“My Life Is a Gift; My Life Has a Plan,” Friend, Jan. 2008, 16–18
My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.
(“I Will Follow God’s Plan,” Children’s Songbook, 164–65)
These words teach that you lived with Heavenly Father before you came to earth. You are His child. Heavenly Father asked His Son, Jesus Christ, to create the earth. The earth was prepared so you could come and receive a body. You were also given agency, and you chose to come to earth and learn to follow Heavenly Father’s plan.
You can learn about Heavenly Father’s plan in the scriptures. Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet, taught that Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior. He would come to earth to live, take upon Himself the sins of the world, and provide a way for all of Heavenly Father’s children to return to Him. Because of Jesus, you can repent and be forgiven of your sins. Jacob said, “O how great the plan of our God!” (2 Nephi 9:13).
Heavenly Father loves you. He has given you His word—the scriptures—so you can learn about His plan. If you follow His plan, you will be happy on earth and return to live with Him someday.
Remove page 16, and mount it on heavy paper. Cut out each shape on the solid black lines, and attach a piece of flannel or rough material to the back. Use the illustration of the completed flannel board to help you put the flannel board shapes in their correct places. Learn about the plan of salvation, and share what you have learned with your family. Consider doing this activity for a family home evening lesson.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Ask the children, “What is a proclamation?” Explain that to proclaim something means to declare officially and formally that it is true. Show a picture of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). Discuss the importance of the proclamation, and read the second paragraph. Help the children memorize the first sentence of the second paragraph. Explain that being “created in the image of God” means that we have physical bodies and can become like Heavenly Father.
Sing the second verse of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (pp. 228–29), and invite the children to listen for characteristics of the earthly body that Heavenly Father has given to us (eyes, ears, mind, heart, and so on). Discuss the blessings of having a body created in the image of God. Refer to My Gospel Standards: “I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.” Talk about ways to show respect for our bodies.
Provide a piece of paper for each child with the memorized sentence written at the top: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God.” Invite the children to repeat the memorized sentence. Testify that the proclamation is true.
Say, “I have a divine destiny,” and ask the children what they think that means. Discuss the meaning of the words divine (directly from God) and destiny (a predetermined plan).
Read Abraham 3:23 together. Underline the phrase “thou wast chosen before thou wast born.” Share some events from Abraham’s life. Emphasize that Heavenly Father knew and loved Abraham in the premortal life. Because of his obedience, Abraham received many blessings from Heavenly Father.
Share examples of others who were chosen before they were born to fulfill an important mission: Joseph Smith (2 Nephi 3:14–15; GAK 400), Gordon B. Hinckley (“Seek Ye the Kingdom of God,” Ensign, May 2006, 82; GAK 520), and Jesus Christ (Moses 4:1–2; GAK 240).
Repeat the phrase “I have a divine destiny,” and remind the children that Heavenly Father has an important mission for them to fulfill while they are on the earth. Ask, “What kinds of things do you think Heavenly Father wants you to do?” (pray, keep the commandments, be baptized and confirmed, receive the priesthood, and so on). Sing “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61), and bear testimony that each person has a divine destiny, and choosing the right will help fulfill it.
As the children sing “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162), ask them to listen for five action words that describe what it means to be valiant (follow, serve, keep, stand, depend). List the words on the chalkboard. Read 2 Nephi 10:23 together. Teach about the gift of agency. Discuss what it means to be valiant in our testimonies of Jesus Christ.
Make a copy of the “Preparing for Jesus to Come” game found at the back of the Primary 2 manual. Prepare 12 small pieces of paper. Write a number on each paper, using 1 though 6 twice. Fold the papers, and put them in a container. Play the game by inviting children to come up, draw a number, and move a marker the correct number of spaces. Read the square. If it describes a right choice, ask why this was a valiant choice. If it describes a wrong choice, ask how they could choose to be valiant. Play the game as long as time allows. Sing “I Will Be Valiant” again, and conclude by bearing testimony of the importance of being valiant in our testimonies of Jesus Christ.
Show “Jesus Makes the Earth” and “Adam and Eve” from the video Bible Stories for Children, Volume 1 (approximately six minutes long). Prepare the cutouts 1-1 through 1-25 from the Primary 1 picture packet. Following the video, invite the children to help tell the story of the Creation using the cutouts. Express gratitude for the beautiful world that Jesus Christ created for us.
Show GAK 101 (Adam and Eve). Help the children find Moses 5:4, and read the phrase “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord.” Discuss what this means. Show picture 1-34 (Adam and Eve teaching their children) from the Primary 1 packet, and read Moses 5:12. Ask, “What did Adam and Eve do to help their children?”
Ask the children how their parents teach them the gospel. Provide some examples if needed, such as being a good example and having family home evening. Sing “Love Is Spoken Here” (pp. 190–91). Bear testimony that Jesus Christ created the world and that Adam and Eve were the first parents on the earth.
For older children: Prepare a sheet of paper with a list of different terms describing events of the Creation (light, day, night, firmament, dry land, grass, tree, greater light, lesser light, and so on). Ask the children to turn to Genesis 1, find out on what day each event took place, and list the scripture reference. (Example: Light—first day, Genesis 1:3–5.)
Song presentation: “I Am a Child of God” (pp. 2–3). Focus on helping the children identify and understand the important doctrines taught in this song. Invite the children to listen as the pianist plays the melody of the chorus and to stand up when they recognize the song. When most of the children are standing, ask them to whisper the name of the song. Sing the chorus to the children. Ask the children to sing the chorus with you and listen for action words that describe what they would like someone to do for them. Sing the chorus, and list responses on the chalkboard (lead, guide, walk beside, help, teach). Ask: “Who leads us? When would it be important to have a guide? Why would you want someone to walk beside you? Why would you want someone to help you find the way? What are some things we must do to live with Heavenly Father someday?” Sing the chorus again, and testify of the blessings of having parents, teachers, leaders, prophets, and the scriptures to help us find our way back to Heavenly Father.
As you teach and review the verses of the song, use key words or phrases that will help the children remember the doctrines taught in each verse. For example: verse 1: gifts (earthly home and parents); verse 2: scriptures (His words); verse 3: blessings; verse 4: His promises are sure.
Friend references: “You Are a Child of God,” May 2003, 2–3; “Heavenly Father’s Plan,” June 2003, 7; “Knowing Who You Are,” July 2004, 2–3; “A Child of God,” Feb. 2005, 24–25; “The Creation,” Jan. 2005, 7, 23; “Song of Faith,” Jan. 2004, 18–20.