It is Sunday morning and time to get ready for church. You wash your face, comb your hair, and put on your nice clothes. Why? Because you want to show love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by looking nice and being clean.
President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tells of a time during World War II when he and other members of his bomber crew made a six-day trip across Texas and Arizona. It was very hot, and they hadn’t had a chance to take a bath or wash their uniforms. When they went to a nice restaurant, one woman looked at them and said in disgust, “My, what untidy men!”
President Packer said, “All eyes turned to us. I felt dirty, uncomfortable, and ashamed.”
President Packer was uncomfortable because his clothes were dirty and he was unwashed. But he knows that Heavenly Father is much more concerned that we are clean inside. How can we be clean inside? When we repent and are baptized, our sins are washed away and we are clean. When we keep the commandments and partake of the sacrament, we renew the promise we made at baptism to follow Jesus Christ. It is like being washed clean again. This is made possible because Jesus Christ atoned, or paid the price, for our sins.
President Packer has written a poem about this:
If we could only understand
All we have heard and seen,
We’d know there is no greater gift
Than those two words—“Washed clean!”*
When Church members go to the temple, they show their love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by being clean on the inside. We are promised that those who are pure when they enter “the Lord’s house may feel [His] power … and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 109:13–15). When you are old enough, you will feel comfortable going to the temple if you are clean on the outside and on the inside. It will help you feel Heavenly Father’s presence there.
Glue page 47 to heavy paper. Cut out the temple, fold the sides up on the dotted lines, and glue the tabs to the insides of the walls to form a box (see illustration). Cut out the scripture reference bricks. They mention some things you can do now to build your life so that you will be worthy to enter the temple. Place the bricks in the temple box. Each day, choose a brick from the box, look up the scripture, and read it by yourself or with your family. Think about or discuss ways you can live these principles. Glue the brick to the outside of the temple. When you have read and attached all the bricks, the temple will be complete and you will have a reminder of what you can do to be prepared to enter the temple.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook (CS) unless otherwise indicated; GAK = Gospel Art Kit)
1. Explain that D&C 88:119 is more than instructions on building a temple. It is a blueprint for building our homes and personal lives (see Ensign, Oct. 1999, pp. 2–5). Have the children divide into pairs or groups to discover some things we can use to build stronger homes and lives, then present their information to an assigned leader. Prepare the following lists, one for each group:
Prayer—learn the steps in prayer by learning part 2 of “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14).
Fasting—discover what Jesus Christ taught about fasting by reading and discussing Matt. 6:16–18.
Learning and Glory—recite an article of faith, from memory if possible. Discuss why it is important to study and learn.
Order—tell the order of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel by reciting the fourth article of faith. Pick a law of the land and discuss why obeying it helps build your community. Pick a rule in your family and explain why it helps to build your family.
As the groups finish, have them learn part 1 of “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14). When all are done, sing both verses, then divide the Primary into two groups and have them sing the parts simultaneously.
Give one piece of paper and one pencil to every two children. Have them sit with the paper and pencil between them, each holding a pencil. Ask them to draw a house. Show some of the drawings. Point out that it is easier to do if they cooperate. Explain that parents want their homes to be houses of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order. Parents can’t do it alone. Parents and children have to work together to build such a home. Testify that as we live these principles, our temples, our homes, and our lives will be places of order and strength.
2. Invite an adult to dress in a simple costume and tell the children about Christ’s appearance at the temple in the Americas (see 3 Ne. 11–12, 17). Show the Book of Mormon Video Presentations #8, “My Joy Is Full” (item no. 53911). Play the video a second time with the sound turned down and have the children sing songs, such as “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75), “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79), and “Had I Been a Child” (pp. 80–81). Have the children write or draw in their temple booklets about the experiences the Nephite children had at the temple when Jesus Christ appeared.
3. On each of six papers, write one of the following sets of information based on the six Bs given by President Gordon B. Hinckley (see Ensign, Jan. 2001, pp. 2–11, or Friend, Feb. 2001, pp. 24–25). Include a quote from the talk for each B. • Be Grateful—“I Thank Thee, Dear Father” (page 7), D&C 59:7; • Be Smart—“Teach Me to Walk in the Light” (page 177), D&C 93:36; • Be Clean—“The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (page 153), Ps. 24:3–4; • Be True—“Stand for the Right” (page 159), Alma 53:20–21; • Be Humble—“I Am a Child of God” (pages 2–3), Alma 32:15–16; • Be Prayerful—“Search, Ponder, and Pray” (page 109), Matt. 6:6. Divide the Primary into six groups and give each group one of the papers. Have them choose to give the scripture as a choral reading or to sing the song. Allow time for practice. Have the groups tell what their B is, present their song or scripture, and have one group member read the quote from President Hinckley and suggest a way we can follow his counsel.
Invite a member of the bishopric or branch presidency to talk to the children about the standards necessary to enter the temple. Have him explain how following the prophet’s counsel can bless them now and also prepare them to enter the temple. Sing “Seek the Lord Early” (p. 108).
For younger children: Have each class choose one of the six Bs. Suggest stories from the scriptures or everyday situations that teach these principles, and have each class dramatize one for the rest of the Primary. For example: one of the ten lepers showed gratitude; Abinadi was true; the shepherds at Jesus’ birth were humble; children doing their homework are smart; children refusing to watch shows using bad language are clean; and children involved in blessing the food, or saying personal or family prayers are prayerful.
4. Review the account of Jesus cleansing the temple (Luke 19:45–48 or Friend, Feb. 2001, pp. 8–9). Explain that the temple is a house of God. We should treat the temple with respect by choosing to live like Jesus Christ so we will be prepared to go to the temple one day. Have the children suggest words that describe how we should behave in following Jesus and being prepared to enter the temple. List the words on the chalkboard.
Play a game that reinforces these ideas by having the children take turns saying the following phrase using words from the list or other appropriate words. The first child begins by saying, “I am going to the temple, and I will be _______.” Have the child fill in the blank with a word beginning with the letter a. The second child repeats the phrase and the first word, then adds a second word that begins with b. For example: “I am going to the temple and I will be alert and brave.” Continue playing until you have completed the alphabet or until all the children have had an opportunity to play.
A child may choose to pass on his or her turn. If he or she passes or is unable to complete the list, everyone sings a song that describes a way to follow Jesus Christ, such as “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79), “Kindness Begins with Me” (p. 145), or “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162). The next child then begins a new list starting with a word that begins with the letter following the one that was passed.
For younger children: Have the children draw pictures of one thing they can do to prepare to go to the temple. Then have them stand up one at a time and say what it is. Then, one at a time, have the children hold up their pictures again and see if the rest of the children can remember what it represented.
5. Before Sharing Time, place various footwear, including a pair of sandals, in a container. One at a time, have children choose an item and tell where or when it would be worn. When the footwear has all been chosen, explain that shepherds, like Moses, wore sandals similar to those that were shown. Have the children turn to Ex. 3:1–5. Explain that Moses was tending sheep when he came to the mountain of God. The Lord appeared to him in a flaming bush there. Ask what happened to the bush (read vs. 2–3—it was not consumed [did not burn up]). Ask what Moses heard God say (read v. 4—“Moses, Moses”). Ask the children to do the same thing that God told Moses to do (read v. 5—“put off thy shoes from off thy feet”). Ask why God had Moses remove his shoes (read v. 5—“the place whereon thou standest is holy ground”). Show a pair of temple slippers, explain that when we go to the temple, we take off our everyday shoes and put on clean, white shoes to show that we are in a reverent, holy place. When we come to church, we don’t wear temple shoes, but we walk quietly and behave more reverently than we may at other times. Have the children put on their shoes while they sing “When I Go to Church” (p. 157).
Ask the children what else they can do to show reverence in church (speak with soft voices, not disturb their neighbors, pay attention to the speakers and teachers). Explain that reverence in the temple is shown similarly. While the pianist plays songs listed in the “Reverence” section of the CS index, have the children draw pictures or write things they can do to show reverence at church. Sing “Reverence Is Love” (p. 31). Present the pictures and writings to a member of the bishopric to show the children’s commitment to be reverent. Have him post the papers on a bulletin board for a few weeks to remind the children of their commitment, then give them back for the children to take home and share with their families.
6. Song Presentation: Help the children choose visual aids for this month’s song, “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79). Choose pictures from the GAK and the Primary 7 manual picture kit that depict scenes from Jesus’ life. Also choose pictures from the Primary 1, 2, and 3 manual picture kits of children involved in acts of kindness or service and of children who are facing moral dilemmas. Hang the pictures around the Primary room, leaving the front wall blank. Teach the song at the beginning of Sharing Time. Instruct the children to listen while you sing the song and to think which of the pictures would help them remember the words. Sing the entire song. Then sing the first phrase, “I’m trying to be like Jesus.” Have a child choose a picture that helps her or him remember that phrase; move it to the front wall. Have everyone sing the first phrase. Repeat for each phrase of the song. Have the children sing the entire song several times.
At the end of Sharing Time, review the song by placing the chosen pictures on the wall in random order. As the Primary sings the song, have a child find the picture for the first phrase and hold it. Select other children to choose and hold the pictures in order as the Primary continues to sing. If you have separate Sharing Times for younger and older children, record the order of the pictures chosen by each group so that the same ones can be used for the song in upcoming weeks.
7. Additional Friend resources: “Presentation at the Temple,” Aug. 2000, pp. 19–20; “Revelation and the Kirtland Temple,” July 1997, pp. 48–IBC; “The Temple Is a Place of Revelation,” May 1993, pp. 12–13; “All Things Shall Be Revealed,” June 1990, pp. 12–13, 26. Other resources: “An Eye Single: Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Feb. 2000, pp. 28–29; “Enhancing Our Temple Experience,” Ensign, May 2001, pp. 78–79.