Oct 27, 2015

Family Home Evenings

I know I haven't posted my Family Home Evenings in a while, but I promise you that we do them every single week.  FHE is such an inspired and wonderful program that really brings the spirit into my home and draws us closer together as a family.  I consider it one of the most important things I do each week, right up there with daily prayer, scripture study, and church attendance.

This year, I have been using a few books to guide my FHE lessons and activities.  They are wonderful books that really explain scripture stories well, especially for toddlers and children, and I recommend them.  Since my time has been more divided lately, they have been a lifesaver when it comes to FHE preparation and keep me on track with regular activities and lessons for my daughter.

This year, and really until I've finished going through the book, we are studying Book of Mormon stories and peoples for FHE.  The following books include stories, lessons, scriptures, and fun activities that have proven indispensable as we study these together each Monday night.

First, we follow the lessons from "Ites: an illustrated guide to the people in the Book of Mormon" by David Butler.  This book goes through each person and group of people mentioned in the Book of Mormon with scriptural examples, stories, and activity ideas.  This book does a great job of setting the foundation for children to better understand Book of Mormon stories as they have more knowledge of the people involved in each situation.

After we have studied the people involved, I will then do a lesson from "Who's Your Hero?" by David Bowman.  This book covers the stories of the Book of Mormon with very detailed Family Home Evening outlines included with each chapter.  He provides activity and lesson suggestions for children of all ages, even teenagers, and the activities have been creative and fun.

By using both of these books, June has learned about the people in the scriptures and why they are important.  "Ites" will be coming out with a Bible version that I plan on purchasing around Christmas time so we can better study biblical stories together as a family.  I find using these books takes a lot of the pressure out of planning FHE activities and ensures that I have no excuse to skip.

Oct 8, 2015

21 Gems from General Conference

This last general conference, where the living prophet and apostles share messages with the world on the gospel of Jesus Christ, was incredible.  Granted, I do say that after every conference, but that doesn't make it any less true.  It was incredible, and many of the talks given spoke directly to my heart and gave me the guidance, comfort, and even hope that I need at this exact time in my life.  As I said, incredible.

However, watching these particular conference sessions was a completely different experience for me than ever before and this is due to the blessing that I got to watch them all with my wonderful, handsome, sweet, and spiritual man (yes, I love taking every opportunity I have to brag about him).  The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a message from the first presidency of Christ's church given 20 years ago, states the ideal family relationship we should all be striving to achieve and maintain.  That family relationship is a man and a woman, sealed together in the Lord's temple by proper priesthood authority, raising and teaching their children in righteousness and in His gospel.  I've never had this before.  But as I was sitting with Alex, watching the living prophet and servants of our Savior speaking to us during conference, it felt so right.  It felt like this is exactly how a family is supposed to feel, and I loved every moment of it.  In fact, the spirit was stronger than before and the messages pierced my heart straight to my very soul so powerfully.  It was like having Alex there increased my own spiritual sensitivity and all things fell into place as they are supposed to.  I know that by striving for this ideal, we will find true happiness in this life and in the life to come.

I want to share some of my favorite quotes from this general conference and I hope that they can provide you with the guidance, comfort, and strength you need to overcome any challenges, trials, or fears in your own life and even grant you with the true peace and serenity that accompanies feeling God's love for you specifically.  I encourage you, if you feel so inclined, to prayerfully and intently listen to or read the full messages here for I know that they will bless you in all aspect of your life.  This is modern day scripture meant for us this very day as we face today's unique challenges.