Discuss some modern equivalents of each of these (forgiveness; family, ward members, and the bishop; bullies at school; understanding the scriptures; and so on.)
Kneel together and see if you can give a thoughtful, meaningful prayer for all that you identified.
Discussion: Why are our prayers more meaningful when we are more specific in our expressions? What else can you do to make your family and personal prayers more thoughtful?
Friend March 2020 “Come Follow Me for Little Ones” Read Enos 1:4–5 together and help your little ones say, “I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.” You could use five fingers to review the parts of prayer: 1) start with “Dear Heavenly Father,” 2) thank Him for blessings, 3) tell Him about your day, 4) ask Him for what you and others need, 5) end “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Or create actions for the rhyme, “I close my eyes. I bow my head. I listen while a prayer is said.”
Collaborative Art Museum Give everyone a paper and pencil. Assign each person to draw only one of the following: Tree and fruit (1 Nephi 8:10–12) River (1 Nephi 8:13–14) Iron rod (1 Nephi 8:19) Strait and narrow path (1 Nephi 8:20) Great and spacious building (1 Nephi 8:26–28) Pass the papers to the left. Add people to the drawing. Pass again. Add captions or word balloons. Pass again. Color with crayons or markers. Discussion: What do the various parts of the vision represent? (see 1 Nephi 11:21–23; 12:16; 15:23–24; John 14:6; 1 Nephi 11:36). What do we need to do to reach the tree and find joy?
Friend January 2020 “Come, Follow Me for Little Ones” Read 1 Nephi 8:30 together and help your little ones say, “I will hold on to the word of God.” Ask your children to hold on to a broomstick or rope to represent the iron rod as you lead them around a room. End your walk at a picture of Jesus or something else to represent God’s love. You could even have some fruit as a snack!
Friend January 2020 “My Family Night Fun” Blindfold Path: In the vision of the tree of life, people had to walk along the path and hold to the iron rod to get to the tree. The iron rod represents the word of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). Get a long string and a blindfold. Blindfold one person and spin them around. Have them try to walk in a straight line across the room. Was it hard? Now have two people hold the string. After you spin the blindfolded person, have them hold onto the string as they walk across the room. How did it help them? How can the scriptures help us? Sing “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, 109)
John 3:16 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In Lehi’s vision, we are invited to partake of the love of God, symbolized by the tree and its fruit, and receive the blessings of the Savior’s love and atoning sacrifice.
Share the Fruit
Friend January 2020 “My Family Night Fun” Pass the Apple: Sing “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook, 34–35) In the vision of the tree of life, the fruit on the tree represents the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:21–22). The fruit was so delicious that Lehi wanted to share it with everyone. Get a piece of paper for each person and an apple or other round fruit. Roll each paper lengthwise into a cone and tape it in place. Now sit in a circle. Put the apple in one cone and pass it from cone to cone around the circle. What’s something good you can share with others?
Activity & Game Ideas
Tree of Life AR is an augmented reality experience for mobile devices created by the church.
Friend September 1989 “Lehi’s Vision” Match the things that Lehi saw in his vision with what they stand for.
Friend January 2019 “Book of Mormon Puzzler: Funstuff” Find the blocks of Book of Mormon symbols that match the numbered blocks below. Write the letters in the numbered spaces to find the name of the vision Nephi and Lehi saw.
These activity pages could be used for sacrament meeting quiet books or for sabbath day activity books
Ensign January 2020 “Family Study Fun” Nephi desired to know the meaning of his father’s vision and was shown many wonderful things. Write the scrambled words and scriptures on cards. Read the scriptures to unscramble the words and find out some of the things Nephi was shown.
Nephi saw that Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to earth because He loves us
Friend January 2020 “Come, Follow Me for Little Ones” Read 1 Nephi 11:24 together and help your little ones say, “Jesus came to earth because He loves me.” Help your little one flip through copies of the Friendand draw a heart next to each picture of Jesus. This would be a great time to share your feelings about the Savior.
The Book of Mormon restores precious truths and is another witness that the things in the Bible did happen..
Draw a picture on the board, and invite the children to change or remove parts of the picture to make it look different. Help them understand that, like this picture, some things in the Bible were changed and taken out over time. Read parts of 1 Nephi 13:40 that teach how the Book of Mormon (which Nephi calls “these last records”) helps us understand the “plain and precious things” that were lost from the Bible.
Hide around the room pictures representing gospel truths that are clarified in the Book of Mormon, such as baptism, the sacrament, and resurrection. Invite the children to find these pictures. Explain that the Book of Mormon brought back gospel truths that had been lost. Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020
Why is it helpful to have more than one witness? Draw a dot on the board, label it Bible, and invite each child to draw a different straight line passing through the dot to illustrate that teachings in the Bible can be interpreted many ways when the Bible stands alone. Erase the lines, and draw a second dot labeled Book of Mormon. Invite a child to draw a straight line that passes through both dots to show that there is only one way to interpret the gospel when the Bible and Book of Mormon are used together.
Friend March 2018 “Food and Fun: Wisdom Rocks” Put a wise thought or scripture on a rock to inspire you.
Sermon on the Mount
Light to the World
Friend March 2018 “Funstuff” Read the scriptures and have the children use the tangram pieces to make the item that isn’t hid under a bushel.
Friend March 2018
Salt of the Earth
How can our knowledge of gospel truths help “preserve” the lives of others? We preserve their spiritual lives so they do not suffer from spiritual death. What are some ways we can offer “healing” to nonmembers? In what ways is the gospel an “essential nutrient” in our lives? If we are to be like the savior we need to be the salt of the earth. that it preserves food, that it can be used as a medicine, and that it is an essential nutrient.)
Come Follow Me
Ensign July 2019 “Family Study Fun” Activities and discussion ideas for each week of July’s Come Follow Me. (See link for more discussion information)
Still, Small Voice Obstacle Course: Scatter pillows, couch cushions, and other soft objects throughout the room. Assign someone in the family to be the “person in need” at the end of the obstacle course.Place a blindfold on a member of the family and assign someone else to whisper directions into the person’s ear to guide them safely through the course to the person in need.
Apostle Social Media Scroll: On your smartphone or computer, go to the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the current Apostles and General Auxiliary leaders.Scroll through their posts and read about some of their recent experiences visiting members of the Church throughout the world. Discussion: What Christlike attributes do you see in the individual Apostles and other Church leaders? Why would the Lord value these attributes in choosing His servants? Which of these attributes would you like to develop?
Mighty Mini Movie Party: After a vision and a series of other events, Peter came to realize that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), meaning God doesn’t prohibit anyone from participating in His gospel. Now, sit back, pop some popcorn, and see how this is happening throughout the world today. With the family, go online to the “Pioneers in Every Land” section of history.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Explore the site and watch some of the many video shorts featuring Church members in Ghana, Brazil, South Africa, Holland, and elsewhere.
Decoding Your Divine DNA: In Athens, Paul taught people who believed that gods were powers or forces, not living, personable beings. Help your family recognize that we are literally the “offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). Pass out paper to each family member and instruct them to list on the paper the traits they’ve inherited from their parents, such as physical traits or personality traits. Discuss how these traits help you and your family members know who their parents are. Next, have each family member list traits they inherited from Heavenly Father. Refer to patriarchal blessings if appropriate. Discuss how knowing that we have inherited these traits can strengthen our testimony that we are children of God.
Ensign August 2019 “Family Study Fun” (The green pictured items) Activities and discussion ideas for each week of August’s Come Follow Me. (See link for more discussion information)
Masterpiece Testimony Theater Paul bore bold testimony, even in the face of danger. Create an everyday scenario for each family member to role-play bearing testimony. Emphasize that testimonies in conversation need not end in “amen” or include every element of a typical testimony. (Example: A coworker asks why we don’t drink alcohol.) Act out each scenario, being as sincere and authentic as possible.Discussion: What was easy and difficult about the role-play? What motivated Paul to bear such powerful testimony? How can we build our courage to testify?
Friend August 2019 “Family Night Fun” Make a path with string. Put things along the path that help show or grow faith. Ask how each object helps grow or show faith in Jesus Christ as the family walks the path. Also can do the coloring page “A New Path.”
Grace Carry All of us fall “short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But with Jesus Christ we can be saved. Designate the sofa as “the celestial kingdom.”Have everyone stand, face the sofa, a take three giant steps backward. Have them take one small step toward the sofa (their efforts), with the sofa still out of reach. Have the strongest person (acting as the Savior would) carry each person to the sofa.
Pillar Tower of Doom Life’s obstacles can fill us with hopelessness and impede us from feeling God’s love. Christ can help. Create a tall tower of pillows and sofa cushions (life’s challenges). Sit someone behind the tower and turn off the lights. Shine a flashlight beam (God’s love) at the person behind the tower, with the pillows blocking the light. Invite someone (acting as Christ would) to knock down the pillows to let God’s love shine through. Discussion: Share a time when life was hard, you felt discouraged, and then God’s love reached you when you turned to Him in prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
Friend September 2019 “Paul’s Letters” The Apostle Paul helped lead the Church after Jesus returned to heaven. Back then, there were no telephones or internet. So Paul wrote letters to members of the Church.
Human Knot (best with four-plus people) Paul tells the Saints that there should be “no divisions among” them and that they should be “perfectly joined together” in mind and judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10). Stand everyone in a circle. Have everyone reach out their right hand and take someone else’s (not next to them). Do the same with the left hand, taking a different person’s hand. Work together to untangle the knot without letting go of any hands. End up in a circle again. Discussion: What can we do as a family to be more “joined together”? How can we work together to remove divisions?
Sacrament Hymn Sing-Along Paul taught how Christ introduced the sacrament to His Apostles and instructed them, “This do in remembrance of me.” Ask each family member to identify a favorite sacrament hymn and explain why it’s a favorite. Sing one or more of the hymns chosen. Watch the “The Last Supper” from the Bible videos series or “The Sacrament” from the children’s Bible videos series (both at ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Discussion: How do the sacrament hymns prepare us to partake of the bread and water? What can we do during the sacrament to help each other focus on the Savior?
Ensign September 2019 “Family Study Fun” Activities and discussion ideas for each week of September’s Come Follow Me. (See link for more discussion information)
Post-Resurrection Family Reunion: Paul corrected some of the Corinthians who believed that there would be “no resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:12) by teaching them that “in Christ shall all be made alive” (verse 22). Show pictures of your family’s ancestors. Explain what you know of their lives, accomplishments, and personalities. If possible, show other pictures or art from the time period to illustrate daily life. Imagine meeting your ancestors as resurrected beings. What questions would you ask? What stories would you want them to tell?
Nature Charades: Paul taught the Corinthians that through the Savior’s Atonement, we can each become a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). On strips of paper, write examples of things in nature that go through a transformation (caterpillar to butterfly, egg to bird, seed to flower, tadpole to frog, and so on). Fold each paper and place it in a container. Take turns pulling out a strip of paper and silently acting out the example while everyone else guesses what the transformation is.What must we do to become new creatures in Christ?
Ensign September 2019 “Becoming a New Creature in Christ” Story about a rancher who saved a young, scruffy horse from the slaughterhouse and gave it to his daughter, who was not impressed. With love and good food, the horse regained its health and ended up winning a race at the fair against thoroughbreds.
Muscleman Challenge: Challenges and personal weaknesses can weigh us down. With the Savior’s grace, however, we can find strength. Gather some heavy objects (personal challenges). Give each family member one or more heavy objects to carry. Make these “challenges” even more challenging by completing tasks while holding them (for example, making a sandwich, folding clothes, dancing). Try the same activity again, but this time ask someone to help you with the heavy objects. Discussion: What was difficult about carrying the objects alone? How does Christ lighten our burden?
Nations Blessing Bonanza: Paul taught that all those who have come unto Christ through the gospel covenant become “the children of Abraham” and that “in [Abraham] shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:7–8). Flip back to the Cape Verde article at the beginning of this issue to see an example of how one nation of the earth is being blessed. Review the various statistics about Church growth. Discussion: What blessings have come to the people of Cape Verde? What blessings have come to our family as “the children of Abraham”? What must we do to receive all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant?
Ensign September 2019 You might introduce Galatians 4 by discussing the differences between a king’s servants and his children. What opportunities or potential does a king’s child have that a servant does not? Think about this as you read together verses 1–7. What do these verses teach about our relationship with Heavenly Father?
Ensign September 2019 add some fun to your discussion of Galatians 5:22–23, your family could label different fruits with words Paul used to describe the “fruit of the Spirit.” Then each family member could select one, define it, and talk about someone who exemplifies that fruit. This could lead to a discussion about ways your family could invite the Spirit into your home and cultivate this fruit. After the discussion, you could enjoy a fruit salad together.
Friend September 2019 “Family Night Fun” Activity: How many different kinds of fruit can your family name? The Apostle Paul taught the people of Galatia was about the “fruit of the Spirit.”
United We Stand Pair up two people of relatively equal size. Have them sit on the floor back to back, arms linked. Have them stand up by pushing off each other. Repeat, but this time have only one person push.
Discussion: Why is having two people work together easier? Read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (see Ensign,May 2017, 145). What roles do fathers and mothers have? How do they work together?
Frowny Face Challenge Have someone put on a frowny face. Have each family member try, without touching the person, to turn that frown into a smile. (Extra points for getting a laugh.) Everybody has bad days, but when we follow Paul’s counsel and “rejoice in the Lord alway[s]” (Philippians 4:4), we think of Christ and allow His grace to keep us as happy, optimistic, and positive as possible.
Second Coming Surprise Jesus Christ will come again “as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), meaning unexpectedly and at an unknown time. Are we preparing each day for that event? On small, individual slips of paper, have family members write down what they did yesterday (soccer practice, school, and so on). Put the slips into a hat (or bag). Parents secretly add another slip that reads: “Second Coming.”Take turns drawing an activity from the hat and reading it aloud. When someone draws “Second Coming,” the game’s over. Discussion: Which of the activities drawn from the hat helped prepare our family for Christ’s return? What should we add to our daily routines to prepare us more?
Scripture Treasure Hunt Paul taught that scriptures bless us with wisdom, doctrine, correction, instruction, and faith. On separate pieces of paper, write “wisdom (Acts 18:28)”; “doctrine (Titus 1:9)”; “correction (Matthew 4:3–10)”; “instruction (Acts 17:2–3)”; and “faith (Romans 10:17).” Send everyone out of the room. Hide the five papers in the following locations: table, window, door, pillow, book. Invite everyone back. Have them read these scriptures to identify the keyword clue to find each hidden paper. (John 18:16=door; Mark 4:38=pillow; Revelation 22:7=book; Acts 20:9=window; Luke 22:21=table.) Read aloud the scripture on each found paper and discuss how it’s an example of that blessing. Discussion: What can we do to improve our personal and family scripture study?
1 Timothy 2:9–10
Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families While aspects of Paul’s counsel for women to dress modestly do not apply to our time, we can all learn from his counsel to “adorn [ourselves] … with good works.” Your family might enjoy putting together a fashion show, with family members dressing up in clothing or jewelry labeled with different kinds of good works. What are some good works your family could do this week?
Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families Can you think of an object lesson to help your family understand what it means to keep a firm hold on the gospel truths “which we have heard”? You might illustrate this with an object that is hard to hold onto. How are our efforts to maintain our testimony like catching and holding this object? How can we make sure “the things which we have heard” do not “slip” away from us? (Hebrews 2 verse 1).
December 2–8 (1 John 4:7)
Pass-Along Love Cards The Apostle John says, “Let us love one another: for love is of God” (1 John 4:7).Have the family sit in a circle. Give everyone an index card with their name at the top. Have everyone pass their card to the left. Instruct family members to silently read the name and write on the card how that person shows love in the family. Keep passing the cards to the left until everyone has written on each card. Read the cards aloud. Discussion: How do you feel inside when you show love to others? How do acts of love strengthen our family?
December 9–15 (Revelation 1–22)
Symbol Sketch-and-Guess To better understand the book of Revelation, we must first understand the symbols. Write one word per slip of paper: Lamb, candlestick, stars, dragon, bride, sword. Pass out the papers and take turns drawing the object while the family guesses what it is. When the family guesses correctly, read aloud the scriptures to learn the symbol’s meaning.
Lamb = Christ (Revelation 5:6; 7:13–14)
Candlestick = branch of Christ’s Church (Revelation 1:12, 20)