Use a few or all of these steps to create your own special Daughter of a King evening.
1) Summarize information in The Creation of Daughter of a King to show the challenges involved in the publishing of the book.
3) Afterwards, share the following lesson, using either the examples here or from your own life. (Keep in mind the headings on each section below are only for organizational help, and not to be read aloud.)
Like Katie, you are a princess
Like Katie, each of you here is a princess, a daughter of a Heavenly King! It doesn’t matter what you look like, what clothes you wear, or what kind of a house you live in. What does matter is the way you act, if you are kind to others, if you choose the right. It matters if you face your trials and overcome them. If you endure to the end.
Once, we all lived with our Father the King in the heaven (or the Crystal Palace)! And we all want to return because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus and because we want to be with our families forever. When we leave this life, we won’t take our clothes, our jewelry, or our houses, what we will take is the knowledge we’ve gained and the relationships we’ve developed.
Being a Princess isn’t easy
Of course it’s not easy being a princess all the time. Like Katie we sometimes find it hard to remember who we are. Sometimes people tease us about trying to do right or try to convince us to step off the path. The world says we’re missing out on all the fun. We are inundated with commercials, movies, and music that tell us it’s okay to ignore the commandments of the Lord. We know they’re wrong, but sometimes it’s hard to resist. Occasionally we fall, like Katie did when she stole the pie.
We can’t choose the consequences
We have all been taught that we can choose to sin, but we cannot choose the outcome of the sin—the consequence. For a simple example, an author could choose to work on her novel on Sundays, but then could not expect the Lord to inspire her while she’s breaking His commandments to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Understanding this makes is easier for an author to never write on Sundays.
Rachel Ann Nunes, the author of Daughter of a King used to teach Sunday School, and two boys stood out in particular. One, we’ll call Bob, was a young man who didn’t like obeying the commandments. He thought they were too confining. He dated early and soon go into trouble. He and his girlfriend found they were expecting a child and hurried to get married. Suddenly, Bob had no freedom at all. He couldn’t go to college, he couldn’t even take his wife out for a nice meal and a movie because he was too busy working three jobs to make ends meet. His choices had become limited. After three years, he was divorced and sharing custody with a woman who doesn’t share his values. It’s taken him years to begin a higher education, and he’s still very much lost in life, both spiritually and emotionally.
On the hand, another boy, Jim, was careful to follow the guidelines in the Strength for Youth pamphlet, despite the poor example of his siblings. He was the first child of eight in his family to serve a mission, go to college, and to marry in the temple because he never let go of what was important to him and to the Lord. When you see him now with his three children and strong family and the contentment he radiates, you know he made the best choice.
The choices you make now affect your eternity
You must all realize that the choices you are making right now will affect your eternal lives and the eternal well-being of your children. Please, please don’t let what you want right now get in the way of what you want most. And what is that? Eternal life.
We all make mistakes
Now we all make mistakes. Falling from the path could be something big or something very small, but the important thing in any situation is that we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back on the right path. Our Father has prepared a way for us to return to Him in spite of our sins—repentance. You all know that there are several steps to repentance, but they bear repeating:
First we must feel sorry for what we’ve done as Katie did when she took the pie and then lied about it. Second, we must give back or repair the damage we’ve done—to our very best efforts. If you look at Katie’s pie in the picture, you’ll see that her pie’s a little lopsided and that it doesn’t look nearly as tasty as Widow Shoemaker’s but it was the very best she could do. The third step is to ask for forgiveness. That’s sometimes the most difficult part. From whom do we ask forgiveness? From the person we’ve offended and from our Heavenly Father. Sometimes we need to talk to our bishop so that he can help us complete the fourth step which is to never fall back into that sin again.
This is a glorious principle (teacher should bear testimony of principle). Each of you is loved by your Heavenly Father much more than you can ever comprehend, and He yearns for you to come to Him. In fact, His entire work is to bring you back to Heaven, to happiness. If there is anything in your lives that you need to take care of, do so. Your Father is waiting with so much love.
We need to keep the vision
Sometimes when our lives race on, we forget what’s important. Like Katie, we start to lose our vision of the Crystal Palace. We are so busy with school, work, and friends, that we forget the most important thing we can learn in life—and pass on to our children later—that we are daughters of Heavenly King! That Jesus is our brother who sacrificed His life for us because we are SO important to him.
As in the story, our Heavenly Father’s oldest Son made a path for us to follow. It is also long and narrow and steep, but it is the only path that will lead us back to the King. In fact, Jesus’ entire life was an example to us. Though He had no sins, He was baptized by immersion by someone who had the authority. He did this because it was a commandment from His Father, and because He had to be baptized to enter the kingdom of God. He also received the Holy Ghost, He was kind to others, he always obeyed His Father in all things.
Other examples in our lives
Besides the example of Jesus, our Heavenly King has given you other people to help you along the way. We are never alone. If you look around you tonight, you can see parents, teachers, friends, and leaders who help you remember the King and the Palace. In the early part of my story Katie had her parents, a good friend Alexandra, and her husband to help her remember that she was a princess.
Choosing good friends is very important, especially when you start dating. Let our sacrifice for our friends and for our families be that we study and learn and obey and follow the Spirit so that we become true friends
Katie also met an old blind man name Bartimaeus, who showed her the path made by the King’s oldest Son. In real life, Bartimaeus was a blind man in the Bible who was healed by Jesus. I imagine that after he was healed, Bartimaeus must have shared his testimony of the gospel with many people. He would have set their feet on the path made by the King’s oldest son.
Returning to the Crystal Palace
Katie’s dream was to return to the Crystal Palace. Can anyone tell me what the Crystal Palace reminds you of here on earth? (A temple.) Exactly. We are so fortunate to have the temples in our lives. Right now you girls can do baptisms for the many, many spirits who are up in the spirit world just waiting for that work to be done. And later, you will go there to receive your endowments and to be married. Someone once said that if the daughters of Zion could understand the true importance of temple covenants, they would crawl across the entire American continent on their knees if needed to reach the temple. There we learn important things that will help us get back to heaven with our families.
This life is a journey for us, like Katie’s in the book. I won’t tell you there won’t be challenges or hardships. There will be. In fact many times in your life you will be very discouraged, angry, sad, or afraid. But I promise you that during these times, your Father knows who you are and He will send help. Not only can you pray and feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost, but you will meet people who will guide you and help you. In turn, you will also be called upon to help others. I firmly believe that many of the experiences and challenges we face in life are given to us not only so we could grow from them, but so we can have the experience necessary to help others. Know that can make trials easier to bear.
The Lord will help!
The Lord has also promised His help. Think of Alma in the Book of Mormon when the priests of Noah heaped such heavy burdens upon his people in Mosiah 24:14-15.
“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them . . . (then further down) . . . I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light: yea, the Lord did strengthen them they they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”
The Lord didn’t take away the burdens immediately, but he made them light. The Lord won’t take away our burdens, either, but he will make us equal to them. He will strengthen you.
Trials and tests make us strong
It’s not going to be easy. Of course not! Anything worthwhile in life will not be easy! To play the piano well, you must practice; to excel in school, you must study; to be close to your family, you must spend time with them. To earn your parents’ trust, you must be obedient. To learn the scriptures, you must read them; to feel God’s love, you need to obey His commandments and follow His counsel.
The trials you go through in this life are what will make you worthy to become a Queen in heaven. The pathway to becoming queens is never easy, but so worth it in the end. Realizing that you are a daughter of God is an essential ingredient in becoming the woman you were meant to become. The queen you were meant to become. It’s the leavening in the dough that if we leave out, ruins the batch of bread. Likewise, if we don’t really believe and understand who we are, our lives fall flat and have little purpose. Do you believe it? I hope so. I know you are daughters of a Heavenly King.
Satan’s biggest lie
Sometimes, even though we believe we are His daughters, we have trouble understanding His great love for us. We feel inadequate, not worthy of His love. You know, the biggest fear I think we have in life is that we’re not good enough—haven’t you felt that? It’s one of Satan’s biggest lies. That you’re not good enough and that someone’s going to laugh at your efforts. We’ve all felt this before. Isn’t that sometimes why we go with the crowd and do not object to things we should object to?
Satan wants us to feel this way. He wants us to compare ourselves to others or what we believe others to be. It’s kind of like comparing ourselves when we wake up in the morning, to what someone else looks like all dressed up for church. We know why God loves them, but we might not be so sure about our value to the Lord. Or our value to anyone.
(Note to teacher: Give personal example of a time when you felt the above challenge and when you finally internalized the knowledge that you were a special daughter of a Heavenly King.)
Look around at each other for a minute. Look around. Do you see a friend? Someone you don’t know well? Do you see someone who may have hurt your feelings? Do you see someone who is shy? Do you see someone who’s considered popular? Someone who’s short or tall? Someone who’s smart?
You are destined to be a queen
I’ll tell you what I see. I see strong young women who will become queens one day. Each of you is special in the eyes of the Lord. You are not just a daughter, but a daughter of the covenant, endowed with special talents and abilities that are uniquely yours. You are put here at this time and in this place to accomplish something that no other person can accomplish. That is part of your divine heritage. Each of you is needed for who you are and what you can be.
You are loved
I promise you that your Heavenly Father loves you. He knows you personally. He knows your strengths, your fears, your secrets, your weakness—and He still loves you. He also knows what you are capable of, and he expects great things from you. He expects you to stand as a witness, He expects you to be kind to others—no matter who they are. (Possibly stress that daughters of a Heavenly King would never ridicule or talk badly about others. As princesses, that is simply beneath us.) He expects you to find your way home.
He is waiting with open arms, just like the King in this story waited for Katie and Michael. Remember, in the end, it doesn’t matter how you look, how much money you have, or how worn your clothes are—what matters is what’s in your hearts.
4) Bear your testimony.
6) Refreshments (unless the program follows a dinner).
I hope this helps you create a special evening for your family or group of young women. For additional presentation ideas, please see this post.