Purpose: To teach children the importance of choosing to obey the commandments
Gospel Principles: Obedience, Word of Wisdom, Repentance
Scriptures: D&C 89; Alma 57:21; Alma 30:8
Songs: “Choose the Right” (Hymns, pg.239) and “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, pg. 78)
Lesson: Keeping the commandments is not always easy. When we make the decision to always do what is right, it is easier to say “no” when we are tempted to do what is wrong. The easiest way that will help us choose to keep the commandments and to never break them is to promise from now, before you are tempted, to never ever do those things--not even once.
Relate the following story to your children from the Not Even Once Club, by Wendy Watson Nelson:
Tyler had just moved to a new town. He really wanted to make new friends. When they incited him to their tree house, he was excited until they got out a menu. It said, “Coffee, Tea, Alcohol, Lemonade.”
Tyler’s friends each were asked what they’d like to order. The first was asked, “Do you want a coffee?” She answered, “Not even once!” When it was Tyler’s turn to order, and they asked if he wanted alcohol, he repeated, “Not even once!” Everybody cheered! Tyler was the newest member of the club.
Together, all the members of the “Not Even Once” club celebrated. They had all promised to do their best to obey the commandments and try to never break them. Not even once.
You can read Tyler’s entire story in The Not Even Once Club by Wendy Watson Nelson.
Discussion: Ask the following questions and discuss them with your children.
• Is it difficult to say no when you’re being tempted?
• How are you rewarded when you obey the commandments?
• What can you do today that will help you choose to obey the commandments even when it is difficult?
Additional discussion questions and topics can be found after the conclusion of The Not Even Once Club.
Explain that Heavenly Father gives us commandments to help us be happy. Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson said, “The Lord has provided guidelines and commandments to help ensure our spiritual safety so we might . . . return eventually to our Heavenly Father.”
When we do what is right, we come closer to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father knows that we aren’t perfect and that we will make mistakes. He helps us know what to do by giving us a path to follow that will return to Him. Life is easier when we do not put ourselves in a place where we can be tempted. When we make a mistake, we are able to be forgiven if we promise to try to never do it again. We show Heavenly Father our love when we do what He asks. Obeying His commandments will help us return to live in heaven with Him someday.
Ask you children to commit to doing their best as a member of the “Not Even Once Club.” Present them with this certificate and congratulate them on their efforts!
Activity: Role play
Now that you have decided to become “Not Even Once” club members, take turns acting out different scenarios and discussing what the best course of action would be for each of them. Choose scenarios appropriate to the age of your children.
• You walk through the grocery store with a friend. Your friend grabs a candy bar and sticks it in his/her pocket then tells you to do the same. What do you do?
• You are sitting in a fancy restaurant, and the waiter comes to take drink orders and encourages you to drink alcohol. You don’t want to be rude. What do you say?
• While researching a project for school, you and your friends come across a website with inappropriate material. One of your friends tells you, “Nobody will know if we look.” You are sure you won’t be caught. What do you do?
• You are shopping at the mall for a new outfit when you see a really great shirt on display. When you try it on, some of your stomach shows. It’s not a lot, and the shirt’s on sale. Do you buy the shirt anyway?
• At school, you have a really hard test coming up. One of your friends has already taken that class and offers to give you the test questions ahead of time so you can hang out instead of studying. Which activity do you choose to do: hanging out or studying?
• The person you really like asks you out on a date. After dinner, he takes you to a park after dark to look at the stars. It’s cold, so he wants to snuggle really close, and he starts putting his hands in inappropriate places. What can you do?