This week my Primary lesson focuses on gratitude. The object is to encourage each child to feel and express gratitude to Heavenly Father. It's interesting how these lessons seem to mirror what I am thinking about myself on most weeks. For awhile I felt anything but grateful on my mission. All I seemed to see were the hard things about a rainy climate. Then I realized the Lord blessed me tremendously by allowing me to live in this peaceful, healthy setting, where my physical health has improved exponentially. Spiritually and socially, I've gained a different vantage of human nature and needs. It's as if I can see through the exterior and understand what Heavenly Father sees and loves in others...sometimes...Anyway...It is important for everyone, including my Primary class, to open their eyes to each blessing in their lives, great and small.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The focus scriptures help me gain perspective. Am I more like the nine or the one? Do I remember to say thanks? Do I remember to pray? This leads to another scripture not part of the lesson but a point I will bring out. "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments," Doctrine and Covenants 59:21.
I love the object lesson. Each of us in the class are to tell of blessings in our lives in turn round and round the circle. As is usual in a class, if someone can't come up with a blessing, I'll give a prompt. What are some of the beautiful creations Heavenly Father has given us? Who are some special people he has blessed us with? What things can our wonderful bodies do? Each time something new is mentioned, I add a spoon full of water to a cup until it runs over. Psalm 23:5
There is a story to relate about a grandma that made a doll for her granddaughter's birthday. In the first version, the granddaughter acted ungrateful. In the second, the opposite occurred. We'll discuss how grandma felt in each scenario.
Next, I'll tell the story of the ten lepers using a picture to keep their attention.
I'll ask them to join me singing, Children All Over the World.
All over the world at the end of day,
Heav’nly Father’s children kneel down and pray,
Each saying thank you in his own special way,
Saying thank you, thank you in his own special way.
“Gracias.” “Mālō.” “Wir danken dir.”
All over the world tender voices hear.
Some say “tak,” others “merci,”
“Kansha shimasu,” we thank thee.
Our Heavenly Father hears them;
He understands each tongue.
Our Heav’nly Father knows them;
He loves them, loves them, ev’ry one.
We'll discuss the word tongue in the song and what that means. I'll challenge them to stop each night before they get into bed, think about their day, recall blessings, and thank God for them.
Finally, I'll invite the children to draw pictures of things they are thankful for. As they finish, I'll ask them about their pictures. My children seem to like creating their own art instead of coloring a picture.