We are all blessed with families in many different styles & sizes. It is within our families & keeping that commandments that we can gain the greatest happiness. Check out this great family home evening lesson on having or becoming a happy family! Scripture: John 13:34 Hymn: A Happy Family or Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth Lesson: A Happy Family Treat: Banana Bread Bars or Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich Activity: Secret Service, Love Circle or Do You Love Your Neighbor •View entire lesson...

A Happy Family

FHE Scripture

Scripture

John 13:34

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

  A Happy Family – Primary Songbook #198 or Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth– Hymn #298

A Happy Family

1. I love mother*; she loves me.
We love daddy*, yes sirree;
He loves us, and so you see,
We are a happy family.

2. I love sister*; she loves me.
We love brother*, yes sirree;
He loves us, and so you see,
We are a happy family.

Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth

1. Home can be a heav’n on earth
When we are filled with love,
Bringing happiness and joy,
Rich blessings from above—
Warmth and kindness, charity,
Safety and security—
Making home a part of heaven,
Where we want to be.

2. Drawing fam’ly near each week,
We’ll keep love burning bright.
Serving Him with cheerful hearts,
We’ll grow in truth and light.
Parents teach and lead the way,
Children honor and obey,
Reaching for our home in heaven,
Where we want to stay.

3. Praying daily in our home,
We’ll feel His love divine;
Searching scriptures faithfully,
We’ll nourish heart and mind.
Singing hymns of thanks, we’ll say,
“Father, help us find the way
Leading to our home in heaven,
Where we long to stay.”

 

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For All Family Members* Read & discuss the article listed below (taken from the Oct First Presidency Message).  Watch the video belowTestify of the importance loving & forgiving one another so that we can have a happy family.

The great Russian author Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina with these words: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”1 While I do not have Tolstoy’s certainty that happy families are all alike, I have discovered one thing that most have in common: they have a way of forgiving and forgetting the imperfections of others and of looking for the good.

Those in unhappy families, on the other hand, often find fault, hold grudges, and can’t seem to let go of past offenses.

“Yes, but …” begin those who are unhappy. “Yes, but you don’t know how badly she hurt me,” says one. “Yes, but you don’t know how terrible he is,” says another.

Perhaps both are right; perhaps neither.

There are many degrees of offense. There are many degrees of hurt. But what I have noticed is that often we justify our anger and satisfy our consciences by telling ourselves stories about the motives of others that condemn their actions as unforgivable and egoistic while, at the same time, lifting our own motives as pure and innocent.

The Prince’s Dog

There is an old Welsh story from the 13th century about a prince who returned home to find his dog with blood dripping down its face. The man rushed inside and, to his horror, saw that his baby boy was missing and his cradle overturned. In anger the prince pulled out his sword and killed his dog. Shortly thereafter, he heard the cry of his son—the babe was alive! By the infant’s side lay a dead wolf. The dog had, in reality, defended the prince’s baby from a murderous wolf.

Though this story is dramatic, it demonstrates a point. It opens the possibility that the story we tell ourselves about why others behave a certain way does not always agree with the facts—sometimes we don’t even want to know the facts. We would rather feel self-justified in our anger by holding onto our bitterness and resentment. Sometimes these grudges can last months or years. Sometimes they can last a lifetime.

A Family Divided

One father could not forgive his son for departing from the path he had been taught. The boy had friends the father did not approve of, and he did many things contrary to what his father thought he should do. This caused a rift between father and son, and as soon as the boy could, he left home and never returned. They rarely spoke again.

Did the father feel justified? Perhaps.

Did the son feel justified? Perhaps.

All I know is that this family was divided and unhappy because neither father nor son could forgive each other. They could not look past the bitter memories they had about each other. They filled their hearts with anger instead of love and forgiveness. Each robbed himself of the opportunity to influence the other’s life for good. The divide between them appeared so deep and so wide that each became a spiritual prisoner on his own emotional island.

Fortunately, our loving and wise Eternal Father in Heaven has provided the means to overcome this prideful gap. The great and infinite Atonement is the supreme act of forgiveness and reconciliation. Its magnitude is beyond my understanding, but I testify with all my heart and soul of its reality and ultimate power. The Savior offered Himself as ransom for our sins. Through Him we gain forgiveness.

No Family Is Perfect

None of us is without sin. Every one of us makes mistakes, including you and me. We have all been wounded. We all have wounded others.

It is through our Savior’s sacrifice that we can gain exaltation and eternal life. As we accept His ways and overcome our pride by softening our hearts, we can bring reconciliation and forgiveness into our families and our personal lives. God will help us to be more forgiving, to be more willing to walk the second mile, to be first to apologize even if something wasn’t our fault, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. Thanks be to God, who gave His Only Begotten Son, and to the Son, who gave His life for us.

We can feel God’s love for us every day. Shouldn’t we be able to give a little more of ourselves to our fellowmen as taught in the beloved hymn“Because I Have Been Given Much”?2 The Lord has opened the door for us to be forgiven. Wouldn’t it be only right to put aside our own egotism and pride and begin to open that blessed door of forgiveness to those with whom we struggle—especially to all of our own family?

In the end, happiness does not spring from perfection but from applying divine principles, even in small steps. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have declared: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”3

Forgiveness is positioned right in the middle of these simple truths, founded on our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. Because forgiveness connects principles, it connects people. It is a key, it opens locked doors, it is the beginning of an honest path, and it is one of our best hopes for a happy family.

May God help us to be a little more forgiving in our families, more forgiving of each other, and perhaps more forgiving even with ourselves. I pray that we may experience forgiveness as one wonderful way in which most happy families are alike.

Watch the following video:

Testify of the importance loving & forgiving one another so that we can have a happy family.

*For Younger Children* Read & discuss the scenarios listed below (taken from the Oct First Presidency Message suggestions). Watch the video below. Testify of the importance loving one another so that we can have a happy family.

President Uchtdorf teaches that we should forgive our family members. See how Joseph’s and Anna’s choices affect their family.

Joseph and his little sister, Anna, are playing together. Anna snatches Joseph’s toy away from him. What should Joseph do?

Joseph gets angry at Anna. Anna cries. Joseph’s mother disciplines him for fighting with his sister. Joseph is sorry that he made a poor choice.

Joseph forgives Anna and finds another toy to play with. They play together happily. Their mother is glad that Joseph was kind to his sister and kept peace in the family. Joseph feels happy for choosing to forgive.

Later, Joseph and Anna need to help their mother prepare dinner. Joseph doesn’t help. What should Anna do?

Anna complains to her mother. Anna argues about having to do the work alone. At dinner everyone is unhappy because of the arguing.

Anna forgives Joseph and helps with dinner. Their mother is grateful for Anna’s help. The family enjoys being together at dinner. Anna feels good that she chose to forgive.

How do your choices to forgive affect your family’s happiness?

Watch the following video:

We should love one another and spend time with one another.

Testify of the importance loving one another so that we can have a happy family.

*For Teenagers or Adults*  Read & discuss the article listed below (taken from the Oct First Presidency Message). Watch the video below. Testify of the importance loving & forgiving one another so that we can have a happy family.

The great Russian author Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina with these words: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”1 While I do not have Tolstoy’s certainty that happy families are all alike, I have discovered one thing that most have in common: they have a way of forgiving and forgetting the imperfections of others and of looking for the good.

Those in unhappy families, on the other hand, often find fault, hold grudges, and can’t seem to let go of past offenses.

“Yes, but …” begin those who are unhappy. “Yes, but you don’t know how badly she hurt me,” says one. “Yes, but you don’t know how terrible he is,” says another.

Perhaps both are right; perhaps neither.

There are many degrees of offense. There are many degrees of hurt. But what I have noticed is that often we justify our anger and satisfy our consciences by telling ourselves stories about the motives of others that condemn their actions as unforgivable and egoistic while, at the same time, lifting our own motives as pure and innocent.

The Prince’s Dog

There is an old Welsh story from the 13th century about a prince who returned home to find his dog with blood dripping down its face. The man rushed inside and, to his horror, saw that his baby boy was missing and his cradle overturned. In anger the prince pulled out his sword and killed his dog. Shortly thereafter, he heard the cry of his son—the babe was alive! By the infant’s side lay a dead wolf. The dog had, in reality, defended the prince’s baby from a murderous wolf.

Though this story is dramatic, it demonstrates a point. It opens the possibility that the story we tell ourselves about why others behave a certain way does not always agree with the facts—sometimes we don’t even want to know the facts. We would rather feel self-justified in our anger by holding onto our bitterness and resentment. Sometimes these grudges can last months or years. Sometimes they can last a lifetime.

A Family Divided

One father could not forgive his son for departing from the path he had been taught. The boy had friends the father did not approve of, and he did many things contrary to what his father thought he should do. This caused a rift between father and son, and as soon as the boy could, he left home and never returned. They rarely spoke again.

Did the father feel justified? Perhaps.

Did the son feel justified? Perhaps.

All I know is that this family was divided and unhappy because neither father nor son could forgive each other. They could not look past the bitter memories they had about each other. They filled their hearts with anger instead of love and forgiveness. Each robbed himself of the opportunity to influence the other’s life for good. The divide between them appeared so deep and so wide that each became a spiritual prisoner on his own emotional island.

Fortunately, our loving and wise Eternal Father in Heaven has provided the means to overcome this prideful gap. The great and infinite Atonement is the supreme act of forgiveness and reconciliation. Its magnitude is beyond my understanding, but I testify with all my heart and soul of its reality and ultimate power. The Savior offered Himself as ransom for our sins. Through Him we gain forgiveness.

Prayer and Peace

One evening I argued with my mom and felt pretty bad. So I decided I would pray. Although I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to be “spiritual,” I knew praying would help me feel happier and less argumentative. After my mom left the room, I started my prayer. “Dear Heavenly Father, I’ve come to Thee tonight because …” No. I opened my eyes and unfolded my arms; that sounded awkward. I tried again. “Heavenly Father, I need …” That also sounded strange. I felt Satan urging me to give up my prayer of asking Heavenly Father for help.

Suddenly I had a prompting to say thank you! So I did, and thoughts started spilling from my mind of all the many things I could thank my Father in Heaven for. When I was done thanking Him, I discussed the problem at hand.

Afterward I felt a wonderful peace inside me, the warm spiritual feeling that I know our Heavenly Father and my parents love me and that I am a child of God. I was able to apologize to my mother and accept her apology.

No Family Is Perfect

In the end, happiness does not spring from perfection but from applying divine principles, even in small steps. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have declared: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”3

Forgiveness is positioned right in the middle of these simple truths, founded on our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. Because forgiveness connects principles, it connects people. It is a key, it opens locked doors, it is the beginning of an honest path, and it is one of our best hopes for a happy family.

May God help us to be a little more forgiving in our families, more forgiving of each other, and perhaps more forgiving even with ourselves. I pray that we may experience forgiveness as one wonderful way in which most happy families are alike.

Watch the following video:

Testify of the importance loving & forgiving one another so that we can have a happy family.

 

FHE Treat

Treat

Banana Bread Bars or Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

Banana Bread Bars

24 Servings

Ingredients

Banana Bread Bars:
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk

Instructions:

1. Heat oven to 375F.  Grease and flour 15×10-inch jelly roll pan.  For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy.  Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.  Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute.  Stir in walnuts.

2.  Spread batter evenly into pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
3.  Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling.  Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.
4.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk.  Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting).  Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm) (Taken from Life’s Simple Measures)

 Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

16 Servings

Ingredients:

1 box (19.9 oz. each) brownie mix
3 ½ cups vanilla lowfat frozen yogurt
½ cup M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
2 8-inch round cake pans
Wax paper
Instructions:

1. Prepare the cake pans by greasing them and lining the bottoms (not the sides) with wax paper.

2. Prepare brownie mix according to the package directions. Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans.
3. Bake according to the package directions. Remove and cool completely.
4. Run a small paring knife around the edges of each brownie, loosening it from the pan.
5. Invert one layer onto a cookie sheet, and spread vanilla ice cream on top, coming right to the edge (you can slightly soften the ice cream first).
6. Place the other brownie layer on top, and press gently to secure. Place in the freezer until firm, about 2 hours.
7. Just before serving, press M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies into the ice cream.
8. Cut into thin wedges and serve right away. (Taken from Bright Ideas)

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Secret service.
(Write each family members name on a small piece of paper. Place the pieces of paper in a bowl. Have each family member draw out a name. Each person will do secret acts of service for the person who’s name they drew. Be sure to keep it a secret. *Help other younger children in the family*)

2- Love Circle
(Place a chair in the center of the room. Have a family member sit in the chair. Then go around the room and everyone will say something nice about the person in the chair. Take turns so that every family member gets a turn in the chair.)

3- Play Do you love your neighbor.

 

Comments

comments

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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 marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is loves organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

4 comments

  1. Avatar

    You guys are terrific for doing this for us.

    I am stationed in Afghanistan and there are eleven of us. For a lesson I had the guys bring a favorite picture of their family and talk about each member. It was an opportunity for us to not just know each other, but also to know each others’ families. This is also a time when we each of us have extra tender feelings for our families. I then went into an adapted version of this lesson. It turned out very powerful.

    We are fortunate that the Spirit accompanies us so readily. We are also fortunate that we miss, and realize how much we love, our families.

    Thank you,
    Bill Tappen

    • Breanne

      Bill,

      Thank you for sharing! I am happy to hear that this lesson worked out great and you were able to get to know each others’ families. The Lord loves each of us and our families.

      Know that we appreciate your service and our prayers are will you.

  2. Avatar

    Thank-you… I miss both my sons. My youngest lives two thousand miles away from me, the other, a ten minute walk. I see more of the one who lives across an ocean then the one just across the other neighborhood. I was in tears before I saw our church Presidents face magically appear on screen. It wasn’t there a moment ago. I thanked God for helping me to remember to say my prayers each morning before I start my day, and each night before i go to bed. I am inactive as they come. I even know that in my heart without my Patriarchal Blessing I have something very important to full fill.

    I , like many others have been blessed in ways that we are not aware of or just too distracted by unimportant things. I feel so much better since watch this lesson. Thank-you father for saving me from dispair. Amen

  3. Avatar

    I’m only 13 years old and I have a great relationship with our heavenly father. I’m a child that loves church and doing FHE. I’m thankful for my family and knowing for who I am. I like to bear my testimony that I know that Jesus loves me. I know that Joseph Smith was the prophet and now President Monson is the Prophet and I say these things in the name of Jesus christ
    Amen

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