To help each child understand that Heavenly Father gave us commandments to help us make right choices.
Prayerfully study Mosiah 2:22.
Make a copy of the handout “Commandment Road Signs” for each child (printed at the end of the lesson). Make an additional copy and mount it on a piece of cardboard. Read the scriptures listed on the handout and be prepared to explain any difficult words they contain.
Design a simple treasure hunt that allows the children to follow clues, signs, or small pieces of paper that point the way to a treasure. The treasure might be a copy of the Book of Mormon, a picture, or a CTR ring.
Prepare to sing
“Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, p. 160); the words are included at the back of this manual. Also prepare to sing “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, p. 146).
A copy of the Book of Mormon for each child who can read. Have children in your class who can read help with this lesson.
Chalkboard, chalk, and eraser (or some other writing surface).
Picture 3-3, Pre-earth Life; picture 3-4, A Boy and His Soccer Ball.
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.
The Commandments Help Us Choose the Right
Allow the children to find the treasure using the clues that you have prepared.
Have the children imagine that you are sending them to someone’s house to pick up some important papers to bring back to you. Explain that the person lives far away and that no one can go with the children to help them find the way.
What would help you find your way to the house?
If the path was marked with signs or arrows, could you find your way? Tell the children that when Heavenly Father sent us to earth, he sent us on an important errand. He wants us to find our way back to him.
Show picture 3-3, Pre-earth Life, to the class.
Where did we live before we were born? (With Heavenly Father.)
Why did we leave Heavenly Father to come to earth?
Explain to the children that we left Heavenly Father so we could receive bodies, have experiences, and learn to choose the right.
Explain that when Heavenly Father planned for us to leave him and live on this earth, he wanted all of us to return and live with him again. He knew that we would have to make right choices in order to return to him and that choosing the right would make us happy.
He gave us commandments to help us make the right choices.
What are commandments? (Things Heavenly Father has told us to do.)
What are some of the commandments?
Explain that the commandments are like road signs to help us find our way. They show us the right path to follow to return to Heavenly Father.
Sing or say the words to “Keep the Commandments”:
Display the chart “Commandment Road Signs” that you have prepared. Briefly read or tell something about each of the scriptures or illustrations on the road signs. Explain that you will describe a situation and then the children are to decide which commandment on a road sign will help them choose the right. Explain any words that are difficult for the children to understand. Let the children take turns pointing to the different commandments that show the right way.
The following are suggested situations:
You are walking home from a friend’s house when another friend sees you. He asks you to come to his house to play. But your mother had asked you to come straight home, and you promised you would. Your friend tells you that it won’t hurt to be a little late getting home. What commandment would help you choose the right?
You have been earning money to buy a ball by doing extra chores for your parents. The store has the ball on sale, but you still don’t have enough money unless you borrow from your tithing. Which commandment would help you choose the right?
It’s late and your family has just returned home. You are tired and want to go to bed. Then you remember that your family forgot to pray before everyone went off to bed. What commandment will help you choose the right?
Your best friend invites you to go to a movie on Sunday. You have wanted to see that movie for a long time. What commandment would help you choose the right?
You are playing with your friends. A boy who has called you names comes along and wants to play too. What commandment would help you choose the right?
You are with some friends and some of them want you to take a drink of some alcohol that one of them brought from home. Your parents have taught you that drinking alcohol is wrong. What commandment would help you choose the right?
Compliment the children for their good answers.
When We Choose the Right, We Feel Good
Tell the children that choosing the right can give them a good feeling.
Review these situations by asking more questions. For example, the following questions and discussions could come from the first two situations.
How do you think you would feel if you went home as your mother asked instead of going to play with your friend?
You might have fun playing with your friend. But even while you were playing, you might have an unhappy feeling about having broken your promise to your mother. Even if it is hard to choose the right and to do what Jesus Christ has asked you to do, if you do it anyway, you will feel good inside. You will feel good about yourself for the choice you make.
How do you think you would feel if you bought a new ball by using some of your tithing money? Would you feel good when you were playing with the ball?
You might have fun playing with your friends, but you would not feel good about yourself because you did not choose to pay your tithing as Heavenly Father commanded.
Review the other situations in the same way. Emphasize the good feeling the children have inside when they obey a commandment of the Lord—especially when it seems hard to do. Explain that that good feeling is the Holy Ghost telling them that Heavenly Father is pleased with their actions.
Remind the children of the feeling they have when they make a wrong choice. It is usually an empty, unhappy feeling. This feeling could also be the Holy Ghost telling us to repent and make the right choice.
Picture and story
Show picture 3-4, A Boy and His Soccer Ball.
Have the children listen to the story to see how choosing the right made Julio feel:
When Julio’s Aunt María gave him a soccer ball, he could hardly believe it was his. He knew that his Aunt María didn’t have much money. But Julio knew that she would feel badly if he didn’t take the ball.
“Thank you,” he said softly. “But why are you giving it to me?”
“Because you help me so much,” Aunt María said. “You run errands for me and help me clean my yard. All I ask is that you always remember why it is yours. Now go play.”
As Julio kicked the ball down the sidewalk in front of himself, he wondered about what Aunt María had said. “Remember why it is yours,” she had said.
Julio loved to play soccer, and he was good. Someday he hoped to play for the national team of Brazil. Aunt María knows that, he thought. Maybe that’s why she gave me the ball.
Soon, Antonio came out to play with Julio. Before long, other boys joined them, and soon there were enough to start a soccer game.
Julio saw a younger boy watching the soccer game from the sidewalk. “Oh, no,” Antonio whispered to Julio. “Paulo is coming. Don’t let him play! He always messes up the game. We’ll lose if he plays!”
It was true that Paulo was not a good player. But Julio knew how much Paulo liked to play.
“Can I play?” Paulo asked hopefully.
What would you say?
Julio didn’t answer right away. He looked for a second at Aunt María’s window, and he could see her there watching him. She looked concerned as she waited for Julio’s answer.
“Remember why it is yours.” Her words came to Julio’s mind. Once more he looked at Aunt María. He had shared his time and efforts to help her, and he wondered if she were trying to tell him to keep sharing.
Julio looked away from Aunt María to Paulo and said, “Sure, you can play.” Then he added, “Antonio here is a good player, and he’ll help you learn more about the game.”
Antonio looked at Julio and smiled. “Sure, I’d be happy to! We’ll all teach you to be a great soccer player,” he said to Paulo. “All of us would be glad to help you learn.”
All of the boys began to play again. Julio looked up at Aunt María’s window. Aunt María was smiling. Then Julio knew why his aunt had given him a new soccer ball. (Adapted from Sherrie Johnson, “The Soccer Ball,” Friend, June 1973, pp. 10–12.)
How did Julio feel after he chose to share? (He felt happy and good inside.)
What might have happened if he had not shared? (He might have felt bad for turning Paulo away; Paulo would have felt bad too.)
Did Julio do what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ wanted him to do?
Explain that we will make many choices during our lifetimes. These choices will make us feel either good or bad. Choosing to obey the commandments will always make us feel good.
CTR shield and ring
Show the children the CTR shield. Remind them that their CTR ring can help them remember to choose the right.
Handout and discussion
Give a copy of the “Commandment Road Signs” to each child. Read together the commandments listed on the road signs. (For younger children, explain the signs and what they mean.)
Tell the children that making the right choices isn’t always easy and that sometimes we may go the wrong way. Heavenly Father’s commandments can help us find the right way to go and give us a good feeling so that we know we are making right choices. They will help us to return to our Heavenly Father. We will be glad about our choices if we choose the right.
Suggest that the children take their paper home and read the Book of Mormon scriptures with their families. They may want to keep their paper to remind them of some of the commandments.
Bear your testimony of how important it is to read the Book of Mormon. Studying it will help the children to always choose the right.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer and thank Heavenly Father for giving us commandments to help us make right choices.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children.
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.”
Tie a cord, string, or rope between two objects in your classroom (the door and a chair across the room, for example). Allow the children to take turns using the cord to help them find their way across the room with their eyes closed. You might have some reward for each child at the end of the cord. Explain that just as this cord leads us across the room, the commandments lead us back to Heavenly Father.
Briefly tell the story of Lehi’s dream as recorded in 1 Nephi 8–11 (see especially 1 Nephi 8:9–30; 1 Nephi 11:1–25). Explain that the iron rod represents the word of God. Explain that the tree of life represents the love of God, and discuss how God’s commandments help us to feel his love.
Prepare a sheet of paper that is large enough to cover picture 3-5, Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children. Cut the paper into nine equal pieces and then tape each piece in place to cover the picture. Explain that hidden behind the papers is a very important message. Each time the children name a commandment that they can obey because their parents or another adult has taught them, they can remove a piece of paper and try to discover the message. When all of the pieces have been removed, discuss how parents, teachers, and other leaders can help children learn to obey the commandments.