“Sharing Time: Love at Home,” Friend, June 1996, 44
Can you guess the answer to this riddle? What is as invisible as the wind and as warm as the sun, can be given away without losing any, grows when it is shared, comes from your heart, and shows on your face?
The answer to the riddle is love. Love is a powerful feeling of affection, concern, and tenderness for another.
Your home in heaven was filled with love. Your Heavenly Father prepared a plan of happiness for you because He loves you. That plan makes it possible for you to become like Him and return to live with Him forever. Your Savior and Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, suffered and gave His life to free you from sin and death. Heavenly Father and Jesus love you. Jesus gave us a commandment to love one another as He loves us. When you love others and show that love by your actions, you are following Him. When you love others, you show that you are a child of Heavenly Father and a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ (see John 13:34–35). You become more like Them.
Your home here on earth is the first and most important place to show love. You can do it in very simple but powerful ways—a smile, a thank you, a hug, a kind word or deed. You can say, “I love you.” Everyone enjoys hearing those words again and again. As you show love for your family, that love will grow, and you will help to make your home a heavenly place.
A home filled with love is a heavenly place.
A person filled with love is following Jesus.
Mount the folding house and hearts on a heavier piece of paper or lightweight cardboard, and color them. Cut out the house and the slot in the roof. Fold along the dotted lines to create a box house, and glue where indicated. Cut out the hearts. Begin with an empty house each morning. During the day, each time you remember to show your love for a family member, slip a heart through the slot in the roof. At the end of the day, open the lid of your box house and see how many hearts you have collected. Start over each day and try to increase the number of hearts you place in your house. Share this activity with your family, and see how many hearts you can collect together. (Make more hearts as needed.)
1. Explain to the children that the Savior gave us a commandment to “love one another” (John 13:34). Let them suggest ways that they can show love for the members of their families. Then divide into classes, and give each class the name of a family member—Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Grandma, or Grandpa. Have each class create a new verse, with words and actions, to the song “Oh, How We Love to Stand” (Children’s Songbook, p. 279) by substituting the name given to them for the words to stand in the first line, and creating new words and actions for the rest of that line and the second line of the song. (Example: “Oh, how we love Mother and show her every day—Wash the dishes, sweep the floor, and put the toys away.”) You may need to play the song several times so that the children will feel the rhythm of the phrases. Have each class sing its verse with actions, then teach it to the others.
2. Clear a space in the room and let the younger children sit in a circle. Tell them that there are many ways to love and serve the members of their families. Select one child to stand in the center of the circle. As everyone sings “When We’re Helping” (Children’s Songbook, p. 198), have the child in the center do an action that goes with the song. Explain that even a smile can be an expression of love. Sing “Smiles” (Children’s Songbook, p. 267), and let the children show their biggest frowns and biggest smiles.
3. Bring six hats representing Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Grandma, and Grandpa. Have the children sit in a circle and pass the hats from head to head while they sing “Here We Are Together” (Children’s Songbook, p. 261). Use the names in the song. As you finish it, have each child wearing a hat tell why the person represented by that hat is important to him or her and how he or she could show love for that person. Suggest that the children share this activity with their family during a family home evening.
4. Ask an adult member of the ward to share with the children a note or letter they have received from a loved one and tell the children why it was important to them. Explain to the children how nice it is to receive a note of love and appreciation. Have the children create a card from construction paper to take home to someone in their family.
5. Explain that just saying you love someone is not always enough. You must show him that you love him through your actions. Tell the children that there are many opportunities to serve family members every day. Have the children play Family Service Charades. In one bowl, have slips of paper with ideas for service. Have the child whose name you draw from the first bowl pull a slip from the second bowl and act out the service for the other children to guess. Possible service ideas: washing dishes, giving a hug, writing a letter, making a bed, playing a game with a younger child, making cookies, saying a prayer for someone, drawing a picture, smiling, picking up toys, getting the mail, setting the table, reading to a younger child, and washing the car.
6. Write on word strips a variety of kind and unkind adjectives children might use to describe people (for example: ugly, kind, stupid, smart, fat, skinny). Explain to the children that words are very powerful and that some words we use to describe people can hurt their feelings and should never be said. Tell them that there are words we can use to describe people that are loving and that should be used often. Place a big garbage can in the middle of the room and a large vase on the podium. Invite children one at a time to the front of the room to talk about how one of the words makes them feel. Let the children decide whether or not the word should be put in the garbage can or the flower vase.
7. For additional Sharing Time help on the topic “Love at Home,” please see the following Friend Sharing Time pages: “Family Love,” Apr. 1983, p. 17; “Remember Mother,” May 1983, p. 43; “Remember Your Fathers,” June 1983, pp. 28–29; “I Have a Family and Friends,” May 1989, pp. 46–47; “Showing Respect, Honor, and Love for Parents,” July 1992, pp. 12–13; “My Home and Neighborhood,” Sep. 1992, pp. 10–11.