Think about the choices you make every day. Do you choose what to wear, what to say, what to read and watch, and how to act? The ability to make choices is a gift from Heavenly Father. It is called agency. Using our agency is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us. What helps you choose the right?
Heavenly Father will help you choose the right. You are a child of God, and He wants you to return to live with Him again. Remember, you can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere, and He will bless you with courage to choose the right.
Jesus Christ will help you choose the right. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and the perfect example for you to follow. You will choose the right when you ask yourself, “What would Jesus want me to do?”
The Holy Ghost will help you choose the right. When you are baptized and when you take the sacrament, you covenant (or promise) to keep the commandments. When you do this, Heavenly Father promises that the Holy Ghost will be with you. The Holy Ghost will prompt you to do what is right, warn you, and bless you with peace when you choose the right.
Prophets help you choose the right. The scriptures contain the word of God taught by His prophets. They can help you know what to do. Today, our prophet and other leaders are the servants of God. Listen when they speak in general conference. As you follow their counsel, you will choose the right.
Follow the maze on page 20. Choose the pictures that represent good decisions. As you make the correct choices, the maze will lead you to Jesus Christ.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Help the children read and discuss Ex. 20:8–11. What does Heavenly Father teach us about the Sabbath day? When was the Sabbath day hallowed? What does that mean? Ask the children to help you think of ways to keep the Sabbath day holy. With the help of the music leader, pick songs from the Children’s Songbook that suggest activities appropriate for the Sabbath day, such as “Family History—I Am Doing It” (p. 94), “When I Go to Church” (p. 157), “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (pp. 228–29), “Grandmother” (p. 200), and “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (p. 109). As you sing each song, ask the children to listen for things they could do on the Sabbath day. Help them develop their ideas into activities such as filling out a family group sheet, asking Mom or Dad to tell a story about their childhood, going to church with the family and singing all the songs, thinking about Jesus during the sacrament, going on a walk to increase gratitude for nature, learning the name of one new plant and drawing a picture of it, writing a letter, calling or visiting grandparents, or telling a scripture story with puppets or flannel-board figures. Seek for a good variety of songs and activities.
Give each child a piece of paper to fold into 16 squares. Invite them to write or draw things suggested by the group in three or four of the squares. Distribute crayons, markers, and colored paper, and invite each child to decorate a small container or envelope for their “Sabbath Day Activities.” Suggest that the children take the paper home and fill in the rest of the squares with the help of their families. Cut the paper into 16 squares and put them into the container. Each week they can honor the Sabbath day by drawing a square out of the container and doing that activity with their family.
2. Teach the Word of Wisdom and the standard of modesty by preparing strips of paper with the following references written on them: from D&C 89:7–12, 14; and the following quotes from President Hinckley—“How truly beautiful is a well-groomed young woman who is clean in body and mind.” “How handsome is a young man who is well groomed. He is a son of God, deemed worthy of holding the holy priesthood of God.” “[A son of God] does not need tattoos or earrings on or in his body.” “I promise you that the time will come, if you have tattoos, that you will regret your actions.” “As for the young women, … one modest pair of earrings is sufficient.” “There is no need for any Latter-day Saint boy or girl, … to even try [drugs].” (See “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,”Ensign, Jan. 2001, 2–11). Place the strips of paper in a bag, then pass the bag while the children sing “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153). Stop the music and invite a child to choose and read a reference from the bag. Discuss and teach the principles of the Word of Wisdom and modesty in dress.
From the Primary 1 picture packet, enlarge and copy picture 1-38 (Children Playing Ball). Cut into eight to ten puzzle pieces. Write questions that review the principles taught, such as “What are two things that are good for us, as revealed in the Word of Wisdom?” “What are three things we can do to be well groomed?” Attach one question to the back of each puzzle piece. Read the questions one at a time, and invite the child who answers the question correctly to help put the puzzle together. Point out the health and dress of the children in the picture. Read the promise made to those who obey the Word of Wisdom (in D&C 89:18–21) and bear testimony of the importance of obedience to these principles. Sing “For Health and Strength” (p. 21) in a round.
For younger children: Teach practices of good grooming, cleanliness, and good health with pictures and objects. Continue with the review questions and puzzle.
3. Two of My Gospel Standards talk about doing things that are “pleasing to Heavenly Father.” How do we know what is “pleasing to Heavenly Father”? From A of F 1:13, write on wordstrips the following four words and phrases in large letters: VIRTUOUS, LOVELY, GOOD REPORT, PRAISEWORTHY. Cut each word into letters and put each word in an envelope. (You may want to clip together the letters to the words GOOD and REPORT separately, but put them in the same envelope.) Divide the children and teachers into four groups. Invite them to unscramble the word(s) and glue the letters in order on the envelope. Tell the children that the following activities will help them learn the meaning of the words and what is “pleasing to Heavenly Father.” Divide the room into four stations, post one of the words at each station, and rotate the four groups through each of the following activities: (1) Read a story from the Friend. Ask the children to share titles of their favorite books or stories. (2) Play a game or do an activity from the Friend. (3) Sing songs from the “Fun and Activity” section of the Children’s Songbook (pp. 250–85). You may want to add simple rhythm instruments or pipe chimes. (4) Play a short video segment appropriate for children from the church library, such as Sharing Time with President Hinckley (item no. 53331). Gather the children and discuss the activities and how they felt while participating in them. Emphasize that we want to be able to feel the Spirit when we are reading, singing, or watching anything. Repeat or sing the thirteenth article of faith (pp. 132–33).
4. Post on the board eight to ten pictures from the GAK of Christ doing kind acts for others. These might include Christ Healing a Blind Man (213), Stilling the Storm (214), Jesus Blessing Jairus’s Daughter (215), and Christ and the Children (216). Repeat with the children “I will seek good friends and treat others kindly” (from My Gospel Standards). Ask two or three children to tell about one of their friends, and ask them what makes a person a friend. Have them look at the pictures on the board and ask “Who else is our friend?” Sing “Jesus Is Our Loving Friend” (p. 58). Teach that Jesus is not only our friend, but taught us how to be a friend by His example. Invite a child from each class to choose one of the pictures from the board. Have each class read the story about the picture from the scriptures or the back of the picture and prepare to role-play the story for the rest of the Primary (see TNGC, p. 178). As each class presents their role play, discuss ways that Jesus’s example helps us be a friend. Help the children find and memorize the “Golden Rule” from Matt. 7:12. Sing “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (p. 61). Prepare pictures of different people who could be friends to the children, including a grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, brother, sister, baby, peers, disabled child, teacher, etc. (Pictures can be found in Primary picture packets, flannel-board series, and Children’s Songbook.) Invite the children to sit in a circle. Have the stack of pictures facing down. Toss a beanbag to a child in the circle, then have him or her choose the picture on top and tell one way he or she could be a friend to that person and treat him or her kindly. If your Primary is large, have more than one circle of children. Play the game until each child has had a turn. Gather the children and read or tell the circumstances of Christ’s commandment to love one another (see John 13:34–35). Sing “Love One Another” (p. 136).
5. Friend references: “Faith Helps Us Choose the Right,” Oct. 2002, 33–35; “Do What Is Right,” Sept. 2003, 16–18; “Whenever I Have to Choose,” Jun. 1997, 38–39; “Ye Are the Temple of God,” May 2002, 44–46; “My Body—a Temple,” May 2002, 18–19; “I Am a Child of God,” Jan. 2004, 15–17; “The Word of Wisdom: A Blessing of Strength,” Feb. 2003, 8–9; “‘Saints’ Means ‘Friends,’” Nov. 2000, 32–34; “Doing His Father’s Work on Earth,” Oct. 2001, 10–11; “Family Traditions,” Feb. 2002, 7. Other reference: “‘Sanctify Yourselves,’”Ensign, Nov. 2000, 38–40. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.