Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children
Families are important in Heavenly Father’s plan.
How can you use the family proclamation to help the children understand how important families are in God’s plan?
Help the children think of things that are so important that they would want to tell everyone about them. Show the children a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and explain that prophets and apostles wrote it to tell everyone how important families are to Heavenly Father. Ask the children why they think families are so important to Heavenly Father. Share something from the proclamation that you feel everyone needs to know about.
Show the children a picture of a temple and a picture of a family. Let the children hold the pictures while you read the last sentence of the third paragraph of the family proclamation. Ask them to point to the correct pictures when you read the words “temples” and “families.” Testify that because of the ordinances of the temple, our families can be united forever.
Sing together a song about eternal families, such as “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 95), and help the children listen for words like “temple” and “family.”
Ask the children what we can do to make various things strong—such as our teeth, our bodies, or a building. What can we do to make our families strong? Help the children understand the principles that lead to happiness in family life, found in paragraph seven of the family proclamation (see also this week’s activity page). Help the children plan ways they will strengthen their families.
I am a “beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”
The family proclamation teaches that we are all children of Heavenly Parents and we are here on earth to become more like Them.
Sing together “I Am a Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, 2–3). Then toss a ball or soft object to a child as you say, “I know a child of God named [child’s name].” Ask the child to toss the object to another child, saying the same words and inserting that child’s name. Repeat the activity until everyone has had a turn. Testify that each child is a “beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”
Consider ways you could illustrate that because we are children of Heavenly Parents, we can become like Them. For example, show pictures of animals and their babies, or of yourself and your parents or children, and help the children see similarities. Testify that just as babies grow up to be like their parents, we can someday become like our Heavenly Parents.
Teach the Doctrine: Older Children
Families are central to Heavenly Father’s plan.
The family proclamation was issued to reaffirm eternal truths about the family. Consider how you will help the children deepen their testimonies of these truths.
Ask the children if they know who wrote the family proclamation. (In his message “The Plan and the Proclamation” [Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 28–31], President Dallin H. Oaks described how it was written.) Help the children understand what the words “solemnly proclaim” in the opening paragraph mean. Ask them to share their thoughts about why the prophets and apostles want to “solemnly proclaim” truths about the family in our day.
Share a few statements from the family proclamation that are especially meaningful to you. Invite the children to share their feelings about those truths. How would our lives be different if we did not know these things? Sing together a song that relates to truths found in the proclamation, such as “I Will Follow God’s Plan” or “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, 164–65, 188).
Show the children pictures (or invite them to draw some) portraying truths found in the family proclamation. These could be pictures of a temple, a family praying or playing together, or a couple getting married. Invite the children to find sentences in the family proclamation that relate to the pictures. What do these sentences teach us?
Prepare some questions that can be answered in the family proclamation, such as “How does God feel about marriage?” and “What makes a happy family?” Let each child pick a question, and help them find answers in the proclamation.
Invite a mother and father of one of the children to share with the class how they “help one another as equal partners” in their “sacred responsibilities” in their family. Invite the children to discuss what they can do now to prepare to be righteous wives and husbands, mothers and fathers.
Families are happiest when they follow Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father loves each of His children, and He wants them to be happy. How can you help the children you teach understand that true happiness comes from following the teachings and example of our Savior Jesus Christ?
Draw a large outline of a heart on the board, and invite the children to read paragraph seven of the proclamation. Ask them to look for things they can do to help their families be happy, and write their answers inside the heart. Invite the children to pick something that they can work on to make their homes happier.
Invite the children to share experiences when they felt loved by a family member. Help the children identify principles from paragraph seven of the proclamation that can help family members feel loved. How should our knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ affect the way we treat our families?
Ask the children what they would say if a friend asked them why getting married or having children is important. How could we help this friend understand how important families are to Heavenly Father? Help the children find statements in the family proclamation that could help; see also the video “What Is the Purpose of Family?” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Busy time of year. Hope you like the recycled material. Don't forget the Old Testament reading schedule.
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