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The Fourth of July is a great time to honor our country and thank Heavenly Father for the freedoms we enjoy. Enjoy this family home evening lesson on Independence Day! Scripture: Alma 46:12-14 Hymn: My Flag, My Flag or My Country, ‘Tis of Thee Lesson: Blessings of our Freedom or "The Divinely Inspired Constitution" Treat: 4th of July Fruit Trifle and Red White and Blue Chocolate Cake Activity: Dessert and Fireworks or Fourth of July Crafts •View entire lesson...

Independence Day

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Alma 46:12-14

12 –  And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

13 – And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—

14 – For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

My Flag, My Flag – Primary Songbook #225 or My Country, ‘Tis of Thee- Hymn #339

My Flag, My Flag

My flag, my flag, my country’s flag,
I love to see you wave;
My flag, my flag, my country’s flag,
The banner of the brave.
Wave on, wave on forever,
The banner of the free;
Wave on, wave on forever,
The flag of liberty.

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee

1. My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

2. My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

3. Let music swell the breeze
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

4. Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

FHE Lesson

 

Lesson

*For Younger Children* Introduce the special holiday we celebrate, Independence Day. Make a list of things we are blessed with because we live in this free Country. Watch/Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing The Star Spangled Banner. Testify of the blessings of Freedom and the importance of celebrating Independence Day!

Introduce the special holiday we celebrate on July 4th – Independence Day.

You may consider introducing the holiday by telling your children of special traditions your own families had on The Fourth of July when you were growing up. Reminisce about fun traditions your family celebrates now. Then explain, and make sure your children understand why we celebrate Independence Day in the United States.

Make a list of things we are blessed with because we live in this free Country

Watch/Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing The Star Spangled Banner. **Feel free to sing along with them and encourage your children to do so also!**

Testify of the blessings of Freedom and the importance of celebrating Independence Day!

*For Teenagers or Adults* Introduce the special holiday, Independence Day. Read the excerpt from Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ address “The Divinely Inspired Constitution.” Watch the Mormon Messages video “The Freedom To…”. Testify of the blessings of Freedom and the importance of celebrating Independence Day!

Introduce the special holiday we celebrate on July 4th – Independence Day.

You may consider introducing the holiday by telling your children of special traditions your own families had on The Fourth of July when you were growing up. Reminisce about fun traditions your family celebrates now. Then explain, and make sure your children understand why we celebrate Independence Day in the United States.

Read the following excerpt from Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ address “The Divinely Inspired Constitution.” You can find the entire address here.

U.S. citizens have an inspired Constitution, and therefore, what? Does the belief that the U.S. Constitution is divinely inspired affect citizens’ behavior toward law and government? It should and it does.

U.S. citizens should follow the First Presidency’s counsel to study the Constitution. 17 They should be familiar with its great fundamentals: the separation of powers, the individual guarantees in the Bill of Rights, the structure of federalism, the sovereignty of the people, and the principles of the rule of the law. They should oppose any infringement of these inspired fundamentals.

They should be law-abiding citizens, supportive of national, state, and local governments. The twelfth Article of Faith declares:

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

The Church’s official declaration of belief states:

“We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them. …

“We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside.” (D&C 134:1, 5.)

Those who enjoy the blessings of liberty under a divinely inspired constitution should promote morality, and they should practice what the Founding Fathers called “civic virtue.” In his address on the U.S. Constitution, President Ezra Taft Benson quoted this important observation by John Adams, the second president of the United States:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 18

Similarly, James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution,” stated his assumption that there had to be “sufficient virtue among men for self-government.” He argued in the Federalist Papers that “republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.” 19

It is part of our civic duty to be moral in our conduct toward all people. There is no place in responsible citizenship for dishonesty or deceit or for willful law breaking of any kind. We believe with the author of Proverbs that “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34.) The personal righteousness of citizens will strengthen a nation more than the force of its arms.

Citizens should also be practitioners of civic virtue in their conduct toward government. They should be ever willing to fulfill the duties of citizenship. This includes compulsory duties like military service and the numerous voluntary actions they must take if they are to preserve the principle of limited government through citizen self-reliance. For example, since U.S. citizens value the right of trial by jury, they must be willing to serve on juries, even those involving unsavory subject matter. Citizens who favor morality cannot leave the enforcement of moral laws to jurors who oppose them.

The single word that best describes a fulfillment of the duties of civic virtue is patriotism. Citizens should be patriotic. My favorite prescription for patriotism is that of Adlai Stevenson:

“What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? … A patriotism that puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” 20

I close with a poetic prayer. It is familiar to everyone in the United States, because U.S. citizens sing it in one of their loveliest hymns. It expresses gratitude to God for liberty, and it voices a prayer that he will continue to bless them with the holy light of freedom:

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

Watch the following Mormon Messages Video “The Freedom To…”

Testify of the blessings of Freedom and the importance of celebrating Independence Day!

FHE Treat

Treat

4th of July Fruit Trifle and Red White and Blue Chocolate Cake

4th of July Fruit Trifle

Ingredients:

6 ounces, weight (large Box) Instant Vanilla Pudding
14 ounces, fluid Sweetened Condensed Milk (plus some Regular Milk, as required by your pudding mix)
12 ounces, weight Cool Whip, Thawed, Divided
14 ounces, weight Fresh Strawberries, Cut
12 ounces, weight Fresh Blueberries
1 whole Angel Food Cake Torn Into Pieces (You can just buy one From the bakery at your local grocery store)

Instructions:

Mix vanilla pudding according to box, but use the 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk for part of the milk it calls for. Then, use regular milk for the rest of what the box calls for. Mix according to box, or until rather thick. Then, fold in 8 ounces of thawed Cool Whip (but save the rest for topping).

Rinse the berries, and allow them to dry. Then, cut the strawberries into bite size pieces. (Sometimes I also add fresh peaches, this makes a great addition).

Get out a trifle bowl, or something that looks pretty (you could get away with a 13×9 pan if you had to). Layer everything 3 or so times. I usually start with a layer of angel food cake, and just tear it into pieces right into the bowl. Then, I put about 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top, followed by fruit. Do this a couple more times, and end with the rest of the Cool Whip. Finally, I put some more fruit on top to make it look pretty.

Red White and Blue Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 sticks Softened Butter
1-⅔ cup Granulated Sugar
3 whole Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Buttermilk
1 package Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (3.3 Oz Size)
2 cups Cake Flour
⅔ cups Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
½ cups Cold Water
½ pints Heavy Cream
¼ cups Powdered Sugar, Plus 3 Tablespoons For The Berries
1 cup Blackberries
1 cup Sliced Strawberries
1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Raspberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a mixer cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add buttermilk and pudding mix and beat on low speed until combined. In a separate bowl sift together flour cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture, alternating with the water. Blend until just combined. It is okay if the batter is a little lumpy.

Pour into a greased and floured 9×13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool fully.

In a large cold bowl whip cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together until peaks form. Spread on top of the cake like frosting.

In a bowl combine the berries and remaining 3 tablespoons powdered sugar. Gently toss berries with your hands until the sugar is fully dissolved and the berries are well mixed. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the berries onto the top of the cake. Cut and serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

(Recipes taken from www.TastyKitchen.com )

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Eat your FHE dessert outside while you enjoy an early fireworks show in your front yard!

2- Make your own 4th of July decorations to celebrate this week! You can find the instructions for the following idea here.

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About Aleah Ingram

Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a social media manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is addicted to organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.
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