“Sharing Time: Clean Again,” Friend, Mar. 2004, 14
One day Lincoln’s friends told him that they had pretended to put money into the school’s pencil machine. They told the secretary that they didn’t get a pencil, and she gave them one. Lincoln decided to give it a try.
At recess Lincoln sat on a bench and looked at his free pencil. He felt very sad inside. He wanted to do what was right. He told the secretary what he had done and gave her the pencil. Lincoln felt better.
Have you ever done something wrong and wished you could make it right? Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with Him, but no unclean person can live with Him (see Moses 6:57). Heavenly Father knows that everyone will make mistakes, so He has given us a way to become clean again. We must repent.
Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He suffered so we would not have to suffer if we repent (see D&C 19:16). Because Jesus Christ paid for our sins with His suffering, when we do our part by repenting and not making the same mistake again, we can be clean again.
Mount page 15 on heavy paper; then carefully cut out the pieces of the mobile.
Draw or glue a picture of yourself on the back of the square piece.
Fold along the dotted lines, glue the backs of the two oval pieces together, and punch holes where indicated.
Use string to connect each piece (see illustration). Tie a loop at the top; then tie a knot at the bottom.
Once a day, read a scripture listed under a picture of the Savior.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise indicated; GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. Prepare four large question marks with questions attached to the back (see below). Draw a larger question mark on the board and write the following question above it: Why did Heavenly Father send His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to the world? Show the children the four large question marks and tell them that when we discover the answers to these questions, we will know the answer to the big question.
Choose a child to leave the room. Place a “helper” sign on another child and ask him to hide question #1. Have the first child return to the room. Tell him he is to find the question. He can ask yes or no questions of the Primary children, who represent the world and can choose to tell the truth or not, or ask the “helper,” who knows where it is and will always tell him the truth. Once the question is found, have the child read and answer it. Sing the corresponding song and have the children listen for the answer in the song. (If the child needs help answering, sing the song first and let him listen for the answer.)
Questions, Answers, and Corresponding Songs: (1) Who volunteered and was chosen in the premortal life to help with Heavenly Father’s plan? (Jesus Christ), “I Lived in Heaven” (p. 4); (2) What does our Heavenly Father want for us as His children? (To be happy and choose the right), “I Need My Heavenly Father” (p. 18); (3) What did Jesus Christ do for us? (Suffered and died for us), “To Think about Jesus” (p. 71); (4) How will we be saved from our sins? (Through the Atonement of Christ), “The Third Article of Faith” (p. 123).
As the children sing “He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35), ask them to stand when they sing the answer to the big question. Answer: “To die for us and rise with living breath” (that we might live again).
Review with the children the analogy of the Primary children (representing the world) and the helper (representing our parents, prophets, and teachers). Bear testimony that the Savior makes it possible and helps us return to our Father in Heaven.
2. Wrap five boxes with the following scriptures inside: (1) Mosiah 3:16, (2) Matt. 9:35, (3) John 13:15, (4) 2 Ne. 9:21, (5) Jacob 4:11. Write the word love on a paper heart and hide it in a sixth wrapped box.
Tell the children: Pretend you accidentally broke a very valuable object. How would you feel? What would you say to the owner? What could you do to replace the broken item? What if you couldn’t afford to pay for it?
Explain: Your earthly father will help you because he loves you. He tells you that if you are sorry, are obedient, and pay what you can, he will help you by paying the difference. The Atonement is a gift for us from our loving Heavenly Father and His Son. Jesus Christ paid for our sins and made it possible for us to repent and return to Heavenly Father.
Write on the board “What Jesus Did for Us and Why.” Talk about and list the following (use pictures for younger children): (1) He atoned for Adam’s sin so little children can be saved (manual pictures 1-5 and 2-52); (2) He gave us the gospel so we can live with Him (GAK 212 and manual picture 1-6); (3) He showed us how to live so we can be happy (GAK 226 and manual picture 1-46); (4) He suffered for our sins so we can be forgiven (GAK 227); (5) He died and was resurrected so we can be resurrected (GAK 230 and 239).
Divide the children into groups. Let each group unwrap one of the first five gifts, read the scripture out loud, and match it with one of the five listed items on the board. Sing “Help Us, O God, to Understand” (p. 73). Ask: Which one of these is a free gift to us that we receive no matter what we do? (The Resurrection.) Which of these must we do something about before we can have the gift? (His paying for our sins—we must repent in order to be forgiven and live a happy life.) Show the picture of Jesus in Gethsemane (GAK 227) and explain that He suffered for the sins of the world (D&C 19:18–19). We have one more gift that we are blessed with. Open gift #6 and bear testimony of Heavenly Father’s and Jesus’ love for us.
3. To teach about Christ’s Resurrection, set up the room to look like a courtroom. Make signs for the witnesses to wear. Choose a child to be the judge. Prepare children in advance to be witnesses. Let them read through their parts ahead of time so they will feel comfortable participating. Similar to a reader’s theater, interview each of the witnesses who can testify of the death and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. (Witnesses: Joseph of Arimathaea [Matt. 27:59–60]; Nicodemus [John 19:39, 40, 42]; Mary Magdalene [John 20:11–18]; the eleven Apostles [John 20:19–21]; Thomas [John 20:24, 26–28]; Paul [1 Cor. 15:3–8]; two angels and the Apostles [Acts 1:3–11]; Joseph Smith [JS—H 1:14–20]; Sidney Rigdon [D&C 76:22]; President Gordon B. Hinckley [“He lives, the Son of God, He who was the great Jehovah … He who gave His life on Calvary’s cross in the great atoning sacrifice; He who rose from the dead the third day. … He is … our Redeemer … through whose atonement there has been opened the gate of immortality and eternal life” (Ensign, Dec. 1994, 2).])
As a lawyer for the defense, make a closing statement for the case proving that you have heard all these testimonies that Jesus was resurrected. Bear testimony that we will be resurrected also and may live again with Heavenly Father if we choose the right and follow Jesus Christ.
4. To memorize Article of Faith 1:3, write each word on an individual piece of paper. Post the wordstrips in the wrong order on a board, leaving out the “Atonement” wordstrip. Sing “The Third Article of Faith” (p. 123). Display the wordstrips and look and act dismayed that something is wrong. Tell them you are going to need their help to make it right. While the pianist plays “The Third Article of Faith,” let each child come up one at a time and exchange two wordstrips to “fix” the article so the words will all be in the correct order. The children could race against the pianist and see if they can put the words in order before she plays the song a certain number of times. When the article is complete (except for the “Atonement” wordstrip), tell them something is still wrong. There is one more wordstrip needed to make it right. Add the “Atonement” wordstrip. Repeat the Article of Faith together.
Liken this experience to our experiences in life and how we can repent to correct something we have done wrong, but that we need the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. Testify that His Atonement cleanses us of our wrongdoings or sins if we repent.
5. Help the children understand that at age eight they are accountable for their actions and have their agency to choose the right. Choosing the right will help them return to Heavenly Father. Make small signs that say “STOP” on one side and “CTR” on the other. Prepare some case studies (see TNGC, 161–62). Sing “Dare to Do Right” (p. 158), “Choose the Right Way” (p. 160–61), and “Stand for the Right” (p. 159) while passing the signs. Ask whoever is holding a sign to raise it when they sing the word right. Stop singing and give the children a case study to answer. If they know the right thing to do, they hold up the CTR side of their signs. If not, choose someone else to respond to the case study. Repeat. (Note: Remember that children younger than eight years old are not yet accountable and do not need to repent of sin. Encourage them to do what is right.)
6. Song Presentation: Prepare wordstrips using the five questions in the song “He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35) (How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness? How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go? How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death? What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?) and attach to five large question marks. Have helpers hold the questions in the order they are sung. Have five other helpers hold the following pictures out of order (The Birth of Jesus—GAK 200, Christ and the Children—GAK 216, The Crucifixion—GAK 230, The Resurrected Jesus Christ—GAK 239, Boy Being Baptized—manual picture 1-11). Sing the song, having the children listen closely to see which pictures they should change the order of. Allow the children to make some changes. Sing again.
7. Additional Friend resources: “Before the New Testament,” Apr. 2000, 15; Sharing Time ideas #1, 2, and 3, Apr. 1999, 13; Sharing Time idea #1, Feb. 1999, 46; “The Savior’s Atonement,” Mar. 2002, 2; “‘He Is Not Here, But Is Risen,’” Apr. 2000, inside front cover.