Creating a Personal History
Douglas Andrew, Utah, USA
Our ward holds a monthly empty-nesters’ family home evening for elderly couples, widows, and widowers in the ward. Every other month, we ask someone from the group to talk about their life for 45 minutes. We give them a list of questions beforehand to help them prepare. Here are some examples of questions we ask:
Was there anything unusual about the time, place, or conditions in which you grew up?
What are fond memories you have of your childhood?
What did you study for professional training and employment?
What are your favorite hobbies and pastimes?
What are some fond memories of your courtship, marriage, and child-rearing years?
Share your feelings about your Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and the gospel.
On the day of the family home evening, we bring a recording device to preserve the presenter’s life sketch. Then we make copies of the recording for his or her family and for the ward. This practice has become a wonderful family home evening activity and has helped those who attend feel more a part of the ward.
“Follow the Prophet,” on page 18: Summarize the article for your family. You may want to read the last section of the article, “Learning to Listen to the Prophetic Word.” Review the phrases that Elder Bennett says can help us discern the direction prophets give us. Invite family members to be attentive to the prophets’ counsel in general conference next month and to listen for these phrases. Consider closing with your testimony of the blessings we receive by following the prophet.
“Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?” on page 34: Consider opening with the song “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19). Read the article as a family or select your favorite sections beforehand to read. Ask family members what they learned about President Thomas S. Monson that they didn’t know before. Hand out sheets of paper and ask everyone to write down how they know that President Monson is the living prophet today. Invite family members who haven’t gained this testimony to seek after it through sincere prayer. Close by singing “Have I Done Any Good?” (Hymns, no. 223).