Friday, April 4, 2014

The Family Is Of God

Here are all four verses and the chorus of the April 2014 song, " The Family is of God."  Because I'm teaching them separately, each verse will be it's own document and I will only include the pictures for the chorus in the first document.

The rhythms can be a little tricky.  If you need to, you can hear the song by clicking the link near the bottom of this page.

If I were teaching this song, I'd teach verses 1 and 4 during April, verse 3 in May to sing for Mother's Day and verse 2 in June to sing for Father's Day.  I think it's important that they learn all four verses, but I wouldn't necessarily want them all sung in the program.  That's purely a performance decision, though, so check with your Presidency first if you choose to do it.

I've seen a lot of discussion about this song on Primary Chorister and Primary Presidency boards.  Some leaders question the appropriateness of the message during a time when many children in our care come from broken or non-traditional homes.  I disagree;  I think that is the perfect reason TO teach this song.  But I understand where the concern comes from.  We don't want kids to feel alienated or judged because of their family situation.  Keep that in mind as you decide how to teach the song.  Here are some ideas you might try.  They are entirely my own opinions.

  • Do consider your audience.  If you teach in a ward or branch where there is likely to be contention over the middle verses of the song, teaching them for Mother's and Father's day may help you avoid arguments.  I don't generally advocate avoiding topics, but if you expect it to become a negative experience for the children, this is one way you can at least get the message to them in a positive way.
  • Do think of the questions your children might have and prayerfully prepare to answer them.  
  • Do stress that we are all on earth to learn and grow.  Just as there are no perfect people, there are no perfect families.  We can all strengthen our families through Christ's Atonement.
  • Do consider involving the children's parents.  If you and your Presidency feel that certain children will be particularly upset by this song, ask their parents for advice on how to speak to them about it.  
  • Do help them to understand that even if they don't come from a home with a loving mother and father, they have the ability to create this for themselves and their own children some day.  Sing verse 2 of "Families Can Be Together Forever."  
  • Do help them understand what they can do right now.  Direct their focus to verse 4.  When children feel powerless to change their circumstances, giving them a task can help.  Ask them for specific examples of things they can do at home this week to strengthen their families.

However, with all of that said, keep the following "don'ts"in mind:

  • Don't create a problem where there isn't one!  If a child asks you a question, you should answer it (either in public or in private).  Otherwise, don't worry too much.    
  • Don't assume that children will feel stigmatized if their family isn't perfect.  Some will and some won't.  Be sensitive to their feelings, but be careful not to single them out unnecessarily.
  • Don't assume that teaching children what is right will teach them to hate people who disagree.  Be tolerant and respectful of other opinions and trust children to do so as well.  It shouldn't occur to children to hate anyone, and explaining that you don't may actually plant the suggestion.
  • Don't skip verses 2 and 3 altogether.  I feel strongly that the General Primary Presidency is aware of the children's struggles and chose this song through inspiration for a specific reason.  When our leaders only want certain verses taught, they specifically say so.  Otherwise, we ought to teach all verses of the monthly songs.
  • And don't dilute the Lord's message with unnecessary explanation.  See Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself."  Whether or not it is politically correct or popular, the principles taught in this song are true.  We don't need to apologize for them.  

Our Father has a family, it's me!

It's you, all others too:  we are His children!

He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,

To live and learn here in families.

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be.

This is how He shares His love, for the fam'ly is of God.

A father's place is to preside, provide

To love and teach the gospel to his children.

A father leads in fam'ly prayer to share

Their love for Father in Heaven.

A mother's purpose is to care, prepare,

To nurture and to strengthen all her children.

She teaches children to obey, to pray,

To love and serve in the fam'ly.
I'll love and serve my family and be

A good example to each fam'ly member.

And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,

I'll help my fam'ly remember.


  1. I appreciate the time and your talents that you put forth and share with us. Thank you so much. Your blog is my go to every month to help me.

  2. Thank you so much! This is perfect, and exactly what I needed.

  3. I love your last picture of the family as a gift from God!
    And thanks for mentioning how some people are nervous to teach it the song because of kids coming from broken families, or worried about kids judging each other.
    I hadn't actually thought about that at all as I've been considering how to teach the song.
    I don't see the song being a problem at all in my ward, even though we don't have perfect families.
    Another teacher for sharing time read a story from the Friend where a little kid's parent is not Mormon, but the child and mom discuss how much they love him and all the good things he does for them and their family.
    I think this song is so much fun and I'm glad to see the family focus. It's so important to protect the family! Even though not everyone has 2 married parents who are active in the LDS faith, kids should still be taught about it.

  4. When I print the pdf the words will not print, only the pictures. Have any idea why that is?

    1. Sorry, I think my layout is confusing. The PDF's only have the pictures. That's how I prefer to teach. But if you want words, you can right click on each picture (in the blog, not the PDF) and copy and paste into a document and add the words.

  5. You are simply amazing. Thank you for sharing your time and talents.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your talents but also for sharing your thoughts on being sensitive to the family situations some of the children might find themselves in. We will be teaching all the verses to the kids in our primary. I did not grow up in the church, my mother was married three different times and I was witness to verbal and physical abuse through the years. The thing that kept me going was a belief that one day I would have my own family and it would be different to the one I grew up in. If I had heard this song as a child it would not have made me feel upset but rather would have given me comfort. Kids are way more resilient and hopeful than we give them credit for. PS. I did have my own family and they were raised very differently than I was. That cycle can be broken through the atonement of Christ.

  7. Thanks for sharing your time and talents! I love your artwork and thoughts. You have helped me so much!

  8. BEST.
    Thank you so very much again. As always - you save me!

  9. I'm new to your blog. Thanks for these great pictures!

  10. I too love your blog and appreciate the effort put forth. Thank you for sharing your time and talents!

  11. SERIOUSLY I LOVE YOUR BLOGS! THEY ARE PERFECT! I dont know what I would do without them sometimes! The pictures are wonderful and are exactly what I am always looking for! THANK YOU SO MUCH! You are such a blessing!

  12. I have a words question, if anyone can help me:
    I notice the words are, "A father leads in family prayer to share THEIR love for Father in Heaven."
    This is the way it is in my outline too (emphasis added).
    Shouldn't it be "A father leads in family prayer to share HIS love for father in heaven."
    Since father is singular.
    On the one hand, I think it's an error and I should change it. On the other hand, teaching slightly different words would cause confusion, especially for the kids who attend half their Sundays with us and half with the ward their mom is in.

    1. I think he is helping the family share their love for father in heaven.

    2. I too, at first was confused with the words...but then realized that it is a continued thought/phrase...the father leads the family in prayer and in doing so the family shares THEIR love for Father in Heaven.

  13. This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Thank you so much for you great content! I love your graphics!

  15. Thank you!!!!! I got thrown into this a few weeks before the program and the kids are still struggling with this song.

  16. Wow, thank you for the detailed lesson plan and being so sensitive to kids in every situation. We are doing this song for the Father's Day and your insight greatly helped me!

    1. Oh, good! I think it's an important song, even though it can be uncomfortable.

  17. Erin, I know you're not on your blog anymore, but I just read your approach to this song and wanted to thank you for your inspired approach that you wrote in 2014. I wish I had read it when I was first trying to teach the song. Also, I'm sending you happy thoughts. :)