Thursday, June 21, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 22 Israel and the Brass Serpent



Post up a big portrait of the Savior (building’s library, gospel art book, etc.)

Write the word HUMILITY in big letters.
Draw a big snake underneath (with a cute face might be a nice touch)


(Pass out note cards and pencils.
Already have written at the top:
"Some of my talents are..."
Give them a few minutes!)

(Discuss the talents they wrote down.)

Can you be talented and humble at the same time?
Yes, definitely - those talents are from God and if you recognize that He has blessed you with talents and you can find ways to use your talents for God.

If you’re a good athlete, you can tell people it’s partly because you keep your body healthy and clean from bad things.

If you are a good artist, you can draw things that He created in nature, you can even do portraits of prophets or Biblical people.

If you play an instrument, perhaps you bless your home with beautiful uplifting music.

The four promises on the board are promised to those who are what? (humble)
Humility is what you say about humble people, he or she has humility because they are very humble.

What is a humble person?
Someone who is not too proud to get help and learn from others, teachable.
Does humble mean they put themselves down when they’re complimented?
Like, oh no, I didn’t really do a good job...etc.
No, a humble person will graciously accept compliments.


Okay, so let’s pick up where we left off.
So it’s been 40 years, and what have they been eating? (manna)
People are starting to really murmur.
Remember what that means? (complain)
They spoke against God and against Moses!

A lot of miracles had happened for them, but they were growing tired and discouraged.

Number 21:5 - they were even tired of the manna!

It had been 40 years and in Deuteronomy 8:2, it says that “the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no...and he humbled thee and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna…”

So what did the Lord do?
Well, the last time you complained did the Lord send fiery snakes to bite you?
Nope, but man, we can really feel for these Israelites, right?
Because the Lord sent fiery serpents and “they bit the people; and much of Israel died” (vs. 6)

The people came to Moses (vs. 7) and were repentant and said “we have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord” and they asked that the serpents be taken away from them.

Moses prayed for the people!
What does Moses teach us here? (when people are suffering, even if they have been doing bad things, we can pray for them)
But did Moses have the serpents taken away? No, he made it a teaching moment about faith.

The Lord said to Moses “make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole” (vs. 8) and that everyone that is bitten, if they look upon the serpent up on the pole, they shall live! (fiery = painful burning from the bite)

What a promise!
Can you think of something more simple than being told to just look at something?

Moses did what he was told, made a serpent of brass, and put it up on a pole.
So what happened?
We know from the Book of Mormon that not everyone looked, so many died.
They had hardened hearts - they were stubborn, prideful, lacked faith.

(draw a pole in a cross shape)
Now I’m drawing the pole here without the serpent.
What does this remind you of? (Jesus’s crucifixion) (Alma 33:19)
What were people told, are people told, to do?
Look to Him and live…eternal life.

It’s not as simple, right? It takes hard work, faith, baptism, enduring to the end, etc.

(some of these thoughts below are adapted from a December 2010 Ensign article by David R. Smith)

You know what, we are so similar to the Israelites even though we might think man, they just needed to literally look at the brass serpent! They life depended on it!
But each day, do we keep our covenants to remember Him?
That’s kind of like looking at the brass serpent. 

The serpents for the Israelites were real, poisonous and could kill them.

What are the modern day serpents for us that can harm us? (bad music, bad movies, drugs, bad books, alcohol, etc.)

All of these things can harm us.

How can we look to Christ to be saved spiritually? (learn of Him through prayer, scripture study, reading the teachings of the prophets, have faith, repent, be baptized, obey the commandments, be humble)

How can you be humble?

What if you were in a play, won a race, got straight A’s, won an art contest...and a lot of people tell you how awesome you are and how wonderfully you did.

How can you react with humility?


Both manual ideas are great:
1/ The thumbs up/thumbs down activity in the manual with humble/not humble words
2/ The situations to act out, hand them out to different groups and go through them all after giving each group time to prepare. You could even video them to share with parents! This could easily fill the rest of the time.

My own idea:
Work together as a class to make a big snake that goes all the way around the room.
Bring wide and long strips of green paper.
Also bring a cute snake head for one end and a tapering shape for the tail end.
Make sure each strip is the exact same width so it can be easily put together like a puzzle.
Have painter’s tape too or something that won’t damage the walls.
Have them work together to put it allllll around the room with painter’s tape in a snake shape.
Then give everyone a marker of some sort and have them all at the same time write ways they can remember Jesus.
Depending on the dynamics of your class, they can each have their own section or they can work together in pairs, etc.
At the end everyone can read what was written.

Another idea:
If you have a toy snake, pass it around the room and the person with it can say ways they can remember Jesus but they have to HISS like a snake with every S sound. Or a variation of this type of activity.

Another idea found online - a snake from a paper plate:

You could write on the snake ways you'll remember to look to the Savior.


Each day we have the opportunity to choose to look to the Savior and live.
To do that takes faith!
I’m so grateful that we have a story like this to remind us of how easy it can be.
Moses was very patient with the Israelites and so is our Heavenly Father.
As we strive to follow our baptismal covenants to always remember Him, I know that we will be happier and feel at peace as we look to Him!

Take home idea:
Gummy worms to remind them of the serpents

Use a scripture from Alma 33:18-22 in your take-home

Or the quotation by President Hinckley in the manual

Or a quotation from here about humility:

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