There’s your favorite candy bar, and no one else is in the store aisle to see you take it. You might be tempted for a minute, but you CTR (Choose The Right) and leave it there.
There’s a new boy in your class, and he’s standing alone on the playground. You CTR, and soon he is playing with you and your friends.
You know some of the other children are cheating on the test at school, but you CTR and do your own work.
Your mom asks, “Who’s been eating these cookies?” and you thought that they tasted great. You could keep quiet, but you CTR and admit that you ate some.
Every time you CTR, (choose the right) you get stronger. Every time you CTR, it will be easier to choose the right the next time you are faced with a difficult choice.
CTR by being honest. Joseph Smith said, “We believe in being honest” (see Articles of Faith 1:13). The Prophet Joseph was honest even when it was dangerous or made people angry at him. He knew that he had seen a vision, and even though people persecuted him for saying so, he could not and would not deny it. He was honest. Honesty means telling the truth, not taking things that are not yours, and treating others fairly.
CTR by always telling the truth. There is an old story about a boy who took sheep to the mountain to tend them. “If you have any trouble with wolves, just blow the horn and yell, ‘Wolf!’” said the townspeople. “We will come and help you.” The boy was bored one day and blew the horn. The townspeople came running to help, and the boy thought it was a good joke.
Two other times he needlessly called, “Wolf!” and blew the horn. Each time, the people ran to help. Then came the day when a wolf really appeared and attacked the sheep. The boy blew the horn and called and called, but the townspeople thought that he was lying again. Nobody went to help, and many sheep were killed. Lying hurts you not only because of the direct harm it may cause you and others, but also because people will hesitate to trust you again. Always tell the truth.
CTR by treating others kindly. The scriptures say, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12). This means that if you want people to be nice to you, you must be nice to them. If you want others to respect you, you must respect them.
In the years to come, you may learn to cook for a banquet, drive a truck, run a computer business, or find a cure for cancer. You will learn many things. But many of the most important things you will ever need to know, you are learning right now: to be honest, to tell the truth, to be kind and respectful to others. You can CTR. Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. When we choose the right, we feel good about what we have done and we feel closer to Him. Our faith in Jesus Christ grows when we choose the right.
Instructions: To stitch the CTR poster, trace the pattern on page 12 onto muslin. Use three strands of embroidery floss in the colors of your choice. (If you haven’t done it before, see the diagrams on page 12 for making stitches. For more detailed instructions, see “Stitch a Sampler,” Friend, May 1997, pages 44–45.)
French Knots • Flower centers
Cross-Stitches • CTR • Border
Backstitches • Shields • Your name • Year • Choose the Right • Stems
Lazy-Daisy Stitches • Flowers • Leaves
Or, if you prefer and have access to a computer, experiment with type styles and font sizes to make a poster similar to the pattern here. You may also be able to design your own border.
Share your completed poster with your Primary teacher, then hang it in your room.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
(This month, focus in a positive way on the needs of the children in your Primary to choose the right. Is your concern for more reverence? reaching out to new or less-active friends? being honest? being kind? using only good language? Develop a Sharing Time to meet a challenge facing your children. Use “My Gospel Standards” or any of these Sharing Time Ideas to help the children understand the blessings of choosing the right.
1. Using pictures, briefly remind the children of the story of the people of Ammon, who buried their weapons, and of their sons, who fought with Helaman (see Alma 53:10–22; Alma 56:47–49, 54–56). The two thousand young men were strong and active and true at all times. Say that you are looking for some strong, active, true persons. Have a child hold a prop (a helmet, sword, or shield) such as a stripling soldier might have carried, and respond to a situation as he/she might as a modern young warrior who is “true at all times.” Allow as many children to come up as time permits. Possible situations: • You broke a dish, and your mother asks who did it. • You help pick up money that has spilled and are tempted to take some. • You wanted two pieces of dessert; then your mother said that the last piece was for your father. • You took a job weeding a neighbor’s garden, then a friend asked you to go to the park with him. • You didn’t study for a test, and a friend who always gets A’s offers to let you see her paper. • You are at the grocery store and want some gum but have no money. (See Primary 2 manual, Lesson 34, for other situations.) Have a group of children come up and stand like stripling warriors to lead the others in singing the chorus of “Nephi’s Courage” (CS, pp. 120–121).
2. Have a child come to the front and hold up both hands. Without tying a knot, loosely wrap a thread or piece of yarn around the child’s wrists and hold it. Explain that the thread is like a little lie. We can usually break free easily (have the child break free). Then, while explaining that one lie usually leads to another, making it difficult to break free, loosely wrap the thread or yarn many times around the child’s wrists, and have him/her try to break free. Explain further that we must repent (use scissors to cut the thread/yarn) in order to break free and be happy. There are bad habits other than lying that can bind us. Have the children sing the following song to the tune of “If You’re Happy” (CS, p. 266): “To show I choose the right, I tell the truth./ To show I choose the right, I tell the truth. / I know the Savior’s way, / And it shows in what I say. / To show I choose the right, I tell the truth.” The action for this verse, made while singing “I tell the truth,” is putting the right pointer finger to your lips and lowering the finger in a small arc. Additional verses and actions could include “I will not swear” (zip your lips), “I show respect” (tip your hat), “I’ll rev’rent be” (fold arms), “I will not steal” (right pointer finger wigwags “No”). Once the children know the first verse, have a child pick a wordstrip (the words in small capital letters) and have everyone sing that verse. After each verse, ask “How will I show respect?” (or “What does it mean to be reverent?” etc.). Finally, have all the helpers hold up their wordstrips and sing the first verse again but have the final line include all the wordstrips in the order in which the children are holding them.
3. Before Primary starts, hide the following wordstrips around the room (make the first letter of each word bold): Heed, Obey, Need, Owe our life, Understand, Respect. Have the children who find them bring them to the front. Post the words, one above the other, to vertically spell honour. Have everyone read Ex. 20:12 and, if appropriate, mention that in the United States, the word is spelled without the u. Ask: “Whom are we to honor? Discuss ways in which we can honor our parents. Show pictures from the Primary manual picture kits of, and briefly tell stories about, fathers and mothers from the scriptures: e.g., Mormon and Moroni (4-51), Mary and Jesus (4-10), Lehi and his children (4-15), King Benjamin [father of Mosiah] (4-21), Alma the Elder (4-23), the Prophet Joseph Smith (5-10), Hyrum Smith [father of President Joseph F. Smith] (5-38), Adam and Eve (5-56), Noah (6-7), Naomi [mother-in-law] and Ruth (6-33), Joseph and Jacob (6-20), Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (7-40), Jairus and his wife and daughter [Mark 5:35–43] (7-18), the Prodigal Son and his father (7-20). Ask how the fathers and mothers showed their love for their children in these stories? How did the children show their love and respect for their parents? Pass out a piece of paper to each child to write (or draw, for younger children) one thing they are thankful to their parents for on one side and, on the other side, one thing they will do during the next week to show their love for them. Sing from the CS “Mother, I Love You” (p. 207), “Fathers” (p. 209), or “Love Is Spoken Here” (pp. 190–191).
4. Sing songs about kindness from the CS (see the Topics index). Read Matt. 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Help the children distinguish between “doing what has been done to them” [“an eye for an eye”—the Mosaic law that punishment must not exceed the crime] and “doing for others what they would want to have done to themselves” [the golden rule]. Have each class come up with a role-play situation in which it demonstrates the “kind” response. E.g., a new child in the class, a sick child who has to stay home from school, a playground bully, an older person who might be lonely, a mother struggling with small children and groceries, a younger brother who wants to tag along, a child who makes an embarrassing mistake at school, someone you accidentally bump into. If paper is available, have everyone make a “ruler” to take home as a reminder to “measure” their kind actions. Have them write “Do unto others …” on the ruler. Follow through if there are actual situations in which the children in your Primary could show a kindness. Finish by singing another “kindness” song.
5. Beforehand, ask the help of the teachers and music leaders for a Sharing Time on reverence. Remind them to avoid talking to each other or passing out items in the Primary room. Have chairs set up, teachers sitting in their places, and prelude music playing before the children come in [it also helps if the pianist and chorister can be close enough physically that their communication encourages reverence]. Have the music leader lead the children already seated in humming the prelude music until enough are seated that they can sing one or two songs before the opening prayer. Have the person conducting be up front with a welcoming smile and other leaders greeting quietly at the door. Invite the children to put all objects under their chairs. As Sharing Time begins, read “Reverence” by Elder L. Tom Perry (Friend, Sept. 1996, IFC). Make a point of his conclusion: “Reverence is an attitude toward Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It is a private feeling. It is something we feel inside our hearts no matter what is going on around us.” Sing “Reverence Is Love” (CS, p. 31—for older children) or another familiar song about reverence, and discuss what reverence is. Ask the children to close their eyes and think of a time they have felt a reverent spirit (e.g., in church [if you have recently had a temple dedication or open house in your area or someone sealed to his/her parents, focus on that blessing], while viewing God’s creations, while reading the scriptures, during family prayer, while listening to beautiful music). Invite children to tell where they were when they felt a reverent spirit. You might want to share a story about being reverent, such as “William Didn’t Know” (Friend, Nov. 1996, p. 40) or “Patty’s Story” (Primary 2 manual, Lesson 21, pp. 111–112). Explain that we want our Primary to be a reverent place so that we can feel the Spirit of the Lord. Ask: “What can we do to be more reverent in Primary?” For younger children, you may want to use the cutouts from Primary 2 manual, Lesson 21, p. 114, as you ask, “What can we do with our arms? with our feet? with our mouths? with our voices? with our language?” For older children, ask a respected member of the ward/branch with a good reading voice to read the account in 3 Ne. 17:11–25 of the Savior with the Nephite children. (Display the center spread in the Sept. 1996 Friend.) Bear your witness that we, too, can feel the Spirit of the Lord when we are reverent and humble. It will bless our Primary, and it will bless our individual lives. Sing “He Sent His Son” (CS, pp. 34–35) or “I Want to Be Reverent” (CS, p. 28).
6. Additional Friend resources: “Honest and Truthful at All Times,” Oct. 1996, pp. 44–46; “Honesty,” Oct. 1996, IFC; “Honesty and the Apples,” Oct. 1996, pp. 2–4; “As Good As Our Bond,” Nov. 1997, IFC; “What If … ,” Sept. 1996, p. 22; “Reverence for Creation,” Sept. 1996, pp. 44, 26 (Sharing Time Ideas); “Kindness Begins with Me,” Dec. 1997, p. 16; “Speaking Kind Words,” Jan. 1997, pp. 26–27. In 1997, the Sharing Time theme was “Choose the Right.” See the poster in the Jan. 1997 Friend and recall some of the songs learned for that program.