Not only is this FHE Super-Charged, it’s largely child-led. So sit back and relax, Mom. Time to let your children teach you.
This can be one lesson or several, depending on how in-depth you get and what ideas your children might have for FHE as you discuss this with them ahead of time. Personally, I love it when my kids come up with so many ideas that I have to push what I had planned to next time. That gives my procrastinating self a whole week to feel ahead of the game.
If you have a child aged 8-11, he should read the story of the First Vision found in Joseph Smith – History 1:1-20 and be prepared to share the story in FHE. Invite him to think of other things that can be part of his lesson about this.
If you have a daughter aged 12-17, she can similarly lead the lesson below by reading the story of the First Vision. This lesson can either be the beginning of her challenge to pray regularly for three weeks or an opportunity to report on that experience once completed. (See the PP requirement below.)
If you have a Deacon-aged son, reading about the First Vision fulfills a Quorum requirement, so long as he discusses it with a priesthood leader afterward.
Opening and/or Closing prayer: offered by your Faith in God-aged child, if you have one.
A Child’s Prayer (Children’s Songbook #12). Best children’s hymn ever. I love this song. (Link includes words and audio.)
Tell the story of the First Vision (led by the child/ren who prepared for this, if applicable).
Group Discussion: How does Heavenly Father answer our sincere prayers? Share experiences when prayers have been answered.
How does prayer protect us and help us stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior? Share feelings about this.
Why is it important to pray regularly? What are some things that prevent us from praying regularly?
(If you have Wolf or Bear Cub Scouts, further discussion questions are in the Faith Character Connection below.)
Make something tangible to help children remember to say morning and evening prayers. Challenge them to practice this for the next three to four weeks (or whatever length is appropriate for each child).
One option is to make a paper chain out of strips of construction paper or scrapbook paper, with enough links for each morning and evening prayer. Each child hangs the chain by their bed and removes a link after each personal prayer is said.
Other options are to paint a prayer rock, make a prayer rug or create a prayer chart to hang by your child’s bed.
Make these easy “Praying Arms” soft pretzels. (Or buy the soft SuperPretzels sold in Costco’s frozen food section.)
This lesson fulfills part or all of the following requirements:
Faith in God – Learning and Living the Gospel #2: “Read the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony in Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20, and discuss it with a priesthood leader.”
Faith in God – Learning and Living the Gospel #5: “Give an opening and a closing prayer in family home evening or at Primary. Share your feelings about how prayer protects us and helps us to stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior.” Which also fulfills part of the Cub Scout Religious Square Knot patch.
Wolf Cub Scout requirement 11c: “Give two ideas on how you can practice or demonstrate your religious beliefs. Choose one and do it.”
Bear Cub Scout requirement 1b: “Make a list of things you can do this week to practice your religion as you are taught in your home, church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious community. Check them off your list as you complete them.”
Part of Webelos Cub Scout requirement 8e: “For at least a month, pray or meditate reverently each day as taught by your family, and by your church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or religious group.”
Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts also work on the Faith Character Connection (Wolf requirement 11a and Bear requirement 1a): “Know. What is “faith”? With your family, discuss some people who have shown their faith – who have shown an inner strength based on their trust in a higher power or cause. Discuss the good qualities of these people. Commit. Discuss these questions with your family: What problems did these faithful people overcome to follow or practice their beliefs? What challenges might you face in doing your duty to God? Who can help you with these challenges? Practice. Practice your faith while doing the requirements for “Duty to God.”
Personal Progress Faith requirement #1: “The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets. Read Hebrews 11, Alma 32:17–43, Ether 12:6–22, and Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20. Read two general conference talks on faith. Exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life. Begin by saying your morning and evening prayers regularly. After three weeks of following this pattern, discuss with a parent or leader what you have learned about faith and how daily personal prayer has strengthened your faith. In your journal express your feelings about faith and prayer.”
Duty to God Deacon – Quorum Activities #1: “Read the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony in Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20, and discuss it with a priesthood leader.”
Part of the requirements for all LDS Youth programs is to strive to have regular personal prayer.
These first two are more in-depth and probably merit a FHE all their own:
If you have a Priest-aged son, he can read the chapter titled Restoration of the Gospel (also found in the True to the Faith book) and teach it to the family. Fulfills half of Duty to God Priest – Family Activity #5.
Boy Scouts may want to work on the Personal Management merit badge and include morning and evening prayers as part of their larger to-do list (see requirement #8).