Weekly Thoughts and Tips

January 2015


How do you use the Friend?

January 30, 2015

Family reading the Friend magazine

We are collecting feedback about how people use the Friend, and we need your help! Will you please email us and share how you use the Friend to teach at home and in church? Specifically, we’d like to know how you use:

  • Scripture Time pages
  • FHE Ideas on the back cover
  • Family Fun Time page
  • General Authority messages
  • Recipes and crafts
  • Scripture figures on the inside back cover
  • Stories
  • Coloring page
  • Other magazine content

We’d also love to hear about how you use online resources, like friend.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and this Resources for Teaching Children website.

Please email your thoughts to us at friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org with “Friend Questions” in the subject line. Thanks very much for your help!

Beautiful Music Videos

January 23, 2015

Screenshot of Music videos page

Did you know that the children's site on ChurchofJesusChrist.org hasan entire page of music videos set to hymns and Primary songs? Some of them feature the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and many align with the songs children are learning in sharing time for the Primary program. Some were created with the lyrics printed along the bottom of the screen, and most are available for download. Watching these videos is one way your children can get to know good music—Primary classics as well as brand-new songs published in the Friend.

New in the Friend in 2015

By Marissa Widdison
January 16, 2015

Illustration of a boy tracing his hands in crayon

This year’s magazine is going to be full of great content to use at home and in Primary! Here are some highlights. We hope you have a delightful year with your young ones!

  • A Year of Helping Hands—This year we are focusing on the ways children can make a difference in the world around them through service. Each month we will feature an inspiring child profile (look for “Zack’s Shack” in February!). We are also encouraging readers to perform their own service, write it on a handprint, and send it to us! We’ll be collecting handprints until October.
  • Primary Connection—New diamond icons in the table of contents help you know what stories and activities support the Primary themes for the month.
  • Articles of Faith helps—Is a child you know trying to learn and memorize the Articles of Faith? If so, make sure to share this page with him or her. It will include memorization tips and a challenge card.
  • Family History Mystery—It’s time to unleash that inner detective! Kids will love exploring family history with this new monthly feature. Help them create a “case file” so that you can solve the mystery together every month.

“What will my students do in class today?”

By Reyna Aburto, Primary general board
January 9, 2015

Boys sitting in a primary class

A friend of mine recently related the following experience to me. He said: “Years ago, I was called to teach the older boys in our ward Primary. My first reaction was that this would be an easy assignment as far as lesson preparation was concerned. All I needed to do was glance through the lesson and look for the activities that were recommended for my Primary children. After a couple of weeks doing this, I realized the seriousness of my mistake. I remembered a comment by President David O. McKay. He indicated that what every teacher should do was: 1) get into the subject; 2) get the subject into him or herself; then 3) lead, not drive, the students to have the same kind of experience the teacher had.

“So, I began studying the Primary manual lesson for myself, seriously considering all the scripture references and general authority quotes with myself in mind. I was pleasantly surprised at the spiritual experience I had for myself from the Primary lesson manual. Then, and only then, did I begin to look at the lesson with the students in mind, thinking about what they could do to have a similar experience. Once I did that, I began seeing some significant spiritual growth in some of my Primary children.”

As we teach children, our honest efforts to apply in our life the gospel principles we teach will help us find effective ways to invite the children do the same. We will then feel the joy of walking on the path of salvation together.

Sister Virginia H. Pearce said: “A teacher’s goal is greater than just delivering a lecture about truth. It is to invite the Spirit and use techniques that will enhance the possibility that the learner will discover the truth [and] be motivated to apply it. … A skilled teacher doesn’t think, ‘What shall I do in class today?’ but asks, ‘What will my students do in class today?’; not, ‘What will I teach today?’ but rather, ‘How will I help my students discover what they need to know?’” (Teaching, No Greater Call, page 61).