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Primary Sharing Time: Service

Now, I’m no Julie M. Smith, but here’s the sharing time I did last week on service. I’m usually pretty good about not using outside sources, but I just couldn’t find any LDS source that summed up the messages I wanted (a. we give help/protect/serve people who are nothing like us and b. everyone, no matter how small, can make a difference) like Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.

1. Jesus Christ taught us to serve others
— How did Jesus serve others?
a. He healed the sick
b. guided His disciples (note: there are 2 pictures here)
c. taught people
d. showed love
e. died for our sins

How do you think these people felt when Jesus served them?
How do you feel when you think about the Atonement?

2. Other people in the Bible also served others, even risking their own lives: Esther
a. King Ahasuerus was married to Queen Vashti: one day he commanded her to come to the palace. She refused and was kicked out of the palace.
b. Mordecai is a cousin to Esther; they’re Jews. They live in a country where they are considered foreigners because the Jews were kicked out of their country long ago.

–What do you think it would feel like if you had to leave the US (or your country) and move to another country that was very different from yours, like China (or some other country that would seem exotic to your kids)?

c. Esther is an orphan. She’s taken to the palace because she’s young and beautiful, and the king is looking for a new wife. Mordecai said not to let anyone know she was a Jew.

–Valiant girls, Esther probably wasn’t much older than you. How would you feel, already being in a strange country, with most of your family dead, and then, you have to go to the palace and maybe you’ll be married to this old guy you don’t even know?

d. Later, Mordecai hears about a plot to harm the king and saves the king (the king doesn’t know, though).
e. There’s a bad guy in this story. His name is Haman. Mordecai offends Haman by not bowing to him. Haman decides to punish all the Jews for this and uses the king’s resources (and signs the king’s name) to send letters all over Persia telling province leaders to kill all Jews on a certain day and take all of their goods.
f. Mordecai tells Esther about the plot, Esther responds

Have someone read: Esther 4:11-17
I love the line Mordecai says to Esther, “who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
a.) Sometimes, we are blessed with opportunities–we’re born into a good family, we’re born into a free country, we’re blessed with the gospel.
b.) I think Mordecai is telling Esther that with such blessings, we must also accept the responsibilities that come with such opportunities.

g. Esther prepares to see the king, and he lowers his golden scepter. She invites him and Haman to a banquet for two nights.
h. After the second night, the king is looking at his records and sees that Mordecai foiled the plot; the king wants to reward Mordecai and asks Haman how he would honor a great man. Haman thinks the king is talking about him and proceeds to talk about having a parade and wearing the king’s clothes. He’s mad when he sees this is all for Mordecai.
i. The king and Haman come on the third night to another banquet at Esther’s. There, Esther admits she’s a Jew and that Haman has plotted to kill her and all Jews. Esther lives up to her responsibilities and shows her bravery in Esther 7:3-6
j. The king is mad and hangs Haman.

–What do you think about that story?
–Was Esther brave? Would you do the same thing?

3. Horton Hears a Who-this story takes me about 20 minutes to read outloud, so I shortened it

What examples of service do you see in this story?
How is Horton serving?
Why is the littlelest Who important?

4. Conclusion: Even though you are young, the service you can provide can be just as big as Esther’s. All service is important–from little acts, like not hitting your brother when you really want to, to the bigger ones, like running a canned food drive.

EmilyCC

EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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  1. Ziff says:

    Emily, I love that you used Dr. Seuss in this. I think there are so many picture books that teach good lessons in ways that kids will listen to. Or even adults: the last time I spoke in sacrament meeting, I read from Cynthia Rylant’s The Relatives Came and several people mentioned to me after how much they had liked that bit.

  2. Caroline says:

    This looks great. Far more sophisticated and fun than anything I ever did when I was a primary teacher in charge of sharing time.

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