“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).10940_000_oct
Week 1: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” came from God to help my family.
Identify the doctrine: Show the children pictures of the Ten Commandments and the scriptures. Ask, “Where did these come from?” Explain that they came from God through His prophets to help us know what to do. Show the children a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and explain that it came from God through His latter-day prophets to help our families.
Encourage understanding (singing songs): Explain that not all families are the same, but each family is important; God wants all families to be happy and return to Him. Give a wordstrip with a different sentence from the family proclamation to each class. Invite the children to think of a song that relates to their sentence. Invite the classes to take turns reading their wordstrips aloud and leading the other children in singing the song they have chosen. Testify that our families will be blessed as we follow the teachings in the family proclamation.
Week 2: Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to God’s plan.
Encourage understanding (hearing and telling a story): Tell the story of Adam being the first man on the earth. Have a child read Genesis 2:18 as the children listen for what Heavenly Father said (“It is not good that the man should be alone”). Explain that He created Eve, who would marry Adam. Have a child read Genesis 3:20 as the children listen for what Adam called his wife (Eve). Next have a child read Genesis 1:28 as they listen for what Heavenly Father commanded Adam and Eve to do (“multiply,” or have a family). Explain that without Adam and Eve’s marriage, God’s plan for His children to come to earth would not have happened. Invite a few children to retell the story.
Retelling stories: When children retell a story they have just heard, they will remember it better.
Encourage application (seeing pictures): Explain that Heavenly Father’s commandment for a man and a woman to be married and have a family is just as important today as it was when Adam and Eve were on the earth. Show pictures of families and let the children point out the man, the woman, and the children.
Week 3: When family life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can be happy.
Identify the doctrine (seeing pictures): Invite a child to hold a picture of a family. Ask what we should found (or base) our family life on so we can be happy. Invite another child to hold a picture of Jesus Christ. Explain that when family life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can be happy.
Encourage understanding and application (making lists): Display a picture of Jesus Christ on the board, and write “Teachings of Jesus” beneath it. Divide the children into three groups. Give each group one of the following wordstrips and scripture references: “Follow the Commandments” (John 14:15), “Help Others” (Mosiah 2:17), and “Show Love to Everyone” (John 13:34). Ask the children to read their assigned scripture and then discuss in their groups ways they can follow that teaching of Jesus in their families. Invite each group to put their wordstrip on the board and tell the other children what they discussed. After each group has shared their ideas, discuss how following that teaching of Jesus can help our families be happy.
Scriptures: Having children read from their own scriptures reinforces the importance of the scripture and invites the Spirit. If possible, invite the children to mark verses in their own scriptures and then read them together.
Week 4: Successful families work together.
Identify the doctrine (participating in an object lesson): Invite four children to come to the front of the room. Have each child hold the end of one piece of string while you hold the other ends of all four strings. Ask the children to work together to twist the strings into a rope. Point out that just as twisting the strings together made a strong rope, working together can make a strong family. Put each of the following words on separate wordstrips: Successful, families, work, together. Attach the wordstrips to the rope. Invite the children to read the sentence together.
Encourage understanding (role-playing): Show a picture of Noah, and briefly tell the story of how Noah built an ark and gathered animals to prepare for the flood (see Genesis 6–7; Moses 8). Divide the children into groups, and ask each group to role-play one way Noah’s family may have worked together (such as gathering wood for the ark, building the ark, and herding the animals). Invite the other children to guess what they are doing. Explain that Noah’s family was successful as they worked together.
Encourage application (drawing pictures): Explain that just as Noah’s family worked together, it is important for us to work together in our own families. Give each child a piece of paper and crayons, and invite them to draw pictures of their families working together. Invite several children to share their pictures and explain how doing what they have drawn will help their families be successful.