Lesson 43: Honoring the Names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

Primary 3, (1994), 213–16


Purpose

To help each child honor and respect the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study and be prepared to read Mosiah 13:15, ending with the word vain the first time it appears, and 1 Samuel 3:1–10, 19–20.

  2. 2.

    Bring a doll wrapped in a small blanket (or use a rolled blanket or towel) to represent a tiny baby.

  3. 3.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Book of Mormon.

    2. b.

      Chalk, chalkboard, and eraser.

    3. c.

      Picture 3-47, Abinadi before King Noah (62042; Gospel Art Picture Kit 308); picture 3-67, President Spencer W. Kimball; picture 3-70, Boy Samuel Called by the Lord (62498; Gospel Art Picture Kit 111).

  4. 4.

    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.

Names Are Important

Attention activity

Pretend to smile at and cradle a tiny baby (doll or blanket) in your arms. Look up and tell the children: “When you were a tiny new baby, your parents chose a name for you. It is a name they loved and wanted you to have.”

  • Do you know why your parents gave you your particular name? (Allow each child to respond. Some may be named for relatives or ancestors or for some other special reason. Help all the children feel good about their names, whether the children know why they received those names or not.)

  • How do you feel when people say your name angrily, make fun of it, or say it incorrectly?

Explain that names are very important. People recognize us by our names. A name identifies a person.

Discussion

Remind the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know our names. Remind them that the very first word Heavenly Father said to the boy Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove was a name, “Joseph.” Heavenly Father called him by name. You could also display picture 3-70, Boy Samuel Called by the Lord, and tell the Bible story of the boy Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3:1–10, 19–20), in which the Lord called Samuel by name.

Explain that a name identifies a person. As soon as you hear the name of someone you know, you think of that person. It is an important occasion when a baby is given a name. The baby is surrounded by Melchizedek Priesthood holders and given a name and a blessing.

  • When you hear the name of our bishop (say the name of your bishop or branch president), what kind of person do you think of? (Allow responses, encouraging the children to think of positive things.)

You might want to repeat this activity two or three times, using the names of good people whom the children know.

Chalkboard discussion

Print the name Jesus Christ on the chalkboard, or tell the children you are going to say a very special name. Say “Jesus Christ” reverently and respectfully. Then have the children say the name with you.

  • What kind of person do you think of when you hear or see this name?

Print the name Heavenly Father on the chalkboard, or say it aloud as you did with the Savior’s name. Have the children say it with you.

  • What kind of person do you think of when you hear or see this name? (A person who is loving and has given us many things.)

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have done many things for us. We love them. When we hear their names, we often think of the many good things they have done. We feel love and gratitude when we think of them.

We honor and respect those we love. We show honor and respect for them by using their names in a kind and loving way.

Article of faith

Help the children say together the first article of faith.

We Are Commanded to Honor the Names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

Picture discussion

Show picture 3-47, Abinadi before King Noah.

  • What is happening in this picture?

Explain that when the prophet Abinadi was teaching the people, he told them about the Ten Commandments, which came from God.

The Ten Commandments are a guide to help us live the right way. The third commandment tells us that we should honor and respect the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Scripture discussion

Have the children listen as you read the third commandment. Read Mosiah 13:15, stopping after the word vain the first time it appears in the verse.

Explain that “in vain” means to use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a disrespectful way or when they are not really thinking of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Have the children repeat the words of the scripture with you.

  • What are some other names we use when we mean Heavenly Father or Jesus? (God, Father in Heaven, Jehovah, the Lord, Christ, the Savior.)

Help the children understand that whenever we use any of these names, we should speak respectfully. These names should never be spoken in anger or in a joking manner. Someone who uses these names this way is swearing. These names should never be used as swear words. We should use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only when we are praying or talking about them in a respectful way.

If your class can read, invite a child to come up and write the words honor and respect on the chalkboard. Reinforce the idea that if we love Heavenly Father and Jesus, we will show honor and respect for their names by using them only in a kind and loving way.

Using the Names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Properly

  • When is it right to use the name of Heavenly Father? (When we speak with reverence and respect and when we pray.)

Story

One mother told her son this story about when she was a child. Retell it in your own words.

“‘As a little girl, I walked home from school with my brother. We always took a shortcut past a large black dog that chased us as we ran by his house. If we ran at just the right time, we could make it to a fence and to safety. My brother would tell me when to run.

“‘One day I was alone and didn’t run at the right time. The dog threatened me, and I froze on the sidewalk in terror. As he lunged toward me, [in fear] I cried out as loud as I could: “Heavenly Father, help me!”’”

Her son reports: “Suddenly, my mother recalled, the dog was halted as if his way had been barred, and she crawled through the fence to safety. She knew her prayer had been answered” (S. Michael Wilcox, “No Other Gods before Me,” Ensign, Jan. 1994, pp. 22–23).

Emphasize how important it is that we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only when we are praying or speaking of them reverently.

Picture and story

Display picture 3-67, President Spencer W. Kimball, and tell the children that he was a beloved prophet and twelfth President of the Church.

Tell the following story:

One day after an operation, President Kimball was being wheeled out of the hospital operating room when the attendant tripped and stumbled. The attendant started swearing and using the Lord’s name in vain. Even though President Kimball was ill, he pleaded with the attendant, “Please! Please! That is my Lord whose names you [use in a bad way].”

The attendant was silent. Then he whispered, “I am sorry” (see “President Kimball Speaks Out on Profanity,” Ensign, Feb. 1981, p. 3).

Discussion

  • What commandment had the attendant disobeyed?

  • Why didn’t President Kimball like to hear this?

  • When should we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

  • What could you do if at school or in the neighborhood you heard people using the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus in vain?

Summary

Encourage the children to use the names of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father with reverence and respect.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Enrichment Activities

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.”

  1. 1.

    Recite the following action verse with the children:

    Speak gently of Jesus;
    Please soften your voice. (place index finger to lips)
    You honor his name with your every right choice.
    Our Heavenly Father’s name,
    Like a prayer (fold arms and bow head)
    Should only be spoken with great love and care.
  2. 2.

    Call a child by the wrong name, and ask him to do something for you. Ask him to explain to the rest of the class how he felt to be called by the wrong name. Use this experience to illustrate how it bothers us if someone mispronounces, forgets, or misuses our names. Explain that we do not like to hear our names yelled in anger. It would upset us to hear our names used in a bad way. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do not like this either. They have taught us to use their names only with respect, when we pray or are speaking reverently.

  3. 3.

    If the children can write their own names, have them print their first names in the middle of a blank sheet of paper, then trace around it with one color, then again with another color, and another, until they have made a circular “rainbow” around the names. If the children cannot print their own first names, you could print their names in the center of the papers and let them decorate the names with the rainbow outlines or in other ways.

  4. 4.

    Repeat the Abinadi role play from lesson 20, and have the child pretending to be Abinadi repeat the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” to wicked King Noah.

  5. 5.

    With the children, sing or say the words to “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” (Hymns,no. 26); the words are included at the back of this manual.

  6. 6.

    Prepare a large wordstrip puzzle for the class that looks like this:

    Tell the children that you would like to see if they remember the important commandment discussed in the lesson. Give five children each a piece of the large wordstrip puzzle that you have prepared. Help them arrange the words of the scripture in order. Then have the class read the commandment together.

    Invite any children who want to recite this scripture.