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Family Home Evenings for August

Family Home Evening

Why does Heavenly father sometimes answer no?

1. Song & Prayer

2. What should we pray for? (Have family give their ideas) write them down on a piece of paper.

3. Read about Joseph F. Smith.

"Joseph F. Smith counceled his children not to pray for gifts, but for opportunities. If the Lord just opened the windows of heaven and poured gifts on the heads of his children, there would be no growth and development. But if he was kind enough to provide them with opportunities, then as they took advantage of that which he had provided for them they would grow with the power of achievement". (L. Tom Perry "Knowing and Accepting Answers to Prayer")

4. Heavenly Father is not a Jeannie. He does not grant us wishes, but he will grant us the RIGHTEOUS desires of our hearts, and the things that will bless us or help us to learn or grow. Read 3 Nephi 18:20.
(I once saw a spoiled child. He recieved everything he asked for. Soon he wasn't asking anymore he was demanding. Did giving this child everything he wanted help him? Do you suppose that Father in Heaven knowing how selfish and spoiled his children can get, lets us pass through certain hard times so that we can gain a lesson and prepare us to be humble and Christlike?

5. On a large poster or pad of paper, make a split down the middle. On one side write; SELFISH DESIRES, and on the other, RIGHTEOUS DESIRES. Ask your family what they think are righteous desires and write them down on the appropriate side. Then Selfish desires.
(write down things that you think go under each catagory).

6. Now go back and look at the things you wrote in #2. Do they match the righteous desires list?
Here are some scriptures and quotes about prayer.
D & C 88:64
Nephi knew that when he prayed he should not ask amiss. 2 Nephi 4:35
President Joseph F. Smith said that we need to "educate our desires. That our task is to come to that point in our progress where our very desires are right in the sight of God, for then we will have the "mind of Christ". When you have the mind of Christ you will pray perfect prayers. We need the Holy Ghost to help us pray for the things that are right. Some of us who haven't gotten to that point..can take heart and know that you will learn as you continue on the path of seeking after the spirit and walking in the ways of the Lord".
Here is how Enos prayed;

Enos prayed for himself, then for family, than for his enemies and even then for future generations. His prayer was added upon.
Joseph Smith said " A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, ... you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus."
We can actually learn from what we say in our prayers when we have this spirit of prayer. This takes time and is worth striving for.
Neal A. Maxwell said We should pray for, "forgiveness, for strength, for direction over our daily affairs, for leaders, for family, and for mankind..and of course sheer adoration".
Also we must pray in faith, knowing God will answer. James 1:5-6
And know this, Heavenly Father always hears and answers prayer no matter what level we are on! But we must not let ourselves get angry over a no answer. I once, when in my young 20's, wanted to marry the boy I had been dating. Every time I knelt and asked Heavenly Father about this, I got a strong and definate, NO. Now I did not know why, for this was a good man, but the answer kept coming and then it came to him too. I could have been angry with the Lord for denying me this man, that I thought I loved. But I listened. And I am very greatful I did. (Melissa Munn)
Know that, "NO", answers are always for our best good. Father knows all things ..we know very little. Sometimes the blessing we seek can only come at a later time.
I once, (while fervantly praying in the temple), recieved an answer that let me know I was not yet ready for that blessing but that it would come to me at a later time. (Melissa Munn)
Alma tells of all the things we should pray for in this scripture. Alma 34:17--30

7. A Poem about prayer


I asked God to take away my pride.
God said "No".
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said "No".
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said "No".
Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't granted.
It is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said "No"
I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said "No".
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said "No".
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful..
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
God said "No".
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhh, finally you have the idea!
(Author unknown) (If anyone knows the author of this poem please let me know that I might give due credit).
Now look at the list on the paper, (#2) again...Are these the things you have been praying for?
8. Song and Prayer and desert (this can easily be adopted for small children by doing simplified version of #1-6. (leaving the quotes out).



(prepare ahead of time a chart on how to pray, or print this one off)

1. We address our Father in heaven.
2. We express our gratitude, and ask forgiveness.
3. We ask for special blessings.
4. We close out prayers in the name of Jesus Christ.


1. Song "Families Can Be Together Forever"
2. Prayer
3. Ask; What is the most important organization in time or eternity? (The family unit.)
President David O. McKay said, "No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home"
and President Harold B. Lee said, "The greatest work we will ever do is the work we do within the walls of our own home".
4.We have been charged as parents to teach our young children to pray.
Ask, Why do you think that this would be so important? Because when we know how to rely on Heavenly Father, when we are in need, we will never have to be alone or fear.
5. Show the poster you prepared. Read it together. tell your family to follow this list when praying. Tell them you will place it on the wall so they won't forget. Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone said, "these prayers , simple and sweet, are heard". "What a blessing it is for them to know that our private, individual prayers are heard and answered by a kind wise, loving Heavenly Father, and that we can take our problems-no matter how simplistic they may be-to Him in prayer!" 6. We can pray for other members of the family. We can pray from our youth to be worthy to go on missions. We can pray to be pure, and worthy of a temple marriage. We can pray and tell Heavenly Father that we love Him. We can pray when we are afraid. Or when we need help. We can pray for these things from our youth, but we never grow to old for prayer.
When President Vaughn J. Featherstone was a boy, his father was inactive and his mother was not a Mormon yet. He heard the bishop say in church that every member needed to pray at Thanksgiving and give thanks to the Lord. Well he worried about this because he knew his family wouldn't pray and he wanted to pray with all his young heart. He wanted his brothers to mention it but they didn't and as they were passing around the food he did not have the courage to say anything about the prayer. His heart filled with despair. Even though his mothers food was delicious, he didn't want to eat. All he wanted to do was pray. He felt awful and from then on resolved that none of his children would ever feel this way in his home.
When President Harold B. Lee was a young boy he decided to go explore an old building in a nearby yard. He climbed through the fence and heard a voice telling him not to go in there. He obeyed. He never knew what would have happened to him had he gone into that building. What could have happened had he disobeyed? There are some things that we don't need to know.
President Vaughn J. Featherstone gives this account.
"Some time ago a couple came to my office with very heavy hearts. They had a son who was of priest age, an Eagle Scout, a duty to-God award winner, a good student, who had been conscientious in school and on his part-time job. Then one night he just walked away from home and didn't return. He had been gone for several weeks, and his parents were heartsick.

I asked them if they had pleaded with the Lord to know where their son was. They assured me they had. "Have you pleaded with all your strength?" "Yes, we have." Have you pleaded with every particle of your being?" "Well," they said, "maybe not every particle." I said, "You go home and pray again-this time with every particle of energy and strength of your being." They said they would. That afternoon the couple knelt down at about three o'clock, and they spent one hour on their knees, pleading with the Lord. At six o'clock the phone rang. It was their son, calling from Banff, Alberta, Canada. After talking to him for a few minutes and finding that he was safe and in no danger, they asked why he had called at that particular time. He replied, "The bishop this evening had the strongest impression to have me call home. He came over to my apartment and said he would not leave until I called home."
Some things demand that we plead with the Lord with every particle of our beings.

7. Give testimonies of the time Heavenly Father has answered your prayers. Open the time for anyone else to testify.
8. Song, "E'er You Left Your Room This Morning"
9. Prayer and desert.

***************************************************** Next family night

1. Song, Prayer
2. Ask, Did you remember to pray this week? (Have anyone who wants to, comment on their experience with prayer).
3. Let us each make something of our own making , to put up on our walls, to help us remember to pray. (have fun making individual pictures or crafts of some sort to put on the wall.
4. Display them and hang them in a place that you will see them when you wake up and go to bed.
5. Read a scripture on prayer. 2nd Nephi 32:9
6. Song, Prayer, desert


Family Home Evening:

1. Song, Prayer
2. Activity night; Do a good deed for someone in your ward, or make a treat and drop it off at someones door, or visit an elderly person in a resthome.
3. Song & Prayer and treat

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