Jesus loved serving others. He was the perfect example of service. He said, “I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:27). He knew that He came to earth to serve others, not to be served. Do you think it is odd that the Master served others? Master and servant are opposite words. You might think it is surprising that the greatest masters are those who serve.
During Jesus’s mortal life, He served the poor. He taught the gospel. He fed crowds of hungry people. He washed His disciples’ feet. He healed the sick and even raised the dead.
Jesus taught the importance of service. When He comes to earth again, He will say to the righteous: “I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:35–36).
Jesus said the righteous will not remember doing any of those things for Him. Then He will tell them, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). When we serve each other, we are also serving Him.
You can serve the Lord by serving those around you. You do not have to do something big to serve others. A smile can gladden a friend’s heart. Speaking a kind word, helping a brother or sister, obeying your parents—all are ways you can serve. When we willingly serve, we become more like Christ, and our faith grows.
Mount page 12 on heavy paper. Cut out the eight pieces. Punch holes where indicated. Using yarn or string, tie a loop in the hole at the top of the picture of the Savior. Use another piece of string to connect the bottom of the picture of the Savior to the scripture. Using six more pieces of string, tie each picture of an act of service to the bottom of the picture above. Hang your mobile where it will remind you that when you are serving others, you are also serving Jesus Christ.
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Mosiah 2:17
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied or printed from www.friend.lds.org.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Use a scrambled word game to introduce sharing time. Write on the chalkboard the reference Luke 10:37. Then write words made up from all the letters in the last line of verse 37, “Go, and do thou likewise” (for example, “LOOKOUT, WISHING A DEED”). Draw blank spaces for each letter below the scrambled line. Invite the children to look up the scripture, and then have them take turns crossing out and rewriting one or two letters on the blank lines to spell “Go, and do thou likewise.” (A flannel board or magnetic board with moveable letters would also work well for this activity.)
Explain that this is the last line in a very important story that Jesus told. Show GAK 218 (The Good Samaritan). Use the story on the back of the picture to explain why Jesus told the story. Read Jesus’s words from Luke 10:30–37, and have the children follow along. After the children are familiar with the story, ask four children to dramatize it (see “Dramatization,” TNGC, 165–66). Have the children represent the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan, and the wounded man. Read the account from the scriptures again while the participants act it out silently.
Refer back to “Go, and do thou likewise.” Explain that one purpose of Jesus’s story was to teach people how to be good neighbors. Ask the children how they can be like the Samaritan. Show the older children the Faith in God booklet. Read the ideas listed under “Serving Others” on pages 8–9. Challenge them to be more like Jesus by serving others.
For younger children: Point to different parts of the body and ask the children to think of ways they can serve using that part of their body. For example, for feet, they could say, “I could take something into another room for my mom,” or for ears, “I can listen to and obey my parents.”
Jesus taught us to serve others by His words and example. Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79). Divide the children into several groups. Have each group sing one phrase and point to themselves when they sing “I.” Have everyone sing the chorus. Bear testimony of the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for us.
2. Tell the account of Nephi’s broken bow (see 1 Nephi 16:18–32). Review the account by using a quiver with arrows. Draw a quiver and arrows on the chalkboard or make a simple quiver by rolling and stapling together a large piece of paper. The arrows can also be made out of paper. On each arrow in the quiver, attach a question. For example, write “Who did Nephi ask for direction in where to hunt?” (his father, Lehi) and “What did Nephi do with the food he obtained?” (shared it with his family). On each arrow write a word that relates to the question, such as obedience or sharing. After all of the questions are answered, explain that Nephi served his family by working hard, being cheerful, and being forgiving. Point to each arrow in the quiver and ask the children to liken (see “Likening,” TNGC, 170–71) the quality written on the arrow to their own families. Ask for specific examples such as “I could share a treat I received with my little brother.”
Ask the children to help you write a new verse for “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–21). You might begin with the line “Now, in the Book of Mormon, Nephi made a bow” and end with “Nephi was courageous. This was his reply.” Invite the children to suggest lines to tell the story and complete the verse. Be prepared by writing a few suitable rhyming words on the chalkboard to motivate them, but allow them to create most of the song themselves so it has more meaning to them. Sing the song several times.
3. Enter the Primary room wearing an apron and carrying a serving tray covered with a napkin. Tell the children you want to serve them and share with them. Before showing them what you have for them, invite them to look up Galatians 5:13–14. Help them underline the words “by love serve one another” and “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
On the tray have different scripture references, pictures of service, or quotes from stories you will later tell. You might have small cups with a scripture reference written on the outside, a picture of service on a plate, or quotes taped to silverware. After the children have selected an item and looked at it or read it, ask them to share what they have learned by trading papers with someone else. Continue trading several times.
Tell stories of service. You might consider using some stories that have appeared in the Friend from President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, such as the story of Uncle Elias in “Happy Homes” (Oct. 2001, 2), the story of the yellow and gray bird in “The Canary with the Best Song” (Aug. 2005, 2), and his own story in “Love” (Feb. 2002, 2).
Tell the children you want them to sing two songs. One is about a big act of service and the other is about a small act of service. Sing “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” (p. 169) and “Smiles” (p. 267).
4. Display a large book with “The M217 Mystery” written on the front. You can make the book out of half-sized sheets of poster board or large sheets of paper. Turn to the first page of the book and read, “What is M217? Hint: It is a scripture about service.” Ask the children to help you solve the mystery by searching for the scripture (Mosiah 2:17). Have half of the children turn to the Bible’s table of contents and identify the books that begin with the letter M. Have the other half turn to the Book of Mormon’s table of contents and do the same thing. Have the children look up the reference 2:17 in each M book (for example, Malachi 2:17). Point out that the reference 2:17 will not exist in some books. Hint again that they are looking for one specific scripture about service.
When the children correctly identify Mosiah 2:17, explain that this is an important scripture because it tells us how to serve the Lord. Display “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” on the next page of the book.
Invite children to turn the pages of your book, which show ways we can serve God. Discuss how the people are serving as you show pictures such as GAK 612 (Missionaries Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ), GAK 611 (The Bishop), and GAK 607 (Young Girl Speaking at Church). Add various pictures from the Primary picture packets to show helping in the family. Discuss ways the children can serve others and thereby serve Jesus Christ.
Distribute pieces of paper so the children can make their own books. Have the children fold their papers in half, write “The M217 Mystery” on the cover, and write the scripture on the inside of the cover. Challenge them to draw pictures or write sentences of ways they will serve the Lord in the coming week. Invite them to share their books at family home evening.
Sing “Fun to Do” (p. 253). Ask the children to think of ways to serve the Lord by serving others. Substitute “singing a song” with other words such as “sweeping the floor” or “serving a mission.” Improvise actions.
5. Friend references: “Ben’s Busy Day,” Jan. 2005, 40–42; “Service with a Song,” May 2002, 16–17; “Rescued on Sunday,” Nov. 2002, 34–36; “An Unusual Birthday,” July 2000, 48–inside back cover; Fiction: “Nephi’s Bow,” June 1998, 28–32; Fiction: “Baseball and a Broken Bow,” Aug. 1993, 2–5; “The Good Samaritan,” May 2002, 11–13.