“Sharing Time: The Plan of Happiness,” Friend, Jan. 2005, 14
Many people want to know where they came from, why they are here, and where they are going. Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness answers these questions.
Before we were born, we all lived together in heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We learned and grew as much as we could. But eventually Heavenly Father gathered all His children in a council and told us that to become like Him, we must leave heaven for a time. He would create an earth for us, He would give us the freedom to choose between good and evil, and He would show us the way to know what is good. He would provide a Savior so that when we sinned, we could repent and still return to Him.
We came to earth to gain a body and walk by faith. We can’t remember our home in heaven, but we can choose the right by following the example of Jesus, obeying our parents, and living My Gospel Standards.
After we die, we will all live again because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He overcame death through the Resurrection, and everyone will be resurrected. He also overcame sin, and those who have faith, repent, are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and keep the commandments will return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They will have the gift of eternal life, which is what the plan of happiness is all about.
Remove page 15 from the magazine, and mount it on heavy paper. Cut along the solid lines. Glue the second strip to the tab on the first strip. Fold back and forth on the dotted lines.
Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness for Me
(See Moses 1:39.)
We lived in heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ before we were born. (See Abr. 3:22–26.)
An earth was created. (See Moses 2:1–3:3.)
Adam and Eve and the Fall were a part of Heavenly Father’s plan. (See Moses 4:6–5:12.)
Jesus Christ came to earth. He is our Savior; He overcame the Fall. Because of Him, we can live again. (See Abr. 3:27–28.)
Coming to a family is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. (See paragraphs 1–4 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.)
We will all die, and because of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected. (See Alma 11:42–45.)
When we follow the example of Jesus Christ, we can inherit the celestial kingdom. (See D&C 76:50–70.)
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed out from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Use a sing-a-story (see TNGC, pp. 174–75) to teach about the Creation. Divide the Primary into seven groups, and give each group a scripture passage recounting one of the seven days of the Creation (see Gen. 1:3–2:3 or Moses 2:3–3:3). Have the children in each group draw pictures of that part of the Creation. Each group will then hold up their drawings and recite together their scripture passage. Move from group (day) one to group (day) seven. After day two sing, “Because God Loves Me” (p. 234); after day five, sing, “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (p. 231); after day six, sing “I Think the World Is Glorious” (p. 230); and after day seven, sing “Remember the Sabbath Day” (p. 155). Have the children attach their pictures to a large circle representing the earth. Sing the first verse of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (pp. 228–29). Point out that Heavenly Father created the world for us because He loves us.
We show our love for Heavenly Father by treating His creations with reverence. Teach the children to protect the resources of the earth by not wasting or littering and by respecting property. Children can care for and be kind to animals. In a timed activity, ask the children to name as many ideas as possible of ways we use or ways we take care of water, the earth, or animals. Sing the second verse of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me.” Bear testimony of the wonderful gift of this beautiful earth.
2. As part of Heavenly Father’s plan, He provided a Savior to redeem us so we could live with Him again. Help the children memorize the third article of faith (see TNGC, pp. 171–72). Teach that there are two parts to the Atonement: (1) Jesus Christ overcame the Fall and physical death through the Resurrection. Everyone who has ever lived on the earth will be resurrected. Show a picture of the resurrected Christ, and sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64). (2) Jesus Christ also overcame spiritual death for us by taking our sins upon Himself. To be saved from our sins, we must be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Make a representation of the celestial kingdom, such as a sun. Cut it into puzzle pieces. On each piece write a scripture that teaches about laws (for example, tithing, Word of Wisdom, forgiveness) and ordinances (baptism, priesthood ordinations, sacrament). Pass out as many pieces as you have to an equal number of groups of children. Have the groups locate the scripture on the puzzle piece, explain how the law or ordinance in the scripture can be obeyed, and add their piece to the puzzle. Repeat the third article of faith again as a group, and sing “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75).
For younger children: Recite the third article of faith, and teach the principle of obedience. Around a portrait of Christ, place other pictures showing Christ as a baby in the stable, being baptized, loving children, and giving His life for us. These pictures show Jesus Christ being obedient to His Father. Ask the children to think of something they can do to be obedient. Pass a beanbag as you sing “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197). When the music stops, have the child with the beanbag name or pantomime one thing he or she can do to be obedient. Repeat as time permits.
3. Help the children memorize Moses 1:39 (see TNGC, pp. 171–72). Teach the plan of salvation by using stations that represent each phase of our existence: premortal, earth life, spirit world, and degrees of glory. (This will need to be taught chronologically. If your Primary is small, move to each station as a group. With many children, select small groups to represent the whole group and have them move from station to station at the front of the room.) As children move from premortal to earth life, they will pass through the “veil” representing birth. As they move from earth to the spirit world, they will pass through the “veil” representing death. As they move from the spirit world to the degrees of glory, help them understand the concepts of resurrection and judgment. With scriptures, stories, and songs (see suggestions below), teach what we have done and what we are expected to do in each phase of our existence.
Premortal life: Abr. 3:22–26; D&C 138:55–56; “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” paragraphs 2–3; “I Lived in Heaven” (p. 4). Earth life: Articles of Faith; My Gospel Standards; role of the Savior; stories from the scriptures of choosing the right; “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61). Spirit world: Alma 40:9–14; D&C 138 (the righteous will do missionary work); “Called to Serve” (pp. 174–75); talk about the importance of temple work for the dead. Degrees of glory: D&C 76; A of F 1:3–4; “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188).
4. Using GAK pictures 101 (Adam and Eve in the Garden) and 119 (Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children), teach the story of Adam and Eve and the role they played in Heavenly Father’s plan. Post both pictures on the wall. Make wordstrips identifying conditions specific to the Garden of Eden (no death, living in the presence of Heavenly Father, no illness or pain, all animals living in peace with each other) and wordstrips identifying conditions in the world after the Fall (death and pain, living by faith, children coming to Adam and Eve, progression). Place wordstrips in a box, and pass the box while the children sing “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–65). Stop the music frequently. When the music stops, let a child pick a wordstrip and place it under the appropriate picture. Have the children read the testimony of Adam and Eve in Moses 5:10–12. Point out that because of Adam and Eve, we can come to earth and be part of a family. Just as they taught their family the gospel, we can learn and live the gospel in our own families.
Divide the Primary into three groups. Ask the first group to think of ways to keep the commandments at home, the second to think of ways to keep the commandments at school, and the third to think of ways to keep the commandments at church. Pick one child from each group to draw on the chalkboard one thing they can do to keep the commandments. They must complete their drawings while the children sing a verse of “Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth” (Hymns, no. 298). Have the children guess what the activities are. Repeat as time allows. Bear testimony that Adam and Eve were an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan.
5. Song Presentation: “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–65). Divide the chalkboard or a large sheet of paper in half. On one side write “My Life,” and provide a picture or drawing for each phrase in the first three lines (for example, “My life is a gift,” picture of gift; “My life has a plan,” simple drawing of house; “My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began,” Primary picture packet 3-3). Put the pictures up next to “My Life” in random order. On the other side of the board, write “I Will,” and provide pictures for each phrase in the rest of the song. Post them in random order next to “I Will.” Have the children look at the pictures on the first half of the board and listen as you sing the first line. Let them choose the pictures that illustrate that line and put them in order. Sing the first line together. Repeat this with the first three lines. Repeat the activity with the lines that begin with “I will.” Sing the song all the way through. You can repeat the song as you remove pictures, or mix them up again and have the children put them in order. Encourage the children to sing this song with their families.
6. Friend references: “I Know God’s Plan,” June 2003, 33; “I Shouted for Joy!” Feb. 1999, 46; “Reverence for Creation,” Sept. 1996, 44. Additional reference: “Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation,”Ensign, Sept. 2001, 32–39. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.