“19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
1. The Lord gave me a temple to live within on earth.
Once in Heaven I was spirit, but I left my home at birth.
I’ll make my temple brighter; I’ll keep my spirit free.
My body is the temple my Father gave to me.
2. If I keep my body clean and pure and habit-free,
I may in Father’s temple claim blessings promised me.
On resurrection morning, I’ll take my body bright
And in celestial glory forever live in light.
*For Younger Children* Read “My Body Is a Temple” (July 2014 Liahona) and/or use the accompanying image to discuss our bodies. Discuss the importance of taking care of our bodies and the blessings we will receive from Heavenly father.
Why do we have bodies?
Before we were born, we were spirits without physical bodies. There were a lot of things we couldn’t do until we had a body. God sent us to earth to get bodies. We need both a spirit and a body to become like Heavenly Father. (See D&C 88:15.)
What’s great about having a body?
Our bodies are so important and holy that the Lord calls them temples (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17). And having a body is fun too! Bodies can run, sing, climb, laugh, draw, swim, dance, and do other fun activities. Also, we can use our bodies to learn, help people, create families, and make the world a better place.
Why doesn’t everyone look alike?
Bodies come in many shapes, colors, and sizes, and this is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. Even though each body is different, all of us are created in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26). That means that our bodies are patterned after His perfect body. Every single body is beautiful because each one is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father.
What if there are things I don’t like about my body?
Sometimes our bodies don’t look, move, or work the way we want them to. But no matter what our bodies are like now, we can choose to be grateful for them and use them to do good things here on earth. Someday, each one of us will be resurrected and have a body that is perfect (see Alma 40:23). God loves us no matter what our bodies are like, and we can love ourselves too.
How should I treat my body?
We should treat our bodies the way we would care for any priceless treasure—with love and respect. Through the prophets and the Word of Wisdom, Heavenly Father has told us what is bad for our bodies and what is good. There are lots of things we can do to care for our bodies:
Eat healthy foods and exercise.
Dress modestly and keep our bodies clean.
Respect other people’s bodies.
Don’t mark our bodies with tattoos or piercings.
Don’t use drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or tea.
Play games that are safe and fun and stay away from activities that are dangerous.
When we take care of our bodies, we are better able to feel the Holy Ghost.
Discuss the importance of taking care of our bodies and the blessings we will receive from Heavenly father.
*For Teenagers or Adults*
Read from or summarize from “The Body, A Cared Gift” by (July 2005 Liahona – excerpt below). Discuss the importance of not judging others by their appearance. Also discuss how taking care of our bodies can lead to blessings from Heavenly father.
When you look into a mirror, what thoughts run through your mind about your body? If you experience a flood of disparaging thoughts, you are far from alone. Recent studies find that approximately 63 percent of women and 50 percent of men in the United States are dissatisfied with their body and view it negatively—statistics that are reflected in the Latter-day Saint community.
In my practice as a psychologist, I have seen talented, righteous Latter-day Saint women who despise themselves because their bodies do not look like what they see in movies or magazines. Many say they are no good unless they look good. Often they eventually feel duped, trapped, and degraded themselves, since along with a loss of respect for the body and for others comes an inevitable loss of respect for oneself.
The world teaches that bodily appearance determines individual worth and desirability. The more “ideal” one’s body type, the greater one’s worth and the greater one’s chances of leading a happy, fulfilling life. Those without ideal bodies are often criticized or ignored, while those with ideal bodies are sought after, envied, or given authority.
Is this the way God intends us to regard our bodies? In the scriptures God reveals a perspective on the body that is radically different from that of the world. The scriptures and other revelations offer unparalleled truths about the body that free us from worldly ideas and practices that weigh us down…
Another truth the scriptures teach about the body is that it is a temple (see 1 Cor. 6:19). A temple not only is sacred, but it also radiates light and truth.
When the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king from among the sons of Jesse, Samuel saw one of the eight sons of Jesse named Eliab and assumed, based on Eliab’s physical appearance, that he was to be anointed king. But the Lord informed Samuel that his judgment was mistaken and counseled him to “look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; … for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).
We must learn, as Samuel did, that the body and the person are not to be judged using worldly criteria. A person’s worth is not dependent upon his or her appearance. What makes a temple precious is what it allows us to learn and to do. Many buildings are outwardly beautiful, but only within the temple can the splendor and magnificence of God’s eternal truth and promises be found. Likewise, the worth of the body is great in the sight of God, but the preciousness of the body comes from what it allows us to learn and do and from what it radiates from within. We must enable our temple-bodies to radiate the light, love, and truth of Christ. Alma asks: “Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances?” (Alma 5:14). A Christlike countenance that radiates truth, charity, and hope constitutes true beauty—beauty in the eyes of the ultimate beholder, God. True beauty comes from who and what an individual is. Such divine beauty is felt more than it is seen and is not bound by culture, age, or other worldly criteria.
Discuss the importance of not judging others by their appearance. Also discuss how taking care of our bodies can lead to blessings from Heavenly father.
Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson
Finished Being Fat
Body Image Breakthrough
Oven Baked Apple Chips or Stuffed Strawberries
Oven Baked Apple Chips
- optional: Fruit flavored gelatin, any flavor
- optional: ground cinnamon
- Slice apples in uniformly thin slices (1/8 of an inch or less) and place on a parchment or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet in an even layer. Slices can touch each other, but try not to overlap. Fit as many apples on a sheet as you can (they shrink a lot!)
- If desired sprinkle with cinnamon and gently rub in. Alternately you can sprinkle with dry fruit flavored gelatin (ignore instructions on box and just sprinkle the dry powder).
- Bake apples at 170 for 6-8 hours, until dry and slightly shriveled, and curled up around edges. Turn off oven and leave door shut until completely cooled. Remove apples from baking sheet and store in an airtight container.
- 1 lb. strawberries, washed
- 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Jif salted caramel spread)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Carefully cut each strawberry from the tip until you almost reach the stem. If you want, you can cut in the opposition direction, forming an “X” (this can help with smaller berries). Set the berries aside, stem-side up.
- In a small mixing bowl, whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, caramel sauce, and kosher salt until light and fluffy, then spoon the mixture into a small decorating bag. In another small decorating bag, place the 1/2 cup of chocolate hazelnut spread. Flatten out each bag and place them on top of each other, then snip off about 1″ of the bags. Place the two flattened bags inside another decorating bag fitted with a large Wilton tip (like 1M). Squeeze the bag just enough so both of the fillings are coming out at the same time.
- Carefully place the tip into the bottom of each cut strawberry and squeeze the filling into each berry being careful not to overfill. Serve immediately.
(Recipes From Our Best Bites)
2 Games in 1
Here’s a simple way for families to exercise both their minds and bodies. Start by writing the names of favorite sports on slips of paper. Drop the slips into a hat and randomly pick two. The object: to come up with a game that’s a hybrid of both. We’ve provided some examples below.
What you’ll need
- Pencil, pen, or marker
- Sports equipment for chosen games
How to play
- Goffle (golf + wiffle ball): Tee off with a Wiffle ball and bat and take turns putting into a #10 can on its side.
- Hu-Square (hula hoops + 4-square): Like 4-square, only players guard hula hoops instead of chalk boxes.
- Bowl-quet (bowling + croquet): Set up three to five empty plastic soda bottles on a flat surface, then see how many you can knock down in two tries with a croquet mallet and ball.
(Activity from Spoonful)
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.