“Sharing Time: One of God’s Greatest Gifts,” Friend, June 2000, 43
If you could have your choice of any gift in the world, what would it be? There are many wonderful gifts we might receive in this life, but President Wilford Woodruff taught that there is one that is more precious than all the rest. President Woodruff said, “You may have the administration of angels, you may see many miracles; … but I claim that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man.”* Heavenly Father promises this great gift to all who are baptized and keep their baptismal covenant.
When you are given a gift for your birthday, if you want to keep it, you must take care of it. It is the same with the gift of the Holy Ghost. There are important things you must do so that He will be your constant companion.
Heavenly Father gives the Holy Ghost to those who obey Him. You obey Him when you choose to be baptized. You obey Him when you pray each day and study His words in the scriptures. You obey Him when you obey your parents. You obey Him when you are kind, honest, patient, and loving toward others. You obey Him when you keep His commandments. You obey Him by remembering His Son, Jesus Christ, and trying to do what He would have you do. As you do these things, you will be worthy to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Why is it important to have the Holy Ghost as a companion? The Holy Ghost will guide you and help you to choose the right (see D&C 11:12–14). You must learn to choose the right in order to be worthy to live again with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
The Holy Ghost is called the Comforter (see John 14:26). He can give you peace and comfort when you are sad or lonely or worried.
How can you know when you have the Holy Ghost with you? When you feel love or joy or peace or patience, when you are gentle and kind, you are feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life.
Sometimes we say that the Holy Ghost “whispers.” We hear His voice with more than our ears—we “hear” Him with our minds and our hearts (see D&C 8:2).
President Ezra Taft Benson gave this important counsel: “Pray to Heavenly Father to bless you with His Spirit at all times. … The Holy Ghost is … a gift from Heavenly Father. … He whispers to you in a still, small voice to do right. When you do good, you feel good, and that is the Holy Ghost speaking to you. The Holy Ghost is a wonderful companion. He is always there to help you.” (Ensign, May 1989, page 82.)
When you are baptized, confirmed and told to receive the Holy Ghost, and keep your promises to Heavenly Father, He will bless you with the greatest gift in this world: the gift of the Holy Ghost.
To fill a treasure chest with scripture treasures, first find each scripture and fill in the blank(s) to learn some of the many ways in which the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in this life. Then cut out the scripture treasures.
Mount the remainder of page 45 on bendable cardboard or heavy paper, then cut out the treasure chest.
Fold along all the broken lines, and glue the flaps as shown.
Place the scripture treasures in the treasure chest. Whenever you find a new scripture treasure, add it to your treasure chest.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with ___________” (D&C 11:13).
“If ye will enter in by the way [baptism], and receive the Holy Ghost, it will ___________ unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Ne. 32:5).
“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, … shall ___________ you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, ___________, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, ___________” (Gal. 5:22).
“Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do ___________—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit” (D&C 11:12).
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may ___________ ___________ ___________ of all things” (Moro. 10:5).
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. Post on the chalkboard some of the roles of the Holy Ghost (to comfort, warn, testify, prompt to do good, guard, etc.) and briefly discuss them. In advance, invite 4 or 5 adults to prepare to tell one of the following stories (or similar ones). Station the storytellers around the room, divide the children into groups, and have the children move from station to station to hear each story. As they move, they might sing “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” (Hymns, no. 143), “The Still Small Voice” (CS, pp. 106–107), or “The Holy Ghost” (CS, p. 105). Tell the children to listen to each story and discover what the Holy Ghost did in the incident. Examples from the Friend:
comforted—Trying to Be Like Jesus Christ (Sep. 1997, pp. 40–41)
warned—“Stop!” (Feb. 1998, p. 15)
testified—Friend to Friend (Apr. 1997, pp. 6–7)
guarded—“Danger on the Snake River” (May 1995, pp. 8–10)
prompted to do good—“Josh’s Bear” (May 1998, pp. 40–41)
helped to choose the right—Making Friends (Mar. 1998, pp. 20–22).
After they have visited each station, gather the children together again and let them share what they learned from each story. Help them identify the many ways the Holy Ghost can bless their lives. Suggest that they share with their families the songs and stories and what they have learned about the Holy Ghost.
2. Throughout the month, each child could prepare his/her own booklet, “The Holy Ghost Helps Me Keep My Baptismal Covenant.” Help the children identify manifestations of the Holy Ghost they may have experienced, such as those mentioned in Galatians 5:22–23. Ask: “Can you think of a time when you felt peaceful?” “When do you feel most loved?” Tell about the experience Elder Robert D. Hales had at his baptism that helped him recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost (see Ensign, May 1999, pp. 32–34).
Sister Janette Beckham reported that her four-year-old grandson told his parents, “When I pray, my heart feels like a roasted marshmallow” (see Ensign, Nov. 1997, pp. 75–76). Help the children identify their own experiences with the influence of the Holy Ghost, and talk about how those experiences help them prepare to make/keep their baptismal covenants. Then have them write or draw about those experiences for their booklet. The younger children could draw about “a time when I feel love” or “I feel peace when __________________________.”
Sing “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” (Hymns, no. 143). You might share with the children an experience you have had with the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, especially as it relates to your Primary calling.
3. Sing several of the following songs. After each, ask the children to identify who is mentioned in the song. Discuss what each song teaches about the Holy Ghost and what He does for us. Have the children write the names of the songs and their responses in their “The Holy Ghost Helps Me Keep My Baptismal Covenant” booklets and/or on the chalkboard. Possible songs from the CS:
“Listen, Listen” (p. 107)—He will guide me always.
“The Still Small Voice” (pp. 106–107)—He will guide me, save me from evil, “give my soul his light.”
“The First Article of Faith” (p. 122)—He is a member of the Godhead.
“The Holy Ghost” (p. 105)—He testifies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and “makes our hearts rejoice.”
“I Like My Birthdays” (p. 104)—I can have the blessings that I need most.
“The Fourth Article of Faith” (p. 124)—Confirmation, or the laying on of hands, is one of the first ordinances of the gospel.
“I Know My Father Lives” (p. 5)—He testifies of Heavenly Father and His love.
“I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79)—He reminds us of what Jesus taught.
When the children complete their booklets, suggest that they share them with their families.
4. Do a scripture search, using the Topical Guide: “Holy Ghost, Mission of.” Ask the children to find words that describe ways in which the Holy Ghost helps us (the keywords are italicized). Have them add these words to their “The Holy Ghost Helps Me Keep My Baptismal Covenant” booklets. They might want to underline their favorites in their own scriptures.
For younger children: Read scriptures about the attributes and functions of the Holy Ghost (such as D&C 11:12, John 14:26, Jacob 4:13), shortening them to the appropriate parts and words that they can understand. Ahead of time, prepare pages with those words at the bottom for their “The Holy Ghost Helps Me Keep My Baptismal Covenant” booklets. Have the children draw something on each page that reminds them about how the influence of the Holy Ghost can teach them, lead them, speak truth to them, and help them to speak truth.
All of these things will help them keep their baptismal covenants. Even before they are baptized and confirmed, children can have the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives. He helps them gain a testimony of Jesus Christ, His mission, and the divine calling of His servants, the prophets. The power of the Holy Ghost can help them as they prepare to be baptized.
The children could repeat and memorize “I will remember my baptismal covenants and listen to the Holy Ghost” from the back of the Achievement Days booklet. See “Holy Ghost” in the Topics index of the CS for songs to support this Sharing Time. Teach another verse of “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” (Hymns, no. 143). Encourage the children to share with their families what they have learned.
5. Additional Friend resources: “In the Quiet of a Thicket,” July 1998, pp. 35–37; Making Friends, Mar. 1998, pp. 20–22; “I Can Repent,” Feb. 1996, p. 26; “A Thing Called Conscience,” Sep. 1988, pp. 10–12; “The Best Gift,” Sep. 1988, pp. 2–5; “Follow Me,” May 1999, IFC; “Whispers of the Heart,” Aug. 1991, pp. 36–37; “Kim and the Still, Small Voice,” Apr. 1996, pp. 36–38; “Stay Calm,” July 1997, pp. 16–18. See also Ensign, “To Draw Closer to God,” May 1991, pp. 65–67, and “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty,” May 1999, pp. 32–34.