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.
A Bible for each child.
A Doctrine and Covenants.
A piece of paper and a pencil for each child.
Picture 6-20, Joseph Forgiving His Brothers.
Suggested Lesson Development
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.
Write words such as angry, peaceful, happy, jealous, loving, unhappy, critical, and friendly on separate slips of paper. Write the words Forgiving and Unforgiving on the chalkboard, and pass out the slips of paper to the children. Have the children take turns telling what their word is and putting it on the chalkboard under the word that it goes with.
Bring simple props such as robes and scarves and have the children role-play one part or several parts of the story of Joseph and his brothers.
Make a “medal” for each child. Attach a ribbon or string to it so it can be worn as a necklace. Read Matthew 6:14–15 with the children and discuss its meaning. Help them understand that if they forgive others, they will feel happier and Heavenly Father will forgive them of their wrongdoings. Ask the children to think of someone who has hurt their feelings. Challenge them to pray for that person and then do something kind for them. In the Olympics the best athletes receive medals for their performances. Spiritual performance is much more important than athletic performance, and each of us will be blessed by forgiving those who offend us. As each child accepts the challenge to return kindness for an unkind deed, give her or him a “medal” as a reminder of what the child promised to do.
Talk with the children about forgiveness. You may wish to bring a bag and some rocks, books, or other heavy items. Have a child hold the bag as you put each rock in. Explain that each rock represents an angry or hurt feeling. Have the child walk around the room or just hold the bag for a while. Explain that when we keep our angry and hurt feelings, they become burdens to us. If we can forgive others, our burden will be gone and we will feel better. (Take the rocks out.) Emphasize that people are more important than problems. It is important to forgive others and continue to love and care about them. Encourage the children to be as forgiving as Joseph was to his brothers.
Suggest that the children share this activity with their families. Encourage them to discuss how keeping angry or hurt feelings is like carrying around a bag of heavy rocks.
Write Doctrine and Covenants 64:10 on the chalkboard; then read it and discuss it with the children. Explain that when we are full of angry feelings toward others, we cannot have the Holy Ghost to be with us. Heavenly Father wants us to forgive so we can be free of those angry feelings and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Help the children memorize the scripture by having them recite it while you erase one word at a time.
Sing or read the words to the first verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 99).