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Music can help make the hardest of times easier. Tonight’s FHE lesson merely needs paper, pencils, and hymnals. Yet the results can last longer far than tonight’s artwork. Time for some FHE Fun!
Opening Prayer. By invitation.
Time to Celebrate. What happy moments did your loved ones have this past week? You might take one or two minutes at the beginning of each FHE to celebrate successes. This way your children will notice they do have strength sufficient to face challenges and to serve others.
Emergency Prep Minute. Just a little bit of weekly preparation can empower your children as they mature. What emergency tip could you share or work on with your family this week?
Favorite Scripture Time. When kids and adults share favorite verses or scripture stories, they help each other find joy in scripture reading. You could include a few moments at the beginning of each FHE to share any new “favorite” scriptures found the previous week. This brief devotional also helps bring the Spirit and helps settle the children for the lesson.
Activity. We offer a suggested FHE activity, but do feel free to choose what you feel is most suited to your family’s needs this week. And if you have young children, feel free to adapt. Enjoy this weekly time with your loved ones!
- Piece of paper and a pen or pencil for each person
- Hymnals (or access to online hymns)
Before beginning the game, you may want to read the following quote from the LDS.org website under the topic of “Music“:
“Those who have listened to music understand well the impact it can have on the mind and spirit. Positive, uplifting music can bring feelings of happiness and peace. The hymns of the Church are a key part of worship and invite the Spirit of the Lord. They can be especially helpful in controlling one’s thoughts. In contrast, unwholesome, negative music can encourage inappropriate thoughts and behavior.”
Ask family members to share songs that for them are connected to favorite family vacations. Why do they think it might be that songs can link themselves so tightly to feelings?
Read the following quote from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet:
“Music is an important and powerful part of life. It can be an influence for good that helps you draw closer to Heavenly Father. However, it can also be used for wicked purposes. Unworthy music may seem harmless, but it can have evil effects on your mind and spirit.
”Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices.”
Explain that tonight’s game is Musical Pictionary*. Invite each person to draw on his or her sheet of paper an illustration of their favorite hymn or Primary song…but without using any words. Once everyone is finished, hold up one picture at a time, letting the family guess the song. Once the correct hymn has been named, open to the hymnal or children’s songbook (the LDS hymns and Children’s Songbook can be found here) and allow the artist to select one verse for the family to sing. Invite the family to look for the message of that particular verse and then illustrate it once the family finishes singing each individual hymn.
Once everyone has sung the hymns and shared their illustrations, you may want to read this quote:
“Music can enrich your life. It can edify and inspire you and help you draw closer to Heavenly Father. Music has a profound effect on your mind, spirit, and behavior.”
As you lead the following discussion, you may want to appoint a family scribe to record in a family journal the valuable thoughts shared:
- How is it that simple hymns can lift our spirits?
- How is it that simple hymns can move us to righteousness?
- How is it that memorizing a hymn could help us during a time of depression or even temptation?
- What is one way that our family could use hymns in additional ways?
Sister Rosemary M. Wixom shares the following, “President Thomas S. Monson said: ‘Music can help you draw closer to your Heavenly Father. It can be used to educate, edify, inspire, and unite. However, music can, by its tempo, beat, intensity, and lyrics, dull your spiritual sensitivity. You cannot afford to fill your minds with unworthy music.’ And it may not matter if you listen carefully to the words or not; words that are put to music are often easily learned and easily remembered. No wonder we are cautioned to ‘choose carefully the music [we] listen to.'”
What is a goal your family would like to set this week to explore using these profound principles of strength and peace that come from utilizing songs of worship and truth?
Closing Prayer. By invitation.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A family’s finest hour is when it stands united. As parents, it is imperative we gently offer a steady beacon of love and guidance, so that our children will want to be part of that unified family unit. When we build upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, as parents seeking to obey His commandments with exactness and integrity, He will aid us in building an eternal family.
In fact, one of the family’s finest hours each week could very well be during Family Home Evening. Put all those “finest hours” together and you have created a powerful family — one that lasts unitedly throughout the eternities!
*A variation of “Hymnal Artists” found in The LDS Game Book, by Alma Heaton.
C.S. Bezas obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in training programs and human resource development. She earned her Master’s in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership with a focus on using transformative learning in dealing with life’s challenges. She is the author of Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers and the creator of soothing-music found at CSBezasMusic.com. She and her husband have four children.