Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Incorporating General Conference into Family Home Evening

Incorporating recent General Conference talks into our FHE lessons isn’t easy. It takes quite a bit of thought and inspired guidance from the Holy Ghost. Sometimes a talk provides most of the material but most of the time we may use a paragraph from a talk and build a lesson around that to suit the needs of our growing family.

I believe my children need to know WHY it is important to know what the prophets teach us. As I child I was somewhat familiar with what the prophets taught because my mother would tell us those things that were important. She also recorded every conference session on VHS. However, I don’t ever remember going over the words of the prophets once the Ensign came out and we didn’t pull out the popcorn to screen the recorded sessions of Conference.

Nevertheless, that did not diminish the responsibility my parents had to teach me the words of living prophets - because they did

But today, as a parent, I have too many tools available NOT to use them to teach my children. I believe I will be accountable for everything I did not teach them because those teachings are literally One. Click. Away.

Just FYI - I don’t post details of everything that happened in our FHE.

First, because what happens week after week is, at times, so unscripted, so NOT made-for-TV that one may read about it and never want to hold FHE again!!

Secondly - and perhaps most importantly - when those unexpected, wonderful moments DO happen to occur, the questions and the answers and the discussions you will have offer a way for the Holy Ghost to enter into your home and teach your family – individually and collectively.

So here is an example of a Family Home Evening lesson we have had recently:
We took the introduction of our lesson from Lesson 24 entitled I Will Follow the Prophet from the Nursery Manual “Behold, Your Little Ones.”

First: We played "follow the leader." We had the younger children be the leaders. (We jumped around, acted like monkeys and sang a song).

Second: We asked our younger children to identify these prophets (this one and this one and this one and this one) using Gospel Art Pictures. We were able to talk about what the Lord told them to tell the people. This brought us to our living, latter-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and what the Lord has told him to tell us.

Third: We made up a fun “stomp-clap” to the words of the chorus “Follow the Prophet.” It got pretty loud as we got going!

Fourth: For the younger children we gave them time to color a picture about prophets.

The older children were asked to read President Monson’s priesthood session talk and write down some of the things they felt the Lord wanted them to know through His prophet.

(In retrospect, I would have given each older child a specific paragraph to read and present, rather than having them read the whole talk right there. We did, however, invite them to read this talk sometime tonight or this week).

End: We ended with this question, “When have you been blessed by following the prophet?”

Two shared their thoughts, but I noticed everyone – even the younger children – taking a moment to think about the question, allowing the Holy Ghost to bring to remembrance something that maybe they experienced or remembering hearing from someone else.

We tried to end with the “stomp-clap” we had enjoyed earlier, but our younger three children had checked out and started throwing crayons and acting like monkeys again. So we ended with a song and prayer and and had ice cream cones for our treat!

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