Do you attend a CTR class in Primary? Do you have a CTR ring? Our CTR ring reminds us to choose the right. Maybe you attend a Valiant class in Primary. Do you know what it means to be valiant? To be valiant means to be strong, faithful, and brave. Have you ever had to be valiant or brave when choosing the right? As a young boy, Joseph Smith learned that choosing the right is not always easy.
When Joseph was 14, he was confused about which church to join. Joseph read that people could ask God (see James 1:5).
Joseph went home and told his mother what had happened, and she believed him. However, when Joseph related his experience to the leaders of different churches, none of them believed him.
But Joseph was valiant in telling the truth. He said, “Though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true” (JS—H 1:25).
As we celebrate the 200th birthday of Joseph Smith this year, we can remember him and follow his example in choosing the right.
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Tell the children about an important message you have received, such as the birth of a child or another happy event. How was the message sent? How would you send an important message today? Show picture 5-7 from the Primary picture packet (Statue of Angel Moroni on Temple). Who is in the picture? Why is he blowing a trumpet? What important message does he have for the world? Using material from JS—H 1:27–67 or from the backs of GAK pictures 320 (Moroni Hides the Plates in the Hill Cumorah), 404 (Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith in His Room), 406 (Joseph Receives the Gold Plates), and 416 (Translating the Book of Mormon), tell the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. (You may also use the four-minute introduction of How Rare a Possession: The Book of Mormon [see A Voice from the Dust, item no. 53144] to teach the story of Moroni hiding the plates in the Hill Cumorah.) Write questions that review the story on separate slips of paper (see TNGC, pp. 68–70) and put them in a basket or sack. Sing “The Golden Plates” (p. 86) while passing the questions up and down the row. Randomly stop the music and invite the child who is holding the bag to choose and answer a question. Continue singing and passing the questions until all have been answered.
For older children: Assign each class and its teacher a chapter from the Book of Mormon to review. With the help of the teacher, have each child identify a brief doctrine in the chapter that would be a great message to the world.
For younger children: Post several GAK or Primary packet pictures that teach gospel principles on the board. Let children give gospel messages based on one of the pictures.
2. Ahead of time, invite two or three ward members approved by the bishop to share their testimonies of the blessing of paying tithing. Teach the principle of tithing. Point out that tithing is one of the basic requirements in the Faith in God program (see Faith in God guidebook, p. 4). Sing verse one of “I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth” (p. 150). Ask “What are ‘all the gifts He gives to me and you’?” Arrange for a member of the bishopric to use objects and pictures to point out all the things paid for with tithing money (for example, churches, temples, hymnbooks, lesson manuals, pianos, etc.). Give each child a tithing form and teach him or her how to fill it out. Explain that we pay our tithing to a member of the bishopric and meet with one of them for tithing settlement. Sing verse two of “I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth.” Ask “How does paying our tithing ‘show [our] faith and gratitude’?” Introduce ward members who are prepared to share their testimonies of tithing and invite them to share their experiences. Sing “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61).
3. Help the children sing or say the thirteenth article of faith (Children’s Songbook, pp. 132–33). Repeat the first line: “We believe in being honest.” Joseph Smith understood that it is not always easy to tell the truth. Tell in your own words of the persecution suffered by Joseph Smith as he told the truth regarding the First Vision. Refer to JS—H 1:21–26. Discuss what this story has to do with being “honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself” (see My Gospel Standards, Faith in God guidebook, back cover). In JS—H 1:33, Moroni told Joseph Smith that his name “should be had for good and evil among all nations.” What does that mean? How might our own names be had for good or evil because of our membership in the Church? Prepare four or five case studies (see TNGC, pp. 161–62) in which children must choose to be “honest with Heavenly Father, others, and [themselves]” as they live the commandments. Issues appropriate for your Primary might include modesty in dress, Word of Wisdom, and honesty in school. Divide the children into four or five groups and give each group a case study. With simple puppets (see TNGC, pp. 176–77) or by role playing (see TNGC, p. 178), let each group demonstrate their case study. When they get to the point where a choice must be made, invite other children to help them choose the outcome. Discuss how their name might “be had for good and evil” because of their choice, acknowledging that being honest and choosing the right is not always easy or popular. Sing “I Believe in Being Honest” (p. 149).
4. Explain that a person’s name is important, both to the person and to those who love him or her. Tell the children about your name and its significance. What does it mean? Were you named after someone? Invite two or three children to tell what they know about their names. Have the children recite Exodus 20:7 [Ex. 20:7] or the following from My Gospel Standards: “I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.” To help us remember Him, Jesus Christ is known by many names. Assemble the following items on a tray: 1) rock, 2) bread, 3) vine or a picture of one, 4) drawing or picture of sun, 5) small world globe or GAK 600 (The World), 6) GAK 403 (The First Vision), 7) representation of shepherd’s staff or small sheep, 8) GAK 227 (Jesus Praying in Gethsemane), and 9) crown. (Each of these items represents a name of Jesus Christ found in the following scripture references: Rock—Hel. 5:12, Bread of Life—John 6:47–48, Vine—John 15:5, Light of the World—John 8:12, Creator—Mosiah 3:8, Beloved Son—JS—H 1:17, Good Shepherd—John 10:11, Savior—D&C 43:34, King—D&C 45:59.) Use the objects, pictures, and scriptures to explain the names of Jesus and that each name helps us understand what He has done for us. Sing “Sacred Names of Jesus” (Friend, Apr. 1998, 34–35). Tell the story of President Kimball respecting the Lord’s name as told in “Respect His Name,”Friend, Jan. 2000, 48–49. Remind the children that when we are baptized and when we take the sacrament, we take the Lord’s name upon us. Bear testimony that we keep our covenants as we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently and by not swearing or using crude words. Sing “I Want to Live the Gospel” (p. 148).
5. This month is the 10th anniversary of when “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was first given (see Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). The proclamation teaches us how to be happy in our families. Read two sentences from the proclamation, beginning with “Happiness in family life” and ending with “wholesome recreational activities.” Prepare nine bags that include the following: 1) a copy of a song from the Children’s Songbook that teaches about one of the principles from the proclamation; 2) a piece of paper for each child in the group; and 3) crayons or markers. Divide the children into nine groups and give each group a bag. Ask them to read the words to the song. Have the children each decide on one thing they can do to increase happiness in their own families and draw pictures of it.
6. Friend references: “Getting into the Scriptures,” Feb. 1998, 36–37; “I Know the Scriptures Are True,” Jan. 1998, 24–25, insert; “Follow Me,” July 2003, 36–37; “Tithing,” Sept. 2002, 7; “Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Oct. 2000, IFC; “You Are a Child of God,” May 2003, 2–6; “We Believe in You!” May 2004, 2–3; “From Latter-day Prophets: Lorenzo Snow,” July 2001, 17; “Honesty: A Moral Compass,” Nov. 2001, 2–3. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.