Using Duty to God to Plan Family Home Evening

The good news is: this project is all up to the boys. The other good news is: you may already be helping them earn their awards and you don’t even know it. Or, with just a few minor adjustments to activities like family home evening, you could help them earn it in record time.

To follow is a ten-week guide outlining a different family home evening lesson for each week. These lessons are designed to help young men fulfill requirements and earn their Duty to God awards. For this purpose, some of the lessons apply specifically to young men, but each could be easily adapted to include family members of all ages.

Week 1: For the Strength of Youth—Invite your son to teach a family home evening lesson about a topic in For the Strength of Youth. Have him develop his lesson plan on the computer to help build computer skills. After FHE, encourage him to write in his journal about what he learned through reading the pamphlet and then teaching from it.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:       
  • Family Activities 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Spiritual Development 8
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 11      

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 2, 4,
  • Spiritual Development 7
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 12

Priest:

  • Family Activities 1, 4,
  • Spiritual Development 2
  • Citizenship and Social Development 2

Week 2: Family History—Introduce your son to family history. Have a four-generation pedigree chart printed for him to fill out during family home evening; explain how it’s done and why doing it is important, including an introduction to Personal Ancestral File or a similar program. Invite his grandparents and have them relate a few stories about their parents, their grandparents, and what it was like to grow up when they did. This setting would also be a great opportunity to read and discuss “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Suggest your son write his grandparents a letter describing his gratitude for them and what he admires about them. Have him give the letter as a gift before they leave and invite him to write about this experience in his journal.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Family Activities 4
  • Spiritual Development 2, 6, 7, 8, 12   
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 11

Teacher:

  • Spiritual Development 6, 7, 10, 11
  • Citizenship and Social Development 4

Priest:

  • Family Activities 9
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 7

Week 3: Cooking Skills and Manners—Go through a cookbook and have your son choose several easy-to-prepare recipes—two main dishes, two side dishes, and two desserts. Have him prepare these meals at future family home evenings. Then, through a series of “what to do and what not to do” examples, demonstrate how one should behave at a table. Behavior such as sitting up straight, placing the napkin in your lap, keeping elbows off the table, eating with your mouth closed, and saying “please” and “thank you” could be discussed. When the day arrives that your son is to cook the meal, invite a two or three non-member friends or less-active neighbors.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Family Activities 5
  • Spiritual Development 10, 11
  • Citizenship and Social Development 2, 3, 11

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 8
  • Quorum Activities 5
  • Spiritual Development 9
  • Citizenship and Social Development 10

Priest:

  • Family Activities 4, 6

Week 4: The Twelfth Article of Faith—Have your son prepare this week’s FHE on the twelfth Article of Faith and the structure and function of the government. Encourage him to use the computer to develop a lesson plan and suggest resources he could use for research. For example, he could search online for information regarding the constitution and the events that led to the creation of the U.S. For the activity portion of FHE, you may want to take a tour of a government office or sit in on a court session or town meeting. You may also want to briefly discuss your son’s interest in a career in government. Encourage your son to memorize the twelfth article of faith (possibly even in another language for older boys).

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Family Activities 3, 6
  • Spiritual Development 3
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 3, 5

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 4, 7
  • Spiritual Development 4
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 3, 4, 6, 12
  • Citizenship and Social Development 5, 6

Priest:

  • Family Activities 4, 7
  • Spiritual Development 2
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 3, 8

Week 5: Service—Ask your son to set up an appointment at a local hospital or care center to visit or read to the patients as a family. You can also identify an elderly neighbor who could use a helping hand and help that neighbor with things like shopping, house maintenance, gardening, or possibly even a future trip to the voting booth.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Family Activities 7
  • Citizenship and Social Development 11

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 8
  • Citizenship and Social Development 3

Priest:

  • Family Activities 4
  • Spiritual Development 3, 4, 9
  • Citizenship and Social Development 11, 12

Week 6: Missionary Work—As a family read the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony in Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20 (you could also read about prophets, prayer, or conversion in Gospel Principles). Next, help your son look up several scriptures that testify of Christ. Discuss why understanding the story of Joseph Smith and the teachings of Christ are so vital to missionary work. Brainstorm with your son some of the characteristics and habits that he could work on developing in order to be a great missionary—including practical skills like budgeting, cooking, healthy habits, and learning a new language. Invite him to develop a plan that will help him reach some of these goals. Also, encourage older boys to memorize D&C 4.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Quorum Activities 1
  • Spiritual Development 1, 9, 10

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 3, 6
  • Spiritual Development 1, 8, 9
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 11

Priest:

  • Family Activities: 5, 6
  • Spiritual Development 8, 10
  • Citizenship and Social Development 3

Week 7: Health and Fitness—Have your son give the family home evening lesson on the Word of Wisdom from D&C 89 and For the Strength of Youth (this lesson could also include a discussion on healthy hygiene and grooming). Discuss ways you can improve your family’s health and develop a plan. After the lesson, have him teach the family a new activity or game with which everyone is mostly unfamiliar. Some ideas might be: badminton, croquet, tennis, water polo, golf, ultimate Frisbee, etc.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Family Activities 2, 3
  • Physical Development 2, 9
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 12
  • Citizenship and Social Development 4

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 2, 4
  • Physical Development 6
  • Citizenship and Social Development 1

Priest:

  • Family Activities 2, 4, 6
  • Personal Goals 2
  • Physical Development 9
  • Citizenship and Social Development 3

Week 8: Education—Discuss why it is important to be learning continually. Talk about some of the topics that are important to study like: the gospel, good literature, math and science, history, social studies, health, etc. Talk about why it is important to try our best at school, and help your son develop some academic goals. Give him some ideas for improving academically. For example, encourage him to regularly read from the Church magazines to improve his reading skills and well as his gospel understanding. Then, talk about his favorite subjects and some of the careers that use those subjects.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 2, 10
  • Physical Development 2, 9

Teacher:

  • Spiritual Development 12
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 6, 3

Priest:

  • Family Activities 7
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1

Week 9: Finances—Talk about budgeting with your son. Give him examples from your family’s budget. Discuss budgeting for food, transportation, entertainment, clothing, shelter, etc. Help him create two different budgets: a budget for his current expenses (for older boys, this could be a good time to talk about getting a part-time job), and a mock-budget for his life as a missionary. Help him follow the budget he creates for his current expenses. You may want to also help him develop his computer skills by teaching him how to create a spreadsheet for budgeting.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:          

  • Spiritual Development 9, 10
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 9, 11

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 6, 8,
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 1, 12

Priest:

  • Family Activities 6
  • Spiritual Development 8
  • Educational, Personal, and Career Development 4

Week 10: Friendship—Have your son invite a friend to dinner and this week’s FHE. It could be a non-member or an inactive friend, or it could be someone who sometimes feels left out at school or church. Choose any topic this week—just use the evening as an opportunity to build a new friendship. Also, have your son introduce your guest and the family to a new sport or game that everyone can play after the lesson. Before your son’s friend leaves, suggest he invite him to a Mutual or quorum activity. Later, discuss with your son what it means to be a friend and how you can maintain friendships. Suggest he write about friendship in his journal.

Requirements this FHE could fulfill or help fulfill:
Deacon:

  • Spiritual Development 8, 11
  • Physical Development 9
  • Citizenship and Social Development 1, 2, 3, 4

Teacher:

  • Family Activities 8
  • Quorum Activities 5
  • Physical Development 6

Priest:

  • Family Activities 4, 5
  • Spiritual Development 2
  • Physical Development 9
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