Lesson 10: The Sermon on the Mount

Primary 7: New Testament, (1997), 33–36


Purpose

To help the children strive to become more like Jesus by following his teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Matthew 5:1–6:4 and 7:12. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii).

  2. 2.

    Additional readings: Luke 6:17–36 and 3 Nephi 12.

  3. 3.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

    2. b.

      Pieces of paper with situations the children might have to face (see the attention activity).

    3. c.

      Picture 7-12, Sermon on the Mount (Gospel Art Picture Kit 212; 62166).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Have each child come to the front of the class, one at a time, and take a slip of paper on which you have written a difficult situation he or she might have to face. Use situations like the following examples:

  • Your brother or sister criticizes you.

  • Someone is mean to you at school.

  • Other children make fun of you for refusing to try a cigarette.

  • Others make fun of you because you do not use profanity.

Have each child tell how he or she might react to the situation. Let the other class members add their ideas. Explain that they are going to discuss some of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount that will help them know what to do in these situations. These teachings help us become more like Jesus because they tell us how he wants us to live.

Scripture Account

Show the picture of the Sermon on the Mount. Using the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section, teach the children about Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize the following points:

  • The Beatitudes

  • Loving your enemies

  • Becoming perfect

  • The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • Explain that the teachings in Matthew 5:3–11 are often called the Beatitudes. (Point out that when Jesus gave the Beatitudes to the Nephites, he included the phrase “who come unto me.” Compare Matthew 5:3 with 3 Nephi 12:3.) How can the Beatitudes help us become more like Jesus?

  • What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? (Matthew 5:6.) How can we do this? What blessings will we receive when we do?

  • What is a pure heart? (Matthew 5:8.) What are the pure in heart promised? How can we develop pure hearts?

  • Why is it important to be a peacemaker? (Matthew 5:9.) How can we become peacemakers?

  • What does it mean to be the “salt of the earth”? (Matthew 5:13.) How can we be like salt? (See enrichment activity 2.) What does it mean to be a “light unto the world”? (Matthew 5:14–16.) How can we be a light unto others?

  • What should we do if there is a problem between us and someone else? (Matthew 5:23–24.) How should we treat our enemies or those who do not like us? (Matthew 5:43–47.)

  • How can we become perfect? (Matthew 5:48.)

Discuss this statement from Elder Joseph Fielding Smith about perfection: “[Perfection] will not come all at once, but line upon line, precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life. … But here we lay the foundation … to prepare us for that perfection. It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:18).

  • How should we perform acts of service? (Matthew 6:1–4.) What secret acts of service can we do for others?

  • Matthew 7:12 is often called the Golden Rule. What did Jesus ask us to do? How can we do this?

Help the children understand that if they try to live the teachings that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, they will be on the path to perfection. Emphasize that perfection is a gradual thing that will not be accomplished in this life. What we need to do now is try to be more like Jesus each day.

Have the children review the situations from the Attention Activity. Have them tell what they learned about how Jesus wants us to react in certain situations. Ask the children to think about what would happen if we all lived Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Print on cards the first part of each beatitude, such as “Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me,” and print on another card the second part of the Beatitude, such as “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mix up the cards and place them face down in rows on a table or the floor. Have class members come up one at a time and try to find a match by turning over two cards. (The children can use their scriptures to help them.) If the cards match, the matched cards are left face up. If the cards do not match, they are turned face down again. If everyone does not get a turn the first time, mix the cards up, turn them over, and have the children match them again.

  2. 2.

    Unless this lesson is on fast Sunday, prepare a food that usually is prepared with salt, such as popcorn, rice, pasta, and so on. Leave the salt out and ask each child to taste the food. (Check with parents for allergies.) Add a small amount of salt and let the children taste the food again. Point out that a very small amount of salt can make a big difference. A small number of righteous people can also make a big difference. Have the children discuss how they can make a difference by living righteously. Read Matthew 5:13.

  3. 3.

    Present situations of conflict, such as two children wanting the same seat, some children speaking angrily to each other, and so on. Role-play these situations and have a child act as a peacemaker. Have the children think of situations when they might be offended, such as someone saying something mean to them, someone taking something of theirs, a friend being angry with them, someone criticizing them for being a member of the Church, and so on. Ask how they should react to these situations according to Matthew 5:44.

  4. 4.

    Have a child pantomime a service he or she has done or could do. Have the other children guess what the child is doing. Discuss the importance of serving others. Ask the children to talk about how they feel when they help someone else, and ask them to think about all of the positive results that come from helping people.

  5. 5.

    Help the children memorize Matthew 5:16 or the first part of Matthew 7:12.

  6. 6.

    Prepare a copy of the Beatitudes for each child to take home, or have the children mark them in their own scriptures.

  7. 7.

    Prepare slips of paper or write the following references on the chalkboard:

    Have the children read both references and discuss how they are different. Help the children understand that Jesus taught the same things to the Jews and the Nephites and that they are clearer in the Book of Mormon.

  8. 8.

    Sing or read the words to “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook,p. 78).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear your testimony that if we live Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, we will be on the path to perfection.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Matthew 5:3–11 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.