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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: "He Is There"
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:

1.
What are some of the ways you know that Heavenly Father loves you?

2. Have you ever felt alone?

3. 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:

Create a journal with the printable below. Each day write down a way that you felt that Heavenly Father was aware of you.

Share the experiences with your family and/or add this paper inside your scriptures to reflect back on when you have bad days.


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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:
Cooking with the Family -- each family member is like an important ingredient in a recipe. Without one of the ingredients, the recipe doesn't turn out like it's supposed to. 

However, when all the ingredients are added they all work well together to make something AMAZING! 

It does require work... chefs create recipes over and over until they get them right. Creating a loving, kind family requires work as well. Those moments when all the ingredients are working together, the outcome is magical! 


Create Your Family's Favorite Sweet Treat or Use this Yummy Recipe!

Easy 15-Minute Doughnuts & Hot Chocolate

INGREDIENTS
  1. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  2. 18-count package large refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat ½ cup of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Place the biscuits on a cutting board. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or shot glass, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit, reserving the extra dough for "holes."
  3. Test the heat of the oil by dipping the edge of a doughnut in the pan. When the oil is hot enough, the edge will bubble. Place 4 of the doughnuts and holes in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 1 to 1½ minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel–lined plate to drain. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, reheat, and cook the remaining doughnuts and holes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss the warm doughnuts in the mixture a few at a time. Serve warm or at room temperature.
     This recipe makes 8 doughnuts, plus holes.
(Recipe from RealSimple.com - click link in title to go to page)

Other helps to further this lesson:

Young Women Personal Progress Individual Worth Requirement #3

 
 
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Jill's thoughts: Use this as an FHE theme for discussion one night when time is short, but you still want to get a lesson in with the family...

Many of you have enjoyed the stunning photo gallery of the transformation of the Provo Temple. I have always been and continued to be in awe of the details, thought, symbolism and beauty that goes into every teeny, tiny detail of the temples.
The detail I want to focus on this week can be found as we look at the photo below of the tabernacle being supported by these steel beams as they excavated underneath to prepare a solid foundation for the temple and to also prepare the baptistery.

As I have seen this photo over and over again, my mind is drawn to the incredible, 112-year-old historical building resting on these beams. As I relate this to myself and what one of many lessons we can pull from this image is this:

Some people wonder why we teach the same doctrines over and over again. I had a chance recently to speak with a teenage girl of our faith who had mentioned to me her struggles with believing in our church. As a return missionary, my mind went back to finding out where my young friend stood with her testimony of the 5 basic key areas; Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. As we did a "scale of 1-10 where is your testimony on each of these areas," we were able to see what areas she needed to work on.

I showed her this exact photo of the Provo Temple. 

I shared with her that although you have been working on building yourself up to who you are today for the past 17 years, there comes a time when we need to make sure that our testimonies are fortified and strong. What are the areas of weakness in our testimony?

Is it due to lack of experience? Lack of knowledge? Both? 
(What I mean by lack of experience is for example, my friend started out at a 10 with the Holy Ghost, but quickly started changing her answer lower and lower until she got to about 7 and I stopped her and asked why she keeps going down. Did she have experiences where she's felt the influence of the Holy Ghost? Yes. Was is it more knowledge of who He is, the role, etc --basically, knowledge-- that she was lacking? Yes. In some cases, there's probably both that are valid.)

When we recognize the areas, how and what we can do to fortify our foundation, it is imperative that we give our best efforts to strengthen them. 

When we can make our foundations SOLID and we can continue to build our structures into who our Father in Heaven knows what we can become... how stunning will our divine structure be?

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Photo Credit: MormonNewsroom.org
 
 
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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?

3. What peace has this knowledge brought to you throughout your life?


Activity: Plan of Salvation Scripture Puzzle

1. Cut out the scriptures into strips. Make sure that each person has their own set of this complete scripture list. 

2. Each family member should have their own set of scriptures - DO NOT USE ELECTRONIC VERSIONS. Only use paper versions of the scriptures so that there's more of a chase! 

3. Match the scriptures to the coordinating part of the Plan of Salvation on the chart. 

The person who finishes FIRST & has ALL of the scriptures matching correctly WINS! 


Scriptures & Chart: See below for printables!


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 pornography, but 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.