Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
If I Choose to Obey, I’ll Be Happy All Day!24964_000_023
After a family home evening lesson on obedience, four-year-old Brandon was anxious to try harder to obey his mom and dad. He and his mom decided that a reminder might help him. Brandon would repeat, “If I choose to obey, I’ll be happy all day!”
One day Brandon wanted to play at his friend’s house. He raced across the yard when suddenly the words “If I choose to obey, I’ll be happy all day!” came to his mind. Remembering that he should ask his mom first, Brandon headed back to his house.
When he turned eight, Brandon was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. He read in his scriptures that the Holy Ghost would show him all things he should do (see 2 Ne. 32:5). Brandon knew the Holy Ghost would remind him to follow Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us. The scriptures teach us that “blessed is every one that … walketh in [the Lord’s] ways. … Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Ps. 128:1–2). When we follow Jesus Christ, we will be happy not only all day but throughout all eternity!
In the Sermon on the Mount (see Matt. 5; 3 Ne. 12) Jesus taught us how to live so we can be happy. Some of these teachings are known as the Beatitudes. Beatitude means “happiness” or “blessing.” To make a Beatitude Book, glue page 29 onto a sheet of paper. Cut on the solid lines. Glue the second strip to the tab on the first strip. Fold back and forth on the dotted lines.
Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh
Sermon on the Mount The Teachings of Jesus
I will trust the Lord. The Holy Ghost will bring me comfort and peace. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matt. 5:4).
I will obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).
I will forgive others. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7).
I will keep my baptismal covenants. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8).
I will be kind and not show anger to others. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Matt. 5:9).
I will bear my testimony in word and deed. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:10).
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise indicated; GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. Before Primary prepare and hide wordstrips with the following words: The, Holy Ghost, Will, Help, Me, To, Follow, Jesus Christ. Get the children’s attention by whispering, “Listen to my voice, and I will help you find some wordstrips.” Whisper directions and help a child to find each wordstrip and hold it up in front of the Primary. When all the wordstrips have been found, whisper directions to help the children stand in the correct order. Compliment the children for listening and following directions. Recite the sentence together out loud. Remind the children that the Holy Ghost also speaks softly and helps us follow Jesus Christ. Show a picture of the Savior, and read about baptismal covenants on pages 2 and 3 of the Faith in God guidebook. Have the children discover and write the three promises we make when we are baptized: to keep His commandments, take His name upon us, and always remember Him. If we keep our baptismal covenants, the Holy Ghost will always be with us. Invite adults or children to share personal experiences of how listening to the Holy Ghost has helped them to follow Jesus Christ.
2. Play the game Leader Says. Have the children listen closely to your commands and follow only when you say “leader says” first (for example, “leader says put your hands on your head”; “leader says walk in place”; “stop walking”—children should continue to walk in place because you didn’t say “leader says” first). Tell the children they were great followers, and explain that there is someone else they should listen closely to and follow. Read together John 13:15. Jesus Christ obeyed Heavenly Father’s commandments. When we follow His example, we will be happy. Post the Savior’s picture in front of the room. Around His picture, list songs or hymns that tell how we can follow Him. Divide the children into groups and hand each one a scripture reference (for example, Eph. 4:32; 1 Jn. 4:11; Mosiah 1:6–7; D&C 21:1, 4–5). Have them prepare to do three things: (1) Read the scripture out loud and explain the principle or commandment we should follow and live; (2) Choose a song or hymn that matches Jesus Christ’s teaching and lead the Primary in singing it; (3) Act out ways we can follow Jesus Christ’s teaching and let others guess what they are doing. Give them an opportunity to share what they have prepared.
3. Make 8 to 10 large circles and draw smiley faces on them. Post wordstrips and pictures of Heavenly Father’s commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ around the room (for example, being kind, paying tithing, keeping the Word of Wisdom, obeying our parents, being honest). Make a pathway with string or tape on the floor around the room. This represents the way to follow Jesus Christ. Have the children, all or a few at a time, stand on the pathway. Hand out the smiley faces. Sing Primary songs that teach we can be happy when we obey. As the children sing, let them walk along the path and pass the smiley faces to each other. At the end of the song, those who are holding a smiley face can tell or show one way they can live the commandment posted on the wall nearest them. Sing another song and repeat.
For older children: Following the teachings of Jesus will help bring us happiness. Write “The Teachings of Jesus” on the board. Underneath, write out a few scriptures (see list below), leaving out the key words and replacing them with smiley faces. Give the children an opportunity to look up as many of the references as possible. Write the key words on wordstrips. Hand out a few of the wordstrips to the children. Sing “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61). When the children sing the word right, have them pass the wordstrips to the right. At the end of the song, have them post the wordstrips in the appropriate places. As soon as a scripture is completed, read it out loud together. Continue to sing and pass the wordstrips until all the missing words are filled in. Discuss how they can live the teachings taught in these scriptures today.
Key words and scriptures: (1) repent, baptized, name—“Ye must _____ and be _____ in my _____” (3 Ne. 11:38); (2) Thou, Lord, God—“_____ shalt love the _____ thy _____ with all thy heart” (Matt. 22:37); (3) Love, I, you—“_____ one another; as _____ have loved _____” (John 13:34); (4) know, truth, free—“And ye shall _____ the _____, and the truth shall make you _____” (John 8:32); (5) light, people—“Let your _____ so shine before this _____” (3 Ne. 12:16); (6) keep, commandments—“If ye love me, _____ my _____” (John 14:15); (7) treasure, heart—“For where your _____ is, there will your _____ be also” (3 Ne. 13:21).
4. Sing “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” (p. 57). Set up four or five stations for the children to rotate to and learn about the teachings of Jesus. Have teachers use pictures from the GAK and teach the story from the scriptures and references on the back of the pictures (Sermon on the Mount—GAK 212, The Ten Lepers—GAK 221, The Prodigal Son—GAK 220, The Good Samaritan—GAK 218). Sing “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” (Friend, Jan. 2003, 24–25).
5. Read aloud Matt. 5:9. Explain what a peacemaker is and how we can be peacemakers in our homes. Let the children act out some things they would do if Jesus were visiting their homes. Prepare some case studies (see TNGC, 161–62) that give children opportunities to choose to be peacemakers, and place them in a box. Make the box look like a home. For the door, make a rectangle with a smiling face on one side and a frowning face on the other (see Primary 2 manual, lesson 22). Let the children choose one of the studies out of the box and act it out. While they are acting, have the frowning face show until they act out being a peacemaker; then turn the door around to show the smiling face. Sing “Smiles” (p. 267).
For older children: Have the children read in the scriptures about the importance of being peacemakers (for example, Abraham—Gen. 13:5–12; King Benjamin—Mosiah 4:11–15; Melchizedek—Alma 13:17–18; righteous Lamanites—Alma 24:17–19). Write the letters P-E-A-C-E-M-A-K-E-R vertically on the board. Ask the children to think of words or phrases that remind them to be peacemakers. Have the children stand in a circle. Begin with a pointer person standing in the center. He or she calls out one of the letters on the board, points to a child, and begins counting to 10. Before the pointer gets to 10, that child needs to say a word or phrase that begins with the letter and reminds us to be peacemakers. If he or she is successful, the pointer calls out the same letter and points to another child. If he or she is not able to, he or she becomes the pointer and stands in the center. Repeat.
6. Song Presentation: “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75). We feel our Savior’s love when we follow His example and teachings. While the pianist plays the song, act out the actions below to tell the message of the song. Ask the children to follow your actions, then ask if they can guess the song.
Sing one line of the song at a time, and explain the meaning of the message as necessary. Have the children echo each line back to you (“I feel my Savior’s love”—hold arm up with palm up, then bring hand down over heart; “In all the world around me”—hold up both arms way above your head in a circle; “His Spirit warms my soul”—hold arm up with palm up, then bring down and make circle motions over your chest; “Through ev’rything I see”—point both index fingers to eyes; “He knows”—hold arm up with palm up, then bring down and touch side of head; “I will follow him”—quietly and slowly march in place; “Give all my life to him”—draw hands close to body with palms up, then move out and upward; “I feel my Savior’s love”—hold arm up with palm up, then bring hand down over heart; “The love he freely gives me”—place both arms together and reach upward, then bring both down and hold over your heart). Children could make up their own actions for verses 2 and 3.
7. Additional Friend resources: