What produces light? A candle, a flashlight, a lightbulb, the stars. What is the greatest source of light for us? No, it isn’t the sun. It is Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
This light “is given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moro. 7:16). Each of us has the Light of Christ to help us choose the right.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminds us how we can have spiritual light: “When I was a boy, I used to ride my bicycle home from basketball practice at night. I would connect a small pear-shaped generator to my bicycle tire. Then as I pedaled, the tire would turn a tiny rotor, which produced … a single, welcome beam of light. … I learned quickly that if I stopped pedaling my bicycle, the light would go out. I also learned that when I was ‘anxiously engaged’ in pedaling, the light would become brighter and the darkness in front of me would be [forced away].”
Elder Hales explains that “spiritual light comes from daily spiritual pedaling. It comes from praying, studying the scriptures, fasting, and serving—from living the gospel and obeying the commandments” (“Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,” Ensign, May 2002, 71).
When we live the gospel and keep the commandments, we can have the Light of Christ with us always.
Trace the picture on page 30 onto plain white paper, and color the traced picture. Brush your picture very lightly with salad oil, and blot it with a towel. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Presidency of the Seventy said that when he was growing up, his “chapel had a stained-glass window of Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. Whenever the sun shone on it, I felt that the story it illustrated and what I had learned in Primary about the First Vision were true” (Friend, June 1998, 6). Place your picture in a window to remind you of the light the Savior provides in your life.
I Am the Light of the World
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook (CS) unless otherwise indicated; GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. To review ways in which Jesus Christ lights the way, divide the children into groups and have each group read and illustrate a scripture of something Jesus did or taught, such as feeding the multitude (Matt. 15:32–38); having compassion for the sick (Matt. 14:14); honoring His mother, even while on the cross, by telling John to take care of her (John 19:26–27); praying to Heavenly Father (Matt. 6:9–13); and being baptized (Matt. 3:13–17). Have the groups take turns sharing their scriptures. Help them understand that they can help others by being kind, contributing fast offerings, obeying their parents, and following the Savior. Draw a line on the chalkboard, and write along it “Not pleased,” “Somewhat pleased,” and “Well pleased.” Have the children read Matt. 3:16–17 aloud. Place a painting of Jesus above “Well pleased.” Ask, “Where would the world be placed on the line?” Have the children silently decide where they would be placed on the line and where they wish to be placed on the line. Sing songs or hymns about the Savior. Testify that He loves them, and invite them to try to be more like Him.
2. To help the children practice ways to be good examples to others, write situations on candle-shaped pieces of paper, such as “You are walking home from school and find a cigarette. You and your friends decide to try it,” and “You are going to meet your best friend when you see your mother trying to fold clothes and cook dinner. You decide to help her by folding the clothes.” Draw large pictures of a hill and a bushel and attach them to the wall. Have the children read Matt. 5:14–16 and discuss what it means to have their lights “shine before men.” Have the children take turns choosing a candle, and ask them to read the situation and decide whether to place the candle on the hill or under the bushel. Sing songs or hymns about choosing the right. Give each child a candle-shaped piece of paper and have him or her write one thing that will help his or her light shine. Bear testimony that we can be a good influence in the world.
3. For younger children: Before sharing time, gather and place in a sack items that represent physical protection, such as an umbrella, a blanket, a jacket, sunglasses, earmuffs, and gloves. In another sack, place items that represent spiritual protection, such as a tithing envelope, a piece of fruit or other healthy food, a Friend or other Church magazine, a set of scriptures, a picture of a temple, a picture of someone being baptized, and a picture of the sacrament.
Have the children take turns choosing an item from the first sack and putting it on. Ask him or her how it is a protection. Sing songs such as “Rain Is Falling All Around” (p. 241) and “Once There Was a Snowman” (p. 249).
Reinforce the idea that choosing the right and listening to the Holy Ghost can help give us direction and protection. Have the children take turns choosing items from the sack of spiritual protection. Ask them how the item reminds them to invite the Spirit. Sing songs such as “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–47) and “The Still Small Voice” (pp. 106–7).
Give the children a piece of paper shaped like a lamp or a flashlight with the words of Ps. 119:105 written on it. On the back have them draw a picture of what they can do to follow the Savior. Bear testimony that when they follow the Savior, they can have the protection and guidance of the Holy Ghost.
4. Help the children understand how their example can aid others in trying to do what is right. Before Primary, ask a child to practice drawing a picture of the 6/8 beat pattern (see CS, 301), then directing it. During sharing time, give each child a piece of paper and ask them to draw the pattern. Have the child who has practiced it draw it on the chalkboard, then lead the children in singing “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (p. 55). Have the children turn their papers over and draw the pattern again, then compare their second effort with their first one. Ask them how having an example helped them. Discuss how they can be examples.
Divide the children into groups. Give one person in each group a paper and pencil to record answers. Have the children list as many places as possible where they can be an example—e.g., at home, at school, on a sports team. Have them make a second list of people they can be examples to—e.g., family members, teachers, friends, classmates. Have them make a third list of things they can do to be good examples—e.g., wearing modest clothes, keeping the Sabbath day holy, being kind, listening to good music.
Help the children understand that they are examples at all times. Have them take turns using their lists to fill in the blanks of this sentence: “When I am at _____, I can be a good example to _____ by _____.” Invite one group to fill in the first blank from their place list, another group to fill in the second blank from their people list, and a third group to fill in the last blank from their can-do list. Some combinations may be humorous—for example, “When I am at the store, I can be a good example to my teacher by paying my tithing.” Discuss how even though some of the sentences were not logical, the fact remains that everyone is an example all the time, whether for good or bad. Discuss how it is easier for many to choose the right when they see the good examples of others.
Have everyone stand at his or her seat (make sure there is ample room) and direct the music while singing “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (p. 55) and “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79). Challenge the children to try to choose the right throughout the week. Suggest that they post the 6/8-beat drawing in their rooms as a reminder of being a good example.
5. Following the children’s sacrament meeting presentation (CSMP), use GAK 221 and Luke 17:11–19 to review the story of the ten lepers. Discuss how the Savior taught that we should express gratitude to those who help us. Have the children list on the chalkboard all of the people who helped make the CSMP successful and then suggest ways in which they can thank those people, individually or as a group. Follow through with suggestions such as singing the music leader’s and piano accompanist’s favorite Primary songs as beautifully as possible; taking turns telling Primary leaders what they have learned this year about the blessings of being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; making commitments to a bishopric or branch presidency member to do one thing better in the coming month, such as being reverent in sacrament meeting; thanking the teachers verbally for their help, or writing thank-you notes to their own teacher; having the adults line up around the perimeter of the room and walk by and shake hands with each of the children while the adults thank them personally by name.
Sing “Love One Another” (p. 136). Express gratitude for the blessings that came to the ward or branch because the children shared their testimonies through word and song during the CSMP.
6. Additional Friend resources: songs—“Holding Hands Around the World,” July 2002, 44–45, and “Follow His Light,” Dec. 1992, 38–39; Sharing Times—Jan. 2000, 46 (ideas only), and Oct. 2000, 42–45; stories—“Our Father’s Voice,” Apr. 2000, 32–34, and “A Whispering in the Heart,” Jan. 2001, 40–42. Ensign resources: “Yielding to the Enticings of the Holy Spirit,” Nov. 2002, 89–91.