Family Home Evening — Language

MAINTENANCE –I just noticed the story is gone…. Let’s try the new link!

I came across a story this morning that I think is just wonderful!  I want to share this story with you.  I wanted to share it with my little kids for Family Night tomorrow evening, but we are feeding the missionaries and finishing derby cars…. I don’t think it will happen tomorrow!  So…. I read it to them today after church!   I think it sends the message loud and clear about standing up for what you think is right in the face of danger…. literally!  There are many different situations this could be applied to.  It reminds me of the the following message from President Monson.  Dare to stand alone!

The story is about a young man who is about to enter the army with a promise to his mother that he would never pick up the bad language associated with many of those who are in the army.  When put to the test, this is how his story went:

Click on the story here….

Are we brave enough to stand alone?  Are we brave enough to stay true to our values and promises?  Are we brave enough to put our trust in the Lord?

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Family Home Evening — Choices

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Well, we just read Alma 60 this morning…. I wonder what the government today would think of if someone as great as Moroni sent them a letter telling them that he was going to “cleanse the inner vessel” first, and that those who sit in idleness while surrounded by those who die was unacceptable, and that if there was any spark of freedom among them that he would come and stir up insurrections until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct, and that he did not seek for power but to put it down, and that he did not fear them, only his God, AND that if they didn’t respond quickly, he was going to come to them “speedily” and wipe them off the map (so to say) …. Hmmmm…. I LOVE it!  I think we need a few more Moroni’s in this world…..

Well, Anyways…. don’t get me going on politics, it makes me far too upset lately.  So, to get my mind off from it for the time being,  I am going to share with you another Family Home Evening activity we did!  It was kind of fun!  Young kids will really like this one!

We had a special visitor come to FHE a while back.  Her name was Chieftess Running Mouth — My children would agree far too quickly that her mouth runs much too much!  We sat around a pretend fire… or if you have a fire pit and warm weather, do it there (Outside around a real fire pit would be a blast) … OR, if you just happen to be from New Mexico and have a South Western decorated room, than that works as well!  (Just kidding…. those are NOT required at all, but only add to the ambiance!)

Chieftess Running Mouth came all dressed up in full Indian garb (thank goodness for Halloween costumes) and shared the following story with our children (Be sure to get a picture of a mean old bad-tempered wolf and one that is more peaceful looking if you can):

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson the following story:  “A fight is going on inside me,” (s)he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

You might need to help your little ones with the meaning of some of these words as you’re talking!

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

We must be ever mindful of the choices we make today and remember…. which wolf will we feed today!  And as quickly as Chieftess Running Mouth came, she left!  Good luck today and make it a good one!

Family Home Evening — Forgiveness

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I am always on the lookout for neat Family Home Evening ideas;  That being said, I am a lover of object lessons.  I believe that we can preach and preach all we want to but some kids, or even adults for that matter, have to see something and have it relate to them.  Most of our Family Home Evenings are short, quick, and more discussion-like, than lesson-like.  It has to be in order to keep 7 kids remotely interested!

So, the other night, when I brought in a hatchet and a piece of wood, it certainly grabbed some attention.   One of the kids conducted, as usual.  Ali played a hymn on her violin, and we started with a prayer.  I will not lead you on here…. sometimes, family night seems like a disaster; however, I loved Elder Bednar’s conference talk in 2009 about being consistent with our family night and I am most certainly grateful that our family is not the only one who has kids break out into a fight during FHE …. “He’s looking at me….. He’s BREATHING my air!!!!”  They may not remember specific lessons but they will remember that we were consistent!

We’ve been struggling with a certain sibling showing kindness towards another certain sibling and holding grudges.  So, this FHE is dedicated to removing the “wedges” in our hearts and to try to teach the importance of forgiving.

First, show the hatchet in the wood as it is in the picture…. not all the way through, but wedged in the wood.

Relate the following story:

The Peril of Hidden Wedges –You can find the full talk by clicking here!

 In April 1966, at the Church’s annual general conference, Elder Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a memorable address. He quoted an account written by Samuel T. Whitman titled “Forgotten Wedges.”

Whitman wrote: “The ice storm [that winter] wasn’t generally destructive. True, a few wires came down, and there was a sudden jump in accidents along the highway. … Normally, the big walnut tree could easily have borne the weight that formed on its spreading limbs. It was the iron wedge in its heart that caused the damage.

“The story of the iron wedge began years ago when the white-haired farmer [who now inhabited the property on which the tree stood] was a lad on his father’s homestead. The sawmill had then only recently been moved from the valley, and the settlers were still finding tools and odd pieces of equipment scattered about. …

“On this particular day, [the lad found] a faller’s wedge—wide, flat, and heavy, a foot or more long, and splayed from mighty poundings. [A faller’s wedge, used to help fell a tree, is inserted in a cut made by a saw and then struck with a sledgehammer to widen the cut.] … Because he was already late for dinner, the lad laid the wedge … between the limbs of the young walnut tree his father had planted near the front gate. He would take the wedge to the shed right after dinner, or sometime when he was going that way.

“He truly meant to, but he never did. [The wedge] was there between the limbs, a little tight, when he attained his manhood. It was there, now firmly gripped, when he married and took over his father’s farm. It was half grown over on the day the threshing crew ate dinner under the tree. … Grown in and healed over, the wedge was still in the tree the winter the ice storm came.

“In the chill silence of that wintry night, … one of the three major limbs split away from the trunk and crashed to the ground. This so unbalanced the remainder of the top that it, too, split apart and went down. When the storm was over, not a twig of the once-proud tree remained.

“Early the next morning, the farmer went out to mourn his loss. …

“Then, his eyes caught sight of something in the splintered ruin. ‘The wedge,’ he muttered reproachfully. ‘The wedge I found in the south pasture.’ A glance told him why the tree had fallen. Growing, edge-up in the trunk, the wedge had prevented the limb fibers from knitting together as they should.”

Wedges in Our Lives

Be sure to emphasize the fact that if we refuse to forgive others, it is as though we are burying wedges in our hearts.  Without removing those wedges, or forgiving others, we will soon find out that we are suseptable to falling, just as the great tree did.

If you have examples from your life, or the life of others, share it with your children.  Let them know how important it is for EVERYONE–even adults– to forgive…

THEN…apply pressure to the hatchet and watch it split the wood. Let the spirit guide your discussion!