To help each child understand and apply the spiritual messages in two of the parables Jesus told.
Prayerfully study Matthew 13:1–9, 18–30, 37–43; Mark 4:14–20; Luke 8:11–15; and Doctrine and Covenants 86:1–7. 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.
A Bible or a New Testament for each child.
A paper for each child with the “Hidden Message Puzzle” on it or a large puzzle for the class to do together.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Make a chart similar to the following one to help the children understand the meaning of the two parables, or write the information on the chalkboard as you discuss the parables. Once you have listed all the information, refer to it again for review. You might have the children make their own copies of these charts.
Gospel of Jesus Christ or the word of God
Hearts of those who hear the word
By the way side
Do not understand
Upon stony places
Hear but have no root; become offended easily
Choked by worldly cares and riches
Into good ground
Hear and understand
Jesus Christ and his Apostles
Good seed (wheat)
Followers of Jesus
Followers of Satan
Jesus’ second coming
Bring a seed of some type (fruit, vegetable, rice, wheat, bean). Discuss what it takes for a seed to grow and bring forth good fruit. Ask the children what would happen to the seeds if they were planted by the roadside, on stony places, or among thorns. Compare this to planting the word of God in our hearts. Let the children discuss what kind of heart each type of soil represents and what it takes for the gospel to grow and bring forth good fruit in our lives.
Write the words ears, eyes, and heart on the chalkboard.
What do you do with your ears? eyes? heart? Have the children read Matthew 13:15. What did Jesus say we should do with these parts of our bodies? Apply this verse to the parables and to the gospel. If we really hear the word of God, see the truth in it, and do what Jesus wants us to do, whom will we be like in these parables?
Have the children trace, color, or underline the letters in their hidden message puzzles or in the large puzzle so the words stand out. Ask the children to each name one thing they learned from these two parables.
Read with the children some of the other parables found in Matthew 13 and help them decide what they mean. For help in understanding these parables, see James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, chapter 19, or “Parables” in the Bible Dictionary in the LDS edition of the Bible.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.