Purpose: To teach children the importance of the sacrament
Gospel principles: Sacrament, Repentance, Reverence
Scriptures: 3 Nephi 18:1-10; Matthew 26:26-28; Doctrine and Covenants 20:75; Doctrine and Covenants 27:2
Songs: To Think about Jesus (Children’s Songbook pg. 71), Reverently, Quietly (Children’s Songbook pg. 26), Reverently and Meekly Now (Hymn no. 185)
Object lesson: While you teach the lesson, ask your children to sit as quietly as they can. Explain to them that it is important to sit quietly in sacrament meeting and you want them to practice.
Lesson: Sacrament meeting is a time to think about Christ and his sacrifice for us. Sometimes it is hard to pay attention in sacrament meeting, but it’s still important.
Tell your children the following story from The Sacrament by John Bytheway to help them understand why the sacrament is important.
One Sunday, John went to church with his grandpa. John was getting sleepy in sacrament meeting. John’s grandpa told him about when he was a little boy and he noticed the people around him were not paying attention in sacrament meeting—some people were drawing pictures, some were talking, and some were sleeping. He started wondering how Jesus would feel if he were in the room and saw all the people.
John knew his grandpa was right. He knew he should spend sacrament meeting thinking about Jesus.
Discussion: Ask the following questions and discuss them with your children:
· Why do we take the sacrament?
· Why is it important to be quiet during sacrament meeting?
· What does it mean to be reverent?
Explain to your children that we take the sacrament to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for them. If they have been baptized, tell your children they are making the same promises during the sacrament that they made when they were baptized. If they have not been baptized yet, let them know the sacrament prayer will tell them the promises they will make when they are baptized.
Help your children understand that they show their love for Jesus when they are quiet in sacrament meeting. Explain to them that reverence is more than just being quiet—they need to have reverent thoughts too. Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “During sacrament meeting—and especially during the sacrament service—we should concentrate on worship and refrain from all other activities, especially from behavior that could interfere with the worship of others. …Sacrament meeting is not a time for reading books or magazines. Young people, it is not a time for whispered conversations on cell phones or for texting persons at other locations. When we partake of the sacrament, we make a sacred covenant that we will always remember the Savior.”
Ask your children what they plan to do in sacrament meeting next week to help them remember the Savior.
Lead image from The Sacrament
Enhance this lesson with John Bytheway's first children's book, The Sacrament. Beautifully illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, this thought-provoking story about a young boy and his grandpa is a gentle reminder about the importance of remembering the Lord Jesus Christ, especially during this special meeting meant for Him.
More about the book:
It's understandable that some children appear bored or distracted during sacrament meeting. Many young Latter-day Saints are probably unsure about the true meaning of the sacrament and why we attend. With this in mind, bestselling author John Bytheway has composed a delightful poem (inspired by a short poem by Walter H. Horne) to help Latter-day Saints young and old appreciate the ordinance of the sacrament. In particular, children will learn what they should be thinking about (and not be thinking about) during this sacred time as well as what the sacrament can do for us all.