Church Resources for Hearing Loss

Do you have difficulty participating in Church meetings because of hearing loss? Depending on how long you’ve experienced diminished hearing, you may not be aware of Church resources available to you. Many Latter-day Saint meetinghouses are equipped with listening devices (small remote receivers connected to the speaker system). They allow you to sit anywhere you desire and still hear the speaker. Contact a member of the bishopric if you would like to use them. If you are having trouble hearing in classes, see if the teacher will use a microphone. To further assist you, Church videos and satellite broadcasts are available with closed captioning. Also, closed captioning is available at many temples. Simply call ahead to inquire and make arrangements.

Marlene B. Sullivan, Orchard Fifth Ward, Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Sharing Family History

I joined the Church more than 30 years ago, but to date only immediate family members have also been baptized. My extended family provides me with many missionary opportunities, and the most well-received approach has involved family history. Here are two ideas that I have found helpful:

Scrapbooks. After I married, I showed my extended family our wedding album. It proved to be a useful tool for sharing my beliefs about the importance of temple marriage. One family member commented, “I like the phrase ‘for time and all eternity.’” Sharing photo journals that highlight milestones such as baptisms and missions is a way to share beliefs. You might send duplicate pictures or an annual family letter with the photos to extended family members.

Family history information. At family reunions, ask who is also doing research and offer to share findings. Suggest using a family history center in their area or offer personal assistance. If you have a laptop computer, show them how they can organize their records on Personal Ancestral File. Even without a laptop, you can still tell them about this and other free resources at

Alison Affeltranger, Sego Lily Ward, Sandy Utah Granite South Stake

Scripture Study with an Ancestor

If you are fortunate enough to inherit a family Bible that belonged to your ancestors, look for any scriptures they may have marked. My paternal grandfather loved writing small notations in the margins: “I have finished the N.T. This is the 5th time I have read the N.T.” Sometimes he counseled his sons: “So read it, my sons. It will give life and joy to you.” Reading his notes has prompted me to do the same in my own set of scriptures.

Of course, some family Bibles contain valuable family history information or other mementos, such as antique bookmarkers, a favorite poem, or photos. So don’t let an old family Bible continue to collect dust on an unforgotten shelf. Peruse its pages to discover treasured information for your family today.

Marlene Cameron Thomas, Pellissippi Ward, Knoxville Tennessee Stake

Our Mission Mats

As my husband and I were preparing to serve a mission, I realized that I would miss my friends and family very much—especially my children and grandchildren. I knew that mealtimes on certain occasions would especially remind us of family back home. Since I knew I could not pack many extras to remind me of my loved ones, I decided to make some picture place mats. Two of my daughters-in-law helped me gather some of my favorite photos, both recent and old. They then copied the images in color, cut them, and glued them to durable place-mat size paper, available at craft or paper goods stores. We then laminated them for durability and easy cleanup.

At packing time, my set of 10 place mats fit neatly into the bottom of my suitcase without taking up much space. During our mission, we had dinner with our family, although we were nearly halfway around the world! Those who visited our apartment enjoyed seeing our collection of photos. Now that we have returned home, we are making another set featuring our wonderful brothers and sisters in the Philippines.

Jeanne Huff, West Point 12th Ward, West Point Utah Stake

Family Home Evening Helps: Picture a Song

When our children were small, we often taught them songs from the Children’s Songbook for family home evening. We would first explain a song, then invite the children to illustrate the lyrics. After learning several songs this way, our children soon had their own illustrated versions of the songbook. Even our smallest children who couldn’t yet read could easily follow and understand the songs because of the pictures they’d made. As a family, we enjoyed singing the songs around the house or while traveling. When our children hum or sing Church songs, we feel blessed that they are choosing to “seek the Lord early while in [their] youth.” Our hope is that as they grow older, “He will help [them] to know the truth” (“Seek the Lord Early,” Children’s Songbook, 108).

Mark and Cindy Smith, Grays Harbor Ward, Elma Washington Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker