To help each child respect other people and their possessions.
Prepare salt dough. Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 tablespoon oil, and 3/4 cup water (add 4 drops of food coloring to water if desired). Knead mixture into balls until soft and smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water or flour if necessary.
Be prepared to sing or say the words to
“Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, p. 160); the words are included at the back of this manual.
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.
Do unto Others
Explain to the children that a possession is something that belongs to them, such as a book, a toy, money, or an article of clothing. A prized possession would be something that they especially like or value. A prized possession does not necessarily cost a lot of money. It may cost little but have special meaning because of the place it came from or the person who gave it.
Give each child a ball of salt dough and ask him to form the dough into the shape of one of his prized possessions. Allow a few minutes for the children to make their salt dough creations.
Invite the children to show their salt dough creations and tell why the possessions represented mean so much to them.
How would you feel if someone, without asking, borrowed this possession, took it, or destroyed it?
Display their salt dough creations on a table or other special place until later in the lesson.
If someone borrowed your prized possession, how would you want that person to treat it?
If you were to lose your prized possession, what would you want the person who found it to do?
Explain that we all want others to treat our prized possessions with care and respect. Other people also have possessions that are important to them, and they want us to treat their special possessions with care and respect.
CTR shield or ring and scripture discussion
Tell the children that Jesus Christ taught us how to treat other people and their possessions. Display the CTR shield or ring, and explain that we can find Jesus Christ’s teachings on this subject in the scriptures. Have them listen as you read 3 Nephi 14:12, ending with the phrase to them.
Discuss this verse with the children. Help them understand that we should treat other people the way we would like them to treat us. Explain that sometimes this is called the Golden Rule and is stated simply, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Have the children repeat the Golden Rule aloud several times. Explain that treating other people the way we would like to be treated includes respecting their possessions the same way we would like them to respect ours.
We Respect Other People’s Possessions by Not Stealing
Explain that Heavenly Father has commanded us to respect other people and their possessions.
Read Exodus 20:15. Ask the children to explain this scripture.
Emphasize that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have commanded us not to steal. The laws of our country also tell us that it is wrong to steal from others. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we believe in obeying these laws as well as the commandments of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Article of faith
Explain that the twelfth article of faith states our belief about laws. Have the children repeat the statement “We believe in … obeying … the law.”
Stories and discussion
Tell the children the following story about two young girls who faced a difficult decision:
Jan and Susan wanted to buy some gum from a gum machine. They put a coin in the machine and turned the knob to get a gumball, but to their surprise, a whole handful of gumballs came out instead of just one. Besides that, their coin came back too.
What would you do if this happened to you?
Tell the children that a similar thing happened years ago to Elder Sterling W. Sill, a former General Authority of the Church, that might help them to answer that question. Then tell the following story in your own words:
“[Elder Sill] was driving down the road and got thirsty, so he stopped to buy some [soda] pop. He put a dime in the pop machine at the filling station and got a bottle of pop, but his dime was returned. He took the dime out, looked at it, put it in his pocket, started back to the car, and said, ‘They charge too much for this stuff anyway.’ But he did not quite get back to the car, because there was a still, small voice that shouted in his ear and asked him a very interesting question. The question was ‘Sill, are you really going to be a thief for ten cents?’” (Hartman Rector, Jr., “Get Up and Glow,” Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, 5 Jan. 1971], p. 6).
What do you think Elder Sill did?
After the children respond, tell them that he went back to the machine and started to put the money back in. But now Elder Sill had another problem.
If he put the money in the machine, what would happen? (He would get another bottle of soda pop, and he might even get his money back again.)
Point out that this would make the problem worse.
What would you do?
Explain that Elder Sill realized that the dime was not his. He had exchanged it for a bottle of soda pop. So he found the station attendant and gave him the money.
Now what do you think Jan and Susan did with their gumballs and money? (Explain that the girls found the store owner and explained to him what had happened rather than just taking the gum and the money.)
Emphasize that Jan, Susan, and Elder Sill chose the right. They chose to obey the commandment of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the law of the land—they did not steal.
Point out that we must not take anything that does not belong to us.
We Can Respect Other People’s Possessions by Returning Them
If you were to lose a possession, what would you want the person who found it to do? (Return it.)
Tell the children the following story in your own words:
Katy was on her way to school when she saw something shiny in the grass by the sidewalk. She bent down, and there in the grass she saw a gold necklace. It was beautiful. As she picked it up she thought, “This necklace is just like the necklace Maria got for her birthday.” Katy slipped the necklace into her pocket and hurried to school.
When class started, Maria was absent. Much later she came into the classroom. Her eyes were red and swollen. She had been crying.
During lunch she told Katy the reason she was late for school. She had lost her necklace, in the very area where Katy found it, and had been searching for it. Katy didn’t say a word. She thought, “I won’t tell her I have it. I found it, so it’s mine.”
That afternoon the teacher explained to the class what had happened to Maria’s necklace. She asked the class to help Maria search for the necklace when school was dismissed.
Katy was the last person to leave school that afternoon. She felt awful inside. She knew how sad Maria was. She knew that the necklace belonged to Maria even though she had found it. She thought about how she would want Maria to return the necklace to her if it were hers. Quickly she ran off to find Maria and return the necklace.
What did Katy decide to do?
How do you think Maria felt when Katy returned the necklace?
What would you do if you found something that did not belong to you?
We Should Treat Other People’s Property with Respect
How would you feel if someone damaged or destroyed one of your possessions on purpose?
Explain that we should always try to return to the owner any lost property or possessions we find. We should never purposely damage or misuse other people’s possessions. Pick up one of the salt dough creations and show the children how to handle it carefully. Pass it around the class so the children can practice handling it carefully.
Story and discussion
Tell the following story in your own words:
Troy and Alan were playing in a vacant field next to Mr. Green’s barn. Troy started throwing rocks and challenged Alan to a contest to see who could throw a rock the farthest. After they had thrown a few rocks, Troy threw one and hit the side of Mr. Green’s barn. He teased Alan and said, “I’ll bet you can’t hit the barn.” Alan picked up a rock and was about to throw it.
What decision do you think Alan should make?
What could Alan say to Troy? (“Let’s find another target.”)
Have the children think of a good ending for the story that would show what Alan should do. Have one or more of the children tell the ending of the story.
Explain that Brother Sill, Katy, and Alan all chose the right way.
Have the children stand and sing or say the words to “Choose the Right Way.”
Ask the children to tell of other ways they can show respect for other people’s possessions or property. Their suggestions might include the following:
Not walking on other people’s lawns or playing in their yards without permission.
Not doing things that destroy or ruin property, such as writing or drawing on walls or fences.
Playing carefully with games and toys.
Not using something that does not belong to us without asking.
Not purposely breaking or damaging property.
Emphasize that Jesus Christ taught that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. If we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will not take things that belong to others. We will return things that we find to the owners. We will treat borrowed items with respect by not destroying or damaging them. Remind the children of the commandment given by Jesus Christ that is sometimes called the Golden Rule.
Handout and chalkboard
Ask the children if they can remember the words of the Golden Rule. Print the words on the chalkboard if the children can read, or simply say the words slowly. Then say them together. Return the children’s salt dough creations to them.
Testify to the children that it is important that we treat others the way Jesus Christ wants us to. You might share an experience of a time when someone treated you nicely and explain to the children how it made you feel. Encourage the children to treat their family and friends as they want to be treated themselves.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
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.”
Have the children role-play situations such as the following:
You find a wallet with a large sum of money in it on the street in front of your home. What should you do with it? (Have the children role-play the things they could do to find the owner.)
When you get home from your friend’s home, you find that you have one of her toys in your pocket. What should you do with it?
You’re playing with a friend and accidentally break a neighbor’s window. What should you do?
You are shopping with your mother and accidentally knock over a stack of cans. What should you do?
You have been playing outside with your friend, and your shoes are covered with mud. When you go into his home, you leave a trail of mud on the floor. What should you do?
Have the children make CTR necklaces (see illustration) with yarn and colored paper. Tell them that the necklaces will remind them to treat others as they would like to be treated.