Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
My Family Can Be Forever25964_000_010
Do you remember the story of Adam and Eve? When they left the Garden of Eden, they became the parents of the first family on earth. Adam and Eve had sons and daughters and taught them the gospel (see Moses 5:12). They experienced the challenges and also the great joy of family life (see 2 Ne. 2:23).
Since then, through Heavenly Father’s plan, each of us has come to earth as part of a family. Each family is different—there may be two parents or one parent, lots of children or few children; sometimes there are cousins or grandparents also living in the home. It is important for family members to love each other and do their part to have a happy home.
Learning and living
As we do our part to build an eternal family by learning and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will rejoice in Heavenly Father’s plan for us.
Cut a small branch off a tree or bush, and secure it in a vase or cup (be sure to ask for an adult’s help and permission). Or draw a picture of a tree on a large sheet of paper. The pictures on page 12 show ways you can help strengthen your family. Cut out the frames, and punch holes at the top of each one. In the blank frames, write or draw your own ideas of ways to help and show love for your family. With string or yarn, hang the frames on the tree.
Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed out from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Invite a family consisting of a father, mother, and baby to Primary. Ask the father to be prepared to briefly teach the children about pre-earth life and Heavenly Father’s plan for us to come to a family. Ask the mother to explain what parents do for a baby and what the baby will need to learn to return to Heavenly Father. Play the following game to show that everyone in the family can teach the baby. Copy Primary packet picture 1-7 (a family), and cut it into six puzzle pieces. Write on the back of each piece one of the following names: Grandpa, Grandma, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister. Pass the puzzle pieces from child to child as the pianist plays “music clues” as to what the baby must learn (examples: “I Know My Father Lives,” p. 5; “I Pray in Faith,” p. 14; “Baptism,” pp. 100–101; “Follow the Prophet,” pp. 110–11). When the music stops, have the children identify the song and the principle taught. Ask each child holding a puzzle piece to tell one thing that the family member on the puzzle piece can do to teach that principle to the baby or to his or her own family. Have one child put his or her puzzle piece in place after each song, beginning with “Grandpa.” Continue until the puzzle is complete. Sing and review “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–65).
2. We can learn to live the gospel in our homes. Divide the room into four stations depicting four areas of a home—living room, kitchen, bedroom, and family room. The children will move from station to station for brief activities. In the “living room,” lead the older children on a scripture chase (see who can reverently find each reference first) to identify gospel traditions in the home. Include the following scriptures: D&C 19:38 (praying), D&C 1:37 (reading scriptures), John 14:15 (keeping the commandments), Ex. 20:12 (honoring parents), D&C 119 (paying tithing), and D&C 59:9 (attending meetings). Point out that these are also part of the Faith in God requirements. (For younger children: Conduct a similar activity—instead of using scriptures, ask the children to identify the principles as shown in pictures from the GAK.)
In the “kitchen,” have the children make a simple sack puppet (see TNGC,
In the “bedroom,” review with the children how to pray with the second verse of “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14) or by discussing the Lord’s Prayer (see Matt. 6:9–13). Help the children make cutouts of the sun and moon to take home to remind them to pray morning and night.
In the “family room,” teach older children how to lead a song from the Children’s Songbook (see Faith in God guidebook,
3. For older children: Many of the prophets in the Book of Mormon were good examples of honoring parents and strengthening family. Divide children into six groups, and give each group one of the following scripture references and a word cut up into letters: obedience, 1 Ne. 3:2–8; prayer, Enos 1:4–5; work, Mosiah 6:7; repentance, Mosiah 27:8–14, 32; faith, Alma 53:18–22, and Alma 56:44–48; scriptures, Morm. 8:1–5.
Have each group read the story in the scripture reference, unscramble the word to identify the principle taught and lived by parents and children, and decide how to honor parents by living the principle today. Invite each group to share briefly the scripture story and application. Sing songs from Children’s Songbook to reinforce these principles.
For younger children: Using Primary packet pictures 4-5 (Lehi’s family fleeing), 4-8 (Nephi delivering the brass plates), and 4-16 (Nephi and the broken bow), involve the children as you tell stories of Nephi’s obedience to his parents (see TNGC,
4. Teach the children about the Kirtland Temple using GAK
Give each child a piece of paper divided in half with a line. Have the children draw a picture of themselves living one of the gospel standards on one half of the paper and a picture of themselves at the temple on the other half. Make a collage of the pictures for the Primary room, or have each child take his or her picture to share and post at home. Bear your testimony of the blessing of eternal families.
5. Song Presentation: “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” (p. 177). Have each child trace his or her own footprint on a piece of paper, cut it out, and write his or her name on it. Post the footprints on the board around or leading to GAK
6. Friend references: “My Family Can Be Forever,” poster, Jan. 2004, insert; “My Family,” Feb. 2004, 20–22; “Happy Family Game,” Feb. 2004, 30; “My Eternal Family,” Feb. 2004, 38–39; “Together Forever,” Feb. 2002, 31–33; “The Sealing Keys Restored,” Feb. 2002, 44–45; “Honoring Our Parents,” Jun. 2003, 8–9. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.