“Sharing Time: Comfort and Courage from the Scriptures,” Friend, Sept. 2006, 12–14
The Philistines and the Israelites were at war. Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior, challenged any one of the Israelites to fight him. A young boy named David asked if he could fight the man. David had great courage and faith.
As David went onto the battlefield, Goliath made fun of him because he was so young. David said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45).
David put a stone in his sling and swung it at Goliath. It struck Goliath’s forehead, and he fell to the ground.
Today there are “Goliaths” all around us. They are evil things that may tempt us—alcohol and drugs; inappropriate TV shows and movies; even laziness and selfishness.
President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “David went to the brook and carefully selected five smooth stones with which he might meet his enemy. … Just as David went to the brook, well might we go to our source of supply—the Lord. What polished stones will you select to defeat [your] Goliath?” President Monson suggests choosing the stones of courage, effort, humility, prayer, and love of duty (see “Meeting Your Goliath,” Ensign, Jan. 1987, 2–5).
We show courage when we do what is right. We show effort when we work hard. We show humility by relying on the Lord, and we pray to ask for His help. We fulfill our duty by keeping our commitments and our baptismal covenants. When we use these five stones and others, like scripture study and family home evening, we can defeat the Goliaths in our lives.
Connect the dots to make a picture of what David and Goliath might have looked like. Color the picture, and hang it where you can see it often.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Show GAK 517 (Spencer W. Kimball), and explain that when President Kimball was called to be an Apostle he turned to the scriptures for comfort and support. Recount President Kimball’s experience from “Gospel Classics: The Breaking of the Day Has Found Me on My Knees” (Ensign, Feb. 2004, 50–53). In the section “Comfort in the Scriptures,” President Kimball says that 1 Nephi 3:7 gave him comfort. Have the children look up the scripture and read the words of Nephi. Sing “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–21).
Tell the children that you want them to find some of the other promises taught in the scriptures that give us comfort when we face hard things. Before Primary ask three older children to read the following scriptures during sharing time: John 14:26 (the Holy Ghost), D&C 108:8 (the Lord will bless us and deliver us), and 1 John 2:25 (eternal life). Ask the Primary children to listen for what the promises are as the three children each read a scripture. Testify to the children that they can find comfort and courage in the scriptures just as President Kimball did.
For older children: Help the children understand Romans 15:4, another scripture about finding comfort in the scriptures. Write on either wordstrips or the blackboard: “… things … were written … that we … might have hope.”
Have the children recite this several times. Explain that three periods ( … ) mean that one or more words have been left out of a quotation. Adding just a few words at a time, teach the scripture, defining such words as whatsoever (any or all) and aforetime (at an earlier time). Add “comfort of the scriptures” last.
For younger children: To reinforce the feeling of comfort we get from reading the scriptures, prepare a choral reading (see TNGC, 163) of “When I Read the Scriptures” (Friend, Aug. 2005, 7). Add simple actions to help the children remember the lines. Explain that every other line is “when I read the scriptures.” Have the children put their hands in the shape of a book whenever that line is recited. Other examples of actions might be putting hand on heart for “I feel the Spirit near” and putting hand up to ear for “The Savior’s voice I hear.” Continue with simple actions through the next two stanzas.
2. Use an object lesson (see TNGC, 163–64) to teach how we can receive comfort. Invite an adult to portray one of the people of Alma from Mosiah 24:8–15. Have him or her bring a backpack or other carrier and retell the story. Give the children a piece of paper and a pencil, and ask them to write a trial or challenge that children face today, such as immodest clothing, inappropriate media, and so on. They might write something like “Sometimes school seems hard,” “I get sick,” or “Sometimes I am sad.” (Younger children can draw pictures of the trials.) As the children share the trial, have them wrap the paper around a small rock and place it in the backpack. Pass the backpack to some of the children. Discuss ways Heavenly Father helps them with their trials. With each suggestion, remove several rocks. Pass the backpack again. Sing “Jesus Is Our Loving Friend” (p. 58). Explain that Jesus will always help us and comfort us when we face challenges. Testify of the comfort you have received.
3. Display the map “The Persian Empire.” (This is map 912 in the meetinghouse library or map 12 in the map section of the scriptures; it can also be downloaded from www.lds.org under “The Scriptures,” “Study Helps: Bible Maps,” “7. The Persian Empire.” Print the downloaded map on a transparency, and project it onto a screen using an overhead projector.) Explain that the Persian Empire was very large. To give the children an idea of how large, compare the land area to something with which they are familiar. For example, you could say, “The Persian Empire was almost as large as the continental United States.” Place a star on the city of Susa (also called Shushan), and explain that the star represents two things: (1) Susa was the capital of the Persian Empire, and (2) it was the home of Esther. Esther’s name means “star.” Explain that Esther’s name was appropriate because she was a guide to her people. Invite the children to listen as you tell Esther’s story (see Esther 4–5). Focus on how she risked her life by going before the king, asked the people to fast for her, and submitted to the Lord’s will when she said, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). Ask the children what Esther did to be an example to her people.
Sing “I Am like a Star” (p. 163). Tell the children that they can be like stars when they have courage like Esther. Ask them what they could do and what they could say to show the kind of courage Esther had. Alternate between what the children can do (“I can invite a friend to Primary” or “I can turn off a television show that isn’t appropriate”) and what they can say (“I don’t think the words to this song are very good. Let’s listen to something else” or “Let’s include Joey in our baseball game. He looks lonely.”).
4. Ahead of time, invite two priesthood brethren approved by the bishop or branch president to come to Primary prepared to tell the following scripture stories: (1) the story of the Liahona guiding the ship toward the promised land (see 1 Nephi 18:8–22) and (2) the story of Lehi’s dream and the iron rod that leads the people to the tree of life (see 1 Nephi 8). Ask the children what the people had to do to show faith and receive guidance from the Liahona and the iron rod. List their suggestions on the board. What are the Liahona and iron rod of our day? Have the children read Alma 37:44 and 1 Nephi 11:25 (words of Christ, word of God). How do we receive the words of Christ? Tell the children that you are going to give them music clues to answer that question. For each of the following songs, play the first few measures, and let the children guess the song and its message. The message will tell us where we must look to hear the words of Christ: “Stand for the Right” (p. 159), prophets; “The Still Small Voice” (pp. 106–7), Holy Ghost; “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (p. 109), scriptures. Refer to the list on the board, and point out that we must do the same things to be guided today as did the people of Nephi. Our obedience is a measure of our faith. Tell of a time when you have been led by the words of Christ, and bear testimony of the power of faith in receiving and following the guidance of the Lord.
5. Friend references: “Trust Jesus,” Sept. 2004, 17; “Comforted by the Holy Ghost,” Nov. 2004, 14–15; “Just for Now,” Apr. 2003, 4–6; “Following the Crowd,” Aug. 2004, 2; “The Race,” June 2004, 2; “Desert Secret,” Mar. 2005, 14–16; “Who Needs a Coat?” Jan. 2005, 10–12.