Family Faith

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Family Faith

When missionaries arrived in William Jarvis’s town in Lancashire, England, some men tried to prevent the missionaries from preaching. But they continued anyway, and William and his wife, Jane, joined the Church.

William’s family left England to travel to America in 1859. After 13 weeks in a sailing vessel and after many train rides, they joined other immigrants in the George Rowley handcart company. William pulled a handcart more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km).

Jane became sick and died. The company needed desperately to find food, so William stayed behind to bury his wife. Two Swedish converts stayed to help.

As the men started out again, they saw some Indians riding toward them. William was worried. Imagine his relief when the Indians were friendly. They laughed about the carts that the men were harnessed to. The Indians then harnessed themselves to the handcarts and pulled the carts until they caught up with the company! William’s grandson later wrote, “Surely never was a small kindly deed more appreciated.” (See Jeston Jarvis, A Short Sketch of the Life of William Jarvis.)

In July we celebrate the coming of the pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. The pioneers showed great faith. William Jarvis had faith. He was an example to his family. You have examples of faith in your family, and you can be an example of faith. As your family follows Jesus Christ in faith, you will be blessed.


Remove page 14, and cut out the leaves. Cut out the tree, and mount it on heavier paper. Write the name of a relative on each leaf. (You may need to trace and cut out more leaves.) Glue the leaves to your family tree. You might want to put relatives on your father’s side of the family on one part of the tree and relatives on your mother’s side on the other part. You will want your own leaf on the trunk because you belong to both sides of the family!

Family tree(click to view larger)

Illustration by Brad Teare

Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied or printed from Click on Gospel Library.

Sharing Time Ideas

(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)

1. Play a game of “Who Are We?” Show children the name of a family from the scriptures such as the family of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Lehi and Sariah, or Joseph and Mary. Help them answer yes-or-no questions about the family they belong to. Have the other Primary children ask questions to find out about the family. A child might ask, “Do we learn about your family from the Book of Mormon?” Be prepared with some hints and picture clues. When each family is identified, tell about the family, and show where this family is found in the scriptures. Ask the children to think of one good quality of the family that they would like to have in their own family. For example, “I would like my family to be patient like Abraham and Sarah’s family.”

Show the children a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” From paragraph 7 read, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Bear your testimony about the truth of this statement and about the importance of righteous families. Sing “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188).

2. Several weeks beforehand, ask older children to prepare to tell about the first member of their family to join the Church. If possible, select children whose families have been members for several generations and also children whose families are recent converts. Allow time for each child to tell about his or her ancestor or family member. (Alternatively, present stories of Church leaders such as Brigham Young and Parley P. Pratt from the Primary 5 manual [pp. 65–66].) Make a list of qualities that people needed in order to join the Church 150 years ago. Make another list of qualities that people need today to join the Church. Point out the similarities. Sing “To Be a Pioneer” (pp. 218–19). Testify of the blessings that come to a family through the gospel.

3. Divide the Primary into two groups. Have one group look up Exodus 20:12 and the other look up Mosiah 13:20. Invite them to read their verses at the same time. Explain that the scripture in Exodus is part of the Ten Commandments, which Moses received on Mount Sinai. In Mosiah, Abinadi is quoting Moses. That is why the scriptures are the same. Help the children memorize this scripture by going down the rows and having each child say one word. Repeat several times.

For younger children: Show picture 6-24 from the Primary 6 picture packet (Moses carrying the Ten Commandments). Help the children memorize “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Discuss the meaning of the word honor.

Conduct a panel discussion (see “Panel Discussions,” TNGC, 175–76). Invite three to five members of the ward or branch of varying ages, including children, to come to Primary to answer questions about honoring parents. Prepare questions in advance, and let your panel members know what questions you will be asking. For example, you might ask, “What is one thing that your child has done to honor you?” or, “How old do you need to be before you can stop listening to your parents?” Stress the importance of always honoring your parents—both your earthly parents and your heavenly parents.

Create a medley of songs about the family: “Grandmother” (p. 200), “When Grandpa Comes” (p. 201), “Mother Dear” (p. 206), and “Fathers” (p. 209). Move from one song to the next.

Show a picture of your own parents, and share a personal story about how honoring and obeying your parents has blessed you. Bear testimony of Heavenly Father’s love for all of His children.

4. Help the children prepare a family home evening for their families (with their parents’ permission). Set up three stations (see “Stations,” TNGC, 179). Divide the children into three groups, and have them rotate through the stations. At station 1 make a sign to be posted in their homes that reads, “Love Is Spoken Here.” Review the song presentation (see idea 5) so the children will be able to teach their families the truths in the song. At station 2 tell a story of the first person in a family to join the Church. Challenge the children to find their own stories of an ancestor or family member to share in family home evening. At station 3 teach the children to prepare a simple treat. Using the Kitchen Krafts page from an issue of the Friend, select a treat that would be simple and inexpensive for a child to make.

Sing “The Family” (p. 194), and let the children softly clap the long-short rhythm. Explain that there is a fermata—a musical pause—in the song, and ask the children to listen for it. The clapping should stop during the fermata.

Bear testimony of how family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening bring families together.

5. Song presentation: “Love Is Spoken Here” (pp. 190–91). Display signs such as “English Is Spoken Here,” “Russian Is Spoken Here,” “French Is Spoken Here” around the room. Ask the children to describe an area where that language is spoken. Display another sign that reads, “Love Is Spoken Here.” Ask them what kind of place this would be. Tell them it is important to speak loving words at home, no matter what language they are spoken in.

Ask the children to help you create a picture of a place where love is spoken. Ask them to listen as you begin the picture. Sing, “I see my mother kneeling.” Invite a girl to represent a mother. The child representing the mother can reinforce the words by using gestures. For example, the child can bend her knees when the song says, “kneeling”; the child can point to her mouth when the song says, “whispers”; the child can put her finger over her mouth when the song says, “quiets.” At the end of the verse, have the child point to the sign “Love Is Spoken Here.”

Invite a boy to represent a father in the second part of the song. Use similar gestures to reinforce the words of the song. Be sure to sing the lines several times so that the children can hear the melody and rhythm. Again point to the sign at the end. Teach the final line of the song by displaying a picture of the Savior such as GAK 240 (Jesus the Christ) next to the “Love Is Spoken Here” sign.

Explain to the children that the picture you have created might not be the picture they see in their homes right now. It is not the picture that Sister Vicki F. Matsumori, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, saw when she was growing up. But this is her favorite song. She says: “Because I grew up in a nonmember home, I did not see my mother kneel in prayer or experience my father exercising the priesthood. The song represents the example I hoped my own children would have in our home and the standard I hope will continue through the generations of our family.” Bear testimony of the blessings of living the gospel in the home, and challenge the children to prepare to have eternal families of their own.

6. Friend references: “May Li’s Family Prayer,” Sept. 1998, 2–4; “Family History ABCs,” Feb. 2002, 24–25; “Family Home Evening,” Feb. 2003, 27; “Family Home Evening Ideas,” Jan. 1998, 3; “Grandpa Goodhue’s Hand-Me-Down Smile,” Jan. 1987, 2–5; “Listen to Learn,” July 1992, inside front cover; “Honor Your Father and Mother,” Oct. 2005, 34–36.

[illustration] Illustration by Brad Teare