Pat Graham, “Sharing Time: Being Kind, Like Jesus,” Friend, Apr 1987, 34
If the Lord be God, follow him (1 Kgs. 18:21).
When Jesus lived upon the earth, people with handicaps or diseases were often treated unkindly. Most healthy people were afraid of those who had physical problems, and forced them to live apart from their families and friends. But Jesus taught us to love others and to treat them the way that we would want to be treated if we had similar problems. If we have an injured leg or even just a stomachache, we appreciate it when people show us their love by helping us when we especially need it.
Doctors today can help many injured or diseased parts of our bodies to mend. Broken arms and legs can grow strong again, and nearsighted eyes can see more clearly through glasses. But sometimes parts of our bodies cannot be made to work right. Some eyes cannot see, some ears cannot hear, and some brains do not work as they should. People who have handicaps need our love and understanding. Jesus was very kind to people who were not well. He healed lepers and invalids and blind people (Luke 7:21–22). We can be like Jesus and help others feel better by treating them kindly and helping them learn and grow in spite of their problems. We can show love as Jesus did.
1. Color and cut out paper dolls and outfits.
2. Put outfit on doll, and think about what problems you might have if you had that handicap and about how people could help you. Remember to do those helpful things when you are with a handicapped person.
Sharing Time Ideas
1. To help with discussion, enlarge pictures from “Continue in My Love” (Friend, April 1982, pages 24–25). Read scriptures and tell stories.
2. Prepare paper doll copies for children to color and take home. As they color, have someone play “Love One Another” (Hymns, no. 308), “Kindness Begins with Me” (Sing with Me, B-49), “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” (Sing with Me, B-46), and “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus” (Ensign, April 1983, pages 75–76).
3. Highlight handicapped child (be sure to involve his or her parents). Tell what child has accomplished. Discuss ways that Primary children can be helpful and show that they care.
4. Plan an experience to help teach empathy. Emphasize to children that each action that they do represents only one of the problems that people with these handicaps have.
- a. Learn to sign a song or phrase.
- b. Blindfold some children and have others act as their guides. You can obtain braille book and have children write alphabet, their initials, or names in braille.
- c. Put socks over several children’s hands and have them try to button their shirts or tie their shoes.
- d. Simulate dyslexia by trying to write word while looking at reflection of pencil in mirror.
5. Tactfully discuss needs of children in your Primary (allergies, asthma, hyperactivity, emotional problems, etc.)