15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
1- Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,
Hailing a future of freedom and light.
Angels above us are silent notes taking
Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!
2. Do what is right; the shackles are falling.
Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling.
Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!
3. Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.
Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right!
1. There’s a right way to live and be happy;
It is choosing the right ev’ry day.
I am learning the teachings of Jesus;
They will help me and show me the way.
I must always choose the right.
2. Through the gospel I learn to be prayerful,
To have faith, to repent, to obey.
And I know if I live by his teachings,
I will truly be happy each day.
*For Younger Children* Read this story (Heidi A. Greenhalgh, “Choosing to Choose the Right”, Friend, Feb. 2011, 4–5) and discuss the questions at the end. You may also want to use clipart to help tell the story.
“Finish your drawings, class. It’s almost time for recess,” Mrs. Johnson said.
The students hurried to finish their pictures, put away the crayons, and put on their coats.
Abbey looked up from her picture as the other children ran off, then she slowly colored a few more details. There was no hurry. Nobody ever wanted to play with her anyway.
Abbey sighed, stood up, and walked to the coat rack to grab her coat. Then she slowly walked out to her favorite tree and sat down. She looked toward the playground, where the other children were laughing and having fun. Being the new girl was hard. She missed Arizona. Before she moved she had lots of friends, and she never had to sit by herself during recess.
Abbey looked down and saw a flash of silver in the grass. It was her CTR ring! She had lost it yesterday during recess. “Well, at least I have my ring back,” she said out loud as she put the ring on her finger.
Abbey noticed a girl walking her way. She had long blonde hair that swayed back and forth with every step. It was Laurel, one of the most popular girls in class. Laurel sat down beside Abbey.
“Hi, Abbey,” Laurel said. “Do you want to play with me?”
Abbey nodded her head eagerly. “Sure. What should we do first?”
“Let’s go swing,” Laurel said.
After having a contest to see who could swing the highest, the girls talked and giggled at the edge of the playground. Abbey felt so happy. She hadn’t felt this good since before she moved.
Abbey noticed Laurel eyeing the nearby gravel path that led away from the school grounds.
“Abbey, my house is only one block from here, and my mom just bought some cookies,” Laurel said. “We could run there, grab some cookies, and be back before recess is over. No one would miss us.”
Abbey was surprised. Everyone knew that leaving the school grounds during school hours was against the rules. “But what about your mom? Won’t she be there?” Abbey asked.
“Nope. She’s at work today,” Laurel said.
Abbey knew that leaving the school grounds was wrong, but Laurel was the first person in her class to pay any attention to her, and she desperately wanted to have her as a friend. If she refused to go, Abbey was afraid Laurel might make fun of her. Then she’d never have any friends.
Abbey looked down at her CTR ring. She remembered her Primary teacher saying that even though it can be hard to choose the right sometimes, Heavenly Father blesses us when we do.
“Sorry, Laurel,” Abbey said. “I can’t go with you. It’s against the rules.” Abbey looked at Laurel expectantly, waiting to see how she would react.
Instead of getting angry, Laurel just shrugged her shoulders. “Oh, well. I thought you’d probably say that,” Laurel said. “Maybe instead I could ask my mom if you could come over tomorrow after school. Then we can still have some of those cookies.”
Abbey grinned. “That sounds great,” she said. “Hey, do you want to go collect some leaves for next week’s art project?”
Laurel nodded, and the two new friends skipped back to the big tree.
*Discuss these questions as a family*
1- Why did the students need to hurry and finish their drawings? What was it time for?
2- Why was Abbey not in a hurry to go to recess?
3- What did Abbey find in the grass?
4- What did Laurel have at her house?
5- Did Abbey go to Laurel’s house during recess? Why?
6- How would you feel if you were Abbey? Why would you feel this way?
7- Did Abbey choose the right? What helped her remember to choose the right?
*For Teenagers or Adults* Share and discuss the following story and council from L Tom Perry. (L. Tom Perry, “CTR”, New Era, Nov. 1994, 4)
L Tom Perry’s Story:
On a recent trip to New Zealand, I met with a mission president who wore a beautiful tie tack with the inspiring CTR, or “Choose the Right,” emblem. I had the impression that there must be a story behind this unique pin. When I returned home, I wrote him a thank-you letter and asked him about his tie tack. I received this answer:
“You are very perceptive. Yes, there is a story. I have a number of tie tacks I really prize. They have been gifts from my children, my wife, and friends. However, I choose to wear this silver shield inlaid with lovely blue turquoise, with the inspiring CTR emblem of our Primary.
“Why? I suppose it started back when I was a bishop. I had an interview with a good-looking young man who was to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He told me a special story. One day after school, he and some of his friends found a package of cigarettes. They lit up, and the young man said as he was looking down at the smoldering cigarette he held between his fingers, he saw his CTR ring. He quickly put the cigarette out and made a very wise choice never ever to do such a thing again. He chose to choose the right, as he remembered what the emblem stood for. From this story I gained a special love for the CTR emblem.
“Now for the story of how I received the CTR tie tack. A few weeks before coming to New Zealand as a mission president, I was in the Kayenta Ward in Arizona. As I was saying some tender farewells to many of my Navajo friends, a remarkable young Navajo bishop gave me a big hug, then removed his tie tack and pinned it on my tie. He asked me not to forget him.
“Now here in New Zealand, the last thing I do every morning as I dress for this great calling is to pin my tie with this beautiful silver and turquoise CTR emblem. I love it! It helps this old boilermaker make the right choices throughout the day. I know it also helps fulfill the prophetic promise made to my wife and me by President Gordon B. Hinckley as he set us apart.
“He said words to this effect: ‘You will have an instant bonding of love for every missionary in your mission.’ I can’t tell you how many times a missionary, during a visit, has said something like this: ‘President Gardner, I love your tie tack.’ And then he or she will show me their CTR ring.
“I believe that Navajo bishop was inspired to give me the tie tack and that I make the right decision every day when I choose to wear it. And the beautiful blue and silver CTR pin is helping bond me to a royal army of missionaries in the New Zealand Wellington Mission.
“I appreciate the opportunity of relating to you my special experience associated with this great Primary children’s motto, ‘Choose the Right.’”
L Tom Perry’s Council
We live today in a world full of choices. Television offers both the good and the bad. Bookstores are full of publications offering the right and the wrong. Very few movies are worthy of seeing because of the profanity, violence, and immorality that fill them. Advertising is full of enticements to lead us to violate the Word of Wisdom. Some music, with its monotonous rhythms, beats illicit thoughts into our heads.
Consider the counsel given by President Spencer W. Kimball:
“Now may I make a recommendation? Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. To do such is time-consuming and very risky.
“Likewise, my dear young friends, the positive things you will want to accomplish need be decided upon only once—like going on a mission and living worthily in order to get married in the temple—and then all other decisions related to these goals can fall into line. Otherwise, each consideration is risky, and each equivocation may result in error. There are some things Latter-day Saints do and other things we just don’t do. The sooner you take a stand, the taller you will be!” (President Kimball Speaks Out, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981, p. 94).
We are at a time in the world’s history when Satan is marshalling all his forces to lead the people off the strait and narrow path. Fortunately, most members of the Church are clear about who it is they will serve. Like Joshua of old, they proclaim, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
I hope and pray that you great young people of the Church will have the courage to consistently choose the right. Moreover, I suggest that each of you find reminders to help you and your loved ones choose the right when a choice is placed before you. There is power in a tie tack or a CTR ring if we associate them with our desires for purity and righteousness. Even more important than physical reminders is to have the conviction deep in our hearts to live the kind of life that will cause us to make the right choices, not only for peace and happiness in the world right now, but also for peace and happiness eternally.
I promise you that you will receive everlasting happiness if you will consistently choose to do what is right.
Triple Deckers or Brownie Pizza
1- Heat the oven to 375. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and blend with an electric mixer.
2- Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract, combining thoroughly. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, and flour, then mix them into the wet ingredients.
3- Shape the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls and bake for 8 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Meanwhile, your child can break the chocolate bars into small squares and use kitchen shears (with your supervision) to snip the marshmallows in half lengthwise.
4- Remove the cookies from the oven, top each one with a marshmallow half, and return the tray to the oven for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
5- Finally, remove the cookies from the oven and place a piece of chocolate atop the marshmallows. Allow the cookies to remain on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.
Chewy brownie batter
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 1/2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Red food coloring paste (available at kitchen and party supply stores)
6 oz. white chocolate
1- Prepare the brownie recipe, with one exception: Instead of pouring the mixture into a rectangular or square pan, pour it into a lightly greased (and clean!) 12-inch pizza pan.
2- Bake, in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, for 20 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool.
3- Meanwhile, mix up the red frosting “sauce.” In a large bowl, cream the confectioners’ sugar and butter.
4- Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red food coloring paste and mix until you have the desired shade (think tomato sauce). Use a spatula or knife to spread the sauce evenly over the cooled “pizza.”
5- Now you’re ready to add the toppings. For white chocolate “cheese,” roughly chop or grate (adults only) white chocolate.
6- Sprinkle it over the frosting (your kids may want to add extra cheese). For other toppings, add M&M’s, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or any other favorite candies.
7- Use a pizza cutter to slice the brownie into 16 pieces. Present it in a pizza box (ask a local pizza parlor if you could have or buy one). Serves 16.
(Recipes taken from Familyfun.go.com)
1- Purchase a CTR Ring for each members of your family to serve as a reminder to always choose the right. (Just like Abbey did in the story above)
2- Purchase a CTR Tie Tack, as a way to remember L Tom Perry’s experience with the mission president in New Zealand.
3- Play Wooden Spoon Guess Who: After being blindfolded, one player has to guess the identity of another by touching that person with the spoons only. Meanwhile, the “touchee” tries not to crack up while being poked and prodded.
4- Play May I Bite?, a 20 questions guessing game.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.