“Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it” (1 Ne. 17:36).
My Home and Neighborhood92989_000_020
Through Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father created our world. He made the mountains. He made the oceans. He made the sun to shine by day and the moon to shine by night. “And all things which [He] had made were finished, and … God saw that they were good” (Moses 3:2). Heavenly Father wanted us to live in a beautiful and good world.
President Ezra Taft Benson lived on a farm in Whitney, Idaho, when he was a child. There were chickens, cows, and horses on the farm. When President Benson was just twelve years old, his father was called on a mission. Ezra was the oldest child in the family, with six younger brothers and sisters. He knew that his mother would need him to help her make their home a cheerful and comfortable place. He woke up early each morning so that he could milk the cows before he went to school. His little brothers and sister laughed as he squirted milk into their mouths when they came into the barn to watch him, and he comforted them when they missed their father. He even dug vegetables from the snow so that they would have enough to eat. Ezra tried in every way to make his home a happy one.
There were also many neighbors in their little farming community. Ezra’s mother taught him to greet people with a polite “How do you do?” Ezra helped his neighbors willingly when they needed extra people to do farm work. Some of the neighbors said that they never knew anyone who could work harder than he did.
Think about your home. Is it a place of love? Think about your neighborhood. Is it a good place? When we show respect, honor, and love in our homes and neighborhoods, we are showing reverence for them. And in this way, we are letting Heavenly Father know that we are thankful for the beautiful and good world He created for us.
You can learn ways to become a good neighbor by playing the game on the next page. Use buttons or small stones for markers. Write numbers 1–6 on small pieces of paper and put them in a bag. To play the game, shake the bag and draw a number. Move your marker the number of spaces indicated. If you land on a space showing good neighbor activities, you can go ahead as the solid arrow shows. But if you land on a space showing things you should not do, you will have to follow the broken arrow and move backward. Continue playing the game until each player becomes a good neighbor.
Illustrated by Julie F. Young
Sharing Time Ideas
Draw a large map of your neighborhood. Let the children help you locate their homes, the church, stores, and other landmarks on the map. Discuss ways that they could show respect for the neighborhood, such as obeying specific laws and learning about and serving neighbors.
Discuss Mosiah 4:14–15, focusing on teaching children to not fight and quarrel one with another. Describe family situations where children tend to quarrel, then let the children role-play the sequences, suggesting different possible solutions.
If the weather and other conditions permit, divide the children into groups, each with at least one leader. Have each group take a short walk in the neighborhood. Have one group search for pleasing images and scenes. Another could find things that they could fix or change to make the neighborhood nicer.