Day 4: We were out and about most of today and I wasn't sure if we would get a chance to teach the kids about the temple. Our two youngest children had fallen asleep before we got home. We tucked the little ones into bed and had a lesson with the two oldest. Our lesson today was about "The Baptistry." We wanted to start at the bottom of the temple and work our way up through the different rooms we saw in the video from yesterday's post. Here's a video about the history of baptisms for the dead. You can also find out more about why we do baptisms for our ancestors in temples here.
We then went to the white board again and I drew a picture about the two things that keep us from returning back to our Father in Heaven, sin and death. I served a mission for our church in Puerto Rico and we taught the people about the things the Savior did for us to overcome sin and death. I taught my two sons about the Savior's key role in our life and how baptism is the first ordinance that helps us return to live with God again after this life. I am loving these moments with them to teach and share my feelings about the temple and our Savior.
Here's some visual aids to help you with this lesson. This is a good lesson to review the first video in the temple series about our Father's Plan. Watch it here. It talks about sin and death being the two things that separate us from God.
Click on the image below to download the pdf file.
Lesson Directions: Download, print on card stock, cut out the pieces and laminate all parts. You can print out the small squares on the first page as well. It shows a drawing of how it should go together. You can use it as a File Folder Lesson, make a felt board lesson or use magnets. I decided for my family that I wanted to use magnets on the back of the parts of the lesson. I just put the mountain page on top of a cookie sheet that I purchased at the Dollar Store, attached magnets on the backside of the pieces and it was done!
To teach this lesson, you can show the video mentioned above and then talk about the following:
1. The bottom of the mountain is where we are at (add the boy and the word "Us") and God is at the top (add the word God). You can ask a question such as "How are we going to return back to God if we are on the bottom?"
2. Explain that there are two things that separate us from God, sin and death. (add those two word pieces to the mountain) Talk about how Jesus Christ died for us and that He was resurrected. Put the "resurrection" piece on the mountain and talk about how we will all be resurrected just like Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if we choose to do good or bad on earth, everyone is given this free gift. Add the brick wall and put the person on top of it.
3. Explain how we are now closer to God since we were able to overcome death through Christ's resurrection, but we are still too far away from returning to our Heavenly Father. What else must we do to return to his presence? Talk about sin and the atonement. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins which means that as we repent of our sins and follow Him we can be washed clean through the blood of the Savior. (Add the ladder side rails.) Point out how we still need to do something. Unlike the brick wall that lifted us up without any work on our part, a ladder is provided for us, but we need to climb it ourselves. You can then explain the steps of the ladder starting with Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, Temple and finishing it off with Endure to the End which means to continue to follow the Savior's example. Once we continue up the ladder step-by-step, we can return to our Father's home above.
I love this lesson. It is a powerful way to teach children what we need to do to return to God and how Jesus Christ plays the most important part in our journey back to our heavenly home. We also have a very important part in using our free agency, the right to choose, to climb the ladder and return to Him. I know that because of the Savior's atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane and His resurrection from the tomb, we too can live as families with our Heavenly Father above.