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‘Jesus always leads us to the temple’: Friend to Friend teaches children about preparing to enter the house of the Lord

The Friend to Friend featured activities, music and messages focused on the temple from Elder Gary E. Stevenson and the Primary general presidency


To help Primary children worldwide understand the importance of the temple, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles joined the Friend to Friend broadcast on July 30 from the Tokyo Japan Temple.  

Elder Stevenson took five Japanese children on a personal tour of the temple during the open house prior to its July 3 rededication and interviewed them about their experience. 

“I thought about Jesus Christ,” one of the children told Elder Stevenson. Others described the temple as “an important place,” “Jesus’ house” and “a place where we can be closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

When Elder Stevenson asked how they are preparing to enter the temple, one child said, “I’m reading five pages of the Book of Mormon every day.” Another answered, “I go to church to learn about Jesus.”

At the end of the video segment from Tokyo, Elder Stevenson testified of temple blessings and God’s love for His children. 

“Heavenly Father loves each one of His children; He especially loves Primary children,” the Apostle said. “He loves every child of God. I know Heavenly Father lives. I know the temple is literally the house of the Lord. I know Jesus Christ lives. I testify that He is the Son of God.”

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Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tours the Tokyo Japan Temple and visitors’ center with Primary children prior to the temple’s rededication on July 3, 2022. The segment was shown during the Friend to Friend on July 30.

Screenshot from ChurchofJesusChrist.org

A focus on the house of the Lord

The third Face to Face-style event of its kind and second this year, “Friend to Friend: Temples Are the House of the Lord” originated in English, Spanish and Portuguese and included videos, songs and activities focused on the temple. The 20-minute broadcast was hosted by native-speaking children hosts. 

Outgoing Primary General President Camille N. Johnson participated in the English version of the Friend to Friend, with Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, in the Portuguese version and Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor, in the Spanish version. Beginning Aug. 1, President Porter will serve as Primary general president.

“The temple is part of the covenant path that leads us to our heavenly home and back to our Heavenly Father through the Savior Jesus Christ,” President Johnson said during the Friend to Friend. 

She taught the children about the power associated with covenants made in the house of the Lord. “For me, that power is being bound to our Savior Jesus Christ, who makes our return to our heavenly home possible,” she said.

Most of the Friend to Friend was filmed at the Church History Museum’s “Temples Dot the Earth” exhibit, designed to help children ages 1-11 discover the history and purpose of temple building. The exhibit features colorful wall-to-wall graphic design murals, imagery from actual temples, historical artifacts and hands-on activity stations.

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Primary General President Camille N. Johnson talks with English hosts Anthony Parker, left, and Alice Cartwright, right, during filming for the Friend to Friend broadcast released on July 30, 2022. The event was filmed at the Church History Museum’s “Temples Dot the Earth” exhibit in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Continuing on the covenant path

In the February Friend to Friend, an explorer navigated a trail representing the covenant path. Along the way she learned about baptism, the Holy Ghost and the sacrament. 

The July Friend to Friend began with the explorer getting lost. She was distracted by a talking toucan and couldn’t find her way back to the covenant path. Hosts Anthony Parker and Alice Cartwright encouraged her to look up. When she did, she saw a temple spire and followed it back to the path. 

“Sometimes we might be tempted or distracted by something or someone that looks good or fun,” Anthony told the audience. “It’s great to know that we can find our way back to Heavenly Father’s covenant path by focusing on Christ. He’ll always show the way.”

A woman called “Grandma” came on set to teach the children what happens inside the temple. Showing them a model of rooms inside the temple, she said: “Each one has a special purpose. We can worship our Heavenly Father, learn more about His plan of happiness, and we can make sacred promises with Him. And He makes sacred promises with us.”

She explained that those promises — or covenants — include trying to be more like Him, following His plan and being part of His family forever. Jesus taught that there are certain promises that everyone must make in order to live with Him again. The first of those promises is made at baptism. 

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Sister Amy A. Wright, middle, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, is pictured with Spanish-speaking hosts Maylén Parra, left, and Alexandros Chacon, right, during filming for the Friend to Friend broadcast released July 30, 2022. The event was filmed at the Church History Museum’s “Temples Dot the Earth” exhibit in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In a video filmed in Tahiti and French Polynesia, a 12-year-old girl named Felicia shared her experience performing baptisms for the dead at the temple for the first time and being sealed to her family. “I testify that families can be eternal through temple ordinances,” Felicia said. 

At the building blocks station, Anthony and Alice pointed out that just as temples are built block by block, each good decision and goal invites the Holy Ghost and helps one become more like Jesus. 

Pictures on screen featured children around the world with drawings of temples and with other temple crafts. Grandma showed Anthony and Alice a temple she made out of pasta. They invited the audience to make their own temple crafts to help them remember to stay focused on the covenant path.

After the segments with President Johnson teaching about the power associated with covenants and Elder Stevenson and the children in Tokyo, President Johnson concluded the broadcast by asking Anthony and Alice what they learned about temples. 

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Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, talks with English-speaking hosts Anthony Parker, left, and Alice Cartwright, right, during filming for the Friend to Friend broadcast released on July 30, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“I learned that even though temples are pretty buildings on the outside, there’s a lot more special covenants and promises we make on the inside,” Alice said. Anthony told President Johnson he’s excited to be baptized in the temple for his ancestors who haven’t been baptized yet.

“Remember,” Alice told the audience, “Jesus always leads us to the temple, so make sure to follow Him and stay on the covenant path.”

The July 30 Friend to Friend is now available on the Church’s website and on the Gospel for Kids YouTube channel for on-demand viewing. 

Families can visit the “Temples Dot the Earth” exhibit during the Church History Museum’s operating hours Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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