Chapter-a-Week Home Evening

“Tell us what it will be like to be resurrected,” said Jeff. “Can we still eat?”

“Will I be resurrected with my freckles?” asked Sam.

And David, with just a bit of impatience, asked, “When will we be resurrected, Dad? Will it be when the Millennium starts, or do we have to die first?”

These questions came from our three oldest sons—all within a year or two of age ten—after we read Alma 40, in which Alma speaks to his wayward son Corianton about the resurrection. This discussion wasn’t unusual; we have similar ones at every family home evening.

About two years ago we decided to read one chapter from the Book of Mormon each week at family home evening. At first we listened to the chapter on tape, but we found that when our only participation was turning the recorder on and off, our attention frequently wandered. Then one of our children developed reading problems at school, so we started reading aloud, each taking a verse in turn. Suddenly, no one was complaining about scripture time, and all of us began to look for creative ways to analyze and understand the chapter we had read.

We have found that reading together once a week has numerous advantages for our family. First, because we are not rushed for time, we can discuss the chapter for as long as we or the children want. We review the events and explain the doctrines involved. Then we each ask questions that the rest of the family has to answer. Sometimes the questions are trivial, such as “In which river did the Nephites throw the bodies of the Lamanites in Alma 2?” Other questions are more significant. After Alma 8 we asked who the angel was who appeared to Alma outside the city of Ammonihah. (See Alma 8:15.) This prompted a discussion of angels and Saints beyond the veil.

Second, basing our family home evening lessons on the scriptures has provided us opportunities to apply specific counsel to our own circumstances. For example, when we talked about the Lord giving Nephi the power that whatever he asked for would happen (see Hel. 10), we all named what we would ask for if we could have anything, then compared that to what Nephi asked for. We discussed why Nephi, living in our time, likely wouldn’t have asked for a red sports car. Then we discussed what we would need to do so that the Lord could trust us as much as he did Nephi.

Third, the quality of our time together has improved. Because we use our eyes, ears, and hands continuously and we each participate frequently, it is easy for us to devote our full attention to the chapter. Distractions and disruptions are rare.

I had noticed the improvement in our family home evenings, but the full success of our Book of Mormon reading didn’t hit me until the night that the brownies sat on the table for forty-five minutes as we discussed a chapter. I knew then that we had found the right method for our family scripture study.Julie Cannon Markham, Houston, Texas

Now Hear This!

At some time, you will probably need to present instructions or information about a specific event in front of a group. Following several simple steps will help you feel more confident and will make your announcements more effective.

  1. 1.

    Gain the audience’s attention before you begin.

  2. 2.

    Convey your message with enthusiasm and directness.

  3. 3.

    Use notes if necessary, but keep eye contact with the audience.

  4. 4.

    Articulate dates, places, names, times, price of tickets, appropriate dress, and directions to the event so that there can be no misunderstanding.

  5. 5.

    Explain the purpose of the event. If necessary, provide directions for getting to the event and give the cost of tickets and the place they can be purchased.

  6. 6.

    Summarize by repeating the time, place, date, and other pertinent information.Shirlee Hurst Shields, Salt Lake City, Utah

Spice Up Your Rice

Now that you’ve stored all that rice in your food storage, will you eat it? Of course! And you can eat it in a variety of flavors.

To make three cups (570 grams) of plain, cooked rice, bring two cups (one-half liter) of water to a boil. Add one-half to one teaspoon salt, then stir in one cup (190 grams) brown or white rice. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover saucepan, and cook white rice for twenty-five minutes, brown rice for fifty minutes.

To change the flavor, cook the rice in beef or chicken broth instead of water, or add one of the following herbs while cooking: one-eighth teaspoon dried thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, basil, or savory; one-half teaspoon celery seeds or dried dill; seasoned salt in place of salt; three-fourths teaspoon dried marjoram; two teaspoons poppy seeds; or one small bay leaf. You can also substitute vegetable juice cocktail or tomato juice for one cup (240 milliliters) of the cooking water.

For another direction in flavor, use one-half cup (120 milliliters) fruit juice (orange, apple, cherry, pineapple, etc.) in place of one-half cup of the cooking water. Or add a few drops of flavored extracts (orange, lemon, almond, or vanilla) to the water.

You can also dress up cooked rice by adding sliced mushrooms, sauteed onions, crisp bacon pieces, toasted slivered almonds, grated cheese, sour cream, or chopped chives.Relief Society General Board

Are You Financially Fit?

To determine how well you and your family manage resources, ask yourselves the following questions.

  1. 1.

    Are we preparing for our eternal well-being by paying tithes and offerings?

  2. 2.

    Do we follow a budget so we can keep spending under control?

  3. 3.

    Do we save or invest some of the money we earn?

  4. 4.

    Do we establish spending goals and priorities?

  5. 5.

    Does our family avoid the high interest rates of credit cards and installment contracts?

  6. 6.

    Are we disciplined against impulse buying?

  7. 7.

    Do we wait for sales on clothing, furnishings, equipment, etc.?

  8. 8.

    Are each of us developing comparative shopping skills?

  9. 9.

    Are we investing enough in education to develop or maintain occupational and/or professional skills?

  10. 10.

    Is the breadwinner in our family contributing to or qualifying for a retirement program?

  11. 11.

    Does the breadwinner have adequate life-insurance coverage to pay debts, educate children, and provide adequate income?

  12. 12.

    Are our home, car, and other possessions adequately insured?

  13. 13.

    Do we have an inventory, including photographs, of personal and household items to help us make an insurance claim in case of fire or theft?

  14. 14.

    Do we maintain and repair our home, car, and equipment to the extent of our ability?

  15. 15.

    Do we develop and use home-production skills and arts such as sewing, canning, and baking?

  16. 16.

    Are we progressing on a year’s supply of food and clothing?

  17. 17.

    Do we buy foods that have maximum nutritional value?

  18. 18.

    Do we work and live in ways that help maintain our physical and mental health?

  19. 19.

    Have we prepared an estate plan, such as a trust, a last will and testament, a living will, and a letter of instructions for our heirs?

Now that you are aware of some areas of concern, set realistic goals that will help you to change your habits. Become competent money managers and wise consumers in order to face the future with confidence.Gary D. Hansen, Provo, Utah

[illustrations] Illustrated by Rob Magiera