A tapestry is a beautiful picture made of yarn or thread. For hundreds of years, craftsmen have made tapestries. They create the designs by hand, weaving weft (horizontal, or side-to-side) threads around warp (vertical, or up-and-down) threads. With much patience, practice, and skill, weavers can create lovely tapestries to beautify homes and palaces. Sometimes tapestries tell a story or depict an event in history.
Your life is like a beautiful tapestry. The experiences of your life are like the warp threads of your tapestry. New things happen every day. You cannot always choose what your experiences will be. Some children live in the city; others live in rural areas. Some children live by the ocean; others live in the desert. Wherever you live, you will have experiences that are different from those of anyone else.
Even though you may not be able to choose all of the experiences you will have, you can choose how you will respond to them. Your choices and decisions make up the weft threads of your life’s tapestry. The gospel of Jesus Christ can be the pattern you follow as you make choices each day. Jesus gave us that pattern when He said, “Come and follow me” (Matt. 19:21). Each day, you choose the color and design of the weft threads that you weave to make your tapestry beautiful. How do you choose?
“My Gospel Standards” can help you know how to make good choices to weave into your tapestry. For example, suppose your family has just moved to a new town. How can “My Gospel Standards” help you? One Standard reminds you, “I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.” So will you just sit and wait for someone to find you—or will you smile, be friendly, attend church, and look for good friends? Weaving good friends into your life’s tapestry is fun, and good friends can last for a lifetime! Jesus taught, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). As you keep His commandments, you are weaving into your life eternal threads of friendship with Him.
Another example: “I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.” When you are honest with Heavenly Father, you are able to feel His love, and that is a happy feeling! That is one important reason for paying an honest tithe. As you attend tithing settlement at the end of the year, you can say to the bishop, “Yes, I am a full-tithe payer.” When you are honest with others, they learn that they can trust you. Your friends can depend on you, and Heavenly Father can depend on you. You are weaving honesty, trust, and dependability into your life’s tapestry.
“My Gospel Standards” reminds you to keep your mind and body sacred and pure, to not partake of things that are harmful. To those who follow His laws of health, Heavenly Father has promised not only good health but knowledge! (See D&C 89:18–21.)
Weaving every Gospel Standard into your tapestry will bless your life and make it beautiful. As challenging experiences come, rely on these Standards. When you keep them, you are following Jesus and remembering Him. You are keeping your baptismal covenant.
To make the warp “threads,” carefully measure a border that is 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ (2 cm x 4 cm) border around an 8 1/2″ x 11″ (22 cm x 28 cm) piece of colored construction paper (see illustration #1 on page 15).
Fold the paper in half with the two shorter sides together; cut along the left and right borders from the fold to the top border. Next, make a cut 1 3/8″ (3.5 cm) to the right of the left border. Then make a cut every 1 1/8″ (2.9 cm), starting to the right of the previous cut (see illustration #2). Unfold the paper.
Mount page 15 on a second piece of construction paper, and cut out the weft “threads” along the dark lines.
Beginning at the upper left corner of your tapestry, weave weft thread #1 under then over the warp threads. For weft thread #2, weave over then under the warp threads (see illustration #3). Keep alternating the weaving pattern till you finish the tapestry. The warp threads should cover all the blank spaces of the weft threads (see illustration #4). Use tape or glue on the back of the tapestry to secure each strip.
“My Gospel Standards” help me keep my baptismal covenant
I will remember my baptismal covenants and listen to the Holy Ghost.
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father.
I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and serve a mission. I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
The first 3 ideas are given as examples of lessons on specific standards in “My Gospel Standards” (on the back of the My Achievement Days booklet). Please focus on—and memorize—the Gospel Standards that need emphasis in your Primary.
1. “I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.” Begin by having the children stand and sing “I Believe in Being Honest” (CS, p. 149). Ask: “What does it mean to be honest?” Let the children respond. “Is it honest to lie? To cheat? To steal?” A family on vacation stopped to buy a soft drink from a vending machine. They put in the coins, pushed the button, and two cans came out instead of one—their money came back, too! The children were excited. Then their father asked, “Are you willing to be a thief for such a little bit of money?” Ask the Primary children: “What do you think that they did?” Discuss.
Ahead of time, prepare slips of paper with other situations in which the children would be faced with a test of their honesty. Have one child read the situation and let the rest provide answers. See Primary 6 manual, Enrichment Activities no. 4, p. 59, for suggestions. Tell the story of the seminary students in Family Home Evening Resource Manual, Lesson 3, p. 195.
Help the children memorize this Gospel Standard by writing the first letter of each word (I w b h w H F, o, a m) on the chalkboard or on a chart. Point to the corresponding letters as you repeat each word. Repeat the Standard several times and let the children repeat it until they no longer need the chart. Have each child (volunteers chosen randomly) stand and say one word of the Standard, so that all must be ready with the correct word when called on.
Sing from the CS “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162), “Seek the Lord Early” (p. 108), and “Repentance” (p. 98). Conclude by again singing “I Believe in Being Honest.”
Other ideas for this topic can be found in Family Home Evening Resource Manual, pp. 194–196, and Primary 6 manual, p. 196.
2. “I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.” Divide the children into 4 groups; assign each group part of the words of this Standard: “I will use the names of,” “Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently,” “I will not swear,” “or use crude words.” Have each group stand and repeat their words—first, in order; then, from the last group to the first. Then have all the children repeat the entire Standard. See if they can “hear” the words when the Standard is repeated in order by the groups but with one group being silent.
Write the names of the children on slips of paper and put them into a container. Draw out several names and ask those children to come to the front. Ask if they know how their parents chose their names. Were any of them named for someone else in the family? Say the names with varying voice inflections—excitement, annoyance, love, anger, respect, etc. Then have them tell how the different ways of hearing their names said made them feel. Conclude by displaying several of the names of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father (see the Topical Guide to the Bible). Discuss showing reverence by speaking Their names with respect, honor, and love. Tell President Kimball’s experience with a hospital orderly who took the Lord’s name in vain (see “What Would the Prophets Want Me to Do?” Friend, Sep. 1999, p. 38, or Family Home Evening Resource Manual, Lesson 1, p. 215). Remind the children that they are keeping their baptismal covenant as they speak reverently of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and never swear or use crude words. Have the children stand and repeat the Standard. Sing “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (CS, p. 152).
3. “I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.” Show the children a brown paper bag (with the scriptures inside) and a beautifully wrapped gift box (with garbage inside). Ask which they would choose, then let them open the packages. Discuss why they chose as they did. Explain that movies, books, and television programs could be compared to the packages: Sometimes bad things are made to look very attractive. Ask: “What kinds of garbage might be found in these kinds of entertainment?” Have the children turn to Moro. 7:12–19. Read these verses together, and discuss the standard for judgment that Moroni gives us. Without having them share with one another, the older children could each make a list of the books and magazines he/she has read lately and of the programs and movies he/she has watched. Then each child could compare his/her list with Moroni’s standard to see if the choices invited him/her to do good and love God. They could each circle or check those that would be “pleasing to Heavenly Father.” Suggest that the children discuss their lists with their parents.
Help the children memorize the Gospel Standard by preparing a written copy of it for each child and cutting it into wordstrips. After saying the Standard together a few times, give the children their strips and have them arrange them in correct order.
For younger children: Have the children draw pictures of their favorite books or of something they have seen on television. Let them share their drawings with the group, and help them identify the good things they are learning from their right choices. Sing from the CS: “Dare to Do Right” (p. 158), “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–161), “The Still Small Voice” (pp. 106–107), and/or “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–121).
4. Many Primary songs can help us remember and live “My Gospel Standards.” As you discuss each one, ask the children to suggest Primary songs that illustrate it. Or, sing songs from the CS that relate to the various Standards, and ask the children which Gospel Standard applies. Possibilities: “Listen, Listen” (p. 107), “I Believe in Being Honest” (p. 149), “Friends Are Fun” (p. 262), “Kindness Begins with Me” (p. 145), “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153), “Reverently, Quietly” (p. 26), “The Word of Wisdom” (pp. 154–155), “Remember the Sabbath Day” (p. 155), “Repentance” (p. 98), “Stand for the Right” (p. 159), “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” (p. 169), “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162), “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–165).
Sing each song in a different way: standing, marching in place, girls sing a phrase, boys sing a phrase, teachers sing, using dynamics, guessing the song from the tapped rhythm or from hearing just the first 3 notes, etc.
Prepare a simple calendar for the month for each child. Let the children fill in the name of the month and the days of the week (teachers may do this for younger children). Let each child decorate his or her own calendar; encourage all to hang them in their homes. Each evening, they could write or draw on the calendar what they did that day to follow “My Gospel Standards.” Give each child a copy of it to post beside the calendar. Both the music leader and the member of the Primary presidency should bear testimony to the children of the important gospel principles you are teaching.
5. Additional Friend resources: “Tithes and Offerings” (Nov. 1996, p. 12), “Silent Message” (Nov. 1996, pp. 8–11), “Intents of Your Heart” (Sep. 1997, IFC), “Secret Pals” (Sep. 1997, pp. 2–4), “Sister Terry” (June 1998, IBC), “My Morning Thought” (Sep. 1997, p. 27), “Daniel Obeys the Lord” (June 1998, p. 34), “R.A.D.A.R.” (Apr. 1995, pp. 42–43).