And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
1. High on the mountain top
A banner is unfurled.
Ye nations, now look up;
It waves to all the world.
In Deseret’s sweet, peaceful land,
On Zion’s mount behold it stand!
2. For God remembers still
His promise made of old
That he on Zion’s hill
Truth’s standard would unfold!
Her light should there attract the gaze
Of all the world in latter days.
3. His house shall there be reared,
His glory to display,
And people shall be heard
In distant lands to say:
We’ll now go up and serve the Lord,
Obey his truth, and learn his word.
4. For there we shall be taught
The law that will go forth,
With truth and wisdom fraught,
To govern all the earth.
Forever there his ways we’ll tread,
And save ourselves with all our dead.
Before the lesson, gather together pictures of your ancestors. At the start of the lesson, ask your children what they think family history is and what they know about family history.
Read aloud: Family history has many parts to it. In many ways, family history is like a puzzle with lots of pieces. Not only is family history about learning about our family and ancestors, but it is about preparing to do the ordinances in the temple. An ordinance is an outward act that shows how much we love God. During ordinances we often make promises to God and he makes promises to us. An example of an ordinance in baptism. In the temple, we perform baptisms for our ancestors along with all the ordinances necessary for us to return to Heavenly Father and be with our families forever.
Ask your children if they have any questions about what an ordinance is and what occurs inside the temple.
Read aloud: There is is a special challenge being given to families to do their family history work. It is called the temple challenge and was announced by Elder Neil L. Andersen, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His challenge is for everyone in our family to prepare names for baptism in the temple and to help others do the same. We want everyone to be involved in the temple challenge!
Discuss and make a list of how you can get your children involved in the temple challenge. Ideas include decorating slips of papers with your ancestors names to put on a wall, learning how to index, and putting the family ordinance cards in a special place.
Finish with any stories about your ancestors and doing temple work.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by watching the following video:
Read aloud: This video was created last year and tens of thousands accepted the challenge. Elder Neil L. Andersen has issued a new challenge by adding eight words. The new temple challenge is this:
“Prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple and help someone else to do the same.”
Ask: Why do you think Elder Andersen added the part about helping others do family history work as we do our own?
Read aloud: Elder Andersen, when he announced the new challenge, said:
“Looking at this scope of what is before us, someone might say: ‘It is impossible. No one can do that.’ I remind you of these words of scriptures: ‘With men [it] is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ ‘With God nothing shall be impossible.’”
“Through the visit of angels and the power of God, the gospel was restored in our days and this sacred work of providing ordinances for our ancestors was begun. With your generation the work will be accelerated. One day, with the help of heaven, the work will be completed. How will we do it? We will advance this glorious work as we have always pursued the work of God—one son or daughter at a time, one child of God at a time—until all the work is finished. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Ask: How can we accomplish the temple challenge as a family? What are some ways we can personally share family history with others?
Read aloud: Elder Andersen has left us with this promise if we take this challenge:
“As you accept this challenge and teach it to others, I promise you that you will feel the beautiful link that binds us together as families through eternity.”
Finish by bearing your testimony and sharing any personal experiences. To complete the lesson, consider doing our Temple Challenge activity at the bottom of this page.
The Game of Genealogy
Family History Starter Kit
Ancestor’s Favorites or Churros Poppers
If you have an old family recipe, or even a treat that has become a family tradition, consider making it for your family as a treat. Or, if you know enough of your family history, make a treat or dish from that country or region where your ancestors lived.
-½ cup sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1 cup water
-2½ tbsp. sugar
-½ tsp. salt
-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-Oil for frying
1) In a medium bowl or brown paper bag, combine the ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon; set aside.
2) Heat about 2½-inches deep of oil in a deep-fryer to 375°F.
3) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, 2½ tbsp. sugar, salt and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the flour until the mixture forms a ball.
4) When the dough is cool enough to handle, roll into balls about the size of walnuts. Fry 3-4 dough balls at a time until golden brown. Remove from the oil and immediately shake or stir in the reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture. Remove to a plate while you repeat the process with the remaining dough.
(Courtesy of Love Bakes Good Cakes)
Temple Challenge Activity or Interview Family Members
Temple Challenge Activity
Go to the official temple challenge site and accept the challenge! Choose what step you want to start with. You can gather around the computer and familiarize yourself with FamilySearch or give everyone time to do some research on their own. Make goals for how much time you want to spend a week on working on the challenge. Consider planning a day to invite friends over to learn about how to do family history. Go through your electronic devices and install the indexing and family tree apps. Invite your family to share what they’re doing with others. You can use the hashtag #templechallenge to share what you’re doing online.
There are multiple videos available to watch together as well on the site.
Interview Family Members
Have your family members split up into teams and take turns interviewing each other. Make a list of questions ahead of time. Ideas can include:
What is your favorite subjects to study in school?
What is your favorite scripture and why?
How has Heavenly Father helped you with something hard?
You can also have your family call up grandparents or other family members and ask them questions about their lives or their parents. Record the answers and then add the stories to FamilySearch.
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.