“I was playing with it first,” six-year-old Romero yelled as he grabbed a toy out of his little sister’s hand. Lolita started to run to their mother, so Romero angrily handed the toy back to her. The branch president and his counselors had come to visit, and Romero knew his parents would not like to be disturbed while they were talking with them.
Romero lived in the Philippines with his mother, father, and little sister, Lolita. Their home was a nipa hut his father had built from palm leaves and bamboo. The missionaries taught the gospel to his parents when Romero was just a baby. They knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true, and they were baptized. They talked about the gospel at home and read the Book of Mormon together. They were a happy family.
At first, Romero’s family went to church every week. They didn’t have a car and the church was too far away to walk, so they rode in a small bus called a jeepney. But as the weeks went by, they began to forget to save extra money for the jeepney ride. And some weeks they just didn’t get ready in time. After a while, they stopped going to church. They didn’t talk about the gospel in their home any more, and they didn’t read the Book of Mormon together.
Now the branch president was talking to Romero’s mother and father about the gospel. Romero heard his mother and father promising to attend church the next Sunday. Romero was still more interested in getting the toy away from Lolita than in listening to the adults.
However, when he heard one of the visitors say “Book of Mormon,” Romero stopped playing and listened to what they were saying. He remembered reading the Book of Mormon with his parents. He thought about some of the wonderful stories his parents had read to him from it.
Romero had a good feeling when he remembered these things. He felt reverent. Now he didn’t want to take the toy away from Lolita. Instead, he wanted her to be happy. He wanted to sit quietly and listen to the branch president. As he listened, Romero knew that he would like to go to church, and to read the scriptures with his family again.
Nephi and other great men wrote many stories about their lives in the Book of Mormon to help us learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. When we read or hear these stories, we will have reverent feelings. These reverent feelings will help us to act differently. We will not want to push, shove, or take things from others but be kinder, more respectful, and gentler.
Think about some of the stories you know from the Book of Mormon. Do you remember the one about Lehi and his family on the boat? (See 1 Ne. 18.) Have you heard about King Benjamin and his tower? (See Mosiah 2–4.) About Helaman and his two thousand young warriors? (See Alma 53; Alma 56–58.)
Talk with your family about these and other Book of Mormon stories that make you feel closer to Heavenly Father. To always feel close to Him, read from the Book of Mormon every day. If you can’t read, ask someone in your family to read to you. Romero asked his mother to read him stories from the Book of Mormon. He liked the reverent feeling he had when he heard the scriptures.
To make a booklet of some of your favorite Book of Mormon stories, take three or more pieces of plain white paper, place them in a single pile, and fold them in half. Staple two or three places along the fold, or punch three holes along the fold and tie the booklet together with yarn. Color the title page provided here, cut it out, then glue it onto the front of your booklet. Draw a picture of one of your favorite Book of Mormon stories on each remaining page, and write a title or description of the story under your drawing.
Divide children into small groups. Give each group a card with a brief telling of a story from the Book of Mormon. Have the groups take turns pantomiming the stories. Have the rest of the children guess which story it is. Then have a child from the group read the story from the card.
Ask the children to bring their copies of the Book of Mormon to Primary (or use library copies). Give each child a worksheet with questions that can be answered from the first three pages of the Book of Mormon (starting with the title page), such as: What is the subtitle of the Book of Mormon? By whose hand was it written? Who translated the Book of Mormon? What year was the first English edition published? Joseph Smith said that it was the most correct book on earth—why is that so important?
Play “Who Am I?” by having a child read facts from a card about a particular Book of Mormon character, then ask the others, “Who Am I?” For younger children, have a child stand in front of the Primary, but have an adult read the clues.
Ask a few adult members of your ward or branch to bring their personal copies of the Book of Mormon to Primary. Give each person two minutes to share his personal thoughts about the importance of the Book of Mormon, how he uses it (underlining, notes, personal inscriptions, etc.), spiritual experiences he’s had while reading the scriptures, or other things that indicate feelings of reverence for the scriptures.
Show the children a very precious object (perhaps a family heirloom). Discuss with the children how we handle this object with great care, because of its meaning to us. Explain what our attitude should be toward the scriptures and how our behavior will reflect that attitude. Give each child an opportunity to hold the scriptures. Help the children see that the scriptures are sacred and come from Heavenly Father. We should not tear, throw, or misuse them, but we should show reverence for them by studying them.