Guide to the Friend

“Guide to the Friend,” Friend, Sept. 2004, inside back cover

Guide to the Friend

The Guide to the Friend can help you find stories or articles for preparing lessons or talks for church or for family home evening. The Primary theme for September is “Respect, love, work, and wholesome recreation can strengthen my family.”

Family Home Evening Ideas

Look for the FHE symbol on the [original magazine] pages mentioned below.

1. Study President Thomas S. Monson’s article “A Treasure Map” (pages 2–3). Before family home evening, draw a map of three places in your home. Write down clues that will guide your family to these places. Go to each place and hide something that represents President Monson’s advice. (For example: place #1—a picture of grandparents for “learn from the past,” place #2—a piggy bank for “prepare for the future,” place #3—a box wrapped as a present for “live in the present.”) Give the clues and map to your family and have them search for the treasures. When they arrive at each hiding place, talk about President Monson’s message for that spot.

2. Write the names of your family members on strips of paper and put them in a hat. Read the poem “My Family” (page 13). Then have each family member draw a name out of the hat. Ask them to name three things the person on the paper does well.

3. Read the story “The Well Boxes” (pages 14–16). Place pieces of paper in a circle on the floor, using two fewer pieces than there are members of your family. One person should be in charge of starting and stopping a music player. While the music is playing, have family members walk in a circle around the papers. When the person stops the music, everyone should jump on a paper. Whoever doesn’t land on a paper switches places with the music person to start and stop the music for the next round. Discuss the idea that, just as we need to listen carefully to the music to be successful at the game, we can be happier in life if we listen to the whisperings of the Spirit.

4. Talk about Elder Spencer V. Jones’s experience with tithing (pages 8–9). As a family, discuss what blessings you have received from paying your tithing and obeying Heavenly Father’s commandments. Write down some of the blessings on small pieces of paper, then decorate a family-sized jar and fill it with the pieces of paper. As you fill the jar together, sing “Count Your Blessings” (Hymns, no. 241). Leave the jar in a place where it will remind everyone of the blessings that come from paying tithing and being obedient.

5. See page 42 for more ideas.

Church Music Web Site

To make the blessings of Church music more accessible to everyone, the Church has launched the Church Music Web site (

The site’s Interactive Church Music Player will play, print, and download most of the songs from Hymns and Children’s Songbook, with or without vocals. Using the player, you can isolate specific parts of a song, change a song to a higher or lower key, and even print it out in a new key. You will find suggestions for teaching hymns to children and a number of other helps.

All the songs can be downloaded as MP3s and are searchable by title, first line, topic, scripture reference, keywords, or author. Micromedia Flash 7.0 is required to view most of the site’s contents. Older browsers may be directed to download the free software before being able to access the site.

Photo © Steve Bunderson. Do not copy.