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In the July 2012 issue of the Ensign, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency shares a special message. He teaches us that no matter where we are in life, we are "Always in the Middle". Enjoy this wonderful family home evening lesson on the July First Presidency Message. Scripture: Psalms 118:24 Hymn:I Will Follow God’s Plan or Press Forward, Saints Lesson:"Always in the Middle" Treat: Golden Oreo Peanut Butter Bars and Berry Fudgsicles Activity:Tithing Tag or Yard Work •View entire lesson...

First Presidency Message: July

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Psalms 118:24

24 – This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

I Will Follow God’s Plan – Primary Songbook #164 or Press Forward, Saints- Hymn #81

I Will Follow God’s Plan

My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God’s plan for me,
Holding fast to his word and his love.
I will work, and I will pray;
I will always walk in his way.
Then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.

Press Forward, Saints

1. Press forward, Saints, with steadfast faith in Christ,
With hope’s bright flame alight in heart and mind,
With love of God and love of all mankind.

[Chorus] Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Press forward, feasting on the word of Christ.
Receive his name, rejoicing in his might.
Come unto God; find everlasting light.

3. Press on, enduring in the ways of Christ.
His love proclaim thru days of mortal strife.
Thus saith our God: “Ye have eternal life!”

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For Younger Children*Read the First Presidency Message from the July Ensign. Make a list of  your gifts and abilities. Add your testimony to President Uchtdorf ‘s, that we are “Always in the Middle”.

Read all, or part, of the First Presidency Message from the July Ensign.

Always in the Middle

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

By many world calendars, July marks the middle of the year. While the beginnings and endings of things are celebrated and remembered, the middle of things often goes unnoticed.

Beginnings are times for making resolutions, for creating plans, for bursts of energy. Endings are times for winding down and may involve feelings of completion or loss. But with the proper outlook, considering ourselves as in the middle of things can help us not only to understand life a little better but also to live it a little more meaningfully.

The Middle of Missionary Work

When I speak to our young missionaries, I often tell them they are in the middle of their missions. Whether they just arrived the day before or are to depart for home the day after, I ask them to think of themselves as always being in the middle.

New missionaries may feel they are too inexperienced to be effective, and so they delay speaking or acting with confidence and boldness. Seasoned missionaries who are close to completing their missions may feel sad their missions are coming to a close, or they may slow down as they contemplate what they will do after their missions.

Whatever the circumstances and wherever they serve, the truth is that the Lord’s missionaries are daily sowing countless seeds of good tidings. Thinking of themselves as always being in the middle of their missions will embolden and energize these faithful representatives of the Lord. As it is with full-time missionaries, so it is with all of us.

We Are Always in the Middle

This change in perspective is more than a simple trick of the mind. There is a sublime truth behind the idea that we are always in the middle. If we look at our location on a map, we are tempted to say we are at a beginning. But if we look more closely, wherever we are is simply in the middle of a larger place.

As it is with space, so it is with time. We may feel we are at the beginning or end of our lives, but when we look at where we are against the backdrop of eternity—when we realize that our spirit has existed for time beyond our capacity to measure and, because of the perfect sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ, that our soul will exist for an eternity to come—we can recognize that we are truly in the middle.

Recently I felt impressed to redo the headstone on my parents’ grave. Time had not been kind to the grave site, and I felt that a new headstone would be more fitting for their exemplary lives. When I looked at the birth dates and death dates on the headstone connected by the usual insignificant little dash, this small symbol of a lifespan suddenly filled my mind and heart with an abundance of rich memories. Each of these treasured memories reflects a moment in the middle of my parents’ lives and in the middle of my life.

Whatever our age, whatever our location, when things occur in our lives, we are always in the middle. What’s more, we will forever be in the middle.

The Hope of Being in the Middle

Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives.

The Psalmist says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we [should] rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Amulek reminds us that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32; emphasis added). And a poet muses, “Forever—is composed of Nows.”1

Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us.

We are always in the middle.

President Uchtdorf teaches that no matter your age, you can do something to help others. In your journal or on a piece of paper, list or draw your gifts or abilities. Children may want to ask their parents what they think their gifts are.

Decide how you could use your gifts to help others in the situations below.

helping pictures

 

At the end of your list of gifts, write or draw one way you can use those gifts to help others this week.

 Add your testimony to President Uchtdorf ‘s, that we are “Always in the Middle”.

*For Teenagers or Adults*  Read the First Presidency Message from the July Ensign. Make a list and discuss things you can do “in the middle” of your missionary preparation. Add your testimony to President Uchtdorf ‘s, that we are “Always in the Middle”.

Together as a family, read the First Presidency Message from the July Ensign.

Always in the Middle

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

By many world calendars, July marks the middle of the year. While the beginnings and endings of things are celebrated and remembered, the middle of things often goes unnoticed.

Beginnings are times for making resolutions, for creating plans, for bursts of energy. Endings are times for winding down and may involve feelings of completion or loss. But with the proper outlook, considering ourselves as in the middle of things can help us not only to understand life a little better but also to live it a little more meaningfully.

The Middle of Missionary Work

When I speak to our young missionaries, I often tell them they are in the middle of their missions. Whether they just arrived the day before or are to depart for home the day after, I ask them to think of themselves as always being in the middle.

New missionaries may feel they are too inexperienced to be effective, and so they delay speaking or acting with confidence and boldness. Seasoned missionaries who are close to completing their missions may feel sad their missions are coming to a close, or they may slow down as they contemplate what they will do after their missions.

Whatever the circumstances and wherever they serve, the truth is that the Lord’s missionaries are daily sowing countless seeds of good tidings. Thinking of themselves as always being in the middle of their missions will embolden and energize these faithful representatives of the Lord. As it is with full-time missionaries, so it is with all of us.

We Are Always in the Middle

This change in perspective is more than a simple trick of the mind. There is a sublime truth behind the idea that we are always in the middle. If we look at our location on a map, we are tempted to say we are at a beginning. But if we look more closely, wherever we are is simply in the middle of a larger place.

As it is with space, so it is with time. We may feel we are at the beginning or end of our lives, but when we look at where we are against the backdrop of eternity—when we realize that our spirit has existed for time beyond our capacity to measure and, because of the perfect sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ, that our soul will exist for an eternity to come—we can recognize that we are truly in the middle.

Recently I felt impressed to redo the headstone on my parents’ grave. Time had not been kind to the grave site, and I felt that a new headstone would be more fitting for their exemplary lives. When I looked at the birth dates and death dates on the headstone connected by the usual insignificant little dash, this small symbol of a lifespan suddenly filled my mind and heart with an abundance of rich memories. Each of these treasured memories reflects a moment in the middle of my parents’ lives and in the middle of my life.

Whatever our age, whatever our location, when things occur in our lives, we are always in the middle. What’s more, we will forever be in the middle.

The Hope of Being in the Middle

Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives.

The Psalmist says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we [should] rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Amulek reminds us that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32; emphasis added). And a poet muses, “Forever—is composed of Nows.”1

Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us.

We are always in the middle.

President Uchtdorf tells missionaries to think of themselves as being in the middle of their missions. You can also apply this idea to your mission preparation: whether you are 12 or 18, you can prepare to serve a mission.

Discuss and make a list of some things you can do “in the middle” of your mission preparation? The following is a list of ideas you may discuss.

  • Always be worthy to attend the temple.
  • Learn to recognize promptings from the Holy Ghost by writing down your promptings and acting on them.
  • Pray for the missionaries.
  • Ask the missionaries in your area what they recommend you do to prepare to serve a mission.
  • Learn to manage your time effectively, including important activities such as service, scripture study, and journal writing.
  • When talking with a family member, share a scripture that inspired you recently. Explain what you think about the scripture.
  • Ask your friends about their religions and what they believe. Be willing to share your beliefs. Invite them to church or activities.

As you recognize that you are in the middle of your mission preparation, you can live your life to be more worthy of the Lord’s trust and the Spirit’s companionship.

Add your testimony to President Uchtdorf ‘s, that we are “Always in the Middle”.

(Lesson outline taken from the July 2012 Ensign)

FHE Treat

Treat

Golden Oreo Peanut Butter Bars and Berry Fudgsicles

Golden Oreo Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:
16 whole Golden Oreo Cookies
4 Tablespoons Butter

FOR THE FILLING:
⅓ cups White Chocolate Chips
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
¼ teaspoons Vanilla
⅓ cups Powdered Sugar
Edible Pearls For Garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Line an 8×8 square dish with foil, spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.

For the crust, place the Oreos into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs have formed. Melt butter in the microwave and stir into the Oreo crumbs. Press well into the bottom of the prepared dish. Refrigerate.

For the filling, place white chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter into a heat proof bowl. Microwave using 30-second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate chips and butter have melted into the peanut butter creating a smooth consistency. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Spread over chilled crust, smooth the top and refrigerate until solid, at least 2 hours. (You could place it in the freezer to speed things up.)

Remove the entire pan of bars by peeling foil away from the dish and lifting up. Cut into 24 squares and top with edible pearls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Berry Fudgsicles

Ingredients:

1-½ ounce, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate, Chopped
¾ cups Milk
½ cups Half-and-half
⅓ cups White Sugar
1-½ Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 cup Raspberries, Pureed Until A Chunky Puree Is Formed

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt chocolate. Whisk in milk, half-and-half, sugar, cocoa powder, and cornstarch (I used my spatula/whisk, which if you do not have, you need). Continue to stir mixture for 8-10 minutes, until thickened. Fold in butter and pureed berries.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid.

(Recipes taken from www.TastyKitchen.com )

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Play “Tithing Tag” – One person is “bishop”. The bishop goes out of the room, and everyone else chooses someone to hide a penny. The bishop comes in when the penny is hidden, and the bishop finds the penny, and tries to guess who hid the penny. if he guesses right, the person who hid the penny is bishop.

2- Do yard work in your own yard, or serve a neighbor by working in their yard!

 

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 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.

One comment

  1. Avatar

    I love this!!! Thank you for all your lessons and help with FHE.

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