“Friend to Friend: The Faith in God Guidebooks,” Friend, July 2003, 7
Children, the things you do now are important for your future. That is why Primary is so important. Your loving leaders help teach you the gospel of Jesus Christ, and activity days help you practice living what you have learned.
Something new and wonderful is happening in Primary that can help you prepare for the future—the Faith in God guidebooks. Children ages 8 through 11 will receive a beautifully illustrated guidebook, either Faith in God for Boys or Faith in God for Girls. This guidebook will be used in your home, at Primary, and during activity days. We hope that as you work on activities listed in the guidebook, you will progress and become closer to Heavenly Father. There is such great joy in accomplishing good works!
The Faith in God guidebook is just the right size to fit in your scriptures. As you see the beautiful cover illustration, remember that the Savior loves you. Inside the front cover you will find a place for your own picture along with the statement, “I am a child of God.” As you tuck that knowledge deep in your hearts, your testimonies will grow.
The guidebook includes important helps such as the Articles of Faith, My Gospel Standards, and a letter of love and counsel from the First Presidency. These will help you develop faith and prepare for your future roles.
To earn the Faith in God Award, you will need to fulfill Basic Requirements. These are what will help you grow closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ: praying, studying the scriptures, keeping the commandments, honoring your parents, and paying tithing, to name a few. Read these carefully. As you live them, they will bring you great joy and peace.
In addition to fulfilling Basic Requirements, you will complete activities in three categories: Living and Learning the Gospel, Serving Others, and Developing Talents. You might choose an activity like preparing a pedigree chart or writing a history about one of your grandparents. You might go to a museum or a play. You may plan a physical fitness program or practice learning a new sport.
Activities can be done individually, with the help of your family, or with your activity days group. Activity days give you a wonderful opportunity to gather with your friends and apply gospel principles. We hope you will continue being missionaries by inviting your friends to activity days.
The Faith in God guidebooks are for everyone! If you live far from your ward or branch, the activities can be done at home. Activities can be changed to fit your needs. You might even choose to plan an activity of your own, one that makes the most sense to you and helps you accomplish your goals.
After you turn 11, you will participate in additional activities that will prepare you for entering the Young Women program or receiving the Aaronic Priesthood. Girls will meet with their future Beehive adviser, class presidency, or Young Women presidency to learn about the importance of the Young Women program. Boys will meet with the deacons quorum adviser and learn what being a deacon is all about.
The last page of your guidebook is for keeping track of the activities you complete. When you have finished two activities in each section for each year you participate in activity days, show your tracking page in the guidebook to your Primary president and bishop or branch president. They will sign the certificate in the book stating that you have completed the requirements.
The Faith in God guidebooks are simple, focused on the gospel, and flexible. Many of you have been working on your Gospel in Action Award. Whatever you have already accomplished can fulfill requirements in the Faith in God guidebooks.
If you are participating in the Boy Scouts of America, you may have been working on the Cub Scout Faith in God Award. Several activities in Faith in God for Boys are marked with a square knot symbol. By doing those activities, boys can earn the Boy Scouts of America Religious Square Knot patch in addition to the Faith in God Award.
We pray that you will find great joy as you participate in Faith in God in groups or with your families. Awards and patches are nice—but these guidebooks will help you better understand the covenants you made at baptism and be able to keep them. It will prepare you to be worthy to enter the temple someday, and it will help you to progress and become more Christlike.
President Gordon B. Hinckley often tells children to hold fast to the gospel, and to cherish and hold fast to their memberships in the Church. The prophet loves you, and he wants you to be prepared for the future. The Faith in God guidebooks help you do just that.