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Home Centered Church– We’ve Got This!

By Michelle Lehnardt

One Sunday, more than a decade ago, my friend Jane shared her struggle with family scripture study with our Relief Society, We tried a hundred different methods over a dozen years and nothing seemed to stick. We pulled the kids out of bed at 5:30 a.m., we tried bedtime scripture study, dinnertime, breakfast. Sometimes I …

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The General Conference Family Home Evening Challenge

By Jessie Christensen

When General Conference rolled around last October, I realized that it was the weekend that my children were scheduled to spend all day Saturday with their father. I felt somewhat ambivalent about this. On the one hand, I looked forward to a day of actually getting to hear the talks and ponder them in quiet peace without the stress of trying to help three small children sit through eight hours of talks in a somewhat reverent manner. On the other hand, I do take seriously the counsel to watch and listen to Conference and to encourage participation from our children. During the past decade since becoming a parent I have sought to make General Conference a significant family tradition. I’ve tried special foods, coloring packets, bingo, key words, going for scenic drives, and, most commonly, just requiring children to be in the room doing something quiet and not bothering me. I don’t remember watching Conference much as a child, but I don’t fault my mother for this at all. If watching Conference meant hauling five small children to the chapel by myself for eight hours of viewing, I’d probably opt out as well. However, now that I live in a time and place where General Conference is easily accessible in my home, I try to participate as much as I can. What to do when my kids weren’t even going to be around for half of it?

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Spring Cleaning FHE (with pictures!)

By Marintha Miles

I opened the wedding note from my father’s cousins. In memorable extended Mormon family fashion, they bestowed a blue hymnal with our names printed on its cover in silver. With it lay a Family Home Evening manual. I delighted in the prospect of having small children gathered around me and my husband as we read the stories of Sally and Jimmy, the ones from my childhood, and the difficult decisions they encountered in life, like whether or not to give back the extra change the cashier gave them by mistake; whether or not to cheat on that test; or whether or not to share the last apple with their little and troublesome brother, Peter.

But the stories weren’t there. I hadn’t realized my father made all those stories up. He had repeated them year after year for the youngest children as they joined our large family. My sister and I, bored from hearing about little Sally earning money and paying tithing for the third time, sat across the room from each other and played the game we often played,  a contest to see who could flip the other off in the most discreet manner.

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Presiding Spiritually in the Home

By Marintha Miles

Sister Sally Seymore is making New Year’s resolutions. She wants to regularly hold Family Home Evening and have daily family scripture study in her home this year. She loves The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Sally’s husband, Brother Sam Seymore, isn’t the spiritual leader she hoped he would be. She doesn’t want to embarrass him or presume a priesthood role, but wonders if she should take the bull by the horns and wrangle the children into gospel habits.

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