• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Interactive Hidden Pictures from the Friend

The Friend has posted some of its hidden pictures activities on its Web site as interactive games. Try them out to see if you can find all of the shapes hiding in the lines of the picture. If not, the Friend is gracious enough to give you hints so that you can narrow down your search. When you have found one of the hidden shapes, click on it and watch it turn to color and fly over to the key on the right. These fun activities are sure to be a hit with all LDS kids online (and, admit it, with the adults, too).

New Look for the Friend Online

Check out the new look at the Web site for the Friend, friend.lds.org. There you can find links to things such as videos of Matt and Mandy and For Little Friends, interactive coloring pages, printable activities, and audio recordings of stories. You can also see that there are features yet to come, such as interactive hidden pictures. This site is no longer just for Primary teachers and leaders; it now is shaping up to be a great place for kids to go as well.

Interactive Coloring Pages from the Friend Online

The Friend has posted interactive online versions of some of its coloring pages. Kids can select colors to fill in regions of the picture, and there is even music to accompany them while they do it. So have fun, kids! (And, of course, adults too—admit it.)

Matt and Mandy as Video

For all of you Friendophiles out there (if I may coin a term), you can now experience the popular Matt and Mandy comic strips as videos, beginning with this month’s installment of the series. Check it out, and let the Friend know if you like it.

Music Download: The Family Is of God

The Friend has posted an MP3 download of a song whose sheet music appears in the magazine this month. “The Family Is of God” can be downloaded at the Friend’s Web site in two versions: with vocals and without vocals. It’s a nice little song with a strong melody and lyrics that teach a good message.

Our Creative Friends Slideshow

The Friend’s Web site has posted a slideshow of “Our Creative Friends” from the September issue. For those unfamiliar with this feature, “Our Creative Friends” showcases children’s drawings, usually on Church-related themes, that are submitted to the Friend for publication. These drawings are now available online for the first time. Enjoy.

Love, Limits, and Latitude

The August Ensign contains an article with great guidelines to common-sense parenting. “Love, Limits, and Latitude,” by Craig H. Hart, Lloyd D. Newell, and Julie H. Haupt, offers advice on avoiding parenting that is too authoritarian or too permissive, focusing instead on the love parents should show toward their children, as well as the limits they should set and the ways they should encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. For instance, it says:

“Milk will spill; children will sometimes be less than careful on the playground; teens may let their social life sabotage their grades. These experiences can teach them that certain actions are not productive. Helping to clean up the milk, bandaging the wound, or talking through an improved study schedule would be more effective than scolding a child in an attempt to teach a lesson that is already obvious.”

The article also discusses how to foster children’s sense of independence by giving them latitude. This approach often requires negotiation and compromise on the rules at times, but it helps children prepare for real-world situations. Children can also benefit from this approach in their spiritual lives. As the article says:

“Providing latitude also gives children space to develop their own feelings about the gospel. Teens who have learned to recognize the Spirit and to make choices based on their understanding of right and wrong—rather than simply on parents’ demand for obedience—will be better equipped to make wise decisions in the face of stress or peer pressure.”

This sort of advice seems like common sense, but It’s sometimes hard for parents to follow it. The Ensign does a good service by offering reminders and examples like those in this article.