I’m all about simple Family Home Evenings. I skip the fluff (mainly due to lack of time) and just focus on trying to have a FHE which inspires me and my family to do a little better, try a little harder or feel closer to the Lord.
Or at least allows me to say we did FHE instead of forgetting. Sometimes checking it off the list is the best I can do.
With that said, even though I tend to throw these things together at the last minute I’m a big fan of what I’m calling the Super-Charged FHE.
Or maybe it should be Super-Duper-Charged FHE.
Or how about Super-Duper-Charged-I’m-the-Best-Mom-on-the-Face-of-the-Planet FHE? (Believe me, with all the piles of dirty laundry lying around, I need all the mommy boosters I can get.)
Anyway, I think these FHE’s are pretty cool. I build them from requirements in my sons’ Faith in God and Scout books. That means I get points for doing Family Home Evening and for helping my sons with their scouting.
Plus we get chocolate.
So here is the first Super-Charged FHE for your benefit. Tonight’s theme: Easy Family History. With an emphasis on easy. Don’t let the subject matter scare you off.
Below is a basic FHE outline. This fulfills at least one requirement in each program for boys and girls ages 8 to 18.
Following the basic outline is stuff you can easily add on to create the Super-Charged FHE which fits your family. Include only what works for you and stop adding when you feel maxed out. You can always save any leftovers for a future FHE.
Whether you do a little or a lot, whatever you do, don’t forget the chocolate.
Super Charged FHE: Easy Family History
Families Can Be Together Forever, Hymn #300 (link includes audio)
Cut construction paper into wide strips. Have each family member write their name on a strip. Staple the strips together to make a paper chain. Discuss how we’re all connected as a family.
If you want, you can add on strips for grandparents and great-grandparents as you progress through the evening. If you really want to get fancy, you can use a different color for each generation.
Explain that families were created so we can have joy and happiness as we grow and learn together. Ask family members how they would feel if someone were missing from your chain.
Read Doctrine & Covenants 128:15. Ask what this scripture is talking about. (Family history and temple work.) Ask who benefits from this work? (We all do.)
Read Doctrine & Covenants 128:24. Ask why it’s important to keep good records.
Have each person fill out their own pedigree chart. Include parents and grandparents. Here’s a good sample of free printable pedigree charts, including one designed just for kids. (If you have a Deacon or Teacher-aged son, check the requirements below for an adjustment to this activity.)
Have each person prepare a family group record of your family. (Click for a basic family group sheet.) (If you have a Deacon-aged son, check the requirements below for an adjustment to this activity.)
While eating your treats, have each family member share a family story.
If you need an idea for treats, try Oreo Cookie Balls.
I discovered these while on a trip to Texas and I think the recipe has been duplicated on the internet about a billion times.
That’s because it’s really good.
Not to mention easy, and easy is the name of the game here. Here’s what you do. Crush a package of Oreos and combine with a package of cream cheese (use a mixer). Roll dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Most recipes call for melting chocolate chips and rolling the balls in the chocolate. This is optional, especially when you’re in a hurry. Refrigerating the balls for 2 hours before eating is also optional. I should know.
Usually, I can’t wait that long.
This lesson meets the following requirements:
Faith in God – Learning and Living the Gospel #8: “Prepare a pedigree chart with your name and your parents’ and grandparents’ names. Prepare a family group record for your family and share a family story. Discuss how performing temple work blesses families.”
Note: This FIG requirement also counts toward the Cub Scouting Religious Square Knot Patch.
Bear Cub Scout requirement 8d: “Trace your family back through your grandparents or great-grandparents; or, talk to a grandparent about what it was like when he or she was younger.”
Cub Scout Heritages Belt Loop requirement 3: “Draw a family tree showing members of your family for three generations.”
Personal Progress Individual Worth requirement 5 (partial): “When you participate in family history, you come to understand your identity and individual worth. Visit with your living relatives to learn as much information about your family history as possible. Then complete a pedigree chart of your family and list the temple ordinances that have been completed for each person.”
Duty to God Deacon – Family Activity requirement 4: “Keep a written record of your family history. Ask a parent or the ward family history consultant to help you prepare a 4-generation pedigree chart.”
Duty to God Deacon – Spiritual Development requirement 7: “Complete additional family history work, such as a family group record showing your parents as children with the other members of their families. Share this information with a parent or a priesthood leader.”
Duty to God Teacher – Spiritual Development requirement 6: “Complete a family group record for each of your grandparents where they are listed as children.”
Genealogy Merit Badge requirement 6: “Begin your family tree by listing yourself and include at least two additional generations. You may complete this requirement by using the chart provided in the Genealogy merit badge pamphlet or the genealogy software program of your choice.”
Genealogy Merit Badge requirement 7: “Complete a family group record form, listing yourself and your brothers and sisters as the children. On another family group record form, show one of your parents and his or her brothers and sisters as the children. This requirement may be completed using the chart provided or the genealogy software program of your choice.”
Cub Scout Heritages Belt Loop requirement 1: “Talk with members of your family about your family heritage: its history, traditions, and culture.”
Which also fulfills American Cultures Merit Badge requirement 1c, “Talk with a person from one of the groups about the heritage and traditions of the group. Report on what you learn.” (For this MB, scouts choose three groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from his own background.)
Cub Scout Heritages Belt Loop requirement 2: “Make a poster that shows the origins of your ancestors. Share it with your den or other group.”
Cub Scout Heritages Pin requirement 10: “Learn about the origin of your first, middle, or last name.”
Personal Progress Good Works Value Project Idea 3: “Work with a family member to gather the names of some deceased relatives who were not members of the Church. Identify their birth and death dates and prepare their names to be taken to the temple. Help plan a temple trip and do baptisms for those relatives.”
If you have family names that need to be taken to the temple, those can be used for Duty to God Deacon – Quorum Activity requirement 6: “Participate in baptisms for the dead, if possible. If not, talk with a priesthood leader about the temple and what it means to Latter-day Saints.”
Likewise for Duty to God Teacher – Quorum Activity requirement 6: “Participate in baptisms for the dead, if possible. If not, talk with a priesthood leader about the temple and what it means to Latter-day Saints.”
Likewise for Duty to God Priest – Family Activity requirement 9: “Submit the name of one of your ancestors for temple work, or write a 500-word personal history.”
Duty to God Deacon – Spiritual Development requirement 6: “Read an account of one of your ancestors, or learn about an ancestor from one of your relatives. Report what you learned in family home evening or in a quorum meeting.”
Duty to God Deacon – Educational, Personal and Career Development requirement 11: “Learn computer and keyboarding skills. Demonstrate these skills by typing family history information in Personal Ancestral File or another similar program.”