Have you ever seen a temple lighted at night or walked on the temple grounds during the day? Do you have a picture of a temple in your home? Do you have a happy, peaceful feeling when you see a temple? Why are temples such special places? Other buildings are also built with the finest materials and landscaped with beautiful flowers. But temples are places where Heavenly Father and His Spirit may dwell. Each is a house of the Lord.
All of Heavenly Father’s children who are worthy and old enough can enter the temple to learn more about His plan of happiness. In a temple, worthy members of the Church covenant with (make promises to) Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father, in turn, makes promises to them.
Members of the Church go to the temple to participate in ordinances* for themselves. Many receive these ordinances when they are preparing for a mission or marriage. They also go to the temple to perform ordinances in behalf of those who have died. For example, young people who are worthy and at least twelve years old can go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Children who are at least eight years old can attend temple dedications. Younger children may enter the temple to be sealed to their parents.
In each case, those who enter must be clean in body and spirit “because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples” (Alma 34:36).
Before you go to the temple, your bishop or branch president interviews you and asks you about your testimony and if you are keeping the commandments and following the prophet. Only then does he sign a recommend that allows you to enter the temple to participate in ordinances or to attend temple dedications. When you are an adult, an additional interview takes place with the stake president or mission president if you want to go to the temple to be endowed,† married, or sealed.
Each day as you choose to live the commandments, keep your baptismal covenants, and try to be more like Jesus Christ, you are preparing to go to the temple. If you are pure and clean when you enter the temple, you will feel His Spirit. The temple will always be a place of love and beauty for you.
Make a temple booklet to add information to throughout the coming year.
Remove page 31 from the magazine. Glue it onto construction paper, then trim it.
Glue a photograph or drawing of yourself in the space on the front cover. Write your name on the line. Enter information about a temple dedication that you know about or learn about during the coming year on the back cover.
Fold the covers along the hinges and punch holes where indicated. Fold or cut paper to fit in the notebook and punch holes in the pages, aligning the holes with the ones in the covers. Place the blank pages between the two covers.
Thread a 2′ (60 cm) piece of string or yarn through the holes and tie a bow on the front of the booklet. Record the things you learn about temples this year in your booklet and share them with your family.
I Love to See the Temple
I’m going there someday.
Your picture here
My record of the dedication of the
Dedicatory prayer given by:
In the prayer, he said:
It made me think:
I can prepare to go to the temple by:
I will go to the temple.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise indicated. GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. Discuss the times when Jesus Christ went to the temple in Jerusalem during His mortal ministry. He went as a young boy and declared He was doing Heavenly Father’s work (see Luke 2:41–49); He drove out the people who were defiling it (see John 2:13–17); He taught at the temple (Matt. 21:23–46; John 7:14–53).
Ask a child to step out of the room. Hide a picture that represents one of the following things we need to do to be worthy of going to the temple: baptism, paying tithing, living the Word of Wisdom, being kind to family members, sustaining the prophet, gaining a testimony of the Savior. Bring the child back into the room and have him or her search for the picture. Have the rest of the children sing “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), singing louder as the child gets closer to the picture and softer as he or she moves away from the picture. Once the picture is found, discuss how the principle represented will help the children prepare to go to the temple. Explain that finding the picture was easier when the child listened to those who were trying to guide him or her. Explain that it is easy to be ready to go to the temple if we study the scriptures and follow the teachings of the prophet, other Church leaders, and parents. Sing a song that relates to the picture: tithing—“I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing” (p. 150); Word of Wisdom—“The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153); love for family members—“A Happy Family” (p. 198); heeding the prophet—“Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–111); gaining a testimony of the Savior—“The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77).
2. Teach the relationship between the covenants we make and the blessings we receive. Hang the following pictures from the GAK down the middle of a wall: baptism (601), gift of the Holy Ghost (602), sacrament (604), and temple marriage (609). On one side of the pictures, post a wordstrip that says I Promise; on the other side, The Lord’s Blessings. Divide the children into four groups. Have a teacher direct each group in reading one of the following scriptures and then discussing the covenants (promises) and blessings mentioned: Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 121:45–46; D&C 20:75–79; D&C 109:20–23.
Prepare two containers for holding wordstrips with quotations from the above scriptures. Label one container “I Promise” and the other “The Lord’s Blessings.” In the I Promise container, put these twelve wordstrips: Bear one another’s burdens, Mourn with those that mourn, Stand as witnesses of God, Serve Him, Be full of charity, Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, Take upon them the name of Thy Son, Always remember Him, Keep His commandments, No unclean thing shall be permitted to come into Thy house, Reverence Thee in Thy house, and Bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings.
In the The Lord’s Blessings container, put these ten wordstrips: Be redeemed of God, Numbered with those of the first resurrection, Have eternal life, Pour out His Spirit more abundantly, Confidence wax strong in the presence of God, The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, Always have His Spirit to be with them, Armed with Thy [God’s] power, Thy glory [will] be round about them, and Thine angels have charge over them.
Have the children take turns choosing a wordstrip from either of the containers and reading it out loud. Have the group whose scripture the quote comes from raise their hands and tell which ordinance it pertains to. Have the child hang the wordstrip under the correct heading by the picture depicting that ordinance. Repeat until all of the wordstrips are in place. Sing “Covenants Are Promises” (Friend, Aug. 1999, p. 38) or “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–147). Bear your testimony of the blessings we receive from keeping our covenants.
For younger children: Divide the children into three groups. Have a Primary leader assigned to each group prepare in advance simple materials (props, costumes, flannel-board figures, etc.) for the children to present their story. Have the leader tell the story to their group, then help the group prepare to share the story with the rest of the Primary. Stories: “Abraham Covenants with the Lord” (Gen. 22:1–18; Friend, Aug. 1998, pp. 34–35); “Joseph ‘Holds to the Iron Rod’” (Gen. 39–41; Friend, July 1998, pp. 42–43); the people of Ammon bury their weapons (Alma 23–24; Friend, Aug. 2000, pp. 34–35).
3. Learn “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95) by cutting out four pieces of paper to form a simple foundation and three spires of a temple. On the foundation, write “love” and “see.” On the left spire, write “feel,” “listen,” and “pray.” On the middle spire, “house of God,” and on the right spire, “prepare” and “young.” For younger children, use simple pictures instead of words. Ask the children to discover which three senses are mentioned as you sing the first two lines of the song. As you sing, place the foundation and the first spire on a flannel board. Have the children name which senses were mentioned. Explain how feeling with your hands is different from feeling the Spirit. Have everyone sing the first two lines. Ask them to find three things that a temple is (a house of God, a place of love, a place of beauty) as you sing the next line. Add the middle spire as the children sing the third line with you. As you sing the final line, have the children discover what their sacred duty is (“prepare myself while I am young”). Place the final spire on the flannel board as the children sing that line. Sing the entire first verse several times. As you do, remove the strips one by one until the children can sing the song without the wordstrips. Teach the second verse in a similar manner.
4. Check with your priesthood advisor first to see if this activity will work in your meetinghouse without disrupting others in the building. If not, designate areas of the children’s meeting room to represent the rooms mentioned. Divide the children into groups and take them on a tour of the meetinghouse, much as they might go on a tour of a temple during an open house. (See Friend, Feb. 1993, pp. 2–4 and Jan. 2001, p. 22.) Ask them to be reverent and listen to the guides who will explain how a temple is similar to and different from a meetinghouse. Have an adult accompany each group, as well as a guide at each of the following stops:
Chapel—a gathering place in both buildings.
Classroom—similar to an ordinance room because it is where we are taught what Heavenly Father wants us to know and do.
Baptismal font (if there is not one in your building, use a picture)—in a meetinghouse baptisms are performed for the living; in the temple baptisms are performed for the dead.
Kitchen—in a meetinghouse, a place to serve food for ward or stake activities; in some temples there are cafeterias where food is served.
Bishop or branch president’s office—the bishop or branch president is responsible for his ward or branch; each temple has a temple president’s office. The temple president is responsible for the temple and the work done there. If possible, have the bishop or branch president explain what a temple recommend is at this stop.
Return to the Primary room and explain that temples have some other special rooms, such as the celestial room and sealing rooms. Have the children sing “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95). Invite a speaker to talk about his or her experiences at a temple open house or dedication.
5. Tell the story “Samuel’s Scriptures” (Friend, Jan. 1998, pp. 2–3). Have the children mark D&C 131:2–4 in their scriptures. Hand out pieces of paper cut to fit in the children’s temple booklet (see Sharing Time, pp. 30–31). Have the children list five reasons why they want to be married in the temple. Ask them to add this sheet to their temple booklets.
For younger children: Enlarge the game board in the back of the Primary 2 manual. Change the beginning space to “Not Preparing to Go to the Temple” and the ending space to “Preparing to Go to the Temple.” Color the spaces on the board five different colors, and in a sack have five small pieces of paper the same colors. Divide into two or more teams. Provide a marker for each team. Play the game, having a team member take at random a piece of paper, move their marker as directed, and return the colored paper to the sack. Read what the square says and briefly discuss why what is written will or will not help us prepare to go to the temple. The arrow on each square indicates which direction the team will move on its next turn. Have the teams take turns and continue playing until all the teams reach “Preparing to Go to the Temple.” If possible, give the children copies of the game board to color and take home to play as a family home evening activity.
6. Additional Friend resources: “Keeping My Promise,” Aug. 1998, pp. 12–13, 11; “Temple Light,” Aug. 1999, p. 19; “I Can Keep My Covenant,” Aug. 1999, pp. 44–46; Friend to Friend, May 2000, pp. 6–7; “Sticking to Standards,” May 2000, p. 47. Additional resources: “Nauvoo’s Holy Temple,” Ensign, Sep. 1994, pp. 59–62; “Building Temples, Building Lives,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, pp. 23–27.