Family Home Evening — Switches In Our Lives


What would your kids say if you told them “we’re building a train track for Family Night!

This past Friday/Saturday, Ed and Dalton participated in a Scout Klondike derby.  They got to go camping in the teen digits and have all sorts of fun… ha! ha!  I got to stay home and sleep in a nice warm bed!  However, the following Saturday, the remaining kids and I “went to town” cleaning house!  I have this issue about the house being dirty before the Sabbath…. Not going there!  I expect it presentable before Sunday morning… no “ifs” or “maybes”!  Fortunately, we worked like crazy and we were able to get done by noon.  The boys wanted something to do after that, so I allowed my kids to bring out the train tracks and just keep them in a certain area.  It made me think back to a family night lesson we had one evening a few years ago.  A few events have happened over the last little while in our family with regard to choices, that I think that tonight would be a great time to revisit this lesson!

If you have a bunch of train-lovin, crazy boys, then do this with them!  Tell them that everyone is going to help build a train track.  In the process of building it, make sure that you get an area with a “switch plate,” and make sure that the tracks go in completely opposite different directions.  As you build, relate the following story that President Hinckley gave in the October 1972 conference… (Here is the full conference talk!)

“Many years ago I worked in the head office of one of our railroads. One day I received a telephone call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey, who said that a passenger train had arrived without its baggage car. The patrons were angry.

We discovered that the train had been properly made up in Oakland, California, and properly delivered to St. Louis, from which station it was to be carried to its destination on the east coast. But in the St. Louis yards, a thoughtless switchman had moved a piece of steel just three inches.

That piece of steel was a switch point, and the car that should have been in Newark, New Jersey, was in New Orleans, Louisiana, thirteen hundred miles away.

So it is with our lives—a cigarette smoked, a can of beer drunk at a party, a shot of Speed taken on a dare, a careless giving in to an impulse on a date. Each has thrown a switch in the life of a boy that put him on a track that carried him far away from what might have been a great and foreordained calling. And as Nephi said, “… thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Ne. 28:21.)


Luckily for our purposes, this track has an actual switch plate!


Just a tiny switch plate being moved can make the train go in completely opposite directions!  A simple choice made in our lives, can have the same outcome!

Be sure to let them know that the small decisions we make on a day to day basis, just like moving a small switch plate, can end up having a HUGE impact on where we will end up in our lives.  Be sure to let them know that if they do get on the wrong track, that through the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can get back on the right track!  As always, let the spirit guide your discussion!

Have a great Family Night!


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