September 25, 2012 by FHElessons
A lot of lessons on reverence, focus on reverent behaviors – teaching children to sit still, keep quiet, fold their arms, etc. While teaching these behaviors is good, I feel that a better way to instill an understanding of reverence in our children as well as in ourselves is to teach the principle behind the behaviors. When we understand the Being that we worship and all that He has done for us, when we have a renewed desire to treat Him and His house and His children with deserved respect and adoration, then reverent behaviors will come naturally. This lesson hopes to teach and remind us all of the Greatness of God and our own nothingness in comparison, thus instilling a feeling of reverence within our hearts. It follows my Sacrament Meeting talk on reverence found HERE.
- Reverence is Love– Children’s Songbook #31
- Come We That Love the Lord– Hymn #119
- Glory to God on High– Hymn #67
- Great King of Heaven– Hymn #63
- How Great Thou Art – Hymn #86
- If possible, consider holding this FHE in a beautiful place in nature (forest, lake, mountains, etc.) or hold it in a peaceful place where you can view the sunrise or sunset during the lesson.
- Throughout this lesson, you will see some images from the LDS Gospel Art Picture Kit. If you have a picture kit, use these images or others to illustrate your lesson as you teach. Otherwise, click on the picture to go to the link on the LDS Church website where you can print the picture for your own use or use it in a power point presentation.
Ask your family: What is reverence?
Answers will likely include reverent behaviors such as being quiet, folding your arms, bowing your head, etc. Next, look up “reverence” in the dictionary, and read the definition together. You will find that the primary definition is an attitude or a feeling of respect, awe, love, and veneration. Explain that we will be talking about what kind of Being is deserving of our respect, awe, love, and veneration.
1. He is God, the First, the Creator.
Show your family one of the following videos about the size of the universe. They are pretty amazing:
THIS one is the original video, made in 1977, which sparked the idea for many other videos of its kind. It’s called “The Power of Ten” and moves out from the Earth by a factor of 10 every 10 seconds. After you see the entire universe, it moves back in by 10’s, down to the molecular lever
THIS one is a little more modern and travels away from the Earth at the speed of light. Knowing how fast light travels, you see how many billions of years it would take to cross the known universe at that speed. The video mentions the Creator at the end.Read Moses 7:30 – “Were it possible that men could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of Thy creations.”
Pres. J Reuben Clark declared: “It was not a novice, not an amateur, not a Being making a first trial, that came down in the beginning, after the Great council, with other Gods, and searched out and found the place where there was space, and taking of the materials which they found in this space, made this world.”
2. Among His many creations is Us, His Spirit Children. He is the Father of our spirits.
Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
D&C 130:22 – “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also.”
3. God’s Majesty and Glory defy all description.
God’s body is like ours, yet Joseph Smith testifies: “I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,” JS-History 1:17. No words can express His greatness and glory. No man can tell of His majesty and grandeur.
In speaking to Moses, He called Himself, “Lord, God Almighty” and named Himself “Endless”. He said He is without beginning of days or end of years. We learn that He is an eternal being and that His works and words are without end. We learn that He has always existed and always will exist. (see Moses 1:3)
When speaking with Adam, he called Himself, “Man of Holiness.” Thus we know that He is a man. He is holy. He is the Supreme Governor of the universe, an exalted, holy, Endless man. He is the example of holiness for which we strive. (see Moses 7:35)
Jesus Christ taught us that the Father is perfect and admonished us also to strive for that perfection. God, the Father, is the standard by which perfection is defined. He is the meaning of the word “perfect”. (see Matthew 5:48)
And after all this, the apostle John taught that God loves us. He loves us enough to give us the gift of His Only Begotten Son. (John 3:16)
In fact, He declares that the entire sum of His existence, His work and His glory is to bring about Our progress – our immortality and Eternal Life. (Moses 1:39)
4. Because of this, He designed for us a Plan – a plan for our Salvation.
Without this Plan we would have been unable to receive a body, to progress, to become like our Father in Heaven. Without this Plan, and because of our many weaknesses and mistakes, we would have been “exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice.” (Alma 34:16)
And so God asked for a volunteer – someone to live a perfect life and then sacrifice Himself to meet the demands of justice for all of God’s children. And God asked, “Whom shall I send?” And the Savior answered: “Here am I, send me,” (Isaiah 6:8).
Jesus Christ became the “author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2), the “author of our eternal salvation.” (Heb 5:9) Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows:…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:…and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
5. The God of the world, the Son of Man, or in other words, the Son of the Man of Holiness, who was with the Father in the beginning, condescended to come down to earth – to be born of a mortal woman as a helpless infant and to suffer the pains of the flesh.
This condescension of God, this act of waving the privileges of one’s rank and status in order to go down to a less dignified state, was enacted by both God the Father and the Son.
Bruce R McConkie teaches, “God the Almighty, the Maker and Preserver and Upholder of all things; the Omnipotent One…elects, in his fathomless wisdom, to beget a Son, an Only Son, the Only Begotten in the flesh. God, who is infinite and immortal, condescends to step down from his throne, to join with one who is finite and mortal in bringing forth the Mortal Messiah.”
And Jesus Christ,
- The Creator of innumerable worlds,
- He who had grown in light and truth and knowledge and power until He was like unto His Father,
- He who manifested Himself to Adam and Eve, to Enoch and to Noah,
- Who made known the plan of salvation to Abraham,
- Who gave the law of Moses to ancient Israel,
- Who spoke to the brother of Jared and directed the Jaredites,
- Who led Lehi and his family to a promised land,
- In whose name we perform ordinances and say our prayers,
- Submitted to be born into the most humble of circumstances. To be subject to the veil of forgetfulness. To suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer except it be unto death (Mosiah 3:5,7)
6. Jesus progressed until by the age of twelve, He not only knew of His own Divine parentage, but had knowledge and wisdom enough that as he sat in the temple, the rabbis and men of great wisdom both listened to Him and asked him questions.
In the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew, we read that Jesus “waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come. And he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him. And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.”
7. As this time drew near, He was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”(Hebrews 4:15).
8. He lived a life of service, using His infinite power to heal, to uplift, to protect, to liberate, to revive and rehabilitate.
His earthly life was filled with countless acts of kindness, compassionately saving those around him from suffering and pain. “Have you any that are sick among you?” He asked, “Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.”
To the leper who asked, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” The Savior replied, “I will, be thou clean.” To the crippled man who waited by the pool of Bethsaida, he asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?”
He made the blind to see; the lame to walk; Those who were sick, who had been afflicted with handicaps and debilitating maladies were made whole by His infinite power. Some who were dead were made alive again. Every miracle was an act of mercy, an expression of His divine love. Even amidst His own fatigue, He continued to life the burdens of other.
On a day when He and his disciples had not even had time to eat, let alone get some rest, Jesus observed the multitude following him. He did not ask for some time to Himself, to eat and to rest. Instead, he “was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”
When His disciples tried to allow Him a little time to rest by forbidding the children to bother Him, He answered, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”
9. Jesus had power over the elements.
He calmed the storm, made plants to wither or to grow at His will, commanded the fishes of the sea, and taught that with the Faith of a grain of mustard seed it is possible to move mountains. His disciples marveled, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the seas obey Him?”
Even devils acknowledged His power and trembled in His presence. As he called them to leave the tormented individuals that they inhabited, they cried, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?” and “We know thee who thou art, the Holy One of Israel.” They knew Jesus and his power because they had encountered it before the world was. They recognized Jesus as Jehovah, who by the power of His Almighty Father had thrust them out of God’s presence and cast them down to earth for rebellion. (Brent Top, the Redeemer 208)
10. He taught with perfect understanding and showed the way by example.
No one will ever be His equal. He taught with perfect understanding – not only did he understand perfectly the truths that he taught, but he looked into the hearts of those who listened and saw what was there. He taught in ways that people could understand. He taught in ways that showed His infinite love for those who listened. His teachings, like His life were made to uplift, to strengthen, and to draw all men unto Him.
11. Jesus suffered to Atone for our sins and allowed Himself to be crucified.
The one who declared “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father and He will presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” chose instead to patiently allow men their free agency – to allow them to arrest him, mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, drive nails through his hands and feet, and ultimately crucify him. Of the soldiers who did it, He asked the Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed that He might not drink of such a bitter cup as to take upon Him the sins of all who had ever lived or ever would live, yet He was obedient to the will of the Father. He offered, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” He suffered in a manner so great as to cause great drops of blood to come from every pore of His skin. He suffered in a way that no man would have been able to bear. And then, after yielding to death, he rose again on the third day.
12. He prepared the way for us to be resurrected.
He made it possible for us to bridge the gap that separates us from the God who loves us and whom we love. He made it possible for us to be redeemed of our sins, to be made whole and clean again, to come again unto the Father and to have Eternal Life.
Robert L Millet declares: “It is not just that the Son of God brings light into a darkened and fallen world, He is the Light; It is not just that our Savior shows us the way; He is the Way; It is not just that Christ makes the resurrection available, He is the Resurrections; And it is not just that Jesus of Nazareth restores the truth and teaches truth; He is the Truth.”
13. To know Jesus is to know God the Father.
Jesus declared, “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.” He and God the Father are one in heart, mind, and purpose. They are so alike, that to know one is to know the other.
In all His many and great works, he gives credit and glory to the Father. He tells us that all of His miracles, all of His teachings and acts and sacrifice are done through Him by God, the Father.
As we come to know Jesus by His words and His works, we come to know God the Father. As we marvel at the greatness and power of the Savior, we must be awed by He who is His Eternal Father.
The prophets Nephi and Jacob teach that we worship God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, that it is the Father who is the ultimate object of our worship and adoration. It is Elohim who is the Father of our Spirits and the director of our progression. It is He to whom the Son defers glory.
Reverent attitudes lead to reverent behaviors:
And so, knowing the type of Being that we worship, knowing that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, Endless and Everlasting and that He loves us, what will our behavior be? Ask:
- When we speak of Him, when we say His name, how will we say it?
- When we walk in His house, how will we walk?
- When we read and discuss His word, how will we do it?
- When we go to Him in prayer, how will we approach Him?
- When we care for the body He has given us, how will we do it?
- When we consider all the many blessings He has given us, how will we feel?
It is my prayer that we will always retain in our memories, the greatness of God and our own nothingness to Him, That we will remember how He condescends to effect our Salvation. And that this feeling of love and adoration and gratitude towards this Great and mighty Being who is, in fact, our loving Father in Heaven, will lead us to reverent behavior in all aspects of our lives.In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hopefully, you were able to have a very spiritual experience with this lesson and will afterwards just be ready for prayer and bed. But, if you find that you would like some additional activities or if you need ideas for activities for young children, here are some ideas:
Sacrament Cards: Make a set of cards, each with a different picture of Jesus on it, for your kids to use during the sacrament. The cards should be about 2”x3” so they are convenient for small hands to hold and look through during the sacrament. Looking at pictures of Jesus can help the kids remember this lesson and feel reverent during the sacrament. Deseret Book has many different cards this size for sale. Go HERE and HERE to see them. (At the time of this posting, they are offering them as a free gift with purchase). More are usually available in the store as well. Alternatively, you can print your own from the images found on the LDS Church Website.
Sacrament Book: HERE is a link to a free printable Sacrament book. There are also several nice ones available for purchase at Deseret Book. Use in the same way as the cards above.
My Reverent Body: Discuss how we show our love to Heavenly Father by keeping our body in a reverent attitude. I made you a FREE PRINTABLE matching game! Woohoo! Download and print the file onto cardstock. Cut the images apart into separate cards. Shuffle and lay all cards out on table, face-down. Take turns choosing 2 cards. If they are a match, you must say how that body part can be used to be reverent. Here are some example answers:
- Hands: Keep still in our laps, Raise to speak or ask a question.
- Arms: Fold
- Ears: Listen to the teacher or speaker
- Mouths: Sing, smile, pray, speak quietly, keep closed while others are speaking
- Feet: Keep still
- Legs: Walk quietly
- Eyes: Watch speaker or teacher, follow good examples
- Head: Bow, Think about God
If you answer correctly, you get to choose 2 more cards to flip over. The winner is the one with the most cards at the end of the game.
Reverent Mouse: Read the following poem: “What If?” (by Dalee C James)
- If a mouse would ride to church
- In your pocket on this day,
- What might he tell his family
- That he heard you do or say?
- Would he tell them you were reverent,
- And you listened to your teacher?
- Or would he say he’d never seen
- Such a noisy creature?
- Would he tell them how he loved the songs
- You sang so sweet and clear?
- Or would he groan from all the talking
- That entered in his ear?
- Could he take a little snooze
- As you walked nice and tall?
- Or would he scream with panic
- As you galloped down the hall?
- Would the little mouse get seasick
- From the tipping of your chair?
- Or would he feel safe and cozy
- As you quietly sat there?
- Would the chapel be a reverent place?
- The sacrament the same?
- Now tell me, would the little mouse
- Be really glad he came?
- If a mouse would ride to church
- In your pocket on this day,
- What might he tell his family
- That he heard you do or say?
After reading this poem, let each child make a little mouse to ride to church in his/her pocket each Sunday. You can find some tutorials HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE, depending on what materials you have on hand. When at church, if you find your children start to get restless, just tap their pockets to remind them of their “reverent mice.”
King of Me: Read the poem, “King of Me”, by Dorothy King Pace found in the September 1996 Friend magazine:
I said to my feet, “Keep still!”
I said to my hands, “Just stay!”
I said to my all-over-everywhere-self,
“I’m in charge of you today!”
I’m ruler of my mouth,
And I’m the King of Me,
So when I tell me it’s reverence time,
I’m as quiet as can be!
Afterwards, let each child make a crown to wear to help them remember to be “King of Me” when at church. Here are some tutorials: