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Why do we have the Easter traditions that we all participate in year-after-year? Where did these traditions start and what do they symbolize?

For Family Home Evening tonight and this week, we are going to discuss and learn about the Easter Traditions in preparation for Easter weekend. We will also learn about the events of this important week of events that had been prophesied for thousands of years.

Opening Song: “I Believe in Christ” Hymn #134

For Little Ones: We suggest the very simple lesson for little ones in the nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones. Here is the link for the Easter lesson.

Christ’s last week of His mortal ministry:Excerpts from Church leaders on the events of this last week.

Start the Sunday before Easter Sunday with this timeline. Use photos from the Gospel Art Kit as you discuss each day. You can do this throughout the week for better conversation and focus on the daily happenings or in one FHE lesson.

Palm Sunday~ Palm Sunday is the anniversary of that momentous occasion nearly two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth, the very Son of God himself, began the ultimate declaration of his divinity and entered the holy city of Jerusalem as the promised Messiah that he was.

Riding on a young donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s ancient prophecy (see Zech. 9:9), he approached the temple on a path that the jubilant crowd lined for him with palm leaves, flowering branches, and some of their own garments, thus carpeting the way properly for the passing of a king. He was their king; these were his subjects. “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they shouted. “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matt. 21:9.)

Of course, that path so lovingly lined was soon to lead to an upper room and then to Gethsemane. (“Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee”, President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign: May 1993)

Cleansing of the Temple (Monday)~
One of the first places that Jesus visited after entering Jerusalem was to go to the temple. When he arrived, he discovered that there were merchants who had set up and sold to those coming and going. Christ said to these as he cleansed the temple of them, "My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves." (Luke 19:46) 


Passover & Last Supper (Tuesday)~

It began with the Paschal supper, or the Passover meal. Jesus made preparations for this meal in “a large upper room.” (Luke 22:12.) This Passover would officially close the requirement of animal sacrifices.

As Jesus and the Twelve Apostles entered the guest chamber in the upper room, the roasted lamb, unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and dish with vinegar were prepared and ready.

Jesus presided at this meal. That was significant because as the One who took the place of the family patriarch, He made a last symbolic sacrifice in preparation for the real sacrifice that He later offered. He understood this; the Apostles did not. By celebrating the Passover feast, He gave His endorsement to all those similitude, signs, and tokens of the past millennia that had prefigured His great sacrifice.

Significant, too, is the fact that the Son of God commenced His earthly ministry with an ordinance—baptism—and ended His ministry with an ordinance—the sacrament. Both bore record of His death, burial, and resurrection. (“Remembering the Savior’s Atonement”, Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, April 1988)


Atonement & the Garden of Gethsemane (Thursday)~

For children: Garden of Gethsemane story

Elder James E. Talmage

“Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. … It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, ‘the prince of this world’ could inflict. …

“In some manner, actual and terribly real though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world” (Jesus the Christ, 613).

Calvary & The Crucifixion (Friday)~

Elder James E. Talmage

“It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality. That the supreme sacrifice of the Son might be consummated in all its fulness, the Father seems to have withdrawn the support of His immediate Presence, leaving to the Savior of men the glory of complete victory over the forces of sin and death. …

“The period of faintness, the conception of utter forsakenness soon passed, and the natural cravings of the body reasserted themselves. The maddening thirst, which constituted one of the worst of the crucifixion agonies, wrung from the Savior’s lips His one recorded utterance expressive of physical suffering. ‘I thirst’ [John 19:28], He said. One of those who stood by, whether Roman or Jew, disciple or skeptic, we are not told, hastily saturated a sponge with vinegar, a vessel of which was at hand, and having fastened the sponge to the end of a reed, or stalk of hyssop, pressed it to the Lord’s fevered lips. …

“Fully realizing that He was no longer forsaken, but that His atoning sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, and that His mission in the flesh had been carried to glorious consummation, He exclaimed in a loud voice of holy triumph: ‘It is finished’ [John 19:30]. In reverence, resignation, and relief, He addressed the Father saying: ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit’ [Luke 23:46]. He bowed His head, and voluntarily gave up His life.

“Jesus the Christ was dead. His life had not been taken from Him except as He had willed to permit. Sweet and welcome as would have been the relief of death in any of the earlier stages of His suffering from Gethsemane to the cross, He lived until all things were accomplished as had been appointed” (Jesus the Christ, 661–62).


Resurrection Sunday~

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

“Only a God could bring about this miracle of resurrection. As a teacher of righteousness, Jesus could inspire souls to goodness; as a prophet, he could foreshadow the future; as an intelligent leader of men, he could organize a church; and as a possessor and magnifier of the priesthood, he could heal the sick, give sight to the blind, even raise other dead; but only as a God could he raise himself from the tomb, overcome death permanently, and bring incorruption in place of corruption, and replace mortality with immortality. …

“No human hands had been at work to remove the sealed door nor to resuscitate nor restore. No magician nor sorcerer had invaded the precincts to work his cures; not even the priesthood, exercised by another, had been brought in use to heal, but the God who had purposefully and intentionally laid down his life had, by the power of his godhead, taken up his life again. … The spirit which had been by him commended to his Father in Heaven from the cross, and which, according to his later reports, had been to the spirit world, had returned and, ignoring the impenetrable walls of the sepulcher, had entered the place, re-entered the body, had caused the stone door to be rolled away, and walked in life again, with his body changed to immortality, incorruptible—his every faculty keen and alert.

“Unexplainable? Yes! And not understandable—but incontestable. More than 500 unimpeachable witnesses had contact with him. They walked with him, talked with him, ate with him, felt the flesh of his body and saw the wounds in his side and feet and hands; discussed with him the program which had been common to them, and him; and, by many infallible proofs knew and testified that he was risen, and that that last and most dreaded enemy, death, had been overcome. …

“And so we bear testimony that the being who created the earth and its contents, who made numerous appearances upon the earth prior to his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is resurrected and immortal, and that this great boon of resurrection and immortality becomes now, through our Redeemer, the heritage of mankind” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 17–18).

Easter Traditions Trivia~

Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.

The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.

The Easter Egg


As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, theEaster egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.

From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers. 

Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs — those made of plastic or chocolate candy.

(From http://wilstar.com/holidays/easter.htm)

Activity~ 

1. Easter Egg Hunt:

Dye Easter eggs and have a Easter egg hunt. You can do one with just your family or plan and hold a neighborhood/ward primary Easter egg hunt! 

2. Other Easter Activities:
Mormon.org

7 Family Ideas and Activities for Focusing on Christ during Easter Week

Treat~


Resurrection Rolls~ Servings: 12
Skills: Beginning
Prep Time: 10 min (not including thaw time)
Bake Time: 15 min

Ingredients
  1. 12 Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed but still cold
  2. 12 jumbo marshmallows
  3. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Roll out each roll into a 5 inch circle.
  3. Dip a marshmallow in butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Place one marshmallow in the center of each 5 inch circle.
  5. Fold each side of the circle over the marshmallow, and pinch together to close.
  6. Place on a sprayed baking sheet, with the seam facing down.
  7. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and allow to double in size.
  8. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Notes: *For those of you who are interested in the symbolism of Resurrection Rolls* Marshmallow – the body of Jesus Melted Butter – the oils for embalming Cinnamon/Sugar mixture – spices used to anoint the body Roll- the wrapping of Jesus’ body Oven – the tomb Cavity in roll – the empty tomb after Jesus has risen.

Photo and recipe credits for Resurrection Rolls: RhodesBread.com.


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EASTER BASKET CUPCAKES
(BettyCrocker.com)

INGREDIENTS: 
1box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box1container Betty Crocker™ Whipped fluffy white frostingGreen-colored sour candy separated into stripsJelly beans or other desired candies

Directions
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • 2 Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • 3 Frost with frosting. Use candy strips for handle on each. Decorate with candy as desired. Store loosely covered.

Use Promotion Code FHE2016 TODAY!
 
 
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Purpose: As come to know and understand who we are, our background and heritage, each of us gains individual insight into who we are – and connects us to our heritage and past. 

This lesson is to help promote discussions about family history, why it is important, how can we start our own history and learn about ourselves as well.

Hymn:“I Have A Family Tree”  (click link to go to LDS.org and hear/play the song)

Scripture: Malachi 4: 5, 6

Lesson:

We know that we lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ before we came to earth. But, what is our heritage since being on earth? It all starts with knowing who we are and what better way to get to know ourselves than by getting to know our ancestors. We learn in the scripture (shared in this lesson) that our hearts can be turned to our ancestors. We can draw a close connection with those that have gone on before us a 100, 1,000 or even thousands of years before us. As we seek to know who they are and discover more about ourselves, our desire to help provide their temple work and unite our families eternally throughout all time will grow stronger.

Discussion:

1. Who can name the most family member's names?

2. Why is it important to know about our ancestors?

3. How does learning about our past help us in our lives today?

Activity:

With your parents help, begin your own family history chart with one of two methods provided below. There is a FREE printable for a family tree chart for younger children and a video to explain how to do a chart online for tweens & teens! Parents, you can do yours online as well!

Online Resources to Get Started on Your Family History:
 
 1. FamilySearch.org
 
 2. FindAGrave.com

 3. Ancestory.com

 4. Roots Magic

FREE Family History Printable Family Home Evening


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Use Promotion Code FHE2016 TODAY!
 
 
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Purpose: In a time where we can feel alone, forgotten and even abandoned, let us not forget that our loving Father in Heaven knows each of us. He knows our struggles, our hopes, our fears, our needs and desires. He is here for us, let us remember this and teach it to our children.

Song: “A Child’s Prayer”

Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 112:10

Lesson: Have you ever felt alone in this great big world? Have you ever been out on a mountain top or on the huge blue ocean and wondered–does anyone know who I really am?

If you’ve thought this…you’re not alone.

Heavenly Father wants us to know for a surety that we are NOT alone. He wants us to know that He has so much unconditional love for each of us and that He has a divine plan for all of His children to return to him. A plan that all of us can follow and he loves us so much that he’s given us all the tools we need to follow his simple plan. With scriptures, prophets, church and temples and even our personal prayers, we have been well equipped to be able to know how much love our Father in Heaven has for us.

We can look at the world around us and also see the power and love of our Father in Heaven.

Discussion: What are some of the ways you know that Heavenly Father loves you?

Have you ever felt alone?

How has God’s love helped you understand you’re not alone?

Quote:


Elder Hugh B. Brown, who became an Apostle in the Church shared:

“If I had a bad dream in the night when I was young, I would awaken and call out, ‘Mother, are you there?’ Since mother’s room was next to mine, she would hear me and answer quickly, ‘Yes, Son, I’m here.’

“Years later when I left for a mission to England, my mother reminded me that she wouldn’t be there to answer when I called but that our Heavenly Father would always be there.

“Many times on my mission and throughout my life I have called out: ‘Father, are you there?’ … Always, I have received an answer” (in Joleen Meredith, “Friend to Friend,” Friend, Aug. 1975, p. 7).

For Parents: Explain that Heavenly Father may not talk to us out loud, but he is always watching over us. Sometimes he helps us by giving us peaceful feelings or by putting ideas into our minds.

Activity:

Young children: Heavenly Father Knows Me picture. Use this photo to write down ways that the children know they have a Heavenly Father. He hears our prayers, gives us food to eat, clothes to wear and other simple ideas/concepts that they can understand.

Older children: Printable bookmark


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Use Promotion Code FHE2016 TODAY!
 
 
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Purpose: With our homes and families being under attack from the adversary, we need to make sure we are teaching our children the importance of loving one another, family bonds and creating a safe haven at home.

David O. McKay: “The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of the home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

Opening Song:“Love at Home,” pg. 294 of Hymn Book

Scripture: Mosiah 4:14-15

"A Family Night" (Taken from the FHE Resource Book)

It was almost time for family home evening in the Reynolds home.

Jeanette was busy in the kitchen taking the last batch of hot cookies out of the oven. She had worked all afternoon to prepare refreshments. Father called all the children to come into the living room.

Debby, Jeanette’s little sister, ran down the stairs and grabbed a handful of cookies on her way through the kitchen. Jeanette angrily caught her blouse sleeve as she dashed past, and the sleeve ripped. Debby hollered, “Look what you did!”

“Well, if you had just asked first,” cried Jeanette. “It’s not my fault.”

Soon the two girls were arguing, and mother had to come into the kitchen to stop them. She became upset herself when she saw Debby’s torn blouse.

Finally father got everyone into the living room together. Debby sat down in one corner of the room, and Jeanette in the other. Even after the opening prayer, everyone in the family felt uncomfortable. The warm spirit they usually felt during their family nights was not there.

During the lesson mother brought some photo albums out and handed them to the children. “I thought you might enjoy looking through these old pictures tonight,” she said.

Everyone gathered together to see the pictures. The little children were especially excited to see themselves. They laughed and pointed whenever they found themselves in a picture. Mother held up a picture of Debby and Jeanette when they were little. “Remember when you two got into my oil paints?” she asked. The girls had to laugh when they saw themselves in the picture covered with red and blue paint.

Soon all the family was caught up in reminiscing. Even Jeanette and Debby talked about the fun times they had together on their camping trip.

The spirit had changed. Everyone in the family could feel the spirit of love in their home again. When they knelt together in prayer, they felt the Spirit of the Lord with them.

Discussion:

  • What happened to the spirit of the Reynolds’ home when the children argued?
  • Why did it change when the children shared good thoughts about each other?
  • How can we make love grow?


As families turn to Heavenly Father in prayer they can be filled with His love and ability to love others unconditionally just as Jesus did.

  • What are ways we can overcome bad feelings & let love grow?

Quotes:

Elder Bruce Hafen: “Love is nowhere more potent or more significant than in marriage and family life.”

Elder Neal A Maxwell: “It is in family wherein we can learn, first and best, about love, taking turns, negotiating, and restraining selfishness…it is the most efficient means for producing human happiness and human goodness…the places where God’s extraordinary work is most often done by ordinary people.”
(both from the Strengthening Our Families)

Activity:
Make a chart with a heart in the middle that says “Love One Another.” Then make sunshine rays all around it. Each time a family member shows love color in the ray and write down what they did.


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Purpose: To read and review The Family, A Proclamation to the World teachings while using the theme of the Plan of Salvation teachings.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:8

Song: "Teach Me to Walk in the Light"

Lesson & Activity:

When you want to further discuss the teachings within the Plan of Salvation, you can use the doctrine found in this divine document.

You can pick up a copy of the proclamation for about 30-50¢ or so each through the church distribution center. 

I would suggest having a copy for each individual in your family that can write. You can color code the family proclamation based on areas/teachings of the Plan of Salvation

For example:


1. Where does the proclamation share with us what we can learn about ourselves in the pre-mortal life?


2. What do we learn about our purpose of life here on earth?


...and so on. 


If you haven't already reviewed the Plan of Salvation with your family, be sure to use this helpful Family Home Evening lesson to teach them about it! 

Click here for the...Family Proclamation 

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Purpose: Some of the most basic and important questions in life are answered by understanding the Plan of Salvation. Where did I come from? Why am I here? What happens to me after this life?

The Plan of Salvation also has other names in the scriptures such as the Plan of Happiness. Can you think of other names?

Scripture: Doc & Cov 14:7

Song: "I Am A Child of God"


Lesson:
 Many people go through life not knowing that we lived with our loving Father in Heaven beforehand. They also never know and really understand the purpose of life and why we are here in Earth. Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that he wants us to understand who we really are, what our purpose and role is here on Earth and what happens to us after this life. 

Having this understanding and knowledge brings peace to our hearts and minds when loved ones die. It also helps us to understand our divine attributes and heritage as we develop our self worth. 

Our Father in Heaven provided a way for us to gain a body, come to Earth, to learn, be tested and grow. Because we would make mistakes, He also provided a Savior for us to be able to be forgiven of our mistakes and return to live with Him again. This Savior is Jesus Christ, who came to Earth just as we did to live in a mortal body like us, to feel pain, sorry, happiness, sadness, loneliness...all the feelings we would feel so that He can help us overcome anything.

Discussion:


1. Why is helpful to know where we came from, why we're here or what happens to us after this life?


2. Who helped us have this knowledge restored?


Activity: Plan of Salvation Chart for Children

How to Use the Plan of Salvation Chart

1. Print off the attachment below.

2. Have your child(ren) cut out the individual pieces (or help them cut the pieces, or if time is short, have them already cut out ahead of time).

3. Print and cut out the single girl and boy pictures as well. It is best if you can copy and laminate the boy and girl photos ahead of time. They are transparent, so only the outlines will show. This will best represent the spirit body. 

4. Place the spirit bodies in the Pre-mortal Life (Pre-Earth). Talk through each of the steps as you lay out the chart. You will also place the body and spirit TOGETHER when they are born on Earth. Likewise, you will separate these two at death (and reunite them in the resurrection).

5. Repeat and practice this with each of the children in your family. You can do this periodically to help them understand the answers and beautiful teachings of the Plan of Salvation.


Click here for Printable Credit

Treat: Homemade Doughnut Holes & Hot Chocolate


Easy Homemade Glazed Doughnut Holes (JustATaste.com)

Yield: About 2 dozen

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 5 min


Ingredients:
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the doughnut holes:
  • 5 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Equipment: Deep-fry thermometer; Small ice cream scoop
Directions


Make the glaze:
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Slowly stir in 3 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. If the glaze isn't thin enough, stir in 1 additional tablespoon of milk. Cover the glaze with plastic wrap and set it aside while you make the doughnut holes.
  2. Make the doughnut holes:
  3. Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. (There should be at least 2 inches of oil in the pot and at least 2 inches between the top of the oil and the top of the pot.) Attach the deep-fry thermometer to the pot and begin heating the oil over medium heat to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and the egg.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in the melted butter, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  6. Once the oil has reached 350ºF, use a small ice cream scoop to drop about 1 tablespoon scoops of dough into the oil, careful not to overcrowd the pan. (See Kelly's Notes.) Fry the doughnut holes, flipping them in the oil, for about 2 minutes or until they're golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnut holes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  7. Allow the doughnut holes to cool slightly. Place a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, then one by one, dip the doughnut holes into the glaze and transfer them to the rack to allow the excess glaze to drip off. Serve immediately.
  8. Kelly's Notes:
  9. The dough expands when fried, so 1 tablespoon of batter will yield about a 2-inch doughnut hole. If you prefer smaller doughnut holes, drop about 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil. This recipe yields about 2 dozen of the larger doughnut holes or 4 dozen of the smaller variety.
  10. The roundness of the doughnut holes depends on how clean of a scoop of batter you drop into the hot oil. If you don't have a small ice cream scoop, you can use two small spoons to form the batter into mounds, however your doughnut holes will not be as uniformly round in shape.

Doughnut batter recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.



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Purpose: The Internet is an incredible resource and tool for the use of good, research, entertainment and keeping in touch with family and friends that live out of your area. 

However, the Internet has many dangers for some of its youngest users– children. 

This Family Home Evening lesson is provided to open the conversation about Internet safety and to teach some basic safety tips. Internet safety should be an on-going conversation with your children.


Song: "Keep the Commandments"


Scripture: Mosiah 4:3-4 

“Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

“And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” 


Talk: 


There are good and bad in areas of life --- such as:
 - Candy is good. But, too much of it is bad for us.
 - Sleep is good. But, too much of it is not good for us and makes us lazy.

The same goes with different forms of entertainment. Movies can be good, but there are some movies that have bad words or scenes that we should not see. 

Computers can do a lot of good, but there are ways that too much use can be bad, start to control our lives, get in unsafe situations or look at inappropriate materials.

Discussion #1: What are some good things that computers help us with?

(Examples can be: having access to so much gospel literature, general conferences, manuals, videos, etc. from the church, doing and researching our genealogy, blogging about our church/missionary work, being able to communicate with family and friends that live far away, etc)

We do need to be aware of the bad things that can happen with computers as well.

Here are some Internet Safety Tips:

With the benefits of the Internet come hazards. We can take a few precautions that will help us and our children to screen material.


1. Place your computer in an open-access area. Having the computer in sight reminds everyone in the family to be careful about the information they access. It also encourages you to sit down with your children and use the Internet together. If you do not know a lot about the computer or the Internet, ask your child to teach you. They might enjoy the invitation to share their knowledge with you.


2. Talk with your children about the Internet. In a family home evening lesson or as the need arises, periodically discuss with your children how the Internet can be used for good or evil. Help them to understand the importance of accessing only appropriate sites. It is important to resist not only pornographybut also graphically violent material or anything else that is not wholesome. Realize too that in some cases hypertext links on an appropriate site could link to other sites with questionable material.


As you talk with your children about appropriate Internet use, encourage them to be good examples to their friends. If they or their friends are accessing questionable information, your children need to feel confident that they can talk to you. Establish a relationship founded upon open communication.


 3. Bookmark child-friendly sites. Bookmarking is an easy-to-use feature on your computer that allows you to mark sites you want to visit often. Marking a selection of appropriate sites gives your children a good choice of places to visit when they use the Internet. Once you have accessed a site you would like to mark, click on the word Bookmarks at the top of your screen, then select Add Bookmark.


4. Teach your children to avoid giving out personal information. Establish some house rules about what personal information can and cannot be shared on the Internet. For instance, one rule might be, “I will not give out my street or e-mail addresses or credit card numbers without parental approval.” Discuss guidelines as a family.


5. Check your browser history routinely. Most Internet browsers maintain a history of Web sites visited recently. In some cases, you can press an arrow to the right of where you type an Internet address to see a drop-down list of recently visited sites. Also pressing CTRL-H while your cursor is in the address box will generally show the history.


6. Know the parents of your children’s friends. Your children may use a computer at their friends’ homes or other places. Talk with the parents of your children’s friends to find out if they have blocked inappropriate Internet sites. Knowing the parents helps you become familiar with their family’s entertainment standards.


7. Ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about filtering methods to block inappropriate information before it gets to your home. Does the provider filter content? How extensively? If you’re not satisfied with the filtering provided, you can purchase and install filtering software.


8. Share your learning with others. Talk to family and friends about what you and your family have discovered as you have searched the Internet. Ask them how they have avoided inappropriate Internet sites. What sites have proven to be especially beneficial?

The bottom line is—there’s no foolproof filtering technology. We need to have our own internal moral filters.—Eric L. Denna, president of the BYU Sixth Stake and information technology vice president at BYU



Discussion #2:

1. Set up family rules regarding using electronic devices, using the Internet, where electronics can be used and “online” friends.

Activity:

The Family Home Evening Internet Safety for Children Bingo: Write down each of the rules that are listed in the Bingo boxes. Tear each one off on its own piece of paper and put them folded in a bowl. The parent will select the papers randomly out of the jar and discuss the safety rule. Whoever gets Bingo (3 in a row) first, WINS!



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Purpose: This special Family Home Evening is to focus on "GIVING" our gift to our Savior who's birth we celebrate at Christmas time. 

Often times we can get lost in the shuffle of Christmas parties, festivals, shopping, wrapping and forgot to even consider what gift we want to give to Christ - the REASON for this SEASON. 

Hymn:
"O Holy Night" (See YouTube video link below)

Scripture: Doc & Cov 59: 7 & 8


Lesson:

The Purple Box
by: Jill Hunt

What a year this has been from beginning,

 to this very end.

What lessons I have learned - good and bad,

increasing the faith that I have had.

The gifts I give this season,

wrapped under the tree -

Will only last this lifetime,

unlike this gift I give to Thee.

The purpose of The Purple Box™ is to focus
your thoughts on giving a gift to our Savior, 
Jesus Christ. It is His birth we celebrate this
season. While so many wonderful traditions
come with this season, find time to start this
new tradition of finding personal time to 
think of a gift you’d love to give your Savior.
Write it down, place in the Purple Box and 
keep it under the tree. Find time throughout 
the year to reflect on how well you’re doing 
with this gift.

Discussion:

1. What are some ways in which we can focus more on the Savior this Christmas?

2. We receive blessings throughout the year... what are some of the blessings/gifts we have received this year?



Activity: *2- part activity

Part #1: Create Your Purple Box

Materials: box, purple paint, paint brush, ribbon, scissors

Obtain the box that you would like to paint, or cover with scrapbook paper for your color purple. You can have a small box for each member of the family or have one box for the entire family. 

Let these dry as you each work on Part #2.

Part#2: The Purple Box Stationary

Print out "The Purple Box" stationary and write what gift(s) you would like to give the Savior this year on Christmas.

Place inside your Purple Box. Then place the Purple Box under the Christmas tree. 

These will be packed away in the Christmas decorations until next year. When you pull out your Purple Boxes the following Christmas, you can look over your letters and see how well you did at the gift you gave to Christ. Keep these as family keepsakes/journals. 

Repeat "The Purple Box" each year as a new family tradition.
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Sharing "The Purple Box" With Your Neighbors, Family & Friends...

You can use the poem "The Purple Box" and create purple boxes to give as gifts for your neighbors, family and friends so that they can take part in this new tradition. 


"The Purple Box" Stationary:
Share "The Purple Box" --- Printables to share with friends, neighbors or family.

 
 
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Purpose: To reflect on the true meaning of celebrating Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Song: “Away In A Manager”

Scripture: Luke 2: 1-14

Lesson:

Young Children~ Print & Use this with the Christmas Story. *Manger Cut Out 

~From LDS.org

Tweens~ Print & Use Nativity Matching Game

Teens, Groups, Couples,Individuals~

 What Is Christmas?

Christmas is prophecy fulfilled. On the eve of His birth, the voice of the Lord came unto Nephi, saying, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.”

What did the holy prophets of old declare? Isaiah, more than 700 years before the birth of Christ, prophesied, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

On the American continent, King Benjamin said, “For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent … shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay. … He shall suffer temptations, and pain. … And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”

Then came that night of nights when the shepherds were abiding in the fields and the angel of the Lord appeared to them, announcing: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. … For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

The shepherds with haste went to the manger to pay honor to Christ the Lord. Later, wise men journeyed from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. … When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Since that time, the spirit of giving gifts has been present in the mind of each Christian as he or she commemorates the Christmas season. Our Heavenly Father gave to us His Son, Jesus Christ. That precious Son gave to us His life, the Atonement, and victory over the grave.

What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. It was said of Him that He “went about doing good.” As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will be ours. ~President Thomas S. Monson

Story:  “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come From A Store” ~ Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Activity:

Young Children~ Coloring Pages

Make your Own Manger ~ From LDS.org


The Christmas Story ~ From LDS.org

Meaning Of Christmas Decorations~ from LDS.org

Want an activity for the older children? Have them observe Christmas decorations around the house or around the neighborhood and write down the decorations they see and what they think each of them symbolize. Compare the lists and talk about their meanings.

Decoration Symbolisms

Bells: Sheep bells

Candy canes: Shepherd’s staff

Lights, candles, star: The star that appeared on the night of Jesus’ birth

Holly: The crown of thorns

Evergreen tree: Eternal life

Green, ivy:
 Life and hope

Red, holly berries: The blood of Christ

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Beautiful Videos from LDS.org to Help Aid in the Spirit and Testimony of Christmas
 
 
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The Holy Ghost is perhaps the most under-estimated power that members of the church receive after baptism and is a gift to those who can remain worthy of its constant influence throughout our day-to-day lives.

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead.

President Gordan B. Hinckley said, “The Holy Ghost stands as the third member of the Godhead, the Comforter promised by the Savior who would teach His followers all things and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever He had said unto them (see John 14:26). The Holy Ghost is the Testifier of Truth, who can teach men things they cannot teach one another. In those great and challenging words of Moroni, a knowledge of the truth of the Book of Mormon is promised “by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Moroni then declares, “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moro. 10:4–5). I believe this power, this gift, is available to us today.” (Gen. Conference, April 1986)

Elder Joseph B. Worthlin taught, “In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord calls the gift of the Holy Ghost “the unspeakable gift.” It is the source of testimony and spiritual gifts. It enlightens minds, fills our souls with joy, teaches us all things, and brings forgotten knowledge to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost also “will show unto [us] all things what [we] should do.” (“The Unspeakable Gift” Ensign, May 2003)

The prophets have always made an effort to help teach us how the Holy Ghost works within us. Another example by an ancient prophet is found in Alma 32.

Alma, teaching the poor people who were not allowed to attend the churches they helped construct– he wanted to give them a lesson on faith. During this lesson on faith, Alma also helps us know how to recognize the some of the aspects of the Holy Ghost so that we can recognize those feelings and know where they come from.

Alma teaches:It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding; yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. (Alma 32:28)

Discussion:

1. What are some ways that you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost?

2. Why do you think the Holy Ghost is referred to as the “Unspeakable Gift?”

3. What are the three ways Alma teaches us about being able to recognizing the Holy Ghost?

Scripture:
John 14:26

Song:
“Let the Holy Spirit Guide”

Activity:

Option A:  Inside a room, turn out all the lights. Find a single lamp to turn on and talk about how the light gives off warmth, helps us to see and provides a beacon in the darkness. (Great for young children who understand turning lights off and on)

Option B: Blindfold a member of the family or FHE group. Assign two other people to lead them around the home, outside and so on. One leader acts as the Holy Ghost–giving right directions and the other acts as the adversary–giving wrong directions. Allow the blindfolded person to rely on their own choices on who to follow. Talk about how important it is to listen to the small voice of the Holy Ghost and how easy it is to drown out the righteous help He tries to offer.