“Home Evening in Lehi’s Tent (Almost)” Ensign, July 1989, 66–67
As I cleaned up the lunch dishes, I wondered what we could do for home evening. It would have to be simple: three-year-old Julie had the lesson, and five-year-old Nathan had the treat. The day was hot, and as I looked out the window, my eyes fell on the tent. It had been up in the same spot for two and a half days now, and I thought to myself for the tenth time that day, “That thing has to come down. The grass underneath must be half baked!”
Then I remembered when my husband, Steven, and I had taught the nursery in our married student ward. One Sunday, we had hauled our two wooden clothes racks and a blanket to the nursery and had set them up as a “tent” for a lesson on Lehi. The children had loved the lesson, and they asked for weeks afterward if we had brought the tent.
I knew immediately what we could do for family home evening that night, baked grass or not.
Nathan and I scrounged in the storage room for treats, and we came up with raisins, nuts, dried plums, and dried apples. Nathan was not impressed with this assortment of “desert” treats, but a quick trip to the store for a package of chocolate-covered raisins brightened his outlook. We placed the treats in containers and put them in a small cloth bag. Julie and I dug through the file cabinet for the picture of Lehi finding the Liahona in the wilderness, and we practiced the story and the names all day. I asked our oldest child, Suzanne, to pile up the sleeping bags in the tent to make a couch, and cautioned her not to tell our home evening secret to the other family members.
Just before home evening was to begin, I called each child into my bedroom individually, safety-pinned a clean diaper on his or her head to make a desert headdress, and sent each one out to the tent.
That night as Julie and I gave the lesson, we talked about Lehi and how hard it would have been to leave home and live in a tent. We talked about the heat, and how easy it would have been to complain, and that some of Lehi’s family did. The discussion went longer and longer, and still the Spirit remained, so we blessed the treats and ate them as we talked.
Several months later, in the dead of winter, Nathan asked me, “Mom, can we have family home evening in the tent again this summer?”
“I’m sure we will,” I answered. And by the end of this summer, that tent will also remind us of the tents King Benjamin’s people stayed in when he gave his last great discourse.—Marivene Zohner, Idaho Falls, Idaho