Lesson 30

I Can Forgive Others

“Lesson 30: I Can Forgive Others,” Primary 1 (2000), 98–100


To encourage each child to be forgiving.


  1. Prayerfully study Genesis 37:12–28; 41:38–43; 42:1–8; 45:1–15; Matthew 18:21–22; and Luke 23:33–34.

  2. Prepare small pieces of paper and write on each piece a statement such as one of the following:

    • Someone hit you and pushed you down.

    • Someone won’t let you play a game.

    • Someone broke something of yours.

    • Someone called you an unkind name.

    • Someone took what you were playing with and won’t share it.

    Prepare a piece of paper for each child in the class (create more situations if necessary). Put the papers in a small box labeled “Forgiveness Box.”

  3. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible.

    2. Picture 1-47, Children Quarreling; picture 1-57, Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers (Gospel Art Picture Kit 109; 62525); picture 1-58, Joseph Making Himself Known to His Brothers; picture 1-59, The Crucifixion (Gospel Art Picture Kit 230; 62505).

  4. Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Display picture 1-47, Children Quarreling.

  • What are these children doing?

  • Why do you think they are quarreling?

  • How do you think they feel?

  • What could these children say to each other to end the quarreling and make themselves feel better?

Review from the previous lesson how important it is to say “I’m sorry.” Explain that after the children say they are sorry, they should forgive each other. This means that they should not be angry at each other anymore and they should be friends. Remind the children of the story about Matt and Travis from the previous lesson. Matt forgave Travis for taking his toys. They were still friends.

Joseph forgave his brothers


Display picture 1-57, Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers. Tell the story of Joseph being sold into Egypt, as found in Genesis 37:12–28.

  • How do you think Joseph felt when his brothers sold him to be a slave in Egypt?

Explain that Joseph became an important man in Egypt (see Genesis 41:38–43). After many years, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to get food because they didn’t have enough food in their own country. They found out that Joseph was still alive and that he was an important man in Egypt (see Genesis 42:1–8; 45:1–15).

Display picture 1-58, Joseph Making Himself Known to His Brothers.

  • How do you think Joseph felt to be with his brothers again? (See Genesis 45:14–15.)

  • Was Joseph angry with his brothers? (See Genesis 45:5.)

  • How do you think Joseph’s brothers felt toward him?

  • How did Joseph show he had forgiven his brothers? (See Genesis 45:5–15.)


Have one child pretend to be Joseph and the other children pretend to be Joseph’s brothers. Help the children act out the story of Joseph being reunited with his brothers and forgiving them.

Jesus told us to be forgiving

Hold up a copy of the Bible. Explain that in the Bible, Jesus told us to be forgiving. One of Jesus’ apostles asked him about forgiving others (see Matthew 18:21–22). Jesus told him that we should always be forgiving. Explain that the Bible also tells us that Jesus was forgiving.

Display picture 1-59, The Crucifixion. Explain that the soldiers were very cruel to Jesus. They beat him and spit on him. The soldiers drove nails through Jesus’ hands and feet and hung him on a cross to die. Explain that Jesus forgave the soldiers. He wasn’t angry with the soldiers for what they had done to him. (Be careful not to be too dramatic as you tell this story. Some children may be very sensitive to the idea of people hurting Jesus.)

Turn to Luke 23:34 and tell the children what Jesus said when he prayed to Heavenly Father just before he died: “Father, forgive them.” Have the children repeat this phrase aloud a few times.

  • Even though the soldiers hurt Jesus, what did he do?

  • What does Jesus want us to do if someone makes us feel angry or unhappy?


Ask the children to do everything you do. Have them follow you as you stand, stretch, smile, sit down, and fold your arms. Explain that because they did everything you did, they were following you. If you follow someone, you do the same thing that person does. When we forgive others, we are following Jesus. We are doing what he did. Jesus wants us to forgive those who make us sad or upset.

We can forgive others


Show the “Forgiveness Box” and invite one child at a time to take a piece of paper out of it.

Read each statement and ask questions such as the following:

  • Has this ever happened to you?

  • How would it make you feel?

  • What should the person who made you unhappy or angry say to you?

  • What should you do or say to a person who has been unkind to you or who has made you unhappy or angry?

Tell about a time when you forgave someone and how you felt. Help the children understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be forgiving.


Help the children sing or say the words to “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 99).

Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive

All who may seem unkind to me.

Help me each day, Father, I pray;

Help me live nearer, nearer to thee.


Bear your testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be forgiving. Encourage the children to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help them forgive others.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Review the story of the prodigal son, as found in Luke 15:11–32. Use picture 1-49, The Prodigal Son. Help the children understand that the father loved his son and forgave him.

  2. Do the following finger play. Invite the children to do the actions with you.

    Two little friends, one left and one right (hold up both hands with fists closed),

    Started to quarrel and started to fight (wave fists at each other).

    Now these little friends were not happy that day,

    For they had been taught the right way to play.

    Then one little friend hid his head down in shame (lower right fist from wrist and turn away);

    The other did too, for he felt just the same (lower left fist and turn away also).

    The first little friend said, “I know what I’ll do (clap hands).

    To show you I’m sorry, I’ll ask forgiveness of you.”

    “I too am sorry,” the next one did say,

    “Let’s play and be happy the rest of the day” (fold arms and sit down).

  3. Make a simple badge for each child to wear home. Write on each badge I can be forgiving.

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Review the story from lesson 29 about two children playing (see Additional Activities for Younger Children, activity 4). Tell how the hurt child forgave the other one.

  2. Sing or say the words to “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (Children’s Songbook, p. 61) or “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” (Children’s Songbook, p. 60).

  3. Sing or say the words to “If You’re Happy” (Children’s Songbook, p. 266). Explain to the children that when we forgive those who are unkind to us, we will feel happy.