“Lesson 38: Esther Saves Her People,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 167–71
“Lesson 38,” Primary 6: Old Testament, 167–71
To teach the children how fasting can bless their lives.
Esther 2:5–11, 15–23—The king chooses Esther to be his new queen. Mordecai saves the king’s life.
Esther 3:1–6, 8–11, 13—Mordecai refuses to bow to Haman. Haman plans to kill all the Jews.
Esther 4—Esther asks the Jews to fast for her success in pleading with the king for the lives of the Jews.
Esther 5—The king receives Esther. She invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Haman plans to hang Mordecai.
Esther 6—The sleepless king recalls that Mordecai has not been honored for saving his life. Unknowingly Haman plans Mordecai’s reward.
Esther 7:1–6, 9–10—Esther reveals Haman’s plot to kill the Jews. The king has Haman hanged on the gallows built for Mordecai.
Esther 8:1–8, 11, 17—The king makes a new decree saving the lives of the Jews.
Esther 10:3—Mordecai is given authority second only to the king.
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.
Optional: 1 tablespoon yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and a container to hold this mixture.
Picture 6-44, Esther.
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.
Role-play the events in the story from Esther (see Esther 4:1–5:3). Read the lines while the children act the parts or give copies of the lines to the children to read. You might give the children simple props or name tags to identify the characters.
Mordecai, Queen Esther wonders why you are mourning in sackcloth and ashes.
Haman has gained permission to have all the Jews killed, both young and old, little children and women. Give Esther a copy of the decree, and have her plead with the king for her people.
Mordecai wants you to go to the king and plead for your people.
Please take the message to Mordecai that I am afraid to go to the king without being called, for I will be killed unless the king holds out his golden scepter to me. The king has not requested to see me for thirty days, and I fear that I will displease him.
(Hands a paper to Mordecai.)
Tell Esther that she cannot escape death as a Jew just because she lives in the king’s house. I ask again for her to plead with the king for her people. Perhaps this is the very reason the Lord has permitted Esther to be queen—that she might save her people.
Mordecai asks again that you plead for your people.
Have Mordecai and the Jews fast for me for three days, night and day. My maidens and I will also fast. I will go before the king, and if I perish, I perish.
(Raises scepter and smiles.) What do you want, Esther? I will give you what you want up to half of my kingdom.
Make name cards for each of the following scripture characters: King Ahasuerus, Vashti, Mordecai, Esther, and Haman. Pin a card on the back of five children without showing them which one they have. Have them ask their classmates yes or no questions about the character to help them discover which person they are. You could repeat this activity if time permits.
Questions might be similar to the following: Am I a Jew? Am I righteous? Did I fast? Was I friendly to Mordecai? Am I a queen?
Tell the following story in your own words:
A group of Latter-day Saints in the early days of the Church lived in Mexico. Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary commander, was raiding many settlements in northern Mexico. One of the settlements that was to be destroyed on a certain night was called Colonia Dublán, a Latter-day Saint settlement. The bishop of the ward in that town asked all the members to fast and pray. He called a meeting at the church for all the people. They prayed and were told to continue fasting and praying to Heavenly Father for protection from Pancho Villa and his army. They were then to go to bed as if it were any other night and trust that the Lord would watch over them.
During the night when Pancho Villa’s army approached the town, they saw from a lookout what they thought were campfires of a large army protecting the town. Pancho Villa and his army rode off, thinking it would be unwise to attack Colonia Dublán.
List and discuss several things we might appropriately fast for. A possible list could include:
To help our loved ones recover from an illness or injury
To help us make important decisions
To help us gain a testimony
To help others be willing to hear the gospel
To receive protection from evil
To receive relief in time of natural disasters and droughts
To help us feel the Spirit
To prepare us to receive special blessings, such as a patriarchal blessing
To show gratitude for our blessings
To help us overcome sin
To help us solve problems
To help us know whom to share the gospel with
To receive comfort when we mourn
To help us understand or accomplish a difficult assignment
To help others with their problems
Divide the class into two groups and give each group a piece of paper and a pencil. Have them make a list of all the qualities Esther exhibited as she saved her people from destruction. Some of the answers the children might think of are courage, trust in Heavenly Father, love for others, humility, and so on. Have the children share their lists of qualities with each other.
Sing or read the words to “Faith” (Children’s Songbook, p. 96) or “In Fasting We Approach Thee” (Hymns, no. 139).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.