Monday, December 28, 2009


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" Hymns pg. 252

3. Read Mosiah 2:41  And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

I commend to all, virtues of industry and thrift, which I believe go hand in hand.  The labor and thrift of the people make a nation, community, or a family strong.  Work and thrift make people independent.

Then read and discuss the following from "Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually" from the May 2009 Ensign

Being provident providers, we must keep that most basic commandment, “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Our world is fraught with feelings of entitlement. Some of us feel embarrassed, ashamed, less worthwhile if our family does not have everything the neighbors have. As a result, we go into debt to buy things we can’t afford—and things we do not really need. Whenever we do this, we become poor temporally and spiritually. We give away some of our precious, priceless agency and put ourselves in self-imposed servitude. Money we could have used to care for ourselves and others must now be used to pay our debts. What remains is often only enough to meet our most basic physical needs. Living at the subsistence level, we become depressed, our self-worth is affected, and our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and the Lord are weakened. We do not have the time, energy, or interest to seek spiritual things.

How then do we avoid and overcome the patterns of debt and addiction to temporal, worldly things?

Whenever we want to experience or possess something that will impact us and our resources, we may want to ask ourselves, “Is the benefit temporary, or will it have eternal value and significance?”

We must want, more than anything else, to do our Heavenly Father’s will and providently provide for ourselves and others. We must say, as did King Lamoni’s father, “I will give away all my sins to know thee” (Alma 22:18). Then we can go to Him with steadfast determination and promise Him, “I will do whatever it takes.” Through prayer, fasting, obedience to the commandments, priesthood blessings, and His atoning sacrifice, we will feel His love and power in our lives. We will receive His spiritual guidance and strength through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Only through our Lord’s Atonement can we obtain a mighty change of heart and experience a mighty change in our addictive behavior.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Money Management (FHE Resource Book)
Self Reliance (FHE Resource Book)

Friday, December 4, 2009


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "The Nativity Song" Children's Songbook pg. 52

3. Read Matthew 1: 20-24  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

4. Read and discuss the following from "Jesus Grew Up In a Righteous Family" in the December 2004 Friend:
Heavenly Father gives us parents and families to teach us righteous principles so we can return to Heavenly Father and live with our families forever. Heavenly Father planned for Jesus Christ to be born into a family, too. Jesus had righteous parents on earth to take care of and teach Him.

Before Jesus was born, an angel came to His mother, Mary. The angel told her that she would have a son and that she should call Him Jesus. He would be the Son of God. The angel told her, “The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). Mary told the angel that she would do as she was commanded: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

The angel also appeared to Joseph. The angel told him that Mary would have a son, that His name would be Jesus, and that He would be the Son of God. The angel told Joseph that Jesus would save His people from their sins (see Matt. 1:20–21).

Mary and Joseph had faith. They did what they were commanded to do. When we remember Jesus Christ and follow His example and the example of Mary and Joseph, our families will be blessed.

Then discuss the following from "The Reason for the Wonder" in the December 2009 Friend:

The Christmas season is one of the most wonderful times of the year. However, it is not the gifts, the trees, the decorations, or the food that make this a season full of wonder. It is when we remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that the Christmas season becomes truly special. As we strive to remember our Savior, our desire to live like Him will grow. It is no coincidence that Christmas is the time of the year when people are the most loving, the most giving, the most kind, and the most grateful.

As we try to follow Christ’s example this season and do our best to live as He did, let us find ways to lift up those around us. Let us celebrate our Savior’s birth by being followers of Christ in word and deed. We testify that as we do so, the desire to follow Him that grows within us at Christmas will continue to develop throughout the upcoming year.

President Thomas S. Monson
President Henry B. Eyring
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Come Let Us Adore Him (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 37)
Remembering Jesus Christ (Friend, June 1999)
The Birth of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson # 47: MY FAMILY AND I CAN SERVE OTHERS

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "When We're Helping" Children's Songbook pg. 198

3. Read Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

4. Read and discuss the following from "Eternal Service Project" in the May 2005 Friend

“Hi, honey.” Mom smiled as Keri hopped into the car.  “How was activity day?”

“Terrible,” Keri mumbled.

Mom pulled out of the parking lot and headed down the street. “What happened?” she asked.

“We planted flowers in Sister Jackson’s front yard.”

“That was nice of you.”

“Sister Jackson didn’t think so. She got mad at us.”

“Really? Why?”

“She said that petunias were her favorite flower, and we planted mostly marigolds.”

“That’s too bad.”

“It gets worse. She said we have to come back later and do it right. Mom, we can’t spend all of our activity days at her house. We’ve got other plans. All the girls want to learn how to knit so we can have matching scarves this winter.”

Mom patted Keri’s knee. “Tell you what—for family home evening we can plant petunias at Sister Jackson’s house. How would that be?”

Keri frowned. “All right, but it won’t be any fun. She’s grumpy and mean and demanding. We’d better have great refreshments so the night won’t be a total loss.”

The next Monday night Keri, Mom, Dad, and Keri’s little brother, Cole, arrived at Sister Jackson’s house with a box full of petunias. When Sister Jackson answered the door, she wasn’t smiling. “Plant them in the front,” she ordered, pointing with her cane. “And not too close together. Petunias need space to grow.”

As Keri and her family worked, Sister Jackson came out onto her porch. “You’ll need mulch,” she said. “I want the fine, red kind—none of that chunky gray stuff. Make sure you get enough.” She turned and hobbled back into the house, letting the screen door slam shut behind her.

“See what I mean?” Keri growled. “She’s never satisfied. There’s always one more thing to do. This service project is going to go on and on for eternity.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Mom asked, pulling off her gardening gloves. “The commandment to love our neighbors doesn’t have an expiration date. And eternal projects might just bring eternal blessings. Now, let’s go get the mulch while Dad and Cole finish planting the flowers.”

But all the way to the store, Keri kept grumbling. “What’s wrong with her, anyway? Why can’t she be grateful for what we’ve done? Why does she have to be so critical all the time?”

“I’ve been thinking about Sister Jackson,” Mom said. “She lives alone with no family nearby. She hasn’t been able to go to church for months because of her poor health. She must be lonely. Her home teachers and visiting teachers come, but the only time anyone else visits is when there’s a service project.”

“You mean, she’s stretching out this job so we’ll keep coming to see her?”

Mom nodded. “I think so.”

Keri shook her head in wonder. “Well, if she weren’t so grumpy, maybe people would want to visit her more often.”

“No one likes to always be asking for help,” Mom explained. “And no one likes to be seen as a ‘project’ to be finished and forgotten. Maybe that’s what makes her feel grumpy. Perhaps she wants to be viewed as a real person with something to give. Maybe she needs to serve, not just be served.”


Mom shrugged. “I don’t really know. I guess we need to find out more about Sister Jackson.”
When they got back from the store, Sister Jackson was sitting on her front porch doing some kind of handicraft. As Dad and Cole helped lift the large bags of mulch from the back of the car, she squinted at them over her eyeglasses. “I also want that plastic edging around the flowers replaced with brick. You can bring the bricks next week.”

Mom winked at Keri, and Keri rolled her eyes. Then Keri noticed what Sister Jackson was doing. She was knitting! Suddenly Keri knew exactly what to do—if she dared. Wiping her hands on her jeans and saying a little prayer for courage, she stepped toward the porch. “Uh, Sister Jackson,” she said, “do you know how to knit?”

Sister Jackson leaned back in her chair and frowned. “Of course I do, child. Don’t you have eyes?”

“Ah, yes, well, we—that is, the girls who planted the marigolds and I—we’d like to learn how to knit scarves. Do you think you could teach us?”

Sister Jackson’s eyes lit up for just a moment. “But I can’t get out to the church, honey,” she said softly.

“That’s OK. We’ll come here, if that’s all right. It might take us a lot of lessons, though. We’re pretty slow learners.”

Sister Jackson nodded, and a faint smile crossed her lips. “I guess I could find the time somehow. Get a paper and pencil from my kitchen table, and write down what I tell you to bring. We’ve got to decide on colors and patterns, too. Go on now—it’s right inside the door.”

Keri looked at her mother and grinned. She knew that this was just the beginning of an activity that could go on for a long, long time. Maybe even for eternity. But that was OK with her.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Loving Our Neighbors (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 23)
Friend to Friend (Friend, Aug. 1994)
The Long Line of the Lonely (Ensign, Feb. 1992)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I Am a Child of God" Children's Songbook pg. 2

3. Read Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

4. Read and discuss The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Love At Home (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 17)
Family Unity (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 21)
Together Forever (Friend, Feb. 2002)
Young Couple Going to the Temple (Gospel Art Picture Kit)


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet" Hymns pg. 19

3. Read D&C 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

4. Read and discuss the following from "Maddie's Grumpy Afternoon" in the September 2009 Friend.

Maddie was having fun coloring in her coloring book when she heard Mom calling her to get in the car so they could run errands. Maddie did not like going on errands. She pretended she didn’t hear her mom and kept coloring.

Finally, Mom came to Maddie. “Maddie, I have been calling you and calling you. Everyone is in the car, and we are waiting for you. We need to go to the bank, to the grocery store, and to put gas in the car. Please hurry.”

“I don’t want to come,” Maddie said. “Errands are boring. They take forever!”

“I need you to please obey,” Mom said. “You can bring your crayons and coloring book.”

Maddie growled and grumbled as she picked up her things and stomped after Mom to the car.

“This is not fair!” Maddie whined.

As they drove along, Maddie had a hard time keeping her crayons inside the lines of the picture she was coloring.

“I can’t color in the car,” Maddie said. “Every time you turn it makes me mess up!”

Maddie thought if she was miserable running errands, everyone else should be miserable too. At each stop the family made, Maddie had something to complain about. She complained and complained and complained.

When they finally got home, Maddie ran to her room. She was glad to be home. But she was starting to feel sorry about the way she had behaved. Making everyone else miserable hadn’t made her feel any happier.

She thought about the family home evening lesson Mom had taught the week before. Mom talked about Nephi and his brothers Laman and Lemuel. She asked who had been more obedient, and Maddie said Nephi. When Dad asked her why, Maddie said that Nephi was the one who did what he was asked to do.

Dad explained that Laman and Lemuel had gone with their family into the wilderness and with Nephi to get the brass plates from Laban. But Laman and Lemuel had murmured and complained. They were miserable and tried to make everyone else miserable. But Nephi respected his parents and Heavenly Father. Even when he was asked to do something hard, Nephi obeyed without complaining.

Maddie realized that even though she had gone to the car as she had been asked, and even though she had gone on all of the errands with her family, she had not been like Nephi.

Maddie put down her crayons. She walked into the kitchen and apologized to her family for the way she had acted. Mom hugged Maddie and asked her to help her brother set the table for dinner. Maddie didn’t really want to help, but she said OK and went to the cupboard to get the plates without complaining. Mom smiled at her, and Maddie smiled back. She was feeling better already.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Prophets Teach Me to Strengthen my Family (Friend, Oct. 2004)
Family Unity (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 21)
Family Togetherness (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Help Me, Dear Father" Children's Songbook pg. 99

3. Read D&C 64:10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

A spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those who may have wronged us is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us has need of this spirit. The whole world has need of it. The Lord taught it. He exemplified it as none other has exemplified it.

In the time of his agony on the cross of Calvary, with vile and hateful accusers before him, those who had brought him to this terrible crucifixion, he cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.)

None of us is called on to forgive so generously, but each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy. The Lord has declared in words of revelation: “My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened.

“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

“And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.” (D&C 64:8–11.)
I know of no more beautiful story in all literature than that found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is the story of a repentant son and a forgiving father. It is the story of a son who wasted his inheritance in riotous living, rejecting his father’s counsel, spurning those who loved him. When he had spent all, he was hungry and friendless, and “when he came to himself” (Luke 15:17), he turned back to his father, who, on seeing him afar off, “ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
I ask you to read that story. Every parent ought to read it again and again. It is large enough to encompass every household, and enough larger than that to encompass all mankind, for are we not all prodigal sons and daughters who need to repent and partake of the forgiving mercy of our Heavenly Father and then follow His example?

His Beloved Son, our Redeemer, reaches out to us in forgiveness and mercy, but in so doing he commands repentance. A true and magnanimous spirit of forgiveness will become an expression of that required repentance. Said the Lord—and I quote from a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph:

“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit . …

“Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.” (D&C 19:15–18, 23.)

Such is the commandment, and such is the promise of him who, in his great exemplary prayer, pleaded, “Father, … forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:9, 12.)

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Prodigal Son (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Forgiving (FHE Resource Book)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #43: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--LEARNING

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" Children's Songbook pg. 177

3. Read D&C 109:7-8 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith; Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.

4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.

You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands. The Lord has said, “Teach ye diligently … of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—that ye may be prepared in all things” (D&C 88:78–80).

Mind you, these are not my words. These are the words of the Lord who loves you. He wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth (Ensign, Jan. 2001)
With All Thy Getting, Get Understanding (Ensign, Aug. 1988)
Education (For the Strength of Youth)
New Era, April 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #42: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--CIVILITY

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Kindness Begins With Me" Children's Songbook pg. 145

3. Read Ephesians 4:32 And be ye a kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

When I was born, the life expectancy in the United States was 50 years. Today, it is 75 years. Is it not a thing of wonder that 25 years have been added to the average life span during this time? The same is happening in other areas of the world. I was 30 years of age when penicillin was discovered, followed by a variety of other miracle drugs.

You are familiar with these things. I simply remind us of them as an expression of gratitude. We have achieved technical miracles, but tragically we are experiencing a moral and ethical disaster. May I take you who are older back in memory to the homes of your childhood. I think that in many cases there was prayer in those homes; families knelt together in the morning and invoked the watchful care of God. At night they joined again in prayer. Something wonderful came of this. It is difficult to describe, but it did something for children. The very act of expressing gratitude to God, our Eternal Father, brought with it a feeling of respect, reverence, and appreciation. The sick were remembered in those prayers, as were the poor and the needy. The leaders in government were remembered in those prayers. This cultivated a spirit of respect for those in public office. Where is that respect today?

There was no uncouth or profane language heard in those homes. Civility and altruism were also taught in those days. A man recently sent me a recording of a talk given some years ago by Abner Howell who lived in my neighborhood. Belonging to a minority race, he had worked hard to achieve an education. He served as sergeant at arms for the Utah State Legislature. In that talk he expressed appreciation for the time when he was a boy in school and my mother helped him with his work and defended him against those who were taunting him. We were taught in our home that all of the people of the earth are sons and daughters of God. The color of their skin may be different, but their hearts and emotions are the same.

I would also like to say that it was unthinkable for us to go to school in sloppy attire. The first pair of long trousers I wore was for graduation from junior high school. Prior to that, like my friends, I wore short pants and long, black cotton socks. But they were neat and they were tidy. The mending of socks was a great chore, but it was an important chore.

We attended the public schools. My elementary school was named after American statesman Alexander Hamilton. My junior high school was named for United States president Theodore Roosevelt. We learned about these men. On February 12 we had a holiday for President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. On February 22 we had another holiday to honor President George Washington. Just before these holidays we had school programs in which we learned about “Honest Abe” and the boy George who admitted to chopping down his father’s cherry tree. Maybe there was little historical substance to some of those stories, but there was something of substance that came into our lives. We developed an appreciation for the principle of honesty. Today we have Presidents’ Day in the United States, but for many it has become primarily a play day.

We were taught respect for girls. We played games with them in the neighborhood. We had parties in our homes with boys and girls. Even as we grew older and went on dates, there was a certain wholesomeness about it and respect for the girls with whom we associated. Yes, society has made a lot of technical progress since those days, but we have also lost a tremendous reservoir of values.
5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Mormon Ethic of Civility (October 2009)
Four Simple Things to Help Our Families and Our Nations (Ensign, Sept. 1996)
Doctrine of Inclusion (Ensign, Nov. 2001)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #41: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--MORALITY

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Dare To Do Right" Children's Songbook pg. 158

3. Read Mosiah 4:30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

Many years ago I worked for a railroad in the central offices in Denver. I was in charge of what is called head-end traffic. That was in the days when nearly everyone rode passenger trains. One morning I received a call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey. He said, “Train number such-and-such has arrived, but it has no baggage car. Somewhere, 300 passengers have lost their baggage, and they are mad.”

I went immediately to work to find out where it may have gone. I found it had been properly loaded and properly trained in Oakland, California. It had been moved to our railroad in Salt Lake City, been carried to Denver, down to Pueblo, put on another line, and moved to St. Louis. There it was to be handled by another railroad which would take it to Newark, New Jersey. But some thoughtless switchman in the St. Louis yards moved a small piece of steel just three inches, a switch point, then pulled the lever to uncouple the car. We discovered that a baggage car that belonged in Newark, New Jersey, was in fact in New Orleans, Louisiana—1,500 miles from its destination. Just the three-inch movement of the switch in the St. Louis yard by a careless employee had started it on the wrong track, and the distance from its true destination increased dramatically. That is the way it is with our lives. Instead of following a steady course, we are pulled by some mistaken idea in another direction. The movement away from our original destination may be ever so small, but, if continued, that very small movement becomes a great gap and we find ourselves far from where we intended to go.

Have you ever looked at one of those 16-foot farm gates? When it is opened, it swings very wide. The end at the hinges moves ever so slightly, while out at the perimeter the movement is great. It is the little things upon which life turns that make the big difference in our lives . . .

Both experience and divine wisdom dictate that moral value and cleanliness pave the way that lead to strength of character, peace of mind and heart, and happiness in life.

5: Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: For the Strength of Youth
To the Youth of the Noble Birthright (Ensign, May 1986)
Keeping Covenants (Ensign, May 1993)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #40: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--HONESTY

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I Believe In Being Honest" Children's Songbook pg. 149

3. Read D&C 51:9 And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you.

4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives and the fabric of our society will disintegrate into ugliness and chaos.

The thirteenth Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms that “we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.”

We cannot be less than honest, we cannot be less than true, we cannot be less than virtuous if we are to keep sacred the trust given us. Once it was said among our people that a man’s word was as good as his bond. Shall any of us be less reliable, less honest than our forebears?

Those who are living the principle of honesty know that the Lord does bless them. Theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before any man. On the other hand, if there be need for reformation in any member of this Church, let it begin where we now stand.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord requires his people to be honest. May we desire with all our hearts to be honest in all our relationships and in all the things that we do. God will help us if we seek the strength that comes from him. Sweet then will be our peace of mind and our lives. Blessed will be those with whom we live and associate. And God will bless and guide us with his loving care.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Honesty (FHE Resource Book)
We Believe In Being Honest (Ensign, Oct. 1990)
Be Honest (New Era, Oct. 2005)
Honesty: A Moral Compass (Friend, Nov. 2001)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #39: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--LOVE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Love One Another" Children's Songbook pg. 136

3. Read Matthew 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
4. Read and discuss the following from Gordon B. Hinckley:

When I was a boy, we lived on a farm in the summer. It was in the country, where the nights were dark. There were no streetlights or anything of the kind. My brother and I slept out-of-doors. On clear nights—and most of those nights were clear and the air was clean—we would lie on our backs and look at the myriads of stars in the heavens. We could identify some of the constellations and other stars as they were illustrated in our encyclopedia. Each night we would trace the Big Dipper, the handle and the cup, to find the North Star.

We came to know of the constancy of that star. As the earth turned, the others appeared to move through the night. But the North Star held its position in line with the axis of the earth. And so it had come to be known as the Polar Star, or the Polestar, or the Lodestar. Through centuries of time, mariners had used it to guide them in their journeys. They had reckoned their bearings by its constancy, thereby avoiding traveling in circles or in the wrong direction, as they moved across the wide, unmarked seas.

Because of those boyhood musings, the Polar Star came to mean something to me. I recognized it as a constant in the midst of change. It was something that could always be counted on, something that was dependable, an anchor in what otherwise appeared to be a moving and unstable firmament.

Love is like the Polar Star. In a changing world, it is a constant. It is of the very essence of the gospel. It is the security of the home. It is the safeguard of community life. It is a beacon of hope in a world of distress.

Let love become the lodestar of our lives. Surely we are a blessed people. We are blessed with the good things of earth, and we are blessed with the precious things of heaven. The holy priesthood is among us; its powers extend beyond the veil of death. In the sacred houses which we call temples, there is opportunity to do for others that which they cannot do for themselves. As surely as
Christ offered Himself a vicarious sacrifice for all mankind, so we can engage in vicarious service in behalf of some of mankind, thus affording them the opportunity to move forward on the road of immortality and eternal life. Great is this work of love which goes on in these holy houses. Legion are the men and women who, with total unselfishness, labor day and night in this work which speaks of divinity.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Let Love be the Lodestar of Your Life (Ensign, May 1989)
Love at Home (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 17)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #38: DAVID AND GOLIATH

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Nephi's Courage" Children's Songbook pg. 120

3. Read 1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

4. Read and discuss "David Slays Goliath" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

The Philistines and the Israelites were at war with each other. The Philistines gathered their armies on one mountain, while King Saul and the men of Israel gathered across the valley on the opposite mountain.

Goliath was a giant Philistine soldier who was over nine feet tall. He wore heavy armor and a brass helmet and carried a large spear. Goliath shouted to the Israelite army to send a man to fight him. He said that if the Israelite killed him, the Philistines would be servants to the Israelites. But if Goliath killed the Israelite, then the Israelites would be servants to the Philistines. King Saul and his army were afraid of Goliath.

Goliath repeated his challenge each night and day for 40 days, but no one was brave enough to fight him.

A man named Jesse had three sons who were part of Saul’s army. But David, Jesse’s youngest son, still lived in Bethlehem with his father. Jesse asked David to take some food to his three brothers and find out how they were doing.

While David was with his brothers, Goliath again shouted his challenge. The Israelites fled when they saw Goliath. David asked the soldiers, “Who is this … Philistine, that he should defy [challenge] the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26).

When Saul was told what David had said, he sent for him. David told Saul that he would fight Goliath. But Saul said to David, “Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33).

David told Saul that the Lord had helped him kill a lion and a bear while he tended his father’s sheep. He said the Lord would help him as he fought Goliath. Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with thee” (1 Samuel 17:37).

Then Saul gave David his armor, a helmet, and a sword, but they were too big and heavy for David. He removed the armor and took only his staff, five smooth stones, and a sling as he went to face the mighty Goliath.

When Goliath saw the young boy without armor, he made fun of him and cursed him. David said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45). David told Goliath that with the Lord’s help, he would kill him.

As Goliath came near, David put a stone in his sling, swung the sling around his head, and let the stone go. The stone sank into Goliath’s forehead, and Goliath fell to the ground. David then used Goliath’s sword to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistine army saw that Goliath was dead, they fled, but the men of Israel chased them and defeated them in battle.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Overpowering the Goliaths in Our Lives (Ensign, Jan. 2002)
Comfort and Courage From the Scriptures (Friend, Sept. 2006)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson #37: NOAH AND THE ARK

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Follow the Prophet" (verse 3) Children's Songbook pg. 110

3. Read Genesis 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

4. Read and discuss "Building the Ark" from the Gospel Art Picture Kit:

During a time when almost everyone on the earth was wicked, the Lord called Noah to teach people the gospel. Noah told them to repent and be baptized or they would be destroyed by floods, but the people would not listen. Some of them were so angry with Noah that they wanted to kill him, but the Lord protected him.

When the people would not repent, the Lord told Noah that He would “bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 6:17). To protect Noah and his family from this great flood, the Lord commanded Noah to build an ark. The ark was to have three levels, many rooms, a window on the top, and a door in the side. Noah was to use pitch, or tar, to make the ark watertight, and the ark would be about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

Noah and his sons built the ark according to the Lord’s instructions. The Lord told them to take at least one male and one female “of every living thing of all flesh” (Genesis 6:19). They also had to take food for the animals and for themselves.

When the ark was finished and everything was ready, Noah and his family boarded the ark along with the animals. Noah was now 600 years old, and the flood waters were about to come upon the earth. Noah had obeyed the Lord in preaching the gospel, building the ark, and gathering the animals.

Then read and discuss "Noah and the Ark with Animals" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

Because of the wickedness of the people during Noah’s time, God caused a flood to cover the entire earth with water. Noah and his family were righteous, so God spared their lives. He commanded Noah to build an ark so they would not drown. He also commanded Noah to save the animals so that they would not be destroyed.

Noah built an ark big enough to take at least two of every animal on board. He was commanded, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female … and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 7:2–3, 8).

Noah and his family lived on the ark with the animals for over a year. When the earth had recovered from the Flood, Noah brought the animals out of the ark so they could “be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth” (Genesis 8:17).

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Noah's Cubit (Friend, Oct. 1994)
The Prophet Will Tell Us (Friend, Feb. 2001)
Gospel Covenants Bring Promised Blessings (Liahona, Nov. 2005)

Family Home Evening Lesson #36: ADAM AND EVE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" Children's Songbook pg. 231

3. Read Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

4. Read and discuss "Adam and Eve" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

Adam and Eve were the first man and woman to live on the earth . God blessed them and told them to have children. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, where they could talk with and see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

There were many trees in the Garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve they could eat fruit from all the trees except one: the tree of knowledge of good and evil. “Nevertheless,” the Lord said, “thou mayest choose for thyself … ; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Moses 3:17)

Satan came to the garden and tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve told Satan that the Lord had commanded her and Adam not to eat it or they would be cast out of the garden to die.

Satan lied, telling Eve, “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4; Moses 4:10). He also said the fruit would make her wise so she would know good and evil. Eve chose to eat the fruit. Then she gave some of the fruit to Adam, and he also ate. When Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord, they hid because they were ashamed that they had disobeyed God.

When God asked Adam and Eve if they had eaten the forbidden fruit, they confessed that they had. God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.

Even though they had to leave the beautiful garden, Adam and Eve believed that God loved them, and they had faith that He would send Jesus Christ to be their Savior.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Adam's Role in Bringing Us Mortality (Ensign, Jan. 2006)
The Creation (Gospel Principles, Chapter 5)
The Fall of Adam and Eve (Gospel Principles, Chapter 6)


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "The Priesthood is Restored" Children's Songbook pg. 89)

3. Read D&C 27:12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them.

4. Read and discuss "Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist, they were promised they would later receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. “The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the church” (D&C 107:8).

In June 1829 Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon, and Oliver was writing for him. During this time Joseph and Oliver went into the wilderness area near the Susquehanna River between the towns of Harmony and Colesville, Pennsylvania. Peter, James, and John appeared and conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Peter, James, and John said they held the keys of the kingdom, and they were to bring the Melchizedek Priesthood to the earth in the dispensation of “the fulness of times,” or the latter days. Because of this great event, we have the Melchizedek Priesthood on the earth today.

Then read and discuss the following from Jeffrey R. Holland:

The priesthood of God, with its keys, its ordinances, its divine origin and ability to bind in heaven what is bound on earth, is as indispensable to the true Church of God as it is unique to it and that without it there would be no Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Priesthood in Our Home (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 19)
The Priesthood (Gospel Principles, Chapter 13)
Priesthood Organization (Gospel Principles, Chapter 14)


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing: "The Priesthood is Restored" Children's Songbook, pg. 89

3. Read D&C 13:1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angles, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

4. Read and discuss "John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood" from the Gospel Art Picture Kit:

Joseph Smith translated the gold plates into English, and Oliver Cowdery wrote it down. While translating, they learned about baptism for the remission of sins. On 15 May 1829 they went into the woods to pray, to ask Heavenly Father about baptism.

As they prayed, an angel from heaven appeared in a cloud of light. He laid his hands on Joseph and Oliver and ordained them, saying, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness” (D&C 13).

The angel said the Aaronic Priesthood had the power to baptize but not to give the gift of the Holy Ghost. The angel commanded Joseph and Oliver to be baptized. He told Joseph to baptize Oliver and then Oliver to baptize Joseph.

They baptized each other in the Susquehanna River near Harmony, Pennsylvania. Then, following the angel’s instructions, Joseph laid his hands upon Oliver’s head and ordained Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood. Oliver then ordained Joseph in the same way.

The angel said his name was John the Baptist. He told them he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Joseph and Oliver, he said, would receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in due time.

After Joseph and Oliver were baptized, they “experienced great and glorious blessings from … Heavenly Father” (Joseph Smith—History 1:73).

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Our Most Distinguishing Feature (Ensign, May 2005)
A Priesthood Ordination (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 30)
The Priesthood (Gospel Principles, Chapter 13)

Family Home Evening Lesson #33: THE FIRST VISION

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" Hymns pg. 26

3. Read Joseph Smith History 1:14-17 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
4. Read and discuss the "The First Vision" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

On a beautiful spring morning in 1820, Joseph Smith went into the woods near his home to pray. He did not know which church to join and decided to ask Heavenly Father. Joseph looked around to make sure he was alone, then knelt and began to pray. He was immediately overcome by some evil power. Thick darkness surrounded him, and he could not speak. Joseph thought he was going to be destroyed, but using all the energy he had, he asked God to deliver him from this unseen enemy. Just as Joseph was about to give up, he saw a pillar of light over his head, and he was released from the evil force that had held him. The light came down and rested on him, and Joseph saw two personages whose brightness and glory were beyond description. They were standing in the air above Joseph. One called Joseph by name, pointed to the other, and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” These personages were Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Joseph asked Heavenly Father and Jesus which church was right and which he should join. Jesus told Joseph that he should not join any of the churches, because they were all wrong. He said, “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
Jesus again told Joseph not to join any of the churches. He also told him many other things during the vision. After the vision Joseph was lying on his back looking up into heaven. As the bright light left, he found he was too weak to walk. Joseph’s strength gradually returned and he went home.
5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resoureces: Joseph Smith's First Vision (Friend, April 1995)
The Truth Is on the Earth Once More (New Era, Jan. 2009)
The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith (Liahona, Nov. 2002)


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" Children's Songbook pg. 188

3. Read Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

4. Read "Grandma's Notebook" from the Feb. 2004 Friend:

“Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father’s plan,” Jessica and her cousins sang at their grandmother’s funeral. It was a sad day for Jessica because she would miss Grandma Tolley. She enjoyed the time they had spent together working in the garden, going for walks, and having weekend sleepovers. But it was also a joyous day because Jessica knew that Grandma had longed to be reunited with Grandpa, who had passed away 17 years before.

Later that day, Jessica and her mother drove to the cemetery to visit the grave site. “The roses and carnations look so beautiful,” Mom said.

“They smell terrific.” Jessica sniffed a pink rose.

“I’m sure Grandma was pleased with all the family and friends who came today. She enjoyed helping others and loved all people. The beautiful flowers show they loved her, too,” Mom said.

Jessica thought for a moment. Then she said, “At the funeral, Aunt Diane said that ‘Families Can Be Together Forever’ was Grandma’s favorite song. Why was a Primary song her favorite?”

Mom smiled. “I’m going to let Grandma answer that question for you.”

“How can Grandma answer my question when she isn’t here anymore?” Jessica asked.

“We’ll stop by her house on the way home, and I’ll show you,” Mom answered.

As Jessica walked into Grandma’s house, it was dark and quiet. Quickly she turned on a light. Everything was still in its usual place. There were pictures of Jessica and her cousins hanging on the walls. A cherished afghan was folded neatly over the back of the couch.Mom opened a small closet door. After a bit of searching, she pulled out a pile of worn notebooks.

“What are those?” Jessica asked.“Grandma wrote in these notebooks throughout her life. They were her journals. There is one here that will answer your question.” Mom glanced through a few of the notebooks before she located the one she wanted. She handed it to Jessica. “As you read what Grandma wrote, you’ll find out why ‘Families Can Be Together Forever’ was her favorite song.”

The next day was Saturday, and Jessica got right to work doing her chores and practicing her piano lessons. She even skipped watching cartoons so she could have more time for Grandma’s journal. Opening to the first page, she began to read.

March 14, 1941
It was a beautiful spring day as James and I drove to the county courthouse to be married. Many of our family and friends were there to witness this joyous occasion. James looked so handsome in his new suit. I am lucky to have married him. He is a hard worker and will be a good husband and father. The judge gave us many useful words of wisdom and counsel.

I always thought my wedding day would be the happiest day of my life—but I was wrong. As the judge finished the ceremony, he said, “I now pronounce you husband and wife until death do you part.” That statement will be etched in my heart until I am sealed to James in the holy temple of the Lord. I pray for the day when we will know we can be together forever.

Jessica was surprised. She had always thought her grandma and grandpa had been married in the temple. For as long as Jessica could remember, Grandma Tolley had done temple work each week with her friends. Temple work had been very important to her, and she had talked about it often.

All afternoon, Jessica continued to read. She was amazed at how hard Grandma had worked each day. She hung the laundry out on the line to dry. She carried buckets of coal down to the basement to burn in the furnace. She sewed clothes, planted and cared for a large garden, made her own bread, spent time with her daughters, and still did things to help other people. Jessica also enjoyed learning about what her mother was like as a little girl.

June 7, 1955

This afternoon I watched the girls play outside. They were having so much fun making necklaces out of dandelions. They laughed and giggled at the silly things each would say and do. As I quietly watched, Elizabeth noticed me and ran over to give me a big, yellow dandelion. “I love you, Mom,” she said.

In my heart I thanked Heavenly Father for such precious children. They are like the sunshine that lights my day. I continue to pray and work toward the blessing of being sealed as a family in the temple. Until that day arrives, I will put my trust and faith in the Lord.

Jessica was so absorbed in the journal that she didn’t hear her mother come into the room. “Looks like you’ve been doing some reading.”

“Yes, I have,” Jessica said. “I didn’t know that Grandma wasn’t married in the temple. I think it would be hard to know that after this life you would no longer be together as a family.”

“It was hard for Grandma,” Mom said.

“But that doesn’t explain why ‘Families Can Be Together Forever’ was her favorite song,” Jessica said.“Keep reading.” Mom smiled as she left the room.

Jessica read until late in the afternoon. As she neared the end of the notebook, she was a little discouraged at not finding the answer she had been looking for. When she was about to stop for the day, Jessica decided to read one more entry.

April 29, 1957
Today I knelt across from James in the Lord’s holy temple. I have prayed for this moment for many years. I am thankful to know that we can be eternal companions. Words cannot express even the smallest portion of the joy and love I felt from Heavenly Father.

When they brought in our daughters all dressed in white, tears fell freely from my eyes. Kneeling together and being sealed as a family was the most important moment of my life. I am grateful for the knowledge that if I live the teachings of the gospel, I can have these precious daughters throughout eternity.“Have you discovered the answer?” Mom asked that evening at dinner.

“I think so,” Jessica replied. “Grandma loved her family very much. But because she was not married in the temple, her family wouldn’t always be together. Grandma prayed and worked toward the day they could go to the temple. The song must have reminded her of the day she was sealed to her family.”

“That’s right.”

“Did you sing that song when you were in Primary?” Jessica asked.
“No, ‘Families Can Be Together Forever’ hadn’t been written yet when I was in Primary.

Several years after Grandpa passed away, Grandma heard the Primary children sing it in sacrament meeting. She felt the Spirit so strongly that she was sure Heavenly Father was speaking right to her. Grandma loved the words because they gave her comfort in knowing that her family could be together forever.”
That night as Jessica knelt in prayer, she thanked Heavenly Father for a wonderful grandma. She also promised to live worthily to go to the temple. She wanted the blessing of an eternal family and the opportunity to be with Grandma Tolley again someday.5.

Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Temple: I'm Going There Someday (Friend, Aug. 2009)
They Twain Shall Be One (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 33)
Eternal Marriage (Gospel Principles, Chapter 38)