“I’ll Prepare Myself While I Am Young,” Friend, June 2008, 16–18
Temples are a blessing to you and to your family. There are more than 120 temples all over the world. Do you know the name of the temple closest to you? Is there a picture of a temple in your home? Has someone in your family been to the temple to make sacred covenants?
The Primary song “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 95) teaches that a temple is “a house of God, a place of love and beauty.” It also teaches that a temple is “a holy place where we are sealed together.” The next time you sing this song, listen for the words “I’m going there someday.” This is a promise you are making to yourself and to Heavenly Father that you will be worthy to enter His holy house.
Remove page 16, and glue it to heavier paper. Cut out the temple on the solid lines, fold on the dotted lines, and glue the tabs to the inside of the walls to form a box. (The temple should be at the front of the box.) Cut out the My Gospel Standards cards (p. 16), and place them inside the temple box. Choose a gospel standard from the box, read it, and decide what you can do to live the standard. In family home evening, share how living this standard can prepare you to enter the temple someday.
Place the temple box and the My Gospel Standards cards in a special place to remind you to make good choices. As you read a gospel standard and decide how to live it, remember these words from “I Love to See the Temple”: “I’ll prepare myself while I am young; this is my sacred duty.”
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Prior to sharing time, draw two simple pictures of a temple. Cut one of the pictures into 12 rectangles to represent building blocks. Number the pieces from 1 to 12. Use the second picture as a model for the children to look at as they build the temple. Cut a piece of paper into 12 sections, and write one action word from the first 12 My Gospel Standards on each piece of paper. (Action words: follow, remember, choose, be, use, do, honor, keep, dress, read and watch, listen, seek.) Fold the papers so the action word is hidden. Provide copies of the Faith in God guidebook, or display GAK 618 (My Gospel Standards).
Play the temple-building game. Begin by reading D&C 124:40 together. Write the phrase “let this house be built” on the chalkboard. Place the uncut picture of the temple under the phrase. Help the children recognize that it requires work and sacrifice to build and attend the temple.
Invite a child to choose a paper and read the action word. Have the children look in My Gospel Standards for the word. When it is found, read the standard together. Invite the child or class to think of a way to live that standard. Then invite the child or class to find building block 1 and put it on the chalkboard to begin building the temple. Continue until all the action words have been chosen and the building blocks have been placed to complete the picture.
Read the last gospel standard together as a Primary. Emphasize that all the gospel standards discussed are things that children can do to have an eternal family. Bear testimony of the blessings of the temple and the importance of being worthy.
Hold up a sack that has scriptures inside. Give several clues to help the children guess what is in the sack. When they have guessed, open the scriptures to Malachi 3:10, and read the phrase “Bring ye all the tithes.” Ask the children to guess what commandment this scripture describes. Help the children find the scripture and read it together, listening for the promise “pour you out a blessing.”
Invite the children to name some blessings Heavenly Father has given them, and make a list on the chalkboard. Give each child a sheet of paper. Ask them to choose one blessing and draw or write the blessing on the paper. When they are finished, ask them to quietly roll their paper into a ball. Sing the chorus of “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–21) as you gather the balls and place them in the sack.
Hold up the sack with the blessing balls inside. Ask a priesthood leader to come to the front of the room and hold out his hands. Before you pour the balls into his hands, ask the children what they think will happen. Pour the balls into his hands, and watch them overflow. Read the promise: “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Help the children understand that when we obey the law of tithing, Heavenly Father blesses us with so many blessings that there is not room enough to receive them.
Ask the children what happens to their tithing. Help them understand that it helps build temples. Sing the chorus of “Nephi’s Courage,” and encourage the children to “go and do” by paying their tithing.
Display family history items such as journals, photographs, or books of remembrance. Discuss the importance of keeping records of our families. Help the children find D&C 138:47–48, and read it together. Discuss the importance of temple work so that families can be sealed together forever.
Briefly explain the process of finding and preparing names of family members for temple work. Share a positive personal story of submitting a name for temple work, or tell the story “Finding Grandpa Oskar” (Friend, Aug. 2002, 46–47). Sing “Family History—I Am Doing It” (p. 94). Provide a pedigree chart and a family group record for each child, and allow time for them to fill out the portions they know. Hold up a Faith in God guidebook, and remind the children that completing a pedigree chart and a family group record is an activity in the guidebook. Encourage them to complete this activity with their families. Invite the children to bring the completed forms back to Primary and share what they learned about their families. Bear testimony of the importance of family history work and the blessings of the temple, where we can be sealed together as families.
Ask the children to listen for one word that describes the temple. Sing the phrase, “For the temple is a holy place,” from “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95). Show pictures of different temples, and ask the children to describe behaviors that would be appropriate in a holy place.
Invite a member of the bishopric or branch presidency to talk about the temple recommend interview. (Some items that could be addressed: appropriate dress for the interview, questions that will be asked, and whom the priesthood leader represents during the interview.) Then discuss how being reverent, dressing modestly, and speaking kindly can help prepare the children to be worthy to enter the temple. If time allows, share positive personal experiences or stories from the Friend that teach about living these three gospel principles. Sing “I Love to See the Temple,” and bear testimony of the blessings of attending the temple.
Song presentation: “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95). Ask, “What do you love to see?” Get responses, and then ask the children to listen for something you love to see. Sing the phrase “I love to see the temple.” Invite a child to hold a picture of a temple, and sing the first phrase of the song together. Ask the children to listen for when they will go to the temple. Sing the phrase “I’m going there someday.” After the children have guessed the answer, sing both phrases together.
Ask the children to listen for three things they will do when they attend the temple. Sing the phrase “To feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray.” Sing the phrase together. Ask them to listen for three things that describe the temple as you sing the phrase “For the temple is a house of God, a place of love and beauty.” Sing the phrase together. Ask a child to read D&C 88:119. Explain that this verse describes a temple. Have them listen and raise their hands when they hear the words “house of God.”
Sing the last phrase of the song, and have the children echo it back to you. Sing the first verse together. Bear testimony of the importance of preparing to attend the temple by living gospel standards.
Continue to ask questions, and have the children listen for the answers as you sing the second verse to the children. Emphasize the word covenant, define it in simple terms, and discuss the covenant made at baptism. Help the children understand that making and keeping sacred covenants is part of temple worship.
Children learn to sing a song by hearing it many times. Try these suggestions as you review this song: (1) Add simple actions to key words. For example: “see”—touch eyes; “listen”—touch ears; “pray”—fold arms. (2) Prepare a two-sided sign that has “Softer” on one side and “Louder” on the other. Invite the children to watch the sign for the clue to sing softly or loudly (but still reverently). (3) Divide the room in half, and invite the children to sing to each other, alternating phrases of the song.
Friend references: “Temples Bless Families,” July 2004, 18; “Grandma’s Trunk,” May 2006, 24–25; “The Blessings of Sacrifice,” Dec. 2002, 8–9; “Worthy of the Temple,” Sept. 2002, 42; “A Modest Choice,” May 2000, inside back cover; “Choosing Kindness,” Jan. 2007, 8–9; “Speaking Kind Words,” Jan. 1997, 26–27.