I thank thee, dear Father in heaven above,
For thy goodness and mercy, thy kindness and love.
I thank thee for home, friends, and parents so dear,
And for ev’ry blessing that I enjoy here.
(“I Thank Thee, Dear Father,” Children’s Songbook, 7)
Did you know that being thankful is a commandment? In Doctrine and Covenants 59:7 we read, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” One of the ways you can show your love for Heavenly Father is to thank Him for the blessings He has given you.
Some Primary children shared what they are thankful for. Andrew: “I am thankful for my family and food.” Brady: “I am thankful for my mom and dad; my sister; and my kitty, Lucy.” Caleb: “I am thankful for my hands because they can move.” Connor: “I am thankful for my family and the times that we play games together.” Taegan: “I am thankful for my family and the gospel.” McKenna: “I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost because He can give us promptings that keep us safe.” Seneca: “I am thankful for my family, the gospel, my friends, and my home.”
What are you thankful for? Talk with your family and make a list of the blessings Heavenly Father has given you. Remember to thank Him for your blessings each time you pray.
To play the blessings matching game, remove page 14 and mount on heavy paper. Cut out the blessings cards on the solid lines. Place the cards facedown. Turn over two cards and try to make a match. When you make a match, tell others why you are thankful for that blessing.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Create a list of blessings (food, clothing, body, home, etc.) to be used in a scrambled-word activity (see “Scrambles,” TNGC, 184). Write the scrambled words on the chalkboard prior to sharing time. (For younger children: find or draw simple pictures to place by the scrambled words.)
Begin sharing time with the month’s theme: “I am thankful to know that we are all children of God.” Ask: “Why is it important to know we are children of God? How do we know we are children of God? How does knowing we are children of God help us each day?”
Explain that one way we can know we are children of God is by reading our scriptures. Show GAK 400 (Joseph Smith) and briefly explain that Joseph Smith recorded revelations from Heavenly Father in a special book called the Doctrine and Covenants. Help the children locate section 59. Read the section heading and the verse explanations with the children. Read verse 7 together as a Primary. Repeat the scripture several times together so the children can memorize it.
Write the word Thank above the scrambled-word activity on the chalkboard and explain that the scrambled words are blessings from Heavenly Father. Invite the children to solve the scrambled words. As each word is discovered, invite the children to share why they are thankful for that blessing. When the activity is completed, provide paper and pencils, crayons, or markers for the children to draw pictures of blessings they are thankful for.
Sing both verses of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (pp. 228–29). Ask the children to listen for blessings Heavenly Father has given them and for how we should thank Him. Repeat the final phrase: “Yes, I know Heav’nly Father loves me.” Repeat the weekly theme, and share your testimony of why you are thankful to be a child of God.
Prior to sharing time, make a large outline of a paper-doll body (see Primary 3, lesson 31, p. 155). Make it large enough for children to write or draw their responses on as they share ways of taking care of their bodies.
Begin sharing time by writing the first sentence of the weekly gospel principle on the chalkboard: “I am thankful for my body.” Invite the children to sing “Fun to Do” (p. 253), and talk about things they can do because of their bodies.
Briefly share that the Apostle Paul was a great missionary who wrote letters, or epistles, to those whom he helped convert to the gospel. Tell the children that one city Paul visited to teach the gospel was Corinth. Invite a child to read 1 Corinthians 3:16–17. Write the second sentence of the weekly gospel principle on the chalkboard: “I know my body is a temple.”
Place the large outline of a paper-doll body on the chalkboard under the weekly gospel principle. Invite the children to share how they can take care of their bodies. As the children share ideas, invite them to come to the chalkboard and write or draw their idea on the large paper doll. As they do, invite the rest of the children to sing “Fun to Do,” acting out that child’s idea.
Provide a small paper-doll body for each child, and pencils or crayons for the children to write or draw ways they can show they know their body is a temple. Invite the children to take their paper doll home and share these ideas with their families.
Review all the ideas on the large paper doll by stating each idea in an “I will” sentence (“I will eat healthy foods,” “I will get enough sleep,” “I will keep my body clean,” etc.). Sing “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153). Bear testimony of the blessing of having a body and the importance of making wise choices in caring for our bodies.
If possible, bring a world map or globe to sharing time (see 3-58 from the Primary 3 picture packet). Be prepared to point out different locations on the globe or map: your country, Jerusalem, the Americas.
Begin sharing time by showing the map or globe to the children and finding the various locations around the world. Invite the children to sing “Children All over the World” (pp. 16–17), and ask them to listen for an important message in the last line of the song (“He loves them, loves them, ev’ry one”).
Show GAK 216 (Christ and the Children) and GAK 315 (Christ Appears to the Nephites), and share the scripture accounts of when the Savior invited children to come unto Him. Help the children locate 2 Nephi 26:33 and help them find the phrase “he inviteth them all to come unto him.”
Share stories about how children were blessed by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see Primary 3, lesson 30, pp. 146–47). Bear testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus love all children and want them to be happy and return to live with Them someday.
Show a picture of a family and invite the children to share what they can tell about the family. Invite them to share what they love about their own families.
Express gratitude for the blessing of a family. Remind the children that we have a Heavenly Father and we all belong to His family. He loves us, and we are His children. Invite the children to repeat the monthly theme, “I am thankful to know that we are all children of God.”
Show GAK 213 (Jesus Healing the Blind), GAK 221 (The Ten Lepers), and GAK 216 (Christ and the Children), and briefly share these stories. Sing “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (p. 61) and ask the children to listen for how we should treat all of God’s children. Share the weekly gospel principle: “I can show respect and kindness to all of God’s children.” Help the children find Ephesians 4:32 and have them read the first line, “And be ye kind one to another.” Invite the children to share ways they can show kindness to others.
Involve the children in role-playing to practice showing kindness to others (see “Role Playing,” TNGC, 178, and Primary 3, lesson 31, pp. 153–54). After each role play, have the children repeat, “And be ye kind one to another.”
Sing “Jesus Said Love Everyone” and bear testimony of the importance of showing kindness to all of God’s children.
Friend references: “My Body—a Temple,” May 2002, 18; “Special Witness: Powerful Ideas,” Mar. 2003, 17; “Standing Up for Molly,” Oct. 2007, 38–40; “My Busy Body,” Nov. 2007, 7; “I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Jan. 2004, 38; “Choosing Kindness,” Jan. 2007, 8–9.