Lesson 21: I Can Be Reverent

Primary 2: Choose the Right A, (1995), 109–14


Purpose

To encourage each child to show reverence for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Luke 2:1–16 and 3 Nephi 17:11–12, 21–24.

  2. 2.

    Prepare cutouts of mouth, eyes, ears, hands and arms, and feet and legs from the pattern at the end of the lesson. Place the cutouts in a bag or other container.

  3. 3.

    Prepare the following wordstrip:

    Reverence

  4. 4.

    Prepare to sing or say the words to “Reverently, Quietly” (Children’s Songbook, p. 26) and “I Will Try to Be Reverent” (Children’s Songbook, p. 28).

  5. 5.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible and a Book of Mormon.

    2. b.

      Picture 2-36, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children; picture 2-40, Reverent Child; picture 2-41, The Birth of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 200; 62116).

  6. 6.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.

Suggested Lesson Development

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

Attention activity

Before the opening prayer, sing or say the words to “Reverently, Quietly.”

Rev’rently, quietly, lovingly we think of thee;
Rev’rently, quietly, softly sing our melody.
Rev’rently, quietly, humbly now we pray,
Let thy Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts today.

Display picture 2-40, Reverent Child. Tell the children that the child in the picture is getting ready to talk with Heavenly Father in prayer.

  • How do we get ready for prayer? (We fold our arms, close our eyes, and bow our heads.)

  • Why do we fold our arms, close our eyes, and bow our heads to get ready for prayer?

Point out that when we do these things, it is easier for us to feel Heavenly Father near us as we pray. Explain that just as it is important to know that our earthly parents are listening when we talk with them, it is important to feel that Heavenly Father is near us when we pray.

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

After the opening prayer, briefly express your gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father and for the privilege of talking with him in prayer.

Reverence Is a Feeling of Love and Respect

Wordstrip discussion

Display the wordstrip “Reverence” near the picture of the reverent child. Read the word on the wordstrip and have the children repeat it.

  • What is reverence?

Emphasize that reverence means more than just being quiet. Reverence is a special feeling of love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Ask the children to think of the feelings they have when their parents help them pray or read stories about Jesus to them, or when they see and hear the beautiful creations of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Explain that these warm, peaceful feelings are feelings of reverence. These feelings help us know that Heavenly Father’s spirit is near.

Picture discussion

Show picture 2-36, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children. Have the children tell you about the picture (see 3 Nephi 17:11–12, 21–24).

  • How do you think the Nephite children felt about Jesus Christ?

Show picture 2-41, The Birth of Jesus, and ask the children to tell the story of Jesus’ birth (see Luke 2:1–16). Have them look carefully at the people in the picture.

  • How do you think the people felt when they saw baby Jesus?

  • How do you think you would have felt if you had seen baby Jesus?

Explain that when we think of Heavenly Father and Jesus in a loving way we are reverent.

We Show Reverence by Our Actions

Discussion

  • How do we show our feelings of reverence (love and respect) for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

Explain that it is important to have feelings of reverence no matter where we are, but we should especially remember to be reverent at church. The meetinghouse is Heavenly Father’s house, and when we are reverent in Heavenly Father’s house, Heavenly Father knows that we love him.

Song

With the children, sing or say the words to “I Will Try to Be Reverent.”

I love my Heav’nly Father,
And I will try to be
Rev’rent when I’m in his house.
Then he’ll be near to me.

Activity

Show the bag or container with the cutouts in it. One at a time, invite each child to take a cutout from the bag, show the cutout to the other children, and ask, “What should you do with your (item shown in cutout) to show reverence in Heavenly Father’s house?”

Possible answers:

Mouth—Speak quietly, smile, sing songs, pray, keep closed when someone else is talking.

Eyes—Look at the teacher or speaker, close during the prayer.

Hands and arms—Hold still, raise to answer a question, fold during prayer.

Feet and legs—Walk quietly, hold still.

Ears—Listen to what is being said.

Activity

Help the children say the words and do the actions to the following rest activity:

I’m always reverent
From my head (put hands on head)
To my toes (touch toes).
When I walk (walk quietly in place),
I step quietly as I go.
When I speak,
Words come softly (put finger to lips),
Not loud and bold (turn head from side to side).
When I listen (cup hand to ear),
Lips stay shut (zip lips)
And my arms I fold (fold arms).
When I pray,
My head I bow (bow head)
And my eyes I close (close eyes).
I’m always reverent
From my head (put hands on head)
To my toes (touch toes).

(Adapted from Diana Eckersell Janson, “I’m Always Reverent,” Friend, Sept. 1993, p. 32.)

We Can Help Others Be Reverent

Teacher presentation

Remind the children that their actions affect those around them. This is another good reason to be reverent in church.

  • How does it make you feel when someone near you is noisy in Primary?

Point out that if someone around us is noisy, it is hard for us to think about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Similarly, when we make noise or do other things that are not reverent, we make it hard for other people to be reverent. Encourage the children to act in ways that will help themselves and others to be reverent.

Story

Tell a story about a child you know who helped a friend be more reverent, or tell the following story:

Patty was a very happy girl. She loved to smile, laugh, and sing. But most of all she loved to talk. She always had lots of things to say and would talk to anyone who would listen to her. Patty’s best friend was Mary Jo, who liked to talk almost as much as Patty did.

One Sunday Patty visited Mary Jo’s Primary class. During the opening exercises, Patty started to tell Mary Jo about her new shoes, but Mary Jo just shook her head and motioned for Patty to be quiet.

Since no one would listen to her, Patty stopped talking and soon became interested in the story that the teacher was telling. She learned about the Savior and enjoyed Primary.

As the girls left, their teacher thanked them for being reverent in class. After class, Mary Jo explained to Patty why she hadn’t talked to her during Primary. Mary Jo said that she loved Heavenly Father and Jesus, and so she always tried to be reverent in church.

Discussion

  • Why did Mary Jo want to be reverent in Primary?

  • How did Mary Jo help Patty be reverent?

  • How can you help others be reverent?

Summary

Testimony

Testify to the children that being reverent will help them learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and feel love for them. You may want to share a personal experience when you felt a special reverent feeling for Heavenly Father and Jesus.

Allow the children to express their feelings of love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus.

Encourage the children to be reverent as they go to other meetings or as they leave the meetinghouse after Primary.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. 1.

    Help the children do the following finger play:

    Quiet as a flake of snow (reach arms up high and bring them down, fluttering fingers),
    Quiet as the flowers grow (make a fist and then slowly open fingers like a budding flower),
    Quiet as a butterfly (link thumbs and wave fingers like wings),
    Softly, softly passing by.
    That’s how quiet I will be (place one hand over heart)
    When I come to Primary (fold arms together).
  2. 2.

    Toss a beanbag or other soft object to a child and ask the child to tell one way he or she can show reverence (answers may include sitting up straight, listening, thinking about Jesus, raising a hand, walking quietly, showing respect for others, and folding arms). Then have the child toss the beanbag back to you. Continue until each child has had several turns. Encourage the children to think of many ways to show reverence.

  3. 3.

    Help the children role-play several situations involving reverence. Use the following ideas or some of your own:

    • You want to tell your Primary teacher something during the lesson. How can you do this reverently?

    • You don’t know the song your class is singing. What can you do to show reverence?

    • Your little brother talks to you during the sacrament. What can you do to help him be reverent?

    • You walk into a room while people are praying. How can you show reverence?

  4. 4.

    Help the children do the following finger play:

    Here is the church (clasp fingers and close hands with fingers inside).
    Here is the steeple (extend index fingers to make a steeple).
    Open the door (open hands, keeping fingers clasped),
    And see all the people (wiggle fingers).
    Shut the door (again close hands with fingers inside)
    And hear them pray.
    Open the door (open hands, keeping fingers clasped),
    And they all go away (separate hands).

    After doing this finger play, tell a story about a child who uses this finger play during sacrament meeting. When the child looks around and notices that everyone else is sitting quietly, he or she decides to make the finger people reverent also and lays them quietly in his or her lap.

  5. 5.

    Sing or say the words to “Reverence Is Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 31) or “Father, I Will Reverent Be” (Children’s Songbook, p. 29).

    Reverence Is Love

    Rev’rence is more than just quietly sitting:
    It’s thinking of Father above,
    A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
    I’m rev’rent, for rev’rence is love.
    When I’m rev’rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.
    The pathway to follow is clear.
    And when I am rev’rent, I know in my heart
    Heav’nly Father and Jesus are near.

    (© 1987 by Maggie Olauson. Used by permission.)

    Father, I Will Reverent Be

    Father, I will rev’rent be
    And in thy house walk quietly;
    Fold my arms and bow my head
    And close my eyes when prayers are said;
    Listen to the words I hear,
    For in thy house I feel thee near.
    May my thoughts more perfect be,
    That I may speak more rev’rently.
    Father, I will rev’rent be
    And in thy house walk quietly.