“Sharing Time: Reverence for Creation,” Friend, Sept. 1996, 44
The heavens and the earth were created by Jesus Christ under the direction of Heavenly Father. Everywhere you look you can see all that They created for you. The sun, stars, seas, animals, trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and all else show that you have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who love you (see Moses 6:63). It pleased Them to create the earth and all the things upon it to bless you and help you be happy (see D&C 59:18–20).
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman on earth, and placed them in a beautiful garden called Eden. Adam was commanded to take care of the garden (see Moses 3:15) and to name “every living creature” (see Moses 3:19).
You are part of Adam’s family, and you, too, can help care for the earth. You can plant a flower, a tree, or a garden to make the earth more beautiful. Plants also provide oxygen, food, and shelter. You can help save water and food by not using more than you need. You can help to keep the earth clean and beautiful by picking up litter wherever you see it.
You can care for the animals by being kind to them and providing food and shelter for them. They are our friends and helpers, given to us for our benefit and use and to gladden our hearts (see D&C 59:16–18). Some help us work, some give us food and fiber for clothing, and many give us affection and companionship as pets.
You can thank Heavenly Father for these blessings when you pray. When you care for the plants and animals of the earth, you are showing your gratitude and reverence for these wonderful creations.
Use the bottom of a small shoe or gift box to create a garden. You may also use a stiff piece of paper or a piece of cardboard. If you are using a box, cut one side away from the box. Color the bottom of the box, the piece of paper, or the piece of cardboard green. Mount page 45 on lightweight cardboard; color each picture, then cut them all out. Fold back the tabs along the dotted lines. Glue the tab of each garden piece to the green surface in any arrangement you wish. If you are using a box, you may wish to color sky, clouds, and a sun on the inside ends and back.
1. Explain to the children that we can show reverence for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when we learn about and appreciate the Creation. Invite seven of the older children to participate in a readers’ theater about the Creation, using Moses 2 and 3 as your script, with each child representing one day and holding up a picture to represent that day. The script could be printed on the back of the pictures. After the readers theater, have all the children close their eyes. Change the order of the pictures slightly. Then tell them to open their eyes and put the pictures back in the proper order. Send a note home with each child asking the parents to talk with their children about how the Creation helps them feel reverence for God.
2. Tell the children that many Primary songs teach about the beauties of nature and the Creation and help us feel a great gratitude and reverence toward Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Give each child a piece of blank paper and have them fold it in fourths, then label the sections: Plants; Weather; Animals and Insects; and Sun, Moon, and Stars. Invite the children to sing songs from the Nature and Seasons section of the Children’s Songbook. As you sing each song, have the children make a mark under the sections the song refers to. Count up how many marks are under each section after each song. Suggest that the children share this activity with their families.
3. Showing pictures of different animals, discuss the variety placed on earth at the time of the Creation. Ask the children what their favorite animals are and why. Talk about the insects that live in your area. Ask which insects the children find interesting. Give each child a piece of paper. Have them fold the paper in half, draw an outline of half of a butterfly (with the body next to the fold), cut it out, unfold the paper, then color the butterfly. Staple the butterfly through the centerfold to a straw, or glue it along the centerfold to a stick. By moving the straw or stick up and down, the wings of the butterfly will flap up and down.
4. Teach the children that animals were an important part of the Creation and were given for our benefit and use. Discuss the care we should give, and the respect we should show, to animals. Explain that when we protect and care for them, we show a reverence for life and the Creator of it. Place pictures of different animals, and pieces of paper with descriptions of what the animals do for us, on the wall or chalkboard with their backs to the room. Play a game by matching an animal’s picture with the description of what it does for us. For example: cow—gives us milk; sheep—gives us wool; dog—herds and guards sheep, helps people who are blind, does tricks, is a pet; cat—catches rodents, is a pet; horse—pulls heavy loads, gives us rides.
5. Invite a doctor or a nurse in your ward to speak to the children about their bodies and how to keep them healthy. Explain that our bodies are among the greatest creations of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Tell them that because their bodies are sacred and their spirits dwell in them, they should be well cared for and appreciated. We show gratitude and reverence for life and the Creation when we care for our bodies.
6. Explain that our senses help us appreciate the beauties and goodness of the Creation. Divide the children into five groups. Rotate the groups around the room and discuss a different one of the five senses with each group. Have one group close their eyes and taste foods that are salty, sweet, or bitter. Have the next group close their eyes and touch objects that are soft, rough, prickly, or cold. Have the next group use their eyes and see to put together a small puzzle or describe what is in the room. Have the next group close their eyes and hear sounds that squeak, rattle, hum, or crackle. Have the next group close their eyes and smell a flower, vanilla, burned toast, chocolate. When we understand and appreciate our magnificent senses, we are grateful to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and we feel reverent. Suggest that the children share their experience with the senses during a family home evening.
7. Discuss the kinds of animals the children keep as pets. Invite several to talk about the kind of love and care their pet requires. Read “Little Lamb” (Friend, Apr. 1994, p. 40). Explain that all life is sacred and should be treated with reverence.
8. For additional Sharing Time help on “Reverence for the Creation,” please see the following Friend Sharing Time pages: “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” Nov. 1988, pp. 44–45; “I Live in a Beautiful World,” Apr. 1989, pp. 14–15; “Ears to Hear,” July 1990, pp. 12–13. See also Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 23–26.