conferences ago, we had no idea what a useful tool it would be in helping our children learn the names of the prophet and apostles! I printed off pictures of the Brethren from a page on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and laminated them. Using Velcro, I attached the pictures above each name. After giving each child a chance to study the pictures for a while, I’d remove a few and ask the child to match them again. They got so good at it that we started holding races to see who could put the chart together the fastest.

Sometimes during family home evening, I will ask the children to get a specific picture, or I'll present a specific teaching and ask the kids to find the Apostle who mentioned it during conference. We keep this poster on a wall in our kitchen and refer back to it often. Conference has really come alive for my children as we have come to know our leaders and their teachings.

Editor’s note: You can find printable cards with pictures and facts about the prophet and apostles in this month’s Friend.

The Power of Music

By Jan Taylor, Primary general board
September 5, 2014

Four children singing

When I was growing up, my siblings and I would sometimes have disagreements. During those times, our father would sing, “We are all enlisted till the conflict is o'er; Happy are we! Happy are we!” (Hymns, no. 250). That hymn, “We Are All Enlisted,” has had a lasting impact on my life as I have continually pondered the words.

What do you remember most about Primary? Frequently the answer to that question is, “The music!” Primary songs teach the doctrine in a simple and clear manner. As my father’s singing illustrated, music can remain in our minds and hearts long after other lessons have faded away.

In lesson 8 of Teaching, No Greater Call, we learn that “music enables us to express spiritual feelings that we may have difficulty expressing through the spoken word. [President] Boyd K. Packer said that ‘we are able to feel and learn very quickly through music … some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly’” (45-46).

The next time you teach a lesson, ask yourself what Primary song or hymn could help reinforce what you are trying to teach. How can you incorporate music into your lessons? Great resources can be found on the Primary music page as well as music.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.