“Sharing Time: Temples Are Places of Service,” Friend, July 1993, 12
Heavenly Father wants every person to have the blessings of the gospel. Because some people have lived and died without ever hearing of Jesus or His teachings, Heavenly Father has provided a way for the gospel to be preached to them. Just as there are missionaries here on earth who teach it to people, there are also missionaries in the spirit world who teach it to people who have died. Those people can then accept it just as people here can.
But even if the people in the spirit world accept the gospel, they cannot be baptized, confirmed, sealed, or perform any of the earthly ordinances because they don’t have physical bodies. So people on earth, who have bodies, do it for them.
In order for living people to be able to do this for the dead, Heavenly Father commanded His prophets to have temples built. The ordinances performed in them are both for the living and the dead. Living people do this work for the dead. It is a wonderful plan. Living people are baptized and confirmed, endowed, and sealed as families for those who have died. In this way, all people who have lived on the earth have the opportunity to receive all of Heavenly Father’s blessings.
Here are the meanings or descriptions of some of the terms that are used in temple work:
Baptism for the Dead—the ordinance performed in the temple font, which usually rests on the backs of the sculpture of twelve oxen
Confirmation—the ordinance, performed after baptism, that permits a person to become a member of the Church and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
Endowment—a blessing of special spiritual gifts
Marriage and Sealing—the ordinance that joins a man and a woman and their children for time and all eternity
Temple Ordinances—sacred ceremonies performed inside a temple; they include those mentioned above and are performed by living persons for themselves or for persons who have died without receiving them.
Instructions: Fit these words that relate to service in the temple into the diagram. Hint: Start by inserting those words that are the only ones with a particular letter count.
House of God
1. Divide the children into groups. Give each group one of the following references. Help each group locate and read its scripture(s), then determine which temple ordinance it describes. Baptism for the dead—1 Corinthians 15:29 [1 Cor. 15:29]; Doctrine and Covenants 124:29 [D&C 124:29]; 127:6 [D&C 127:6]. Confirmation—Doctrine and Covenants 20:41 [D&C 20:41]; 138:33 [D&C 138:33]. Endowment—Doctrine and Covenants 38:32 [D&C 38:32]; 43:16 [D&C 43:16]; 95:8 [D&C 95:8]; 105:12 [D&C 105:12]; 110:9 [D&C 110:9]. Marriage—Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–2 [D&C 131:1–2]; 132:14–15, 22–23 [D&C 132:14–15, 22–23]. Sealing—Matthew 16:16–19 [Matt. 16:16–19]; Doctrine and Covenants 132:46 [D&C 132:46].
2. Help each child prepare a personal history and a family history chart (see Primary Sharing Time Resource Manual, pages 70–75). Sing “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, page 188), focusing on those things that are necessary for a family to be a link in a “forever family” chain. Each child could make a personal “family chain” out of paper, writing the name of each family member on a strip of paper before fastening the strips together. Each generation could be a different color.
3. Tell the story on page 184 of the Walk in His Ways, Basic Manual for Children, Part B (available in ward/branch libraries or from the distribution center), concerning baptism for the dead. Ask a child to retell the story, offering help as necessary. The children could draw pictures illustrating the story for retelling it at home.
4. Make up a letter square (see page 35 for an example of a letter square) using the words that are defined on page 12 or the words in the activity on page 13, and have the children find them and tell why they are important.
5. Invite several children to each share a picture (if available) and story of an ancestor. Conclude by singing “Truth from Elijah” (Children’s Songbook, page 90).