I hope that we share with the children the great love that our Savior has for each one of them, and how He blesses each one of them every day through the gift of His Atonement.
As Primary leaders and parents we would like our children to always be happy and never make mistakes. But we also know that our free agency and making mistakes is what helps us build character and strengthen our testimonies.
I remember the time that my nephew (let’s call him Mateo) and his friend decided that it would be a great idea to put soggy potato chips inside our neighbor’s mailbox. I am sure it was just a childhood prank and that they thought it would be funny for the neighbors to open their mailbox and find a surprise. But our neighbor was very upset and wanted to know who had damaged their mail and left a mess for them to clean up. The truth was discovered, and Mateo was in big trouble at home. His parents were very disappointed. They wanted him to do the right thing by apologizing and repenting of what he had done. My nephew went home and wrote a letter apologizing for what he had done, and then he and his parents delivered the letter personally to the neighbor. Mateo was very nervous and scared, but his parents had told him that this was what needed to happen in order for him to repent and apologize.
As it turned out, the neighbor was very kind to Mateo and invited him into his home and had a wonderful talk with him. The neighbor said that he was once a child who also made mistakes. He told Mateo that he was very grateful that he had come to apologize and that he forgave him. My nephew was very happy and felt at peace with himself.
Meanwhile, Mateo’s friend had chosen not to apologize or do anything toward the neighbor, but that did not matter to Mateo. He knew that he had done what was right. Our children will be faced with many situations where they will need to make decisions about how to repent and how to look to the Savior for peace.
I found two ideas that can be used during Sharing Time that I thought were very helpful. The first is a Sharing Time from the Friend which focuses on repentance and the Atonement (click here). I particularly like the pictures that the children can take home to remember specific things that we can do, similar to what Jesus did when He was on the earth.
I also found a wonderful blog with many personal stories and lessons that relate to the weekly themes for this month. For me, personal stories always touch my heart and help me feel the Spirit. I love feeling a connection to others and learn that other people just like me have the same struggles and concerns as I do. I also love learning how people come closer to Christ through personal experiences that highlight courage and perseverance.
I hope that as we strive to help the children come closer to Christ, we will also be able to strengthen our own love and devotion to the Savior. I hope that our testimonies are strengthened as we strive to help our little ones strengthen theirs.