February: Heavenly Father Has a Plan for His Children

2014 Outline for Sharing Time: Families Are Forever, (2013), 4–5

Supplement the ideas provided here with some of your own. Plan ways to identify the doctrine for the children and help them understand it and apply it in their lives. Ask yourself, “What will the children do to learn, and how can I help them feel the Spirit?”

“O how great the plan of our God!” (2 Nephi 9:13).

Preparation: As you plan your sharing times, first read through all of the lessons for the month. Then balance the activities you plan to use according to the time you have and the needs of your Primary. For example, you could complete half of a longer lesson one week and finish it the next week or repeat shorter activities to help the children review.

Week 1: Heavenly Father has a plan for His children.

Identify the doctrine (saying the doctrine): Have three children come to the front of the room. Have the first say, “Heavenly Father,” the second, “has a plan,” and the third, “for His children.” Divide the children into three groups, and ask each group to stand and, with the help of the three children as leaders, repeat their part of the sentence. Repeat several times, giving each group a chance to say each phrase.

Encourage understanding (reading scriptures): Explain that before we were born, we lived in heaven with our heavenly parents; Heavenly Father wanted us to become more like Him, so He presented a plan. Divide the board into three sections and label them “Premortal Life,” “Mortal Life,” and “Life after Death.” Briefly discuss each (see True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 115–17). Divide the children into small groups, and give each group one or more of the following scriptures: Genesis 1:1; Alma 12:24; Alma 34:32; Alma 40:12; Doctrine and Covenants 76:62; Moses 4:2; Abraham 3:22–23. Invite each group to read their scripture, tell the other children what their scripture is about, and write the reference under the correct heading on the board.

Encourage application (drawing pictures): Give each child a piece of paper divided into thirds. Ask them to draw something that represents each part of God’s plan (premortal life, mortal life, and life after death). Encourage them to share their pictures with their families at home. Sing together “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (CS, 164–65).

Week 2: Heavenly Father commanded Jesus Christ to create the earth as a home for His children.

Encourage understanding (discussing pictures): Explain that as part of Heavenly Father’s plan, we needed to leave His presence, so Heavenly Father directed Jesus Christ to create the earth for us. Display pictures of some of the creations (such as the sun, the moon, water, plants, and animals) around the room. Choose a child to get a picture and place it on the board. Discuss why that creation is important to us. Continue until all of the pictures have been placed on the board. Ask the children to listen for why these things were created as someone reads Doctrine and Covenants 59:18–19.

Visuals: Children respond well to visuals. Consider using a variety of visuals, including objects, chalkboard drawings, wordstrips, pictures, and puppets (see TNGC, 89–90).

Encourage application (drawing pictures): Give each child a piece of paper, and invite the children to draw one of their favorite creations. Sing “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (CS, 228–29).

Week 3: My body is created in the image of God.

Identify the doctrine (seeing a reflection): Hold a mirror in front of a few children, and let them describe what they see (eyes, ears, mouth, and so on). Explain that what they saw was an “image” of themselves. Have the children listen for whose image we were created in as someone reads Genesis 1:27. Explain that God has eyes, ears, a mouth, and so on, and that is why we do too. (For younger children, consider having them wiggle or touch different body parts as you explain that God has them too.)

Allowing the children to participate will give them the opportunity to play an active part in the learning experience.

Encourage application (playing a game): Draw or write the name of a different body part on each side of a square block or a paper cube. Ask the children to pass it around the room as they listen to or sing “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (CS, 153). Stop the music randomly, and let the person holding the cube roll it. Ask, “How does Heavenly Father want you to use or take care of this part of your body?” Continue as time allows.

Paper cube available at sharingtime.lds.org

Week 4: Agency is the gift to choose for myself.

Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Bring several objects that children can choose between. For example, you could bring two different kinds of fruit, a pen and a pencil, or two different kinds of shoes. Ask several children to choose between the objects. Explain that the ability to choose is a gift called “agency” and that we are free to choose, but every choice comes with a consequence.

Encourage understanding (reading a scripture): Tell the children that when we were spirits in the premortal life, we used our agency to make a right choice; all of us chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. Ask someone to read 2 Nephi 2:27. Discuss what the scripture says about the consequences of choosing to follow Jesus Christ or choosing to not follow Him.

Encourage application (role-playing): Invite each class to role-play a situation in which they could use their agency to follow a commandment. (For example, they could role-play obeying their parents or sharing a toy with a friend.) Let the other children discuss the good consequences of their choice.

Music helps and suggestions for how to teach the songs in this outline are found on pages 26–27.