“Sharing Time: A House of God,” Liahona, Mar. 2002, 14–15
Before you go to church, you wash, comb your hair, and put on your best clothes. Why? Because you want to show love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by being clean and looking your best.
President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told of a six-day trip he and other members of his airplane crew made during World War II. It was hot, and they couldn’t take a bath or wash their uniforms. When they went to a restaurant, a woman said, “My, what untidy men!”
President Packer said, “I felt as dirty as I was, uncomfortable, and ashamed.”
President Packer was uncomfortable because his clothes were dirty and he was unwashed. But he knows that Heavenly Father is much more concerned that we are clean inside. When we repent of our sins and are baptized, we become clean. When we keep the commandments and partake of the sacrament, we renew the promise we made at baptism to follow Jesus Christ. It is like being washed clean again. We can be clean inside because Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins.
President Packer wrote:
If we could only understand
All we have heard and seen,
We’d know there is no greater gift
Than those two words—“Washed clean!”
(“Washed Clean,” Ensign, May 1997, 9–11)
Before Church members go to the temple, they show their love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by being clean. When you are old enough, you will feel comfortable going to the temple if you are clean on the outside and the inside.
Glue page 15 to heavy paper. Cut out the temple along the dotted lines. Fold the tabs on the solid lines, and glue the tabs to the inside of the walls to form a box (see illustration). Cut out the scripture reference bricks. They are things you can do to build a life worthy of entering the temple. Each day choose a brick, read the scripture, and glue it to the outside of the temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16–17
Remember you are a temple of God
Articles of Faith 1:4
Obey the first principles of the gospel
Have clean hands and a pure heart
Do not steal
Love one another
Be true at all times
D&C 21:1, 4
Heed the prophet
Honor your father and mother
Do not take the name of God in vain
Draw near to the Lord: seek, ask, knock
Keep the commandments
Keep the Sabbath day holy
Obey the Word of Wisdom
1 Nephi 3:7
Do what the Lord commands
Have no other gods
3 Nephi 14:12
Tell the story of Jesus cleansing the temple (see John 2:14–17). Explain that the temple is a house of God. We should treat the temple with respect by living as Jesus Christ did. Have the children suggest words describing how we should behave to follow Jesus. Make a list of these words. Take turns completing the following phrase with words from the list or other appropriate words: “I am going to the temple, and I will be _______.” Have the first child fill in the blank with one word. Have the second child repeat the phrase and the first word, then add a second word. Continue adding words until everyone has had a turn. Sing a song or hymn about following Jesus Christ.
Have the children turn to Ex. 3:1–5. Explain that Moses came to the mountain of God, and the Lord appeared in a flaming bush. Ask the children what happened to the bush (read verses 2–3). Ask what God said (read verse 4). Ask why God had Moses remove his shoes (read verse 5). Show or talk about temple slippers. Explain that in the temple we put on clean, white shoes to show that we are in a reverent, holy place. When we come to church, we don’t wear temple shoes but we behave reverently. Ask the children how they can show reverence in church. Explain that reverence in the temple is shown in a similar manner. Have the children draw pictures of things they can do to show reverence. Present the pictures to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency.