LDS Lesson Ideas

Rainier Oregon Stake

Keeping Promises

From an interview with Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy, currently serving in the Australia/New Zealand Area Presidency.

by Hilary Hendricks

Fail not to continue faithful in all things (Doctrine and Covenants 84:80).

When my wife, Pamela, was growing up in England, the Church was not very well established where she lived. They had a little branch, and they had a building to meet in, but they didn’t have a temple in England or anywhere nearby. Pamela remembers vividly her parents saying, “One day you will go to the temple,” and she believed them. The faith of her parents and her own belief in their faith was a wonderful thing.

Pamela’s father, Thomas Wilson, would go with the missionaries on Sunday evenings to the marketplace in the city centre, where they held street meetings. A crowd would gather as the missionaries preached the restored gospel, and Pamela’s father went along to bear his testimony.

When Pamela was a little girl, she used to ask if she could accompany him and
he’d say, “No, I don’t think that’s the best place for you to come.” He knew thatthe crowds were not always friendly.

Sometimes people yelled to distract the missionaries and threw rotten fruit at them. Just before Pamela turned eight, her father agreed that she could go with him one Sunday.
While she was there, she saw the hostility toward the missionaries and toward
her father. She relates that her father was standing on a box, so as to be seen,
bearing his testimony. She was standing behind him, holding on to his coattails.
She heard him bear his witness of Jesus Christ. To see her father stand in those circumstances and declare his testimony made a great impression on her life; it
anchored her to faith in the Savior.
And so she grew up participating in the tiny Primary they had, still determined
to go to the temple one day. She knew no young men, except for two cousins, who were members of the Church, and very few young women. Yet she grew up believing that she would be able to find someone she could marry and be
sealed to in the temple.
Pamela and I met at a dance when we were teenagers. I asked her for a dance, and as we talked, she told me that she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was the first time I had ever heard of the Church.

I wasn’t interested in religion then—but she was so different from the other young ladies I knew!
She had a strong character; she knew what she believed, and she knew what she wanted. Early on, she let me know that there would be no chance of any marriage between us, because in the temple was the only place where she would marry. She had made promises, covenants, with Heavenly Father, and she had the loyalty to keep those promises.Soon I realized that what made her so attractive was the gospel. She reflected truths of the gospel in her life. We met in April, and I was baptized that August. Three years later, she agreed to
marry me. We were sealed in the temple at last. I think one of the things that drew me to Pamela was her loyalty. My parents were not members of the
Church, but they taught me that it is important to keep our promises and be dependable.
When I was a boy, I played a lot of football (soccer). My father watched me play and gave me pointers. He bicycled long distances, often, to do that. But
I always knew that if he said he would come and watch me, he’d be there. His quiet dependability meant a lot.
At age sixteen, I started to deliver newspapers. I had anold trade bike, a bike that has room to carry papers on the front. I loved cycling! One day I was cycling through the city, and in the bicycle-shop window, I saw a  Coventry-Eagle bicycle. It was magnificent! It was lilac-colored with black trimming, and it had racing handlebars. I went home and told my father
about it.
The next day, he said, “If you’ll save up half the price of the bike, I’ll give you the other half.” Great! It took me many months to get half the money
together. I did not realize until long after the event that my father would not have had sufficient money to contribute to the purchase when I first asked
concerning the possibility. He knew that as I was saving, he could also save. That way, between us, we could raise the amount needed. My father always kept
his promises.
Loyalty and dependability are essential qualities for members of the Church. At
our baptisms and in the temple, we make promises with Heavenly Father. Keeping those promises blesses our lives and the lives of our families.
I’m grateful for Pamela’s loyalty, which anchored her in the gospel and led me to the Church. It is a privilege to be sealed to her for eternity.



Filed under: Family, Temples, , ,

Sharing Time: A Place of Love and Beauty

Who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart. (Ps. 24:3–4.)

A Place of Love and Beauty

Have you ever seen a temple lighted at night or walked on the temple grounds during the day? Do you have a picture of a temple in your home? Do you have a happy, peaceful feeling when you see a temple? Why are temples such special places? Other buildings are also built with the finest materials and landscaped with beautiful flowers. But temples are places where Heavenly Father and His Spirit may dwell. Each is a house of the Lord.

All of Heavenly Father’s children who are worthy and old enough can enter the temple to learn more about His plan of happiness. In a temple, worthy members of the Church covenant with (make promises to) Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father, in turn, makes promises to them.

Members of the Church go to the temple to participate in ordinances * for themselves. Many receive these ordinances when they are preparing for a mission or marriage. They also go to the temple to perform ordinances in behalf of those who have died. For example, young people who are worthy and at least twelve years old can go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Children who are at least eight years old can attend temple dedications. Younger children may enter the temple to be sealed to their parents.

In each case, those who enter must be clean in body and spirit “because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples” (Alma 34:36).

Before you go to the temple, your bishop or branch president interviews you and asks you about your testimony and if you are keeping the commandments and following the prophet. Only then does he sign a recommend that allows you to enter the temple to participate in ordinances or to attend temple dedications. When you are an adult, an additional interview takes place with the stake president or mission president if you want to go to the temple to be endowed, married, or sealed.

Each day as you choose to live the commandments, keep your baptismal covenants, and try to be more like Jesus Christ, you are preparing to go to the temple. If you are pure and clean when you enter the temple, you will feel His Spirit. The temple will always be a place of love and beauty for you.

The Temple—I’m Going There Someday

Make a temple booklet to add information to throughout the coming year.

  1. Remove page 31 from the magazine. Glue it onto construction paper, then trim it.
  2. Glue a photograph or drawing of yourself in the space on the front cover. Write your name on the line. Enter information about a temple dedication that you know about or learn about during the coming year on the back cover.
  3. Fold the covers along the hinges and punch holes where indicated. Fold or cut paper to fit in the notebook and punch holes in the pages, aligning the holes with the ones in the covers. Place the blank pages between the two covers.
  4. Thread a 2′ (60 cm) piece of string or yarn through the holes and tie a bow on the front of the booklet. Record the things you learn about temples this year in your booklet and share them with your family.

Illustrated by Brad Teare

I Love to See the Temple My Name I’m going there someday. Your picture here My record of the dedication of the _____________________ Temple Dedication date: ____________________________ Dedicatory prayer given by: ____________________________ In the prayer, he said: ____________________________ ____________________________ It made me think: ____________________________ ____________________________ I can prepare to go to the temple by: ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ I will go to the temple. ____________________________ Your name ____________________________ Date ____________________________
Sharing Time Ideas

(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise indicated. GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)

1. Discuss the times when Jesus Christ went to the temple in Jerusalem during His mortal ministry. He went as a young boy and declared He was doing Heavenly Father’s work (see Luke 2:41–49); He drove out the people who were defiling it (see John 2:13–17); He taught at the temple (Matt. 21:23–46; John 7:14–53).

Ask a child to step out of the room. Hide a picture that represents one of the following things we need to do to be worthy of going to the temple: baptism, paying tithing, living the Word of Wisdom, being kind to family members, sustaining the prophet, gaining a testimony of the Savior. Bring the child back into the room and have him or her search for the picture. Have the rest of the children sing “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), singing louder as the child gets closer to the picture and softer as he or she moves away from the picture. Once the picture is found, discuss how the principle represented will help the children prepare to go to the temple. Explain that finding the picture was easier when the child listened to those who were trying to guide him or her. Explain that it is easy to be ready to go to the temple if we study the scriptures and follow the teachings of the prophet, other Church leaders, and parents. Sing a song that relates to the picture: tithing—“I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing” (p. 150); Word of Wisdom—“The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153); love for family members—“A Happy Family” (p. 198); heeding the prophet—“Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–111); gaining a testimony of the Savior—“The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77).

2. Teach the relationship between the covenants we make and the blessings we receive. Hang the following pictures from the GAK down the middle of a wall: baptism (601), gift of the Holy Ghost (602), sacrament (604), and temple marriage (609). On one side of the pictures, post a wordstrip that says I Promise; on the other side, The Lord’s Blessings. Divide the children into four groups. Have a teacher direct each group in reading one of the following scriptures and then discussing the covenants (promises) and blessings mentioned: Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 121:45–46; D&C 20:75–79; D&C 109:20–23.

Prepare two containers for holding wordstrips with quotations from the above scriptures. Label one container “I Promise” and the other “The Lord’s Blessings.” In the I Promise container, put these twelve wordstrips: Bear one another’s burdens, Mourn with those that mourn, Stand as witnesses of God, Serve Him, Be full of charity, Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, Take upon them the name of Thy Son, Always remember Him, Keep His commandments, No unclean thing shall be permitted to come into Thy house, Reverence Thee in Thy house, and Bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings.

In the The Lord’s Blessings container, put these ten wordstrips: Be redeemed of God, Numbered with those of the first resurrection, Have eternal life, Pour out His Spirit more abundantly, Confidence wax strong in the presence of God, The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, Always have His Spirit to be with them, Armed with Thy [God’s] power, Thy glory [will] be round about them, and Thine angels have charge over them.

Have the children take turns choosing a wordstrip from either of the containers and reading it out loud. Have the group whose scripture the quote comes from raise their hands and tell which ordinance it pertains to. Have the child hang the wordstrip under the correct heading by the picture depicting that ordinance. Repeat until all of the wordstrips are in place. Sing “Covenants Are Promises” (Friend, Aug. 1999, p. 38) or “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–147). Bear your testimony of the blessings we receive from keeping our covenants.

For younger children: Divide the children into three groups. Have a Primary leader assigned to each group prepare in advance simple materials (props, costumes, flannel-board figures, etc.) for the children to present their story. Have the leader tell the story to their group, then help the group prepare to share the story with the rest of the Primary. Stories: “Abraham Covenants with the Lord” (Gen. 22:1–18; Friend, Aug. 1998, pp. 34–35); “Joseph ‘Holds to the Iron Rod’” (Gen. 39–41; Friend, July 1998, pp. 42–43); the people of Ammon bury their weapons (Alma 23–24; Friend, Aug. 2000, pp. 34–35).

3. Learn “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95) by cutting out four pieces of paper to form a simple foundation and three spires of a temple. On the foundation, write “love” and “see.” On the left spire, write “feel,” “listen,” and “pray.” On the middle spire, “house of God,” and on the right spire, “prepare” and “young.” For younger children, use simple pictures instead of words. Ask the children to discover which three senses are mentioned as you sing the first two lines of the song. As you sing, place the foundation and the first spire on a flannel board. Have the children name which senses were mentioned. Explain how feeling with your hands is different from feeling the Spirit. Have everyone sing the first two lines. Ask them to find three things that a temple is (a house of God, a place of love, a place of beauty) as you sing the next line. Add the middle spire as the children sing the third line with you. As you sing the final line, have the children discover what their sacred duty is (“prepare myself while I am young”). Place the final spire on the flannel board as the children sing that line. Sing the entire first verse several times. As you do, remove the strips one by one until the children can sing the song without the wordstrips. Teach the second verse in a similar manner.

4. Check with your priesthood advisor first to see if this activity will work in your meetinghouse without disrupting others in the building. If not, designate areas of the children’s meeting room to represent the rooms mentioned. Divide the children into groups and take them on a tour of the meetinghouse, much as they might go on a tour of a temple during an open house. (See Friend, Feb. 1993, pp. 2–4 and Jan. 2001, p. 22.) Ask them to be reverent and listen to the guides who will explain how a temple is similar to and different from a meetinghouse. Have an adult accompany each group, as well as a guide at each of the following stops:

Chapel—a gathering place in both buildings.

Classroom—similar to an ordinance room because it is where we are taught what Heavenly Father wants us to know and do.

Baptismal font (if there is not one in your building, use a picture)—in a meetinghouse baptisms are performed for the living; in the temple baptisms are performed for the dead.

Kitchen—in a meetinghouse, a place to serve food for ward or stake activities; in some temples there are cafeterias where food is served.

Bishop or branch president’s office—the bishop or branch president is responsible for his ward or branch; each temple has a temple president’s office. The temple president is responsible for the temple and the work done there. If possible, have the bishop or branch president explain what a temple recommend is at this stop.

Return to the Primary room and explain that temples have some other special rooms, such as the celestial room and sealing rooms. Have the children sing “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95). Invite a speaker to talk about his or her experiences at a temple open house or dedication.

5. Tell the story “Samuel’s Scriptures” (Friend, Jan. 1998, pp. 2–3). Have the children mark D&C 131:2–4 in their scriptures. Hand out pieces of paper cut to fit in the children’s temple booklet (see Sharing Time, pp. 30–31). Have the children list five reasons why they want to be married in the temple. Ask them to add this sheet to their temple booklets.

For younger children: Enlarge the game board in the back of the Primary 2 manual. Change the beginning space to “Not Preparing to Go to the Temple” and the ending space to “Preparing to Go to the Temple.” Color the spaces on the board five different colors, and in a sack have five small pieces of paper the same colors. Divide into two or more teams. Provide a marker for each team. Play the game, having a team member take at random a piece of paper, move their marker as directed, and return the colored paper to the sack. Read what the square says and briefly discuss why what is written will or will not help us prepare to go to the temple. The arrow on each square indicates which direction the team will move on its next turn. Have the teams take turns and continue playing until all the teams reach “Preparing to Go to the Temple.” If possible, give the children copies of the game board to color and take home to play as a family home evening activity.

6. Additional Friend resources: “Keeping My Promise,” Aug. 1998, pp. 12–13, 11; “Temple Light,” Aug. 1999, p. 19; “I Can Keep My Covenant,” Aug. 1999, pp. 44–46; Friend to Friend, May 2000, pp. 6–7; “Sticking to Standards,” May 2000, p. 47. Additional resources: “Nauvoo’s Holy Temple,” Ensign, Sep. 1994, pp. 59–62; “Building Temples, Building Lives,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, pp. 23–27.

Filed under: Family, Lesson 26: Families Can Be Together Forever, Sharing Time, Temples, , , ,

I Have a Family Here on Earth

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.

I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
Fam’lies can be together forever through Heav’nly Father’s plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.
(“Families Can Be Together Forever,” Children’s Songbook, 188).


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.)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Filed under: Family, Lesson 26: Families Can Be Together Forever, , , ,


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