Help children understand their power to influence lives for good or bad. Choose kindness over bullying.
- Watch Lessons I Learned as a Boy embedded in the lesson below.
- Read opening comments of Let Your Light So Shine by Elder Dean L. Larson
- Opening Song: Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other, Hymn #232
Do you believe children have great power to influence joy or sorrow in others?
Watch the video “Lessons I Learned as a Boy”
Most of the time we never know the influence we have on other people. When we honestly strive to keep the commandments and live as a disciple of Christ, Heavenly Father will send people our way. When we act in kindness, we bring blessings or answers to prayers. Simple kind words and kind actions have a tremendous influence in people’s lives. We can find great joy in lifting the spirits of others.
On the other hand, we can also be a source of contention in the world. Many people think it is innocent fun to harass, joke, or tease others. Sometimes these actions seem harmless enough, but this is acting like a bully. It may seem funny and exciting, but ultimately it is a source of contention and will harbor bad feelings.
The Lord has made it clear that each of us has a responsibility to exert an influence for good in the lives of those who share this mortal experience with us. We cannot live in isolation from others and still fulfill the purpose of our existence. Our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our values will inevitably affect the souls of those whose lives brush against ours. … This is an awesome prospect. When we contemplate the power we have for perpetrating both good and evil in the lives of others, we have good reason to search for careful understanding of this power. – Elder Dean L. Larson
An easy way to judge whether our decision will be an influence for good or for bad is to remember the Golden Rule (see Matthew 7:12). If we will ask ourselves the simple question, “Am I treating this person the way I want to be treated?”, we can avoid unintentional bullying. At the same time, when we respond by treating people the right way, we will be filled with joy and peace in our hearts as we become an influence for good in the lives of others.
In the video, the boys serve an example of experimenting with Gospel Principles (see Alma 32). Conduct a similar experiment as a family and provide random acts of kindness (or secret service). Put names in a hat and have everyone randomly draw a name. If anyone gets their own name, try redrawing or starting over. Do at least one act of service each day. Try to do service without being known. At the end of the week, talk about these experiences as a family. Have each person describe the services they received. Discuss other services that were shared outside the family.
Leave us a comment, we want to hear how you used this lesson. Be sure to share your experience with others too.