November 2011 Sharing Time: Understanding Reverence
Teaching reverence to Primary children can be difficult, but this month's sharing time will help involve them in an activity that will help them understand the concept.
This sharing time will involve the children in an activity to help them understand reverence.
Preparation: Make a poster of Matthew 22:37: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Post it at the front of the room.
Presentation: Ask the children if they know what reverence means. Briefly discuss it, helping them to understand that reverence is more that just being quiet. Tell them that reverence is something you feel as well as do. Have the children read the scripture from Matthew together. Explain that reverence is one way of feeling and showing love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Tell them you are going to try an experiment. Ask them sit quietly and do everything you tell them (make sure you speak with a very calm voice).
Tell them to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the following scenario: “You are walking down a path in a meadow. The meadow is filled with beautiful flowers. Birds are singing. The sky is blue and the sun is warm. You feel quiet and happy. As you walk, you realize that someone is approaching you from far down the path. You walk toward each other for a while. Now you can see him clearly. You stop as you realize it is the Savior.
“He continues to walk steadily toward you. As he nears, you fall to your knees. He stops before you, reaches down to take your hand, and lifts you to your feet. Then he embraces you. As his arms fold around you, you feel his spirit wash over your entire body. He steps back, and as you look into his eyes you see his gentle love and concern for you. You stay there for a moment just looking into his eyes. Then, slowly, you turn and go back the way you have come. You walk back through the meadow and into your seats in this room. Now, open your eyes.” (See Joan B. MacDonald, Holiness of Everyday Life, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995].)
Tell them that some of the words to one of our sacrament hymns says "Jesus, the very thought of thee, with sweetness fills my breast." Help them understand that “sweetness” is the love we feel for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Explain that they can take this imaginary walk with Jesus during the sacrament quiet time or whenever they desire.
If time allows, let the children quietly color a picture of the meadow they imagined. Bear your testimony of your love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Sing songs that will reinforce reverence, such as "Reverently, Quietly,” Children’s Songbook, p. 26; “I Will Try to Be Reverent,” Children’s Songbook, p. 28; “Reverence is Love,” Children’s Songbook, p. 31; and “This Is God’s House,” Children’s Songbook, p. 30.