Sunday, May 26, 2013

WEEK NINE: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph nine).

Thought:  “One example of great importance for humanity is strengthening our own families. The principle of family home evening was given to us in 1915. President McKay reminded parents again in 1964 that ‘no other success can compensate for failure in the home.’ In 1995 the prophets of our day called upon all the world to strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. . . . However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”  —President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Song: “A Happy Family,” Children’s Songbook #198 

Scripture: “According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77).

• Read the paragraph together.
• Watch the Mormon Messages video, Families Can Be Together Forever. Ask family members what they felt from watching the video.
• Discuss the following questions: “Why is the family so important?”; “What does ‘fundamental unit of society’ mean, and why does and should the family fit this description?”; “How can we encourage government leaders and other citizens to protect the family?”
• Give each family member a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World to hang on their wall.
• Encourage family members to share the principles found in the family proclamation with friends.
• Testify of the truth of the teachings found in the family proclamation. Encourage other family members to share their testimonies as well.

Activity: Family Proclamation Memory
Now that you’ve explored the entire family proclamation, test how much your family remembers!
1. Create a set of memory cards. Choose a sentence or phrase from the family proclamation (such as “Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan”). Write the first half of the sentence on one card (“Marriage between man and woman . . .”) and the second half on the other card (“. . . is essential to His eternal plan”). Do the same thing for other sentences and phrases.
2. Mix up the cards and place them face down in rows.
3. On their turn, a family member picks up two cards. If the card is a completed sentence, they found a match; they leave the cards face up and get to have another turn (and can keep going until the two cards are not a match). If the cards are not a match, they must turn them back over and let someone else have a turn.

Refreshments: Mud Pie

1 cup flour
½ cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 18-oz. tub frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
2 small pkg. instant pudding (try mixing 1 butterskotch with 1 chocolate)
2 ½ cups cold milk

1. Preheat oven to 300.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, butter, and pecans thoroughly; press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Bake for 15–20 minutes. Cool completely.
4. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half the whipped topping until completely blended; spread over the crust.
5. In a medium bowl, combine instant pudding mix and milk; beat for 2 minutes and spread over cream cheese mixture.
6. Top with remaining whipped topping and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 12.

WEEK EIGHT: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” paragraph eight).

Thought: “So vital is the family to the cycle of human life and the renewal of each generation that it is fair to say that if the family breaks down, everything breaks down. If families do not fulfill their divinely appointed purpose of carrying on the light of truth and the torch of civilization to the next generation, then we can throw any amount of money or ideas or programs at our world’s problems, and we will assuredly fail.” —Elder Bruce C. Hafen

Scripture: “And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted. Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39: 3–5)


• Read the paragraph together. Talk about how the family can be a strong foundation, but when we don’t fulfill our responsibilities to our family members, it can bring down our families.
• Use a line of dominoes to represent the importance of a family. Explain that the first domino represents one person in a family, the next domino is their family, the next is their neighborhood, the next their community, the next their nation, the next the world. Have a family member push down the first domino and watch as the rest fall. Explain that one person not fulfilling their obligations to their family can affect not only themselves and their family, but their actions can extend to affect their communities and nations. The fall of the family means the fall of society.
• Discuss the following: “What should each family member do to keep the family strong and united?”; “How can we help strengthen other families in our community?”
• Testify of the importance of the family for individuals and for all of society.

Activity: Imagination Vacation

1. Plan a family “imagination vacation” party. Set up a row of chairs, and pretend to ride in an airplane or car together to different locations. 
2. Family members take turns picking which location the family will arrive at next (Hawaii, Disneyland, France, etc.). 
3. When you “arrive,” spend a few minutes pretending you are at the location (using props or costumes, if you have them), then get back in the “vehicle” and journey to the next place. Have a cost-free, stress-free family vacation in your own home!

Refreshments: Strawberry Delight

1 angel food cake
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 (10-ounce) package sliced frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of salt
1 cup whipped cream, whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Purchase or prepare an angel food cake. Cut cake into bite-sized pieces.
2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries, sugar, and salt. Cool until gelatin is thick and syrupy.
3. Fold in whipped cream, reserving about ¼ cup for garnish. 
4. Place half the cake pieces into a 2- or 3- quart serving bowl.
5. Pour half the strawberry cream mixture over cake. Add another layer of cake pieces and then remaining strawberry cream mixture. 
6. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until set. 
7. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 10 servings

WEEK SEVEN: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed” ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World," paragraph seven).
Thought: “Times are very different today, but while times may change, a parent’s teaching must never be devalued. Many activities link the values of one generation to the next, but perhaps the most central of these activities is parents teaching children in the home. This is especially true when we consider the teaching of values, moral and ethical standards, and faith.” —Elder L. Tom Perry

Song: “Love Is Spoken Here,” Children’s Songbook #190 

Scripture: “Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them” (Alma 57:21).
• Read the paragraph together. Discuss the different responsibilities of each family member: What are the responsibilities of a mother? A father? A brother or sister? A grandparent or other extended family member? What should a father and mother do together? How should a family adjust if the father or mother is not in the picture?
• Discuss the example of the stripling warriors (found in Alma 56–58), and how they were taught in their homes to be obedient and righteous. What do you think their homes were like?
• Look at the list of principles that successful marriages and families are established on (faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities). Choose one of these principles and set goals to work on it as a family.
• Testify of the importance of establishing the family on gospel principles.

Activity: Family Proclamation Placemat
This is a cool way to help family members visualize principles found in the family proclamation. Copy the following placemat, or create a placemat representing the principles of a successful family that looks like the following:
To introduce the placemat, the principles can be covered with matching shapes, and then revealed and discussed one at a time. It should look like this:10464

Below is a brief explanation of each shape.
Watermelon: The seeds in the watermelon are to remind us of the principle of faith. (Faith is like a seed, as shown in Alma 32:28.)
Pretzel: A pretzel reminds us of arms folded in prayer.
Lollipop: The lollipop reminds us that repentance is sweet.
Bread: The bread reminds us of the sacrament, and forgiveness through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Fork: The many tines of a fork remind us of respect: no one is put ahead of another, and we live in peace and harmony, being mindful of the worth of each member.
Spoon: Spoons can snuggle close together, and thus symbolize love.
Cup: The tear drop in the cup is for compassion, to remind us of tears shared when feeling empathy towards one another.
Knife: The knife is an essential tool in the kitchen, and reminds us of work.
Napkin: Napkins can be folded and played with, and remind us of wholesome recreational activities.

Once each principle has been uncovered and discussed, test family members’ knowledge of what each symbol representsAt the dinner table, try interchanging an object’s name for its principle. For example, “Anyone need a little more compassion in their cups?”; “Save your love for later to eat your dessert!”

Activity idea and photos from

Refreshments: Peanut Butter Popcorn

½ cup popcorn (or 2 bags microwave popcorn)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Pop popcorn.
2. Bring sugar and syrup to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add peanut butter.
4. Stir until melted.
5. Add vanilla.
6. Pour over popcorn and mix.  Makes 6 servings.

WEEK SIX: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World," paragraph six).

Thought: “Many children would have had the blessing of being raised by both of their parents if only their parents had followed this inspired teaching in the family proclamation: ‘Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. . . . Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another.’ The most powerful teaching of children is by the example of their parents.” —Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Scripture: “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25).

• Read the paragraph together. Teach that is important for parents to teach their children the gospel and for children to learn from their parents.
• Using a whiteboard or poster board, divide the board into two columns (“Parents” and “Children”). Have the family list duties and responsibilities of parents on one side (such as teach their children the gospel, provide physical needs, rear children in love) and the duties and responsibilities of children on the other side (such as learn from parents, be obedient, help brothers and sisters).  
• Share your testimony of fulfilling our family responsibilities.

Activity: The Spray Bottle Game

1. Form a circle. One person is in the middle of the circle and chooses a category (fruits, sports, US states, etc.). They could also incorporate the lesson by starting out with categories that relate to what was talked about (duties of parents, etc.). They think of one thing that fits in the category (that is easy enough to guess), but don’t tell anyone what it is.
2. Everyone in the circle takes turns naming something in the category. If someone says what the person in the middle is thinking of, the person in the middle can squirt them on top of the head with the spray bottle, and that person is the next it and picks a new category. If someone repeats something someone already said, they also get sprayed (but don’t get to be it).

Refreshments: Brownie Cookie Bites

2 cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ cup cocoa
¾ cup water
1 egg
½ cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Add water and egg; mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls and shape into balls; roll balls in powdered sugar until covered.
4. Place balls on cookie sheet and bake for 12–15 minutes or until touching a cookie with your finger leaves only a very slight indentation. Cool on a wire rack. 

Note: To keep these cookies soft, store them in an airtight container after they’ve cooled completely. On the other hand, if you love chewy brownies, let them sit out overnight, and they’ll take on that awesome chewy brownie texture.

WEEK FIVE: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph five).

Thought: “The joining together of a man and a woman to be legally and lawfully wed not only is preparation for future generations to inherit the earth, but it also brings the greatest joy and satisfaction that can be found in this mortal experience. This is especially true when the powers of the priesthood proclaim a marriage to be for time and for all eternity. Children born to such marriages have a security that is found nowhere else.” —Elder L. Tom Perry

Scripture: “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21).

• Read the paragraph together. Teach of the importance of life in God’s plan. Discuss how sins such as murder and abortion are so serious because they can take away a life.
• Emphasize how wonderful life can be if we follow God’s plan. Use a sheet of paper and a clear glass to demonstrate how we should be grateful for our lives. Hold up the sheet of paper and liken it to our lives. Explain that life holds many challenges, problems, and occasionally, disappointments. As a family member names a specific problem, tear off a small piece of paper and put it in the glass. When you are done, show the glass filled with torn paper. Explain that some people would look at these scraps of paper and say, “Look at this. My whole life has been nothing but problems.” Yet others would look at the same papers, toss them in the air, and celebrate what has been overcome. As a family member names a specific blessing, take a piece of paper out of the glass and toss it in the air. 
• Testify of the sanctity of life.
[Object Lessons Made Easy, Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson; Deseret Book; 2010]
Activity: Who’s That Animal?
1. One person is it and comes to the middle of the room and closes their eyes. Everyone else runs around and switches spots with each other until the it person says to stop.
2. The it points to someone (with their eyes still closed) and tells them what animal sound to make (cow, sheep, dog, etc.).
3. The it guesses who made the sound; if they guess wrong, they move on to a different person. If they guess right, that person is it for the next round.

Refreshments: Cherry Pineapple Cake
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow or white cake mix
¾ cup butter
Whipped topping or ice cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.
2. Pour pie filling in the bottom of pan and spread as evenly as possible.
3. Pour crushed pineapple, juice and all, evenly over pie filling. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the fruit. Do not stir.
4. Slice butter thinly and place pieces on top of cake mix, or melt butter and drizzle over top of cake mix, covering as much as possible. Do not stir or mix.
5. Bake 45 minutes. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

WEEK FOUR: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph four).

Thought: “Secondly, may I stress that human intimacy is reserved for a married couple because it is the ultimate symbol of total union, a totality and a union ordained and defined by God. From the Garden of Eden onward, marriage was intended to mean the complete merger of a man and a woman—their hearts, hopes, lives, love, family, future, everything. Adam said of Eve that she was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, and that they were to be ‘one flesh’ in their life together. This is a union of such completeness that we use the word seal to convey its eternal promise. . . . But such a total union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant, with solemn promises and the pledge of all they possess—their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Scripture: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

• Read the paragraph together. Watch this Mormon Messages video on chastity. Ask what family members learned and felt from watching the video.
• Discuss the following questions: Why is it so important that we keep the law of chastity? Like the pilot in the video, why is it important to stay far away from danger and temptation? Why are the powers of procreation only to be employed between husband and wife? Why are husbands and wives commanded to ‘multiply and replenish the earth’?
• For younger children, show a picture of each child as a baby. Talk about how pure and innocent babies are and how important it is for them to be born to a worthy father and mother.
• Testify of the importance of following God’s commandments in a marriage and family.

Activity: Family Tree
To remember the importance of their own family and the significance of those who came before and of those who will come after, have each family member make their own copy of a family tree. 

1. Download and print copies of this family tree. 
2. Have each family member fill out and color their own copy of the family tree. Younger children can draw pictures of the family. 
3. Have each family member hang their family tree (or family picture) on their bedroom wall.

Refreshments: Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

1 ½ cup quick-cooking oats
¾ cup coconut
½ cup chopped peanuts
¼ cup butter
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
¾ cup chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1. In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, and peanuts. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, and sugar; bring to a boil and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over oatmeal mixture and mix thoroughly.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto waxed paper. Let stand for about an hour or until set. Makes 12–18 cookies

WEEK THREE: Nine Lessons for FHE on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph three).

Thought: “The desire of our hearts, of course, is not only to acquire salvation and immortality but also to attain eternal life with a loving Father in Heaven and our Savior in the celestial kingdom with our families. We can obtain eternal life only through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The Savior said, ‘For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me.’” —Elder Quentin L. Cook

Scripture: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2).

• Read the third paragraph together. Explain that it was part of God’s plan before we came to Earth that we be sealed as families so we could return to live with God as families.
• Place a set of family pictures in two separate envelopes. Leave one envelope open; seal the other. Hold up both envelopes. Explain that the open one represents a family who has not been sealed for eternity in the temple. The closed envelope represents a family that has been sealed. Point out that all families have problems during mortality. Have family members name examples, such as poor health, marital strains, financial problems, busy schedules, and death. With each example, have a family member shake the two envelopes. Soon the pictures from the open envelope will start to fall out, scattering onto the ground, illustrating that families who are not sealed can be separated by earthly problems. However, families who are sealed for eternity have more motivation and may receive strength to solve problems and remain together no matter what trial comes to them. They have the hope and promise of an eternal family if they live righteously and remain worthy to receive the blessings of being sealed.
• Testify of temples and the sealing power. 
[Object Lessons Made Easy by Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson; Deseret Book; 2010]

Activity: Family Paper Chain
Make a family paper chain to represent that you are all linked together through the sealing power. You will need construction paper and markers or crayons.
1. Have each family member cut a long strip of paper, 8 inches by 11 inches. 
2. Tell them to draw the outline of a person at one end of the strip. Make sure the head touches the top edge and the feet touch the bottom edge of the strip and that one of the hands touches the side edge.
3. Fold the paper accordion style. Make sure that the width of each fold is the size of the outline of the person you drew.
4. Trim off any leftover paper that isn’t long enough to fold.
5. Cut out the person, leaving the folds intact at the hands (and possibly the feet also) so the chain does not break.
6. Unfold the paper. Each family member can color the people to make them look like the members of your family!

Refreshments: Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ½ cup oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix butter, sugar, and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. 
3. Bake at 340 degrees for 10–12 minutes until almost no indentation remains when touched. Makes 3 dozen cookies.