To encourage the children to let their lights shine as followers of Jesus Christ.
Prayerfully study Matthew 5:14–16.
Copy and cut out four paper candles and four paper baskets, using the patterns at the end of the lesson. Write the following names on the paper candles:
Eric and Peter
Before class begins, display the three candles with names and cover each candle with a paper basket. Save the fourth candle (“?”) and basket to be used later.
Use the candle pattern to make a paper candle for each child.
Prepare to sing or say the words to
“Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, p. 160) and “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” (Children’s Songbook, p. 60). The words to these songs are included at the back of the manual.
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.
Note: Do not light the candle that you use during the lesson. It is against Church policy to light candles in the meetinghouse.
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. You may want to have them share their experiences with showing kindness. Whisper as you talk with the children.
Jesus Christ Taught, “Let Your Light Shine”
Continue whispering to the children, asking about what they did this week or what they like about Primary, until some of the children start whispering back. After a few minutes, explain that you were whispering as part of an experiment to show how people often do what other people around them are doing. Point out that the children started to whisper because you were whispering to them. They followed your example.
Tell the children that just as they followed your example, their friends often follow their examples. Jesus Christ wants us to be good examples.
What does it mean to be a good example?
Explain that our friends will often do what they see us do. If they see us doing good things and choosing the right, it will be easier for them to choose the right also.
Invite the children to solve the following riddle:
After the children solve the riddle, show the candle you have brought and discuss what candles are used for.
Explain that when Jesus Christ lived on the earth, there were no electric lights. After the sun went down and it got dark, people sometimes burned candles in their homes so they would have light to see.
Tell the children that one day Jesus was teaching his disciples a lesson about being a good example to others (see Matthew 5:14–16). To help the disciples understand how their actions could help others, Jesus compared the actions to the light of a candle. Read aloud what Jesus told his disciples, as found in Matthew 5:15.
Put the candle under a basket or box.
What would happen if it were dark and we lit the candle but then covered it with a basket (box)? (No one could see the light.)
Remove the basket or box and put the candle on a candlestick.
What would happen if it were dark and we put the candle on a candlestick and then lit the candle? (The candle would give light to the room, and everyone would be able to see.)
Explain that Jesus wanted his disciples to be like the candle and give light to others. If the disciples followed Jesus’ teachings and were good examples, then other people would see what they should do.
Read aloud from Matthew 5:16 what Jesus said to his disciples. Explain that Jesus wants us to follow this instruction too.
What does let your light so shine mean in this scripture? (Be a good example.)
What can happen when we are good examples for our friends and those around us?
Children Can Be Good Examples
Tell the children that we can all follow Jesus Christ’s instruction to let our lights shine by being good examples for others. When we choose to follow Jesus, other people can learn about him by watching us.
Ask a child to uncover a paper candle by removing the paper basket that covers it. Read the name or names on the candle. Then tell the story that goes along with that candle. Repeat with the other two baskets and candles, telling the other two stories.
Story about Susan
Susan was invited to a birthday party for her friend Carolyn. She was excited to go to the party and was sure she would have a good time. When she came home, however, she did not look as excited as she did when she left. Susan’s mother asked her how the party was.
Susan explained that iced tea was served at the party. Carolyn’s mother had said it was just like a party grown-ups would have.
What do you think Susan did when she was offered some tea?
Susan told Carolyn’s mother that she did not drink tea and explained that she had been taught by her parents and Primary teachers that tea was not good for her body.
Susan’s mother was proud of Susan for not drinking any tea. She explained that Carolyn and her mother were not members of the Church and did not believe the same things Susan’s family did.
A few months later Susan and her mother received a letter from Carolyn’s mother. Carolyn’s mother explained that after Susan stood up for what she believed at the party, Carolyn’s family decided to find out more about the Church. They were being taught by the missionaries. Carolyn’s mother said she hoped she could be a good example to someone else like Susan was to her.
How did Susan let her light shine?
Story about José
José and his family had just moved to a new neighborhood. José’s first new friend was a boy named Paolo, who was not a member of the Church. José and Paolo both loved football. One day Paolo invited José to go to a football game the next Sunday. José knew he shouldn’t go to football games on Sunday, but he was worried that if he did not go, Paolo’s feelings would be hurt.
What would you do if you were José?
José decided to go to church instead of going to the football game, and he invited Paolo to go to church with him. Paolo agreed to go to church with José.
How was José a good example?
Story about Eric and Peter
One day a woman came to see some missionaries in Holland. She asked the sisters to teach her how to pray. The woman explained that her sons, Eric and Peter, had been attending Primary and liked it very much. At Primary they learned how to pray.
The woman explained that a few days ago her baby girl had been very sick. She left the room for a few minutes, and when she came back Eric and Peter were kneeling by the baby’s bed. Peter was asking Heavenly Father to bless the baby and make her well. The mother was glad that her sons had learned how to pray at Primary and wanted the missionaries to teach her how to pray too. The missionaries taught the woman how to pray. They were happy that Eric and Peter were good examples for their mother.
How did Eric and Peter let their lights shine?
When you have told all the stories, display the “?” candle, covered with a paper basket. Ask a child to remove the basket. Explain that the “?” on the candle stands for any child who has been a good example. Invite the children to tell about times when they were good examples.
We Can Let Our Lights Shine
Read aloud Matthew 5:16 again. Remind the children that Jesus is telling us to let our lights shine. Emphasize the importance of letting our lights shine by being good examples. Point out that as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and help others follow Jesus’ teachings also.
Sing or say the words to “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” with the children. Help them understand that being “sunbeams” for Jesus means letting our lights shine, as the scripture says.
Tell the children that you are going to describe some situations and give two choices they could make in each situation. Ask the children to listen carefully to each choice. If the choice is a good one, the children should each hold one finger high in the air to represent their candles on candlesticks. If the choice is not good, they should each cover the finger with their other hand, to represent hiding their lights under bushels. After each situation, discuss which choice is better and why it is an example of letting our lights shine.
Use the following situations or create some of your own:
You have been playing all morning with some friends in your neighborhood and have been having lots of fun. After lunch a girl who is visiting the family across the street comes outside and looks like she wants to play with you. What do you do?
Since you and your friends don’t know the girl and she doesn’t know what you’ve been playing, you don’t invite her to play with you.
You say to your friends, “Let’s invite that new girl to come and play with us. She looks like she wants to play.”
You are playing ball with your friends. You hit the ball hard, and it hits your neighbor’s window and cracks it. What do you do?
You tell your neighbor that you were playing ball and you hit the ball so hard that it hit the window and cracked it. You explain that you are sorry and offer to pay for the broken window.
You go look at the cracked window. Since it isn’t cracked very badly, you tell your friends that no one will ever notice it. You continue playing ball and try to be more careful.
You are waiting in line for lunch at school (or waiting to go to your Primary class). Some of the children in line get restless and start playing. The child behind you pushes you. What do you do?
Stand in line without pushing anyone.
Push the person who pushed you.
Remind the children how important it is to be a good example by choosing the right.
Point to the CTR chart and remind the children that we will choose the right if we follow the teachings of the Savior.
Encourage the children to be good examples to others, just as Susan, José, and Eric and Peter were good examples.
Give each child a paper candle. Write or have the children write their names on their candles.
Help the children think of ways they can let their lights shine by being good examples at home, school, and church.
Have each child tell one way he or she will be a good example this week.
Let the children take their candles home to remind them to let their lights shine by being good examples.
Testify to the children of the importance of being a good example. You may want to share a personal experience when you were a good example or when someone else’s example helped you learn about Jesus Christ.
Sing or say the words to “Choose the Right Way” with the children.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer and ask Heavenly Father to help the children be good examples for others.
As the children leave your classroom, invite them to walk out quietly with their paper candles held in front of them. (If the children must wait for someone to pick them up from the classroom, invite them to show their candles to the person picking them up.)
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. 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 act out the better solutions to the situations they discussed in the section “We Can Let Our Lights Shine.” The children could also role-play the stories of Susan, José, and Eric and Peter.
Sing or say the words to
“Do As I’m Doing” (Children’s Songbook, p. 276). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual. Let the children take turns leading the song by demonstrating an action for the other children to copy.
Or let the children play “Follow the Leader,” giving each child a turn to be the leader.
Point out that in this song or game, everyone follows the leader’s example. Remind the children that when they choose the right, they are being good examples for those around them.
Sing or say the words to
“Shine On” (Children’s Songbook, p. 144).My light is but a little one,My light of faith and prayer;But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,For it was lighted there.Chorus:Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;Shine on, shine on now the day is here.I may not hide my little light;The Lord has told me so.‘Tis given me to keep in sight,That all may see it glow.Chorus
Ask each child a review question, whispering as you did in the attention activity. Have the children respond in whispers. Compliment them for listening and thinking carefully.
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