Foundation for Happiness
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“Foundation for Happiness,” Friend, June 2009, 16–18

Sharing Time

Foundation for Happiness

Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, [and] forgiveness (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).

A foundation gives a sure, firm base upon which something can be built. Most buildings and homes are built on foundations.

When the Latter-day Saints began building the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple, they used layers of sandstone blocks. It took them five years to build the eight-foot-deep (2.4-m) foundation. When they heard that soldiers were coming, the Saints covered the foundation with dirt to hide it. When the dirt was later cleared off, the foundation had cracked and shifted. The Saints knew the cracked foundation could not support the temple. So they removed the sandstone foundation and replaced it with large blocks of granite. When that strong foundation was in place, workers began building the walls of the temple.

Just as the temple needed a strong granite foundation, you and your family need a strong foundation to build on. The Lord said, “Build upon my rock, which is my gospel” (D&C 11:24). The gospel of Jesus Christ includes faith, prayer, repentance, and forgiveness. Building on these principles will give you a firm foundation to help you and your family stand strong.


Remove page 16 from the magazine. Cut out the cards. Place the picture cards in one stack and the word cards in another stack. Draw one card from each stack. If the cards match, tell how you can help your family do that particular thing, and then keep the cards. If the cards don’t match, start two more stacks for the unmatched cards. Continue playing, letting each person draw cards. When the first two stacks are gone, shuffle the second stacks and continue playing until all the cards are matched.

family foundation card game

Illustrations by Beth M. Whittaker

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Sharing Time Ideas

June Theme: Faith, prayer, repentance, and forgiveness strengthen me and my family.

(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit.)

  1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ strengthens me and my family. Help the children memorize “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). Show GAK 240 (Jesus the Christ), and explain that to have faith in Jesus Christ means that even though we do not see Him, we believe that He lives. We trust Him and try to follow His commandments. Before sharing time, find scripture stories and pictures that illustrate how faith in Jesus Christ helped people keep the commandments in hard situations. For example: GAK 102 (Building the Ark), GAK 112 (David Slays Goliath), GAK 114 (Daniel Refusing the King’s Meat and Wine), GAK 125 (Esther), GAK 210 (Jesus and the Fishermen), GAK 301 (Lehi’s Family Leaving Jerusalem), GAK 313 (Two Thousand Young Warriors). Give each class one of the pictures, and invite the teachers to tell the story, emphasizing how the people showed their faith. Have each class think of a situation they might face when they would need to have faith. Ask them to talk about how faith in Jesus Christ could help them in that situation (examples: keeping the Word of Wisdom, moving to a new city, going on a mission, standing up for what you believe). Invite each class to share the scripture story and their modern situation. Sing “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” (Friend, Jan. 2003, 24).

  2. Prayer strengthens me and my family. Show the children a small electrical appliance or a picture of one. Explain that the only way it can get electrical power is when it is connected to a power source. Tell the children that just as the appliance needs electrical power, we need to be connected to a “power source” to receive spiritual power. Heavenly Father is our source for spiritual power, and we can be connected to Him through prayer. From the Primary picture packets, show picture 7-13 (boy praying) or 1-9 (girl praying), and teach that we can pray for Heavenly Father to help us with our problems and decisions. Tell the story of Mosiah praying for help to know if he should let his sons preach to the Lamanites (see Mosiah 28:1–6). Ask the children to work together to find the Lord’s answer in verse 7. Tell the story of Joseph Smith praying to know which church to join (see Joseph Smith—History 1:7–18). Ask the children again to work together to find the Lord’s answer in verse 19. Have the children sing the first verse of “A Child’s Prayer” (pp. 12–13) and have the teachers sing the second verse. Share a personal experience and your testimony of how your prayers have been answered. Invite the children to say their personal prayers each day this week.

  3. Repentance helps me return to Heavenly Father. Loosely wrap string around a child’s ankles, and help the child balance so he or she doesn’t fall. Ask him or her to step up onto a stool without hopping or jumping. Explain that just as the string prevents the child from climbing on the stool, sin keeps us from progressing toward Heavenly Father’s kingdom. Help the children understand that Jesus Christ made it possible for us to repent through His Atonement. Unwrap the string, and have the child step onto the stool. Explain that repentance is similar to removing the string. Repentance frees us of our mistakes and sins and lets us progress to return to Heavenly Father. Ask the children to listen for things we do to truly repent while you sing together the second verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99). Ask for responses (“Making things right, and changing my ways”). Tell a story from the Friend (see Friend references below), or tell a personal story that demonstrates repenting and making things right. Read together 3 Nephi 9:22. Testify that Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to repent and be forgiven of our sins through His Atonement.

  4. As I forgive, I will be forgiven. Before Primary, fill a bag with rocks that you have labeled with the following words: anger, hurt, resentment, revenge, hate. Begin sharing time by singing the first verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99). Let several of the children take turns carrying the bag of rocks. Ask how it feels to carry the heavy rocks. As you take each rock from the bag, explain what the word means, and explain that when we carry these feelings in our hearts, it is like carrying a bag of heavy rocks. Post the letters F, O, R, G, I, V, E in random order around the room. Invite the children to find each letter and then put them in order to form the word FORGIVE. Read together Matthew 6:14, and discuss what it means. Read and then act out the parable of the unforgiving servant (see Matthew 18:23–35). Help the children understand that if they want Heavenly Father to forgive them, they must be willing to forgive others. Explain that we can receive the strength to forgive as we pray for help. Sing again the first verse of “Help Me, Dear Father.”

  5. Song presentation: “Seek the Lord Early” (p. 108). Make eight wordstrips with one of the following words on each: youth, truth, there, prayer, obey, say, abound, found. Post them in random order on the board. Tell the children that each sentence in the song has two words that rhyme. Sing the first sentence to the children. Have them listen for the word that rhymes with “youth.” Put those two wordstrips next to each other on the board. Sing the first sentence together. Continue this pattern with the rest of the sentences. Display pictures that correspond to concepts in the song. Possible pictures include GAK 605 (Young Boy Praying), GAK 617 (Search the Scriptures), GAK 618 (My Gospel Standards), and Thomas S. Monson (Friend, Apr. 2008, 12). As you sing each phrase, ask a child to choose what picture (or pictures) could go with the sentence. When all the pictures have been chosen, invite the children with the pictures to stand at the front of the room and raise their pictures when their phrase is sung. Sing the whole song together.

  6. Friend references: “Her Mother’s Song,” Apr. 2008, 10–11; “Broken Taillight,” Aug. 2003, 38–40; “All Clean,” Sept. 2007, 20–22; “Rain Boots and Muddy Water,” Oct. 2007, 8–10; “Choosing Sides,” Apr. 2003, 20–22; “The Giraffe Lesson,” July 2005, 4–6; “Pebble of Forgiveness,” Feb. 2003, 42–44; “An Experiment in Forgiving,” Apr. 2004, 38–41; “I Love Him, He’s My Dad,” Sept. 2004, 28–30; “Poison,” Aug. 2004, 10–12. Additional reference: “Ask in Faith,” Ensign, May 2008, 94–97.

Did you know there are 129 temples around the world now? And more are being built.

All with strong foundations!