President Nelson promised us that if we would really dive in to this home based church supported thing that it would “unleash the power of the family.” I saw that really clearly at the end of February. President’s Day weekend we went to have dinner at my parents’ house while my aunt was visiting. My grandma was not doing well and my aunt had come to see her. After dinner we gathered my little family, plus my parents, aunt, and my little brother into my Grandma’s living room to do Family Home Evening. We discussed John 3:16 and while my Grandma couldn’t say much, her attitude and the way she lit up as the kids made Valentine’s for Heavenly Father was a quiet way for her to bare testimony of God’s love, and the importance of family. Guys, that’s the last time I saw her alive. She passed a week and two days later. And while part of my grieving process is asking myself why I didn’t just make the drive over there one more time, I am also so grateful that that was our last moment, and her last moment with my kids. Our last earthly experience together was spent following the prophet, learning of Christ, serving her, and just loving. That’s the power of the family that we need to unleash. So keep going, you never know which week is going to have an eternal impact on your family.
April 1-14 Thou Art the Christ
Prep Materials: Keys (house, car, filing cabinet, etc.), Priesthood keys (either print the printable or gather up some extra keys), Pictures of Priesthood Ordinances (printable or Gospel Art book)
Song: The Priesthood is Restored pg. 89
Teach children about Priesthood keys. Show them your key ring and let them use the keys to open the front door, turn the car on and off, open filing cabinets, etc. (whatever keys you have lying around). Explain that these are things that are special and important to your family so they need to have keys so not everyone can get inside. Talk about what might happen if you didn’t keep them locked. Have a different set of keys (either from the printable, baby keys, or just some extra keys from around the house) explain that Heavenly Father refers to the Priesthood power as being keys to things that are special and important to him, and that the Prophet who has all of the keys has the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Gather pictures (either from the printable or the gospel art library) of baptism, confirmation, the temple, temple marriage, and the sacrament. Explain that these are the things that are special to Heavenly Father that you need his special keys- the Priesthood- to perform. Match the key to the ordinance.
April 15-21 O Grave, Where is Thy Victory
Prep Materials: Glove, Pictures of Christ (Gospel Art Book)- birth, adult, Garden, Cross, Resurrection
Song: Pick one of the Easter songs, they start around page 64- my kids’ favorite is Easter Hosanna pg. 68
I love using the glove and hand object lesson to teach about death and the resurrection. We starting teaching our son this idea at Easter 2 years ago and then reviewed it when we realized my Grandma’s death was imminent a little over a year ago. I was surprised then, at 3 1/2 how much he understood and how it helped him process what was going on. My other Grandmother passed about a month ago and he has been using this analogy on his own to explain what is happening. I do make sure as I’m explaining this concept that while Jesus came back to life after 3 days, our loved ones will come back to life and we will see them again in the Resurrection, but that will not be for a very long time. One of my Grandpa’s died when I was 5, and I knew that he would come back to life so I didn’t understand why everyone else was so sad. I remember a few years later realizing that he hadn’t come back and honestly feeling a little betrayed. It’s a wonderful, beautiful, and comforting thing to understand the Resurrection, but I think it’s also important to help children understand that it is sad when someone dies because we won’t see them for a long time.
Sorry about the tangent, if you haven’t done or seen the hand and glove thing here’s how it goes. Since it’s Easter have pictures of Christ’s birth, Christ in life, in the Garden, on the cross, and the Resurrection on hand- the gospel art book has these.
Explain that your hand is like your spirit, wiggle it and talk about the pre-earth life. Show the picture of Christ’s birth and explain that when you are born you receive a body, put the glove on your hand- the glove is like your body. Show that they can now wiggle and move together. Show a picture of Christ when he was grown and explain that our bodies grown with us. Show Christ in the garden, explain that sometimes our bodies feel pain and that we can use our bodies to pray. Show Christ on the cross and explain that he died for us. Take the glove off and put it in a tomb (under a bowl or something), explain that when we die our body stays here on earth and can’t move anymore but our spirit goes to Heaven and waits. Show Christ resurrected, explain that after 3 days Christ was resurrected and because of that, someday (a long time from now) we will also be resurrected, put the glove back on.
Click for my post full of Christ-centered Easter ideas
April 22-28 What Shall I do to Inherit Eternal Life?
Prep Materials: Props for Good Samaritan (bandages)
Song: I’m Trying to be Like Jesus pg. 78
Help the kids act out the story of the Good Samaritan, break out the doctor kit for some bandages to put on the injured person. Take turns acting out the different roles. Talk about ways we can help people and be good neighbors to everyone. Make plans to do something nice for someone who needs it.
April 29-May 5 I Am the Good Shepherd
Prep Materials: Stuffed animals (lambs), any other props to help be a shepherd, wolf, or robber
Song: Little Lambs so White and Fair pg. 58
More acting practice! Grab some stuffed animals to be your lambs and put them somewhere they can be “guarded”. Take turns being the shepherd (guarding), wolf and robber (trying to get the animals).
Keys (house, car, filing cabinet, etc.)
Priesthood keys (either print the Priesthood Keys Matching or gather up some extra keys)
Pictures of Priesthood Ordinances (printable or Gospel Art book)
Pictures of Christ (Gospel Art Book)- birth, adult, Garden, Cross, Resurrection
Props for Good Samaritan (bandages)
Stuffed animals (lambs)
any other props to help be a shepherd, wolf, or robber