Pokemon Go Family Home Evening (FHE)–a whole month of theme lessons!

Pokemon Go has taken over my Facebook feed, the local parks and downtown streets, and hearts of kids and adults alike. Our family did Pokemon Go as our FHE last night, and I’d say conservatively that 75% of the people out on the streets were playing Pokemon Go. Here is a quick guide to letting it take over your Monday nights for the rest of summer, by hosting an entire month of Pokemon Go-theme FHE!

  • Week 1: Gifts of the Spirit (Gotta Catch ‘Em All!…sort of)
  • Week 2: “All these things shall give thee experience [points] and be for thy good”
  • Week 3: Noah’s Ark and collecting each kind (just like Pokemon!)
  • Week 4: Family History (Ancestors: Gotta Catch ‘Em All!)


Week 1:

  • Opening song: We Are Different (this song is quoted in the conference talk that the lesson is based on)
  • Lesson topic: Gifts of the Spirit (Gotta Catch ‘Em All!…sort of)
  • Scripture: 1 Corinthians Chapter 12:

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.

  • Lesson: Spiritual gifts are special kinds of talents or abilities. Each person has different spiritual gifts (just like each player has different Pokemon!). The goal isn’t exactly to “Catch them all,” but you should seek to develop your talents and gifts in all areas that you can. It is important to respect the different talents and abilities that each person has, whether it’s differences in abilities with other kids in the family or at school, or different experiences that bring us to the gospel. Sister Chieko Okazaki taught this in general conference: “Let us rejoice in our diversity. I grew up a Buddhist, the daughter of a Japanese plantation laborer in Mahukona, a tiny village which no longer exists, on the big island of Hawaii. … Look around the room you are in. Do you see women of different ages, races, or different backgrounds in the Church? Of different educational, marital, and professional experiences? Women with children? Women without children? Women of vigorous health and those who are limited by chronic illness or handicaps? Rejoice in the diversity of our sisterhood! It is the diversity of colors in a spectrum that makes a rainbow. It is the diversity in our circumstances that gives us compassionate hearts. It is the diversity of our spiritual gifts that benefits the Church. … As a Relief Society General Presidency, we are different. Elaine, Aileen, Carol, and I are married and single, homemakers and professionals, far travelers and homebodies, converts and fifth-generation members, high school graduates and graduate-degree holders. We have given service to our community and to the Church. But we know each other, we help each other, and we love each other. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. We rejoice in our diversity and enjoy a unified sisterhood. Do the same in your own wards and stakes.”
  • Activity/Game: Pokemon Go, of course!
  • Closing Song: I’ll Walk with You
  • Dessert: Of course the most important part of FHE is the dessert. Fortunately, the lifestyle blogs have us covered with Pokemon theme Pinterest and YouTube instructables galore. Here’s one:


Week 2:

7  And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good..

  • Lesson: These words came to Joseph Smith when he was facing one of the biggest trials of his life, locked in Liberty Jail. God was telling him, and us, that through difficult trials we learn and grow the most. Every time you face a trial and don’t give up, you gain “experience points” in real life! President Susan Tanner gave a talk with many examples. Here is one: “[from a letter] “As the mother of a handicapped daughter, I am used to doing a little extra to help things work out for her. Because she is deaf, I am often at her side interpreting for her. You can imagine the feelings that flooded through me as the young women all began to sign the Young Women theme for her. … I stood there watching with tears in my eyes…. “The remarkable love and service these young women have shown just began on that day. Many of them have given of their time and effort to learn sign language and now help with interpreting at church for Alexis. My prayers for Alexis have always been that she would be happy, be progressing, and know that she is loved.” Discuss: do you think the difficult effort the YW made to learn to sign was worth it? Who benefited from that effort?Another story of sacrifice is shared by Sis. Silvia Allred: “In 1976, when we were living in Costa Rica, the mission president asked my husband to help organize the first trip from the mission to a temple. The Central America Mission then included Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The closest temple was the Mesa Arizona Temple. The trip required us to travel five days each way, crossing six borders. The financial sacrifice for most of those who went was great. They sold their television sets, bikes, skates, and anything else they could sell. We traveled in two uncomfortable buses day and night. Some of the members had used all their money to pay for the bus fare and had taken only crackers and margarine to eat on the way.” Discussion question from Sis. Allred: “Why do members of the Church so willingly and happily make such great sacrifices to go to the temple?”

    Additional references: All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, by Neal A. Maxwell (book); “Friend to Friend” interview with Elder F. Melvin Hammond (Friend magazine).

PIKACHU

Full instructions here.


Week 3:

17 [God said unto Noah,] behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

  • Lesson: After the rains ended, God made a rainbow in the sky and told Noah, “This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” Explain that a token of a covenant is something that helps us remember the covenant (a covenant is a promise that God makes to us and that we make to God). Remembering that God loves us and remembering our promises to God are two very important parts of the gospel! In a recent General Conference, Elder Gerrit W. Gong taught about remembering: “Remembering—and forgetting—are part of everyday life. For example, once, after looking everywhere for her new mobile phone, my wife finally decided to call it from another phone. When she heard her phone ring, my wife thought, “Who could be calling me? I haven’t given that number to anyone!” Each week, in partaking of the sacrament, we covenant to always remember Him. Drawing on the nearly 400 scripture references to the word remember, here are six ways we can always remember Him.” Discuss the 6 ways that Elder Gong teaches, or brainstorm your own.

  • Closing Song: The Sacrament
  • Activity/Game: Pokemon Go
  • Dessert: Here’s some healthy ideas for you over-achievers:
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See full instructions here


Week 4:

5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

  • Lesson: One way to honor our ancestors is to treat them as valued individuals by carefully collecting each name and story. Did you know that research by scientists shows that kids who learn about stories of their ancestors overcoming challenges are more resilient in responding to challenges in their own lives? It’s true! See New York Times and LDS.org. So, for this FHE, think of some stories that aren’t just heroics and success, but the hard challenges too. If your family history isn’t researched deep into the past yet (or can’t be, for whatever reason), these stories could be from your life or the lives of your parents. Knowing that others faced challenges helps us have more hope and resilience in life, and knowing that everyone makes mistakes can help us have more hope and resilience in the gospel. President Uchtdorf taught in General Conference that “everyone…is a VIP to our Heavenly Father,” no matter how many mistakes we’ve made along the way. He said: “I am not suggesting that we accept sin or overlook evil, in our personal life or in the world. Nevertheless, in our zeal, we sometimes confuse sin with sinner, and we condemn too quickly and with too little compassion. We know from modern revelation that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat our fellowmen. One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, “I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.””
  • Closing Song: Lead, Kindly Light (the author of this song didn’t always make the best choices! but he overcame challenges to have faith to let the Light of Jesus lead him)
  • Activity/Game: Pokemon Go
  • Dessert: Rice Crispy treats in the shape/color of Pokeballs.

 

Comments

  1. Kevin Barney says:

    Simply amazing.

  2. These are great! I love that you put them together!

  3. J. Stapley says:

    So awesome.

  4. I love this post so much. SO MUCH.

  5. Angela C says:

    Brilliant! We were just talking last night about how Pokemon Go seems to have created a divide between curmudgeons (they’re still looking at screens!) and young at heart. I for one was shocked to discover that my teens who are Netflix binge-ing slugs during summer vacation (they literally woke up after 1pm yesterday) BOTH got up at 5am today to go out and find Pokemon. That’s unprecedented.