To strengthen each child’s desire to obey the commandments so that Jesus Christ and his gospel will be the sure foundation in his or her life.
Prayerfully study Matthew 7:24–27, Luke 6:47–49, and Doctrine and Covenants 11:24. 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).
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
Arrange to have a group of children sing
“The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (Children’s Songbook, p. 281) or prepare to sing or read the words with the children during class.
Make a poster of Doctrine and Covenants 11:24 or plan to write it on the chalkboard.
A Bible or a New Testament for each child.
Some 3″ by 5″ cards and some sand or salt (optional).
Picture 7-12, Sermon on the Mount (Gospel Art Picture Kit 212; 62166).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Ask the children if they remembered to pray every morning and evening during the past week. Ask them to tell you how they felt when they did this.
If you have had a frightening experience in a storm, describe that experience. Explain why you were concerned and what you did to be as safe as possible. Ask the children if they have ever been afraid in a storm, and invite those children who would like to do so to share how they felt with the class.
Alternate Attention Activity
Tape or glue two sets of 3″ by 5″ cards together into identical structures, such as a miniature house. (These do not have to be elaborate. Four cards taped together to make a box will work for this activity.) Have a child place one of the structures on the table and the other one on a pile of sand or salt on the table. Then shake the table so that the cards on the sand move or fall over. Tell them that the house on the sand will always slip and fall because sand moves so easily.
Teach the account of Jesus telling the disciples how to build a house upon rock instead of upon sand, from Matthew 7:24–27 and Luke 6:47–49. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Explain that living the gospel of Jesus Christ can help us withstand temptation and adversity or problems in our lives.
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.
Where did the foolish man build his house? (Matthew 7:26; Luke 6:49.) Why do you think he was foolish? Why do you think someone might build a house on a sandy foundation? Where would it be easier to dig a foundation—in sand or in solid ground?
What does “hearing Jesus’ sayings and doing them” mean?
Why do you think Jesus compared someone who hears his teachings and obeys them to the man who built his house upon a rock?
Why do you think Jesus compared someone who hears his teachings but does not obey them to the man who built his house upon sand?
Have a group of children sing
Read what Jesus Christ said in Doctrine and Covenants 11:24, a revelation given through Joseph Smith to his brother Hyrum. Display the paper with this scripture written on it or write the verse on the chalkboard.
Why should we build our houses, or, in other words, our lives, on the rock of Jesus Christ and his gospel? (Helaman 5:12.)
Help the children understand that Jesus and his teachings are our only sure foundation. If we build our lives on anything else, it would be like building a house upon sand.
What do some people build their lives on that might be compared to sand?
Discuss such things as money, fame, popularity, sports, physical beauty, and so on. Explain that these are all sandy foundations to have as main goals in life.
Is it important in our lives to make money, to play sports and get exercise, to have friends and do nice things for them? Why?
Explain that we need money to buy food, clothing, and so on. Friends and work are also important in our lives. But if these things become more important than following the Savior and living the gospel, we may lose the blessings of eternal life.
Why did Heavenly Father send us to earth?
What are some specific ways we can build our lives on Jesus Christ and his teachings?
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Give each child a piece of paper with the words Jesus Christ is my sure foundation because__________ written across the top. Ask the children to write as many things as they can think of on the paper that would finish the sentence. Then ask them to tell you what their answers are. If they have not thought of the following points, make sure you mention them:
He loves me.
He taught me how to live properly.
He set an example for me.
He gave his life for me.
He suffered for my sins.
Because of him I will be resurrected.
He made it possible for me to return to Heavenly Father.
Have each child finish the sentence “I will build my life on the Savior by __________.” Answers could be participating in family home evening, helping at home, paying tithing, praying, obeying the Word of Wisdom, telling the truth, being kind to others, reading the scriptures, being modest, and so on. Give each child a turn, giving suggestions where needed. You may want to continue as long as they can think of commandments to name. Point out that the only way we can gain eternal life is by being obedient to the laws of the gospel. You might want to write on separate slips of paper what each child said he or she would do and attach the papers to a rock for each child to take home.
Have the children look up the following scriptures to see what Jesus said about obedience. Remind them that it is by obeying Jesus’ commandments that we build our lives on a firm foundation.
Matthew 7:21 (note footnote e)
Review the third article of faith with the children.
Help the children memorize Doctrine and Covenants 11:24 from the chart or chalkboard.
Express your love for the Savior and testify that every commandment he has given us will help us be happy and that disobedience leads to unhappiness. You may want to share an experience you have had when living the gospel has been a blessing to you.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study Matthew 7:24–27 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.