Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1. Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for him each day;
In ev’ry way try to please him,
At home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for him.
2. Jesus wants me to be loving
And kind to all I see,
Showing how pleasant and happy
His little one can be.
Begin by reading this story from the Friend:
“Hurry, Heather, or you’ll miss the bus.” Mom handed me a granola bar. “I guess that’s breakfast.”
“My bus driver won’t let us eat on the bus, but he eats all the time,” I grumbled. “And he doesn’t need to—he’s a big guy!”
Mom frowned. “Heather …”
“Oh.” I blinked. “That wasn’t very nice, was it?”
Mom shook her head. “Sometimes you say unkind things without thinking. You need to be careful.”
On the bus, I looked for my best friend, Amber, at her stop, but only her little sister Rachel got on.
“Where’s Amber?” I asked.
“She’s sick,” Rachel said, lisping. “Can I sit here?”
“I guess,” I said, sliding over. Rachel was always hanging around Amber and me. She was all right, but Amber was my best friend, not her. Rachel was a little different, with her thick glasses and funny way of talking.
At recess, I played dodgeball with my friends, but I missed Amber. Then I noticed the new girl, Megan. She stood at the edge of the playground. I walked up to her. “Do you want to play dodgeball with us?”
After school, when Megan and I got on the same bus, we sat together. I told her about the other kids.
“That’s Carlos. He’s the smartest kid in our grade—but I beat him in reading! Over there are Caitlin and Jessica. They live on my street. And that’s Matt. He plays soccer.”
“Who’s that with the glasses?” Megan asked.
“That’s Rachel. She’s my best friend’s little sister.” I paused. “She has a speech impediment.”
“She talks funny. But she’s going to a class to help her.”
“Nice glasses.” Megan snickered. “I’ve never seen them so thick.”
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Sure, Rachel sometimes annoyed me when Amber and I were playing, but she was a nice girl. And now Megan was making fun of her.
I changed the subject. We talked about other things, and soon I forgot about Rachel and the sinking feeling I’d had.
The next day, I was happy to see Amber back at school.
“I know how to make dodgeball even better,” she said at recess. “When you get out, you have to sing a silly song and do a dance.” She demonstrated for us.
“I can see that weirdness runs in your family,” Megan said, laughing as she turned to me. She seemed to expect me to laugh too.
“What are you talking about?” Amber asked. “You don’t even know my family.”
Megan smiled, but it wasn’t a nice smile. “Heather said your sister is retarded!”
My mouth fell open.
“Heather is my best friend,” Amber cried. “She wouldn’t say that!”
“Well, she did. Ask her!” Megan smirked.
Everyone looked at me. “I didn’t say that,” I whispered, “but I did say that she talked funny.”
Amber’s face fell. I glanced down, not wanting to see her hurt expression.“I shouldn’t have, though,” I added quickly. “It doesn’t matter. Rachel’s great!”
“My sister’s not retarded,” Amber said to Megan. “But even if she were, it wouldn’t be nice to make fun of her.”
Megan folded her arms. “Fine. Let’s just play.”
As everyone lined up, I turned to Amber. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s OK,” she said. But her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
After school, Mom asked, “Why so glum, Heather?”
“I think I did something wrong. I was telling a new girl about people, and I said Rachel talked funny. Amber found out, and it made her sad. I don’t know why I said it, Mom. But it wasn’t like I was lying!”
“Oh, Heather.” Mom sat across from me. “Yes, Rachel has a speech impediment. But that doesn’t have to be the first thing you say about her.”
“It’s not even an important thing about Rachel,” I agreed.
“Do you know what gossip is?” Mom asked.
“It’s when you talk about people when they’re not around,” she explained.“It doesn’t matter if the things you say are true or not. They don’t need to be said.”
I thought about that as I went to my room to do homework. When I got there, a hymn popped into my head. I ran and grabbed a hymnbook,opening it to “Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words.”
I’d always liked the song because in the first verse it has the word heather—like my name. But I realized I should have paid more attention to the part about speaking kind words to—and about—each other. Rachel was a good person, and my friend, and it didn’t matter if she had a speech impediment. I decided that when I talked about a person, I would focus on her good qualities.
Later, at Amber’s house, after we had decided to dress up as movie stars, I noticed Rachel peeking around the door.
“Let’s not forget Rachel,” I said, opening the door and throwing my arm around her. “It’s always more fun with you!”
Rachel beamed at me, and when Amber smiled it lit up her whole face.
Ask: What lesson did Heather learn in this story? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Read aloud: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are our greatest examples of kindness. They want us to speak kindly to one another and use words that make other people feel good. When we use kind and uplifting words, we help other people remember that they are children of God and that they deserve to be loved.
Ask: What are some kind words that we can say to other people?
Read aloud: Even though we try our best to speak kindly, there are a lot of people around us who use bad words. They are even on TV and in movies. Whether they are swear words, being mean to someone, calling someone a name, or yelling, we should always try to stop ourselves from using them, even if we see other people doing it.
Ask: How does it make you feel when you hear a bad word or someone says something mean to you?
Read aloud: Saying mean words to others can hurt people’s feelings and make them feel bad about themselves. Heavenly Father does not want any of his children to feel this way. By using kind words, we help everyone around us feel of His love for them. If we do say something mean or use a bad word, we should always apologize and try not to do it again.
Ask: Can you think of any ways we can be better at using kind, good words when we talk to others?
Finish the lesson by discussing how to look for good in others and how to express those things, even if they are hard to find. Share any personal experiences you may have and close with your testimony.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by watching this video:
Ask: What are your thoughts about this video? Why do you think gossip, bullying, and ridiculing through malicious words has become so commonplace in our society?
Read aloud: In the scriptures the Prophet Isaiah, when speaking of the Lord, said:
“I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.” (Isaiah 63:7)
Jesus Christ is the great example of how we should treat others. In fact, Christ has even asked us to be his representatives. In all of our interactions with others, it is His hope that everyone can feel His love through us. Always using kind words, avoiding contention, using clean language, and thinking carefully about what we say to others can help us achieve this. In the video, President Uchtdorf said we need to apply the two-word sermon when it comes to bullying and unkind words: “Stop It.”
Ask: How can we apply this sermon in our daily lives?
Read aloud: While always remembering to temper our tongues can be difficult, there are some things we can do to help ourselves to help us master what we say. These include:
- Praying to see others as Christ sees them
- Imagine Christ is standing next to us when we are tempted to make an inappropriate joke or call someone a name
- Immediately apologize when we realize we have said something we shouldn’t have
- Pondering what we are going to say during potentially contentious situations
- Simply walking away from fights or arguments where our emotions may get the better of us
- Speaking up when others are being unkind or are gossiping
- Encouraging others not to swear or make inappropriate jokes around you
By speaking kind words to one another and treating everyone with love and respect, we can emulate the love of the Lord.
Finish the lesson by sharing any personal experiences you may have about gossiping or speaking unkindly before closing with your testimony.
Nowhere Safe DVD
Girls’ Be Kind T-Shirt (Pink)
Cookies & Cream Cookies or Apple Cookies
-1 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 package Cookies n’Creme pudding mix
-1 tsp. vanilla
-2 1/4 cups flour
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. baking soda
-10 Oreos, chopped
-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together butter and sugars. Stir in pudding mix.
3. Add eggs and vanilla to cream mixture. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt into mixture.
4. Chop Oreos into small pieces. Add Oreos and white chocolate chips to dough.
5. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
6. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes or until slightly brown on top.
(Courtesy of Notes from Nessa)
-2 tablespoons peanut butter
(Each apple is designed to serve one. Make as many as you need)
1. Slice apple into thin rings and remove core. Spread peanut butter over one side of ring.
2. Top with pecans, coconut shreds, and chocolate chips.
(Courtesy of A Household Almanac)
Toothpaste Squirt or Kool-aid Snow Paint
-1 tube of toothpaste per person (can be small or large)
-1 bowl or plate per person
-Plastic tablecloth or drop cloth (optional)
Instruct everyone to squirt out the entire tube of toothpaste into their bowl or plate. Then, tell them they have to try and get all of the toothpaste back in the tube. Let everyone have fun trying, and then lead a discussion in how this activity illustrates the idea that once we say something out loud, it is almost impossible to take it back completely. Talk about how this activity relates to lesson.
-Kool-aid packets (20 cents a piece at Walmart)
-Spray bottles, squirt bottles, or old paint botttles
Simply add a packet of Kool-aid to an empty battle, fill with water, shake, and you are read to go.
(Courtesy of Growing a Jeweled Rose)
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.