Home Dedication FHE

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If you don’t want to read through my whole explanation of how this FHE lesson came to be, or my personal suggestions for making this a little more special feel free to click here to skip to where you can download the lesson outline and PowerPoint.  I won’t be offended.  Ok, well I might be offended, but really, I won’t know so don’t let my being offended stop you!

A few weeks back Eric mentioned to me that he had something he wanted to do for Family Home Evening. This surprised me a little since usually I plan our FHE lessons but I was excited that he had something he wanted to do.  That particular night though was the Monday before Easter and I had spent a lot of time putting together this lesson, so I asked if we could do it another night.  The following few weeks were busy with a trip to California, Daniel’s birthday and I think a week where we either missed FHE or Sam had something very specific that he wanted us to do.  So last night I  told Eric that we’d plan on doing his FHE tonight.  I realized though that I didn’t know what it was that Eric wanted to do for his FHE so I asked him.  He replied that he wanted to dedicate our house.

This was an excellent idea.  Even though we’ve lived in this house over 2 years already (man, time flies!) dedicating our home wasn’t something we’d ever gotten around to.  We’d lived in so many places in the 4 years we’d been married before purchasing our house and hadn’t really lived anywhere long enough to think of doing this.  I’d thought of it a few times but always forgot to mention it to Eric.

As we got ready to do it this evening I thought it would be good if I could put together a little lesson about what it means to dedicate a house so that our children could understand what was going on.  I ended up with an outline and a power point presentation which you can download at the bottom of this post.

If you want to do this FHE and dedicate your own home (even if you’ve already lived there awhile) I would suggest at least having the priesthood holder who will be dedicating the home read what the Church Handbook says:

Church members may dedicate their homes as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside and where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal family relationships. Homes need not be free of debt to be dedicated. Unlike Church buildings, homes are not consecrated to the Lord.

A Melchizedek Priesthood holder may dedicate a home by the power of the priesthood. If there is not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the home, a family might invite a close relative, a home teacher, or another Melchizedek Priesthood holder to dedicate the home. Or a family might gather and offer a prayer that includes the elements mentioned in the preceding paragraph and other words as the Spirit directs.

If you’re looking for more reading material I also really liked this article about this family’s experience dedicating their home.

We didn’t end up getting around to doing this tonight (our neighbors got their trampoline set up for the first time since the end of winter and the boys played outside until it was too late for a real FHE so we did a prayer-song-Mormon Messages on YouTube- song-prayer-leftover birthday cake FHE instead), but here are some of the guidelines that I think will help make it a more successful experience.  One thing I really tried to do today was to really get our house cleaned up before we dedicated that.  Now, understand that as I write this there are still clothes on the floor from yesterday, and a couple dirty dishes in the sink, and balls ALL over our front room.  But, our closet is cleaned up, the guest room is all made up nicely and the boys’ room is pretty well picked up, and there aren’t any toys out in the family room 🙂  I was starting to get there.  I don’t think that your house (or ours) needs to be immaculate before you dedicate it, but I was thinking of what we do with temples and chapels before we dedicate them and I just think that, to the extent possible, cleaning your house with a little more attention than usual just puts the home in a nice spirit beforehand.  I’m also thinking that I might try to dress up next week when we do this for reals.  Maybe not quite to church clothes, but I could probably put on at least a casual skirt and have the boys in polo shirts.  Just something to mark that we’re doing something a little bit more special, a little bit out of the ordinary for our FHE.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the lesson plan and the PowerPoint.  All of the images in my PowerPoint are either personal pictures, from LDS.org’s image library or from the Microsoft clip art gallery, so there shouldn’t be any issues with copyright.  If you have a minute though I would recommend going through and swapping out a few of the images.  Right now the temple in the pictures is the Draper Temple because it’s our closest temple, but if you go to Temples.lds.org you can find your closest temple and insert that picture as well.  I also have a picture from Eric’s and my wedding day on the page talking about temple ordinances, which might be better replaced with a picture from your own wedding day (if available).  Finally, on two different slides there is a picture of our house and obviously it’s nice if the house in the picture is actually your own 🙂  You are completely welcome to use my PowerPoint as is and just treat the pictures as stock photography, but also feel free to modify it to better fit your own family too.

Downloads

If you download either resource and use it I’d appreciate a comment letting me know what you think!  I never know if people really use my lessons or not but I’m hoping that they’re put to good use by more than just my own family (although it’s worth the effort even just for them 🙂 )  Enjoy!

Suck it up princess, walk it off!

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So today is Throwback Thursday.  I don’t usually post something for this, but I was thinking of a story that I don’t think I’ve recorded before, and I figured it was worth doing.   If you want more of a reason for this post, sorry, you’re not getting one.

In May of 2006 I was on the tech crew for a group at BYU called the Young Ambassadors.  This was my 3rd year in the group and we traveled all around the country and the world with a Broadway review show.  In previous years I had toured with the group in Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and South Korea.  I’d also gone on 6 shorter stateside tours to every state west of the Rockies.  This year our longer tour was to the southern states.  Someone in the leadership of our group had taken the time to contact the parents of each of the people in our group to ask them to write a letter to their student to be given to us on a day when we might need a little extra encouragement.

When my parents received this assignment they thought it was a little bit funny.  After spending full months abroad where I had hardly any contact with them at all, a tour which remained entirely on US soil, where I’d have my cell phone to call or text them whenever I wanted didn’t really seem all that daunting.  So they decided instead of writing me a serious letter telling me how much they loved me and were proud of me, they were a little bit snarky with it.  I can’t remember everything that they wrote on the note that they included in my envelope, but I remember that the entire message from my dad was “Suck it up princess, walk it off!”  They also included a printout of my dad’s favorite “News from Lake Woebegone”.  I remember showing this to some of the performers in the group and they were horrified!  What kind of parents would write such a thing?  Didn’t they know that this was for a day when I was having a hard time and could use some love from my parents?

I on the other hand thought it was brilliant!  I don’t think I’d been having a particularly hard day when they gave me that letter, but I definitely wasn’t afterwards.  It was something that I knew had come specifically from my family.  We can be a little bit snarky sometimes, but I know that my parents love me.  So receiving that letter was just a proof that it came from my parents and not someone else’s.  It made me happier than if they’d sent a lengthy letter telling me how much they loved me and how proud they were of me.  In fact what that letter said to me was, “hey, we love you and are proud of you and think you’re great.  But you already know that, and you know we’re here for you for whatever you need.  In the meantime, enjoy the inner workings of Garrison Keilor’s mind and some silliness from home.”  I don’t think there’s anything better they could have sent me 🙂