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Memorial Day is a special US holiday to remember our ancestors & those who have died at war. Check out this great family home evening lesson about the history of Memorial Day! Scripture: Exodus 12:14 Hymn: I Have a Family Tree or Faith of Our Fathers Lesson: A Single Piece of Paper or The History of Memorial Day Treat: Balloon Cupcakes or Best Fudge Brownies Activity: Visit an Ancestors Grave or Play Giant Marbles •View entire lesson...

Memorial Day

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Exodus 12: 14

14- And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

I Have a Family Tree–Primary Song #199 or Faith of Our Fathers Hymn 84

Faith of Our Fathers

1. Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.

[Chorus] Faith of our fathers, holy faith,
We will be true to thee till death!

2. Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee,
And thru the truth that comes from God,
Mankind shall then be truly free.

3. Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life.

I Have a Family Tree

1. I have a fam’ly tree
With branches by the dozens.
I have grandpas. I have grandmas.
I have uncles, aunts, and cousins.

2. When it’s reunion time,
No matter what the weather,
It is such a happy day
When the fam’ly gets together.

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For Younger Children* Read “A Single Piece of Paper” by Afton Wade (Jan 1993 Friend) and discuss the importance of ancestors. (You may want to use clipart to help tell the story.)

A pedigree chart! I knew that horses, dogs, and maybe even cats had pedigrees, but here was Sister Jones handing out pedigree charts for us to take home and fill out. Now I had heard everything!

I folded the paper and quickly thrust it into my pocket. Mom and Dad were always busy working and probably wouldn’t even have time to look at it, but Sister Jones had said that it was very important to know who our ancestors were. Well, I’d try my best. After we all filled out our charts, she was going to take us to the family history library for a tour. And after that, we were going for ice cream! I love ice cream.

Opening the gate, I ran up the stairs, waving the paper, exclaiming, “Mom, Dad, look what I got in church today!”

Dad lowered the volume on the television. He’s a great sports fan and never misses his games. That’s why he doesn’t get to church very often—the meetings are at the same time as the games.

“See, Dad, it’s a pedigree chart. Sister Jones says it’s important to find out about our families—where they lived, and when, and anything interesting we can find out about them, like the stories Grandad tells us.”
Mom came through the back door just then, smiling and brushing dirt from her knees. She had been planting new flowers. She loves working in her garden. Dad said that our home was a showplace because of the flowers blooming everywhere. Sunday was the only day Mom had to tend to her garden. She wished she had more time for church—maybe one day she would, and then she’d go, she said.

We sat on the porch steps while I explained my assignment to fill in the pedigree chart. To my surprise, Mom and Dad both began helping me, and we had a grand time!

Mom told me how her grandparents had come across the Atlantic Ocean when they left Sweden to come to America. The ship they were sailing on almost went down in a sudden, violent storm. How thankful they were to reach land and begin their new lives.

Dad’s grandparents had lived in a tiny log cabin in Kentucky. They became friends with the Indians, who helped them through the first cold, bitter winter.

The more they remembered, the more excited they became. They got out the old picture album, which had pictures of stern-looking men—some with curly mustaches—often holding canes and wearing hats, and women in long dresses, some holding fat little babies and surrounded by children. We were having such a good time that Dad even forgot his football game! And instead of going back out to her flowers, Mom began writing letters to her sisters and brothers for any information they had about their ancestors.

The next Sunday I could hardly wait to show Sister Jones my pedigree chart. And Mom had given me a note saying that she’d so enjoyed filling out the sheet that she wanted to help take our class to the library.
That afternoon, Dad phoned his mother in Kentucky, and they talked and talked about his family. Do you know—Dad’s great-grandfather had known Brigham Young!

That was just the beginning. We’re now planning a huge family reunion this summer with aunts, uncles, and cousins of all ages and sizes coming from all over. Dad says that there may be even a hundred! I can hardly wait to meet so many of my family.

Oh yes—I overheard Mom and Dad talking the other day, and miracle of miracles, they’re going to start coming to church with me. They said, “It’s about time to get our priorities in place.” Now, I’m not sure what “priorities” are, but I am sure that we’ll have plenty of room for them. And to think it all started with that single piece of paper!

*Discuss these questions as a family*
1- What was Dad doing when he came home from church?
2- What was Mom doing?
3- What was the paper that was brought home from church?
4- Are our ancestors important? Why?

Testify of the importance of ancestors and honoring them on Memorial Day.

*For Teenagers or Adults* Watch the video on the History of Memorial Day. Discuss the importance of Memorial Day & the various things our ancestors have done for us.

History of Memorial Day (video)

(taken from History.com)

What have our ancestors done for us?
Do we have relatives that have served or are serving in war?
What sacrifices did they make?

Testify of the importance of ancestors and honoring them on Memorial Day.

FHE Treat

Treat

Balloon Cupcakes or Best Fudge Brownies

Balloon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Baked cupcakes
Frosting (equal amounts of yellow, green, blue, and red)
Curling ribbon (yellow, green, blue, and red)

Instructions:

1-Frost the cupcakes yellow, green, blue, and red and arrange them on a large platter or cake cardboard.

2- Tape a length of ribbon to the bottom of each cupcake.

3- Tie all the ribbons together and curl the ends as shown.

Best Fudge Brownies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

1- Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and place them in the top of a double boiler in which the water is barely simmering. (No Double Boiler? No Problem. The trick is to find a heatproof bowl that fits about halfway inside one of your medium-size saucepans. A glass bowl or a metal mixing bowl with a handle works well. Be sure to fill the pan with only 1 or 2 inches of water – your bowl should always rest above the water, never in it.)

2- As the butter melts, sprinkle the chocolate evenly into it. Leave the mixture over the heat for 5 minutes, then stir or whisk it until smooth. Transfer the top of the double boiler to a cooling rack and let the chocolate cool to room temperature.

3- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350º. Lightly butter a 9- by 9-inch square cake pan (do not use a smaller pan) and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess.

4- Combine the sugars in a large mixing bowl, using your fingers to break up any lumps. Add the eggs. Beat the eggs and sugar until well blended – about 30 seconds – with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed. Blend in the vanilla extract. Add the cooled chocolate (which should still be liquid) and mix on medium speed just until evenly blended.

5- Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl, then stir them into the chocolate mixture, about half at a time, until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the nuts. Then scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spoon.

6- Bake the brownies on the center oven rack for 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the brownies will have risen slightly and the top will have a thin, brittle crust. Do not overbake. For the best results, use 3 toothpicks to test for doneness. Insert one into the brownies about 1 inch from the side; it should come out clean. A second toothpick inserted 2 inches from the side should have a little batter stuck to it, and a third, inserted in the center, should be coated with a bit more batter than that.

7- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool the brownies thoroughly. To get the cleanest cuts, cover and refrigerate the brownies for several hours before slicing (provided you can resist that long). Serve slightly cool or at room temperature. Makes 12 to 16 brownies.

(Recipes taken from Familyfun.go.com)

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Decorate an ancestor’s grave.

2- Play Giant Marbles.

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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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