Our Stake (Arlington Texas) is studying one scripture a month this year. To help families to integrate the scripture into their homes in meaningful ways, for each scripture we will share the following:
- the accompanying challenge
- free printables of the scripture or related challenge for display in the home
- family home evening lessons for all types of families
- ideas for memorizing the scripture
The scripture for December is Luke 1:30-32.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
The accompanying challenge is: this December let’s focus first upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over 25 days, there are 25 ways to follow Christ.
While this is a Christmas-focused program, it is appropriate for use any time of year, and could easily be repeated every month throughout the year as a year-long approach to drawing closer to the Savior by becoming more like Him.
As we choose to follow and the Savior, some visual reminders in our home can help us keep this foremost in our minds.
We’ve created this printable of Isaiah 9:6 with a Christmas theme. Simply right click and save it.
LDSPrintables shares this printable of a quote from President Monson that reminds us that focusing outside of ourselves is the path to happiness. When we focus on the needs of others over our own, it is easier to focus on the Savior.
Family Home Evening Ideas
Did you know that LDS.org has an entire Christmas topic page? It’s got links to talks on Christmas by General Authorities, along with links to the Christmas devotionals, music, and articles in Church magazines. If you are looking for a simple FHE focused on Christ, it’s a great place to start.
We love this 12 Days of Christmas Advent. It was designed for young women, but could definitely be done by any age. It includes a scripture and an activity idea for each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas.
- LearnAsWeGo shares five different Christ-centered FHE ideas for families with young children, and most of them are very low prep. At the bottom of the post is a list of children’s books for the Christmas season, most with a Christ-centered theme.
- We love this Christmas in the Book of Mormon FHE from Melissa Dillon. It takes some preparation, and it needs to be done two weeks before Christmas if you want to do all of the readings, but it’s worth it. Really great idea.
- This Sing Along Christmas FHE from Montserrat Wadsworth has a lot of reading that may need to be shortened if you have very young children, but the songs and text and easy prep make it a great choice.
- AYearofFHE has curated a list of 15 great Christmas activities from the Friend.
Do a Google image search for “annunciation.” Looking at the fine art images that result from the search, compare them asking these questions:
- Which are the most doctrinally correct?
- What colors are most often associated with Mary? With the angel?
- What can you say about Mary’s personality based upon the paintings?
- Which do you feel best represents your own image of this moment?
- List three feelings you think Mary might have had in this moment and then find a picture to match each feeling.
Print out this list of the names of Christ from Kaylene Yoder with accompanying readings and do a few each week leading up to Christmas.
- Watch a previous First Presidency Christmas Devotional. You can find them all (going back to 2009) on the Church website.
- The names of Christ activity in the teen section above would work well for adults, too.
- Read and study the New Testament Institute Manual chapter that discusses these verses.
- Use BibleHub to delve deeply into the verses in this month’s scripture. Read the verses in two additional translations and compare them. (Only do this if you have already studied the Institute Manual).
These verses are short, and the last (and longest) is divided into two parts, yielding a fairly easy scripture to memorize. To memorize it, follow this plan:
- First, break it down into these sections:
- And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:
- for thou hast found favour with God.
- And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son,
- and shalt call his name Jesus.
- He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:
- and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
- Read through it this way three times, getting a feel for the pattern of the cadence.
- Next, print out our copy of the passage, broken up into these phrases.
- Using a blank sheet of paper, cover up all but the first line (that’s why there are large spaces between the lines). Read through just that line three times, then move down to expose the second line as well. Read through those two lines three times.
- Repeat until you have done all six lines.
- Do this five days in a row, and review it once every few months, and you will own this scripture forever.
Be sure to visit our Scripture Memorizing Ideas page for ideas and general help on memorizing.