Sunday, December 19, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #71: THE BIRTH OF JESUS

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Away In a MangerChildren's Songbook pg. 42

3. Read Luke 2:6-7  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

4. Read and discuss the following from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the December, 1977 Ensign:
I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that single, sacred, unadorned object of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why “tis the season to be jolly” and why the giving of gifts is so appropriate.

As a father I have recently begun to think more often of Joseph, that strong, silent, almost unknown man who must have been more worthy than any other mortal man to be the guiding foster father of the living Son of God. It was Joseph selected from among all men who would teach Jesus to work. It was Joseph who taught him the books of the law. It was Joseph who, in the seclusion of the shop, helped him begin to understand who he was and ultimately what he was to become.

I was a student at BYU just finishing my first year of graduate work when our first child, a son, was born. We were very poor, though not so poor as Joseph and Mary. My wife and I were both going to school, both holding jobs, and in addition worked as head residents in an off-campus apartment complex to help defray our rent. We drove a little Volkswagen which had a half-dead battery because we couldn’t afford a new one (Volkswagen or battery).

Nevertheless, when I realized that our own night of nights was coming, I believe I would have done any honorable thing in this world, and mortgaged any future I had, to make sure my wife had the clean sheets, the sterile utensils, the attentive nurses, and the skilled doctors who brought forth our firstborn son. If she or that child had needed special care at the Mayo Clinic, I believe I would have ransomed my very life to get it.

I compare those feelings (which I have had with each succeeding child) with what Joseph must have felt as he moved through the streets of a city not his own, with not a friend or kinsman in sight, nor anyone willing to extend a helping hand. In these very last and most painful hours of her “confinement,” Mary had ridden or walked approximately 100 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea. Surely Joseph must have wept at her silent courage. Now, alone and unnoticed, they had to descend from human company to a stable, a grotto full of animals, there to bring forth the Son of God.

I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: “Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Is this a place fit for a king? Should the mother of the Son of God be asked to enter the valley of the shadow of death in such a foul and unfamiliar place as this? Is it wrong to wish her some comfort? Is it right He should be born here?”

But I am certain Joseph did not mutter and Mary did not wail. They knew a great deal and did the best they could.

Perhaps these parents knew even then that in the beginning of his mortal life, as well as in the end, this baby son born to them would have to descend beneath every human pain and disappointment. He would do so to help those who also felt they had been born without advantage.

I’ve thought of Mary, too, this most favored mortal woman in the history of the world, who as a mere child received an angel who uttered to her those words that would change the course not only of her own life but also that of all human history: “Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favoured of the Lord. The Lord is with thee; for thou art chosen and blessed among women.” (JST, Luke 1:28.) The nature of her spirit and the depth of her preparation were revealed in a response that shows both innocence and maturity: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38.)

It is here I stumble, here that I grasp for the feelings a mother has when she knows she has conceived a living soul, feels life quicken and grow within her womb, and carries a child to delivery. At such times fathers stand aside and watch, but mothers feel and never forget. Again, I’ve thought of Luke’s careful phrasing about that holy night in Bethlehem:

“The days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and [she] wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and [she] laid him in a manger.” (Luke 2:6–7; italics added.) Those brief pronouns trumpet in our ears that, second only to the child himself, Mary is the chiefest figure, the regal queen, mother of mothers—holding center stage in this grandest of all dramatic moments. And those same pronouns also trumpet that, save for her beloved husband, she was very much alone.

I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.

But it was not to be so. With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay.

Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth, peace among men of good will.” (Luke 2:14, Phillips Translation.) But except for heavenly witnesses, these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, the baby to be named Jesus.

At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.

Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store (Ensign, December 1977)
The Nativity (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
The Announcement of Christ's Birth to the Shepherds (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #70: I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" Hymns pg. 136

3. Read Doctrine & Covenants 76:22  And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

4. Read and discuss The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth. 

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Friend, Dec. 2010)
I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Ensign, April 2007)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #69: AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Count Your Blessings" Hymns pg. 241

3. Read Doctrine & Covenants 59:21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

4. Read and discuss the following from from Thomas S. Monson in the October, 2010 Ensign:

We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

Gratitude is a divine principle. The Lord declared through a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. . . .

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.” (Doctrine & Covenants 59: 7,21)

In the Book of Mormon we are told to “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you.” (Alma 34:38)

Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

How can we cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude? President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, provided an answer. Said he: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources:The Divine Gift of Gratitude (Ensign, October 2010)
Gratitude (FHE Resource Book)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #68: WHEN WE SERVE OTHERS, WE SERVE GOD

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" Children's Songbook pg. 78

3. Read Mosiah 2:17  And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

4. Read and discuss the following from the November, 2010 Friend:

I could tell Mom was upset by the look on her face as she hung up the phone.

“Who was it?” I asked.

“That was Tim’s mom,” Mom said.

Tim was a friendly boy from my class in school last year. He was a good basketball player, and once he brought his pet lizard to class.

Mom sat down next to me on the couch. “Tim’s mom said the doctors just found out that Tim has cancer,” she said.

Mom explained that cancer is a sickness, but not like a cold or the flu. She said Tim would have to stay in the hospital for a long time. It would be so expensive that Tim’s family might have to sell their home.

That night during family prayer, Mom asked Heavenly Father to bless and comfort Tim’s family. Then she said, “And please help us to know how we can help Tim.”

As I lay in bed a little while later, I thought about Mom’s prayer. But what could I do to help? I said a short prayer. “Heavenly Father, please let me know what I can do to help Tim.”

When I opened my eyes, I looked around my darkened room. I noticed a dump truck that I hadn’t used in months and a puzzle that was too easy for me now. Suddenly, my heart started to get warm.

The next morning I burst into the kitchen and announced, “I want to sell my old toys and give the money to Tim.”

“I think that’s a great idea,” Mom said.

We found a big box and filled it with toys and games I no longer played with.

“I’ll bet Grandma has some old toys,” Mom said.

“Maybe our neighbors do too,” I said.

We drove to Grandma’s house, and she helped us round up toys from her basement. Then we walked around our neighborhood and collected more. By the end of the day we had quite a few boxes full of toys and games. My heart pounded when I looked at them and thought about Tim.

On Saturday, we had a yard sale. A table in our front yard overflowed with dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, and board games. I put a picture of Tim on a large can. I told people that all of the money from our yard sale would go to help Tim and his family.

By afternoon, almost all of the toys were gone, and our can was filled with dollar bills and change.

That night I wrote a letter to Tim telling him that we were thinking of him and praying for him. I told him about our yard sale and put the letter and the money in the envelope. My heart felt warm, and I knew that I was doing a good thing for Tim and his family.

About a week later, I got a letter from Tim and his mom. They said they were filled with gratitude that I had thought to do such a thing. I knew it was Heavenly Father who helped me know how I could help. All I had to do was ask, listen, and then do it.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: When We Serve Others, We Serve God (Friend, November 2010)
Sharing Our Blessings (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 25)
What Have I Done For Someone Today? (Ensign, October 2009)

Monday, October 4, 2010


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" Children's Songbook pg. 169

3. Read Moroni 10:32   Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

4. Read and discuss the following from the October, 2010 Friend:

In the October 2009 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson taught us about serving others. He said, “Each of us can do something to help someone . . . we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children.”

One way we can help others is to share the gospel with them. When we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are serving others because we show them the way to return to Heavenly Father. We show them how to feel the love of Jesus Christ in their lives. We share with them how to make and keep sacred covenants that bless their lives. We help them to know the blessings that come from keeping the commandments.

When we teach others the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are being missionaries. We are being witnesses that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. This is an important service to others that will bless their lives forever and fill us with joy too. 

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Sharing Our Blessings (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 25)
What Have I Done For Someone Today? (Ensign, October 2009)
Invite All to Come Unto Christ (Friend, October 2010)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #66: I OBEY JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE I LOVE HIM

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Keep the Commandments" Children's Songbook pg. 146

3. Read John 14:15   If ye love me, keep my commandments.

4. Read and discuss the following from the December, 1996 Friend:

Father in Heaven has given you great gifts—your life, your body, your agency, and many others. However, one of His gifts was so valuable and important that He asked you to remember it always. Heavenly Father gave the gift of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that you might live with Him again (see John 3:16).

The Savior gave us the gift of His life. He spent His life teaching us how to live—how to love one another, how to forgive one another, and how to help one another. He then gave up His life so that we can be resurrected. He also suffered for our sins so that we might be forgiven. He is the greatest gift of all! 

What gift could you give Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Your love and your willingness to obey the commandments are the only things you really can give. Everything else already belongs to the Lord. When you give your love and obedience to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, you are filled with a spirit of happiness, joy, peace, and love. 

And the following from Elder Robert D. Hales:

I would like to tell you a true story about a man named Abinadi. He was a prophet who preached repentance to a wicked people and a wicked king. He preached boldly and courageously.

King Noah angrily ordered his priests to kill Abinadi. He said, “Away with this fellow, and slay him; … for he is mad.”

But when the priests tried to lay their hands on Abinadi, he withstood them, saying: “Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver. … I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me.”

The people of King Noah were afraid to touch Abinadi because the Spirit of the Lord was with him. “His face shone with exceeding luster,” and he spoke “with power and authority from God.” Abinadi declared that he would finish the message that God had sent him to deliver—and then it wouldn’t matter what King Noah and the people did to him. (See Mosiah 13:1–9.)

When Abinadi concluded his message, King Noah demanded that he deny the words he had spoken—or he would be put to death. But Abinadi refused.

The firmness of Abinadi’s faith is found in this touching entry in the sacred record: “And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death” (Mosiah 17:20).

What a powerful example Abinadi should be to all of us! He courageously obeyed the Lord’s commandments—even though it cost him his life!

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: The Commandments, Gifts From a Loving Father (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 2)
Commandments (Friend, March 1995)
If Thou Wilt Enter Into Life, Keep the Commandments (Ensign, May 1996)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #65: SAMUEL THE LAMANITE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Samuel Tells of the Baby JesusChildren's Songbook pg. 36

3. Read Helaman 16:2   But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.
4. Read and discuss "Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

At a time when the Lamanites were more righteous than the Nephites, a Lamanite prophet named Samuel preached repentance to the Nephites. After the Nephites cast Samuel out of the city, he started back to his own land. However, the Lord told him to return and say whatever the Lord put into his heart. (See Helaman 13:1–3.)

The people would not let Samuel back into their city, so he climbed on top of the city wall. From there Samuel foretold the destruction of the Nephite nation in about 400 years. He said that if the Nephites did not repent, they would be destroyed by war, famine, and pestilence. (See Helaman 13:4–11.)

Samuel said that if it were not for the few righteous people in the city, they would be destroyed by fire (see Helaman 13:12–14). He told the people that they did not remember the Lord. Instead, they remembered their riches. (See Helaman 13:17–22.) The people were so wicked they made fun of the prophets and murdered them (see Helaman 13:24–26).

Samuel declared that in five years a sign would indicate that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had been born. There would be a day, a night, and a day without darkness. A new star would appear, and there would be other signs in heaven. (See Helaman 14:2–6.)

Samuel also told them the signs of Jesus’ death. Following Jesus’ death, there would be total darkness for three days, until Jesus was resurrected (see Helaman 14:20). There would also be thundering and lightning, violent earthquakes, and tempests. Entire cities would be destroyed. (See Helaman 14:21–24.) After Christ’s Resurrection, many righteous dead would be resurrected (see Helaman 14:25).

Many Nephites believed Samuel. Those who did not believe threw stones and shot arrows at him as he stood on the wall, but they could not hit him. When some realized the Spirit of the Lord was protecting him, they too believed. (See Helaman 16:1–3.)

Most Nephites, however, did not believe Samuel. When they saw the stones and arrows were not hitting him, they tried to capture him. Samuel jumped down from the wall and left the land. The Nephites never heard from him again. (See Helaman 16:6–8.)
5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources:  Finding Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ensign, Nov. 2004)
Samuel the Lamanite tells About Jesus Christ (Book of Mormon Stories)
Samuel the Lamanite (Friend, Sept. 1992)

Saturday, July 17, 2010


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "He Sent His SonChildren's Songbook  pg. 34

3. Read 2 Nephi 27:23  For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

4. Read and discuss "Micah's Miracle" from the October, 2002 Friend:

Micah’s very first word was “Why?” From that day on, he asked questions. He asked about clouds, rainbows, rivers, and trees. He asked about books, trains, kings, and skyscrapers.

He liked to think about new things. His mom and dad couldn’t keep up with all the answers he needed. They even bought encyclopedias so that they could look up answers they weren’t sure about. And then one day, when Micah was seven, he asked a very important question: “Mom, how do I know for sure that Heavenly Father is real?”

Mom put down the jar of baby food she’d just taken from the fridge and turned to smile at him. “I’m glad you’re thinking about that, Micah. It’s only a few months until you’ll be old enough to be baptized, and it’s important to know about the promises you’ll be making. Knowing about Heavenly Father is the first step.”

“Oh, I know about Him, Mom. I’ve had lots of Primary lessons, and we’ve read about Him in the scriptures. But how do I find out if it’s really true?”

Mom sat down at the kitchen table and looked Micah right in the eye. “If you want a testimony of your own, you’ll have to do some hard work. You’ve seen lots of people stand up on fast Sunday and bear their testimonies. They tell what they believe.”

“Oh, yeah, like how Sister Thomas always talks about how she loves the temple, and Brother Matsom always cries when he gets to the part about Jesus.”

“Right. And have you noticed how you feel when people are bearing their testimonies?”

“Sometimes I feel warm and happy inside.”

“That’s the Holy Ghost telling you that you are hearing something true. If you want to find your own testimony, you’ll have to pray and ask for help, you’ll have to remember to study your scriptures, and you’ll have to try very hard to keep the commandments so that Heavenly Father will know that you are serious about wanting an answer.”

“I can do that.”

For the next two weeks, Micah’s mom and dad were amazed at how hard Micah worked. He played happily with his brother, Sam, and didn’t get angry. He watched his baby sister while Mom talked with her visiting teachers. He even picked up his toys the first time he was asked. When Dad sat down in the evening before bed to read the Book of Mormon with him, Micah tried very hard to listen and even sounded out a lot of the words himself. But one night Micah didn’t seem happy.

“Is something bothering you, Son?”

“Dad, I’ve been trying for two weeks now. I’ve been really, really good. I’ve read. I’ve prayed. And I’ve been nice! But I still don’t know if Heavenly Father is real or not.”

Dad nodded. “I can understand why you’re frustrated. Sometimes Heavenly Father makes us wait a little while for our answers so that when they do come, they mean more to us.”

“Why would He make me wait? I want to know if He’s real. If I don’t get an answer, then He must not be real.”

Dad put his arm around Micah. “Why don’t we see if there’s an answer in the scriptures?” He opened the Book of Mormon to Ether 12:6 and read, “ ‘faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.’ "
“What’s a trial?” Micah asked. “Mom got a squishy little packet of shampoo in the mail last week that said ‘trial’ on it, but I don’t see how washing my hair is going to help.”

“Well,” Dad said, “That little packet is so a person like your mom can try out a new shampoo and see if she likes it before she buys a big bottle. Mom gives the shampoo a trial so that she can see if it does what she wants it to. When Heavenly Father gives us a trial, it’s kind of like that. He wants to see if we do what He wants us to, even if it’s hard.”

“So Heavenly Father is waiting to see if I’m going to give up or not?”

“A testimony is one of the most important things He can give you. If you were going to give someone a very special present, wouldn’t you want to make sure that person really wanted it and would take care of it?”

“Yes, I guess so.”

“There are all kinds of miracles, Micah. Some of them are big and flashy, like Moses parting the Red Sea, but most of them are quiet, and the quietest of all is when the Holy Ghost talks to us about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Be patient, Son, and listen carefully.”

That night, long after everyone had gone to bed, Micah had a nightmare. It was terrible, and Micah woke up afraid to move. He was too scared to go into Mom and Dad’s room, too scared even to cry out for them to come to him. As he huddled under his blanket, he wondered what he could do to feel better. Last Sunday, his Primary teacher had told his class that when you are very afraid, you should pray for comfort.

“Dear Heavenly Father,” he whispered, “I really need help. I’ve tried very hard to find out if You’re there, and I know I’m supposed to be patient, but I can’t wait any longer. I’m scared.”

As soon as Micah finished his prayer, he heard a noise in the hall. Suddenly the bathroom light switched on, and Dad peeked around the edge of Micah’s bedroom door.

“Are you all right?” Dad said softly. “All of a sudden I woke up, and I’m sure I heard a voice say, ‘Micah needs you.’ What happened?”

“I had a really bad dream, Dad.”

“Oh? Why the big smile then?”

“When I was scared, Heavenly Father heard my prayer and woke you up. He has to be real because He helped me when I asked. You know, it doesn’t matter if it’s not a big, flashy miracle as long as it’s just what you need.”

Dad sat on the edge of Micah’s bed and hugged him tightly. “That’s right, Micah,” he said. “That’s right.”

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources:  Heavenly Father Provided Us a Savior (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 9)
Christ Healing a Blind Man (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Stilling the Storm (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
The Ten Lepers (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Miracles of Faith (Ensign, July 2004)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #63: I CAN FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST'S EXAMPLE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Come, Follow Me" Hymns pg. 116

3. Read Luke 18:22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

4. Read and discuss the following from Joseph B. Wirthlin in the May, 2002 Ensign:

They were fishermen before they heard the call. Casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, Peter and Andrew stopped as Jesus of Nazareth approached, looked into their eyes, and spoke the simple words, “Follow me.” Matthew writes that the two fishermen “straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

Then the Son of Man approached two other fishermen who were in a ship with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called to them, “and [James and John] immediately left the ship and their father, and followed [the Lord].” 1

Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to have lived in the days of the Savior? If you had been there, would you have heeded His call “Follow me”?

Perhaps a more realistic question might be, “If the Savior were to call you today, would you be just as willing to leave your nets and follow Him?” I am confident that many would.

As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to “come here” and to “go there.” In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, “Follow me.”

We can easily get our lives out of balance. I remember a few years that were particularly challenging for me. Our family had grown to seven children. I had served as a counselor in the bishopric and was then given the sacred call as bishop of our ward. I was striving to manage our business that required long hours each day. I pay tribute to my wonderful wife, who always made it possible for me to serve the Lord.

There was simply too much to do in the time available. Instead of sacrificing things of significance, I decided I’d get up earlier, take care of my business, then spend the time required to be a good father and husband and a faithful member of the Church. It wasn’t easy. There were mornings when the alarm clock went off that I cracked open an eyelid and glared at it, daring it to keep ringing.

Nevertheless, the Lord was merciful and helped me to find the energy and time to do all I had committed to do. Although it was difficult, I have never regretted making the choice to heed the Savior’s call and follow Him.

Think of the debt we owe to Him . . . because of the Savior, we will live forever. No amount of money can purchase this exalted state. Eternal life is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father, offered freely and liberally to all who heed the call of the Man of Galilee.

How do we follow the Savior? By exercising faith. By believing in Him. By believing in our Heavenly Father. By believing that God speaks to man on earth today.

We follow the Savior by repenting of our sins—by experiencing sorrow because of them and forsaking them.

We follow the Savior by entering the waters of baptism and receiving a remission of our sins, by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and allowing that influence to inspire, instruct, guide, and comfort us.

How do we follow the Savior? By obeying Him. He and our Heavenly Father have given us commandments—not to punish or torment us, but to help us come to a fulness of joy, both in this life and for the eternities to come, worlds without end.

In contrast, when we cling to our sins, our pleasures, and sometimes even our perceived obligations; resist the influence of the Holy Ghost; and put aside the words of the prophets; we then stand at the shore of our own Galilee, nets tightly entangling us. We find ourselves unable to leave them behind and follow the living Christ.

But the Shepherd calls to each of us today. Will we recognize the voice of the Son of God? Will we follow Him?

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: I Can Follow Jesus Christ's Example (Friend, July 2010)
What Does Jesus Christ Want Me to Do? (Friend, Sept. 1997)
Jesus is My Example (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 12)
Calling of the Fishermen (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #62: DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Press Forward Saints" Hymns pg. 81

3. Read Daniel 6:10  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

4. Read and discuss "Daniel in the Lion's Den" from The Gospel Art Picture Kit:

King Darius of Babylon chose 120 princes to rule his kingdom. He also chose three presidents over these princes. Daniel, a righteous man, was the first of the three presidents “because an excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:3).

The other presidents and princes were jealous of Daniel. They tried to find a reason to complain to the king about him, but they could not. (See Daniel 6:4.)

Finally, the other rulers decided on a plan to get Daniel in trouble. They knew that Daniel prayed every day. So they asked King Darius to sign a decree that for the next 30 days no one could ask a favor of any God or man, except of the king. Anyone who disobeyed the decree would be thrown into a den of lions. King Darius signed the decree. (See Daniel 6:5–9.)

Though Daniel heard about the decree, he continued to pray three times a day in his home, as he had done before (see Daniel 6:10). The jealous rulers saw Daniel praying (see Daniel 6:11). They went to King Darius and reminded him, “Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing is true” (Daniel 6:12). They then informed the king that Daniel had been praying to his God (see Daniel 6:13).

The king loved Daniel and did not want him to be killed. He tried to find a way to save Daniel, but he could not change the decree. (See Daniel 6:14–15.) So Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. The sorrowful king told Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (Daniel 6:16). A large rock was placed over the opening to the lions’ den (see Daniel 6:17).

King Darius spent the night fasting. He could not sleep. Early in the morning he hurried to the den of lions. (See Daniel 6:18–19.) The anguished king cried out, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20).

From within the den came Daniel’s voice: “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (Daniel 6:22).

The king was joyful. He commanded that Daniel be taken out of the den. Because of Daniel’s faith, God had protected him. (See Daniel 6:23.)

The men who had accused Daniel were thrown into the den and were killed by the lions (see Daniel 6:24). King Darius signed another decree that everyone in his kingdom should fear and tremble before Daniel’s God (see Daniel 6:25–27).

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Daniel and the Lions (Friend, Feb. 1983)
True to the Faith (Ensign, May 2006)

Monday, May 31, 2010


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "The Still Small Voice" Children's Songbook, pg. 106

3. Read Moroni 10:5  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

4. Read and discuss the following from Boyd K. Packer in the July, 1995 Friend:

Following baptism, in the ordinance of confirmation, you received, or will receive, the gift of the Holy Ghost.

While the Holy Ghost may inspire all mankind, the gift carries the right to have it as a “constant companion” (see D&C 121:46). It is “by the power of the Holy Ghost [that you] may know the truth of all things” (Moro. 10:5).

The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. It is described as a “still small voice” (see D&C 85:6). And while we speak of “listening” to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, “I had a feeling …”

The scriptures are full of such expressions as “The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened” (D&C 110:1), “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart” (D&C 8:2), and “Speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts” (D&C 100:5).

The prophet Enos said, “While I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind” (Enos 1:10). Enos then related what the Lord put into his mind.

The voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you. Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency.

The Savior said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide [stay] with you for ever;

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:15–17.)

I bear witness of the power of the Spirit and thank God that this wonderful gift is given to you, our youth, to guide you as you move forward to a happy life.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Learning to Recognize the Spirit (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 15)
Gaining a Testimony Through the Holy Ghost (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 16)
The Holy Gost Testifies of the Truth of All Things (Friend, June 2010)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "The Fourth Article of Faith" Children's Songbook, pg. 124

3. Read Articles of Faith 1:4  We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

4. Read and discuss the following from the March, 2000 Friend:

Do you know what a covenant in the Church is? It is a sacred promise, an agreement between Heavenly Father and His children. Since the time of Adam and Eve, Father in Heaven has made covenants with His children to help us live righteously and be worthy to live with Him again.

In the scriptures, we learn about many people who made covenants with the Lord. When the people of Alma gathered at the waters of Mormon, he invited them to be baptized, to make a covenant (see Mosiah 18:8–13). The people were so happy that they clapped their hands with joy. They wanted to show their love for Heavenly Father, and their desire to keep His commandments, by being baptized.

Alma taught his people what they must do to keep and honor their baptismal covenant. He said that they must be willing to be called God’s people and to obey His commandments. He told them that they should help one another and comfort one another. They were to be “witnesses of God” (Mosiah 18:9). That means that they would tell others about Heavenly Father and about how much He loves each of His children. If they did these things, the Lord would bless them with His Spirit. Alma’s people learned that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to make a sacred covenant with Him.

We begin our journey back to Him by making a covenant and being baptized. When Jesus was baptized, He made a covenant that He would be obedient to Heavenly Father’s commandments (see 2 Ne. 31:5–8). When you are baptized, you make that same covenant to serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Then, when you are confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you covenant to take His name upon you, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. Just like the people of Alma, you promise to be a witness of the Savior—to tell others about, or testify of, Him. When you keep your part of the baptismal covenant, you will always have His Spirit to be with you. That is God’s promise to you.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: My Faith in Christ Can Grow (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 11)
Principals and Ordinances of the Gospel Lead Me to Jesus Christ (Friend, May 2010)
A Sacred Promise (Friend, March 2000)
Be Not Afraid (Friend, Jan. 2007)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 59: YOUNG WOMEN VALUES--VIRTUE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Keep the Commandments" Hymns pg. 303

3. Read Proverbs 31:10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

4. Read and discuss the following from "Young Women Personal Progress"

I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards.

Then read and discuss the following from Elaine S. Dalton:

Sometimes as we walk life’s paths, we want to loiter in dangerous places, thinking that it is fun and thrilling and that we are in control. Sometimes we think we can live on the edge and still maintain our virtue. But that is a risky place to be. As the Prophet Joseph Smith told us, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue” (History of the Church, 5:134–35).

In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord gives counsel to one of His precious daughters, Emma Smith, to be faithful and to “walk in the paths of virtue before me” (D&C 25:2). The Lord’s advice to Emma Smith is also His advice to all His precious daughters. What are those paths and what is virtue?

Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue includes modesty—in thought, language, dress, and demeanor. Virtue provides an anchor on the path leading to our Heavenly Father’s presence. The paths of virtue lead to happiness in this life and in the life to come. The paths of virtue lead to strong families. The paths of virtue contain the foundation stones for the blessings of eternity. They lead to the temple. No wonder Joseph Smith said, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

In another revelation the Lord promises each of us that if we “let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly,” we will have confidence. He promises that our “confidence [will] wax strong” and “the Holy Ghost will be [our] constant companion” (D&C 121:45–46). Living the standards helps each of us stay on the paths of virtue. Whenever we are worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, we can always be assured that the daily decisions we each make will be correct even when they are difficult.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Cherish Virtue (New Era, March 2009)
Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts (Ensign, Nov. 2009)
Sexual Purity (For the Strength of Youth)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "On A Golden Springtime" Children's Songbook, pg. 88

3. Read Articles of Faith 1:6  We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, deachers, evangelists, and so forth.

4. Read and discuss the following from the April, 2010 Friend:
Imagine a glass full of clear, pure water. If we bump the glass, some water might spill out and the glass wouldn’t be full anymore.

When Adam and Eve were created, the fulness of the gospel was on the earth. For many years prophets taught the gospel.

When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church. He taught the fulness of the gospel: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obedience to the commandments. Jesus showed all people how we should live. He became the Savior of us all. The gospel glass was full.

But as the years passed, parts of the gospel were lost because wicked people changed it or didn’t obey it. The fulness of the gospel was no longer on the earth. Heavenly Father promised His children He would give them the fulness of the gospel again. He called Joseph Smith to help Him restore the fulness of the gospel.

John 3:16 teaches us that Heavenly Father gave us His Son and the gospel because He loves His children. He calls prophets to teach everyone His gospel so we will know the way back to Him.

We are blessed to have the fulness of the gospel in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our gospel glasses are full to the top, and Heavenly Father has promised that the gospel will never be taken from the earth again.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Jesus Christ Restored the Fulness of the Gospel through Joseph Smith
(Friend, April 2010)
The Gospel is Restored (Friend, Feb. 2003)
Joseph Smith--Prophet of the Restoration (Friend, July 2001)
The First Vision (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 57: HE IS RISEN

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "He is Risen" Hymns pg. 199

3. Read Matthew 28: 5-8  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the bLord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

4. Read and discuss the following from Thomas S. Monson:

Then comes that glorious day of resurrection, when spirit and body will be reunited, never again to be separated. “I am the resurrection, and the life,” said the Christ to the grieving Martha. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11: 25-26)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. … That where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14: 2-3)
This transcendent promise became a reality when Mary and the other Mary approached the garden tomb—that cemetery which had but one occupant. Let Luke, the physician, describe their experience:

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre. …

And they found the stone rolled away. …

… They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

… As they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

And … said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24: 1-5)
He is not here: for he is risen.” (Matthew 28:6)

This is the clarion call of Christendom. The reality of the Resurrection provides to one and all the peace that surpasses understanding. 11 It comforts those whose loved ones lie in Flanders fields or who perished in the depths of the sea or rest in tiny Santa Clara or peaceful Heber Valley. It is a universal truth.

As the least of His disciples, I declare my personal witness that death has been conquered, victory over the tomb has been won. May the words made sacred by Him who fulfilled them become actual knowledge to all. Remember them. Cherish them. Honor them. He is risen.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: He Is Risen (Ensign, April 2003)
Jesus' Tomb (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Mary and the Resurrected Lord (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
The Resurrected Jesus Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 56: NONE WERE WITH HIM

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" Hymns pg. 136

3. Read Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

4. Read and discuss the following from Jeffrey R. Holland:
My Easter-season message today is intended for everyone, but it is directed in a special way to those who are alone or feel alone or, worse yet, feel abandoned. These might include those longing to be married, those who have lost a spouse, and those who have lost—or have never been blessed with—children. Our empathy embraces wives forsaken by their husbands, husbands whose wives have walked away, and children bereft of one or the other of their parents—or both. This group can find within its broad circumference a soldier far from home, a missionary in those first weeks of homesickness, or a father out of work, afraid the fear in his eyes will be visible to his family. In short it can include all of us at various times in our lives.

To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all in the human family. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task of shouldering alone the burden of our salvation.

I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

It was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so . . . Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.

My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance . . . may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.
5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: None Were With Him (Ensign, May 2009)
Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
The Crucifixion (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 55: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--FAITH

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Lead Kindly Light" Hymns pg. 97

3. Read Ether 12:6  And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

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

Great buildings were never constructed on uncertain foundations. Great causes were never brought to success by vacillating leaders. The gospel was never expounded to the convincing of others without certainty. Faith, which is of the very essence of personal conviction, has always been, and always must be, at the root of religious practice and endeavor.

It is that kind of certitude that has moved this church forward in the face of persecution, ridicule, sacrifice of fortune, the leaving of loved ones to travel to distant lands to carry the gospel message. That conviction motivates today as it has done from the beginning of this work. Faith in the hearts of millions that this cause is true, that God is our Eternal Father, and that Jesus is the Christ must ever be the great motivating force in our lives.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: My Faith in Christ Can Grow (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 11)
The Infinite Power of Hope (Ensign, Nov. 2008)
 The Faith to Move Mountains (Ensign, Nov. 2006)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 55: GOD SPEAKS THROUGH PROPHETS

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Follow the Prophet" Children's Songbook pg. 110

3. Read Luke 1:70  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.

4. Read and discuss the following from the Friend:

Pretend that it’s a beautiful summer evening and you have been playing outside with your brothers and sisters. Now imagine that your mom calls to you and asks you to tell them to come in for dinner. You are speaking for your mom, delivering a message for her to your family. Will they listen?

Throughout the ages, Father in Heaven has chosen certain men to speak for Him. These men are called prophets. They teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to know. They warn us about what will happen if we disobey. They also tell us about the wonderful blessings that will come when we do obey. Will we listen?

The scriptures tell us about the prophets who were called by Father in Heaven to speak for Him. Noah was asked by the Lord to warn the people that if they didn’t repent, a terrible flood would come and cover the earth. Noah’s family were the only ones who listened, and they were saved from the flood (
see Gen. 6–8; 2 Pet. 2:5).

The prophet Lehi was shown that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come and be the Savior of the world. Lehi’s son Nephi prayed to know if the words of his father were true. The Lord visited Nephi, and he believed all the words of his father. Later, Nephi also spoke for the Lord (see 1 Ne. 1:18–19;
1 Ne. 2:16–18).

As a young boy, Joseph Smith went into the woods to pray to Father in Heaven and ask which church he should join. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and gave him instructions that opened the way for the restoration of the gospel in our day (see JS—H 1:11–20).

When we pray to Heavenly Father as Nephi did, we can know that the words of the prophets are true. Prophets are men who “walk with God” (see Gen. 6:9). They keep His commandments and are obedient to the things He tells them to do. When we hear the prophet, we will know that he speaks to us for the Savior.
5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: God Speaks Through Prophets (Friend, Mar. 2010)
Building the Ark (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
Lehi Prophesying to the People of Jerusalem (Gospel Art Picture Kit)
The First Vision (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson # 54: STANDING FOR SOMETHING--OPTIMISM

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Smiles" Children's Songbook pg. 267

3. Read 2 Nephi 2:25  Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

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

Let us not partake of the negative spirit so rife in our times. There is so much of the sweet and the decent and the beautiful to build upon. We are partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel means “good news!” The message of the Lord is one of hope and salvation! The voice of the Lord is a voice of glad tidings! The work of the Lord is a work of glorious accomplishment!

In a dark and troubled hour the Lord said to those He loved: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

These great words of confidence are a beacon to each of us. In Him we may indeed have trust. For He and His promises will never fail.

I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.

What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: Words of the Prophet: The Spirit of Optimism (New Era, July 2001)
Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time (Ensign, Nov. 2008)
Sense of Humor (FHE Resource Book)