I’m so glad it’s October! It’s my favorite month! I love the faint smoky smell from harvest fires and the first hints of cool breezes on warm days. I love lighting candles as the days start to get shorter. I love breaking out the scarves and jackets and cardigans. I do not love the impending sense of doom I feel when I see the first sign of snowflakes, but I try to ignore that feeling for as long as I possibly can. And, if I’m being perfectly honest, the easy access to heaps of Halloween candy is an excellent distraction from the cooler weather.
There are other good things about October too. Like the fact that this month in Primary we’ll be talking about how the mission of the church is to invite all to come unto Christ. As the theme details, we can do this by
- following the prophet (week 1)
- sharing the gospel (week 2)
- repenting when we make mistakes (week 3)
- and participating in temple and family history work (week 4).
Here are a few simple activities and ideas to consider as you teach these concepts throughout the month.
Week 1: This is the perfect time to recap what you learned in conference. Talk about what it means to sustain the prophet and the apostles. Encourage children to think of specific ways they could follow the prophet this week. As a class or a family, you could set a follow-the-prophet goal for the next six months until it’s time for conference again. You may also want to review one of President Monson’s conference talks. You can find them both as links on this page:
Week 2: You might not have thought about it before, but Halloween can be a great time for missionary work! If your ward is planning a Halloween activity, you may want to have children begin thinking of nonmember friends they want to invite to the activity. You could also create Halloween goodie bags for special friends or teachers that include a note about the gospel or a pass-along card in addition to treats.
If you know any missionaries that are currently serving, consider sending them a Halloween care package to encourage them.
Week 3: Didn’t you love Sister Marriott’s conference address about yielding our hearts to God? It was one of my favorites. We can teach our children what it means to change our hearts through repentance and how to become “yielded and still.” You might consider using clay to illustrate the principle that Heavenly Father wants to mold us into something wonderful. Ask the children what would happen if the clay was hard. We need to keep our hearts soft through repentance and humility. Read 3 Nephi 9:20 and talk about what it means to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Week 4: Temple work is so important for us and our eternal families. Since being sealed in the temple creates a chain for our families that will last forever, you could help your children create a paper chain by writing the names of their ancestors on slips of paper and then linking them together. This could be an ongoing project in which you keep the chain on display in your home or classroom for several weeks, adding a new link whenever you tell a story about a different ancestor.
Older children could also add links whenever they help with indexing or family history work. If you’re not sure what work still needs to be completed in your own family, consider scheduling an appointment with a family history specialist in your ward or stake. Chances your specialist would love to show you how you can help, either by preparing your own family names or becoming involved with indexing. You could also plan a family or class visit to the temple grounds to feel the Spirit there.
This Mormon Message on temples would be great to share as part of a Primary or family home evening lesson: Temples Are a Beacon.
Keep checking back throughout the month for additional ideas and tips as we all try to come closer to Christ and invite others to do the same.
Oh, and enjoy that Halloween candy!