“Lesson 15: Joseph Was Sold into Egypt,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 62–66
“Lesson 15,” Primary 6: Old Testament, 62–66
To teach the children that even though we may not always be able to control the things that happen to us, we can control our attitudes.
Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.
Make a set of paper figures representing the twelve sons of Jacob by folding an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper in half lengthwise (see figure 1), folding it fanlike (see figure 2), making a simple drawing (see figure 3), and cutting it out, leaving the arms and legs connected (see figure 4). After you have made twelve figures, fasten them together in a row. Write the names of Jacob’s sons on the figures: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin.
A Bible for each child.
A pearl and some sand (if they are available).
Pictures 6-16, Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers (Gospel Art Picture Kit 109; 62525), and 6-17, Oyster and Pearl.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Have the class dramatize the story of Joseph being sold into Egypt. You may want to use a few simple props, such as a robe, twenty coins or something to represent the coins, a piece of cloth, and so on. Prepare slips of paper from the scripture story such as the following, or have the children read the account directly from the scriptures:
I dreamed we were binding sheaves in the field and my sheaf arose and stood upright and your sheaves stood round about and bowed down to my sheaf.
Will you really reign over us? Because of your dreams we hate you even more.
Look, the dreamer is coming. Let’s kill him and cast him into a pit.
We shouldn’t kill him. It will be enough to cast him into the pit.
Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites. That way we will get money for him and we won’t have his blood on our hands.
We will kill a lamb and dip Joseph’s coat in the blood.
We will show it to our father and tell him we found it.
It is my Joseph’s coat. A beast has killed him.
If a lemon is available, bring one cut in thin slices for the children to taste. Then explain that we can make the lemon less sour by adding sugar and water to the lemon juice and making lemonade. Share the following quotation by Elder Hartman Rector Jr.:
“Joseph was sold by his own brothers as a slave and was purchased by Potiphar, a captain of the guard of Pharaoh. But even as an indentured servant, Joseph turned every experience and all circumstances, no matter how trying, into something good.
“… Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate, nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the commandments and made something very good of his degrading circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated, because they will not give up. They have the correct, positive attitude, and Dale Carnegie’s expression seems to apply: If you feel you have a lemon, you can either complain about how sour it is, or you can make lemonade. It is all up to you” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1972, p. 170; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 130; see also Genesis 37; 39:1–4).
Help the children understand and memorize one or both of the following scriptures:
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
Write on the chalkboard or make a chart of the first letter of each word to be memorized. For example, make the following chart for the words in Proverbs 17:22:
Point to the letters as you repeat each corresponding word. Repeat it a few times and let the children repeat it as they are able. Before long they will not need the chart. (For additional ideas on memorizing scriptures, see page xi in “Helps for the Teacher.”)
Ask the children what they might do in the following situations if they had a poor attitude, and what they would do if they had a good attitude:
You have moved into a new neighborhood and are worried that you will not have any friends.
Your little brother ate a treat that was yours.
Your school teacher is often cross with the class.
You are sick and cannot get out of bed.
You have a hard time understanding your homework.
Share the following counsel on attitudes by President Howard W. Hunter:
“I want you to know that there have always been some difficulties in mortal life, and there always will be. But knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, there really is no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair. …
“… I hope you won’t believe all the world’s difficulties have been wedged into your decade, or that things have never been worse than they are for you personally, or that they will never get better. I reassure you that things have been worse and they will always get better. They always do—especially when we live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ and give it a chance to flourish in our lives” (“An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” Ensign, Oct. 1993, p. 70).
Have the children say the thirteenth article of faith in unison. Explain that this article of faith tells what attitudes we need to have to be happy.
Review the story of Joseph with the children. You might want to show portions of the video Joseph and His Brothers (53152), which contains the complete text of the King James Version of Genesis 37–50. You might also encourage the children to watch this video with their families.
Sing or say the words to “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78) or “Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, p. 160).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.