Scripture: Article of Faith 1:11
Just as we claim the right to worship as we choose, we believe [others] have the right to worship--or to not worship--as [they] see fit. All of our interpersonal relationships should be built on a foundation of mutual respect, trust, and appreciation. But that shouldn't prevent us from sharing deeply held religious feelings with each other.
(M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign, June 1998, 62)
Tell the following true stories about religious persecution.
1. Imagine that you are helping your mother prepare dinner. Some rulers of a powerful church burst into your home and drag your father and mother out to be judged. Your father is beaten and imprisoned for not belonging to that church. (See Acts 8:1-3.) How would you feel?
2. Imagine that your family believes in the word of God. But those who do not are taking all the believing women and children and throwing them into a fire. (See Alma 14:8-10.) How would you feel?
3. Imagine that your father was the prophet of a church. One night a mob broke into your house and grabbed your father while he was caring for your sick baby brother. They choked your father, poured poison down his throat, broke his teeth, tore off his clothes, and smeared tar on him. They covered him with feathers and left him to die. (See Doctrine and Covenants Stories, pages 105-6.) How would you feel?
We feel sad when we hear that members of our church have been persecuted. We should be just as sensitive towards those who are not of our faith. (Christena C. Nelson, Sharing the Articles of Faith, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994], p. 54.)
Make six cards with the following information. Take turns drawing a card. Read the information on the card and discuss the case presented and come up with possible ways to handle each situation.
1. A new family moves into your neighborhood. They are not members of your church. What will you say when you go welcome them to the neighborhood?
2. You are having a birthday party. Describe the friends you will invite. Do you only include members of our church? Why, or why not?
3. A boy in your classroom at school seems lonely. No one ever plays with him at recess. He does not "look" like a member of your church. How will you treat him?
4. Your neighbor smokes cigarettes. Do you think of him as a "bad" person? Describe your feelings towards him.
5. You invite a less-active member to attend church with you. She chooses not to attend. How will you feel about her?
6. Your group of friends does not invite anyone else to play, except those children who are like them. You have noticed others who would like to play games at recess with the group. What will you do?
(Christena C. Nelson, Sharing the Articles of Faith, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994], p. 55.)