Have your parents ever suggested that you do something that you didn’t want to do? “Matthew, it’s your turn to do the dishes,” or “Jessica, it’s time for you to go to bed.” Even though you probably heard them, you may have pretended that you didn’t, or you may have just ignored them.
God’s prophets have always told people the things that Heavenly Father wants them to do to be protected and to live happy lives. But often the people haven’t had ears to hear. That doesn’t mean that they don’t really have ears; it means that they haven’t wanted to listen and obey what the prophets have said.
In Matthew 11:15, we read, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” When the prophet Noah told the people of his day to repent, only his family had ears to hear. They boarded the ark and were saved from the flood. When the prophet Lehi told the people in Jerusalem that their city would soon be destroyed and that they needed to repent to be saved, most of them didn’t listen. Instead, they were angry with him and mocked him. Lehi’s family, however, had ears to hear, and they were led away to safety. When the prophet Abinadi preached repentance to King Noah and his priests, Alma was the only one who had ears to hear. He repented of his sins and lived a righteous, happy life.
At general conference and at other times, our prophets tell us important things that Heavenly Father wants us to do to solve the problems and accept the challenges that we have today. Just like those who listened to the prophets of old, we need to have ears to hear what the living prophet tells us. When we listen to the prophet and follow his counsel, we can lead righteous, happy lives.
On the next page is a poster with several statements given to us by our living prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, to guide and direct us today. Color the spaces with designs in them. Carefully remove the magazine page and mount it on heavy paper. Punch holes in the circles, then lace the poster with yarn, string, or narrow ribbon. Tie a bow at the top of the poster, and hang it in a place where you can read it often.
Provide the older children with recent conference addresses of the prophet, and have them list the guidance that he gave. Have a panel discussion or buzz sessions to discuss the prophet’s counsel and what children can do to follow it.
Prepare a picture-word game for the younger children. Draw 25 squares on a piece of paper, and draw simple pictures to represent guidance statements from the prophet. (Example: picture of a mother and father for “Honor you father and mother.”) Place small objects such as beans or cereal over the corresponding pictures as each statement is mentioned. Try to cover five pictures in a row.
Play games that require the children to listen and obey directions from the leader. For example, they could chant: “Everyone on your feet. / Give a great big smile. / Wiggle all your fingers. / Rest them for a while. / Now let’s put our hands out / And bend down low. / Turn around a moment / And stand in a row. / Wink at your neighbor. / Stretch your hands up high. / Give each hand a little shake. / Breathe a great big sigh. / Let us all go marching. / Everyone stop, please. / Now it’s time to take your seats. / Place hands upon your knees.” Discuss the difference between following these kinds of directions and following the directions of a prophet.
Divide into groups and have each one dramatize a story about a prophet who preached to people who would not hear. (See Topical Guide—Prophets, Rejection of.)
Divide the children into groups and find scripture references about ears that do or do not hear. (See Topical Guide and Index—Ear.) Read the scriptures to each other.
Sing songs about following the prophet. (See “Prophets” in the topical index of the Children’s Songbook.)