November: When We Serve Others, We Serve God

"November: When We Serve Others, We Serve God," 2010 Outline for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation, (2009)

Weeks 1 and 2: Jesus Christ taught us how to serve others.

Encourage understanding (participating in a dramatization): Tell the children that one day a man asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered him by telling a story that teaches us how to serve others. Invite a few children to dress up in simple costumes to portray characters from the parable of the good Samaritan: a traveler, some thieves, a priest, a Levite, a Samaritan, and an innkeeper. Tell the story in your own words (see Luke 10:30–37) and then help the children act it out. Ask the children: “What does this story teach us about who our neighbors are? Whom should we serve?” Point out that our neighbors can be anyone in need. Explain to the children that they can serve their friends and family members all the time, but they should serve people they do not know only if they are with a parent or another trusted adult. Testify that Jesus Christ loves everyone and wants us to serve everyone.

Encourage application (planning service for family): Tell the children that Jesus wants us to serve others, including members of our families. Cut out small paper circles and give a few to each child. Have them draw a smiling face on each one to make “Service Smiles.” Encourage the children to perform small acts of service for members of their family during the next week. Brainstorm together tasks they could do (such as leave a kind note, pick up toys, or make a bed). Have the children leave a “Service Smile” where the act of service was performed. Invite them to ask their families to participate in this activity with them. Encourage the children to be ready to share with the Primary next week how their service helped bring smiles to their families.

Encourage understanding and application (reporting on service): Invite the children to retell the story of the good Samaritan in their own words. Use the same costumes you used the previous week to help them remember. Then give the children an opportunity to report on their “Service Smiles” from last week. One way to do this is to create a wheel like the one shown here, with each class in your Primary listed. Spin the wheel and invite one or two children in the class indicated to report on their service and how it helped them and others feel happy. Repeat as time allows.

Week 3: When I serve my family, I serve God.

Identify the doctrine (memorizing a scripture): Write “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17) on the board and discuss its meaning. Help the children memorize it by dividing the scripture into two sections and having half of the children say the first part (“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings”) and the other half say the second part (“Ye are only in the service of your God”). Repeat several times.

Encourage understanding (singing a song): Sing “When We’re Helping” (CS, 198), substituting the word serving for the word helping. Repeat the song, substituting other family members for mother (for example, father, brother, and sister). Invite the children to pantomime a service they could perform for that family member while they sing. Remind the children that when we serve others, we serve God.

Encourage application (discussing service opportunities): Draw a clock on the chalkboard. Divide the children into groups and assign each group a different time of the day. Tell the children that they can serve their family anytime during the day. Say to the children, “Tick tock, tick tock, it’s time to serve at ____ o’clock!” Invite the group assigned to that time to stand, and allow them to share one way they could serve their family at that time of day. Repeat until all the groups have had a turn.

Week 4: When I serve my neighbors, I serve God.

Encourage understanding (seeing examples of service opportunities): Have a Primary leader come into the room acting overwhelmed and obviously in need of help. For example, she might be dropping things, trying to carry too much, or calming a baby. Have the children suggest ways they could use their “helping hands” to help her. Remind the children that in the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus taught us to serve others. Show pictures of children who need help. Consider using pictures from the Primary manual picture packets. Invite children to share how they could help in these situations. Repeat the first half of Mosiah 2:17, and have the children repeat the second half.

Encourage understanding (planning service for neighbors): Have the children trace their hands on a piece of paper and write on their “helping hands” a way their family could serve their neighbors. Encourage them to do this service with their family sometime during the week. Display the hands on a bulletin board or a wall where the children will be reminded of ways they can serve.

Encourage understanding and application (singing a song): Ask a child to come to the front of the room and compare his or her hands with yours. Point out that his or her hands are much smaller than yours. Ask questions such as, “My big hands can pick up toys. Can your little hands?” Involve all of the children by having them compare their hands with their teacher’s hands. Point out that their hands can do many acts of service even though they are small. Sing “I Have Two Little Hands” (CS, 272). Invite the children to fold their hands in front of them while they sing. When they sing the word hands, have them lift both hands in the air and then quickly fold them again.