Thank You!

As we ring in the new year and reflect on the old I am so grateful that I took this challenge on for myself. Preparing these lessons each week has not only strengthened my testimony, but hopefully has created opportunities for my children to gain and strengthen their testimonies as well. This year the curriculum of Come, Follow Me is similar to last year and has been updated to include more recent talks as well as new videos. I am so excited that the format is continuing and hope that you all have felt the blessings of these inspired lessons in your home this past year.
After much prayer and study I have decided that I will not be continuing to update this site with new lessons this year. Having a new baby in the house has really changed my time availability to keep this up and there are some different things I would like to try to include the monthly themes from Primary in FHE as well. This last October as I listened to general conference there was a wonderful talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales. One thing he said that has stuck with me since hearing it is: "Find out what your children are learning, and make it the subject of your own study, family discussions, family home evenings, family councils, and personal interviews with each of your children concerning what they need to be taught individually." (General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony)
It is my hope that each of you would be able to find a way to follow this counsel in your homes and families so that the spirit can be felt and testimonies can be strengthened. Thank you for following along with my family this year! 


Week 52: The Second Coming

Song: I Believe in Christ (H. 134)

Thought: Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. (Dallin H. Oaks)

Object Lesson:
Show your family a picture of the parable of the Ten Virgins and ask them to tell you what they can about the parable. Have available several pitchers (some with water and some without.) Talk about the things that add oil to our lamps and take turns filling pitchers. Then talk about things that can remove oil from our lamps and take water out. Use this to illustrate to your family how easily the oil can be lost as well as gained.


Lesson Activity: Have your family create two columns on a sheet of paper and label the columns “Parable of Ten Virgins” and “Second Coming” and individually consider the comparisons the Savior was making. Invite them to write components of the parable in the first column, such as wise virgins, Bridegroom, and oil, and write in the second column what these things represent about the Second Coming. If they need help, share with them “The Parable of the Ten Virgins” (Ensign, Mar. 2009, 48–49; or Liahona, Mar. 2009, 20–21). Discuss together what they learned and what they are inspired to do after studying this parable. (Come, Follow Me)

This Week's Challenge: As a family come up with some family goals and individual goals of things to accomplish or work on in the new year. Encourage your family to have the goals primarily focus on those things that will "fill their lamps."


Week 51: The Birth of Christ

Song: Silent Night (H. 204)

Thought: "Christmas and some of the cherished traditions of the season remind us that we, like the Wise Men of old, should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts: a broken heart and a contrite spirit." —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Object Lesson: Consider making this simple Manger craft from this month's The Friend magazine. Discuss with your family what a manger is and what the circumstances were in which our Savior came to earth. Relate this to his purpose and the gift that His life, death, and resurrection is in our lives.


Lesson Activity: Read The Living Christ as a family.

This Week's Challenge: As you celebrate Christmas this week, challenge your family to remember the real reason that we have this holiday. Consider having everyone in your family give a gift to the Savior. Encourage them to be prepared to share with the family what that gift will be on Christmas morning.


Week 50: Sharing the Gospel with Others

Song: I Want to be a Missionary Now (CS. 168)

Thought: If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” (Neil L. Andersen)

Object Lesson: Do you want some cake? Feel free to adapt this concept however would work best in your family!


Lesson Activity: If your family is old enough to understand the concept of Jeopardy! this is a really fun game you could try out: M&M Jeopardy!

Or for a younger family this sharing time lesson would be wonderful: Being a missionary using the Articles of Faith.

This handout is available here with a link for a printable format.

This Week's Challenge: Follow the link and print out the above handout. Challenge your family to work together on creating a "Gospel-sharing" home this week and always.


Week 49: Service in Church

Song: Love One Another (CS. 136)

Thought: I would hope that we would not lose the real objective of our cherished opportunities to serve. That objective, that eternal goal, is the same spoken of by the Lord and found in the Pearl of Great Price: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God. (Thomas S. Monson)

Object Lesson: Bring a magnifying glass to FHE, and ask your family what it is used for. Ask them what the word magnify means to them. Why do they think this word is used to describe how we should serve in our callings (in the phrase “magnify your calling”)? Invite them to read President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Rise to Your Call” (beginning with the phrase “There is a third thing you need to know”), looking for ways the Lord magnifies us when we serve in a calling. Ask them to share what they find with each other. Share a personal experience in which the Lord magnified you to help you fulfill a calling. (Come, Follow Me)

Video: The following video shows pictures of various people throughout the world serving within the LDS church.

Lesson Activity:
Have your family think of all the people that serve them by magnifying callings within the church. Discuss how they are serving and what the blessings are that your family has received because of that service. Identify a few of them that you would like to give a special thanks to and then write out thank you cards or letters to those individuals. You could even consider putting together a treat of goodies and delivering them as a family this Christmas season.

This Week's Challenge: Encourage your children to not only magnify any callings they are ever privileged to serve in, but to show gratitude and thanks to others for their service in the church. Remind them that the church functions through the service of imperfect members who can use all the love and support that we have to offer them.


Week 48: Christ-Centered Homes

Song: Love is Spoken Here (CS. 190)

Thought: Regardless of your circumstances, you can center your home and your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the source of true peace in this life.
Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do. When He is the center of your home, there is peace and serenity. There is a spirit of assurance that pervades the home, and it is felt by all who dwell there.
The fulfillment of this counsel does not rest upon parents alone, although it is their role to lead. Children can be responsible for improving the Christ-centered efforts in the home. It is important for parents to teach children to recognize how their actions affect each individual who lives in the home. Children who are made to feel accountable for their actions, whether righteous or otherwise, grow to become trustworthy citizens in the kingdom of God. (Richard G. Scott)

Object Lesson: The Recipe to a Happy Home
(for full instructions see link)
These are the ingredients for a heavenly home. First, at the very beginning, invite the Holy Ghost to your home to stay.
Crush Temptations and Sin and set them aside outside the bowl.
Blend in one Temple Marriage, one Mother (who loves Dad), one Dad (who loves Mother).
Gradually add Children.
Quickly stir in Living the Gospel: Scripture Study, Prayer, and Meeting Attendance.
Sprinkle liberally with Courtesy and Communication.
Garnish with the Word of Wisdom: Exercise, Proper Diet, and Rest.
Pour Love over everything.
Serve with Unselfishness.

Video: You can choose to watch one or both. As you watch them encourage your family members to think of themselves as the mother or father in the video as they watch it. After each video, ask them to discuss what the main message is and what additional principles they learned that will help them establish Christ-centered homes.

Lesson Activity:
The Road to a Happy Family is a cute board game that can be enjoyed by all ages of your family.

Divide the family into three groups, and assign each group to read one of the following scripture passages: Mosiah 4:14–15, Alma 53:20–21, 56:47–48. Invite them to make a list of principles in these verses that will help them establish Christ-centered homes. Invite them to share examples of these principles from their own families or other families. (Come, Follow Me)

This Week's Challenge: As Christmas time is here challenge your family to focus this week not only on inviting the Spirit and making your home a Christ-centered home, but on finding ways to make your Christmas celebrations be Christ-centered as well.


Week 47: Education

Song: Seek the Lord Early (CS. 108)

Thought: Education is an important part of our Heavenly Father’s plan to help us become more like Him. Obtaining an education provides understanding and skills that can help us develop self-reliance. Education will also prepare us for greater service in our families, the Church, and the world.

Object Lesson:
Materials: A bowl filled with wheat or other whole grain.
Presentation: Ask what would happen if this grain was left in a dry place. Ask what would happen if it was planted and given water. Discuss.
Give a definition of wisdom (ability to judge what is right or true). Explain that the grain is like knowledge. To become wise, experience and time must be added. Ask what kind of experience can help make knowledge into wisdom (education).
(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, More Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 102. from Deseret Books' Website)  (The Value of Wisdom)

Video: (There is no video available for this topic)

Lesson Activity: Assign each family member to read individually one of the five paragraphs from the “Education” section of For the Strength of Youth or the statements by President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson at the beginning of the talk “Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do.” Ask them to explain to the family what they read, and discuss why it is important to work diligently now to gain a good education. Invite them to think about and share their goals to gain an education.
If there are family members who have received or are receiving a college education have them share with the family their experiences in preparing for that education and the blessings they have received in their lives because of there education experience.

This Week's Challenge: Talk to your family about the LDS Church's Perpetual Education Fund. As a family decide if there is a way you can help others gain an education. For family members who are currently in school challenge them to set some goals for their education (i.e. improving grades, work ethic, preparing for college). If there are family members in need of more education challenge them to make a plan to receive it.