Weekly Thoughts and Tips

April 2015


Gearing Up for Gardening

By Tiffany Lewis
April 24, 2015

Tomatoes in a garden

Many of us don’t live on farms, but we can still help our children learn some of the lessons that come from growing and harvesting food. Building and maintaining a backyard garden is a great family project! Faith, patience, and persistence can all be learned by planting seeds and caring for plants. The kids can choose the vegetables they want to plant. Even if you don’t have the space for a full garden, kids can help tend and water plants in containers on a patio, deck, or window box.

When the time is right, families can take advantage of U-pick farms in their area to harvest strawberries, blueberries, apples or vegetables, then work together to find the best way to freeze or store the food. The scriptures are filled with analogies of the harvest—the more we connect our families to this process, the better they will be able to understand the value of the gospel message.

Sustaining the Prophet

By Jocelyn Christensen
April 17, 2015

Children enjoy raising their hands to sustain leaders both in church and during general conference. We can begin now to help our kids understand the significance of this gesture. We listened to Elder Russell M. Nelson’s October 2014 general conference talk, “Sustaining the Prophets,” with our children. Then we traced our own hands onto cardstock and cut them out. We wrote ideas of what it means to sustain the prophets on the fingers of our cardstock hands and attached our cardstock hands to wooden craft sticks so we could play with them and wave them around! We are hoping that this “handy” imagery will allow us to easily remember what we are promising to do when we raise our hands to sustain the prophets—in general conference and in our daily lives.

Conducting Discussions

By Reyna Aburto, Primary general board
April 10, 2015

Painting of Jesus and young man

Think of how the Savior taught. He was the perfect teacher. He allowed those He taught to participate in an active way that changed their minds and hearts. We all want to teach like the Savior and follow His example. How can teachers create a classroom atmosphere where students are actively participating—discussing ideas, discovering truth, and putting their learning into practice?

On page 63 of Teaching, No Greater Call, we find inspired counsel in a chapter entitled “Conducting Discussions.”  We learn that discussions encourage learning, unity, and understanding. Discussions also decrease misunderstanding.

Here are a few of the gems found in that chapter which could help encourage active learning and true conversion among our students:

  • “The Holy Ghost may prompt one or more of those you teach to contribute insights that others need to hear. Be open to promptings you receive to call on specific people.”
  • “You can help those you teach feel more confident about their ability to participate in a discussion if you respond positively to every sincere comment.”
  • “Make every effort to listen sincerely to learners’ comments. Your example will encourage them to listen carefully to one another.”

Sharing Conference Moments

By Marissa Widdison
April 3, 2015

Two little girls watching General Conference on TV

Each May and November, the Friend publishes a handful of quotes and pictures about conference. We'd love to hear from you! Please write down the special experiences your family had with conference—whether it’s a comment a child made about a favorite talk, a picture they drew, or a photo of your family watching the television from a tent pitched in your living room—and send it our way. If you email everything to friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org by the Monday right after conference, it may even make it into the May magazine! Everything else will be kept on file for next conference season or used on Facebook. We hope to hear from you soon!