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Elder Gary E. Stevenson said, “You are never lost when you can see the temple.” (Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples April 2009)  Click here for the full talk.

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In our Stake Conference last week, our Stake President told a story about something that happened two days before.  He and his wife had attended a session at the Ogden temple to prepare for Stake Conference.  As they were walking out, Activity Day girls from a nearby ward met them at the door with cookies.  These treats had a note attached that said,

“While you were serving in the temple, we were serving you.”

What a wonderful way to help Activity Day girls begin to understand why we attend the temple.  I can only envision the lessons taught to these girls as they talked about why this was a service project worth doing and what their role in preparing for the temple is.

As I’ve thought more about it, I wanted the message to be more clear regarding the Activity Days girls’ need to prepare themselves to serve in the temple when they turn 12 years old.  I wanted the note to say this instead:

“While you were serving in the temple, we were preparing ourselves to attend the temple, too!”

TEMPLATE - ChristmasI was so inspired by this story from our Stake President that I created this printable to help you make it happen!  Click on the following link to download this tag:

Temple Service Project – Tag

I like how this focuses on their individual preparedness to be worthy to enter the temple doors to do baptisms for the dead.  I can see a lovely lesson centered around what we are doing now to be covenant keepers and how that will prepare us to take that next step to serve in the temple.  You may not live nearby a temple to be able to carry out this service project.  No problem – this particular activity could be just one step in many activities and lessons that focus on the temple.

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Consider these questions:

  • what are temples?
  • what happens there?
  • why temples are important?
  • why do we perform temple ordinance for those who have died?
  • what we need to do to stay worthy to go?
  • how do we prepare and keep ourselves clean so we can serve in the temple?
  • what blessings come from temple ordinances and attending the temple?

These are just some of the questions that can be addressed during activities about the temple.  What you do to answer those questions is as varied as the people creating the learning experiences.  Take the girls’ photos at the temple, make artwork focusing on the goal of getting to the temple, talk about it.

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When you think about what the most important gospel truths that we could be teaching these young girls, how to be covenant keepers and looking toward the temple is probably the most important and has the greatest eternal consequences.  I’ve learned in my own life that when we are focused on the temple, everything else seems to fall into place.

“As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us.” – President Thomas S. Monson (Jordan River Temple dedication – referenced here)

Think about this idea – especially you leaders in our Stake.  How can we make the temple more a part of the lives of these Activity Day girls?  There are many ways to get the job done and no one way is correct.   What we know for sure is that keeping our eyes on the temple is a sure way to be covenant keepers.

What are you going to do to focus on the temple?  Click here if you would like to learn more about the LDS temples.

Of course I am going to make shapes and quotes inspired from the movie, “Frozen!”  They are only the best quotes ever….Sven, don’t you think that’s true?

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I was so happy when Stacy over at sheskindacrafty.com reached out to share her latest project with me.  I was shocked at the speed she had this one done – I had only uploaded the quote to the Silhouette shop a day or two before!  I love it when we are so inspired that we just can’t wait to dig in to a project.  And this is the perfect way to make this quote “shine” for the holidays!

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Click here for her complete tutorial.  And here to find it in the Silhouette shop (or here for Lori’s svg shop if you’re not a Silhouette user).  It really is so cute and so easy.  Thanks to Kristoff for the quote, too!

Thanks for sharing, Stacy!  More please.

Here is another great activity focusing on families and family history.   This could also be done at a regular Activity Days activity but the families sharing together was a wonderful idea.  With the “campfire” set up in the middle of the floor, families were asked to bring a blanket to sit on and a family story to share.

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WELCOME

DINNER: What better campfire food than Pigs in a Blanket and oven-made S’mores!  No utensils needed and they were a hit with everyone.  Super simple and on the cheap.  Great idea.

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STORIES: After dinner around the campfire, the girls and their families were given the opportunity to share a story from their ancestors or their current family.  Some read their stories, others told them.  Many had props to help demonstrate their story.  It all worked.  If someone chose not to share, that was just fine.

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We all enjoyed hearing adventures of wedding days, rattlesnakes and how one family became the “Washtub” branch instead of the “Potato Sack” branch!  It was a fun way for the girls to become familiar with family stories and create a connection to their ancestors.

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Elder Quentin L. Cook said in April 2014:

We finally have the doctrine, the temples, and the technology for families to accomplish this glorious work of salvation. I suggest one way this might be done. Families could hold a ‘Family Tree Gathering.’ This should be a recurring effort”
(“Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 47).

These family history activities is accomplishing exactly this charge.  Well done!

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This activity is a darling spin-off of the “It’s in the Bag” activity found here.  Simple. Meaningful.  Celebrates the girls.  My three favorite qualifications for a great activity.

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You’ll notice on this invitation that the girls were asked to bring 3 items to share what they have been working on in the three Faith in God areas.  I was so touched and impressed by the thoughtfulness and preparedness of these girls when they shared their items.  Many of them had written their experiences down beforehand and all of them shared WHY they brought each item.  I learned a lot about these girls – especially that they are working toward all of the right things and wanting to choose the right.

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WELCOME:  The activity started out with a short message from their leader about the strength of these girls and their potential.

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SHARING: Each girl shared their three items and many of them bore testimony of what they believe.
Favorite Quote after sharing an Article of Faith:”The reason I like this Article of Faith is because I really DO believe all of those things!”

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FRAMES: After the sharing, each girl created their own “I’m Proud to Be Me” frame.  The blank wooden frames were found at Michaels and the patterned paper was pre-cut (trace the frame itself onto the paper and cut them by hand) then attached to the frame with white glue painted on.  I love the baker’s twine tied quote.  I hope those girls BELIEVE how wonderful they are!  Fabulous Activity!

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Our neighborhood is focused on family history and preparing to attend the LDS temple.  I have seen a couple of great activities centered on these topics – they were simple and meaningful and celebrated the Activity Day girls.  One of those activities was “T is for Temple.”

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One of the greatest reasons why this activity is so effective was what happened before they even got there.  The leaders did a wonderful job of creating activities that focused on their end-goal of celebrating family histories, including pioneer heritage and preparing for the temple.  This is what they did:

  1. Family History Activity: shared family stories, gave each girl the “My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together” booklet and discussed getting stories from their parents and grandparents
  2. Pioneer Museum Field Trip
  3. Scrapbook Pages: girls brought a story about an ancestor and they put together a scrapbook page about those stories
  4. Heritage Photo Shoot: a photographer in their neighborhood took photos of each girl – many of them were dressed in period clothing of their ancestors (darling! And they displayed these at the Recognition Activity)

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ACTUAL RECOGNITION ACTIVITY

Welcome Activities as They Gathered (T-Party Hats + Family Search Experience):

- T-Party Hats: each girl created their own T-Party hat using paper plates, paper bowls, silk flowers and ribbon.  Dollar Stores are a great place for inexpensive flowers.

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- Online familysearch.org Experience: families set up a Family Search account if they didn’t already have one and added parents and grandparents to their tree if they were not yet connected.  If that was already completed, they did a scavenger hunt to explore Family Search and learned how to add photos or stories.

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Scavenger Hunt Ideas (things to find on Family Search):
– name of someone in your group’s great-great grandmother
– year another person’s great grandfather died
– name of someone in your family that you found a photo for
– name of someone in your family who was born in the 1800s

Opening Prayer and Welcome

Young Women Speakers: 3 girls in the neighborhood (age 12-17) shared their testimonies and experiences with family history and going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  They gave ideas of how Activity Days girls can prepare for the temple.  This was the favorite part of the evening.  These youth are great examples of who the Activity Day girls are becoming and did a wonderful job of encouraging them to prepare now to attend the temple.

Leader Message

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Ancestor Pages: girls shared their scrapbook pages about their ancestors as well as what goals they have been working on over the last six months.

Closing Prayer and Refreshments

Favor: T-Party Hats and picture of our local temple for the girls to take home

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Something that I loved about this activity was the family involvement.  The girls can’t register for a Family Search account without their parents – this was a wonderful way to help each family to explore Family Search and catch the spark that comes from finding and learning about our ancestors.  I liked that they had something for the families to do if they were already experienced with Family Search to introduce it to the girls.

Each aspect of this activity had purpose and helped the girls connect to their families in some way.  The activities leading up to the event paved the way for the girls to truly get the most out of the activity.  They were prepared and the activity celebrated their efforts.

Fabulous activity!  Thank you for all you do!

 

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I was blog-hopping today, checking out the beautiful Thanksgiving tablescapes in the “Be Our Guest” blog hop and came across this lovely gem.  Beth at UnskinnyBoppy used my Split Pumpkin Flourish shape from the Silhouette shop for her gold foil napkin rings.  Click here for her entire post and here to find the shape in the Silhouette shop.  You can also find it in Lori Whitlock’s svg shop in a holiday bundle here.

Enjoy the beauty!

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Three words.  Do.  This.  Activity.

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First of all, families were invited and it was short (about 45 minutes total).  But every part of it was meaningful and an opportunity for the girls to share and SHINE.  The group has been working on developing and talking about testimonies.  This Recognition Activity focused on that – testimonies.

What Do We Want to Have Happen: Give the Activity Day girls a chance to share their testimonies in a variety of ways.

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DECORATIONS:

The girls made the invitations (I don’t have an example of that).  The girls also made the decorations.  Each girl created a “scrapbook page” with their photo and their written testimony.  The leaders found garage sale frames on the cheap and spray painted them.  These were set up as a “gallery” around the room.  Families and girls looked at them as they arrived and then at the end of the program.  What a great way to celebrate each girl, give them all a chance to share, and help them remember their testimonies once they go home.

This activity did not require a large space and could easily be done in the Primary or Relief Society room depending on how many girls you have.

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Suggestion: Consider helping each girl in the writing process.  As a former school teacher, I know that each student learns at different rates and they are all at different levels of writing ability.  Often times, their ability to actually write is slower than their ability to think.  Take the time to sit down one-on-one with each girl.  Ask them questions about their testimony.  It can be as simple as, “What do you like about the scriptures?”  “What do you know about Jesus Christ?” “What do you know about Heavenly Father?” etc.  It will still stay simple and authentic but provides a framework for helping them each to realize exactly what they know about the gospel.  Then write it down for them.  Children often think faster than they can write – write the first draft for them based only on what they say as you prompt them with questions.  Finally, they can use the draft to rewrite the final version of their testimony on the scrapbook card.  Keep it simple and short.  This will be an AMAZING learning experience in itself as you guide each girl in a one-on-one teaching moment to help them identify what a testimony is and what they know is true.

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PROGRAM:

With one of the 11-year-old girls conducting, they had a program that reflected different ways to share and talk about testimonies.  The girls did each part of the following program:

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Intro – “We have been learning about different kinds of ways to share our testimonies.”
Song – Let the Holy Spirit Guide Hymn #143 – all of the girls practiced and sang it together
Testimony – one girl shared her testimony
Story – “Thomas’s Testimony”  The Friend July 2013 (click here)
Talk about Testimonies – she shared about what she learned at our Stake Activity Days Day Camp – we are all covenant keepers and shared her testimony
Song - I Love to See the Temple  Children’s Songbook #95 – one girl chose to sing a solo.  Brave girl and wonderful expression of what she knows is true.

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Explain that they can each take a Book of Mormon and write their testimony in the front (perhaps during a Family Home Evening).  Encourage them to share it with someone.  One girl had a plan of exactly who she wanted to give the Book of Mormon to and wrote a beautiful note to her at the activity.  Her testimony is clear….as well as her love for her friend.

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You could insert other girls bearing their testimonies throughout the program if you choose.  You can also add to or change this program any way you want to meet your needs.  It took about 15 minutes to go through the whole thing.

GALLERY + REFRESHMENTS

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They were then invited to take a treat (cookies) and look at the gallery of testimonies.  There was a wonderful spirit of happiness and celebration during this activity.  It was simple and meaningful.  It really packed a punch and focused on sharing what the girls had been working on.

Want the printable that they used for the light sticks.  These became a little favor for each girl to take home, along with a Book of Mormon and their own testimony frame.  Click on the link below:

Tag for Light Stick printable

Put this activity in your plan – the prep work that happened in the activities leading up to it was fabulous and focused on learning and living the gospel.  You’ll love it just as much as we did!

 

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