Guy stayed home from school yesterday. He wasn't feeling well, but he was surviving, so, of course I put him to work. I asked him if he'd like to teach family home evening, which he was happy to do.
I had these stickers that my Mom and Dad sent us a few weeks ago. They depict the Plan of Salvation in a really simple way! (God's plan of salvation is the plan that God has for all of His children. It answers the great questions we all have: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?)
I sent Guy to the website associated with this graphic to study what it was all about and plan a lesson to teach the family.
First, he asked us to guess what the graphic stood for. It took a few guesses, but the children figured it out. Then he asked us to explain the diagram to him and we took turns labeling each part.
Guy taught us that we all lived with Heavenly Father before we were born into earth life. We are here to gain a physical body and to show God that we would still choose to follow Him when not in His presence. When we were born, we passed through a veil of forgetfulness in which we do not readily recall where we came from. That is why we have families to remind us. God also revealed his plan to his Prophets throughout the history of the world.
Guy was very diligent in teaching us the things we each need to do to return to our Heavenly Father's presence. We need to be baptized & receive the Holy Ghost. We need to receive the Priesthood (for boys) and receive ordinances available in holy temples, which enable us to return to Him. If possible, we should strive to build families and to be sealed together in the temple. Of course, all of this is ONLY made possible because of the Atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Guy walked us through the other symbols in the diagram which represent mortal death, resurrection (where our bodies and spirits are reunited eternally), a waiting period, and then final judgement and assignment into various degrees of glory.
Guy did a great job teaching us. I was impressed that he remembered the importance of receiving sacred ordinances. I try to always teach the importance of men and women in God's eternal plan and in the family. In my earth-sphere, I would place a woman to represent that every person must pass through a woman to receive a body, and a man, to show that after receiving a body, we need to go to a man to receive the saving ordinances of the Priesthood. In this men and women's roles are exactly equal in importance. We need both if we are to gain what we came here to receive and if we are to live with God forever some day.
When the teaching and discussion portion of our lesson was complete, Guy put away the example diagram from which he had been teaching and he passed out blank sheets of paper for each family member. He then asked us to recreate the plan as he had just shown us. Pop quiz!
I was pretty impressed that Autumn was able to recreate it perfectly. Guy insisted on "grading" our quizzes, because he's a taskmaster like that! ;) He expected us to label everything and to list all of the things we needed to complete while in mortality. It was fun to see how much we could remember, and I think Autumn's ability to recreate this map at her young age is proof that this is a very useful tool!
This was a very easy way to talk about The Plan as a family, so I thought I'd share this with you in case you'd like to use it too. (Simply follow the links in this post to get the stickers, etc.)
My Dad used this with his seminary students this year, and it was a big hit. He told me that his kids placed the stickers on their cell phones. When their friends ask about it, it's very easy for them to teach these important principles to their friends because they are just so curious about what it means. I decided to place mine on my phone as well. Just today, I looked at it, and it put a big smile on my face and reminded me "You are here! Have JOY!" Will do!
Knowing what awaits as represented by those little lines helped me to think of all of the wonderful amazing things we have yet to experience. It's nice sometimes to lift our minds from the here and now and to remember that a glorious future awaits...