“Sharing Time: Pioneers and Temples,” Friend, July 2002, 47
Pioneers and Temples
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, … and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths (Micah 4:2).
What do you think of when you hear the word pioneer? Do you picture a woman wearing a long dress and a bonnet? Is she pulling a handcart? Perhaps you think of children trudging westward across the American plains during a blizzard.
While those are examples of pioneers, you can find other kinds of pioneers in your own family. Many parents and grandparents have sacrificed to build the kingdom of God in every corner of the world. Instead of bonnets, long dresses, or coveralls, these pioneers might have worn berets, kimonos, or serapes.
No matter where you live, you receive blessings because others have worked and sacrificed. Just as the ancient Israelites, you enjoy “cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; … and [of] oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat” (Josh. 24:13).
One of the greatest blessings we have today is the more than one hundred temples throughout the world for worthy members to attend. All of the temples have been built with tithing donations and the sacrifice of generations of Church members. Modern-day pioneers continue to work hard not only to build temples but also to prepare themselves to attend the temple.
President Hinckley said that many modern-day pioneers “have very little of this world’s goods. But they have in their hearts a great burning faith concerning this latter-day work. … They love the Lord and want to do His will. They are paying their tithing, modest as it is. They make tremendous sacrifices to visit the temples. They travel for days at a time in cheap buses and on old boats. They save their money and do without to make it all possible.”*
What can you do to be a pioneer? You can help build temples for yourselves and future generations when you pay your tithing. When you pay tithing, you are also doing one of the things that will help make you worthy to enter the temple.
You can prepare for baptism and keep your baptismal covenants—another way to be worthy to enter the temple. You can help others understand the importance of the temple, and if no one in your own family has been to the temple, you can be a pioneer by helping them set a goal of being worthy to enter it.
As you make sacrifices to help your own family and others enjoy temple blessings, you will be like the pioneers of the past. You will help yourself and your brothers and sisters throughout the world enjoy the blessings of attending a temple close to home, where you and they can receive the wonderful ordinances that will help you and them return to Heavenly Father.
More than one hundred temples are in use today. Draw your the temple nearest to you, or that is special for you, in Marker #10 and fill in the blanks. Remove page 46 and mount it on heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. Cut out the temple markers, locate where they belong on the map, and glue them there. (Match the numbers on the map with those on Markers #1–#9; you will need to find the location for #10 for yourself—or get your Primary teacher or a parent to help.) Place the map where it will remind you of your goal to be worthy to attend the temple.
1 Kirtland Temple
First temple of the dispensation of the fulness of times
Dedicated March 27, 1836
2 St. George Utah Temple
First temple built by the pioneers in Utah
Dedicated April 6, 1877
3 Cardston Alberta Temple
First temple in Canada
Dedicated August 26, 1923
4 Bern Switzerland Temple
First temple in Europe
Dedicated September 11, 1955
5 São Paulo Brazil Temple
First temple in South America
Dedicated October 30, 1978
6 Tokyo Japan Temple
First temple in Asia
Dedicated October 27, 1980
7 México City México Temple
First temple in México
Dedicated December 2, 1983
8 Sydney Australia Temple
First temple in Australia
Dedicated September 20, 1984
9 Johannesburg South Africa Temple
First temple in Africa
Dedicated August 24, 1985
10 ___________________________ Temple
First temple in which I plan to do baptisms for the dead
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. To help the children understand the blessings that come from making financial sacrifices to build and attend the temple, share personal stories from local members or from Church magazines (see “This Is a Day of Sacrifice,” Friend, Feb. 1987, p. 1 [Contents page]; “The Temple at 12,” New Era, May 2001, p. 9; “The Blessing of Building a Temple,” Ensign, May 1976, pp. 101–2).
Have an older class present Mark 12:41–44 as a choral reading (see TNGC, p. 163). Discuss what a mite is and why Jesus said that the widow had given more than the rich people. Help the children understand the blessings of paying tithing, no matter what size the amount. Have the children read Mal. 3:10 aloud together. Discuss some of the personal blessings that come because of the payment of tithing. Discuss what tithing money is used for in the Church. Sing either “I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing” or “I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth” (both CS, p. 150).
Give each child ten paper circles to represent coins. Discuss the importance of paying tithing to the Lord first. Have the children draw a picture of a temple on one coin. On the remaining coins, have them draw something else that the money could be used for (clothes, food, school supplies, savings, transportation, toys, mission preparation, etc.). Testify of the blessings you have received from paying tithing.
For younger children: Draw an open window on the chalkboard. Read Mal. 3:10–12. Have a leader or teacher tell the story of President Lorenzo Snow’s revelation on tithing (see Primary 5 manual, pp. 274–76). Discuss the personal blessings that came to the Church members because they paid their tithing. Discuss what tithing is used for—temples, meetinghouses, supplies, etc. Have children take turns drawing in the chalkboard window one of the blessings mentioned.
2. Give each child a paper sack and pencil or crayon to make a pioneer puppet (see TNGC, pp. 176–77). Ahead of time, ask four adults to tell about the building of the Kirtland, Nauvoo, and Salt Lake Temples, and the temple in your area (see Primary 5 manual, Lessons 25, 35, and 44 for information on the Kirtland, Nauvoo, and Salt Lake Temples). Divide the Primary into four groups. Have each group meet with one of the adults to learn about the building of that temple. Have the children make puppets, then plan and practice how they will portray the event with their puppets. Have each group take turns presenting their puppet show to the rest of the Primary. Choose songs from the Heritage section (green pages) of the CS to sing between each presentation.
3. Help the children understand this month’s scripture reference by having them locate Micah 4:1–2 in their scriptures. Ask the children to picture in their minds what is being described as they follow along while an older child reads the scripture aloud. Explain that the “mountain of the Lord” means the temple. In ancient times, prophets like Abraham (Abram—see Gen. 12:7–8), Moses (see Ex. 3:1–5), and Nephi (see 1 Ne. 18:3) went to the mountains to receive instruction from Heavenly Father when there were no temples available. Have the children listen to Micah 4:1–2 again, then list on the chalkboard what it says about the temple (people shall flow unto it, the Lord shall teach us His ways there, we will learn there how to walk in His paths).
In Ps. 24:3, King David asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” Have the children turn to Ps. 24:3–4 and discuss what the requirements for ascending “into the hill of the Lord” (going to the temple) mean: having “clean hands, and a pure heart,” not lifting up “his soul unto vanity” or swearing “deceitfully.” Have the children suggest songs from the CS that reinforce these principles—e.g., “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153), “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (p. 152), and “The Word of Wisdom” (pp. 154–55).
President Hinckley has given us similar counsel: The Six Bs (see Friend, Feb. 2001, pp. 24–25). Help the children remember them by playing a matching game. Make two copies of each of the Bs as wordstrips: Be Grateful, Be Smart, Be Clean, Be True, Be Humble, Be Prayerful. After the children take turns making matches, challenge them to choose one of the Bs to live better this week to help them prepare to attend the temple.
4. In the 1995 October general conference, President Hinckley said, “I have a burning desire that a temple be located within reasonable access to Latter-day Saints [where Latter-day Saints can get to it without great hardship] throughout the world” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 52). Talk about the blessings of having temples close to Church members (people do not need to travel as far, and the ordinances are available in many different languages). Sing “Children All Over the World” (CS, pp. 16–17) or “Feliz Cumpleaños” (CS, p. 282).
Use a map to help the children locate where they live. Attach a marker at that location. Have the children suggest the names of several temples throughout the world. List these on the chalkboard. Ask, “Which of these is closest to you?” “Which is farthest?” Locate the suggested temples on the map. Have a child use a piece of string or other measuring device to see which temple is closest, farthest.
Make a time line to show the increased building of temples to provide “reasonable access for Latter-day Saints throughout the world.” Mark spaces to represent ten-year intervals from 1836 to 1996. Then mark each year from 1996 to the present. Give each child a small piece of paper to represent a temple. For smaller Primaries, each child may be given more than one marker. Show the number of temples dedicated in each interval by having the children take turns placing a temple marker along the time line as follows: • 1836–1846 (2) • 1846–1856 (0) • 1857–1866 (0) • 1867–1876 (0) • 1877–1886 (2) • 1887–1896 (2) • 1897–1906 (0) • 1907–1916 (0) • 1917–1926 (2) • 1927–1936 (1) • 1937–1946 (1) • 1947–1956 (2) • 1957–1966 (3) • 1967–1976 (3) • 1977–1986 (24) • 1987–1996 (9) • 1997 (2) • 1998 (2) • 1999 (15) • 2000 (34) • 2001 (4) • 2002 (3—as of 30 June 2002).
Express gratitude for the blessings of having so many temples available around the world.
5. Song presentation: Explain that “Truth from Elijah” (CS, pp. 90–91) is based on Mal. 4:5–6, but that this Biblical prophecy was so important that it was recorded in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Divide the children into four groups, and give each group one of these references: Mal. 4:5–6, 3 Ne. 25:5–6, D&C 2:1–2, JS—H 1:38–39. Have a child in the first group read the scripture in Malachi out loud while the other children see how close to the same words their scriptures are.
Then have the children see how close their scriptures are to what you sing in the first part of “Truth from Elijah.” Sing up to “have turned” and have them raise their hands when they hear you sing words they are reading. Ask which words were the same. Have them sing that phrase.
Ask them to listen for the name of the prophet who restored the truth. Sing up to “have learned” and ask who the prophet was (Elijah). Have them sing that phrase with you. Then ask them to count how many times repeated words are sung up to there while you sing that much again. Ask what was repeated (“have turned,” “have learned”) and how many times (3). Have them again sing that entire first section.
Next, have the children listen for four things mentioned in the next part of the song that tells what they can do. Sing up to “bind them to us for eternity.” Have four children hold up the following items to help them remember the phrases: “seek out our loved ones” (a family group sheet), “Preserving their names and their memory” (a family history book), “to kneel in the temple” (a picture of a temple), and “bind them to us for eternity” (a picture of a multi-generation family).
Sing each of these phrases individually with the children, then sing the song from the beginning up to that point. The last sentence has the same words as the first sentence but a slightly different melody. Sing the last line, have the children sing it with you, then sing the entire song.
Express gratitude for your own parents, grandparents, and ancestors, and the desire you have to be with them by being sealed to them for eternity.
6. Additional Friend resources: “Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Oct. 2000, IFC; “Tithing Around the World,” June 1999, pp. 24–25, 47; “Building with Ancestors,” Aug. 1998, pp. 8–10; “Tithing: A Privilege,” Nov. 1998, IFC; “Temple Firsts,” Apr. 1997, p. 11. See also “Small Temples—Large Blessings,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, pp. 64–65; “Symbol of Sacrifice, Monument to Life,” Ensign, Oct. 1993, pp. 8–11.