If there is one phrase we have heard a lot in the last several years from President Russell M. Nelson, it is “covenant path.” And while explaining the covenant path to children might sound challenging, that is exactly what the first Friend to Friend event of the year tackled. Following a visual representation of the covenant path, the event covered baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament, ending with a cliffhanger for the next event in July. Throughout the event, I was amazed at the efforts that have been made to truly tailor this event to children—children used to a highly active and digital world. Here are a few things that impressed me as a mother about the most recent Friend to Friend.
1. Familiar Elements
Anyone who has watched a Primary child squirm through sacrament meeting knows that an event for children needs lots of color and action, which is exactly what this Friend to Friend provided. Following a little girl dressed in a safari outfit “walking” along an animated path, it reminded me of some of the popular children’s television shows my son watches. Keeping children engaged with bright colors, movement, and a variety of different activities like sing-a-longs and art, this Friend to Friend really nailed using elements of educational television that kids are familiar with to teach them things of eternal importance as well.
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2. Real-Life Application
Toward the beginning of the event, a video was shown of a little girl who was about to turn 8 and be baptized. The little girl invites a friend to her baptism, but her confused friend pictures something quite different from what the little girl is explaining and doesn’t understand what she would be coming to. The little girl goes home and talks to her sister, ultimately better understanding why she wants to be baptized and what it means. She re-invites her friend with a better explanation of what baptism means, and her friend agrees to come.
I loved this video because so often we do a good job of explaining to children what we do in the Church, but we sometimes struggle or forget to explain the why. The video really broke down the definition of “baptism” to a child’s level and gave children a good example of how they can share the gospel and its importance to their friends.
This event also had a great activity that could easily continue beyond the Friend to Friend: a Holy Ghost journal. Again, this Friend to Friend didn’t just explain what the Holy Ghost is, it encouraged the children to think about and record how it feels to them even after the event was over. I thought the idea of the Holy Ghost journal was great because it encouraged the children to understand the connection they have to the Holy Ghost in their own life and gave ideas of how to explain what the Holy Ghost feels like for them.
3. Create Connection
Aptly named, this Friend to Friend event does a great job of connecting children with other friends and children around the world—children host the event, giving simple explanations of gospel topics, and children from around the world are highlighted in special sections. But children aren’t the only ones who are connected through the event.
In this Friend to Friend, children saw Sister Wright of the general Primary presidency in casual, camping-style clothes and heard Sister Porter play the piano. These simple actions by the Primary general presidency, to me, helped the children better connect with these leaders and see them as people who care about them and do or did a lot of the same things they do now. How exciting for children to feel they are part of something bigger!
If you and your Primary kids missed this fun gospel event, I would highly recommend going back and watching it with them now. It provides a great example of how to simplify the gospel for your kids yourself and can encourage them as they see other children like them who are living and loving the covenant path.
Find the event on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or in the player below.