Our Sabbath “Can-Do” Box

Stacilee Oakes Whiting, Utah, USA

Our family has a “can-do” box that’s brimming with appropriate activities for Sabbath worship. Over time, we’ve added or rotated many things, but we started with just a few dress-up items. It all began when we saw a Sunday dress-up box that one of our ward members had. The children absolutely loved it because they could reenact scripture stories in costume. Simple props like a bathrobe; an old dress; a child’s plastic sword, shield, and armor; and many other inexpensive or recycled items are possibilities.

We also wanted to encourage letter writing, so we added a container of writing supplies. We included addressed envelopes, stickers, and colored markers and pens. Even our youngest child loved sending letters to ward missionaries and family members.

Of course, we had to have a variety of wholesome games, including word searches and crossword puzzles. We even recycled leftover Primary lesson materials and old singing time props. The children were delighted to play with these appealing teaching materials.

Be creative and customize your Sunday box with a variety of things. Church magazines, audiovisual materials, wholesome books—there’s so much to enjoy. If everyone in the family is invited to contribute something, your “can-do” box will be filled with wonderful activities for a Sabbath day.

Help Them Prepare

Brian and Darlene Barrington, Virginia, USA

Our family enjoys sharing information about the Church with neighbors and friends. Since we live in an area where hurricanes occur, preparing for a natural disaster is essential. Our ward held an emergency preparedness fair and invited the public to the event. After the fair, our family decided to personally deliver the information to nonmember friends in the area who didn’t attend. We collected extra pamphlets and handouts at the fair, added a few tips on food preservation from www.providentliving.org, and slipped everything into individual folders.

They were easy to deliver. We explained that we had just attended an emergency preparedness fair and had some helpful information to share. Usually a good discussion followed and our neighbors were touched that we cared enough to include them.

Family Proclamation Scrapbook

Ann Kerr, California, USA

While attending general conference, my husband and I went through a visitors center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. One of the exhibits in particular caught my eye. There on the wall was The Family: A Proclamation to the World, illustrated with a few pictures.

Being a photo-taking mother of four and grandmother of 14, I thought to myself, “I have enough pictures to illustrate every line in the proclamation.” When I returned home, I shared the idea with one of my daughters. From our vast supply of photos, we selected enough to make 31 digital scrapbook pages. The first page showed pictures of our family and the First Presidency. We illustrated the first sentence of the proclamation that says, in part, “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We found an online company that printed and bound our pages in 12-by-12-inch books. We ordered multiple copies to give as Christmas gifts.

We look at and share our albums with others. Even friends of other faiths have wanted to make similar albums.

We know it is important for those with traditional family values to see themselves as part of this inspired proclamation.

Our Weekly Planning Meeting

Brad Peterson, Utah, USA

My wife and I have found it helpful to have a weekly planning meeting each Sunday night after the children have gone to bed. We begin with a prayer to invite the Spirit to guide us in our planning. Then we express appreciation for the positive things we’ve noticed about each other during the past week. With our meeting off to a good start, we review or update the family schedule for that week and month. We note any areas of concern the family might have and consider possible solutions. When we consult together and feel the Spirit with us, good ideas and solutions to our challenges occur more readily.

Family Home Evening Helps

Evening of Family History

Evelyn Repman, Utah, USA

We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of our Family History Evening. Every third Sunday, our family gathers to play with a purpose.

We try to include everyone as we learn about our ancestors or record personal history for our posterity. We offer rewards to the children if they write in their journals. Sometimes we venture out to the family history library, or we work online. We share research successes as well as stories about our ancestors. We have created family history organizers for everyone’s accumulated information.

But we don’t just gather information; we teach it. We share lessons, show pictures or heirlooms, and invite the children to reenact stories of our ancestors. Over the years, we’ve created family history games and puzzles, celebrated special occasions of long ago, and helped with school projects pertaining to our family tree. Those who can, attend the temple, keeping us focused on the purpose of our time together.

We enjoy socializing with one another, and sometimes we don’t make much progress in an evening. And even after 10 years, we still consider ourselves to be family history novices. But we have a lot of fun together and are building commitment to this sacred work.

Left: illustration by Joe Flores; right: illustration by Beth Whittaker