Come Follow Me 2023, Free LDS primary lesson helps, April 17-23, Mathew 18; Luke 10
Updated: Apr 13
Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children
I should always forgive others.
As you read Matthew 18:21–35, consider your own experiences with forgiveness and what the children need to know about this principle.
Tell the parable of the unmerciful servant (see Matthew 18:23–35). Explain that when someone is unkind or unfair, we will probably feel angry or sad at first. But forgiveness means we can feel peace again. When we forgive someone, we decide not to be angry with them anymore. (Help the children understand that if someone is being unkind or unfair to them, they should ask their parents or another trusted adult for help.)
The story is a little hard to follow for young minds, here are some puppets that might help.
Write I forgive you on the board, and tell the children that these words can help turn sad moments into happy ones. Draw a sad face on the board, and share some examples of children forgiving one another. After each example, invite a child to change the sad face to a happy one.
Tell the children that you are going to tell them some stories, and they can move the boy or girl face to be happy or sad, depending on how the story is going.
Point out when the children don't forgive (ending 1) the face that turned sad, stays sad.
Click on the image to be taken to Etsy.
Sing with the children a song about forgiveness, such as “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, 99). Share your testimony that Heavenly Father will help us forgive others.
Click on the image, to be taken to the churches website, to watch this cute movie a about a boy forgiving his friend.
Jesus taught me to see all people as my neighbors and love them.
The parable of the good Samaritan can show children who our neighbors are and how we should treat them. Think of ways you can inspire the children to “go, and do … likewise” (Luke 10:37).
Ask each child, “Who is your neighbor?” Summarize the account in Luke 10:25–37, and share how Jesus answered that question. What did Jesus teach about how we should treat our neighbors?
Read Luke 10:25–37 as the children act out the parable of the good Samaritan. Help them think of ways they can be like the good Samaritan by showing love and kindness to others.
Here is a video of children telling the story of the good Samaritan. (Click on the image)
Write a few examples of situations where someone would need help, and hide the papers around the room. Ask the children to find the papers. Read the situations, and invite the children to share how they could show kindness to the person in that situation.
Sing with the children a song about kindness, such as “Jesus Said Love Everyone” or “Kindness Begins with Me” (Children’s Songbook, 61, 145).
This is beautiful! I'm Glad I found it.
Help the children think of a few ways they show love and kindness to others. They could also draw pictures of themselves doing these things.
(Click on the image)
Teach the Doctrine: Older Children
Heavenly Father will forgive me as I forgive others.
The parable of the unmerciful servant can be a memorable way to teach the children that Heavenly Father wants us to forgive everyone.
Read Matthew 18:23–35 with the children. Explain that the king or lord represents Heavenly Father, the servant represents us, and the fellow servant represents those who have wronged us. Ask the children questions like “What does this story teach about how we should treat others? When have you found it hard to forgive someone? How did you let go of those hurt feelings? When have you needed to be forgiven for a wrong choice?”
Show the video “Forgive Every One Their Trespasses: The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) to help the children visualize this parable. (click on the image)
Write on the board the multiplication problem 70 × 7, and help the children solve it. Ask someone to read Matthew 18:21–22, and explain that Jesus used this number to teach us that we should always forgive.
Ask the children to help you think of a few situations where someone might need to forgive another person. Invite the children to act out how they would show forgiveness in those situations.
Before class attach the situations to heavy objects like cans of food, or rocks. Bring a backpack.
Have the children read the situations together, and discussing how they might handle them, point out that God does not want us to continue being hurt by someone. Forgiving doesn't mean we don't talk about those feelings. But after we have need to be able to forgive. Not forgiving is just carrying the weight around and it doesn't feel good.
Load up the backpack and have the children take turns carrying the weight.
Sing with the children a song about forgiveness, such as “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, 99). Help the children understand what the song teaches us about forgiving others.
I made two this week, I couldn't resist(:
I can love and serve others, especially those in need.
Ponder times in your own life when someone has been “a good Samaritan” to you. How can you inspire children to be “good Samaritans” to others?
(click on the image to be taken to the churches website to watch this)
Assign each child to quietly read part of the parable of the good Samaritan. Invite the children to tell their parts of the parable in the order the events happened.
I got this idea form:
I love it, but I changed some things to fit with the primary manual lesson, and help the kids teach it.
Explain to the children that the Jews disliked the Samaritans so much that when they traveled from Jerusalem to Galilee, they would go around Samaria to avoid interacting with any Samaritans. To illustrate this, show Bible map 1, “Physical Map of the Holy Land.” Why would Jesus use a Samaritan as an example of kindness in this parable?
Here is a map if you would like something to print and draw on.
What does this story teach us about helping others in need? (See also Mosiah 4:16–22.)
Ask the children to share an experience when someone was like the good Samaritan toward them.
Challenge the children to set a goal to be like the good Samaritan this week. You might ask them if they know someone who is sick or lonely or someone who does not attend church regularly. Ask the children how they could help that person. Help the children understand how serving others helps them keep the promises they made at baptism (see Mosiah 18:8–10).
This is a baptismal covenant matching game from and old lesson. But I think it would be great to encourage the children sort out the covenants that apply to this lesson, and they can see how important it is to our Heavenly Father for us to be kind to his children. I count 9 that can apply to this lesson, but you have to go a bit deeper to see it, see how many the kids think apply and their reasons for choosing those.
Click in the image.