Lesson 31: Jesus Christ Wants Us to Love Everyone

Primary 3, (1994), 150–55


Purpose

To help the children understand that they can show love by helping others understand their eternal worth to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study John 13:34 and 3 Nephi 17:18–25.

  2. 2.

    Be prepared to help the children sing “Love One Another” (Children’s Songbook, p. 136; the words are included at the back of this manual) and “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story” (Children’s Songbook, p. 56).

  3. 3.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible and a Book of Mormon.

    2. b.

      Chalkboard, chalk, and eraser.

    3. c.

      Picture 3-57, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children.

  4. 4.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Jesus Christ Wants Us to Love Everyone

Attention activity

Invite the children to tell what they have done recently to show kindness to someone (see lesson 30, enrichment activity 5).

  • How do you feel when you are kind to others?

  • How have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ commanded us to treat others?

Scripture discussion

Hold up a Bible and a Book of Mormon. Explain that the scriptures teach us how we should treat other people.

Read aloud John 13:34.

  • What does this scripture tell us to do? (Love one another.)

Emphasize that it is so important that we learn to love each other that this commandment is repeated many times in the scriptures. Heavenly Father wants us to love every one of his children, just as he wants us to love each member of our own families.

Song

Sing or say the words to “Love One Another.” Emphasize that Jesus Christ wants us to love others.

Chalkboard discussion

Print the word love on the chalkboard.

  • In what ways did Jesus Christ show his love for others? (You might want to write the children’s answers on the chalkboard.)

  • In what ways can we show love for others by following Jesus’ example and doing what he taught us to do? (You might also want to write these answers on the chalkboard next to the list from the previous question.)

The Scriptures Help Us Know How Much We Mean to Jesus Christ

Picture, scripture, and discussion

Explain that when Jesus Christ visited the Nephites in America, they were excited and honored to be in his presence. They loved to be near him and hear his teachings.

Display picture 3-57, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children.

Explain that 3 Nephi tells about the Savior’s visit to the Nephites. Read 3 Nephi 17:21, beginning with “and he took.”

Refer to the picture and ask—

  • How do you think the little girl in this picture felt?

Ask the children to imagine that they are in a group of children with Jesus Christ.

  • How would you feel if Jesus placed his hands on your head?

Song

Have the children sing or say the words to both verses of “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story.”

I think when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men,
How he called little children like lambs to his fold;
I should like to have been with him then.
I wish that his hands had been placed on my head,
That his arms had been thrown around me,
That I might have seen his kind look when he said,
“Let the little ones come unto me.”

We Can Help Others Feel Their Worth to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

Story

Ask the children to listen to the following story to see how Lenny helped Mark feel loved:

“Lenny was finishing his lunch … when Rich and Jerry came rushing in through the back door.

“‘Let’s go!’ Rich urged. …

“‘But,’ Lenny said in surprise, seeing the baseball equipment his friends were carrying, ‘I thought we were going to spend the afternoon with Mark.’

“‘That was before we got up this game. It’s too nice a day to spend with a shut-in!’

“Lenny hesitated as he put his dish and glass in the sink.

“Their friend, Mark Wilson, had just come home from the hospital. Several months ago he [became very ill]. The doctors were sure that Mark would run and play again but said it might be quite awhile. Before his illness, Mark had [played] on their … team.”

Explain that Lenny had to make a decision. Then continue with the story:

“‘C’mon, Lenny! Let’s go!’ Rich insisted. But Lenny shook his head.

“‘I promised Mark’s mom I’d come over,’ he told them. ‘You fellows go on if you want to.’

“‘But Lenny,’ they protested, ‘you’re the best [player] we have.’

“‘Sorry,’ Lenny said firmly.

“Rich snorted in disgust.

“‘I never thought that you’d let the team down! …’

“After the boys had [gone] out of the house, Lenny called good-bye to his mother upstairs where she was putting the baby to sleep.

“A moment later Lenny was walking slowly down the street to Mark’s house. … Lenny really wanted to play … , and he didn’t feel very good about letting down the team, but he felt sorry for Mark. Those long days in the hospital hadn’t been much fun for him.

“‘Where are Rich and Jerry?’ Mark’s mother asked when she invited Lenny in.

“‘They couldn’t come,’ Lenny [said].

“Mark’s mother sighed and Lenny could see the tired lines around her pretty eyes. Mark’s illness had been hard on his parents too. Then she smiled as she said, ‘But I’m glad you’re here, Lenny. Mark’s waiting.’

“Lenny noticed that Mark was pale and a little sad. He had a brace on one leg, but by making a big effort he was able to walk to meet Lenny.

“Mrs. Wilson left the boys alone and they sat down in the living room to talk. After a few minutes Mark grew silent and Lenny noticed that he was looking out of the window at the spring afternoon.

“‘Dad says I’ll play ball again someday,’ he said hopefully. ‘I sure hope it will be soon.’

“Suddenly Lenny had an idea.

“‘Be right back,’ he assured Mark excitedly, hurrying to the kitchen to find Mark’s mother.

“‘The next best thing to playing a game is seeing one,’ Lenny explained after he told her his plan.

“‘I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, Lenny,’ she said, ‘I think it would do Mark a lot of good.’

“Lenny could feel her excitement too. He knew the four blocks to the … field would be too far for Mark to walk so he went to the garage and got out Mark’s … wagon.

“A few minutes later Lenny was pushing Mark along toward the field in the wagon. Some of the boys stared in surprise when they arrived, but soon began drifting over to say hello to Mark.

“‘You [playing]?’ one of them asked Lenny.

“‘Sure … !’ declared Mark.

“Rich pushed forward a little timidly and Jerry came up behind him.

“‘I’m not playing right now, Lenny,’ Jerry offered, ‘I’ll visit with Mark.’

“From then on Mark was never alone and Lenny knew that Jerry and Rich were sorry for the way they had acted.

“It was an exciting game and after it was over Jerry and Rich took turns [pushing] Mark home as Lenny walked along beside the wagon” (Eva Gregory de Pimienta, “Bad-Weather Friends,” Friend, Apr. 1975, pp. 8–10).

  • How did Lenny help Mark feel loved and wanted?

  • How did the other boys treat Mark when he arrived at the game?

Story

Ask the children to listen to the following story:

Eileen and her family had just moved into the ward from a different country. When Eileen came to Primary, the children in her class made fun of the way she dressed and talked. She sat by herself and felt very unwelcome.

Brother Harman’s Primary lesson was about how Jesus Christ was kind to everyone and made everyone feel loved and of worth. Karen, one of Eileen’s classmates, felt bad about the way she and the others had treated Eileen.

  • What could Karen do to make Eileen feel loved?

Karen decided to find out about Eileen’s interests and talents. She talked to her and learned that Eileen was very good in math. Since Karen was having trouble in math, she asked Eileen if they could study together. She would help Eileen with her language lessons and Eileen would help her with her math. As they studied together, they found that they liked to do many of the same things; they became good friends.

Discussion

  • How did Karen help Eileen feel wanted?

Emphasize that it often doesn’t take a great deal of effort to help others feel good about themselves. We can do it by being interested in them and showing them that they are of worth to others.

Situations

Explain the following situations, and have the children discuss them. You might have the children role-play each situation and then ask them to share with the class how they felt.

  1. 1.

    You are building a birdhouse in your backyard with your friends. Your little brother comes up and asks if he can help.

    • What could you do to make your brother feel good about himself? (Let him help you by handing you nails and holding boards in place.)

    • How would you feel if you were the little boy and your big brother let you help him build a birdhouse?

  2. 2.

    Your Primary class is planning a service project. Everyone is giving his or her ideas except Heather. She is shy and doesn’t say much. Suddenly Heather starts to speak, but she is interrupted by someone else and is unable to finish what she was going to say.

    • What could you do to show that you care about Heather and want to make her feel important?

    • How would you feel if you were Heather and someone showed you that they cared about what you said?

  3. 3.

    You are playing outside at school, and you see some children telling another child not to play in their game. They are mean to that child.

    • What would you do to show that child that he or she is important?

    • How would you feel if someone asked you to play when the other children hadn’t let you play?

  4. 4.

    There is a new girl in your Primary class, and some of the girls are teasing her because she dresses differently than other members of the class.

    • What would you do to make the new girl feel wanted and accepted?

    • How would you feel if you were new at church and someone took the time to talk to you and make you feel welcome?

Tell the children that we all have many chances each day to show others how important they are to us.

Summary

Personal experience and testimony

You may wish to tell of a time when someone listened or paid attention to you and made you feel good. For example, you may tell of a time when a child in your class waved and smiled at you in a store or on the street and how it made you feel good.

Bear testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each one of us. We are valuable to them. Everything they do for us is to help us. They want us all to return to them to live with them forever. We can help them by loving others and helping those around us to feel the value that they have to us and to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Invite the children to share experiences when someone made them feel good about themselves or when they made someone else feel loved and of worth.

Article of faith

Tell the children that as members of the Church, we believe in doing good to all people. Explain that this is part of the thirteenth article of faith.

Have the children repeat with you the following phrase: “We believe in … doing good to all men.”

Invite the children to try during the week to help someone feel loved and good about themselves.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Enrichment Activities

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.”

  1. 1.

    Have one of the children sit on a chair in the center of the room and pretend to be a prince or princess sitting on a throne. The prince or princess is not allowed to speak, while the other children say everything positive that they can think of about him or her. They may say things such as, “She has a nice smile”; “I like the color of his hair”; “She’s reverent in class”; “He shares the crayons with me.” Crown the prince or princess with a simple crown. Give each child a turn to be the prince or princess.

  2. 2.

    Explain that being a good listener helps others to know that they are of worth. When other people are speaking, the children should listen closely and not interrupt. Ask the children to listen closely to the following story and raise their hands when you say something that probably wouldn’t happen.

    Michelle woke up five minutes before it was time to go to church. If she didn’t hurry fast, she would have to go looking like she just got out of bed. She quickly ran to the bathroom and washed her face with cereal. As she ran back to her bedroom, she stumbled over her pet crocodile. “Michelle, we’re leaving in two minutes,” called her doll loudly. Michelle quickly combed her dress, put on her best hairbrush, and ran out the door.

    Thank the children for listening closely and not interrupting. Then reread the story and have the children insert the correct words in place of the incorrect ones.

  3. 3.

    Make a string of paper dolls (see illustrations) for each child. Have them color the dolls to look like class members or family members. Talk about how they can help each other feel loved. (They can say kind things to each other, not leave people out when they are playing, be good listeners, and help each other when there is a problem.)

    paper dolls
  4. 4.

    Make a list on one side of the chalkboard entitled “How Jesus Christ Shows Love for Us.” Then make a list on the other side entitled “How We Can Show Love for Others.” Create the two lists from the children’s responses to the questions towards the beginning of the lesson. You might also toss a beanbag to each child in turn, inviting the child with the beanbag to suggest something for one of the lists before tossing it back to you.