Sheila E. Wilson, “Sharing Time: A Special Day,” Friend, Jul 2004, 37
Let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people (D&C 124:40).
Have you ever been excited for a special day? Maybe it was your birthday or a vacation. Seven-year-old Adair was excited for a special day. Her family set a date to go to the temple one year from the time of their baptism.
Adair’s family held a special family home evening. Her dad and mom explained how important it was for everyone to prepare to go to the temple. They made a list of the things they could do: pray individually and as a family, read the scriptures, pay tithing, keep the commandments, and follow the prophet.
Adair’s mother gave her a picture of the temple and wrote Adair’s name and the date that her family would be going to the temple underneath. Every day Adair tried her best to prepare for when her family would be sealed in the temple. Adair felt good inside as she realized that each day she prepared to receive the blessings of the temple was a special day. She felt a surge of excitement as the special day came. Being sealed as a family was a blessing Heavenly Father gave them that brought them closer to Him and to each other.
Families can be together forever through making and keeping temple covenants and ordinances. The prophets have encouraged each of us to prepare to go to the temple. You can prepare to go to the temple with your family. You can also prepare to go at age 12 to do baptisms for the dead or to go when you are an adult—perhaps when you receive a mission call or before you are married.
Great blessings come from going to the temple. As you prepare now to receive the blessings of the temple, each day will be a special day!
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. To help children understand that being baptized and keeping their baptismal covenants helps them prepare to receive the blessings of the temple, make road signs using these words: Stop, Caution, One Way, Yield, Go. For each sign write one of My Gospel Standards on paper and cut into wordstrips. Put each standard in an envelope and paste one to the back of each sign. Post the road signs and a picture of the temple in the front of the room. Make a traffic light with red, yellow, and green circles. Write out 2 Ne. 31:17–18 on a strip of paper and paste on the other side of the traffic light.
Hold up the traffic light and read the scripture. When we are baptized, we open the gate to the path back to Heavenly Father. We must be baptized to go to the temple and to enter the celestial kingdom. After baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which will help us choose the right. Turn the sign around. My Gospel Standards are like road signs on our path. In making choices we can (point to red circle) stop and remember Heavenly Father’s plan for us, (yellow circle) slow down and remember our baptismal covenants, and (green circle) go and listen to the Holy Ghost.
Divide the Primary into five groups. Have each group choose two helpers. Blindfold one of the helpers from each group and have him or her stand at the back of the room. After they are blindfolded, have the other helpers stand by one of the road signs. In a soft reverent voice, they should direct their blindfolded partner to their road sign. After they reach the sign, have the group put together their My Gospel Standard wordstrip in order, and prepare to act out for the Primary one way they can live their standard. Have each group hold their sign backwards and take a turn acting while the Primary guesses the standard. They then turn their sign around and explain how their standard can help us to be temple worthy.
2. To help children learn about the ordinances and blessings of the temple, cut a picture of a temple into puzzle pieces. Label each piece with the following scripture references and songs: (1) Baptism for the dead—D&C 127:6–7, “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” (p. 102, second verse), (2) Confirmation—D&C 20:41, “I Like My Birthdays” (p. 104, third verse), (3) Endowment—D&C 105:12, “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), (4) Marriage and Sealing—D&C 132:46, “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188).
Using two helpers, have one stand outside the Primary room while another hides the first puzzle piece. Have the first helper come back in and look for the puzzle piece as the Primary gives clues by singing the suggested song more loudly as the helper gets closer to the puzzle piece and more softly as he or she moves farther away. Post the puzzle piece on the board. Read the scripture references and discuss the ordinance. Choose more children to repeat the process. Have the children repeat D&C 124:40. Bear testimony of the importance of temple ordinances.
3. Prepare the room by displaying a picture of the temple and the following statement: “The spirit and blessings of the temple can fill our homes as we live worthy lives. Even before we are old enough to go to the temple, we can prepare our hearts by being obedient and choosing the right” (“Temple Blessings,” Friend, Aug. 2001). Teach the children about obedience by playing a game called “Being Obedient: Then and Now.” Prepare five items that represent challenges to obedience during pioneer times, or “then” (for example, a stick = steep rough hillsides, blue fabric = rivers to cross, rock = rocky trails to walk, picture of a sun = hot days and cold nights, picture of a wagon wheel = wagon wheels to constantly repair). Make up five case studies of “now” challenges (for example: Your best friend invites you to go to a movie on Sunday. What commandment would help you choose the right?) (See TNGC,pp. 161–62.) Inside five numbered sacks, place a “then” item, a “now” case study, and the name of a song about obedience.
Though the pioneers had difficulties, they followed Brigham Young and were obedient in keeping the commandments. Read the statement about the temple above. As the children sing “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–47), have them listen for (1) the words of a prophet (keep the commandments) and (2) the blessings of obedience (safety and peace).
Hand out the sacks to the children. Choose a child to stand up front and give two or three instructions for the Primary to pass the sacks (for example, pass it three people to the right, pass it forward once). He or she then calls out a number from 1 to 5. The person holding that sack opens it and guesses what challenge the “then” item might represent for the pioneers. He or she then reads and answers the “now” challenge. Sing the song that goes with the sack and have the children listen for the commandment(s) to follow and the blessing(s) that will be theirs. Choose a new child to be a leader and repeat for each sack. Remind the children that we have challenges in our lives today, but we can become temple worthy as we follow the prophet and keep the commandments.
4. Teach the children the importance of family history and temple work by drawing a pedigree chart on the board with spaces to fill in three generations (child, parents, and grandparents). Prepare signs with different family traits or characteristics (mother’s smile, father’s musical talent, etc.).
Sing “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188). Read Abr. 1:31. Invite a child to write his name on the “child” line. Give him a sign and comment how his trait is like his “mother” or “father.” Sing “I Am a Child of God” (pp. 2–3). Invite two more children to represent a father and mother, and write their first names on the father and mother line. Give them a sign, then comment on how their traits are similar to one or both of their “parents.” Sing “A Happy Family” (p. 198). Invite four more children to represent two sets of grandparents and ask them to write their first names on the grandparents’ lines. Comment on how their traits are similar to those of one of their family members, and give each a sign. Have all seven family members turn their backs to the Primary. As you sing “Family History—I Am Doing It” (p. 94), tap a family member on the shoulder, which is their cue to turn around. When they are facing the Primary, have those children who have a family characteristic or trait like their sign join in singing. Remind the children that through temple ordinances our families can be together forever. Invite them to ask their parents about their family history.
To review songs for this year’s children’s sacrament meeting presentation, make several large keys (at least one for each song to be reviewed). Write the names of the songs to be reviewed on the keys.
Invite a child to choose a key and ask him to wait outside the Primary room. Have the Primary help you choose a keyword from the song chosen. This will be the word they will not sing in the song. Write the word on the blank side of the key. Invite the child to come back in. Hold the keyword above the child’s head as a reminder to the others of which word not to sing. As the Primary sings, ask the child to listen for the keyword that is missing. Let the child guess which word is missing. Review the gospel principle in the song. Repeat for the other songs to be reviewed.
6. Friend references: “Thankful for Temple Blessings,” Nov. 2002, 44–45; “Stewart, a Commandment-Keeper, Too,” Jan. 2002, 4–6; “Plain Words About Baptism,” Jan. 2000, 39; “Worthy of the Temple,” Sept. 2002, 42–43; “Guided by the Holy Ghost,” Oct. 2001, 8; “A Covenant People,” Jan. 2000, IFC; “Family History ABCs,” Feb. 2002, 24–25; “The Heart of the Children,” Aug. 2002, 36–38; “To Save Our Ancestors,” Aug. 2002, 7.