Have you ever had a bad thought or word come into your mind? It is not a good feeling. Sometimes they come all by themselves. But you can make them leave!
Your mind can think of only one thing at a time, so when a bad thought or word comes into your mind, pull it out and plant a good thought in its place: Sing a favorite Primary song or hymn. Make a list in your mind of all your blessings, and say them out loud. Think of the beautiful things in nature that Heavenly Father and Jesus have created for you.
Your eyes and your ears send messages to your mind. Most of the time, you can choose what will enter your mind. You invite in good thoughts and words or bad ones by what you choose to look at or listen to. The thirteenth article of faith helps us know what to choose. It says, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
When you watch TV or a video, ask yourself, “If Jesus were watching television with me, would I want to watch this program?” If not, turn off the TV or leave the room. When you listen to music, ask yourself, “Would this music be pleasing to Heavenly Father?” If not, turn the music off or leave the room.
We need reminders every day to help us make these important choices. On the next page, you will find reminder buttons and a reminder bookmark that can be placed on a TV, a radio, a compact disc player, or in a book.
Instructions: Carefully color the reminder buttons and the bookmark, then cut them out. Fold the bottoms along the broken lines. Secure the top part of the button to the top of your TV, radio, or CD player with a small weight, and let the bottom part hang down where you can easily see it. Use the bookmark in the books you read.
Write situations like the following on slips of paper. Give one to each class. Have them discuss it, then role-play the situation and a possible solution for the whole group: (a) You are at your friend’s house and he or she wants to watch a video your parents do not approve of. What should you do? (b) You are watching a TV show and realize that it is very violent. What should you do? (c) You are riding in the backseat of a car. The music on the radio is loud and irreverent. What should you do?
Invite a panel of adult members, including a member of the bishopric, to discuss with the children the kinds of media choices that they (the panel) had to make when they were young and what helped them make good choices. Each panel member could briefly discuss the topic. Teachers could help children formulate questions to ask panel members.
Gather materials for fun activities to be used as alternatives to TV or video viewing; place some in a box or envelope for each child, and let each child decorate his or hers. Add items over a period of several weeks. The Friend magazine is an excellent source for such materials (for example: stories, games, crafts, and word searches, dot-to-dot, other puzzles).
Clear a space in the middle of the room. Choose several different types of Primary songs, and one child for each song to lead the other children around the room, moving according to how the music makes her or him feel. Discuss the power of music over our feelings and thoughts. This variety from the Children’s Songbook might be considered: “Called to Serve,” p. 174 (marching); “The Oxcart,” p. 219 (slow plodding); “Follow the Prophet,” p. 110 (dancing); “Do As I’m Doing,” p. 276 (skipping); “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” p. 74 (quiet reverence).
Explain that choosing to think about the beautiful things that Heavenly Father and Jesus have placed on the earth can make us feel good. Show pictures of or items from nature, such as seeds, fruit, leaves, flowers, an egg; talk about them. Have each child draw something he or she can think about that will bring feelings of love and thanksgiving.