Have you ever wished you were older? You must be 12 years old to be baptized for the dead in the temple. You must be an adult to receive your own endowments or be married there. It can seem like a long time before you will be the right age to help with temple work.
But there are things you can do right now. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said: “I urge all of the people of this church to give serious attention to their family histories. … I urge every person to start the children out writing a personal history and journal” (“The True Way of Life and Salvation,” Ensign, May 1978, 4).
Why is it important to keep a journal and do family history work? President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “All of our vast family history endeavor [effort] is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it. The temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer” (“New Temples to Provide ‘Crowning Blessings’ of the Gospel,” Ensign, May 1998, 88).
Family history work and journals help to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6). As you learn stories about your ancestors, you see into their hearts and you appreciate them. As you write in your journal, you remember the Lord’s blessings and you help your future children see into your heart.
You can also choose the right so that when you are older you can go to the temple. And you can be worthy to return to the temple to help your ancestors receive “the crowning blessings the Church has to offer.”
Mount page 13 on heavy paper; cut out the three hearts. Fold the hearts in half, and glue each half to half of a different heart (see illustration). Punch holes where indicated. Attach a string to each hole, and tie the strings together. Hang the heart where it can remind you to write in your journal.
The Heart of the Children
Turns to Their Fathers.
See Mal. 4:6.
Have the children dramatize the story of Nephi returning to get the brass plates (see 1 Ne. 3–4). Use name tags or simple costumes to identify each part. Then divide the children into seven groups. Give each group one of the following scriptures: Jer. 30:1–2; 1 Ne. 19:1; Jacob 4:1–4; Enos 1:1–2, 13, 16; Alma 37:1–3; 3 Ne. 5:14–15, 20; Abr. 1:31. Have each group read their scripture and report on who kept the record, what was written, and why that person wrote it. Read Omni 1:17 and explain what happens when records are not kept. Explain that one of the most important reasons for keeping records in the Book of Mormon was to testify of Jesus Christ (see 1 Ne. 13:40).
Invite ward or branch members to share an excerpt from their journals. Have them express their feelings about the value of keeping a journal for themselves as well as for their posterity. Work with the music leader to sing songs that help the children recall events in their lives. Have them draw a time line and write simple statements of what occurred at different times. Begin by singing “I Am a Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, 2–3) and having them write the date of their birth. Sing songs that represent different ages and different times of the year, such as a Christmas song and a birthday song.