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"A More Perfect Union”

INDEX:

 

CONSTITUTION WEEK–SEPTEMBER 17–23

Constitution Week is observed in the United States September 17-23 to commemorate the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. The patriotic video clip, FHE lesson and activity will help your family learn to more fully appreciate the importance of the freedoms given to American citizens through the U.S. Constitution, an inspired document, written under the divine guidance of the Lord.

 

*Members from other countries will learn how this inspired document made it possible for the Restoration of the Church.

 

SONG

SCRIPTURE

VIDEO CLIP


LESSON SUMMARY

POINTS TO PONDER

 

STORY

TREAT
TIME

ACTIVITY

ACTIVITY PAGES

 

VIDEO CLIP:
The Animated Hero Classics George Washington Music Video For Liberty

(click on above for full screen)

PRINCIPLE:
Freedom

Justice

 

 

PRINT THIS ENTIRE LESSON

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

   

SONG

 
 

Hymn #340, "The Star-Spangled Banner" 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/cm

SCRIPTURE

D&C 101: 77, 80

 

77. According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the brights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

80. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

VIDEO

Watch The Animated Hero Classics George Washington Music Video For Liberty DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP

 

LESSON SUMMARY

 
 

An inspired document, written under the divine guidance of the Lord.

No constitution on earth has endured longer than this one. We seek, and usually find, the answers to today’s questions in this document of yesterday. ...It is an inspired document written under the guidance of the Lord. James Madison, commonly called the father of the Constitution, recognized this inspiration and gave the credit to “the guardianship and
guidance of the Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising republic.” Mark E. Petersen, The Great Prologue, Deseret Book Co., 1975

The Founding Fathers of this nation were moral and religioius people.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, The Works of John Adams, ed. CF. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Col, 1851

“Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, ‘You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.’ ...These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. …I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McAllister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men.” The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham, Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1946

The importance of making covenants with God and with one another.


Many people have not realized that the fundamental principles of the U. S. Constitution arose largely from beliefs about the importance of people making covenants with God and with one another. The concept of covenant-making has particular significance for Latter-day Saints. From modern scripture we learn that America was raised up as
a nation “by the power of God” to be a land of liberty (see 1 Ne. 13:12–19) and that God “established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom [he] raised up unto this very purpose.” (D&C 101:80.) Lynn D. Wardle, Ensign, Sept. 1989,© Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

POINTS TO PONDER

 
 

How can we best help to preserve the Constitution of the United States?

“...Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? ...Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? ...Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? ...We must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented...” Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1987, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

“...it is our duty to seek diligently for and support and uphold good, honest, honorable, and wise representatives to govern us.” N. Eldon Tanner, New Era, July 1977, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

How can we best show our appreciation to God for these marvelous blessings of freedom, for a place where his true and everlasting gospel was restored?

“We must remember what the Lord told the Jaredites when they were first brought to this land: ‘Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.’ (Ether 2:12.) ...Our job is to learn and benefit from the past and to go forward in righteousness, keeping the commandments of God. ...Only as we accept and live the
teachings of the gospel can the destiny which God planned for America be realized and the world united in peace and brotherhood.” N. Eldon Tanner, Ensign, May 1976, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

STORY

Upholding the U.S. Constitution

 

“It’s not fair,” Adam protested. “Why do I have to learn about American history? It doesn’t have anything to do with me!”

Mother stopped folding clothes and looked up at Adam. “Oh, Adam. American History is exciting and it certainly does have something to do with you!” she exclaimed.

“How?”

“Without American History you wouldn’t have the privilege to attend public school to gain an education, freedom to attend the church of your choice or the right to someday vote for the candidates of your choice, like Dad and I do.” Mother explained, “And these are only a few of the rights and freedoms that have to do with you because of American History.”

Adam thought about what Mother had said. He had never thought about going to school or going to church as being a right or freedom. “So, I guess I should be grateful that I get to learn about American History,” Adam said, while opening his history book. After reading the assigned chapter on the Revolutionary War, Adam asked Mother how the colonists were able to win against the bigger Redcoat army.

“I think that’s a question for Grandpa Heber. Did you know that he is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution?”

“What’s that?”

“It’s a Society like my Daughters of the Utah Pioneers group, except instead of being ancestors of pioneers they’re ancestors of a supporter of the American Revolution.”

“So if Grandpa has an American Revolutionary ancestor, that means I do too!” Adam enthusiastically declared. “Who was he Mom? Do you know if he fought in the Revolutionary War?”

“I think Grandpa’s better equipped to answer your questions. Why don’t you walk next door and ask him.”

Grandpa opened the door, “Well, hello there. I was hoping for some company today.”

“Grandpa, will you tell me about our ancestor who was an American Revolutionary? Did he fight in
the war?”

Grandpa smiled with great pride, “His name was Ethan Heber Wilson. Have you ever heard of Bunker Hill?” Grandpa took a book from the bookcase, “Well, he was there. This book tells all about him.”

Adam and Grandpa spent the next hour reading and talking about the American Revolution and about how the Constitution was inspired by God so that freedom could be established in the United States and the Church of Jesus Christ could be restored to the earth.

“Grandpa Wilson not only helped the cause of the American Revolution so that we can enjoy the freedoms that the Constitution of the United States guarantees us,” Grandpa explained, “But it was his descendants who joined the church after it was restored.”

“That’s why Mom’s a Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneers,” Adam reasoned.

When it was time to go home for dinner, Adam gave Grandpa a hug, thanked him for helping him with his American History assignment and told him that he was going to be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution when he grew up, too.

Adam ran home and found Mother cooking dinner, “Mom, you were right. American History is exciting! Look what Grandpa gave me,” Adam said, as he unrolled a paper scroll. “It’s a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Grandpa says it’s our responsibility to make sure that freedom and the U.S. Constitution are always upheld.”

Mother smiled at Adam. “It is. That’s why Dad and I always make sure we vote.”

“But how do you know who to vote for?” Adam asked.

“First, we study and learn all that we can about the candidates, their political views and ideas,” Mother explained. “Then we ask Heavenly Father for guidance in voting for the best candidates. Those who are honest, have the good moral values and who will always uphold the Constitution of the United States.”

“So,” Adam concluded, “Our freedom to vote is how we make sure we keep our constitutional freedoms!”

by Margie Nauta Lee © Living Scriptures, Inc.

 

 

TREAT TIME

CLICK TO PRINT “Betsy Ross Flag Cake” recipe

 

 

"Betsy Ross Flag Cake"

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 35-40 minutes

Directions:

Mix all cake ingredients together in large mixing bowl on medium speed for one minute. Then mix on high speed for three minutes. Mixture should be smooth without any lumps. Spread batter evenly into a prepared 9-1/2 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out dry. Cool completely. (A yellow cake mix can be substituted for cake recipe.)

Cut strawberries in half. Whip cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat for 30 seconds (or use Cool Whip®). Top cake with half of the strawberries. Drizzle 1/2 of the can of blueberry pie filling on top of strawberries. Top with whipped cream (reserving 1/8 cup). Spread the remaining blueberry pie filling in one corner to create the blue field. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Treat Time:

Let children arrange strawberry halves on top of whipped cream to create the 5-7 red stripes (depending on the size of your strawberries. The real Betsy Ross flag has 7 stripes). Make the 13 stars by putting reserved whipped cream into a pastry bag with a star tip or a sandwich bag with a small cut across one corner. (See picture for placement).

Note: Explain to your children that even though the American Revolutionary War was between the Revolutionaries and Great Britain, today Great Britain is one of the United States closest allies.

 

Cake Ingredients:

 

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Topping Ingredients:

 

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

 

ACTIVITY

 

 

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

 

Read the Constitution Pledge to your family. Explain that it is our duty as American members of the Church to uphold the Constitution to ensure our freedom and the freedom of the United States of America. In order to uphold the Constitution you need to read it. It is not necessary for children to understand what they are reading, but that they understand the importance of the Constitution. Ask your family if they will agree to the pledge.

1. Read the first page during this lesson. Hang up the puzzle piece on your wall or refrigerator.

2. Set aside a time each night during the week to read another page. Glue together the puzzle pieces as you complete the Constitution text. Slightly
overlap the puzzle pieces to match up.

3. After all of the text is finished, have each member sign the Constitution Pledge. For children not old enough to sign have them put their finger print on it.
Optional: Frame the Pledge and hang it on your wall next to your framed copy of the Proclamation on the Family (If you do not yet have a proclamation on the family you can download it at:
http://www.lds.org/languages/proclamations/family/start_here_0.pdf

What you need:

A copy of the “Constitution Pledge" Activity (artwork included with this lesson), scissors and glue.

Preparation:

1. Cut out artwork.
2. Glue Constitution sheets on back of George Washington Puzzle pieces and Constitution Pledge (matching letters (A, B, C, etc.).
3. Cut along dotted lines on puzzle piece.

 
 

ACTIVITY PAGES

 
       
         
         
   
 

20-MINUTE LESSON

CLICK TO PRINT "20-MINUTE" LESSON NOTES

 

1. Watch chapter 28 from A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation DVD. Video clip is also provided for viewing online.)

2. Sing: Hymn #340 “The Star–Spangled Banner” verse #1.

3. Read: D&C 101: 77, 80

“According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the brights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;”

“And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.”

4. No constitution on earth has endured longer than this one [U.S. Constitution]. We seek, and usually find, the answers to today’s questions in this document of yesterday. ...It is an inspired document written under the guidance of the Lord. James Madison, commonly called the father of the Constitution, recognized this inspiration and gave the credit to “the guardianship and guidance of the Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising republic.” Mark E. Petersen, The Great Prologue, Deseret Book Co., 1975

5. How can we best help to preserve the Constitution of the United States? (Discuss ideas.)

“...Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? ...Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? ...Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? ...We must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented...” Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1987, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

“...it is our duty to seek diligently for and support and uphold good, honest, honorable, and wise representatives to govern us.” N. Eldon Tanner, New Era, July 1977, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

6. How can we best show our appreciation to God for these marvelous blessings of freedom, for a place where his true and everlasting gospel was restored?

“We must remember what the Lord told the Jaredites when they were first brought to this land: ‘Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.’ (Ether 2:12.) ...Our job is to learn and benefit from the past and to go forward in righteousness, keeping the commandments of God. ...Only as we accept and live the teachings of the gospel can the destiny which God planned for America be realized and the world united in peace and brotherhood.” N. Eldon Tanner, Ensign, May 1976, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

7. Read the Constitution Pledge (See Activity) to your family. Explain that it is our duty as American members of the Church to uphold the Constitution to ensure our freedom and the freedom of the United States of America. In order to uphold the Constitution you need to read it. It is not necessary for children to understand what they are reading, but that they understand the importance of the Constitution. Ask your family if they will agree to the pledge.

8. Read the U.S. Constitution and sign the Pledge (See Activity).

Quote: “If we keep the commandments we’ll be good citizens. ...We’ll exercise our right to vote. We’ll follow the counsel which the Lord has given in the revelations regarding our obligation to seek out ‘honest men and wise men’ (D&C 98:8–10) who will stand for principle, men who will put principle ahead of political expediency.” Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1950 © Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.