Weekly Thoughts and Tips

April 2016


Making the “Little Things” Work

April 29, 2016

Illustration of family reading scriptures

On Facebook this week, we asked how families were successful in doing the “little things” like daily prayer and scripture study. People posted great comments! Here are a few of the ideas that were shared. If you’re on social media, join us for the next conversation at www.facebook.com/friend.magazine!

  • Don’t give up! Make it short and fun, but don’t water it down too much because the Spirit will testify and teach them. “I long for the day when we can discuss the scriptures together as parents and children (and have it actually be reverent) but for  now, I’m happy knowing that they know how important it is to us.” —Sarah 
  • Just read a verse a night, if that’s all you can handle, and end with family prayer. “It is such a habit ... They are old enough now we can have gospel discussions. All from one verse each night!” —Heidi
  • Write scriptures on bathroom mirrors with dry-erase markers; then memorize them as a family. “When my kids brush their teeth, they are also reading and memorizing scriptures!” —Amanda

Five Tips for FHE

By Kim Webb Reid
April 22, 2016

Family praying

Even if family home evening doesn’t always go the way you hope, it still teaches children important lessons. It teaches them that we study Jesus’s teachings at home, not just at church. They see that the gospel is a part of their family’s everyday lives. They learn that family time is a high priority to you and that you love spending time with them. Those are some pretty great blessings!

Here are five easy ways to help children gain even more from family home evening!

  1. Let children take turns choosing the song. You can listen to a few during the week they can choose from (see music.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
  2. Like Dallin in “Flashlight Family Night” (page 2), your child can help show a picture to go along with the lesson.
  3. Small children may be happier to sit still for lesson time if they have somewhere special to sit, like on a “family home evening cushion” or blanket.
  4. Use a game as the lesson. Create a gospel-themed treasure hunt around the house to teach the rewards of following righteous directions. Teach obedience by turning “Simon Says” to “Mom and Dad Say” or “The Scriptures Say.” You can find gospel-themed puzzles and mazes, along with other teaching ideas, at lessonhelps.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
  5. Plan a family service activity. Ask your children to think of someone who might need help, and listen to their suggestions.

Keep up the good work! Your children will soon surprise you with what they hear, learn, and remember.

Conference, Continued!

By Marissa Widdison
April 15, 2016

Child's drawing of President Monson

Wasn’t general conference wonderful? The April Friend has some great pages that you could use to follow up with general conference. Pages 24–25 include basic teachings about prophets, past and present. Page 31 teaches about how prophets are called. The song on page 33 would be perfect for a prophet-themed family home evening. Besides these resources, I can’t wait to look back over the collection of past conference-teaching tips and see what I can do to help my family internalize the messages we heard last month! 

Editor’s note: April 2016 conference sessions have all been posted on gc.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Pass It On!

By Jocelyn Christensen
April 8, 2016

Two girls whispering

As a family, we’ve had a lot of fun learning about The Family: A Proclamation to the World. One of our mini-lessons about this was rather spontaneous. We were playing the game “telephone” during family home evening, and I decided to take advantage of that. I started the message with “The family is ordained of God.” The kids followed suit, starting off with other familiar phrases that they know from the proclamation.

When we were done, I asked them why they think we take time to learn about the Family Proclamation the way we do. We talked about how it might relate to the telephone game. I explained that it’s important for them to learn truths correctly and well enough that they can pass them on to others. Sometimes in life, just like the telephone game, messages about how to find happiness in family life get misconstrued or don't get passed along at all.

If our children learn truths well now, they can play an important part in helping all of God’s children find happiness in the days ahead!

Share Your Conference Thoughts!

April 1, 2016

Two children watching conference on an iPad

What did your children like about general conference? Did the talks prompt you to set any family goals? Does your family have any conference traditions? Do you have any fun ideas for reinforcing conference messages at home during the next six months?

Please share with us by writing to friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Maybe we’ll contact you to use your idea for a future Weekly Tip!

If your child would like their response to be considered for publication in the May Friend, please send their quote about conference along with a photo and permission statement by Monday morning.

Happy conference weekend!