One Sunday in testimony meeting, nine-year-old Angie told the congregation that her favorite song was “Families Can Be Together Forever.” Angie said how great it is that Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan for us to be together forever.
Angie’s parents had not been sealed in the temple. Soon after that day, Angie’s sister Katie left a letter on their parents’ pillow, urging them to go to the temple.
Angie and Katie wanted so much for their family to be sealed together. Their parents prayed about going to the temple. Their family worked hard to prepare. When the time was right, their family was able to go to the temple and be sealed together forever.
Even if your family has not been sealed, someday you will be able to go to the temple. After you turn 12, you can perform baptisms for the dead in the temple. You can begin preparing now by keeping the commandments and living My Gospel Standards.
Cut out the wordstrips on page 12, and put them in a bowl, bag, or jar. Use pebbles or buttons for game pieces. Taking turns, choose a wordstrip, and read it out loud. Then count how many words it has, and move your game piece that many spaces. Continue until everyone’s game piece has reached the temple.
August Theme: Temple blessings unite families.
(Note: Weekly gospel principles are listed in bold. All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit.)
The temple is the house of God. Show a picture of a temple. Ask the children to raise their hands if they have seen or been to a temple. Invite the children to share their feelings about the temple. On one side of the board, write, “What is a temple?” and on the other side, write, “What special experiences take place in the temple?” Divide the children into two groups. While you sing together the first and second verses of “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), have one group listen for what the temple is (house of God, place of love and beauty, holy place), while the other group listens for what takes place in the temple (feel the Holy Spirit, listen, pray, covenant with my Father, promise to obey, sealed together). Write their responses on the board after each verse of the song. Explain that the temple is a house of God and that the Lord has given instructions about what kind of house it should be. Ask the children to listen as you read together Doctrine and Covenants 88:119. On the board, write, “A house of _____” seven times. Ask the children to help fill in the blanks with the words from the scripture. To help the children understand that Church members must be worthy to enter the Lord’s house, invite the bishop or branch president to briefly talk about temple recommend interviews. You could also invite him to bear testimony of the importance of temples.
I will prepare now to go to the temple. Beforehand, draw on separate pieces of paper simple pictures of a mouth, eye, ear, hand, and foot. Write the following phrases on the board: “House of God,” “Place of love and beauty,” “Holy place.” To begin sharing time, ask a child to read the three phrases. Have the children whisper what the phrases describe (the temple). Teach that on each temple are written the words “Holiness to the Lord.” Explain that because the temple is holy and the work done inside the temple is holy, we must prepare ourselves to be worthy to enter after we turn 12. Have the children listen for when they should begin to prepare to go to the temple while you sing, “I’ll prepare myself while I am young; this is my sacred duty” (“I Love to See the Temple,” p. 95). Ask: “When should I begin preparing to go to the temple?” (while I am young). Have the children sing that line with you. While the pianist plays “I Love to See the Temple,” pass around the drawing of the mouth. When the music stops, have the child holding the mouth tell one thing his or her mouth can do now to help him or her prepare to go to the temple: pray, speak kindly, tell the truth, keep the Word of Wisdom, and so on. (If the child is not able to think of a response, invite other children to respond.) After the child responds, ask for other ideas from the children. Do the same with the drawings of the eye, ear, hand, and foot. Encourage the children to practice during the coming week things they can do now to prepare to go to the temple.
My family can be together forever through the ordinances of the temple. Sing “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188). While you read Doctrine and Covenants 138:48, have the children listen for what work is done in temples that would make it possible for families to be together forever (“sealing of the children to their parents”). Show GAK 417 (Elijah Restores the Power to Seal Families for Eternity). Teach about the prophet Elijah’s appearing in the Kirtland Temple to restore the sealing power (see D&C 110:13–15). To help the children understand “sealing power,” show a picture of the temple in your area and explain that if couples are married in the temple and keep the promises they make there, they will still be married after they die. Tell the story of Angie and Katie’s family’s being sealed in the temple (see page 13 in this issue). Have each child draw a large picture of a temple. Then have them turn their papers over and draw a small picture of their family or their future family. When they have finished, have them hold their pictures up to the light so they can see their families in the temple. Share your testimony that families can be together forever.
Family history and temple work bless all the generations of my family. To help the children understand what a family generation is, have seven children come to the front of the room. Tape the label Me on the child in the center. Label the children on his left Parent, Grandparent, Great-grandparent. Label the children on his right Child, Grandchild, Great-grandchild. Explain that each person represents a family generation. Tell the children that when Heavenly Father established families, He planned for us to help each other return to live with Him forever. Read Malachi 4:6. Explain that turning “the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” means to seal all the generations of our family together forever through temple ordinances. That verse also refers to the love we feel for our ancestors when we learn about them through family history. With the bishop’s or branch president’s permission, invite a grandfather or grandmother of one of the children to come to Primary. Beforehand, write questions on pieces of paper, and let the children take turns choosing and asking a question for the grandparent to answer. Start each question with “When you were my age …” (Possible questions: What was your favorite family tradition? What did you do in Primary? What did you and your friends like to do for fun? What was a challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it? What is a favorite memory about your parents?) Encourage the children to ask their parents and grandparents questions to learn more about them.
Song presentation: “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188). Teach the chorus first by randomly posting wordstrips of each phrase, written with just the first letter of each word. (The first phrase would be FCBTF.) Tell the children to listen while you sing the chorus so they can help put the phrases in the correct order. You may have to sing it more than once. When the phrases are in order, have the children sing the chorus. Teach the first and second verses by writing a key word from each line on a wordstrip. Invite a child to the front of the room. Hold the wordstrip above his head where he can’t see it. Tell the children this is to remind them of the word not to sing. As the Primary sings, ask the child to listen for the key word that is missing. When he guesses correctly, have the Primary sing the phrase including the key word. Follow this pattern for the other lines. Sing the song all the way through with the chorus.
Friend references: “Temple Blessings,” Aug. 2001, 2–3; “To Touch an Angel,” June 2002, 4–6; “A House for the Lord,” June 1993, 48–49; “House of the Lord,” Mar. 2002, 40; “My Family History Miracle,” Feb. 2008, 42–43; “Family Testimony,” Dec. 2002, 7; “Temples Bless Families,” July 2004, 18–19.