Monday, May 31, 2010

Be Smart

The next "Be" is Be Smart.

Things You'll Need: "Be Smart" - below.

Song: Children's Songbook, Teach Me to Walk in the Light, page 177

Lesson: Read President Hinckley's second "Be", Be Smart. It's pasted below so you can cut and paste into a word processing document and print, easy peasy.

You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.

You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands. The Lord has said, “Teach ye diligently … of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—that ye may be prepared in all things” (D&C 88:78–80).

Mind you, these are not my words. These are the words of the Lord who loves you. He wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship. Be smart. Don’t be foolish. You cannot bluff or cheat others without bluffing or cheating yourselves.

Many years ago I worked for a railroad in the central offices in Denver. I was in charge of what is called head-end traffic. That was in the days when nearly everyone rode passenger trains. One morning I received a call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey. He said, “Train number such-and-such has arrived, but it has no baggage car. Somewhere, 300 passengers have lost their baggage, and they are mad.”

I went immediately to work to find out where it may have gone. I found it had been properly loaded and properly trained in Oakland, California. It had been moved to our railroad in Salt Lake City, been carried to Denver, down to Pueblo, put on another line, and moved to St. Louis. There it was to be handled by another railroad which would take it to Newark, New Jersey. But some thoughtless switchman in the St. Louis yards moved a small piece of steel just three inches, a switch point, then pulled the lever to uncouple the car. We discovered that a baggage car that belonged in Newark, New Jersey, was in fact in New Orleans, Louisiana—1,500 miles from its destination. Just the three-inch movement of the switch in the St. Louis yard by a careless employee had started it on the wrong track, and the distance from its true destination increased dramatically. That is the way it is with our lives. Instead of following a steady course, we are pulled by some mistaken idea in another direction. The movement away from our original destination may be ever so small, but, if continued, that very small movement becomes a great gap and we find ourselves far from where we intended to go.

Have you ever looked at one of those 16-foot farm gates? When it is opened, it swings very wide. The end at the hinges moves ever so slightly, while out at the perimeter the movement is great. It is the little things upon which life turns that make the big difference in our lives, my dear young friends.

Be smart. The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chosen field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you. I repeat, you will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously blessed because of that training.

There can be no doubt, none whatever, that education pays. Do not short-circuit your lives. If you do so, you will pay for it over and over and over again.

Discuss what it means to be smart with your family.

Activity: While President Hinckley's "Be Smart" focuses on formal education, it's important to learn things outside of school too. Have each person choose one thing (or choose something together as a family) to learn. It can be something completely new or expanding on the knowledge you already have. Choose something realistic. Maybe there is a recipe you've always wanted to try or a home improvement project that you aren't real sure how to accomplish. My husband and I bought a ceiling fan for our last home. He had to cut the hole, run the wire, cut the holes for and put in different size wall plates... and I'm sure a ton of other stuff I wasn't aware of. He isn't an electrician and didn't know how to do this, but he learned. He used the internet, his mechanic father, the employees at Lowe's, and trial and error. He quickly learned it's best to turn off the electricity when using trial and error though. It may have taken longer than it would've taken an electrician to run it, but now my husband knows how to do it; and next time it won't take as long (and it's definitely cheaper than hiring an electrician). If you have children, cooking is a great skill they can use their whole lives. My husband cooks as much (if not more) than I do. And he's really GOOD at it, but he had to practice and experiment. Have fun with this.

Treat: Good, old-fashioned Rice Krispy Treats. You can snack on these while everyone decides on a new skill to learn.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be Grateful

This is the first of a little "mini-series" of FHE's. These are focusing on President Gordon B. Hinckley's "B's". President Hinckley spoke to the youth in November of 2000 (I can't believe it was that long ago!!) and gave them 6 "Be's" that would help enrich their lives and make it easier to live the Gospel Standards.

What You'll Need: A copy of the "Be Grateful" part of President Hinckley's talk. It isn't very long, so I've included it here. You can copy, paste to Word or another word processing program, and print. Way easy, right?!

Be grateful.

There are two little words in the English language that perhaps mean more than all others. They are “thank you.” Comparable words are found in every other language, such as gracias, merci, danke, obrigado, domo.

The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman. With whom is the Lord displeased? He names “those who confess not his hand in all things” (D&C 59:21). That is, those who walk without grateful expression. Walk with gratitude in your hearts, my dear friends. Be thankful for the wonderful blessings which are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities that you have. Be thankful to your parents, who care so very much about you and who have worked so very hard to provide for you. Let them know that you are grateful. Say thank you to your mother and your father. Say thank you to your friends. Say thank you to your teachers. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way.

Thank the Lord for His goodness to you. Thank the Almighty for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who has done for you what none other in all this world could do. Thank Him for His great example, for His tremendous teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help. Think about the meaning of His Atonement. Read about Him and read His words in the New Testament and in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Read them quietly to yourself and then ponder them. Pour out your heart to your Father in Heaven in gratitude for the gift of His Beloved Son.

Thank the Lord for His marvelous Church restored in this great season of history. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and loved ones, for parents and brothers and sisters, for family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at it. You will find it will yield wonderful results.

-President Gordon B. Hinckley

Activity: Give each person a piece of paper and set a time limit. Have each person list as many things as they can that they are grateful for. At the end of your time limit, see who came up with the most things. Read through your lists and talk about why you are grateful for those things.

Treat: Homemade Ice-cream Sandwiches - Yummy and easy. First make a box of brownies, any kind. Let cool and cut into squares. Take aluminum foil and put one brownie square on it add vanilla ice cream (or any flavor you like) and top with another brownie. Wrap up and put into freezer. Do this with all the brownies. After FHE, serve. I like to drizzle chocolate sauce over it before I eat it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother Dear

I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother's Day on Sunday. I had every intention of doing this post then, but I ended up coming home sick from church, so that put my plans on hold. And yesterday, my husband begged me to do laundry before he left for work. Apparently, I'd been neglecting it somewhat... He was out of clothes. Oops. I forget he doesn't have as much clothing as I (and our son) do.

This FHE focuses on moms. I realize not all families have the same make-up, but for the sake of this post I'm going to use the family model of a father, mother and children. So, enough rambling, here we go!

Things You'll Need: Construction paper, pens, markers, scissors, stickers, crayons, and the like.

Song: Primary Children's Songbook, Mother I Love You, Page 207 (You moms may need some Kleenex... this one always makes me teary).

Scripture: Alma 56:47–48.

Lesson: This lesson focuses on our mothers. Look up "Mother" in the Topical Guide and read it with your family. Discuss what an important role mothers have. What are some duties of mothers? What does your mother take responsibility for in the home? In my family, my responsibilities are rather traditional: cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids while my husband goes to work. However, I have a sister-in-law that has been the one to go to work since her husband's company downsized. Her role isn't not the same as mine, but she is a stellar mother. Moms have different roles in different families, but in every family a mom is a teacher. Little children learn from watching others. And who do they have the most opportunity to watch? Their parents. And if Mom is lucky enough to get to stay at home with her little copycats, they have almost unlimited access to do as Mom does. Ask your family to share something they have learned from Mom.

Activity: Give your family 15-20 minutes to make a card for Mom out of the art supplies you previously gathered. Mom can make a card too... but she should write out the card for her mom and then mail it. How cool would that be for her mom to get a nice card in the mail?!?

Then, play a few rounds of "Mother, May I?"

Treat: I would recommend Mom's favorite dessert. Or some delicious, yummy brownies. Moms always like brownies.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Follow the Prophet

How can we follow the prophet if we don't know what they've counseled us to do?!? Here's the perfect chance for your family to learn. This is a quick and simple lesson. 4pm Monday afternoon? You're starting dinner and you remember: It's MONDAY! Quick! What'll we do for FHE? Well, here's a quick idea that you can pull together while that casserole cooks.

Things You'll Need: Go to and search for the name of one of our prophets. It'll bring up a list of a bunch of talks they've given or small biographies about them. Choose one and print it out.

Song: Primary Children's Songbook, Follow the Prophet, page 110.

Lesson: Read the talk or story you previously printed off. Discuss it with your family.

Activity: Make homemade Ice Cream. If you have an ice cream maker, go ahead and use that. If not, HERE is a recipe for homemade ice cream in a zippy bag! If you are doing a "mini-series" of sorts, you may have to rotate treats and activities. If you read a brief biography, find something that our prophet enjoyed doing and do it, too.

Treat: Your Homemade Ice Cream, of course!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Serving The Missionaries

Who gives more service than our missionaries? They spend all day, everyday in the service of our Heavenly Father. Take a few minutes and tell them that you appreciate their willingness to serve. If you have military members in your ward or family as well, take time to let them know you're thinking of them.

Things You'll Need: Paper and pens to write letters. Candy and other treats to send the missionaries. As many boxes as you have missionaries or service members in your ward/family/ect.

Song: Primary Children's Songbook, I Hope They Call Me on a Mission, Page 169

Lesson: If you have a returned missionary or a veteran in your home, have them talk about what it's like to be away from home for a long time. I'm not talking about swapping war stories, but have them tell what it's like to not get to see your family every day, or to not get to talk to them on the phone. Especially stress how special the letters people sent were.
If you don't have someone to share those experiences, talk about what you think it would be like to not be able to see your family everyday and to only talk through writing letters. You would like to get any letters you could!

Activity: Write letters or notes to each of your missionaries and service members. Fill a box with goodies for each of them. Seal them up and make sure they get mailed! Your missionaries and soldiers will appreciate it so much!

Treats: Celebrate the missionary lifestyle and go on splits... Banana Splits! Load up your dish with ice cream, toppings, whipped cream and a yummy fruit topper! Enjoy!