Prepare the following Family Home Evening for the children to participate in. Make copies of it to send home for the children to share with their families.
Divide the primary into four groups and have each group go to a separate area of the Primary room. Have one group sing the song and read the scripture. One group will participate in the object lesson and listen to the story. The next group can do one of the suggested activities. The last group can make refreshments. Rotate all the children around the room, so they can participate in each area.
Song: "Families Can Be Together Forever," Children's Songbook, p. 188
Scripture: 1 Nephi 8:10, 12
And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
Give everyone a piece or pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Tell family members that each puzzle piece represents a family responsibility and the various responsibilities are written on the back of each piece. Have one family member try to put the puzzle together by using only their piece or pieces of the puzzle. Explain that even though one person might fulfill their responsibilities the house will not be in order unless others help. Have another family member add their piece or pieces. Explain that even though two members may have fulfilled their responsibilities the house is still not in order. Continue until everyone has had a chance to add their pieces to the puzzle. Explain that everyone needs to work together to fulfill their responsibilities for the house to be in order. It is important that everyone does their share so that one person does not feel over-burdened.
At a stake conference in Lima, Peru, I met a young woman who was the only member of the Church in her family. Over the months since she had joined the Church, she had heard much counsel about holding family home evenings. She wanted to do so but wasn't sure how to go about it. She was only seventeen years old, and no one else in her family was interested.
One Sunday she heard a particularly strong testimony about family home evening and decided she had waited long enough--she would begin holding it. She went home that very day and in her living room began to sing a song, say a prayer, and have a lesson. Her family made fun of her, particularly her two older brothers. They laughed, jeered, asked what she was doing as a Mormon, and so on. In tears she fled to her bedroom, where she finished the lesson that night.
The following Monday, in spite of the resistance she had encountered from her family, she went ahead and had family home evening--and the next Monday as well. On the following Monday night as she began singing the opening song, there was a knock on her door. Her older brother said, "Mary, may I come in? I really would like to know what you are doing."
She said, "Well, yes, if you're not going to make fun of me." He said he wouldn't and came in. They sang, prayed, and learned together. The following week the second brother joined them.
As she bore testimony in stake conference that day, she said, "And here, Elder Cook," pointing to one of the front rows, "are my parents and both of those brothers. They are all members of the Church now."
What a tremendous blessing! This seventeen-year-old girl, through obedience to the commandments, was the instrument by which her whole family was converted. (Gene R. Cook, Raising Up a Family to the Lord, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993], p. 263)
1. What's Neat About My
Have you ever stopped to think about what is neat about your family? Every family is a little bit different. Some families are made up of lots of people, and some only have a few members. Even if it is just one child and a single parent, they too make up a beautiful family.
Every family has things that are special about it. These may be your family traditions, the kinds of things you do to celebrate holidays, the way you spend your Saturdays, the vacations you enjoy together, the time each child gets to spend alone with a parent, or the delicious meals you enjoy every evening for dinner. Some families have special activities they enjoy participating in together (such as sports and music), and some families concentrate on letting each child be a real individual and enjoy his or her activities.
Using paper and crayons, draw some of the things that are unique and neat about your family.
2. Fun to Do Family Activities:
Cut out the nouns and verbs in the list below. Put the nouns in one sack and verbs in another. Each family member gets a turn picking out a noun and verb. Put the two together and everyone sing and act out "Fun to Do" p. 253 from The Children's Songbook. There will be some crazy combinations, such as "Raking the dinner is fun to do!"
(by Roger and Melanie Hoffman, Scripture Scouts Musical Adventures in the Family Proclamation, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], compact disc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt
Combine ingredients in a gallon size ziplock bag, release all the air, seal, and squeeze! Knead to a smooth consistency. Chill. Enjoy!
As family members are each taking turns kneading the fudge, discuss how many hands make for lighter work. Sometimes hard "lumps" need the extra attention. It is important that everyone participates and contributes.