Have you ever wondered how Jacob’s son Joseph felt when his brothers sold him as a slave into Egypt (see Gen. 37)? He was able to endure with courage because he had faith in the Lord. Potiphar, the officer who bought Joseph, “saw that the Lord was with him,” and Potiphar “made him overseer over his (Potiphar’s) house, and all that (Potiphar) had he put into (Joseph’s) hand.” (See Gen. 39:1, 3–4.)
Do you think that Ruth worried about leaving her own country to go and live with her mother-in-law, Naomi, in a foreign land? Ruth felt the Lord’s peace and told Naomi, “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (See Ruth 1:1–16.)
How do you think young David felt when he stood on the battlefield with Goliath and heard the giant boast that he’d kill David? Knowing that the Lord would protect him, as He had twice before, the boy faced Goliath with confidence. He explained to King Saul, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” (See 1 Sam. 17:1–18, 22–23, 32–37.)
Was Queen Esther afraid when she went to speak to the king in behalf of her people, the Jews, knowing that just going to see him without being invited to do so might mean her death? She gained peace and strength to do so by fasting and by asking Mordecai, her cousin, to have the Jews fast for her, too: “Go, gather together all the Jews … and fast ye for me … : I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” (See Esth. 3–4.)
Have you ever felt troubled? Have you experienced unkindness, as Joseph did? Have you ever needed to move to a new place, as Ruth did? Have you ever had to face something big and scary, as David did? Have you ever had to do something frightening, as Queen Esther did? Most of us have felt frightened or sad or alone at some time in our lives. Like them, we can receive feelings of love and safety and quiet from the Lord. If we remember that we are children of God and that He loves us, and if we do what He wants us to do, we also will be blessed with peace.
Instructions: Mount page 13 on lightweight cardboard, color the paper dolls and their costumes, then carefully cut them out. You could use them for family home evening lessons or for talks in Primary. Create additional costumes and use the paper dolls to tell other stories of people from the scriptures.
Invite children to role-play additional people from the scriptures who were blessed with peace when there was trouble around them—e.g., Daniel, Nephi, Aaron, Abinadi, a stripling warrior, Mormon, Moroni.
Play a “Who Said That?” game about the following people by having children look up each scripture. Have it read aloud, then have the children guess who said it, guiding them, as necessary. Doctrine and Covenants 135:4 [D&C 135:4]—Joseph Smith (recorded by John Taylor); Psalms 55:18 [Ps. 55:18]—David; Isaiah 44:18 [Isa. 44:18]—the Lord; 1 Nephi 18:16 [1 Ne. 18:16]—Nephi; Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8 [D&C 121:7–8]—the Lord; Mosiah 4:13–15—King Benjamin.
Help the children know what they can do when troubled. Give examples of situations that might trouble children, choosing your examples with care. Together identify ways to gain peace.
Play or sing the following songs from the Children’s Songbook, and have the children tell the message (pray, sing, keep the commandments, express thanks) in each that will help them feel peace: “I Pray in Faith” (page 14); “Heavenly Father, Now I Pray” (page 19); “A Child’s Prayer” (page 12); “Sing Your Way Home” (page 193); “Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked” (page 214); “Keep the Commandments” (page 146); “I Am Glad for Many Things” (page 151).
Help each child create a page for her or his Book of Peace (see Sharing Time Idea #3, Friend, January 1994, page 44) by drawing pictures of people from the scriptures who were blessed with peace, even in times of trouble. Or the pictures could be of present-day people who have also been blessed with peace in times of trouble.
Invite a child or an adult to share a personal experience of being blessed with peace in a time of trouble.