Lesson 35: Temples and Eternal Families

Primary 3, (1994), 171–74


Purpose

To help the children understand that families can be together forever.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prepare to sing or say the words to “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, p. 188) and “A Happy Family (Children’s Songbook, p. 198); the words to both songs are included at the back of this manual.

  2. 2.

    Throughout this lesson, be sensitive to children who do not have both mother and father in their homes. Also be sensitive to children who have parents or siblings who are not members of the Church.

  3. 3.

    Materials needed: picture 3-5, Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children; pictures of the temple nearest you and of several other temples, if available (or use picture 3-62, Portland Oregon Temple [62617]).

  4. 4.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

We Have a Heavenly and an Earthly Family

Attention activity

Sing or say the words to “A Happy Family.”

Picture discussion

Explain to the children that before we were born on this earth, we all lived together as brothers and sisters in a beautiful spirit world. We were part of a heavenly family with loving heavenly parents.

Hold up picture 3-5, Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children. Ask the children if they know who these people are. Tell them that Adam and Eve were the first parents on earth. Heavenly Father told Adam and Eve to have children. They had the first family on this earth.

Explain that Heavenly Father loved Adam and Eve and their children. He told Adam and Eve to teach the gospel to their children. Tell the children that in our day, Heavenly Father has also sent them into families, just like he did with Adam and Eve’s children. He loves all the children and has told all parents to teach their children the gospel. When we die and leave this earth, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to live again as families in heaven. They have shown us the way for this to happen.

In Temples, Families Can Be Sealed Forever

  • What is a temple?

Help the children understand the following ideas about temples:

  1. 1.

    They are sacred buildings.

  2. 2.

    Each one is called the house of the Lord.

  3. 3.

    We learn many things about Heavenly Father’s plan for us in temples.

  4. 4.

    Inside temples, we make special promises or covenants to Heavenly Father, and Heavenly Father makes special promises to us.

Explain that many sacred and important things can be done only in the temple.

Pictures

Display the pictures of the temples.

  • How many of you have ever seen one of Heavenly Father’s temples?

  • How did you feel as you looked at the temple?

Let the children tell about the temples they have seen. Express the hope that those children who have not seen a temple will someday do so. Encourage all the children to have a picture of a temple in their homes, where possible.

Teacher presentation

Explain that in the temple, a husband and wife can have an ordinance performed that helps them be together forever. This is called a sealing or a temple marriage. If a couple is married outside the temple for this life only, they can go to the temple and be sealed so that they can remain married for eternity. Their children can be sealed to them and are then a part of their family forever. This special blessing is given only to those who are sealed in the temple and keep the promises they make there. Remind the children of how much they love their families and how wonderful it will be to be together forever.

Explain that Heavenly Father loves all people. He loves those who have not been to the temple as much as those who have. He desires that all families will be sealed in the temple. Explain that many families have not yet been sealed in the temple. However, these families can go to the temple if they prepare themselves properly. Tell the children that they can live worthy so that when they are married they can go to the temple to be sealed and start their own eternal families.

Song

Teach the children the first verse and chorus of the song “Families Can Be Together Forever.” Discuss the words of the song. Have the children stand and sing or say the song.

We Must Be Worthy to Go to the Temple

Teacher presentation

Explain that any member of the Church who lives a righteous life and gets permission (in the form of a temple recommend) from the bishop or branch president can go to the temple. Those who go to the temple must be worthy to enter the house of the Lord.

Song

Discuss the words of the second verse to the song “Families Can Be Together Forever.” Then help the children sing or say the words together.

Discussion

  • How can you prepare to be worthy to go to the temple?

  • If your family lives close enough to the temple that your parents could return to the temple often, how can you help them do so?

Let the children discuss ways they can prepare to go to the temple. Help them know what they must do to be prepared to go to the temple by asking questions similar to the following:

  • What should you do when you earn or receive money? (Pay tithing.)

  • What should you do on Sunday? (Go to Church meetings and worship Heavenly Father.)

  • How should you treat your parents and brothers and sisters? (Kindly and with love.)

  • What does it mean to be honest? (Tell the truth and do not steal.)

  • How should you treat your body? (Eat good food. Obey the Word of Wisdom.)

  • How should you feel about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (Love them, obey their commandments, and follow the teachings of the living prophets.)

  • How should we treat others? (Love one another.)

Explain that Heavenly Father wants the children to live good lives so they will be worthy to go to the temple. If they obey Heavenly Father’s commandments and try to do what is right, they will be worthy to go to the temple and receive special blessings from Heavenly Father.

Article of faith

Review with the children what Heavenly Father expects us to do according to the thirteenth article of faith. Explain that doing these things will help prepare them to go to the temple.

Summary

Help the children understand that Heavenly Father has given us a plan that allows families to be together forever. Because Heavenly Father loves us, he wants all of his children to have the blessings that are given in the temple. There are many temples throughout the world, so many children in the world may have the blessings of being sealed or joined together forever to their families. Refer again to the pictures of various temples. Explain that as membership in the Church grows, the Church will build more temples throughout the world.

  • What can you tell your family about temples?

Encourage the children to share with their families what they have learned. (Be cautious about this if you believe the families might react negatively.)

Testimony

Bear your testimony about temples. Explain that the only way families can have the blessing of being together forever is to be sealed in the temple. Bear your testimony about the blessings of temple marriage and the happiness that can come to the children if they prepare to go to the temple. (If you have not yet been to the temple, you might ask the bishop or branch president, or someone he recommends who has been to the temple, to come to your class near the end of the lesson to bear testimony of the blessings of the temple.)

Encourage the children to try to make their families happy this week by saying kind things to them and by doing what their parents ask of them.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that he thank Heavenly Father for families and for the blessings of the temple.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. 1.

    Prepare enough strips of paper so that each child has one strip for each member of his family. Bring glue or tape and a pen.

    Start with two strips of paper for each child, and label one Mother and one Father. Link the two into a chain.

    Tell the children that when their parents were married, like the chain they became linked together. Then help the children add a link for each child in their family. When a link has been added for each family member, make a circle of the chain. Tell the children that when their family members are sealed together in the temple, they are all linked together forever. They can become an eternal family, just like the circle that goes on forever.

  2. 2.

    Do the following finger play with the children.

    (Start with closed fist)
    This is mother, (raise the thumb)
    This is father, (raise the pointer finger)
    This is brother tall, (raise the middle finger)
    This is sister, (raise the ring finger)
    This is our baby, (raise the little finger)
    Oh, how we love them all. (hold hand up with fingers spread)
  3. 3.

    Teach the children this additional verse to “A Happy Family.”

    I love Jesus, He loves me.
    He loves families, yes sirree.
    We build temples, so you see,
    We can be together eternally.
  4. 4.

    If there is a child in your class who has had the experience of going to the temple with his family to be sealed, you may want to have the child or his parents tell about it.