“When all is said and done, the home is the ideal forum for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Brother Tad R. Callister, Sunday School general president, taught in his October 2014 general conference address.
To encourage learning and teaching as a family in the home, each issue of the Friend magazine provides activities, suggestions, and ideas parents can use for family home evening, family scripture study, and other informal teaching opportunities.
Beginning in 2015, children and parents may also notice these helpful new features in the Friend:
This coming year, both senior Primary children and parents will be studying the New Testament in Sunday School classes. Each issue of the Friend will include a lesson to help families extend their learning at home, along with scripture study tips, questions for family discussion, scripture figures, and simple activities to help parents and children learn more about the New Testament together.
Articles of Faith
The Articles of Faith feature will help children understand the meaning of each article of faith. It also includes memorization tips, children’s personal experiences, and challenges to help children practice the principles they are learning. January’s issue highlights Articles of Faith 1 and 2.
Family History Mystery
Each month children have the chance to be a detective and solve a family history mystery. January’s Case #1 is called “The Mystery of the Heirloom.” Children are asked to find a family heirloom, ask their parents about it, record what they learn with a photo, drawing, or written explanation, and then save it in an “evidence file.” Each issue will include a new mystery for children to solve.
Give Us a Hand
To encourage children to serve throughout the year, Give Us A Hand asks children to trace their handprint, cut it out, and write about an act of service they experienced. The Friend will collect these hands until October. Each month the magazine will include “Friends Who Care” stories about children serving in their communities.
Children can learn and apply the teachings of inspired Church leaders through the stories and messages in the Special Witness feature each month. January’s issue features a story from the life of President Boyd K. Packer about crocodiles hiding in the mud and how following guides like the scriptures helps us avoid spiritual dangers.
The Friend is full of resources Primary teachers and leaders can use to enhance their Sunday class and sharing time lessons. To find stories and activities that support what is being taught in Primary each month, look for the colored diamond icon on the table of contents.
Family Home Evening Ideas
The Family Fun Time feature in each issue provides an instant FHE tied to one of the stories in the Friend. In addition, the back cover of the Friend has a letter to parents and teachers with suggestions for using the magazine. There are also several family home evening ideas using articles and activities found in that issue.
More Helps Online
You can find more stories, messages from leaders, activities, and media resources for family home evening and Primary at lessonhelps.lds.org. These resources are organized by topic, category, and Primary lesson to make them easy to find and use.