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Purpose: On July 4th, each American celebrates the country’s Independence with a day full of reflection and activities focused on country, freedom and family. As members of the church, we also experience independence as we follow the commandments and learn about the Plan of Salvation.

Song: “My Country, Tis of Thee”

Brief Lesson: Today we celebrate the founding of our country and the day that our Forefathers declared our Independence from Great Britain. The country has experienced many great times and many hard and difficult times. One of the greatest blessings about living in America are the religious freedoms that we enjoy as well as all of our other freedoms. What are some other freedoms we have?

Although we have freedoms, we also have to be responsible for the choices we make using that freedom/agency. The gospel of Jesus Christ also gives us tremendous freedoms. For example, we know that when we obey the Word of Wisdom, our bodies have freedom from certain diseases, addictions and illnesses. However, if we are not careful and we don’t use our freedom or agency appropriately, we have consequences of our actions.

What are some of the freedoms the gospel gives to our lives?

Discussion:


1. What does Independence mean?

2. What are some examples of independence from the scriptures?


3. Name other ways the gospel give us independence.

US History Trivia:

What day did Congress vote for Independence in 1776? July 2

What day was the Declaration of Independence signed?

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival,” wrote John Adams to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776.

The second U.S. president had the date wrong, but Heintze maintains that the U.S. really should observe July 2nd—the day Congress voted for independence—as Independence Day. (The signing of the Declaration of Independence didn’t begin until August and wasn’t complete until November.)

“They didn’t have the written document completed until the 4th,” Heintze said.

“When they took that document to the printer on July 4th, he printed that date on the top. And that was the broadside that was sent out to all of the new states and the generals in the field. It became widely circulated, and July 2nd was forgotten.”

What year was the 4th of July made a federal holiday? 1941

Activity: 

4th of July Color Pages - see below

Hand print American Flags - Need materials

- Red, white, blue and yellow paint

- Paint the palm of the hand blue, the fingers paint red, white, red, white for the strips. Place the hand on a piece of construction paper.

- As your hand print dries, paint the flagpole (white) and a yellow star on top.

- Once the hand print is dry, paint white stars (or dots for younger kids) on the blue section.



Treat:


WATERMELON POPS
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 cups watermelon juice (squish watermelon with a potato masher and strain)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat cook water and sugar until sugar melts by simmering about 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add watermelon and lemon juice mixing well.
  3. Fill ice trays with the mixture.
  4. Freeze until just mushy but not solid and stick a toothpick in the middle of each “cube”.
  5. Freeze until firm and pop out to eat. You will need about 3 ice cube trays.

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