February 7, 2014 by FHElessons
A few months ago my son who is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote us to tell about a family he and his companion were teaching. This was a family with young children, and here is what my son wrote to us, remembering the story of when my husband’s family were baptized: “As soon as we met them I remembered that one of the reasons Grandma liked the missionaries so much was because they loved her kids, so we made sure to show the kids extra love. I decided that I was going to make the next lessons a little more interesting, so for the Plan of Salvation we made a board game.”
Lucky for me, my son drew out a copy of his Plan of Salvation board game and sent it to me. I made a digital version that I am going to share with you today!
- Free Printable game board and instructions found HERE. (Print it out onto cardstock.)
- Small candies to cover spaces with x’s on them (choose something that will tempt the players).
- An enormous candy bar, large bag of candy, or other large prize that the players would definitely prefer over the candy above (get enough for each person playing the game).
- A regular sized candy bar or medium bag of candy or other mediocre prize for those who end in the Terrestrial Kingdom (hopefully you won’t need too many of these).
- A tiny candy bar or piece of candy or other small prize for those who end in the Telestial Kingdom.
Lay out the 4 pages of the game board in order. Begin with the page that has Pre-Earth Life on it. Next comes Earth life. Then the Spirit World, and finally the Three Degrees of Glory.
Cut out the place markers that have little people on them. Fold on the dotted lines and then cut on the solid lines to make little slits for pushing the bottoms together. Alternatively, just tape or glue the bottoms together. When you are done, each person should stand up.
Place small candies on all the spaces that have x’s on them on Earth and in the Spirit World.
Cut out the “Essential Ordinances” tokens and place them randomly on some of the spaces across the center of Earth.
Cut out the “Your time is up!” tokens and hide them randomly under the candies on some of the spaces with x’s on them on Earth. Each time you play the game, these tokens should go on different spaces and be hidden so that nobody knows where they are.
Here is what your game should look like when it is all set up and ready to play:
You should have prizes ready for the Three Degrees of Glory at the end. You can display them if you want or just keep them hidden, whichever you think will have the greatest impact on your players. Make sure the prize for the Celestial Kingdom is something really awesome that your players would want above everything else. Make the prizes for the lower kingdoms something gradually less desirable. Here are some ideas:
Use all the same candy, but of varying sizes
If your child loves chocolate, use an enormous candy bar for the Celestial Kingdom, a regular candy bar for the Terrestrial, and a fun sized bar for the Telestial.
Or choose other candies your child loves in varying package sizes.
If you’re trying to stay away from candy, you could use prizes such as toys or coupons for time with Mom and Dad, etc. Just keep in mind that the temptations during the game are candy, and you want the end prize to be worth staying away from temptation.
How to Play:
Let everyone choose a place marker and set it in Pre-Earth Life.
When my son played the game with his investigators, he had them throw 3 pennies to move. Heads let you go forward and tails let you move back. Not sure how that worked out as logically it seems to me you would never get anywhere. So I suggest if you want to throw pennies, that you move forward for the number of heads you get unless you get all tails, in which case you would move back 1 space. Alternatively, just play with 1 die. Move your place marker along the spaces on the board. You can move any direction you choose (up, down, or forward).
The candies will tempt you to leave the straight and narrow path because if you land on a space with a candy, you get to keep it. However, be advised that if you pick up your candy and find a “Your time is up!” token underneath, you have to go directly to the Spirit World, and your time for repentance (giving up your candies) is over. You don’t have to tell the players about the “Your time is up!” tokens if you think it will have a greater impact if it is a surprise. Of course, in real life, everyone knows that death is a possibility at any time, so it’s up to you.
If you land on a space with an “Essential Ordinances” token, you may pick it up and keep it if you desire. You may keep on “Essential Ordinances” token for yourself and you may take one to give to a friend who is in Spirit Prison. The object of the game is to get everyone to the Celestial Kingdom!
At any time during your Earth life, you may give up your sins (throw away your candies) to get back onto the straight and narrow path (unless you land on a “Your time is up!” token before you do it). The game itself gives directions about where to go for the third and fourth pages. If you get to the Spirit World and you still have sins (candies), you go to Spirit Prison. If you came from the straight and narrow path and you have an “Essential Ordinances” token, you go to Paradise. If you are in Spirit Prison and you have an “Essential Ordinances” token, you may give up your sins (candies) at any time to go up to Paradise. If you are in Spirit Prison and you don’t have an “Essential Ordinances” token, a friend may give you one to get you out of Spirit Prison.
When you get to Final Judgment, go to the Celestial Kingdom if you have no sins and you have an “Essential Ordinances” token. If you didn’t give up your sins until the Post-mortal Spirit World or if you gave up your sins while on Earth but didn’t get Essential Ordinances, go to the Terrestrial Kingdom. If you never gave up your sins, go to the Telestial Kingdom. Collect your prizes accordingly.
Note: This game was designed for people investigating the Church, for whom all this knowledge is new. As such, it is fairly simplistic. I think it would work great for younger children, but teenagers may find it a little boring.
As I was setting my game up to take pictures of it, my teenaged daughter asked me what the candies on the game board were for. I told her they represented temptation. Her response: “They ARE tempting!” I laughed.
Then she asked me if you were allowed to move any direction you wanted, and I confirmed that you were, and she asked me why there weren’t any candies in the center spaces. I told her, “That’s the straight and narrow path.”
She asked, “Why would anyone want to stay on the straight and narrow path?”
Knowing how much she loves chocolate, I told her, “The prize for the Celestial Kingdom is a king sized chocolate bar.”
“Oh!” she responded excitedly, “Why would anyone want to go anywhere else?!”
My purpose in telling you this little story is to show that although the game may be boring for teenagers or too easy to understand, it might still serve as a good object lesson. Teenagers should easily be able to draw the parallel between the game and real life – that the temptations of this world are nothing compared to the amazing reward awaiting them in the Celestial Kingdom.
However, don’t stress yourself out too much trying to encourage your players to stay on the straight and narrow path as they play the game or to achieve the Celestial Kingdom. Remember that this is just a game, and failure can be as good of a teacher as success can be. Let them make their own mistakes, and they will learn something from the game either way.
Lastly, there are a few little points for teaching written on the game board itself with bullet points. As you play the game, be sure to talk about these and instruct your players in the Plan of Salvation.
Have fun! I hope you enjoy the game designed by my missionary!
Once again, you can find the link to the free printable HERE.
If you liked this post, you might also like my Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game that teaches about the Post-mortal Spirit World.