“Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord” (1 Nephi 3:16).13484_000_july
Week 1: Fasting and prayer can strengthen my testimony.
Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Prepare two wordstrips: Fasting and Prayer. Invite two children to stand close together, and give each child one of the wordstrips. Have another child walk between them. Ask the first two children to securely link their arms, and ask the other child to try to walk between them again. Point out how much stronger the children are when they are linked together. Explain that fasting and prayer are more powerful when we use them together. Write “Fasting and prayer can strengthen my testimony” on the board, and have the children repeat it together.
Encourage understanding (listening to scriptures and participating in an object lesson): Ask the children to listen for things the sons of Mosiah did to become strong in the gospel as you read Alma 17:2–3. Invite the children to flex their muscles each time they hear something that helped the sons of Mosiah become strong.
Lead a discussion on fasting by asking several questions such as “What is fasting?” “Why should we fast?” “When should we fast?” and “Why should we pray when we fast?” (see Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73–75). Let every child who adds to the discussion hold on to one end of a piece of yarn or string. Hold the other end of each piece of string in your hand. At the end of the discussion, ask the children holding the strings to come to the middle of the room and twist all of their pieces of string together, making a strong rope. Explain that each piece of string we add to the rope makes the rope stronger. Help the children understand that in a similar way, each time we fast and pray we add strength to our testimony.
Tip: As you teach about fasting, remember that younger children do not need to fast.
Week 2: Being kind is doing and saying nice things to others.
Identify the doctrine (reciting a scripture): Write “Be ye kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32) on the board with a number from 1 to 6 written beneath each word. Assign each child a number from 1 to 6. Begin by having all of the 1s stand and say “Be” and then quickly sit down. Then have the 2s stand and say “ye,” and quickly sit down. Continue with the rest of the phrase. Repeat several times. Then have all of the children repeat the whole phrase together.
Encourage understanding (listening to a story and singing a song): Tell the children a story of kindness, such as “Standing Up for Caleb” (Friend, Mar. 2009, 4–5). Ask them to put both thumbs up when they hear about an act of kindness in the story and both thumbs down when they hear about an unkind act. Sing “Kindness Begins with Me” (CS, 145). Ask the children to stand up when they sing about who we should be kind to. Sing the song again, and have them point both thumbs to themselves when they sing, “Kindness begins with me.”
Encourage application (sharing ways to be kind): Identify several people in the children’s lives (such as father, mother, sister, brother, grandpa, friend, or teacher) with a wordstrip, a picture, or a simple prop (such as a tie for father or a cane for grandpa). Give the objects to a few children, and invite them to come to the front of the room. Have each child share something nice they could say or do for the person their object represents. Then have them pass their wordstrips, pictures, or props to other children. Repeat as time allows.
Week 3: Reverence is deep respect and love toward God.
Identify the doctrine (singing a song): Prepare several string necklaces with a paper heart attached to each. Write a key word or phrase from “Reverence Is Love” (CS, 31) on each heart (for example, quietly sitting, thinking, feeling, and so on). Invite several children to wear the necklaces. Sing “Reverence Is Love,” and ask the children with the necklaces to walk reverently to the front of the room when the word on their heart is sung. Invite the children with the necklaces to stand in order, and sing the song again.
Encourage application (discussing reverence): Prepare wordstrips or draw simple pictures of eyes, hands, feet, ears, mouth, and mind. Divide the children into groups, and let each group choose one or two of the wordstrips or pictures. Have each group share (with words and actions) several ways this part of their body can be reverent by showing respect and love toward God.
Week 4: Honesty is telling the truth regardless of the consequences.
Encourage understanding (discussing consequences): Prepare several case studies (see TNGC, 161–62) in which children are faced with a choice to be honest or dishonest. For example, “You hit your brother, and your mother asks why he’s crying.” Ask, “What would the consequences be of being honest?” Then ask, “What would the consequences be of being dishonest?” Help the children discover that immediate consequences of honesty might be difficult but long-term consequences lead to peace and happiness.
Encourage application (creating a rhyme): Invite each class (with the help of their teachers) to create a one-line phrase or a rhyme about honesty. For example, “If the truth is what I tell, I will never, never fail!” Invite each class to share their phrase with the other children. Encourage them to repeat the phrase whenever they are tempted to be dishonest.
Scriptures: Having children read from their own scriptures reinforces the importance of the scriptures and invites the Spirit. If possible, invite the children to mark verses in their own scriptures and then read them together.