Give each child a chance to hold a picture of the Savior and share something they are learning about Him and His gospel.
What object lessons or activities can you think of that would help the children understand what it means to forgive? As you discuss forgiveness, remind the children that forgiving does not mean allowing others to hurt us.
Read the phrase “ye ought to forgive one another” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:9), and ask the children what it means to forgive someone. To help them understand, share a few simple examples.
How do you feel when someone pushes you down or hurts you?
How do you feel when someone makes fun of you or calls you names?
How do you feel when other children won’t let you play with them?
How do you feel when someone breaks something that belongs to you?
How do you feel when you are angry? Try to emphasize how unhappy they feel when they are angry with someone.
What does this angry feeling make you want to do? (Try to emphasize that anger does not make us want to act like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to act.)
He knows that it is not always easy to forgive others when we have been hurt, but he wants us to follow his example.
What does it mean to forgive? (When the Savior forgives us, he cancels any required punishment for a sin that we have committed, if we repent. He helps us to live more righteously. When we forgive others, we love them and do not have bad feelings for them because of any wrong they have done to us.)
Give the children a popsicle stick with a happy face and a sad face on another popsicle stick.
Read the situations and have the children decide if the child in the story forgives or not. If they forgive have the children hold up the happy face, it they don’t forgive hold up the sad face. If the child described did not show forgiveness, ask the children what the child could do to show forgiveness and feel happy inside.
Use the situations below or create some of your own:
- Jan had just finished drawing a beautiful picture when her little brother came and scribbled all over it with a crayon. Jan was so upset that she yelled and slapped her brother’s hand.
- Did Jan show forgiveness?
- How do you think Jan felt inside?
- What could Jan do to show forgiveness to her brother?
- On the playground, Donna came up to Cali and pushed her down. Donna ran away laughing. The next day, Donna fell out of the swing and hurt her knee. Cali rushed over and helped her up.
- Did Cali show forgiveness?
- How do you think Cali felt inside?
- When Chad was waiting to get a drink of water from the fountain, the boy in front of him turned and threw water on him. Chad’s face was all wet, but he just turned and walked away without saying a word. The next day when Chad was getting a drink, the same boy walked by. Chad could have thrown water on the boy, but he didn’t.
- Did Chad show forgiveness?
- How do you think Chad felt inside?
Have an older child read the following from Doctrine and Covenants 64:9, or read it yourself: “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another.”
When others hurt us or are unkind in some way, what must we do to follow the commandment of Jesus Christ to forgive? (Forgive them and love them.)
Explain that to be loving and forgiving, we must—
Point out that when we really forgive others, we are willing to forget the wrong that they have done and replace our angry feelings with kind, loving feelings. Forgiving other people includes showing great love for them after forgiving them.
The Lord taught the Saints that to build Zion, they needed to give Him their hearts and willing minds. Consider how you will help the children begin to think about what this means for them.
Place the boy on the board
. Read to the children from Doctrine and Covenants 64:34: “Behold, the Lord requireth the heart
(have a child place the heart on the boy) and a willing mind
(have a child place the mind on the boy).” Repeat this phrase a few times, pointing to your heart and head as you read those words, and invite the children to do the same. How can we give our hearts and minds to the Savior? (It might help to explain that our heart refers to our feelings and love and our mind refers to our thoughts.)
William E. McLellin had five specific questions for the Lord. Joseph Smith received answers to them in a revelation even though he did not know what William’s questions were. This experience could help you teach the children that God is aware of them and can answer their questions.
Read to the children Doctrine and Covenants 66:4. Tell the children about a time when the Lord showed you what He wanted you to do. Read the verse again, this time inserting the name of one of the children. Repeat for each of the children.
Help the children find a verse in Doctrine and Covenants 64–66 that they like and would want to share with a family member or friend.
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