This week my Primary lesson focuses on the lessons learned by the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-24. After he realized all his foolishness, he returned to his father. He didn't return in his arrogance but with sorrow and a resolve to be different. The choice to apologize for wrongdoings is called repentance, which can turn us from a state of regret and unhappiness to hope and happiness.
After telling this story and explaining the moral, I'm to tell a story about a little girl named Angela. Angela's friend Maria had a lovely toy kitchen with some very nice toy food. Angela especially liked the fruits and vegetables. When Maria wasn't looking, she slipped some in her pocket even though she knew it was wrong to steal. At home again, Angela hid the toy food under her bed. Although she played with it a little, it wasn't as fun as she remembered it at Maria's house. Why do you think it wasn't fun to play with the toys? What do we call the sin of taking what doesn't belong to us?
Noticing her daughter under the bed, Angela's mother asked her what she was doing. With a sad face, Angela crawled out, showed the stolen toys to her mother, and cried. Mother asked Angela why she was crying. Angela said she felt bad for stealing her friend's toys. What might Angela do to uncomfortable feelings?
Mother suggested that she and Angela should pray about it, asking what Jesus would want her to do in this situation. What would Jesus want her to do? Did you know you can say little prayers in your mind any time and any where to help you understand the right thing to do?
Angela felt Jesus would want her to return the toys and apologize. When Angela knocked on Maria's door with her mother standing behind her, she felt a little scared. Maria answered the door. Angela confessed her mistake and apologized. She felt a little better. Maria looked sad at first but then hugged her friend and said. "I'm not mad at you but don't take my toys again. Do you want to come in and play with me?" Angela said she did; her mother said she could. Angela felt a lot better and knew she would never steal again.
Do you know what word we use for admitting a sin, apologizing, fixing the problem, and deciding not to repeat the mistake? It's a big word, repentance. We are told in the scriptures to repent of our sins. Every night when you kneel down and say your prayers, think about your day. Was there something that you did that wasn't right? Did you argue with your sister? Did you disobey your parent? Did you tell a lie? Where you unkind to anyone? If you can answer yes, ask God to forgive you and help you make it right.
After the lesson, we'll draw pictures of making good choices. I didn't used to like having little children draw, but have found it a much better tool than coloring pages. A coloring page doesn't get the children thinking about the subject. When a child draws a picture of themselves being kind, they draw themselves doing a specific action. Of course I can rarely tell what the picture means. Nevertheless, explaining the drawing to me, they verbalize the principle. In my homeschool, we did this sort of retelling of the lesson all the time. In that setting, it is called narration. Drawing and verbalizing are great learning tools.