Have you ever tried to play a game that didn’t have any rules? You wouldn’t know how to start the game, how to play it, or how to know when it was finished. Rules tell us what to do.
Heavenly Father and Jesus have given us rules to help us make right choices. When we are baptized, we covenant, or promise, to obey God’s rules. In the third article of faith, Joseph Smith wrote about how important it is to obey the laws, or rules, of the gospel. These rules are called commandments.
Moses was a faithful prophet of the Lord. One day, after wandering in the desert for two months with the children of Israel, he went up into Mount Sinai and spoke with the Lord. He told Moses that he, the Lord, would make a covenant to bless the children of Israel if they would keep his commandments.
When Moses told the children of Israel what the Lord had said, they promised, or covenanted, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” (Ex. 19:8).
Moses went again up into Mount Sinai to tell the Lord that the people had agreed with the covenant. The Lord then told Moses that he, the Lord, would come in a thick cloud and the people would see his glory and hear his voice.
As the Lord had told him, Moses instructed the people to prepare for this event, and on the third day, they heard a very loud trumpet. There were thunderings, lightnings, and a thick cloud appeared upon Mount Sinai, which shook greatly. The people were afraid. They couldn’t see the Lord because he was in the cloud, but they heard him say, “I am the Lord thy God” (Ex. 20:2).
Then the Lord gave them important rules, known as the Ten Commandments. Later he wrote them on tables of stone so that the people could learn and remember them better.
All of our prophets have given us commandments from the Lord to help guide our lives. When President Howard W. Hunter became the President of the Church, he talked to us about some of these commandments. He asked us to live more like our Lord Jesus Christ, to show more love, and to treat each other with more kindness, and to live worthy of temple blessings. (See Ensign, July 1994, page 4).
Some of the things President Hunter and our previous prophets have talked to us about are listed on the next page. In the box under each statement, draw a picture about it. Use the pictures on the page as a guide, or draw something else that is appropriate.
Illustrated by Denise Kirby
Read the Scriptures
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
Live Worthy of Temple Blessings
Live the Word of Wisdom
Be Kind to Others
Be a Good Student
Honor Your Parents
Sharing Time Ideas
Divide the older children into groups to discuss rules that we should obey in our families, schools, church, and country. Have them consider the benefits of obeying the rules and the consequences of not obeying them (e.g., If everyone talks at once, no one will be heard). A member of each group could report for that group. Or at a later time a member of each group could be on a panel for each situation (family, school, church, country). Younger children could share one way they were obedient during the week and act out the situation.
Have children make props and dramatize the story of Moses on p. 12 (see Ex. 19–20, 24), then talk about how they felt as they played the various roles.
In the Children’s Songbook, find songs that mention commandments—e.g., you might use “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (p. 61) for “Love thy neighbour as thyself” (Lev. 19:8); “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (p. 55, v. 2) for “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Ex. 20:16). Have the children sing them, then draw a table of stone and write or illustrate the commandment and/or how they can live it.
Teach “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, p. 110). Assign one verse to each class and have them sing it, then discuss how that prophet kept a commandment. Older children could look up the corresponding scripture references to help them teach the other children.
Have the children draw pictures to illustrate the following terms for their “My Articles of Faith Book” (see Sharing Time, Friend, Jan. 1995, p. 36): “Choice—A Decision Made from Two or More Options”; “Commandment—A Rule”; “Covenant—A Promise.”