“Sharing Time: The Gift of Obedience,” Liahona, Dec. 1996, 14
December is full of thoughts of gifts—gifts that you will receive and gifts that you will give.
Father in Heaven has given you many great gifts—your life, your body, your agency, and others. However, one of his gifts was so valuable and important that he asked you to remember it always. Heavenly Father gave the gift of his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that you might live with him again (see John 3:16).
The Savior gave us a gift, too. He gave his life. He spent his life teaching us how to live—how to love one another, how to forgive one another, and how to help one another. He then gave up his life so that we can be resurrected. He also suffered for our sins so that we might be forgiven. He is the greatest gift of all.
What gift could you give Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Your love and your willingness to obey the commandments are the only things you really can give. Everything else already belongs to the Lord (see Ps. 24:1). When you give your love and obedience to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, you are filled with a spirit of happiness, joy, peace, and love.
This year remember Jesus Christ, and give the gift of obedience.
Mount the picture strips on heavier paper, then carefully cut them out. Glue each picture strip to form a tube. Place the tube with the starry sky inside the tube with the trees and the buildings as shown in the illustration. As you turn the inside tube counterclockwise, you will see Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem for the birth of the Savior.
Explain to the children that Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ want us to be happy now and in the future. We will be happy when we keep the commandments. Discuss with the children how they feel when they keep the commandments and how they feel when they do not. Tell them the story of Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah (see Mosiah 27:8–24, 32; Mosiah 28:1–4; and Alma 36:24–26).
Have the children identify the commandment and the promised blessing that are mentioned in each of the following scriptures: Malachi 3:10 [Mal. 3:10] (tithing/blessings will be poured out upon you); D&C 82:1 (forgive others/the Lord will forgive you); 3 Nephi 18:7 [3 Ne. 18:7] (remember Jesus/you will have his Spirit to be with you); Mark 16:16 (baptism/you shall be saved); Exodus 19:5 [Ex. 19:5] (obedience/you will be the Lord’s treasure); Mosiah 2:41 (keep the commandments/you will be blessed and happy); D&C 89:18–20 (the Word of Wisdom/you will have health, wisdom, knowledge); Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37 [JS—M 1:37] (study the scriptures/you will not be deceived); D&C 59:9–10 (keep the Sabbath holy/remain unspotted from the world). Make a word strip for each commandment and blessing. Then, as the children discover the phrases in each scripture, have them place the matching word strips side by side on the chalkboard or wall.
Read 1 Nephi 8 [1 Ne. 8]. Prepare simple props and costumes to help the children dramatize Lehi’s dream of the tree of life. Explain that living the gospel each day helps us taste the fruit of the tree of life, which is the love of God. Help the children understand the meaning of each part of the dream and how it relates to their present lives (see 1 Ne. 11).
Invite several families with Primary-age children to share how they remember Jesus during the month of December. Encourage the families to bring items the children can look at and possibly handle.