Opening Song: Families Can Be Together Forever
Opening Prayer By:
LESSON - Welcome Home
“I know of no more beautiful story in all literature than that found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is the story of a repentant son and a forgiving father...There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds. There is peace only in repentance and forgiveness."
Gordon B. Hinckley, Tambuli, Nov. 1991 © 2006
Video Clip of the Prodigal Son
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
The Savior’s love and compassion eternally surround every soul who walks the earth
“Every man, woman, or youth who returns home after a prodigal journey or an inactive period will find the Savior waiting with open arms. His atoning act will satisfy justice and extend mercy to all who will “come unto him.” (See D&C 18:11.)...All who are active have someone close who may he inactive, indifferent, or clothed in transgression’s soiled robes. They need the sweet, abiding love of a compassionate parent or loving brother or sister. Jesus will bless every member of the Church who will go out and bring someone back.” Vaughn J. Featherstone, Ensign, Nov. 1982
The family plays an important role in Heavenly Father’s plan
Before we came to earth we lived with our Heavenly Father. We accepted His plan to come to earth, gain a physical body and choose between right and wrong. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior. He has also given us families to love and help us along the way.
Work towards Eternal Life as a family
Eternal life means to become like Heavenly Father and live happily with our families forever. An eternal family doesn’t just happen because of the sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we behave in this life will decide if we will be together as an eternal family. To receive the blessings of the temple sealing we have to keep the commandments and behave in a way that our families will want to live with us forever. Heavenly Father and Jesus love every one and want every family to be sealed in the temple and return to live with them forever.
People are often kinder to strangers than to their family members that they love. Why is this and what can we do differently?
The Savior taught us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. The Savior loves us even when we are not doing everything we should. We should follow His example by showing love to our own family members in this same way.
ACTIVITY: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
(Click here for 'No Empty Chairs' Game and artwork.)
Discuss how each “to-do” will help you be a “Family 4 Eternity.” Also discuss which areas your family needs to improve on.
Read together the theme:“As part of this family and Heavenly Father’s family we will do our part to help every family member so that we will have 'No Empty Chairs in Our Heavenly Home.'”
What you need: A copy of the “4 Family X 4 Eternity” game board and game cards (art work is included with this lesson) and scissors.
Optional: Poster board or cardboard, and glue.
1. Print out game cards and game board.
Optional: Glue game cards and game board to poster board for more durability. ..
2. Cut out the 16 “to-do” game cards and mix up.
Frame a 5 X 7 copy of the picture quote “No Empty Chairs” (click here for artwork) for each child, to help them remember their goal of being an eternal family.
TREAT: Orange Biscuits