“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (Articles of Faith 1:13).10940_000_sept
Week 1: I show my gratitude by offering thanks for all my blessings.
Identify the doctrine (listening to a story and reading a scripture): Briefly tell the story of the ten lepers (see Luke 17:11–19). Ask the children who in the story showed gratitude. Read Doctrine and Covenants 59:7, and ask the children who we should show gratitude to and what we should thank Him for.
Encourage understanding and application (playing a game): Display pictures of blessings such as family, friends, food, home, the earth, animals, and temples. Ask the children to close their eyes and sing “Thanks to Our Father” (CS, 20) as you remove one of the pictures. When they finish the song, ask them to open their eyes and see if they can discover which picture is missing. Toss a beanbag to a child and ask him or her to share how they can show gratitude for that blessing. Repeat as time allows.
Week 2: By giving service to others, I give service to God.
Identify the doctrine (reading a scripture): Write the following phrase on the board: By giving _________ to others, I give _________ to God. Read Mosiah 2:17 together, and ask the children what word goes in the blanks (service). Invite the children to repeat the phrase together.
Encourage understanding (listening to a story): Share the following story: “President Heber J. Grant’s father died when he was just nine days old. His mother was very poor and earned money by sewing for other people. Sometimes she sewed for so many hours without resting that she could hardly push the pedal of her sewing machine. Heber would often crawl under the sewing machine and push the pedal for her. The winters were very cold, and Heber had only a thin, worn coat to keep him warm. He longed to have a warm coat but knew that they barely had enough money for food. He was delighted on his birthday when his mother gave him a warm coat that she had sewn. It was his most prized possession. A few weeks later, Heber saw a boy shivering with cold and he remembered how it felt. He took off his new coat and gave it to the boy.” You may also want to consider showing the video “The Coat,” available at www.mormonchannel.org/the-coat.) Discuss how Heber served others, and invite a few children and teachers to share experiences they have had with service. Discuss that when we serve others we are serving God. (See TNGC, 68–70 for ideas on how to ask questions that will facilitate good discussions.)
Week 3: We believe in being honest.
Identify the doctrine (hearing a story and reciting a scripture): Tell a story about a child who tells another child about his fishing trip and greatly exaggerates the size of the fish he caught. Ask the children what the child did wrong and what he should have done. Invite the children to think of one of the Articles of Faith that would help them remember to tell the truth. Repeat together the beginning of the thirteenth article of faith (“We believe in being honest”).
Stories: Storytelling captures the children’s attention and helps them relate to gospel principles. Learn stories well enough to share them in your own words using expression and excitement.
Encourage application (responding to situations): Present a situation in which the children may be tempted to be dishonest, such as when a parent asks who left toys on the floor. Invite the children to stand when they know what they could do to be honest. Have a few children share their answers. Repeat with different situations as time allows. Encourage the children to think, “We believe in being honest” when they are tempted to do otherwise.
Week 4: By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow.
Identity the doctrine (acting out a story): Tell the following story, and invite the children to act it out with you: “You were camping in the mountains with your family when a huge snowstorm hit (shiver). You couldn’t see the trail back to your campsite (hold hand over eyes, searching). Then your father came, wearing big, heavy boots (walk in place). He said, ‘I know the way! Follow me!’ Father made big footprints in the snow for you to follow.” Explain that just as we could follow the father’s footprints, others can see and follow the good example we set when we live the gospel. Ask the children to repeat after you, “By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow.”
Encourage understanding and application (reading a scripture and discussing standards): Have the children read 1 Timothy 4:12. Write some statements from For the Strength of Youth that you feel are appropriate for the children on separate pieces of paper, and put them in a container. Invite a child to pick one statement and share a personal experience with that standard or tell how living that standard sets a good example for others to follow. Repeat with the other statements. Sing “I Want to Live the Gospel” (CS, 148).
Variety: Use variety when repeating scriptures or phrases together with the children. For example, you could ask the boys and girls to repeat a phrase separately or ask them to use loud or soft voices.