Saturday, April 21, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 14 Jacob and His Family


If asking a question (below), have it posted. 

Have one of the definition quotes of integrity/honesty on the board too (see below section).

1/Pass out the honesty quiz/survey from the manual or another one found on

2/Have a question on the board (below are examples) and have them answer with chalk or Post-It notes that you've handed out:

An honest person would/will not __________

An honest person is __________

When I’m honest I feel __________

Discuss honesty and integrity based on their answers to the board question above or the quiz you handed out, etc.
They will likely have stories and situations to share.

Help guide the discussion with your own examples and situations.

You can share these definitions of honesty and integrity: has integrity as “willingness and desire to live by our beliefs and standards.”

Elder Wirthlin said it’s “always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences.”

From For the Strength of Youth: “Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. When you have integrity, you are willing to live by your standards and beliefs even when no one is watching.”

In general, teach them that integrity is when your actions match what you know is right.
Integrity isn’t really hard to understand -- it’s being honest, honorable, consistent.

When we are honest or not honest, either way we can feel it!
When I have integrity, I do what I say I will do.
I don’t lie, I don’t give into pressure to change or to act in ways that aren’t right.

Today we’re going to talk about integrity and honesty by learning a story in the scriptures.

This is about Jacob, Isaac’s son.

But first, I want you to hear another story, this was given by Elder Holland in 2010.

(share the story that starts “May I share with you a little story…” about seeds from here:

Discuss this story and what they each have learned from it.
How was integrity shown in that story?
Why would the next leader need to be someone like Ling?

Tell the story of Laban and Jacob as outlined in the manual.

Be sure to point out that this occurs while Jacob is away, before he comes back to Esau (as in last week’s lesson).
Also be sure to include the discussion about Jacob’s sons and the Twelve Tribes.

Site to help guide your teaching of the story:

Ask them their thoughts after the story -- what was Jacob a good example of?
How would you feel if you were Jacob in that situation?
What was Laban’s goal in tricking him?
Why would Jacob persist and stay another seven years?

What about Jacob's actions do you admire? 
Knowing he was soon to head back to meet with Esau, how do you think this situation trained him to be with Esau again? (talk about forgiveness here)

(tie-in idea from Sister Reeves on

When I was a kid, there was a book that really really irritated me: 
Horton Hatches the Egg.
Maysie is a mother bird who is tired of sitting on her egg and wants a vacation!
Horton is a huge elephant, and he sees Maysie sitting on her egg up high in a tree.
She begs him to take her place and promises she won’t be gone long, “I give you my word.”
He agrees but isn’t really wanting to.

Through winter, he freezes! He’s mocked by others, hunters capture him, he’s shipped across the ocean, he is put into a circus, etc.

But throughout all of this he keeps saying, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful 100%!”

In the end, he’s rewarded when what hatches is an elephant-bird that looks just like him.

Why do you think this book irritated me?
I didn't think it was fair! That poor elephant was taken advantage of.

The bird didn't care about anyone else.
Horton could have easily walked away instead of putting up with so much. 
But instead he stuck to his word.
Why is this a good example of integrity?
How would Horton have felt if he walked away?
What would have happened to the egg?

What lesson did Maysie learn from this?

Find a way to play a game with the situations below (from LDS Living), plus you can add ones from the manual and ones you’ve come up with.

Many ways to present these to have the kids answer them:

1/ Game where you have their names in a bowl and you pull a name out and then have them answer.

2/ Game where you have the situations printed out/folded up in the bowl.

3/ Have them printed out and taped to a ball...pass the ball around to music (Primary song about honesty) and when it stops, whoever is holding it has to pull a situation off and read it and answer it. This is like a version of Pass the Parcel.

4/ You could also pass out one situation per kid in class, ask them to draw it, then present it to the class with the proper answer as well.

5/ Have the situations printed out and taped flipped around to the chalkboard. 
Have them numbered or color coded and they roll dice to see what number they get, or use a game spinner to see what color.

1. Stephanie went grocery shopping with her mom. While she was at the store, she saw a candy bar that she really wanted. Stephanie didn’t have any money. She put the candy bar in her pocket anyway. Was this right? What should Stephanie do?

2. Jason wanted to go to the school football game with his friends. His mom said he couldn’t go to the game, but could go to a Church activity instead. Jason agreed, but when he left the house, he went to the football game instead of the Church activity. Was this honest? What should Jason do?

3. Megan was having a hard time in her math class at school. The final exam was coming quickly and she hadn’t studied for it. Her best friend, Lisa, said Megan could look at her answers during the test. Is Megan being honest? Is Lisa being honest? What should they do?

4. Amy told her best friend, Melissa, a personal secret. Melissa promised not to tell anyone. When Amy wasn’t around, Melissa told Amy’s secret to others. Was this right? What should Melissa do?

5. Cory and Daniel were good friends at school. Cory always talked about the pets he had at home. Daniel doesn’t have any pets, but he told Cory he has a dog and talked about his dog all the time. Is this honest? What should Daniel do?

6. Matthew used Dad’s tools to try to fix his bike, then he left them out. When Dad got home, he couldn’t find his tools and asked if anyone had seen them. Matthew didn’t say anything. Is this showing integrity? What should Matthew do?

In my life, the one thing I look for in a friend is integrity.
Why? Because if I know they have integrity, I can trust them.
I also strive to be someone with integrity.
Why? Because I feel good inside, I know people can trust me, I feel happy.
I even feel proud sometimes, in a good way, because I know that I'm someone people can rely on. Sometimes when people really rely on me, I get extra privileges.

Everyone likes to know they can count on you to be honest!

Take home ideas:
Egg, bird, or elephant related to do with Horton along with an integrity quotation
Seed related to do with Ling along with an integrity quotation

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 13 Jacob and Esau



Write on the board: 
What do you value?

Post this up:

“If I were to teach the principle of generosity in human relationships, how marvelous to share with people...scriptures pertaining to the relationship of Jacob and Esau.” - Elder Neal A. Maxwell.


Hand out Post-It Notes and have them write answers to what they value and post on the board.

Discuss this for awhile -- what do they value? Why do they value those things? Do they bring lasting value or temporary? Do they have to work for those things or do they come easy? Do they value more the things that take time or the things that come easily?


Ideas to present this story:

1/Have all the scriptures printed out for the lesson, one per piece of paper.
Have an easy-to-understand summary of each scripture also one per piece of paper.
Have them match the scripture verse with the summary.
Do this as a class up on the board or on the floor.

2/Have them act it out.

3/Use puppets (Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, even the goats?).

4/Here's my own summary based much on this site:

All of you have siblings.
Have you ever competed for things with your siblings?
How does that sort of thing make you feel?
Siblings really commonly fight, and fight over stuff...right?
This story is about two brothers who are actually twins.
They competed for a lot of things: money, land, spiritual blessings, status in the family.

Even in the womb, they were already struggling.
Their mom Rebekah felt a great struggle in her body and went to enquire of the Lord (Genesis 25:22).

Heavenly Father answered saying “Two nations are in thy womb, and the one people shall be stronger than the other people and the elder shall serve the younger.” (25:23)

Do you know why birth order is important in Old Testament times?
Who here is the firstborn in their family?
If you were in OT times, you would have the right to inherit being the head of the family, priesthood authority, and a double portion of your parents’ estate.
This is all a big deal.

So these twins - Jacob and Esau.
Esau was the firstborn so he had the birthright.
Esau liked hunting and agriculture and focused more on the things of the world.
Jacob liked taking care of animals and was a “plain” man which meant he was whole, complete, perfect, simple, so he was choosing the right, we can assume from that.

Now their parents were kind of split...Isaac liked Esau more and Rebekah liked Jacob more.
Parents aren’t supposed to have favorites, right? But that’s how it was with them.

One day after hunting, Esau was really really hungry.
He asked Jacob if he could have some of his food -- “Feed me, I pray thee,” he asked in vs. 30.

Jacob agreed but for a price - he wanted Esau’s birthright.

Why would he ask this of him? Jacob knew that Esau didn’t care about it.

How did he know? He was going against the commandments, married a woman outside the covenant, etc.

So now fast forward to the time when Isaac was about to give the birthright blessing.
Isaac is 130 years old and his sons were at least 70.
Rebekah felt that Esau should not get the birthright blessing.

She knew that he wouldn’t respect it, honor it, and she remembered that Heavenly Father told her that the elder shall serve the younger.

She made a plan that Jacob would get the blessing.

Jacob wasn’t so sure about it - he probably didn’t want to deceive his dad or do anything wrong, right?

His mom said “Upon me by thy curse, my son, only obey my voice.”

He received the birthright blessing by pretending to be Esau - Isaac was blind at this point and Jacob dressed as Esau to throw off his father.

Was this rightfully his? Well, Esau had given it to him.

Did Isaac know what he was doing? No, but this was spoken of by Heavenly Father years before so it was supposed to happen this way.

How did Esau feel when he found out about the big blessing and that it went to Jacob?

He “lifted up his voice and wept” (27:38) which shows he didn’t plan to keep his promise earlier of giving it to Jacob.

Esau hated Jacob then and vowed to slay him!

Rebekah told Jacob to flee the area - she didn’t want her son killed!

She thought that over time perhaps Esau would stop being angry.

They also wanted Jacob to marry righteously.

So Jacob left and they were apart for about 20 years.

Do any of you know of family members that refuse to speak to one another?

20 years is a long time. It can be hard to be angry for that long but sometimes people are determined to be mad at one another.

How does this hurt eternal families? (give time for discussion)

So Jacob married and did well working as a laborer.

Esau’s family moved elsewhere.

Jacob was visited by an angel and told to return to his birthright land (31:11-13).

Jacob was a little worried about how Esau might react - you can understand why, right?

So he send greetings beforehand, friendly ones, to Esau.

How would this hopefully help Esau feel?

Well, the messengers returned with information that Esau was coming to meet him indeed, but with 400 armed men!

Jacob was confused - an angel had told him to return, but why return if it meant death?

So he prayed for protection.

Then he told his servants to divide over 550 of his animals into many groups and to present each group of animals as a separate gift to Esau - he hoped this would soften Esau’s heart.

They got closer and closer to each other, and Jacob and his family went out to meet him.

He bowed as he went, which showed respect.

Esau noticed all of this and ran to meet him (33:4).

Esau had forgiven Jacob and they were on good terms again.

So while this story is about how Esau didn’t value his birthright and lost it,

It’s also about families and forgiveness.


How are you feeling right now, after hearing this story, about your siblings?

I want you each to write down some feelings for exactly 2 minutes and list all the thoughts and feelings that come to your mind. (pass out paper/pens to them)

Maybe it’s a list of words.

Maybe it’s a description of how you want to act in your family.
Maybe it’s a situation that happened recently and you want to write down what you’d have done differently.

Or maybe you want to write down how you acted correctly and you’re happy about it.

(Let them share if they want, but they may want to keep their list private and that's okay, the act of them simply writing it out is a good exercise for them)


(Use the list in the manual that starts with "Going to a movie on the Sabbath...")

This story is about families but it’s also about valuing the right things.

And not being blinded by what’s temporary vs what’s eternal.

So here’s a list and I want you to come up and one at a time mark off what’s eternal and what’s temporary.

(have the list from the manual but add more to it so it’s really long, and have markers or highlighters or crayons and one at a time they come up and mark in one color for temporary and one color for eternal...then discuss)


Adapted from this:

(Hold up a thing of bubbles and a small soft ball.)
Which of these do you think represents eternal things? (ball)
And which one represents temporary happiness? (bubbles)

List off what some of those things might be: family prayer and activities, arguing with siblings, etc.

Have a small basket (perhaps a foldable one that you can easily transport to church) on a chair that you have labeled “eternity.”

Have two kids come up, one with the ball (eternal things) and one with a thing of bubbles (temporary things).

Tell them to get their thing to “eternity” and they’ll see that the bubbles go nowhere!


What we have in our life, all the riches and the gold and jewels and status and money and property…
Nothing compares to that of having a family that is in harmony.
We can fight, we can bicker, we can get mad, but we should always forgive.
Even if it takes many years, this story of Jacob and Esau can give us hope for forgiveness and family harmony.

Take home ideas:
Bubbles with a note/scripture/etc.
Harmonicas and a note about family harmony
Small can of soup to hearken back to the stew/pottage that Esau wanted
Card to write to a family member that they need to be on better terms with
Something heart-related

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 12 Isaac and Rebekah



Write on the board: "I will go"
Post up a drawing of a camel
Bring in a jug if it isn't too heavy.


Hand out camel fun facts to read:


Ask one of the boys if he'd let a boy classmate choose
his wife for him?
And continue on in this manner.
What kind of person would you trust to choose your wife?

Today we're going to be learning a really beautiful and
neat story of how one particular man found his wife.
This is the story of Isaac, who is Abraham's wife.


So a few weeks ago we talked about Abraham and remember how you each had a piece of paper with scrambled up words? They were all promises made to Abraham - things the Lord promised him, covenants that they made and they were amazing promises.

Remember how we talked about how those promises can be ours?

One of the ways they can be ours is if we are worthy to enter the Lord’s temple and to keep our covenants.

This includes the covenant of marriage.

So guess what Isaac had to do one day when he grew up and got old enough to get….what? (married)

Let’s review the blessings (Genesis 22:17-18)

Abraham called upon his trusted servant, Eliezer, and put him under oath to insure by every precaution that his son married someone worthy to continue the covenant blessings the Lord had promised him and his posterity.

He makes the servant swear that the woman will not be a Canaanite but will be of their people.

The servant took 10 camels and left into the city of Nahor.

It was evening, which is the time that the women went to the wells to draw water.

The servant prayed very carefully that the Lord would bless Abraham’s wish that he would find a wife for Isaac. And he prays that something specific will happen. He asks that if he says “let down thy pitcher that I may drink” then she will say “drink and I will give thy camels drink also” and that this woman would be the one for Isaac.

Before he was done with his prayer, Rebekah came out with her pitcher ready to get water.

She went to fill up her pitcher and the servant ran to meet her and he asked for water to drink just as he said he would in his prayer.

And what do you think she said?

She also offers drink for the camels.

So how much can a camel drink? (30 gallons in a day)
There are ten camels to be watered, and she must do it with whatever jar or container she has with her. The water in this well is in a deep hole, probably reached by descending a spiral path or stairs. Rebekah “went down to the well, filler her pitcher, and came up.”

He asks to lodge there and she said yes.

The servant tells her and her family his story and that she was an answer to prayer and that she is meant for Isaac.

Her family decided they would go with what the Lord wanted and agreed.
And Rebekah said “I will go.”
She went with the servant back to where Isaac was.

After many days, the caravan approached the place where Isaac lived.
Rebekah saw someone in the fields walking toward them, it was Isaac.

When Isaac heard of Rebekah’s kindness and willingness to be of service, and her great faith, it was easily understood why he loved her.


So in order for us to be worthy of those same blessings, we need to work towards being able to go to the temple! 

How many of you have seen the inside of a temple?
Let's watch this to see how beautiful they are inside!


Have them split into groups and hand out stacks of white printer paper, scissors, and a yellow crayon or yellow paper.
Have then create a temple on the wall with a yellow/gold Moroni and write on their temples the words that inspired them from the lesson.


Hand out small bottles of water (relating to the camel/water) with a note attached telling them what to talk with their families about.