Long ago there lived a man named Moses. One day while he was taking a flock of sheep to a mountain to graze, he saw a bush that was on fire. To his surprise, the bush did not burn up. When Moses walked over to see this great sight, a voice called to him from the bush, saying, “Moses, Moses. … put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Ex. 3:4–5.) When Moses had done this, Jesus Christ, whose voice Moses had heard, told him that He wanted Moses to go to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of captivity and into the promised land. Moses was promised that as he did this difficult thing, the Lord would be there to help him.
Moses must have felt great reverence knowing that he was in the presence of and was receiving instruction from Jesus Christ. When the Lord told Moses to take off his shoes, He was teaching Moses that when we are in holy places we must show reverence.
Our meetinghouses belong to Heavenly Father, and they, too, are holy places. We are not asked to take off our shoes to show reverence when we go into a meetinghouse, but we should dress carefully to show our respect. We should also sing and pray reverently, think of Jesus Christ when we take the sacrament, and listen quietly to our teachers and the speakers. If we behave irreverently—running, talking loudly, littering, or distracting others—we cannot hear and feel what Jesus Christ wants the Holy Ghost to tell us. We also keep others from feeling His Spirit.
When we are reverent at church, the Holy Ghost will help us know and feel the things that the Savior wants to teach us. Jesus Christ has told us that we should “be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
1. Color the meetinghouse, then mount it and the word strips on heavy paper or lightweight cardboard, and cut out.
2. Fold the meetinghouse on the dotted lines, and glue the tabs to the matching letters so that it makes a box. (There is no roof.)
3. Place the word strips inside the box. Each Sunday draw one of the word strips out of the box. At church that day, work on doing what the word strip says. Notice how good you feel when you behave reverently. Being reverent makes it easier for you to learn what Jesus Christ wants you to know.
Have the children take turns role-playing Church behavior, demonstrating irreverent behavior first, then reverent behavior. Ask the other children to guess what kind of feelings or thoughts the actors are experiencing. Discuss the connection between inward feelings and outward behavior.
Pick quotes from the October 1991 conference talks given by Elder Boyd K. Packer and Elder Graham W. Doxey. (See Ensign, November 1991, pages 21–23, 25–26.) Divide the older children into groups. Have them discuss the quotes, then decide what they can do to follow the instructions given by these Brethren. Have one member of each group report. For young children, write quotes on paper footprints, then place them around the room. Have the children walk quietly around the room following the footprints while reverent music is being played. When the music stops, read any quote a child is standing on, help the children understand what it means, then have them think of a way that they can follow the counsel given.
Hold up a picture of a sacred place—the Sacred Grove, a temple, the Garden of Gethsemane, the burning bush, et al. (1) Discuss what happened in this place. (2) Ask the children how they would feel in this place. (3) Ask them how they would behave there. Have the children draw a picture of their meetinghouse and discuss the same three points.
Take the younger children on a tour of the meetinghouse. Have them think of ways they can show reverence for it, such as by putting litter in the wastebasket, taking good care of the grounds, opening and shutting classroom doors quietly, whispering in the chapel when they need to talk, walking (not running) in the halls.
Moroni describes the religious activities of the Nephites in Moroni 6 [Moro. 6]. Draw a picture of what a Nephite church might have looked like. Place word strips or pictures inside it of things the Nephites did in their churches, based on Moroni 6:4–9 [Moro. 6:4–9]. Show a picture of your own meetinghouse, and place corresponding word strips or pictures in it.