Old Testament 2022
May 23–29. Joshua 1–8; 23–24: “Be Strong and of a Good Courage”

“May 23–29. Joshua 1–8; 23–24: ‘Be Strong and of a Good Courage,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Old Testament 2022 (2021)

“May 23–29. Joshua 1–8; 23–24,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2022

Moses ordaining Joshua

Illustration of Moses ordaining Joshua, by Darrell Thomas

May 23–29

Joshua 1–8; 23–24

“Be Strong and of a Good Courage”

As you read Joshua 1–8 and 23–24, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What will you do to discover what the children you teach need to learn from these chapters?

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

Draw a picture on the board of something from one of the stories in Joshua 1–8; 23–24, and see if the children can guess the story it comes from. For example, you could draw a river or a city wall.

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Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children

Joshua 1:8

I can think about the scriptures day and night.

The Lord told Joshua that if he meditated on the scriptures and followed the counsel in them, he would have success leading the Israelites into the promised land. What can you do to teach the children of the great blessings that come from the scriptures?

Possible Activities

  • Give each child a picture or drawing of the sun and the moon. Read to them from Joshua 1:8: “Meditate [on the scriptures] day and night.” Explain that meditate means to think deeply about something. Repeat the phrase several times, and invite the children to hold up the sun when you say “day” and the moon when you say “night.” Let the children repeat the phrase with you.

  • Ask the children to name things they do during the day and things they do at night. Tell them that Joshua was told to think about the scriptures day and night. Help them think of stories or teachings from the scriptures that they could think about day and night. Invite them to draw a picture of themselves or their family studying the scriptures. Why do they like studying the scriptures? How are they blessed when they do?

Joshua 3

I must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven.

The story of Joshua leading the Israelites through the Jordan River into the promised land provides an opportunity to teach the children that we must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Possible Activities

  • Review some details of the story of the children of Israel crossing the Jordan River to enter the promised land (see “Joshua the Prophet” in Old Testament Stories). Then show a picture of Jesus being baptized, and tell the children that Jesus was baptized in the same river. Invite the children to share other things they know about Jesus’s baptism.

  • Sing a song about baptism with the children, such as “Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, 100–101). Help them identify what this song teaches us about why Jesus was baptized and why we should follow His example. Let the children share their feelings about being baptized. Talk about what the children can do now to prepare to be baptized when they are eight years old.

    girl standing in baptismal font

    We must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Joshua 24:15

I can choose to serve Jesus Christ.

Joshua’s final message to his people was that they had the choice to continue to serve the Lord or to forsake Him. With the same love that Joshua had for his people, you can encourage the children you teach to choose to serve the Lord “this day.”

Possible Activities

  • Ask the children to talk about some of the choices they have made today. Read to the children from Joshua 24:15: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” How have the children chosen to serve the Lord today? What are some ways we can choose to serve Him every day?

  • Sing a song about making good choices, such as “Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, 160–61). How do we feel when we choose to serve Jesus Christ? Invite the children to draw pictures of themselves doing something to serve the Lord. Share a story from your life or from a Church magazine about choosing to serve the Lord.

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Teach the Doctrine: Older Children

Joshua 1–4; 6

“Be strong and of a good courage.”

After Joshua became the leader of the Israelites, the Lord encouraged him by saying, “Be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:6). What can the children learn from Joshua about how to be strong and courageous for Christ?

Possible Activities

  • Invite the children to find the phrase that is repeated in Joshua 1:6, 9, and 18, and write it on the board (see also verse 7). Help the children think of reasons we might need this message, just as Joshua did. Review as a class some of the stories in Joshua 1–4; 6 (see also “Joshua the Prophet” and “Rahab and the Spies” in Old Testament Stories), and ask the children to identify how the people in these stories showed courage and strength.

  • Invite the children to talk about someone they know who is strong and courageous for Jesus Christ. Encourage them to write down something they would like to do to be stronger and more courageous for Christ.

Joshua 1:8

I can meditate on the scriptures day and night.

One way the Lord helped Joshua prepare for the challenges he faced was by encouraging him to “meditate” on the scriptures “day and night.” How might this counsel bless the children you teach?

Possible Activities

  • Invite the children to write down how much time they spend in an average day on various activities. Then invite them to read Joshua 1:8, looking for something that we all need to do every day and night. Ask them to find words and phrases in this verse that teach us about the blessings of studying the scriptures. How can meditating on the scriptures help us have success in the other things we do each day?

  • Invite the children to read together the following scriptures: Joshua 1:8; 1 Nephi 15:23–24; 2 Nephi 31:20; 32:3; Jacob 4:6; Helaman 3:29–30. Ask the children to find a word or phrase in each passage that teaches them about the power of studying the scriptures. What goals can they set for their personal scripture study?

Joshua 24:15

I can choose to serve Jesus Christ.

Among Joshua’s final words to the Israelites was a plea to “choose … this day whom ye will serve.” Ponder how this counsel could also bless the children you teach.

Possible Activities

  • Invite the children to create a poster using some of the key words and phrases in Joshua 24:15. Let them share their posters and explain why they chose those words. How can we show God that we have chosen to serve Him?

  • Invite the children to suggest situations in which they might have to decide to choose God over other things. Ask them to consider what they would do. Why is it important to “choose … this day” rather than waiting for the situation to arise? How will we be blessed when we make the right choice?

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Encourage Learning at Home

Invite the children to choose something you talked about that they would like to share with their family. Encourage them to think of a way they can share it this coming week.

Improving Our Teaching

Help children become better learners. Your purpose in teaching children is not just to impart truth to them. You should also help them develop into self-reliant seekers of truth.