To help each child understand that happiness comes when we forgive others, as Jesus Christ did.
Prayerfully study Luke 23:13–34 and John 18:12–14, 19–24; 19:1–5.
Prepare to sing or say the words to the first verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 99).
Make the following wordstrip:
Prepare to tell about a time when you forgave and how you felt about forgiving.
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week. You may want to ask the children to report on their experiences with service.
We Can Forgive Others
Jesus Christ Forgave Others
Happiness Comes When We Forgive Others
Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that the child ask Heavenly Father to help the children forgive others.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”
Bring a large bag and some rocks. Discuss with the children how we often become angry or seek revenge when people have been unkind to us. During this discussion, put the rocks in the bag one by one.
When the bag has a number of rocks in it, let the children take turns carrying it around. Ask them to try to clap their hands or give someone a hug while carrying the bag. Explain that being angry at others for the unkind things that they have done is like carrying a bag of rocks. It is a heavy burden for us.
Have the children say “I will forgive” a few times as you take the rocks out of the bag. Then have the children carry the bag again. Explain that when we forgive others, we no longer have to carry a heavy burden. We feel much happier when we forgive.
Sing or say the words to “Do As I’m Doing” (Children’s Songbook, p. 276). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual.
Repeat the song a few times, letting the children take turns choosing an action to do. Remind the children that when we follow someone, we do what they do. If we want to be followers of Jesus Christ, we should do what he does, including showing forgiveness to those who are unkind to us.
Tell the story of Joseph and his brothers, as found in Genesis 37 and 41–45. You may want to have the children act out the story. Discuss with the children how Joseph forgave his brothers (see Genesis 45:1–15).
Make for each child a copy of the picture at the end of the lesson. Give the children crayons or pencils and have them draw happy faces on the children in the picture. Then let them color the pictures. Ask the children to take the pictures home and put the pictures where they will remind them to forgive others.
Have the children role-play the story about Kent and the three situations on pages 219–20 of the lesson (in the first situation, have the children act out how Jan could show forgiveness to her brother). Or create some similar situations more appropriate for the children in your class and have the children act them out.