Come, Follow Me
November 18–24. James: “Be Ye Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only”

“November 18–24. James: ‘Be Ye Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2019 (2019)

“November 18–24. James,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2019

Abraham praying outside his tent

Abraham on the Plains of Mamre, by Grant Romney Clawson

November 18–24


“Be Ye Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only”

The Epistle of James contains many truths that can bless the children you teach. Follow the Spirit to determine which truths you will share with them. The ideas in this outline can also help.

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

Invite the children to share a gospel principle they remember learning with their family during the past week or from their Primary class last Sunday. After each child shares, invite another child in the class to summarize what was shared.

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Teach the Doctrine

Younger Children

James 1:5–6

I can ask Heavenly Father to help me learn what is true.

Help the children you teach understand that they can turn to Heavenly Father for wisdom. Doing so will bless them greatly when they face difficult questions.

Possible Activities

  • Help the children learn the phrase “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). How do we ask God questions? How does He answer us?

  • Show a picture of the First Vision (Gospel Art Book, no. 90), and share how reading James 1:5 prompted Joseph Smith to ask Heavenly Father to help him with a question (see Joseph Smith—History 1:1–15). Share your testimony that God answers prayers, and testify that the children can pray to Him when they have questions. Let the children draw their own pictures of Joseph Smith reading James 1:5 and praying to Heavenly Father.

James 3:1–13

I can say nice things.

As James testified, learning to say only kind things to others will help us become like Jesus Christ (see James 3:2).

Possible Activities

  • Bring something sweet and something sour for the children to taste. Help them understand that we should use our tongues to say sweet (or kind) things and not say sour (or unkind) things (see James 3:10). Help them think of examples of nice things we can say to others.

  • Give each child a simple drawing of a person speaking. Invite the children to hold it up when you say something nice we can do with our tongues (such as telling the truth, giving compliments, and offering to help someone) and put it down when you say something that we shouldn’t do with our tongues (such as telling lies, calling other people names, and refusing to obey a parent).

  • Reinforce the message of James 3:1–13 by singing together a song about being kind, such as “Kindness Begins with Me” (Children’s Songbook, 145). Suggest that the children make a “kindness jar” they can fill with pebbles or other small objects whenever they say something nice to someone.

James 5:7–11

Some of God’s blessings require patience.

Patience doesn’t always come naturally, especially for children. Consider how you can use James’s counsel to help the children you teach learn patience.

Possible Activities

  • Help the children think of times when they have had to wait for something that they really wanted. Explain that waiting for something we want without complaining is called being patient.

  • Summarize James 5:7 in your own words, and show a picture of a seed or seedling. Why do we need patience when we grow plants? What would happen if we tried to pull on the seedling to make it grow faster? Testify that God has many blessings for us, but some of them require patience.

  • Share the story of Job, who is mentioned in James 5:11 as an example of patience (see “Chapter 46: Job,” Old Testament Stories, 165–69, or the corresponding video on How was Job blessed for being patient?

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Teach the Doctrine

Older Children

James 1:5–6

Heavenly Father will help me learn truth if I seek His help.

Although the children you teach may seem young, they are only a few years younger than Joseph Smith was when he read James 1:5 and was inspired to approach Heavenly Father in prayer. Consider how you can help the children you teach build their faith that God will help them when they lack wisdom.

Possible Activities

  • Ask the children to tell you the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision in their own words (see Joseph Smith—History 1:5–19; see also the video “Joseph Smith’s First Vision” on How did James 1:5 help Joseph? Help the children think of examples of other people in the scriptures who received an answer to their prayers (such as Nephi [1 Nephi 11:1–6] and the brother of Jared [Ether 2:18–3:9]). What are some things we can ask Heavenly Father in prayer?

  • Read with the children Joseph Smith—History 1:10–14. Invite the children to find things Joseph did to receive answers to his questions. How can we follow Joseph Smith’s example when we have questions?

James 1:22–27; 2:14–26

“Faith without works is dead.”

How will you help the children see the connection between what they believe and what they do?

Possible Activities

  • Show the children a flashlight without batteries, a pencil without lead, or something else that is useless or “dead.” Ask the children to read James 2:14–17. How do these objects illustrate the truth in these verses?

  • Invite the children to quietly read James 1:22–27; 2:14–26. Then invite them to share what they could do to show that they are doers of the word. For instance, do they know someone who is sick or lonely who they might visit, or could they resolve to serve their families more? You could also remind them of words they might have heard in sacrament meeting today. How can we be doers of these words?

James 3:1–13

I can control the things I say.

The words we say to each other may seem unimportant, but as James testified, they can have a powerful influence, for good or bad.

Possible Activities

  • Is there someone in the ward, perhaps one of the children you teach, who has worked with horses or knows something about boats? You could invite him or her to provide insights about James’s teachings in James 3:3–4 about using kind words, or provide some of your own insights. What do we learn about controlling our tongues from these examples?

  • Invite the children to read James 3:1–13 and to draw a picture of something they find that teaches about controlling our tongues. Give them time to share their picture and what they learned.

  • After reviewing James 3:1–13 together, review the standards for language in For the Strength of Youth (20–21). Help the children think of something they could do to improve the way they speak to others, and encourage them to set personal goals.

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Encourage Learning at Home

Invite the children to pray to Heavenly Father with a question or try to be more patient during the coming week. Ask them to share their experience in the next class.

Improving Our Teaching

Help children be active. “As you teach children, allow them to build, draw, color, write, and create. These things are more than fun activities—they are essential to learning” (Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 25).