For those who don't know, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints people aren't baptized until they are 8 years old or older. This is because we believe that men are punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression. Therefore, we do not believe that innocent children have any sins to be washed away. 8 is considered the minimum age of accountability, when a child is old enough to be held accountable for their actions/sins.
Pablo is getting baptised next month so we are beginning to focus most of our lessons and discussions on the topic of baptism and all that it entails in order to prepare him for the amazing responsibility that such an event brings with it. To that end I put together this lesson on repentance.
Items to gather beforehand:
Opening Song (click on link for words and music): When I Am Baptized
Lesson: Pablo is going to be baptized soon. Do you know what that means? (Sins will be washed away. Everything forgiven. As if he has never done anything wrong or made any mistakes.)
But after that what if he makes a mistake? What can he do to stay clean? (Repent)
How do we repent? Say if you hit your sister, what do you need to do? (Say we are sorry) Yes, we do say we are sorry, but there is actually more that we have to do. Did you know that making wrong choices hurts our spirit? It does. So let's talk about how we fix hurts. Let's say that Monster Man climbs the tree and he breaks the rule about jumping in the tree and he falls of and cuts his leg. Do you think simply saying, "sorry," will fix it? Nooooo. What do we need to do to fix his owie? Well, first he has to realize that he has an owie. How will he know he has an owie? (It will hurt) Yes, and the pain from his hurt is just like the sorrow (hold up sorrow word strip) we feel when we do something wrong. When we feel sad, or have that yucky feeling inside, or when our heart hurts, that is how you know you need to repent.
Ok, so now that he feels the hurt, feels the sorrow, what should he do? (Go tell mom) Yes, now he needs to come tell me that he hurts and how it happened. This is called confessing (confession word strip), it means you tell someone about your sorrow and what you did to make you sad. So if you hit your sister and you feel bad about it you come and tell me, or daddy, or you pray and tell Heavenly Father what you did that was wrong. When you get older there might even be times when you have to tell the Bishop what you did. This can be scary because you don't want to get in trouble, but just like Monster Man's owie he needs to tell me so I can help him, we need to tell someone so we can be helped.
After Monster Man tells me about his owie what do you think I'm going to do? (Pull out first-aid items. Talk about first-aid routine. Talk about how the rubbing alcohol stings and hurts but why we need to use it anyway) This is fixing the owie, but for repentance it is called restitution (Show word strip. Point at the wrench to help them remember that restitution means to "fix"). Now, just like rubbing alcohol is the worst part in getting an owie fixed, restitution is often the hardest part of repentance. Say that you steal your sister's watch, and you loose it. How do you think you could make restitution, or fix the problem? You should probably use your own money to buy her a new watch. Do you think that would be easy to give up your money to do that?
(Discuss other situations and talk about possible ways to make restitution, and talk about how hard those might be to do. Talk about how awful it is to use the rubbing alcohol on an owie, but that if we don't the owie can just get worse and get infected. Just like an owie, the pain in our heart can get worse if we don't fix our mistake. It will be scary and very hard to do, but once it is done we being to heal and we feel better.)
So, Monster Man jumped in the tree and fell, felt the hurt (sorrow), told his mommy (confession), fixed the wound (restitution), but there is one more thing he needs to do. What should Monster Man do to make sure this doesn't happen again? (Not jump in tree. Hold up Forsake Wrong strip) So, after you go through all the steps in repentance you need to make sure you don't do the same thing again. If you do make the same mistake again, what do you think you will have to do? (Go through the whole thing all over again). You can keep repenting, and because of the atonement you will always be forgiven, but how many times do you want to fall out of the tree? And how many times do you want to have to use the rubbing alcohol?
Closing song: Choose the Right
It was so fun watching the kids reactions to the rubbing alcohol parallels because they absolutely HATE rubbing alcohol. =)