“Sharing Time: My Gospel Standards,” Friend, Feb. 1997, 8
Heavenly Father has given you agency, the power to choose between right and wrong, good and evil.
When you decide to choose the right, now and in the future, you are setting a standard for yourself. A standard is a pattern that guides your life. Good standards will help you keep the commandments of God and be obedient.
“My Gospel Standards,” found on the back of the Primary My Achievement Days booklet,* can help you begin to set standards for your life. Use them to guide you. They will help you make important choices and be obedient.
There is a set of “My Gospel Standards” cards on the next page. Below, under “Instructions,” is a list of activities for using the cards. These cards and activities will help you remember each of these standards. On the blank card, write in an additional standard that you feel will especially help you be obedient to Heavenly Father’s commandments. You may want to share this special gospel standard with a parent.
Remove page 9/10 from the magazine and cover both sides with clear contact paper (optional). Carefully cut out the cards along the dark lines, then try some of the following activities.
Ask to be in charge of a game for your family home evening. Have your family sit in a circle. As your family sings “Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, page 160), pass one of the My Gospel Standards cards around the circle. When the song ends, have the family member holding the card read the standard aloud, then tell how that standard could help or has helped him or her choose the right. Selecting a different card each time, play several games.
Carefully read each card. Choose one to memorize, and try to live that standard for a week. During the week, carry the card with you. Read it many times each day and think about how you can follow that standard. Report your experiences to someone in your family.
With a group of friends or family, divide into two teams. Give each team one card. Tell each team to sing a phrase from as many Primary songs or Church hymns as they can that help them remember to keep that standard. Change cards after every round.
With the permission of a parent, place the cards around the house to help you and the other members of your family remember the standards. For example, mount “I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father” on the television.
When you notice one of your friends or family members keeping one of the standards, write them a note saying that you noticed. Include the card with the note if you wish.
At bedtime, before you go to sleep, ask a parent to discuss with you one of the standards. You could select the standards you wish to discuss.
Mount two envelopes on a sheet of paper. Place all the cards in one envelope. When you memorize a standard, move that card from one envelope to the other, and keep track of how many days it takes.
I will remember my baptismal covenants and listen to the Holy Ghost.
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father.
I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and serve a mission. I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.
I am a child of God
I know Heavenly Father loves me, and I love him.
I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.
I am trying to follow Jesus.
Note: This month you might practice “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (Children’s Songbook, p. 152).
1. Tell the children that the scriptures are full of stories of people who obeyed the Lord and of people who did not. Divide into four groups. Ask a member of the Primary presidency or a teacher to help with each group. Give each group a scripture story. Have those with the positive examples dramatize the story. Have those with the negative examples tell the story and discuss some of the consequences of disobedience. Allow enough time for practice, performance, and discussion. Give each child a copy of the scripture references so that all of them can share this activity with their families. Story possibilities: King Saul disobeys and saves the animals of the Amalekites for sacrifice (see 1 Sam. 15:1–3, 13–15, 21–22, 26, 35); Daniel prays to the Lord and is cast into the lions’ den (see Dan. 6:7–23); Jonah flees from preaching in Nineveh (see Jonah 1:1–4, 10–12, 15, 17; Jonah 2:1, 10); Joseph and the Wise Men obey God and save the baby Jesus (see Matt. 2:7–12, 13–15).
2. Discuss how “My Gospel Standards,” found on the back of the My Achievement Days booklet, can help us be obedient to God’s commandments. Have the children sit in a large circle. Give two or three of them a My Gospel Standards card. As music is played, they pass the cards. When the music stops, each child holding a card reads it and tells what he or she could do to follow the standard.
3. Explain that our latter-day prophets are wonderful examples of obedience. They also give good counsel to help us be obedient to Heavenly Father’s commandments. Place pictures or the names of all the latter-day prophets on the wall or chalkboard. On the floor, place pieces of paper facedown with the quotes from, stories about, or accomplishments of the prophets. Let a child throw a beanbag onto one of the papers, pick it up, and read it aloud. Help the children know which prophet matches the story or quote. Sing “Latter-day Prophets” (Friend, Apr. 1995, p. 5 and Oct. 1995, p. 24) at the end of this activity. Prophets and matching information: Joseph Smith—translated the Book of Mormon; Brigham Young—led early pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley; John Taylor—was shot in Carthage Jail with Joseph Smith but lived; Wilford Woodruff—wrote extensive journals, recording much early Church history; Lorenzo Snow—promised Saints in southern Utah an end to the drought if they paid their tithing; Joseph F. Smith—when asked if he was a Mormon by an angry man who had threatened to kill Mormons, said, “Yes siree; dyed in the wool, true blue, through and through” (see Friend, Oct. 1996, p. 44); George Albert Smith—sent food, clothing, and bedding to Saints in Europe after World War II; David O. McKay—said, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home” (see Friend, Nov. 1986, p. 24); Joseph Fielding Smith—the son and grandson of prophets, he was an Apostle for sixty years before becoming President of the Church; Harold B. Lee—instituted the Church welfare system to care for the poor and needy; Spencer W. Kimball—because he had cancer of the vocal cords, there were doubts that he would ever speak again, but he worked and worked and did speak again; Ezra Taft Benson—encouraged Church members to read the Book of Mormon every day; Howard W. Hunter—called upon Church members to be more Christlike; Gordon B. Hinckley—said, “Try a little harder to be a little better” (see Ensign, May 1995, p. 88).
4. Invite several parents to share family rules and why it is important for the children in their families to obey those rules. Discuss the rules of kindness and reverence that make Primary a happy place to be. This may be an appropriate time to make a list of rules of kindness and reverence for your Primary.
5. Have the children look up Exodus 20:7 [Ex. 20:7]. Read it aloud. Explain that the names of Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ are holy, sacred, and important. Heavenly Father has commanded that we speak His name and the name of His Son carefully and reverently. Tell the children that you have questions for them to discuss concerning the use of these special names. Divide them into four groups. Give each group a question to discuss, then share their conclusions with the others. After they have shared, remind them that it is important to use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently. Possible questions: (1) When is it appropriate to use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (2) What can I do when those around me use these names irreverently? (3) What can I do when I am tempted to use them irreverently myself? (4) When I hear these names used irreverently in the media, what should I do?
6. Have the younger children sing “Quickly I Obey” (Children’s Songbook, p. 197). Let them pantomime things their mothers or fathers might ask them to do.
7. For additional Sharing Time resources on obedience, please see the following Friend pages: “I Believe in Being Obedient,” May 1995, p. 42; “Obey the Law,” Oct. 1995, pp. 12–13; “Obedience,” Nov. 1995, IFC; “Keep the Commandments—in This There Is Safety and Peace,” April 1994, pp. 12–13; “Obedient Servants of God,” May 1991, pp. 12–13.