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Family Home Evening Ideas
- A Christmas Pageant
Many stories in the December 2010 Friend talk about acting out the Christmas story. Host your own pageant by having a family scavenger hunt to look for costume pieces (“The Christmas Cane” gives some examples). Then you’ll have them on hand for Christmas Eve so you can perform your own pageant.
- A Gift for Jesus
Read “A Gift for Jesus” (December 2009 Friend). Have every family member cut out a paper angel. Just as Anna did, write down something that you can give Jesus. Hang it on the tree to remember what you said you would give, and try your best to do that thing every day.
- A Happy Home
Turn to “A Happy Home” and read Doctrine and Covenants 109:8 (November 2009 Friend). Complete the activity as a family. What things can you do better to make your home a happy place?
- A Heavenly Home
Read “Leute’s Home” (August 2012 Liahona and Friend). Draw your house and map out areas where you do things to invite the Spirit.
- A Living Prophet
Read together the story “I Want to See the Prophet” (October 2003 Liahona and Friend). Pray to strengthen your own testimonies of the prophet, and plan to listen to general conference or read the talks as a family.
- A Shield of Faith
“A Shield of Faith” (August 2004 Liahona and Friend) includes three family home evening ideas for building faith as a family.
- A Sunday Jar
Make a Sunday jar. As a family, talk about keeping the Sabbath day holy and brainstorm activities that are Sunday-appropriate. (Look for ideas in “20 Things to Do on Sunday,” from the November 2010 Friend.) Write these ideas on pieces of paper to put in a clean jar or cup. Put the jar in a room where the family will remember it. This way, your family will always have ideas for Sunday activities.
- Act out the Book of Mormon
“The Story of the Book of Mormon” shows many important moments from the scriptures (May 2012 Friend). Pick one of those moments, read the suggested chapter or chapters as a family, and act out or draw the scene.
- Answering Others’ Questions
Pair off as partners and practice your own answers to the questions in “What’s the Answer?” (November 2011 Friend). Think of more questions people might ask about the Church.
Choose two family members to react to different imaginary situations. Ask one family member to have a good attitude and the other to have a bad attitude. (Some of the situations could include stubbing a toe, losing a game, being late for school, or getting a bad grade.) Read “Grumbling Peter” (April 2009 Friend). Then talk about what helped change Peter’s attitude. Testify that remembering that Jesus loves us can help us to have good attitudes even when things go wrong.
- Avoiding Sin
Cut a hole in a box large enough to put only your hand and wrist through. Place a larger object, such as a toy, inside the box. Have each person put his or her hand through the hole and grab the object. Notice that you cannot remove your hand again without letting go. What lessons could you learn if you compared the object to sin? Read President Thomas S. Monson’s article “Deadly Maka-Fekes” (June 2007 Liahona and Friend) and discuss “Things to Think About.”
In “Remembering a Special Day,” Allison remembers her baptism (May 2012 Friend). Have family members share memories of when they were baptized. Younger children can talk about what they look forward to and how they can prepare for baptism.
- Baptism and Other Ordinances
Put eight different colored squares of paper on the floor and have family members participate along with Logan while you read “Logan’s Baptism” (July 2005 Liahona and Friend). Have family members identify which “square” they are on (which ordinances they have yet to complete) and what they can do to progress.
- Beginning Young Men and Young Women
Read “Moving On from Primary” and talk about what parts of Young Men and Young Women you are excited about (October 2012 Liahona and Friend). Look in Young Women Personal Progress or Fulfilling My Duty to God to find some activities you could do.
- Being Good Examples
Read “Set upon a Hill” (July 2009 Liahona and Friend) by President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) . Why does the temple remind him of a city set on a hill? How can we be like a city set on a hill? When we live righteously, we have the Holy Ghost with us and it shows in the way we act, look, and feel. Discuss ways to be good examples.
- Book of Mormon Read-a-Thon
As a family, prepare the chart in “I Will Read the Book of Mormon” (January 2008 Liahona and Friend) or “Book of Mormon Feast” (January 2012 Liahona and Friend). Set family or personal reading goals. Then use your family home evening time to kick off your Book of Mormon reading. Bring snacks, pillows, and blankets to your read-a-thon.
Read “Being Brave” (January 2006 Liahona and Friend). How does Rosella help Alan? Exercising faith and following the Spirit can place us in a position to bless others. Discuss how you can grow in faith and be prepared to serve someone.
- Cheating Is Dishonest
As a family, play a board or card game. During the game, talk about how each of you would feel if someone cheated. Read “The Cheating Lesson” and take the quiz on page 22 (September 2009 Friend). Discuss why it is wrong to cheat.
- Children of God Growing Up
Invite a young family member to tell the story “Hannah” (March 2003 Friend). Pass a mirror around. As each person looks at his or her reflection, have each say something like “I am a child of God, and He will help me to grow and to develop my talents.”
- Choosing the Right like Daniel
Tell the story of Daniel and the lion’s den (Daniel 6:1–27). Make the lion in “Daniel, Lions, and Me” (October 2005 Friend) and as you move the lion’s head, talk about how you might make each right choice listed on the lion’s mane.
- Christmas Giving
Instead of writing a list of what you want this Christmas, write a list of meaningful gifts you could give. Then read “The Last Present” (December 2007 Friend). Instead of being disappointed by gifts you might not receive, you could choose to be like Jake this Christmas and look for ways to make someone else’s holiday special. Even if you don’t have money, you can find ways to sacrifice and show others that you love them. Can you think of someone lonely who might appreciate a nice letter? Make him or her a Stained Glass Window Card and some Surprise Snowballs (December 2007 Friend). Choose the best gift-giving ideas on your list and follow through with them in the coming weeks.
- Christmas in the Americas
Read “Christmas in the Americas” (December 2004 Friend) and plan to perform it. You may want to involve extended family, neighbors, or ward members as well. Afterwards, serve your favorite Christmas treat.
- Christmas Symbols
In “Straw for the Manager,” straw serves as a reminder of service (December 2010 Liahona and Friend). What other Christmas symbols are in your home? As a family, talk about other symbols in your home that remind you of Christ.
- Cleaning Up
Read “Clean-up Claire” (May 2008 Friend). What are some ways your family can invite the Holy Ghost into your home? Have each person write down something specific he or she can do for each person in the family during the week. Then find someplace in your house that could use some cleaning (the kitchen, the living room, a child’s room, etc.). Help each other clean the area while singing your favorite Primary songs.
- Communication in Families
Read “Talk Time,” a story about how one girls finds comfort as she talks to her family after a bad day (April 2012 Liahona and Friend). Try one of the suggested conversation games.
- Digital Manners
Take the quiz “How Are Your E-Manners?” (June 2010 Liahona and Friend). Act out some situations from the quiz to practice being polite with technology. Discuss the importance of being considerate and thoughtful.
- Doing Your Duty
Read President Thomas S. Monson’s message “Do Your Duty” (February 2008 Liahona and Friend). What kinds of treasures might we find as we do our duties? (A clean conscience; satisfaction; more physical, spiritual, and mental strength.) Choose an object to represent “treasure” and hide it where someone might find it while doing chores this week (the laundry basket, dishwasher, etc.). Reward whomever finds it and let that person hide it for someone else to find.
- Don’t Give Up
Read “Keep It Up, Jenna!” about a girl who struggles to learn the piano (November 2009 Friend). Blow up a balloon a little at a time and stop before it is fully inflated. Like the balloon, if we quit when things get hard, we will not be able to reach our full potential. Finish blowing up the balloon. As a family, share stories of times when you didn’t give up even when things were hard.
- Do Your Best
Tell the story “To Do His Best” (January 2003 Liahona and Friend) about how one man saved his friends in the handcart company. Memorize the poem he says so you can remind yourself to always do your best. Promise one another to always try to do your best to follow the Savior.
- Dress and Appearance
Do the “What Should I Wear?” activity (February 2007 Liahona and Friend). Then have family members dress for activities of their choice. For example, appear in your basketball or dance costume and say, “I’m going to Primary.” Let others say “do” or “don’t” and explain why.
Use “Easter Footsteps” to learn about the last week of the Savior’s mortal ministry (April 2012 Friend). Then read the account of Christ’s Resurrection in Luke 24:1–9. You can sing “Hosanna” together and talk about the importance of the Savior’s Resurrection.
Read “Treehouse” (August 2003 Friend). Have there ever been times when people around you were being disobedient and it was hard for you to be a good example? Discuss how Jordan reacts and how you could follow his example in similar situations.
- Faith and Sacrifice
Read “A Banner of Faithfulness,” about the pioneer who carved “Holiness to the Lord” on the Salt Lake Temple despite great personal sacrifice (February 2010 Friend). Discuss the value of sacrifice. What motivated John to walk so far to work on the temple every day, even after he had been injured? How did this show faith? Your family can also make a banner reminding you to be faithful.
- Faith like the Pioneers
Find a wagon, a wheelbarrow, or another kind of cart to pull. Go on a walk with your family and take turns pulling the cart. You could pack a sack lunch in your cart and have a picnic after the walk. As you walk, talk about the story “Family Faith” (July 2007 Liahona and Friend) and discuss the faith the Jarvis family must have had. During your picnic, talk about ways you can show faith as the pioneers did.
- Families, Standing For
In “Candy Apples” (April 2006 Friend), Pam learns that sometimes showing love for our families can influence others. Make “Cinnamon Fruit Snack” (April 2006 Friend). For every apple or orange slice you eat, name one way you can be an example to your friends of how important families are to Heavenly Father.
- Family Faith
Read President Boyd K. Packer’s “The Shield of Faith” (July 2003 Liahona and Friend). He says that making a shield of faith happens “in the family circle.” Have one member of the family draw the shape of a shield on a piece of paper, then cut it into pieces for each family member. On the pieces of paper, have each person write his or her testimony or draw a picture of an experience, such as prayer, that strengthened his or her testimony. Tape the pieces back together to form a shield again. Discuss how each family member’s faith can strengthen the faith of the other family members.
- Family History
Have a family history night. As a family, talk about your heritage, perhaps sharing stories, traditions, or heirlooms. If you don’t know much about your family heritage, read “Family History 1-2-3” to learn how you can get started (September 2010 Friend).
- Family Memory Book
Cooperate to make a Family Memory Book (November 2005 Friend). If any family members are away serving missions or live far away, you may want to make another copy to mail them.
- Family Scripture Study
Read “The Promises of a Prophet” (April 2009 Liahona and Friend). Set a goal with your family to read the scriptures together every day. Talk about when and where your family scripture reading will be done. If your family already reads the scriptures together every day, talk about how you can make your scripture study more meaningful. Read “How can I learn more when I read the scriptures?” for ideas (April 2009 Friend).
Read “100% Correct, A+!” (June 2004 Friend). How does the boy in the story show love for his father? Examples of good fathers are found in the scriptures. Complete “Scripture Fathers” (June 2004 Friend) to learn about some of them. To honor your dad or a man you admire (a grandfather, bishop, neighbor, etc.), make him a “Bagel Dad” (June 2004 Friend).
- Fishing for Old Testament Trivia
Play “Fishing for Old Testament Facts” as a family to learn more about the scriptures (August 2006 Liahona and Friend).
- Following Christ at Christmas
Read “The Reason for the Wonder,” a message to the children of the world from the First Presidency (December 2009 Liahona and Friend). Play follow-the-leader, first with the lights off and then with the lights on. Is it easier to follow the leader when the lights are on or off? Christ is called “the light of the world” (John 8:12) because He has set an example that we can follow. What things can you do to better follow Jesus Christ?
- Following the Crowd
Tell the story given by President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) in “Following the Crowd” (August 2004 Liahona and Friend). Will you make the decision to do what’s right no matter what others are doing? Role-play different situations where you might need to choose the right. End by sharing the experiences of Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. in “Family Traditions” (August 2004 Liahona and Friend).
Read about a family home evening in “Let It Go” (June 2009 Friend). Ask each family member to think about someone to forgive and write the name on a helium balloon or on a paper that you can fold into an airplane. Ask family members to say a prayer in their heart for forgiveness and for help to forgive someone who has hurt their feelings, and then let the balloon go or fly the paper airplane.
- Forgiving Others
Read “An Experiment in Forgiving” and “Birthday Cookies” (April 2004 Friend). What did each of the children in these stories learn about forgiveness? Can you think of a time you forgave someone? How did you feel? Commit to follow the example of these children and be forgiving.
- Goals and Destiny
Read President Thomas S. Monson’s “Crossroads” (April 2004 Liahona and Friend). The Cheshire Cat tells Alice that if she doesn’t know where she wants to go, it does not matter which path she takes. President Monson explains that each of us knows where we want to go. Discuss where you wish to go in the future (for example, on a mission, to the temple, etc.). Set goals to follow the path that will take you there.
- Goal Setting
Read “All the Way to Chicago,” a story about a boy who bikes from Idaho to Chicago to raise money for a hospital (April 2011 Friend). Discuss the importance of setting goals. Think of a goal you want to achieve as a family. What can you do to reach your goal? For more ideas, read “How Do I Achieve My Goals?” which shares some thoughts from Elder M. Russell Ballard (January 2012 Liahona and Friend).
Read “Give Thanks for Everything,” and discuss how Borghild Dahl was an example of gratitude before and after her sight was restored (January 2010 Friend). Pass out crayons and paper and let each family member write one thing for which he or she is thankful in a corner of the paper. Then encourage everyone to try to draw what they named with a blindfold on. Remove the blindfolds to see how everybody did. Flip the paper over and draw the picture again, this time without the blindfold. Talk about how eternal perspective is different than sight and helps us to “see” our blessings more clearly.
Read “My Heart Is Happy” as a family (February 2012 Friend). Have each family member draw two or three pictures of what makes his or her heart happy. Take turns showing and explaining your pictures.
- Happiness through Smiles
Smiling helps us feel happy. It helps others feel happy too. Smiling is one of the easiest ways we can serve others. Read “Miles and Miles of Smiles” (September 2007 Liahona and Friend). Have each person in your family draw a smiling face on a piece of paper. Put the face near the mirror you look in most often. There are many ways to smile. Look in the mirror and try smiling with only your eyes, then try smiling with your lips closed. Smile with your teeth showing, and then with your mouth open. Keep the picture by the mirror all week as a reminder to smile.
- Happy Hearts Club
Cut out special cards and check off the boxes around the border as you serve each other. See “Happy Hearts Club” (February 2003 Friend) for card templates and instructions.
Talk about the importance of honesty after reading “The Apple Adventure” (October 2011 Friend). Afterward, make apple grins or apple fries.
- Honoring Parents
“Honoring Parents” (May 2004 Friend) includes three family home evening ideas and 20 questions for family members to get to know each other better.
- Humanitarian Aid
Honoka and Maggie both experienced natural in “Prayers, Notes, and Natural Disasters” (August 2012 Liahona and Friend). The Church often sends humanitarian aid to communities hit by disasters. To see how your family can serve, go to lds.org/service/humanitarian/help.
- Hymns and Good Music
President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) understood the importance of good music. Read “Learning to Sing” (July 2004 Liahona and Friend). Then, to learn more about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio broadcast he helped establish, read “Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word” (July 2004 Liahona and Friend). Have each family member choose a favorite hymn to sing and, if possible, take turns practicing leading the music (see the back of the hymnbook to learn the beat patterns).
- I Am a Child of God
Read “A Child of God—No Matter What!” (January 2009 Friend). Follow the instructions to make a crown for each family member. Talk about what it means to be a child of God.
- Ideal Family
In Elder Richard G. Scott’s article “Heavenly Father’s Plan” (June 2003 Liahona and Friend), he teaches us that we can fulfill the purposes of our lives by working towards having an “ideal family.” What can we do to help create an ideal family? Read together the proclamation on the family for ideas. Then set a goal as a family to work on one thing that will help you reach this ideal.
- Improving Talents
Read “President Grant’s Example,” a story about a girl who works to improve her bad handwriting (September 2008 Liahona and Friend). Then read Ether 12:27 and talk about how you and your family members can improve a talent or strengthen a weakness.
- Internet Safety
Read “Crash and Tell” (June 2011 Liahona and Friend). Discuss the Internet safety tips with your parents or family. Make a plan to “crash and tell” if you can’t get away from an uncomfortable website.
Read the poem “Welcome, Jesus” (December 2005 Friend). We can welcome the Savior into our lives by following His example. Have each family member write down ways they have tried to be like Jesus or things they will do to become more like Him. Place the papers in a gift bag and display it where everyone will be reminded to “welcome Jesus” this season.
- Jesus Christ, Our Bridge Builder (November 2008 Friend)
Ask family members to think about how they would feel if they needed to get across a river but had no bridge to cross. Read “Three Bridges” and discuss the “Things to Think About” questions (April 2008 Liahona and November 2008 Friend). Talk about the importance of the bridges Christ has prepared to allow us to return to Heavenly Father.
- Joseph Smith
Tell and sing the story of Joseph Smith by reading “Sing a Song of Joseph” (May 2007 Friend). Then read the poem “As Joseph Did” to discover how you can be more like Joseph (May 2007 Friend)./friend/2007/05/sing-a-song-of-joseph/friend/2007/05/as-joseph-did
- Joseph Smith
Celebrate the birth of Joseph Smith like Daniel and his family did in “A Special Guest” (December 2010 Friend) Talk about the importance of asking for and receiving revelation. Elder Robert D. Hales gives some ideas (December 2010 Friend).
Why is it important to keep a personal journal? Read “Little Women from Massachusetts” (January 2011 Friend). Have each member of your family decorate his or her own journal jar and fill it with ideas of things to write about. Try to write about one idea from your journal jar every day for a week.
- Joy in Christ’s Birth
Have everyone draw pictures of things they love about Christmas. Why does the Christmas season seem to make people feel so happy? Read the First Presidency’s Christmas message, “The Savior Is Born” (December 2007 Liahona and Friend). Why does this message bring the greatest joy of all? How can our knowledge of Jesus Christ’s birth help us feel peaceful all year, even when we may face challenges?
- Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
The Sabbath is a day to rest from doing worldly things and instead do heavenly things. Read or tell the story in Matthew 12:10-13. What kinds of things did Jesus Christ do on the Sabbath? Then read “Doing Good on the Sabbath Day” (September 2007 Liahona and Friend). Plan at least two activities that you can do next Sunday.
- Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
Read “Honors,” a story about a boy who makes the honors baseball team only to discover their games are on Sunday (September 2011 Friend). Talk about the choice Ethan made to keep the Sabbath day holy. As a family, create a list of activities that are appropriate to do on Sunday.
After reading President Thomas S. Monson’s “Labels” (March 2005 Liahona and Friend), make for each person paper tags to wear that read “Lord, here am I.” Discuss ways we can obey the Lord, like Samuel did. Remind family members that the way Heavenly Father sees us is more important than how the world sees us.
- Liken the Scriptures
Read “Like Nephi,” a story about how a girl finds comfort comparing her life to a scripture story (February 2008 Liahona and Friend). What stories in the scriptures remind you of something that has happened to you? Fold a piece of paper in half. On one side, draw the scripture story. On the other half, draw the incident from your own life. Talk about each picture. How did the person in the scriptures behave? How did you follow his or her example or how could you in the future?
- Listening to Good Music
Start by naming some of your favorite songs and types of music. What do you like about music? Then read “Words of Warning” (February 2005 Friend) and discuss why some songs and types of music are bad for us to listen to. Sing or play a verse from each family member’s favorite hymn or Primary song. (If family members play musical instruments, they may wish to prepare a musical number in advance.) Notice the spirit that good music brings!
- Listening to the Holy Ghost
Sing a loud song, clapping your hands and stomping your feet. Then sing a quiet Primary song and discuss how you feel afterward. Read “Shadows on the Wall” and talk about why it would be more difficult for the Holy Ghost to comfort you when you are being loud (June 2010 Liahona and Friend).
- Listening to the Holy Ghost
Before the lesson, allow a small amount of clay or play dough to harden. Read “Scriptures and Bullies” and discuss the important role that the Holy Ghost had in helping the girl know how to help Mike (September 2009 Friend). Give a family member some fresh clay. Pick a shape or object for him or her to mold the clay into. Next, give someone the hardened clay and ask him or her to mold it into the same shape. Talk about how we need to be “moldable” so the Holy Ghost can direct us to do Heavenly Father’s work.
- Love at Home
“Love at Home” (September 2004 Liahona and Friend) includes three family home evening ideas to develop love at home, including doing a puzzle, signing special songs, and discussing a quote.
- Making Friends with People Who Are Different
Read “We’re All Shoes,” a story about a boy who makes friends with people from different backgrounds (August 2010 Liahona and Ensign). How do you treat people who might seem different? Sing “I’ll Walk with You” (Children’s Songbook, 140–41) and discuss how you can be kind to everyone.
Read “Jason’s Escape,” a story about a boy who listens to his inner alarm when a video game is bad (August 2010 Liahona and Friend). Read “Are You Media Smart?” Review your family’s rules for TV, Internet, and video game use. Talk about how just as we prepare ourselves for physical dangers, we prepare ourselves spiritually by living the commandments and following the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
What is a miracle? Discuss examples from the scriptures, your family history, or your life. Then read “A Miraculous Escape from Danger” (June 2007 Liahona and Friend). What dangers and challenges exist in the world you face? Think of this story the next time you are confronted with a bad situation. Remember that the Lord hears prayers and can help you anytime, anywhere.
- Missionary Preparation
Read about Spencer, a boy who has saved for his mission since before he was born, in “My Mission Fund” (December 2012 Liahona and Friend). Find out how he has saved. Talk with your family about other ways members of your family can prepare to serve full-time missions.
- Missionary Work
“Missionary Work” (June 2005 Liahona and Friend) includes five ideas for missionary-themed family home evenings, including dressing up like missionaries, practicing how to answer questions, and sharing the scriptures.
Read the beginning and middle of “The Language of Dance,” a story about a girl who is given an immodest dance costume for a recital (December 2008 Friend). Stop and ask your family members how they think the story will end. Then read the end. Discuss how choosing the right can be difficult, and testify that the Lord blesses those who make righteous decisions.
- Modesty Checklist
Read “Modest at An Age” and review “Modesty Checklist” (May 2010 Friend). Sing the Primary song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” Children’s Songbook, 275) and do the actions. Make sure your clothes remain modest as you move around.
Read “Mother’s Day for Mrs. Martin” (May 2004 Friend). Discuss ways to celebrate Mother’s Day—by honoring both your mother and other special women you know. Choose someone (maybe a neighbor or a grandmother) whom your family would like to honor and make her a “Quilted Card” (May 2004 Friend).
- Names of Jesus Christ
There are many names we can use to talk about Jesus Christ (see “Lehi and Nephi Learn about Jesus Christ,” February 2012 Friend). Make a list of other names in the scriptures that refer to Jesus Christ. Choose a few from your list and talk about their special meaning.
- Our Bodies
Read Genesis 1:27, D&C 130:22, and Alma 40:23. Why do we need physical bodies? What will happen to them in the Resurrection? Read “My Busy Body” (November 2007 Friend) and act out each of the lines. Then invite each person in your family to take a turn calling out a different body part. Following the pattern in the poem, let everyone else name something you can do with that body part.
- Overcoming Fears
Read “The Opposite of Fear” (January 2007 Liahona and Friend). What kinds of fears do you have? No matter what they are, you can find comfort in the Savior. Read Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s talk, “How Can I Have Faith When the World Seems So Scary?” to find some inspiring thoughts on overcoming fear (January 2007 Liahona and Friend). As a family, memorize the last three sentences by chanting them together. Repeat these words to yourself whenever you feel afraid.
“Danny’s Butterfly” (April 2003 Friend) reminds us to be loving and patient with others, because we are all trying. Think of a time someone was patient with you and share it. Then think of ways you can make someone else happy by being patient. Draw a picture of a butterfly and display it where you will see it throughout the week, reminding you to be kind.
- Peer Pressure
Read “Question Corner” (August 2012 Friend). Talk about what you can do when your friends make bad choices.
Read about the Martin Handcart Company in “Heroes in the Snow” (November 2006 Friend). We may not face the trials that Peter overcame, but we can follow his example of faith. Use a box to represent a handcart and have family members fill it with objects symbolizing things of spiritual value—scriptures, a journal, a compass. Describe what each of these things means to you and how it will help you through trials during your mortal journey.
Look at “Going West” and look up the scriptures to answer the questions together (July 2009 Liahona and Friend). We can be happy as we sing, dance, and pray too. Ask family members to sing and dance to a Primary song such as “Fun to Do” (Children’s Songbook 253). Take turns making your own words and actions. Talk about how good music and praying to Heavenly Father show Him we are thankful and help us to be happy.
Turn off the lights and retell “The Light” (January 2005 Liahona and Friend), a dramatic story about how the Lord saved a boy’s drowning father. Tell the story in your own words, turning on a flashlight at the appropriate time. Discuss how prayer can bring more light into our lives. Then read “Prayer” and do the coloring activity (January 2005 Liahona and Friend).
Before family home evening, bake a cake, a pan of brownies, or another treat that must be divided to be eaten. Invite a family member to eat the treat, but explain that it must be eaten in one bite. When it is clear this cannot be done, read “Will Heavenly Father always answer my prayers?” (February 2012 Friend). Why does the Lord sometimes answer our prayers piece by piece? Why is it sometimes better to receive things in portions?
- Praying like Enos
As a family, read Enos 1:1–8 and “The Enos Experiment” (September 2006 Friend). Discuss how to have “mightier” prayer. Encourage family members to devote a day to prayer by always having a prayer in their hearts (see Alma 34:27), or perhaps visit somewhere special—like the mountains, the forest, or the beach—to give each person time for personal prayer.
- Prepared for an Emergency
Read “Ready to Go” (July 2007 Friend). What would you take if you were in a similar situation? Make sure that your family has prepared supplies in case of an emergency. If not, make goals on how to acquire vital items. Show everyone where these items can be found. Make a list of what you would not want to leave without, and make sure you can find those things quickly.
- Preparing for a Mission
Complete the “Preparing for a Mission” activity (October 2007 Friend). Draw a circle around the pictures of activities that you are already doing to prepare for a mission. Then choose one activity you would like to start doing. For your next family home evening lesson, plan to do this activity. You might decorate a box to use as a savings bank for your mission, invite someone from your family or ward to teach you a few phrases in another language, or have a parent show you how to iron. Can you think of other skills that would be useful?
- Preparing for a Mission
Read “Preparing for a Mission” (October 2008 Liahona and Friend). Make a list of things you can do to prepare for a mission. Role-play a few missionary situations. Then read “Teaching Mrs. Greene” and talk about how you can share the gospel with your friends, classmates, and teachers (October 2008 Friend).
Name some signs you see frequently. What do they instruct you to do? How do they keep you safe? Read President Thomas S. Monson’s message “Follow the Signs” (May 2006 Friend). What instructions does he give to help us be safe spiritually? Draw six signs to remind you of his counsel and place them around the house.
President Hinckley (1910–2008) said, “How marvelous a thing is a good book!” Why do you think reading is important? Have each family member give a short book report on his or her favorite book. Read the “Family Reading Activities” (May 2005 Friend) and plan to carry out some of them.
- Real Heroes
Invite a family member to read “Hero” (October 2005 Liahona and Friend). Discuss what it means to be a real hero. Give each family member a bookmark containing My Gospel Standards (October 2005 Liahona and Friend). Go through the standards. Would a person with the strength and courage to live those standards be a hero? Resolve to be such a person.
- Remembering Our Ancestors
Read the story about Anna and her great-great-grandmother in “Reunion Twins” (August 2005 Friend). Look at old pictures of your family members and tell your favorite stories about them. Who do you look like? Have they passed along any other traits to you, such as being a good friend or playing a musical instrument? How have their lives blessed yours?
- Repentance and the Atonement
“Repentance and the Atonement” (March 2004 Liahona and Friend) includes President Boyd K. Packer’s classic analogy and three ideas to help children understand the Atonement.
- Respect and Reverence
Role-play activities that are appropriate in different settings (school, the park, the store). Then read “Showing Respect” (July 2012 Friend) and talk about appropriate behavior at church. Make a list of how you can be more respectful at church.
- Scriptures and Righteousness
In “Truth Will Prevail” (September 2006 Liahona and Friend), President Hinckley asks us to write down a scripture and read it every morning. On small pieces of paper or sticky notes, have everyone write down 2 Timothy 1:7-8. Then write down a few more favorite scriptures. Have family members put these reminders where they will see them each day—by their bed, on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, etc. At your next family home evening, discuss how these daily reminders helped each person follow Christ.
- Scripture Women
Complete the activity “Women of the Gospel” (May 2006 Friend). Then divide into teams and use the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, and Index to find out one more fact about each woman listed. How is your own mother, grandmother, aunt, or teacher also an example of righteous traits? Remember to honor these women with gratitude and love.
- Sharing the Book of Mormon
President Monson has counseled youth to prepare for missionary service. Discuss the importance of being a missionary now. Then read “Where Is Isabelle?” a story about a girl who shares the Book of Mormon with her teacher (January 2011 Liahona and Friend). As a family, decide whom you would like to share a copy of the Book of Mormon with. Highlight your favorite scriptures and write your testimony on the inside cover. Make a plan for when you can deliver the book.
- Showing Love through Service
Read “Showing the Love in Your Heart” (September 2009 Liahona and Friend). Why did the mother feel Fan’s love the most? As a family, think of someone to whom you can show your love. It can be a neighbor, a teacher, a friend, or a family member. Have each family member cut hearts out of paper and write kind notes on them. As a family, deliver the notes to that person.
- Showing Love with Words
Giving compliments is a good way to show love for another person. Read “Beanbag Words” (November 2011 Friend) and think of someone you can be kind to this week. It could be a family member, a friend, or a classmate. At your next family home evening, talk about how you felt when you gave someone a compliment.
- Spiritual Protection
Write down key words from “How Can I Be Spiritually Protected?” (August 2008 Liahona and Friend). Place them in a bowl. Take turns drawing words from the bowl and acting them out. When the word is guessed, read the sentence that it came from and talk more about how what you read can spiritually protect you. Set a goal as a family to do better at one or more of these things. Write your goal on a piece of paper or someplace where everyone can see it and remember it.
- Stamping Out Bad Language
Read “Dear Class” and “Help Stamp Out Bad Language” (September 2012 Friend). Discuss the need to refrain from profanity and crude language. Print out copies of Ethan’s pledge, so family can take the pledge to avoid bad language.
- Standing Up for Others
Read “Standing Up for Caleb” (March 2009 Liahona and Friend). Ask family members to stand up each time something unkind is said about Caleb. After the story is read, talk about how when unkind things are said about others, we should pray for the courage to stand up for them. Talk about ways you can help people you know who are sometimes picked on.
- Strengthening the Family
“Strengthening My Family” (June 2004 Liahona and Friend) includes three ideas for family home evening, including making a chain and reading certain scriptures.
- Sunday Stations
Talk about what it means to keep the Sabbath day holy. Then read “Sunday Stations” (March 2009 Friend). Talk to family members about what kinds of Sunday stations you could have in your home to help keep the Sabbath day holy. Make a plan to do these stations on an upcoming Sunday.
- Supporting Family Members
Read “The Little League Lesson,” a story about a girl who learns to support her little brother (June 2012 Liahona and Friend). Look at the calendar and see who in your family has upcoming events (a test, a performance, or a talk in church). Talk about how you can support each other. For example, you could write a note of encouragement before a performance and congratulate the person afterward. Put your plan into action!
- Supporting Priesthood Leaders
Read “Sustaining Bishop Sheets” (February 2007 Liahona and Friend). Ask family members to tell something they like about the bishop of your ward or the president of your branch. Then discuss what you will do to show appreciation and lighten his load.
- Temples Bless Families
“Temples Bless Families” (July 2004 Liahona and Friend) includes quotes about temples and two family home evening ideas.
- Testimony Easter Eggs
Choose someone you want to share the gospel with, write your testimony on small slips of paper, put the papers inside plastic Easter eggs, and deliver the eggs and goodies. Read further instructions in “Testimony Easter Eggs” (April 2004 Friend).
- Testimony Glove
Create a testimony glove (October 2008 Friend). Invite each family member to share his or her testimony. Then talk about ways you can strengthen your testimony and share it with others. Write down your testimony in your journal, or draw pictures of the things you believe.
Read “Questions and Answers about the Temple” (October 2009 Friend). Write down any other questions you have about the temple, and ask your parents or Primary leaders. Draw a picture of a temple and hang it somewhere that you can see it every day.
- Thanking Priesthood Leaders
Read “Ties that Bind” (January 2008 Liahona and Friend). As a family, follow the diagram to learn how to tie a tie—both boys and girls, in case the girls ever need to teach someone else. Then make a treat or a card to share with your bishop to thank him for the ways he helps your family.
- The Atonement
Read “Rescue” (March 2005 Liahona and Friend) to find out how one boy learned more about the Atonement. Either make copies of the activity “Remembering Jesus Christ” (March 2005 Liahona and Friend) for each family member or cooperate as a family to complete one framed picture. For each section of the frame, name a way you can better remember the Savior.
- The Bible and the Book of Mormon
Recite the eighth article of faith together, then talk about the relationship between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Read “Why do I need to study the Bible?” (July 2008 Friend). Have each family member choose his or her favorite Bible story and briefly tell it.
- The Book of Mormon—Fact or Fiction?
As a family read “Fiction or Nonfiction?” (January 2012 Friend) Take turns sharing your feelings about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
- The Creation
Read “Heavenly Father and Jehovah Created the World” (February 2010 Liahona and Friend). Read slowly, and invite the children to stand and imitate the animals that are described. After reading, pass out paper and encourage family members to draw one of God’s creations.
- The Creation
To celebrate Heavenly Father’s beautiful world, read the poems “The Creation” and “Our Animal Friends” (January 2005 Friend). Ask everyone to name a few of their favorite creations, explain their choices, and draw pictures of them. Then complete the activity “Our Beautiful World—Part of the Plan” (January 2005 Liahona and Friend).
- The First Vision
Show family members the picture in “The First Vision” (April 2009 Friend). Look up the scriptures and answer the questions listed. After all of the questions have been answered, ask family members to think of other questions that could be asked about the picture. Tell the story of the First Vision and share your testimony about what Joseph saw.
- The Holy Ghost’s Promptings
Read “Go Back to the House” (March 2006 Friend). Have you ever followed a prompting from the Holy Ghost before you knew the reasons? What were the consequences? Decide, like Derek, to quickly obey whenever such promptings come.
- The Sacrament
Read “Jesus Administers the Sacrament” (October 2012 Friend). Talk about why the sacrament is important. Make lists of things to think about during the sacrament that can remind you of what Jesus did for us and that will help you stay reverent.
- The Sacrament
On separate pieces of paper, write the questions from “Questions and Answers about the Sacrament” (March 2008 Friend). Sit in a circle with your family. Have someone read a question, and have the person to the right answer it. Other family members can help if the person doesn’t know the answer. Also refer to the answers in the Friend. Continue around the circle. Read the scriptures listed, and encourage each other to think about what you’ve learned when you take the sacrament on Sunday.
- The Word of Wisdom
Read “He Told Me, ‘No Way’” about a boy who withstood peer pressure (July 2010 Liahona and Friend). Role-play saying, “No way!” to offers of drugs and alcohol. Then read Doctrine and Covenants 89 and talk about why Heavenly Father gave us the Word of Wisdom.
Read “The Windows of Heaven” (September 2005 Liahona and Friend). Discuss what you would do if you were put in the place of Marcella’s family. How has the Lord kept His promises when you have obeyed? Read “Where Does Tithing Go?” (September 2005 Liahona and Friend) to find out more about what happens to tithing after you pay it.
- Treasure Map to Happiness
Study President Thomas S. Monson’s article “A Treasure Map” (September 2004 Liahona and Friend). Before family home evening, draw a map of three places in your home. Write down clues that will guide your family to these places. Go to each place and hide something that represents President Monson’s advice. (For example: place #1—a picture of grandparents for “learn from the past,” place #2—a piggy bank for “prepare for the future,” place #3—a box wrapped as a present for “live in the present.”) Give the clues and map to your family and have them search for the treasures. When they arrive at each hiding place, talk about President Monson’s message for that spot.
- Unanswered Prayers
Have you ever prayed for something you didn’t receive? Read about Ben’s experiences with prayer in “No Answer” (June 2005 Friend). What does Ben learn that can help you in your prayers? Discuss times your prayers were answered—including times you are grateful Heavenly Father did not give you what you had hoped for.
- We are Each Special
Gather materials such as string, ribbon, flowers, and leaves. Read “The May Queen” (May 2009 Friend). Invite each family member to make a “crown” for another family member. (Make sure everyone gets one.) Talk about what makes each person special as he or she is presented with a crown.
- Working Hard
Tell the story “Working on a Farm” (January 2007 Liahona and Friend). President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) worked hard as a child, and as an Apostle he was prepared to help people with everyday chores. How can we follow the example of President Kimball? You might set a goal to do chores more cheerfully this week or help with a job when it isn’t your turn. Performing your duties with a smile now can prepare you to enjoy a life of service as a follower of Christ.
- Write Letters to Loved Ones
Ask family members to think about a time when they got a letter from someone they love. Read “Kendra’s Letter” (November 2008 Friend). Give each family member a piece of paper and something to write with. Then ask them to spend a few minutes writing a letter or drawing a picture for someone they love.