“Using Church Magazines,” Ensign, Oct. 2003, 73
During a visit from our high councilor to our ward, he gave a short but profound talk encouraging us to read the Church magazines with our families. Referring to Lehi beckoning his family toward the tree of life, our high councilor admonished us to read the magazines and “partake of the fruit.”
To help our family, I first divided the magazines into different “bite-size” portions that we could easily read on several occasions.
1. Read a short article or parts of an article aloud at family council each Sunday. Suggest that one person choose an article from a magazine and share a message in his or her own words.
2. Read aloud one or two articles at dinner or bedtime. By doing this, we gradually make our way through an issue of the Friend.
3. Study an article at family home evening. Once a month have the family choose an article to focus on from old or current Church magazines. (Past issues of the Church magazines are available on the Internet at www.lds.org.) Pair older children with younger siblings so they can read aloud to them. Others read silently for a few minutes and then come back together to share what was learned. This is a time of feasting for the family when everyone contributes to the process.
4. Make a goal chart to encourage reading. Create with your children a reading chart of articles they would like to read from the different magazines. Hang the chart in a location where they will see it daily. A sticker can be placed beside each completed article as family members finish their various readings. Then discuss with your children what they liked and learned. To help encourage your children, make a chart for yourself and let them play the role of marking it and asking you questions about what you read. When the chart is completed, you could give a small reward or treat to celebrate the achievement of your goals together.
Whether you choose to incorporate the Church magazines into your family life in large or small bites, they can have a significant influence on family unity and spirituality. Though choosing to make them a part of your life takes some planning, the resultant blessings are well worth the effort. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).
Cynthia Mar Thomas, Oak Hills Second Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake