Friend to Friend teaches ‘We Are God’s Children’

The first Friend to Friend event of 2023 features videos, music and messages about divine identity

Giuliana Batista, 11, Victor Batista, 8 and Laura Fajardo-Riascos, 18, share a laugh with Louie the talking toucan as they talk about some of the traits they have been given by their earthly parents and by Heavenly Father in the Friend to Friend event “We Screenshot from YouTube
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Screenshot from YouTube
Screenshot from YouTube
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Screenshot from YouTube
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Screenshot from YouTube
Screenshot from YouTube
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Friend to Friend broadcast on March 11 taught children about their divine identity as children of God, the steps in the plan of happiness and understanding how to receive revelation.

Primary General President Susan H. Porter and her counselors, Sister Amy A. Wright and Sister Tracy Y. Browning, introduced the broadcast — titled “We Are God’s Children” — by sharing their love for the children watching. 

“Hello, children around the world. Welcome to another Friend to Friend,” President Porter said.

Sister Wright said, “We are so happy to be with you today, to learn more about Jesus Christ and His gospel.”

And Sister Browning added, “We hope you will feel Heavenly Father’s love for you in our program today.”

The Friend to Friend originated in English, Spanish and Portuguese and included a talking toucan, commentary from puppets, music videos, a grandmother from a previous program and a teenager who interacted with and helped teach the children.

Louie the Toucan from the November 2022 Friend to Friend began the March event by singing in a tree with his smaller bird friend, Gilbert. But as he turned his head, his beak knocked Gilbert out of the tree and into the hands of a teenager, played by Laura Fajardo-Riascos, age 18.

Louie lamented to Laura that his beak was always in the way, setting up some of the teachings to come later in the program.

Understanding God’s plan of happiness

In the next scene, a boy and girl — played by Giuliana Batista, age 11, and Victor Batista, age 8 — entered the set to join a woman they called “Grandma,” who was cutting out a large blue circle out of paper.

Grandma — played by Maria Carr — told the children she was working on a way to help her grandchildren better understand God’s plan of happiness.

“I chose a circle because we started out living with Heavenly Father. And then we make our way through time and eventually we come back to live with Him,” she said, moving her hands around the circle. 

Maria Carr, center, teaches Victor Batista, left, and Giuliana Batista, right, about God’s plan of happiness in the March Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” broadcast on Saturday, March 11, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

Showing the children around the craft room set, she explained how people lived in heaven with Heavenly Father before they lived on earth.

They pretended the door to the adjoining set was like being born on earth and receiving a physical body. Grandma took the children through the door and to a desk, where she showed them a picture of her parents.

“On earth, we are still children of God, but we also have earthly parents,” she said, explaining that her parents had died and she missed them. “But I know we will be together again because we are tied together through covenants,” she said.

She continued, “Life can be really hard sometimes, but we can know that Heavenly Father loves us. We always make mistakes, but we can repent through Jesus Christ.”

Then, leading the children through another door on the revolving set, she demonstrated that after death, people enter the spirit world. 

“We are still alive, we just don’t have our physical bodies,” she said. “Thanks to Jesus, we will all be resurrected, and we will be judged for our choices through His grace. In other words, Jesus helps us return to Heavenly Father.” 

Maria Carr, playing “Grandma,” shows a picture of her parents during the Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” airing Saturday, March 11, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

Returning to the original area where she had cut out the blue paper circle, Grandma hugged the children and spoke with them about how wonderful it will be to return to heaven. 

“I’m so grateful to my Savior Jesus Christ for all that He does for us. So I try my best to be like Him and love others and serve as He showed us how to do,” she said.

Knowing you are a child of God

In a new scene with Louie the Toucan puppet, Louie looked up to see Laura, Victor and Giuliana all wearing fake toucan beaks on their own faces. 

They told Louie they knew he had been sad about his beak, so they each shared something they loved about it, like the sound effects it can make and its bright colors.

“God made it beautiful,” Giuliana said. 

Left to right, Victor Batista, Laura Fajardo-Riascos and Giuliana Batista smile during the filming of the Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” broadcast on Saturday, March 11, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Laura thanked the toucan for using his beak to help her open fruits and nuts, and he responded, “It’s nice to know that God created all living things.” 

“Each person is a child of God,” Laura explained. “I have heavenly parents of my spirit, and earthly parents of my body.”

She talked about how people get some traits from their earthly parents, like eyes, nose and hair color. “We also get traits from our Heavenly Father. He wants us to choose to grow up to be like Him.”

Feeling the Spirit

Next, an animated video began with a young girl kneeling by her bed to pray but appearing frustrated.

She asked her mother and father how she could know she was receiving revelation or if it was just her brain thinking of things on its own. But both parents were busy preparing dinner and helping the girl’s two brothers.

Then, her aunt arrived at the house for dinner. As they ate, the girl asked her aunt how she could know if she was getting an answer from Heavenly Father to her prayers. 

A girl and her aunt discuss how to hear answers from the Spirit in this animated video shown during the March Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” that aired Saturday, March 11, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

“When I pray, I think my feelings are messing everything up,” the girl said.

Her aunt said she understood: “Are these my feelings, or is it Heavenly Father trying to tell me something? And how the Spirit speaks to me might be different than how It speaks to someone else,” she said.

The aunt explained that she could tell if something was coming from the Spirit when she felt peace. 

She said when she looks for answers, she reads the scriptures and studies it out in her mind, then she makes a decision and in her prayer she asks if that is correct. “If it is, I feel that peace through the Holy Ghost,” she told her niece.

Peace in God’s plan

As the program continued, Louie the Toucan asked Laura how she knew she was a child of God. 

She answered that the prophets and scriptures teach this truth. “And when I prayed to know if it was true, I felt peace in my heart. Sometimes we call that revelation.”

Louie said that was much better than being frustrated about his beak.

Laura replied that everyone has some hard things to learn from. “It’s part of God’s plan to help us turn to the Savior and become faithful and strong.”

The set of the March Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” airing on Saturday, March 11, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

She said anyone can ask God to help them and can feel joy knowing that such help will come.

Louie asked Laura what she would do that’s different than before, now that she knows she is a child of God. 

She replied, “I guess I know that because I’m His daughter, I can become like my Heavenly Father more each day. I don’t feel afraid as much when I remember that. And I feel excited about keeping my baptismal covenant. I guess I just want to love people the same way the Savior does.”

‘I Am a Child of God’

The 20-minute program ended with a video montage of children, youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds singing the hymn “I Am a Child of God.”

Some sang solo, others were with family members and friends — and at times, the voices all joined together from their different locations around the world.

A variety of people sing “I Am a Child of God” together in a video that aired during the March Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” on Saturday, March 11, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

Interspersed throughout the Friend to Friend broadcast were short vignettes with hand puppets made out of materials that children might find in their own homes and be inspired to make as well. 

Children’s voices used the puppets to share everyday examples that teach of divine heritage and identity, which Sister Wright spoke about before the broadcast.

“It is important for the children to know that they are literally spirit sons and daughters of God. This is a familial relationship, and they are precious in His sight,” Sister Wright said. “And He is very intentional, just as you would hope an earthly parent would be intentionally involved in their children’s lives.”

President Porter said one of the strengths of this Friend to Friend is that it is joyful. 

“The principles are taught in a very engaging way, and children can learn patterns from the way the characters interact with one another,” President Porter said. 

And the content of the Friend to Friend is both inspirational and aspirational, said Sister Browning.

“It helps children find things that help them confirm truth, teach doctrine, know and understand the doctrines of Christ. And there are also components that help them aspire to do and to act,” she said.

How to use the March Friend to Friend

The puppets used for Gilbert the bird and Louie the talking toucan are shown during the taping of the Friend to Friend event, “We Are God’s Children,” which was broadcast Saturday, March 11, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Similar to the 2021 Friend to Friend, and the February 2022, July 2022 and November 2022 Friend to Friends, the March broadcast was made of shorter segments designed to be resources for parents and Primary leaders to use over and over again.

The full Friend to Friend broadcast and individual segments will remain available after March 11 to supplement teaching at home or at church. Videos are available on, Gospel Library and Gospel Media

English, Spanish and Portuguese versions are also available on the Gospel for Kids YouTube channel (El Evangelio para niños in Spanish and Evangelho para Crianças in Portuguese).

For more activities and videos for children, visit the Gospel for Kids YouTube channel and the Gospel for Kids app

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