(I did not in anyway, shape, or form, write this blog post. I apologize that I am not smart enough to transfer the videos. You can get them from where I retrieved it from at https://www.lds.org/topics/family-history/family-home-evening?cid=HPFR120514544&lang=eng)
In an article in the March 2013 New York Times entitled “The Stories That Bind Us,” author Bruce Feiler shared psychologists’ findings that the more children knew about their family history, the better they were able to handle stressful situations. The reasons were that the children realized they were a part of something bigger than themselves, they understood their family overcame many ups and downs, and they believed they could overcome difficulties too.
These family home evening ideas will help your family learn more about your extended family and start building bonds with parents, grandparents, and ancestors.
How to prepare for a family home evening:
The following family home evening ideas take little or no preparation. The ideas can be combined to make a longer family home evening activity. You may want to assign members of your family to prepare a song, scripture, and spiritual thought to go with an activity.
Make sure you can sign in on www.familysearch.org. You use the same username and password as on LDS.org. If you do not have an LDS Account, at the top right on FamilySearch.org, click Join for Free. You will need your Church membership record number. You can find this number on your temple recommend, or contact your ward clerk.
Watch the video: Preserve Your Photos and Family Memories?
What were the photos saying to the children?
What might the people in the photos say to their grandkids or other family members?
Using your computer or tablet, look at photos of your family that others may have added to FamilySearch.org. To access the photos, sign in to FamilySearch.org. Under Memories, select People. To view your relationship to a person, click the yellow banner on the photo.
Discuss the photos:
Who do you see in the photos?
What are the photos “whispering” to you?
What do you think your family members or ancestors would tell you?
What physical traits do you share with your family members?
Under Memories, select Photos to upload and share your photos on FamilySearch.org.
FHE Idea #2: My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together
Get a copy of the My Family: Stories That Bring UsTogether booklet for each member of your family. You can get copies online at store.lds.org, or your ward family history consultant or bishop may have copies.
Prepare copies of photos to place in the booklet, if desired.
Watch the video: Watching My Grandson Play Ball
Share stories that you and your family remember about yourselves, your parents, and your grandparents.
Write the stories in the booklet, My Family: Stories That Bring UsTogether.
Glue photos of your family members into the correct places in the booklet.
Remember to add your photos and stories from the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet to FamilySearch.org, so you can share with others.
Make sure you can sign in on www.FamilySearch.org. You can use the same username and password as on LDS.org. If you do not have an LDS Account, at the top right on FamilySearch.org, click Join for Free. You will need your Church membership record number. You can find this number on your temple recommend or contact your ward clerk to get it.
You may want to download the indexing program ahead of time.
Q: Why is it important to remember people who lived long ago?
A: Everyone is a son or daughter of Heavenly Father and needs the opportunity to receive the ordinances of the temple.
Q: How do we remember people who lived before our time?
A: We learn about people through the records of their lives, such as birth, marriage, census, and death records.
Q: How can we find information about our ancestors?
A: We find information by searching through the records. If the records are indexed, the search is fast and easy. If the records are not indexed, people must search page by page, which often takes a long time.
Q: How can we help others find their ancestors?
A: When we index records, we make it possible for people to find ancestors quickly. Those whose names are indexed can be remembered and can receive the ordinances of the temple. The First Presidency has emphasized that indexing is vital to family history and temple work.
After downloading the indexing program, index a batch.
Locate the FamilySearch indexing icon on your desktop, and double-click the icon to open the program.
Sign in with your LDS Account.
Click Download Batch, and select a project to download.
For help to index the batch, Check the field helps and project instructions.
FHE Idea #5: Connecting through Family Traditions
Connect with extended family through food or a tradition.
Sign in to FamilySearch.org and review your family tree. Be prepared to discuss the tree as indicated in the activity. Note: You use the same username and password as on LDS.org. If you do not have an LDS Account, at the top right on FamilySearch.org, click Join for Free. You will need your Church membership record number. You can find this number on your temple recommend, or contact your ward clerk.
Activity for younger children:
Find a large tree growing in your yard or nearby. You can also use a photo of a tree.
Explain each part of the tree and why the parts are important for the tree’s growth and survival:
Roots support the tree and keep it grounded in bad weather. The roots also collect water and nutrients from the soil to keep the tree healthy and alive.
The crown is the top of the tree and is made of leaves and branches. The crown helps protect the roots by providing shade. Crowns of trees come in many different shapes and sizes.
Leaves are part of the crown. They collect energy from the sun and convert the energy into food that the tree needs to survive.
Branches provide support for the leaves and distribute them effectively to gather the most sunlight for growth.
The trunk helps support the crown. It transports water, nutrients, and energy between the leaves and the roots.
Discuss how the tree is like your family:
The roots are like our ancestors. Their experiences have helped us become who we are now. We can learn about their trials. Their stories can support us and keep us grounded through times of trial.
Just like the crown protects the roots, we can protect the photos and stories of our ancestors by remembering them and sharing them with other relatives. More importantly, we can make sure that our ancestors are connected to us by making sure their temple work is done.
We, as individuals and as families, are a lot like the leaves, branches, and trunk. The family history and temple work that we do will provide energy to our families and keep them strong.
Use the activity “I Can Climb My Family Tree” in the Friend, May 2013, to introduce them to their Family Tree on FamilySearch.org. Under Memories, selectPhotosto upload and share your photos onFamilySearch.org.
Activity for older children and teenagers:
Go to www.familysearch.org and sign in. Under Family Tree, select Tree. Take a few minutes to review the information about your family in the tree. To see if any family members need temple ordinances, watch for a green arrow on the traditional pedigree view.
Near the top left, change the view to Fan Chart or Portrait to see other ways to view your family. Discuss your family tree:
Is your tree small, medium, or large?
Are there holes in the tree or areas where people are missing?
How far back does your tree go?
Are there any famous people in your tree?
Who were the first people in your tree to join the Church?
If you have a full tree, you can view the descendants of an ancestor to find individuals who need temple ordinances. There are two ways to view descendants.