“Sharing Time: The Scriptures Show the Way,” Friend, Aug. 2006, 16–18
Even though we know that we will be blessed for being obedient, sometimes it might seem hard to keep the commandments. The scriptures give us examples of people who kept the commandments even when it was hard.
After Lehi and his family left Jerusalem they traveled for several days in the wilderness. Then the Lord commanded that Nephi and his brothers return to Jerusalem to get the brass plates, the scriptures, from Laban. Laman and Lemuel murmured, or complained, saying that it was a hard thing to go all the way back to Jerusalem. Nephi did not murmur. He said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). The Lord helped Nephi. Even though it was hard, he was able to get the brass plates.
Daniel was ordered not to do something that was right—he was told not to pray! Wicked men tricked the king into making a law that required anyone who prayed to be thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel still prayed three times a day. When the men caught Daniel praying, Daniel was cast into the lions’ den. Did the lions kill Daniel? No. Daniel was protected by an angel sent from God. God blessed Daniel for keeping His commandment to pray.
We can follow Nephi’s and Daniel’s examples of obedience. We can obey our parents, dress modestly, use appropriate language, and read our scriptures—even when it is hard!
Cut out the pictures on this page.
Glue or tape the pictures to heavier paper.
Attach a piece of flannel or rough material to the back of the heavy paper if you would like the figures to stick to a flannel board.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Read aloud together 1 Nephi 19:23. Liken means “to compare.” We see how our lives are like the lives of the people we are reading about. We see how the Lord’s word can help us today. (See “Likening,” TNGC, 170–71.) Pass out scripture references to illustrate the following principles: Mosiah 2:17–18 (serve others); Mosiah 4:16 (help the poor); Alma 37:36–37 (pray always); Exodus 20:12 (honor our mothers and fathers); Mosiah 5:5, 7 (make and keep baptismal covenants). Ask the children to do three things: (1) read the scripture, (2) find the gospel principle and be prepared to explain it in their own words, and (3) tell how they can apply (or liken) the message in their lives today. Discuss how they and their families are blessed as they liken the scriptures to themselves. Bear testimony of the importance of the scriptures in your life. Ask, “Of all the people who have ever lived on the earth, whom do you want to be most like?” Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79), emphasizing the word like. Younger children could work in groups to discover ways that they are like each other. They could look at pictures from the scriptures and tell ways that they could be like the people in the pictures.
2. Draw a simple game board on the chalkboard with the beginning space in the bottom left corner and the finish space in the upper right corner. Draw a water line just below the finish square. Use a cutout of Noah’s ark as a marker. Place it in the beginning space below the water. Explain that the object of the game is to get the ark out of the water. Position various animal cutouts around the room. On the backs of the cutouts write a 1, 2, or the name of one of the songs from the Children’s Songbook listed under “Obedience” (see p. 310). Retell the story of Noah (see Genesis 6–8). Emphasize that Noah’s family was blessed because of their obedience. Invite the children to take turns finding an animal. If a song is listed on the back, have the children sing the song, place the animal in the ark, and move the marker three spaces. If a 1 or a 2 is selected, have the child share something our modern prophets have asked us to do, such as pay tithing, keep a journal, or read our scriptures daily. The child then places the animal on the ark and moves the marker the designated number of spaces. When the ark is out of the water, sing the third verse of “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11). Explain that we and our families will be blessed when we follow our own prophet. Sing the ninth verse of “Follow the Prophet.”
3. Display GAK 240 (Jesus the Christ). Tell the story of Alma’s repentance (see Mosiah 27). Sing the second verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99). We can be forgiven just as Alma was. Help the children memorize D&C 58:42 by writing three eight-letter words on the chalkboard:
Repeat the scripture several times, each time erasing one of the vertical columns of letters. Tell the children that we have the story of Alma in the scriptures so that we can learn from his experience. Explain, however, that the Lord no longer remembers the things that Alma did wrong. Or, to put it another way, “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him” (Ezekiel 33:16). Demonstrate repentance by showing a clear glass jar with water in it. (Depending upon the water in your area, you may need to add two tablespoons of vinegar to make the water clearer.) Liken this clear water to us when we came to earth. We were pure and clean. When we make wrong choices and sin, we become impure. (Pour water colored with food coloring into the jar.) But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are able to repent, even as Alma did. (Pour bleach into the jar—water should return to clear if there wasn’t too much coloring.) Then we are pure and clean again. Bear testimony of repentance. To help children understand what it means to repent, refer to the Primary 3 manual, pp. 46–49.
4. Be prepared to briefly tell the story of the stripling warriors (see Alma 53:10–22; 56 –57). Using the language of the scriptures, prepare parts for boys ages 10 and 11 that describe the stripling warriors. For example, “I am a stripling warrior, and I made a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites” (Alma 53:17); “We were all young men and were exceedingly valiant for courage” (Alma 53:20). Introduce the sharing time by briefly reviewing the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies as given on the back of GAK 311 (The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords; see also Alma 23–24). As prepared earlier, tell the story of the stripling warriors and have the older boys read their parts. Prepare simple case studies (see TNGC, 161–62) that pose questions about appropriate music, media, language, dress, and so on. Place them in a basket, and pass it up and down the rows as you hum “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (pp. 172–73). Randomly stop the music, and have the child with the basket draw out and read a case study. Let the “stripling warriors” answer what they would do because “their mothers taught them.”
5. Song presentation: “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (p. 109). Before Primary write “Search, Ponder, and Pray” on a piece of paper, and place it inconspicuously in the room. Tell the children you have written on a paper the way to get a testimony. Ask them to listen as a helper finds the paper. You are going to sing louder as the helper gets closer to the paper, softer when the helper is farther away. When the paper is found, sing the words and clap the rhythm to the first line of the chorus: “Search, ponder, and pray are the things that I must do.” Ask the children to sing and clap with you. Focus their listening by asking them to discover two words that rhyme as you sing the rest of the chorus (guide, inside), and have them sing the chorus. Ask the children to find two more words in the chorus that rhyme, but explain that these words might be harder to find because they are not near each other like guide and inside are. Sing the chorus with the children, and take their responses (do, true). Ask them to listen to the verse and find what happens every time you read the scriptures. Sing one more time. Invite the children to look up Moroni 10:3–4, which is sometimes called “Moroni’s promise.” This is one of the last things that Moroni wrote, and it is very important. As you read, ask the children to listen for words that are the same or mean the same as search, ponder, and pray. Point out that reading is one way of searching. Moroni exhorts us, or encourages us, to ponder just as the song does. Finally, the way we “ask God” is to pray. Using different words, Moroni’s promise tells how to gain a testimony. Bear your testimony of the scriptures. Tell the children that if they will search, ponder, and pray about the scriptures, they can have a testimony that they are true.
6. Friend references: “A Sister’s Example,” Feb. 2005, 47; “Ben’s Busy Day,” Jan. 2005, 40–42; “The Light,” Jan. 2005, 4–6; “I Will Go and Do,” Jan. 2004, 26; “The Lipstick Lie,” Mar. 2005, 38–40; “The Savior’s Atonement,” Mar. 2002, 2–3; “The Light Divine,” Mar. 2005, 8–9; “Crossroads,” Apr. 2004, 2–3.