By Linda Christensen
The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).
I Have a Family Here on Earth
How many people are in your family? Where does your family live? What do you like doing with your family? How do you feel about your family?
In 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) introduced “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which teaches that “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” Heavenly Father planned for you to come to earth and belong to a family. He knew that you needed a loving family to help you grow and learn how to return to Him someday.
Gather for family home evening and invite your family to read the proclamation. Talk about what it teaches, and choose ways that you can work together to strengthen your family. Sing this Primary song to remind you that families can be together forever.
Cut out the frame on the broken lines. Glue short edges together to make a cylinder. Punch two holes in the top as shown, and tie yarn or string through them to make a loop for hanging. Cut six streamers out of paper. On each streamer, write one way you can strengthen your family. Attach the streamers to the bottom of the wind sock.
Illustration by Thomas S. Child
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Play a simple guessing game by giving a series of clues to introduce the monthly theme on the family (see “Examples of Games,” TNGC, 169). When the children have discovered the answer, write the word family on the chalkboard.
Share the story of Lehi traveling into the wilderness (see 1 Nephi 2). Invite the children to share ideas from the story that could strengthen a family, and list the ideas on the chalkboard. Sing “Book of Mormon Stories” (pp. 118–19), verse three.
Share the story of Noah (see Genesis 6–8). Invite the children to share ideas from the story that could strengthen a family. List the ideas on the chalkboard. Sing “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11), verse three.
Provide copies of the family tree from Primary 3, lesson 39, p. 196. Invite the children to put names of parents and siblings in the tree and write or draw on the back of the paper ways they can strengthen their family. Bear testimony of how the scriptures teach us ways to strengthen our families.
Using simple figures of people that can be combined to make families, or using the children themselves, invite children to come forward and make a family similar to their own. Talk about how families are the same and how they are different. (This discussion should follow the teachings in the proclamation.)
Read Ephesians 6:1–4. Explain that each member of a family has a divine role. Help the children memorize these phrases from the scripture: “Children, obey your parents” and “Honour thy father and mother.”
Write the words honor and obey on the chalkboard. Explain that the word honor means to show respect for our parents, and the word obey describes our actions when we show that respect. Sing verses one and two of “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197).
Prepare several case studies (see “Case Studies,” TNGC, 161–62) to help the children apply in their lives the principles of honoring and obeying parents. Sing the phrase “quickly I’ll obey” between each case study. Bear testimony of the importance of honoring and obeying parents.
For older children: Give each class a scriptural account of children honoring and obeying parents. Invite them to read the account and then briefly share the story with the rest of the Primary. (Examples: Abraham and Isaac, Naomi and Ruth, Alma and Helaman, Lehi and Nephi, Mormon and Moroni.)
Show a personal family photo or GAK 616 (Family Togetherness). Show Family Home Evening Video Supplement, 1. “Fortifying Your Family.” (Because the narration in this video segment is for parents, explain to the children that the sound will be turned off, and that you would like them to watch for ways the family protected themselves from the storm and what they did to strengthen their family.)
Invite the children to share what they noticed from the video. Make a short list on the chalkboard. Compare the list with the Faith in God Award requirements in the Faith in God guidebooks, pages 4–5. Emphasize how scripture study, individual and family prayer, and family home evening can strengthen our families.
Provide a copy of the wind-sock activity on page 14 in this month’s Friend. Review the instructions and gather the necessary materials to complete this activity during sharing time. Invite the children to write “scripture study,” “prayer,” and “family home evening” on the streamers of the wind sock.
Sing a song that reinforces scripture study, prayer, or family home evening. (Suggested songs: “Search, Ponder, and Pray” [p. 109], “Family Prayer” [p. 189], “Family Night” [p. 195], or “Families Can Be Together Forever” [p. 188].) Bear testimony of how these activities strengthen your family.
Write the weekly gospel principle on the chalkboard as shown:
The p___________ can b______ and s__________ my f_______. Sing the first line of “The Priesthood Is Restored” (p. 89). Have the children listen for a word to complete the first blank in the sentence. When the children guess correctly, write the word priesthood in the first blank. Sing the first two lines of the second verse of “Love Is Spoken Here” (pp. 190–91). Have the children listen for two words that will complete the next two blanks in the sentence. When the children guess the words blessed and strength, explain that to help the message make sense, you will need to change the words to bless and strengthen. Write them in the blanks. Sing the first line of “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188). Listen for the word that completes the sentence. Write in the word family, and then read the sentence together.
Use the following pictures from the Primary 2 picture packet: 2-20, 2-27, 2-29, 2-30, 2-31, 2-32, 2-33. Give each class a pencil, a piece of paper, and a picture of a priesthood ordinance. Ask them to keep their picture a secret so they can play a guessing game. Ask each class to think of three clues that would help someone guess the priesthood ordinance shown in their picture, and write them on the paper. Invite each class to share their clues, and let the Primary guess what priesthood ordinance they are describing. As each ordinance is discovered, place the picture on the chalkboard. Invite children and teachers to share positive experiences that have blessed their lives or the lives of their family that relate to each priesthood ordinance. Bear testimony of how the priesthood blesses and strengthens families.
- Song presentation: “Home”(p. 192). Gather pictures of homes, or invite children to draw pictures of homes. Display the pictures and explain that even though homes look different, they are all places that provide shelter for a family.Teach the melody of the song by using the pictures of the homes as visual clues. Invite children to the front of the room to hold the pictures. Hum or play the first phrase of the song, and help the children discover the melody line by placing the pictures at different levels to match the melody line of the phrase. Teach one phrase at a time until the melody is learned.
Explain that this song teaches important truths about a home. Ask, “What is in a home?” Sing the first phrase to the children and have them listen for the answer (“heart”). Ask the children to touch their heart as you sing that phrase together. Next, ask them to listen for two words that describe feelings in our hearts. Sing the second phrase to the children and get their responses (“warmth” and “love”). Sing the second phrase together. Explain the meaning of the word abound. Teach the third phrase by asking the children to listen for words that describe a hug. Sing the third phrase and get responses (“warm, circling arms”). Sing the phrase together. As you sing the last phrase, hold your arms out in front of you as if you were going to hug another person, then as you sing the phrase bring your arms close to you and give yourself a hug. Sing the final phrase with the children. Sing the first verse together. Bear testimony of the blessings of a home.
Continue to ask questions that focus the children’s listening, and sing to the children as you teach verses two and three.
- Friend references: “Love at Home,” Sept. 2004, 42–43; “Strengthen the Family,” May 2000, 45; “Pie Dough to Play Dough,” Nov. 2006, 38–40; “Strengthening My Family,” June 2004, 36–37; “A Perfect Match,” Oct. 2006, 20–22; “A Brother’s Example,” Dec. 2005, 8–9.