(click to view larger)“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21).
“The Field Is White Already to Harvest”22989_000_022
In some parts of the world, it is harvesttime now. Green vegetables, juicy fruits, and healthy grains are ripe and ready for harvesting. Farmers work hard so everything can be gathered and nothing is lost.
The Lord has said that “the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4). His harvest is humble people who are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries work hard to find and teach as many of these people as possible.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has asked us to help. He said: “I wish I could awaken in the heart of every man, woman, boy, and girl … the great consuming desire to share the gospel with others. If you do that, you live better, you try to make your lives more exemplary because you know that those you teach would not believe unless you back up what you say by the goodness of your lives” (regional conference, Anchorage, Alaska, 18 June 1995).
When you try to live a better life, you obey the prophet’s counsel. You also show that you love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. You prepare to go to the temple and to serve a mission. You are exemplary, which means you are a wonderful example.
It is harvesttime. Like the farmer or the full-time missionary, you can see the fruits of your labor. What is your harvest? Others have noticed your good example and want to come to church. And Heavenly Father is pleased because you have shown your love by keeping His commandments. As you continue to keep the commandments, you will continue to have harvests.
Sharing Time Ideas
Explain the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy by having the children role-play the gathering of manna (see Ex. 16:11–31). Then read D&C 59:9–15, and make a list of good things to do on the Sabbath. Discuss the list, and add other ideas such as read the scriptures and write to missionaries. Ask the children to listen for promised blessings as you read D&C 59:16–19. Sing a song or hymn about the Sabbath. To review, have the children sit in a circle and establish a rhythm by lightly tapping their hands on their laps two times, clapping their hands two times, then snapping their fingers two times. When they snap their fingers, have a child say something good to do on the Sabbath. Continue around the circle, allowing children to add to the list of good things to do.
Read Articles of Faith 1:5 [A of F 1:5], and explain that bishops are called of God. Then read Titus 1:7–9, and have the children list the qualities of a bishop. Explain that we honor priesthood leaders by using their correct titles. Write the offices listed in Articles of Faith 1:6 [A of F 1:6] on the chalkboard: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists. Write the following titles on separate pieces of paper: Elder, President, Bishop, Brother, and Patriarch. Place the titles in random order on the chalkboard. Read Articles of Faith 1:6. As you get to each office, stop and have a child match the correct title to the office. Apostles are addressed as “Elder.” The prophet is called “President” because he is the President of the Church. A pastor is now called “Bishop.” “Teacher” refers to someone who holds that priesthood office; he is called “Brother.” The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that evangelists are our patriarchs. Write a letter to your bishop or branch president and thank him for his service. Have the children sign their names or draw pictures of themselves.
Can you find the bicycle, bucket, button, coveralls, hoe, journal, needle and thread, packet of seeds, piggy bank, rake, scriptures, watering can, temple recommend, and work boot hidden in this picture? As you find them, color with one color the objects a farmer would use. With a different color, color the objects you can use to prepare for a full-time mission.
Illustration by Robert A. Peterson