To strengthen each child’s desire to live the Word of Wisdom.
Daniel 1:1–7—Daniel and his friends are trained in the king’s court.
Daniel 1:8–16—They eat plain food and refuse the king’s wine (Note: Pulse means foods made from seeds and grains).
Daniel 1:17–21—God gives them knowledge and wisdom.
Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Discuss with the children the healthy foods that are mentioned in the Word of Wisdom (see D&C 89:11–12, 16). Notice that grains are mentioned, which is what Daniel and his friends wanted to eat. Then discuss which substances the Word of Wisdom specifically tells us are harmful to our bodies (see D&C 89:5–9). Explain that the Prophet Joseph Smith defined “hot drinks” as tea and coffee. Modern prophets have added drugs, when used inappropriately, to this harmful list.
Bring to class pictures (or make wordstrips) of foods and substances listed in the Word of Wisdom. Make two signs that say “Good for us” and “Not good for us.” Distribute the pictures or the wordstrips to the children and let them take turns placing their picture by the appropriate sign.
Satan tries to convince us through advertising and peer pressure that disobeying the Word of Wisdom is fun and exciting and that it will not harm us. Discuss with the children the ways others might try to get them to use tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, or drugs. They might bring out ideas such as, “A little won’t hurt you,” “It makes you feel good,” or “Once won’t hurt.”
Put words such as the following on small pieces of paper: tea, beer, cigarettes. Have class members draw a slip of paper and role-play how they would respond to peer pressure to indulge in that item. Point out that in each case, even though it can be said in various ways, the answer is always “No!”
Play “Simon Says” by giving commands of things the body can do, such as “Simon says, ‘Stand on one foot’” or “Simon says, ‘Wave your right hand.’” As long as the command is preceded by the phrase “Simon says,” the children should obey. If you leave off that phrase, they should not obey the command. After a few minutes, discuss with the children all the wonderful things our bodies can do. Remind them of the things our bodies are constantly doing that we don’t even have to think about, like breathing, pumping blood through our veins, healing illnesses, sending messages from the brain to nerve endings, and so on. Suggest that the children express gratitude in their prayers to Heavenly Father for the great gift of their physical bodies. Encourage the children to show their gratitude for their physical bodies by following the Word of Wisdom.
Tell the children the following story:
In 1919 Creed Haymond was a runner representing his college in an annual athletic meet involving 1,700 men. The night before the meet, Creed’s coach said, “Creed, I’m having the boys take a little sherry wine tonight. I want you to have a little.”
“I can’t do it, Coach.”
“But Creed, I’m not trying to get you to drink. I know what you Mormons believe. I’m giving you this as a tonic.”
The coach continued trying to coax Creed into taking some of the wine, but Creed refused.
But later Creed thought, “What if I make a poor showing tomorrow; what can I say to the coach?” He was going against the fastest man in the world. Nothing less than his best would do. His teammates were doing as they were told. They believed in their coach. What right had he to disobey? Only one right, his belief in the Word of Wisdom. He prayed that the Lord would increase his testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and then he went to sleep.
The next morning, all the boys on the team except Creed were sick.
During the meet it was evident that something was wrong with Creed’s team. One after another his teammates fell far below their own records. Then the 110-yard (100-meter) dash was announced; it and the 220-yard (200-meter) dash were Creed Haymond’s races.
The starter shot the pistol, and every man started running except Creed Haymond. The earth gave way because of a hole made by a previous runner, and Creed came down on his knees. But in a flash he was up again, and at the last moment he swept past the leader to win the race.
Through a mistake in arrangement, the finals of the 220 came immediately after the semifinals. Creed had already run three races and had just barely finished his semifinal heat in the 220. He went to the starter to ask for some time to catch his breath. But the starter had been ordered to begin the race, so he had to call the men to their marks.
This time Creed shot from his marks and sprinted away from the field. Creed ran that race in twenty-one seconds, the fastest time the 220 had ever been run by any human being. (Adapted from “I Can’t Do It, Coach,” in Inspiring Stories for Young Latter-day Saints, comp. Leon Hartshorn , pp. 123–28.)
Discuss with the class the blessings that Creed Haymond received because he kept the Word of Wisdom.
Sing or read the words to “The Word of Wisdom” (Children’s Songbook, p. 154).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.