Today we were blessed to see the dedication of the Brigham City, UT Temple. It was extra special because ONE was old enough to attend with me. Hubby went to one session and I took ONE with me to another session. This post is an Extreme FHE idea that lasted ALL DAY for our family today (which is what I was going for). But it could totally be used in bits and pieces to make one smaller lesson, multiple smaller lessons, or a big-ol’-long-ish FHE day like we had!
While I was grabbing a bath and getting dressed, HUBBY sat with the kids at his computer and showed them some really amazing things. He discovered that on Google Earth, you can look through different maps that have been taken at different times in the past. He took them on a virtual trip to his old mission stomping grounds in Kiyv, Ukraine. He showed them some of the different places he served and then he took them to the spot where the new Kiyv Temple was built. He started rolling back time and then they slowly looked at all the changes as they moved the time more and more recent. Then they looked at a bunch of pictures of that temple in its finished state. The kids were enthralled!
After I came out, we started the insane cycle of getting kids dressed and pressed for Sunday. I had promised THREE that he could have a turn to do my hair – something ALL of them enjoy and so do I! Everyone else got a turn the other day, but we ran out of time before he got his, so today he had his turn after he was all clean and dressed. All but ONE also took turns with my hair today as we rotated through baths and kid hair dos and so forth. After they had all been bathed and dressed, we sat together (still playing hair) and turned on a movie to help us think about the importance of temples. It was The Maccabees by Nest Entertainment. This is not a “standard” film for us on Sunday since it is not out one of the “scripture” stories (there are just so many of them, we don’t usually do this one), but I love how they portray the deep love and concern the people felt for the temple. I wanted to build that same feeling in our home for the temple today.
Then we turned off the TV and while HUBBY took his turn at the dedication, the rest of us had a temple building experience! We split into groups and I gave each group one type of building toys (one got the regular Legos and the other group got the Trios). Then we all set about to build and beautify our temples. I helped with the basic structures of both (only after both groups started a few times and could not make a box that could stand up on its own), but let them figure out what they should look like and add all the stuff that takes them from simple boxes of blocks to looking like temples. We ended up with a Trio version of the Brigham City, UT Temple and a Lego version of the Kiyv, Ukraine Temple (what a shocking selections of Temples for today – NOT).
After the building fun, we did a touch of clean-ups to remove all the extra building materials and put things back in order. (Construction of two temples left the entire main part of the house looking exactly like you’d expect a construction zone to look!) Then we were happy to hear the the Daddy get home. He reverently shared his feelings of happiness and peace after attending the dedication. And we took on a quick lunch before ONE and I had to be to the Stake Center for our session of the dedication. There was not much time for me to get things going for while I was gone, but I knew HUBBY would want some journal time and the kids needed one more activity before they would be ready for Sunday Rest Time (an absolute requirement at our house – something I should totally discuss another time, or perhaps I already have and have just forgotten). Anyway, I decided they could eat lunch while watching my other video for today and then they should be ready for Rest Time. We turned on The Mountain of the Lord. (That is the Church produced video about the building of the Salt Lake Temple – at least I think it is produced by them. It is on the Doctrine and Covenants DVDs from LDS Distribution.) ONE and I watched the first three-and-a-half minutes while we snarfed down some lunch and then took off. We went and completely enjoyed the experience! It was so wonderful to me to watch my daughter feel the Spirit, to recognize the sacredness of what we were doing! I was not sure how she would react to it all, but I was happy that she knew she was feeling the Spirit, that is good enough for me today.
After we got home, ONE headed off to read her scriptures and practice braiding on a doll for the remainder of Rest Time. HUBBY and I shared some of our experiences from the dedication sessions we had each been to. It was so wonderful to have the chance to share with each other in quiet for a few minutes!
Then we even had enough time left in Rest Time to counsel together about some major things we have been facing and have been praying and fasting about. What a blessing after both getting to go and ponder those things in the Stake Center version of the Temple today. We are feeling truly blessed and unified through the gift of revelation through the Spirit. It is amazing to have been able to so totally feel the power of the temple influencing us even though we were only there in surrogate. It gave me a new appreciation for what it may be like for those on the other side of the veil that receive those ordinances without being there in the flesh.
After the Rest Time ended, we started dinner prep and I finished gathering things that I wanted to use to do some “Church time” with the kids – especially those that were too young for the dedication. I wanted to do a simple lesson on Temples, but did not want to spend a lot of time today making cute stuff or thinking super hard about it – I just wanted to spend the day with my kids and husband as a family! So….I hit SugarDoodle (duh!) to see what I could find. I also did a blind Google search for Temple FHE ideas related to dedications in particular. I am not going to go back and decipher where I got which stuff from, but I am going to share what I ended up using.
I found this great thing on Scribd, by Laura Goold. From the footer on each page, I believe it came from over at http://thegoldenseven.blogspot.com, but I did not actually go to their site to find out today (I know, slacker moment to be sure, but it was that kind of day and I am OK with that). I used a few things of hers and wished we would have had time for the super fun Temple BINGO game she had! What I did end up using was the idea behind her Temples Around the World Collage. I used a picture we printed of the Kiyv Temple, the Picture on our wall of the Washington D.C. Temple (where we were married), the two homebuilt temples that the kids had made and a paper model of the Salt Lake City, UT Temple (I will give a link to that in a bit). We also talked about how Heavenly Father has used other kinds of temples in the past when it was right – like certain mountain tops and things. We talked about how it is what happens in the temple that matters and what we feel there and things like that. It does not matter where the temple is located or the exact structure or the furnishings inside that make it a House of God. I also used her Temple Mobile, but we did that at the end. I Just showed the kids all the pieces (I cut it out ahead of time) as a review and told the I would string it together while they got PJs on tonight and we would let it hang from the ceiling fan for the week as a reminder.
Before we used the mobile, I turned to my next source. Connie’s File Cabinet was new to me today, but super fun! I used parts of her FHE lesson on Temples. I loved the organization of the lesson and used some thoughts from all over it, but I especially loved the section on Other Purposes of Temples. It was so simple, but explained so much of what the temple really is! It was awesome! for my range of kids and it felt like it got them honestly thinking about it. I love that! I also printed and put together/cut out the game board and the game cards (they required putting them into a new document on my computer to get the cards printed, but that was easy enough). We actually ran out of time to play it tonight, but the kid in charge of our FHE activity tomorrow decided we should do it then. They (and I) are really excited about it. The super fun model of the Salt Lake City Temple was the PERFECT activity to keep THREE busy while we were waiting for the rest of the family to gather for our “Church time.” (In case I have not mentioned it before, THREE loooooves to cut stuff out! Hence this was a perfect activity for him!) This was the other temple I used when pointing out the differences in all the different temples, by the way. I will have to keep track of this lesson though, so I can use the great story she had some other time.
My third source ended up not fitting in my lesson, but I loved the idea so much that I am including it anyway. Plus, I may yet use it – perhaps when I come back and use that story in my second source, hmmmm… Anyway, this page had an activity that I really wanted to use with my kids. It was their Activity for Younger Children. It was the same idea as any of the add-then-repeat-then-add games, but I thought this was super duper fun. You say “I’m going to meet Heavenly Father and in my spirit I’ll pack…” This would be SO fun! I love that it will still be fun in a few more years when they are all talkers, then we just add more things to make it more of a challenge, but it is still so fun.
Beyond those things, the one thing I added was the idea that our home is meant to be even more sacred than the temple. We have really been struggling to keep things clean around here and I am hoping our Temple Mobile will help us remember how we need to treat our house if we want the Spirit to be here to sanctify us and make our home a holy place. I know I will need the reminder and I am hoping it will help the kids to understand better why it matters to me and why they should try to help too. We’ll see how it goes, but I figure every little bit helps!
Anyway, it was a wonderful day and a wonderful night. It feels like one great big FHE that lasted an entire day. Not one of THOSE kind of FHE experiences either. This was the good stuff. The stuff that makes the bad attempts worth struggling though because you might just get lucky and have an FHE that leaves a 5-yeaar-old wanting to share his testimony about the temple and an almost-8-year-old excited and eager to enter into the House of God! It was amazing to re-dedicate ourselves on this special day of dedication!
Happy Sabbath everyone! 🙂