Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!
In this there is safety; in this there is peace.
He will send blessings; He will send blessings.
Words of a prophet: Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.
(Children’s Songbook, page 146).
In July 1972 Harold B. Lee became the eleventh President of the Church. One hour after the announcement was made, he met with newspaper and television reporters. One of them asked him if he had a message for Church members.
President Lee said: “The safety of the church lies in the members keeping the commandments. There is nothing more important that I could say. As they keep the commandments, blessings will come.” (See Church News, 15 July 1972, page 3.)
Barbara A. McConochie, a Church member, was so impressed with his words that she wrote the song “Keep the Commandments” (above) for Primary children. Its words tell us of two blessings that come from keeping the commandments: “In this there is safety and peace.”
Sister McConochie says, “Keeping the commandments is the anchor for our safety amidst the storm. True peace will come to each individual, family, and nation only as we learn obedience to the laws of our Heavenly Father.”
An anchor is a heavy object that sailors use aboard ships on the ocean. They lower the anchor on a chain to the ocean floor, and it keeps the ship from drifting. Even in storms, when the ship is being buffeted by waves and wind, the anchor keeps the ship where it should be.
We are like sailors lowering anchors when we use the commandments to keep ourselves safe. Commandments, like anchors, help keep us secure and in the right place. Even when we feel tossed about by temptations or by the unkind words or actions of others, the commandments can help us stay steady and safe. As we keep the commandments, we know in our hearts that we are doing what is right and that eventually good will come. In this there is safety and peace.
Instructions: Color the picture of each commandment you keep. In the empty “bubbles,” draw, color, and label additional pictures of commandments you keep (pray every day, go to church, pay tithing, love my neighbor, follow the prophet, keep the word of wisdom, forgive others, and so forth).
Provide duplicates of page 13, have children draw at least one picture in an empty bubble, then discuss how the additional commandments they have chosen to draw help them have peace. Have them add their fully colored picture to their Book of Peace (See Sharing Time Idea #3, Friend, January 1994, page 44).
Show a picture of President Harold B. Lee and sing “Keep the Commandments.” With the help of simple costumes and props, play a “Who Am I?” game to identify other prophets, using quotes from the scriptures or Church magazines.
Compare keeping the commandments to obeying traffic signals. Make some signals out of paper, or ask a leader to act the part of a policeman directing traffic. Divide the children into groups and have them move around the room according to the signals given them. Help them see that just as when they obey the signals, there are no collisions, when they keep the commandments, they have safety and peace.
Add to the pictures on page 13, then duplicate the page, cut out the pictures, and play a matching game with them. As matches are made, the statement “I can feel peace when I keep the commandments” could be uncovered.
Invite a child or an adult to share an experience of being blessed with peace as a result of keeping one or more commandments.
Have the children each create a “Keep the Commandments” paper chain to be hung in her or his home. A new link could be added each time a commandment is kept. Links could be labeled with pictures for younger children, scripture references for older ones.
Have children identify songs from Children’s Songbook that encourage us to keep the commandments (“Love One Another,” page 136; “I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth,” page 150; “I Believe in Being Honest,” page 149; “Kindness Begins with Me,” page 145; many others).