The Lord gave me a temple
to live within on earth.
Once in Heaven I was spirit, but
I left my home at birth.
I’ll make my temple brighter;
I’ll keep my spirit free.
My body is the temple my Father
gave to me.
(Children’s Songbook, page 153.)
This Primary song tells us that our bodies are temples that Heavenly Father has given us. The scriptures tell us this, too: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).
How do we make our temples brighter? How do we keep our spirits free? How do we keep ourselves clean and pure so that the Spirit of God can be with us? We can begin by thinking, saying, and doing good and uplifting things.
When President Spencer W. Kimball was nine years old, his job on the family farm was milking from two to nine cows every day. Milking cows can become boring, so he thought of things to do while he milked that were interesting and good and fun. He practiced squirting a stream of milk into the mouths of the cats that gathered around at milking time. He memorized every word of the Articles of Faith and the Ten Commandments to the beat of milk squirts hitting the pail. He copied most of the songs in the hymnbook on sheets of paper and memorized them. On a one-legged stool, his head pressed against a cow’s side, he sang them to the cows.
President Kimball made his inner temple brighter and kept his spirit free by filling his mind with worthwhile things while he worked. Can you do the same?
Instructions: Read what President Kimball did to keep his thoughts, words, and actions pure. Then glue a photograph or draw a picture of yourself in the right-hand column. Fill in the blanks with what you can do to keep your thoughts, words, and actions pure.
Tell the story about President Kimball. Make a copy of the activity for each child. Have each child find, then copy on paper to memorize later, his or her favorite scripture or song. Younger children could illustrate theirs.
Play a word association game (see Merrie Miss A manual, pages 117, 119) to help children understand the power of words. Discuss how they can control their words.
Have children list things they can do when inappropriate thoughts or words come into their minds. (Possible answers: recite a memorized scripture, sing or hum a hymn or Primary song, pray silently, think of a happy story, think of what Jesus did when He was tempted—He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan” [see Luke 4:5–8].)
Sing “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (Children’s Songbook, page 152) and ask children what songs help them feel happy, especially when they have bad thoughts. (The songs listed under “Morality” in the Children’s Songbook index are excellent choices for this situation.)
Assign each class to find and discuss one of the following scriptures that compare good and evil: Psalm 34:13–14 [Ps. 34:13–14]; Proverbs 12:5 [Prov. 12:5]; 12:17 [Prov. 12:17]; 12:19 [Prov. 12:19]; 12:20 [Prov. 12:20]; 12:22 [Prov. 12:22]; 13:5 [Prov. 13:5].
Draw names of children from a container, and have the others describe the children named with positive, loving words. Discuss how happy we are when we say good things about others.