Our prophets help us prepare to go to the temple by teaching us how to live righteous lives. Each prophet has shared his knowledge of what Heavenly Father wants us to do. If we follow their counsel, we will be worthy to someday enter the holy temple. Here are some of the things that they have told us:
Joseph Smith: We must love others, even our enemies as well as our friends.
Brigham Young: Truth is obeyed when it is loved.
John Taylor: The gospel whispers peace.
Wilford Woodruff: We need to be guided by the Spirit of God.
Lorenzo Snow: The time has now come for every Latter-day Saint … to do the will of the Lord and to pay his tithing in full.
Joseph F. Smith: I feel in my heart to forgive all men.
Heber J. Grant: I assert with confidence that the law of success, here and hereafter, is to have a humble and a prayerful heart, and to work, work, WORK.
George Albert Smith: All the people of the earth are our Father’s children.
David O. McKay: Every member a missionary!
Joseph Fielding Smith: The Church … is a world church; the gospel is for all men.
Harold B. Lee: Keep the commandments.
Spencer W. Kimball: Lengthen your stride.
Ezra Taft Benson: Read and study the Book of Mormon.
Here is a game for two or more players to help you remember the order of the prophets of the Church and what they said. Think about how you can use each of these gospel truths in you own life to help you prepare to enter the temple when you are older.
1. Use a die, or cut out the numbers above and put them into a sack. Use different-color buttons or other tiny objects as markers.
2. When it is your turn, roll the die or draw a number and go forward or backward that many spaces.
3. You must land on each prophet’s space in the order in which he served as President of the Church. Then go only forward until you reach the temple.
4. Optional: Divide the players into two or more teams and see which team can get all its members to the temple first.
Cut out the pictures of the prophets, their names, and their statements that help us prepare for the temple, then use them to play a matching game. You may wish to enlarge these, if possible.
Using the scriptures and Church magazines and manuals, find temple-related stories or statements of latter-day prophets. Examples: the Savior appearing to the Prophet Joseph in the Kirtland Temple (D&C 110:1–10), President Wilford Woodruff being baptized for the dead in the St. George Temple (Ensign, September 1985, pages 8–9), President Lorenzo Snow seeing the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple (Valiant B manual, page 181), President Spencer W. Kimball urging the Saints to display temple pictures in their homes (Ensign, January 1977, page 7). Have the children illustrate the stories told.
Sing “Latter-day Prophets” (Children’s Songbook, page 134). Ask some primary leaders and teachers to tell about temples that are important to them and about how they prepared, or are preparing, to go to the temple. Children might also be invited to do the same.
Using “Seek the Lord Early” (Children’s Songbook, page 108), guide children to identify ways in which they can gain testimonies and become worthy to someday go to the temple: search the scriptures, pray fervently, obey the prophets, keep the commandments. Classes or individual children could draw on the chalkboard or pantomime one of the four ways until it is identified by the other children.
Ask the children why they go to church. Guide them to include to learn about Jesus, to pray, to sing, to see their teachers and friends, to take the sacrament, and more. Discuss how these things help us prepare to go to the temple.