Have you ever built a house out of sand? Did you watch the waves wash it away? If you were building a house to live in, you wouldn’t build it on sand. You would want to build your house on a solid foundation—perhaps of concrete or rock. Then if the rain came down, a flood started, or the wind blew, your house would be safe.
Jesus explained: “Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock” (3 Ne. 14:24–25). That rock is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When Nathan was five years old, he suffered an eye injury. During the next few years, Nathan needed several operations. Nathan and his family prayed and had faith that he wouldn’t lose his sight. Heavenly Father heard their prayers and blessed Nathan so he could see.
Like Nathan, you will have challenges. These are like the floods, rain, and wind that can come down upon your house. When you say your prayers, have faith, and live the teachings of Jesus, you will help strengthen yourself and your family. You will be building your testimony upon the rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paste the door hanger on heavy paper, and cut it out. On the rock, write something you will do to strengthen your family. Hang it on a doorknob to remind you of what you can do to build your house upon a rock.
Building My House upon a Rock
I will have faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I will pray to Heavenly Father.
I will repent of any wrongdoing.
I will forgive others.
“Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, [and] forgiveness” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 1998, 24; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
Write “Prayer Strengthens Me and My Family” on the board. Display a piece of paper and a book. Explain that the book represents challenges; the paper represents us. Invite a child to stand the paper on its edge and balance the book on top. After a few children have tried it, explain that there is a way to make the paper strong enough to hold the book. Roll the paper into a tube, and secure it. Stand the paper tube on its end. Carefully place the book on top (practice beforehand). Similarly, when we pray and keep the commandments, Heavenly Father will shape our character and give us strength. Invite two or three families to share how prayer has strengthened and blessed them. Have each family share a favorite song or hymn and sing it together or with the Primary.
Act out the parable of the unforgiving servant (see Matt. 18:23–35). Point out that the debts were as if the servant would not forgive a debt of U.S. $1 after the king had forgiven him a debt of $600,000 (see James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. , 396–7). Prepare seven large question marks with the following questions, and place them underneath every seventh chair: 1. Whom does the king represent? (Our Heavenly Father.) 2. Whom does the unmerciful servant represent? (Each of us.) 3. Whom does the fellow servant represent? (Anyone who has offended us.) 4. What is Jesus teaching us in this parable? (That we must forgive others if we want God to forgive us.) 5. How do you feel when you forgive someone? 6. How do you feel when you do not forgive? 7. How do you feel when Heavenly Father forgives you? Have the children count off. When they reach seven, ask the child to look under his or her chair and answer the question. Continue until all the questions have been answered. Read Matt. 18:21–22. Have the children multiply 70 times 7. Jesus was teaching us that we should always be willing to forgive. Encourage the children to memorize D&C 64:10. Sing a song or hymn about forgiveness.