Friday, May 18, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 17 Joseph Forgives His Brothers



Ideas to post on the board:

1/ “Forgive, and ye shall be ______.” - Luke 6:37
(the answer is forgiven, but they might have some ideas of other words that could go there)

2/Words to the Children’s Songbook song Help Me, Dear Father (99).

3/“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” - D&C 64:10

1. Pass out a print-out of the fill in the blank section (7 situations that start with one about Debbie, etc.) from here:

Have them fill it out and then talk about the answers after.

2. Passing out this coloring page of Joseph and his brothers:

3. Post the letters FORGIVE or FORGIVENESS down like an acronym and have them work together as a class to come up with words that fit each letter about forgiveness (friends, our family, repentance, etc.)

Today we’re going to learn the rest of Joseph’s story.

Because so far his story can be summed up by saying it’s about what? (brothers, family problems, anger, resentment, faith, temptation)

We’ll learn today that it can also be summed up by saying it’s about forgiveness.

Ok so let’s recap! (review story so far including Joseph and his coat, his dreams when younger, what his brothers did, where Joseph went, how he acted with Potiphar’s wife and with the butcher and the baker, etc.)

So now it’s 10 years later, and the famine has hit.
Everyone is starving except in Egypt, because of Joseph’s warning.
Joseph’s family back home is starving!

Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy corn (corn is believed to be an umbrella term for the grains they grew at the time), but not Benjamin as he didn’t want anything to happen to him.

They see him as the high powered governor over the land - they don’t recognize him.

Why do you think they wouldn’t recognize him? (it’s 22 years later, he’s speaking another language, dressed in regal clothes, etc.)

They bow down to him, just as it said in Joseph’s dream about the wheat!
He recognizes them, though!
And he doesn’t tell them who he is and it says in verse 7 that he speaks roughly to them.

He tests them to see how they act.
He first accuses them of being spies.
Then he asks them how many sons their father had, they say 10.
They tell the governor (Joseph) that they had 10, one is at home, and one died.

Joseph sends them to prison for being spies.

Three days later, he had his brothers brought before him.

He allows them to buy the grain, but he holds one brother in prison until their youngest brother is brought to them. (Benjamin)

The brothers are like, oh man, this is punishment for what we did to Joseph!

So Simeon is the brother who has to stay behind in prison until they can return with Benjamin.

But when they get home, they see the money they paid for the grain back in their bags!
Joseph had ordered his guards to put the money there.
Another test? Yes.

They report everything to their father and he’s pretty upset - he doesn’t want to lose Benjamin!
Benjamin and Joseph shared the same mother.

So they eat what little food they have left.

Instead of sending Benjamin, Jacob sends the brothers back to Egypt with double the money and gifts to give to the Governor (remember it’s Joseph) and hope that the Governor wouldn’t hurt Benjamin.

He still lets Benjamin go anyway just in case.
So they return, and Simeon is released.

Joseph was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw Benjamin but he wanted to still act like it wasn’t him.

He tells his servants to give his brothers a lot of food and money just like he had before.
He then puts his own silver cup in the bag of grain that Benjamin was carrying.
This is another test.

So they leave and suddenly the Governor’s guards are surrounding them, accusing them of stealing the cup.

But the brothers don’t know anything about it, right?
They search the bags and it’s in Benjamin’s, so he’s taken back to the Governor.
They all return with him to try to help the situation.

Joseph says he wants Benjamin to be his slave and the rest can go home.

Judah tells the Governor that if they don’t return with Benjamin, their dad will die of grief!
Judah wants the Governor to take him instead as his slave!

What do you think this told Joseph about his brother Judah?
Had he gotten nicer? (yes)

Finally Joseph tells them it’s him! He had to see if they’d changed.
He asked if his father was still alive.
He tells them “Come near to me, I pray you.”
They’re kind of shocked and overwhelmed.

Joseph said to them to not fear, because he saw that those things happened for good - he saved the people in Egypt through warning them about the famine.

He tells them to bring Jacob there and he would provide for all of them.

They go and tell Jacob and he wants to see Joseph one more time before he dies.

The Pharaoh welcomed Joseph’s family and they got the best land and the best cattle and lived together until Jacob died.

So remember how Jacob’s sons were the 12 tribes of Israel?
They lived in Egypt for a very long time.

We’re going to be learning about Moses starting next week and if you recall, Moses’ story is about a Pharaoh that doesn’t necessarily like all the tribes of Israel getting so numerous.

(Now discuss what you've just taught, and see what they feel and what they've learned)


Forgiveness is something we all deal with, even today, right?
Did anything happen this morning before church where you got mad or someone got mad at you?
Maybe after church you can talk with that person about forgiveness?

It's almost always hard to forgive. 
Our goal is to get to the point where it's easier to forgive. 
It's very normal for forgiveness to be hard.

It's something we all have to work on.

This is a great video about two brothers who fought a lot when they were younger, the older brother picked on the younger brother, and then how their relationship changed:

(Discuss afterwards what they learned from it)
How do you feel watching it?
How can you relate the story of these brothers to the story of Joseph and his brothers?

This could also be the opening activity and the entire lesson rearranged.
Base this decision on the dynamics of your class.


Break up into groups or stay as one big group (based on your dynamics) and have them create a role-play opportunity for them to practice saying "Please forgive me." and "I forgive you." Have those two lines be mandatory in the skit.

Tell them it's important to practice saying things like I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you, I care about you, you're my friend, I forgive you. It will be easier to say it when it's the right time.

Have each group perform their skit for the class. You could even video on your phone and share with the parents of the kids.


Forgiveness is a key part of our gospel - how do you feel when you forgive?
I’m grateful that I can follow so many good examples in the gospel and know how to forgive.
I know how good it feels to forgive someone and see them as a child of God, just like I am.

Take home idea:

Corn-related (unpopped kernels or popcorn) with a note/scripture about Joseph and forgiveness

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