Lesson 1

The Purpose of Temple and Family History Work

“Lesson 1: The Purpose of Temple and Family History Work,” Instructor’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work (2008), 1–3


Objective

When class members complete this lesson, they should understand basic doctrines of temple and family history work.

Preparation

In preparation for this lesson:

  • Prayerfully study pages 1–5 of the Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work.

  • Obtain a copy of the Member’s Guide for each class member.

  • Watch the following segments of the Temple and Family History Course DVD. (If you are not able to show the segments, you can cover some of the same information by presenting the discussion activity that follows the showing of the segments.)

    • “Saviors on Mount Zion” (3:38 minutes)

    • “To Turn the Hearts” (6:15 minutes)

  • Reserve a DVD player from the meetinghouse library for the class session.

Activity

Give each class member a copy of the Member’s Guide. Encourage class members to study it carefully and bring it to class with them each week.

Key Points

1. The Great Plan of Happiness

Have someone read the first paragraph on page 1 of the Member’s Guide. Then ask:

  • What is Heavenly Father’s plan for His children?

  • What is the role of temple ordinances in our Father’s plan?

After class members discuss these questions, share the statement by President Boyd K. Packer found on page 1 of the Member’s Guide.

Bear testimony of the importance of temple blessings for each child of God.

2. Eternal Families Are Part of the Plan

Invite someone to read President Gordon B. Hinckley’s statement found on page 2 of the Member’s Guide. Then discuss the following questions:

  • What does God want for families?

  • How can we help our ancestors receive the joy and happiness that come from family life?

DVD iconDVD Presentation

Before showing this DVD segment, ask class members to look for how family history work is like the Savior’s Atonement, although on a much smaller scale.

Show “Saviors on Mount Zion” (3:38 minutes).

Discuss

Invite class members to discuss their impressions of the DVD presentation. Then ask:

  • What does it mean to become saviors on Mount Zion?

Read and discuss the statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith about how we can become saviors on Mount Zion, found on page 3 of the Member’s Guide.

3. The Mission of Elijah

Have class members read the following scriptures:

Ask class members:

  • Why is the prophecy of Elijah’s return repeated so often in the scriptures?

DVD iconDVD Presentation

Before showing this DVD segment, ask class members to look for how we can turn our hearts to our ancestors.

Show “To Turn the Hearts” (6:15 minutes).

Discuss

Discuss the answers to the following questions:

  • How was the prophecy of Elijah’s return fulfilled?

  • What can we do to turn our hearts to our ancestors?

  • How might we expect to have our ancestors’ hearts turned to us?

Ask class members if any of them would feel comfortable sharing an experience that helped to turn their hearts to one of their ancestors.

4. The Blessings of This Work

Ask a class member to read the statement by President Thomas S. Monson found on page 4 of the Member’s Guide and the statement by President Boyd K. Packer found on page 5 of the Member’s Guide.

Ask class members to share experiences when they were blessed as they participated in temple and family history work.

Bear testimony of the blessings that come through temple and family history work.