With the new year I’ve made it a goal to try to do better at teaching our kids and doing Family Home Evening, an evening that is set aside each week to bring family members together by staying at home and learning more about the gospel together. Families are encouraged to begin with music and prayer, and then have a spiritual thought (whether its discussing scriptures, preparing a lesson, or discussing family topics). It’s meant to bring family members closer to each other, so family recreation or a fun activity is also fun to plan, and a treat is nice as well.
Our family has a lot of little goals we want to work harder on, and one of them is having weekly FHE on Monday nights. Many of our lessons are taken out of the FHE manual the church puts out, but I thought I’d include some of our lessons on here in case anyone wanted to use them and not have to do planning themselves. (*Note: I have young children with short attention spans, so I intend on keeping my lessons short & simple.)
This week’s lesson: TITHING
Scripture: D&C 119:3-4
This month in primary the theme is “The earth was created for Heavenly Father’s Children”, so we started out by emphasizing to the kids that the world and everything we have was given to us by Heavenly Father and our savior Jesus Christ. Why? Because they love us so much and want us to be blessed and happy.
How can we show our love and appreciation back to Heavenly Father and Jesus for everything they’ve given us? (ans: by obeying their commandments)
One of those commandments is paying one tenth of our earnings and returning it back to the church. (Re-read previous scripture – D&C 119:3-4).
What is tithing? (ans: Church members are asked by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to give one-tenth of the money they earn to the Church for tithing. (have children hold up both hands then lower 1 finger to show what 1/10th means) Since everything we have comes in one way or another from Heavenly Father, paying tithing is just giving Him back what was already his. Tithing belongs to Heavenly Father.)
Where does tithing go? (ans: Tithing helps God’s church grow. (Show picture of temple). It pays for temples, church houses, and church growth)
Object lesson: Put 20 skittles (or whatever you have on hand – chocolate chips? goldfish crackers?) in a ziplock bag and hand them out to kids. (10 seemed too little for me, and more than 20 would make it hard for my kids to go to sleep, so that’s why I chose the magical number of 20.). The kids were so excited for CANDY. 🙂 We told them that we went to the store and bought the candy, but even though they were OURS we decided to share the candy with them. All that we asked in return was 1/10th of it back.
So we had the kids count the skittles out and grab 2 small skittles out. (10%)
Then we had them carefully count out the rest of the skittles (math education moment = bonus), and put them in a separate pile.
In the end I had the kids compare the two piles, and see how much they still had, even though we had given them all of our skittles and only asked for a small amount in return.
Then we explained that this was just like what Heavenly Father has asked with tithing. Heavenly Father has blessed us with everything (EVERYTHING) that we have. We talked about what we are blessed with quickly: dad’s job, the food in our cupboards, Grandparents and cousins, talents to succeed in our job, our family, clothes, car, house, electricity to turn on the lights, and more. We have been blessed with so much, and all that Heavenly Father asks in return is 10%. (Have children hold up 10 fingers and put 1 finger down again).
*Mommy Note: This is kind of when the lesson started to go downhill. We took the 2 skittles away to show them giving them to the Lord as part of the tithing, and our son broke down crying because we ate them and didn’t give them back. So I would recommend having them physically hand over the 2 skittles to mom & dad in the beginning of the lesson, and then just have them look back at their bag and see how much they have still and can have all to themselves.
Testimonies: Mom & Dad bore their testimonies about tithing.
Treat: The Skittles of Course
What fun ways have you taught children about tithing? I would love to hear your ideas.