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“Welcome Home”

INDEX:

 

The video clip from “The Prodigal Son,” fun activity and the short story of a family member that leaves home provide opportunities to remember the importance of family and the need to forgive and support each other so that there will be no empty chairs in our heavenly home.

 

SONG

SCRIPTURE

VIDEO CLIP


LESSON SUMMARY

POINTS TO PONDER

 

STORY

TREAT
TIME

ACTIVITY

ACTIVITY PAGES

MUSIC MP3

 

VIDEO CLIP:
The Animated New Testament:
The Prodigal Son ch. 12
(click on above for full screen)

PRINCIPLE:
Eternal Families

 

 

PRINT THIS ENTIRE LESSON

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

   

SONG

 
 

Children’s Song Book #188 “Families Can Be Together Forever”

verse 1.

 

If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/churchmusic

SCRIPTURE

Luke 15:20–24

 

20. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

VIDEO

Watch chapter 12 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Prodigal Son DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP

 

LESSON SUMMARY

 
 

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 be 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, © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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.

 

POINTS TO PONDER

 
 

Discussion Ideas: Use as the Spirit and your family needs guide.

 

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.

“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 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

STORY

"No Empty Chairs"

 

“Mommy, why did Kevin go away? Doesn’t he love us anymore?”

Karen sat at the kitchen table next to her 3 year old daughter who was coloring. She wiped away a tear from her cheek as she glanced at her oldest son Kevin’s empty chair and then began thumbing through Sydney’s Animated Stories coloring books. She found the Prodigal Son and placed it on the table.

“Remember the story Jesus told about the prodigal son?”

“He lost all his money and he had to eat with the pigs! Right mommy?”

“That’s right Sydney. And even though he went away he still loved his family, didn’t he?”

Sydney, looked at her mother, and nodded.

“Kevin is kind of like that boy. He still loves us and we still love him, but he chose to move away instead of following the rules that daddy and I have set up for our home.”

Sydney began to cry. Karen picked her up and placed her on her lap.

“Mommy, I don’t want Kevin to have to eat with the pigs! They eat yucky stuff!”

Karen stroked her daughter’s hair.

“Oh, sweetie! Kevin won’t have to eat with the pigs. But hopefully like the prodigal son, he’ll realize he’s made a mistake and he’ll come home too!”

Sydney looked up at her mother and gave her a big hug.

“Mommy, I’m always going to do what you and daddy want me to so I won’t never have to leave you! And when Kevin comes home we’ll have a big feast too, okay?”

Karen nodded as she fought back tears and silently prayed that the feast would be soon and that there will be “No Empty Chairs” in their Heavenly home.

 

Margie Nauta Lee © 2006 Living Scriptures, Inc.

 

TREAT TIME

CLICK TO PRINT “Heavenly Hearts” recipe


Heavenly Hearts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Pre-heat oven to 350°

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press firmly on bottom 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. With mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy.
  4. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  6. Pour half the batter evenly over prepared crust.
  7. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds.
  8. Stir in food coloring. Heat for an additional 30 seconds.
  9. Stir melted chocolate chips into remaining batter; spoon over vanilla batter.
  10. With table knife or metal spatula, gently swirl chocolate batter through vanilla batter to marble.
  11. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Cool. Chill at least 1 hour.
  12. Help children cut out individual servings with heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely crushed oreo™ style cookies (about 24 cookies)

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup white or milk chocolate chips

  • 5 drops red food coloring

 

ACTIVITY

 

 

Activity: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.

Have each family member pick a “to-do” card and place it in the appropriate column (to make it easier we have numbered the cards by row.) Find the correct column and place the cards in the order that they are numbered.

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.

 

Preparation:

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.

 

Optional:

Frame a 5 X 7 copy of the picture quote “No Empty Chairs” (art work is included with this lesson) for each child, to help them remember their goal of being an eternal family.

 
 

ACTIVITY PAGES

 
     
     
       

MUSIC MP3

Listen to the song, Welcome Home, from the Animated Stories from the New Testament, The Prodigal Son DVD or CLICK FOR MP3

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

CLICK TO PRINT "20-MINUTE" LESSON NOTES

 

1. Watch chapter 12 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Prodigal Son DVD.

(Also available for viewing online.)

 

2. “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 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

3. 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, © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

4. 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.

5. 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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Read 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.”

(See activity for ways to help you be a “Family 4 Eternity.”)