“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph three).
Thought: “The desire of our hearts, of course, is not only to acquire salvation and immortality but also to attain eternal life with a loving Father in Heaven and our Savior in the celestial kingdom with our families. We can obtain eternal life only through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The Savior said, ‘For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me.’” —Elder Quentin L. Cook
Scripture: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2).
Read the third paragraph together. Explain that it was part of God’s plan before we came to Earth that we be sealed as families so we could return to live with God as families.
Place a set of family pictures in two separate envelopes. Leave one envelope open; seal the other. Hold up both envelopes. Explain that the open one represents a family who has not been sealed for eternity in the temple. The closed envelope represents a family that has been sealed. Point out that all families have problems during mortality. Have family members name examples, such as poor health, marital strains, financial problems, busy schedules, and death. With each example, have a family member shake the two envelopes. Soon the pictures from the open envelope will start to fall out, scattering onto the ground, illustrating that families who are not sealed can be separated by earthly problems. However, families who are sealed for eternity have more motivation and may receive strength to solve problems and remain together no matter what trial comes to them. They have the hope and promise of an eternal family if they live righteously and remain worthy to receive the blessings of being sealed.
Testify of temples and the sealing power.
[Object Lessons Made Easy by Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson; Deseret Book; 2010]
Activity: Family Paper Chain
Make a family paper chain to represent that you are all linked together through the sealing power. You will need construction paper and markers or crayons.
1. Have each family member cut a long strip of paper, 8 inches by 11 inches.
2. Tell them to draw the outline of a person at one end of the strip. Make sure the head touches the top edge and the feet touch the bottom edge of the strip and that one of the hands touches the side edge.
3. Fold the paper accordion style. Make sure that the width of each fold is the size of the outline of the person you drew.
4. Trim off any leftover paper that isn’t long enough to fold.
5. Cut out the person, leaving the folds intact at the hands (and possibly the feet also) so the chain does not break.
6. Unfold the paper. Each family member can color the people to make them look like the members of your family!
Lead image from Thinkstock