12 to 1 – Temple Count Down’s Begun!

If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and you live in Arizona, then you probably know all about what happens on January 18th.  The Gilbert Temple will have it's Open House starting that day until the middle of February.  What's a temple Open House?  Well, the temple will be open to the public for anyone to walk through and see before it is dedicated.  I was able to go to the Open House as a teenage in San Diego and it was an amazing experience.  At church we have talked much about the temple and inviting others to join us as we are blessed with a temple so close to us.  Tonight as we gathered the children together for a gospel lesson, I felt inspired to teach the children about what the temple was about.  I will be able to take all 4 of my children even though my 1 year old will probably not remember anything.  I know he will feel something that will have a lasting impression on his spirit.  An idea came that each night I should gather my family together, like I did tonight, and share with them some of the things they would see in the temple to help prepare them when they get the opportunity to walk through the temple open house.  

Day 1: Tonight we talked about "The Plan of Salvation" or our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.  While preparing a home school room, I put up a large white board.  We gathered around it and I began to draw a picture of the Plan of Salvation.  The kids were paying attention and asking questions as I began to teach them about the pre-mortal life when we lived as spirit children of our Heavenly Father.  We talked about the war in heaven and our Father's plan for us to come to earth, gain a body and make choices that would help us become more like Him.  He had a plan, but he needed someone to carry it out.  I discussed with my children what happened in that grand council in heaven.  We continued through the Plan of Salvation discussing earth life, the veil, choices and how we know we chose to follow Jesus before we were even born.  We talked about what happens to our body and spirit when we die.  Many questions came from my son who is very much into learning about the body and how that would happen.  We continued to discuss where we go after this life and how our choices effect our end reward.  It was a powerful lesson as I taught my children the fundamental principles of the gospel.  I then shared this video called "Our Eternal Life."

Share this video with your family and teach them about the plan of happiness.  Introduce the temple as the place where we participate in sacred ordinances that help us return back to our Heavenly Father as families.  As we talked about what kingdom or place we want to be, I explained how only in following the Savior and being married in the temple can we achieve the highest glory and blessing of having a family forever, my kids finally got it!  I explained how any other place would make us a single person with no family ties.  They didn't like that idea.  I want you to know that I know that our Heavenly Father wants us back with him.  I know that we did live with Him before we came to earth and that His Son, Jesus Christ was born on earth to fulfill the plan of our Father in Heaven so that we might all return back to him if we would just choose to follow his commandments.  In so choosing His plan, we are blessed with peace and happiness in this life no matter what storms the world brings around us.

To help you teach your children about our Heavenly Father's Plan, I designed this packet for you.  It is available in both English and Spanish. 

Brightly Street The Plan of Salvation visual aids

So, that's it.  Day 1, teach your children about the Why of the temple by laying the plan of salvation out for them.  Come back tomorrow for another lesson to help prepare your children for their temple experience.