Family Life

Internet Safety for Youth

Watch this video, then spend time helping your children understand the consequences of what they might think are innocent Internet activities. Protect your children. Monitor their computer and Internect activity. Know their passwords. Love your children.

From US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team), here is a great article entitled “Keeping Children Safe Online”: Children present unique security risks when they use a computer–not only do you have to keep them safe, you have to protect the data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats, click here…to read the article. and here…to visit Wired Safety, the world’s largest Internet safety, help and education resource.

Mother or Smother children-washing-dog-outside-725x483

By Laraine L. Thompson

In our well intentioned efforts to be good, nurturing parents do we end up smothering rather than mothering—or fathering for that matter? We have all smothered from time to time. We want our children to know that we love them. We think that the way to show them that love is to do for them—things that they can and should be doing for themselves. We launder and iron their clothes. We tidy their rooms. We prepare food at their whim. We hover over their homework, their scout advancement, their young women progress. We may even be doing some of their homework! The list could go on.

I know of one woman (and there are countless more just like her) who, in her willing and exuberant desire to be a wonderful, nurturing LDS mother, waited on her family for their every need. She even went so far as to wrap up hot meals to drive to her son’s athletic practice so as not to force him to have to reheat his dinner when he would arrive home. She washed, folded, and put away her son’s clothing. She hovered over his homework. He, along with his other siblings, was the very center of her world. She was admired by her peers for her mothering efforts.  Yet, when it came time for him to go away to college, he began to struggle. Read more…

Preparedness Tip

Never let the gas tank in your car get below half a tank.  car_rideIf you do this, you won’t have to worry about running out of gas, AND if you had to evacuate, you would be ready.



View the magazines, printable activities, and sharing time lessons. Find children’s music from the Friend and the Children’s Songbook, download music, play games and more…Take the time to visit this wonderful site with your children.

Click here to visit the Friend, a magazine from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Meals Together-So Much More Than Food Alone!

By Laraine L. Thompson

In recent years, numerous studies have indicated the overriding importance of family meal time.  A 2004 University of Minnesota study published in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine states that “frequent family meals are related to better nutritional intake, and a decreased risk for unhealthy weight control practices and substance abuse.” Another benefit, of course, is reduced cost of feeding one’s family. Going out for dinner is very expensive!

While nobody would quibble with the notion that family meals contribute to eating more healthfully or less expensively, it is the component related to less substance abuse that is of utmost importance.  We constantly ask ourselves, “What one thing can we do as a family that will most contribute to our success?”  We supply numerous answers—study the scriptures together, hold family home evening, attend church together, hold family prayer—the list goes one and on. The single, simplest, of all changes to implement is an ironclad establishment of family mealtime!

In yet another study the multiple benefits of a family mealtime are outlined: Read more…

What Family Means

Physical Activity for Youth  

The AHA’s Recommendations for Physical Activity in Children:

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease. It also increases the risk of stroke and such other major cardiovascular risk factors as obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol anddiabetes. The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Read more…

No Family Is Perfect

None of us is without sin. Every one of us makes mistakes, including you and me. We have all been wounded. We all have wounded others.

It is through our Savior’s sacrifice that we can gain exaltation and eternal life. As we accept His ways and overcome our pride by softening our hearts, we can bring reconciliation and forgiveness into our families and our personal lives. God will help us to be more forgiving, to be more willing to walk the second mile, to be first to apologize even if something wasn’t our fault, to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. Thanks be to God, who gave His Only Begotten Son, and to the Son, who gave His life for us.

“One key to a Happy Family” by President Dieter Uchtdorf

Plan Ahead for Christmas Gifts

by LDS Intelligent Living

1-1260207893jxCtMy husband and I decided years ago that in order to ease our spending budget at Christmas time, we would buy most of the gifts year round. The first thing we do early in the year is decide on an amount to spend on each family member/friend. We collect wish lists, and then check the retail price for each requested gift. When that is done, we total all the gifts amount so we can evaluate if the total matches the budget originally decided, and if not, we adjust.

Throughout the year, we watch for sales and purchase the gifts on the list at their lowest retail prices. This method enables us to save money on most of the items and then apply the money saved toward last minute unexpected gifts that need to be purchased.

This will work if the list is kept handy and reviewed regularly; it is similar to setting goals, we keep it fresh in our mind by reviewing regularly what is on the list, thinking about the strategy to achieve the goal and working at it.

We found that if we have a list and a set budget for Christmas gifts, it is less likely that we will succumb to impulse buying when visits to the stores are made during the Christmas holiday. However, in order for this plan to work, we have to stick to the list like glue, review it and adjust so we always know how the budget is doing as purchases are made.

We prefer a non-stressful Christmas, and with the shopping out of the way early, we are more available to help others during the holiday season.

Continue Learning

By Donna Norris

We as church members are encouraged to continue learning. D & C 88:118 says, “…seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” D & C 130:18 – 19 states, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”

These following article excerpts give some ideas of what things we can learn and how we can go about learning.

Henry B. Eyring First counselor in the First Presidency said “A great teacher is always learning. The workplace in every profession is changing so rapidly that what we know today will not be enough for tomorrow.”  Later in the article he goes on to say, “It takes neither modern technology nor much money to seize the opportunity to learn in the moments we now waste. You could just have a book and paper and pencil with you. That will be enough. But you need determination to capture the leisure moments you now waste.” “Education for Real Life”, Ensign, Oct. 2002, 14, read the entire article, click here…

Dallin H. Oaks of the Twelve Apostles states, “Beyond increasing our occupational qualifications, we should desire to learn how to become more emotionally fulfilled, more skilled in our personal relationships, and better parents and citizens….Lifelong learning can increase our ability to appreciate and relish the workings and beauty of the world around us. This kind of learning goes well beyond books and a selective use of new technology, such as the internet. It includes artistic endeavors. It also includes experiences with people and places: conversations with friends, visits to museums and concerts, and opportunities for service. We should expand ourselves and enjoy the journey.”

“Learning and Latter-day Saints” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks


Family Activity for Thanksgiving Celebration

A Thankful Activity for All

by LDS Intelligent Living

An idea to connect with family members who live too far to join you during Thanksgiving celebration.


  • Colored card stock paper or construction paper
  • Leaf templates (large enough for a picture to be glued on), autumn leaves (go for a walk  with the kids to collect the leaves), or draw your own Autumn leaves
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Magnets – some come in a roll and can be cut to desired sizes (optional)
  • Tape (optional)


Ask your relatives to send you a picture, and share with you one thing they were thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving activity

Cut out all the leaves in different color paper and leaf shapes (they all should be close to the same size).

Glue the pictures on the leaves.

Write your family member’s thankful thought under or above the picture.

Display Ideas

  1. Glue a magnet behind each leaf and display on the refrigerator.
  2. On Thanksgiving Day, have the family members take turn reading the thankful thoughts and then display the leaves on a wall (you can group the leaves by family). You could play a game by placing the leaves with the parents’ pictures on the wall and have family members match the kids’ leaves to their parents.
  3. Display all the leaves around the dining room table’s center piece, and read them during Thanksgiving dinner.

You can easily find free printable pictures of leaves on the internet to use as template for this project. Some children would prefer coloring/painting the leaves and that’s great too.

Don’t forget to take a picture of the display on Thanksgiving day to send to your relatives.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Parenting our Teens with Strength and Good Courage

1-1260284058j7TJBy Laraine L. Thompson

Louis Sponseller, former member of our stake and past president of the Portland Stake held many parents and youth leaders at complete attention at a recent adult fireside sponsored by our stake presidency. Using a power point presentation, he skillfully described the often overwhelming challenges faced by today’s youth and conversely, the parents of those youth. It is no dark secret that the youth are more challenged than ever before. The adversarial powers have combined to make their lives unbearable at times. Young women have been told for a quarter of a century now that they can survive quite independently without the companionship of man. Young men, as a result, are confused about their care giving, protective roles. As a result, they are adrift; floundering in a world that somehow no longer needs them. Talk about frightening! He told the story of a father who arrived home one evening only to find his teenage daughter sitting alone in a darkened living room. When he realized that she was crying, he asked her the reason. Through her tears, she sobbed, “Home is the only place where I can feel safe!” It was fortunate for her that her home afforded her that sort of comfort. What a pity for many more youth, even those within our church, whose homes do not provide them much, if any safety—particularly spiritual safety.

The cover of the March Ensign with a headline reading, “Home—A Sacred and Safe Haven” echoes the words of President Sponseller. Inside the reader finds a selection of art from around the world that embodies the power that is ours as parents if we will but fully embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it genuinely, fully, and lovingly within the walls of our homes. The result of not doing just this is taking a staggering toll on our youth. Read more…

A Recipe For a Happy Family

28 tips for every Mormon couple: Marriage advice, encouragement from LDS leaders

For years, leaders of The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints have shared marriage advice, warnings and encouragement. They have given counsel on topics such as selfishness, gratitude, responsibilities and much more.

Click through this list to find 28 pieces of advice and encouragement from previous and current LDS leaders.

A Return to Walden Pond

the pond animated gif ldsintelligentliving.orgBy Laraine L. Thompson

Feeling overwhelmed by the busyness of his life, Henry David Thoreau, in 1845 took advantage of an offer from his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson and moved himself to Emerson’s property near Boston, Massachusetts. There, for two years, on Walden Pond, Thoreau carved a life of great simplicity for himself. He chronicled those efforts in the now classic, Walden in which he wrote,

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

We, who live far more complicated, demanding lives cannot afford the luxury— such an ironic term—of making such a decision to leave life behind. Here we are smack dab in the 21st century. Thoreau would be completely overwhelmed by what he would see if he were here! While we cannot do as Thoreau did, perhaps we can glean a bit of wisdom from his experiences. He determined that there are only four things that a man needs to survive: food, clothing, shelter and fuel. Read more…





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Providing for Self and Family