“Lesson 37: Josiah and Ezra Read the Scriptures to the People,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 162–66
“Lesson 37,” Primary 6: Old Testament, 162–66
To teach the children that reading and following the counsel of the scriptures brings joy.
2 Kings 22:1–2—Josiah reigns in righteousness.
2 Kings 22:3–10—While repairing the temple, Hilkiah finds the book of the law. (Note: Book of the law and book of the covenant are descriptive terms for the scriptures at that time.)
2 Kings 22:11–13—Josiah sorrows because of the wickedness of the people.
2 Kings 22:14–20—Huldah prophesies the desolation of the wicked but promises that Josiah will be blessed.
2 Kings 23:1–4, 21–25—Josiah reads the book of the law to the people; they make covenants and stop their idolatry.
Nehemiah 8:1–12—Ezra reads and interprets the law of Moses. The people rejoice.
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 journal, scrapbook, photo album, or baby book (see the attention activity).
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.
Tell the children you are going to whisper something to them that you want them to try to remember. Whisper this scripture to each child: “The king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments” (2 Chronicles 34:31). After you have whispered this to each child, ask them to repeat it. If they have a hard time remembering it, explain that the value of having written scriptures is that we can study and read them often to help us remember. Then as a class read the verse out loud from the scriptures. At the end of the lesson, ask if the children remember the scripture that you whispered to them and they read together. If you have repeated it several times, some of them will probably remember. Read it out loud in unison again. Point out that we remember important truths by hearing and reading them again and again.
Write on the chalkboard two headings: “Why might it be hard to read the scriptures?” and “Ways to overcome these difficulties.” Ask the children why it might be hard for them to read the scriptures, and then have them suggest ways to overcome these difficulties. Discuss each idea with the children, listing their answers in the appropriate column. Problems with reading the scriptures might be that they are hard to understand or that the children can’t read well enough. Possible solutions to these problems could be to read out loud, to read and discuss with an adult, to pray for understanding, or to read the suggested home reading included at the end of each lesson while the lesson is still fresh in their minds. Challenge the children to read the assigned verses from this lesson and each lesson. Explain that when a person reads regularly from the scriptures, the scriptures become more familiar and easier to understand.
If these items are available, dip a toothpick for each child into a small amount of honey. Have the children taste the honey. Emphasize the sweetness of the honey, and then read Psalm 19:8, 10. Have the children think about how the scriptures can be sweeter than honey in their lives. Point out that through the scriptures we can feel Heavenly Father’s love for us, and we can receive help in facing our problems. These and other things bring a sweetness, or joy, in our lives. Encourage the children to share something they love about the scriptures.
Play charades by having a child pantomime one of the following situations. Have the rest of the class guess what they are doing.
Driving to a gas station and putting fuel in the gas tank of an automobile.
Planting and watering a plant.
Reading the scriptures.
Play until all four situations have been correctly guessed. Discuss what similarities there are in these different activities. Point out that in each case an object needs fuel so that it will have the energy to keep going. Just as a car, a plant, or our physical bodies need fuel or food for energy, our spirit needs to be fed so that it too can be healthy. Discuss how we can feed our spirits. Discuss how often our spirits need to be fed. Read Deuteronomy 6:6–7 with the children, and emphasize that we should think of the Lord’s words to us at all times in everything we do. Challenge the children to read from the scriptures each day in the coming week.
Remind the children that in order to obey the commandments, they have to be able to remember them. To help them remember, play a memory game. Write the names of the following people from the Old Testament on separate 3″ x 5″ cards. On other cards write the phrases that describe each person. Have the children take turns matching the card with the name of the person on it with the card that says what he or she did. When the children have matched all the cards, discuss the spiritual qualities they remember about each person.
Left the Garden of Eden
His righteous city was translated
Built an ark
Willing to sacrifice his son
Left her family to marry Isaac
Forgave his brothers
Saved his people from bondage
Accepted the gospel from her mother-in-law
With the strength of the Lord, killed a giant
Fed by ravens during a drought
Help the children understand and memorize the eighth article of faith. Or read Isaiah 40:8 and discuss ways in which the scriptures will “stand for ever.” Explain that, for example, the Ten Commandments given to Moses thousands of years ago “stand for ever”; they are still commandments in our time. Invite the children to share their favorite scriptures and the reasons they love them.
Sing or read the words to “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, p. 109).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.