Emphasize the importance of political and spiritual freedom as you learn that Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, believed in and obeyed God. He knew that slavery was wrong and prayed to God for guidance to lead the United States during his presidency.
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11. And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
12. Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which
he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
13. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.
Watch: Chapter 12 from The Complete Learning System, Abraham Lincoln DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12 in 1809.
When Abraham Lincoln was a boy, he lived in a log cabin his father made. Abraham had very little formal education, but he loved to read and would walk miles to borrow a book. He was also a devout believer in the Bible and read it often.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, believed in and obeyed God.
President Lincoln was one of the great presidents of all time because he was willing to obey God. Like Moroni, Lincoln did not delight in bloodshed yet he too was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ and he did what was right to free the slaves within the Confederacy. Lincoln said: “I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God.”
John Wesley Hill, Abraham Lincoln—Man of God, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927, 4th ed., p. 285–86
Lincoln believed that the Civil War was a punishment brought upon America, by God, because of slavery.
He knew that slavery was wrong and he also knew that the nation could not survive being divided, with half of the states owning slaves and half of the states against slavery. Lincoln said “If we do not do right, God will let us go our own way to ruin; and ... if we do right, He will lead us safely out of this wilderness, crown our arms with victory and restore our dissevered Union.”
Ibid., p. 124; italics added
Lincoln is an example of prayer and recognizing answers to prayers.
General Daniel E. Sickles learned that just before the battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln did not suffer from the usual stress that often weighed him down. The general asked him why and Lincoln said, “Well, I will tell you how it was. In the pinch of your campaign up there, when everybody seemed panic-stricken and nobody could tell what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His, and our cause, but we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. Then and there I made a solemn vow to Almighty God that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him, and He did stand by you boys, and I will stand by Him. And after that, I don’t know how it was, and I cannot explain it, soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul. The feeling came that God had taken the whole business into His own hands, and that things would go right at Gettysburg, and that is why I had no fears about you.”
(Ibid., pp. 339–40.)
POINTS TO PONDER
Abraham Lincoln read the Bible often and used the principles of faith and prayer to help him lead the United States of America during his presidency. He said: “I have had so many evidences of [God’s] direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own will, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above... I am satisfied that, when the Almighty wants me to do, or not to do, a particular thing, he finds a way of letting me know it... That the Almighty...directly intervenes in human affairs, is one of the plainest statements in the Bible,” (Ibid., p. 124) “I seem to know that Providence has protected and will protect us against any fatal defeat. All we have to do is to trust the Almighty, and keep on obeying His orders and executing His will.”
bid., p. 126
How can prayer and the scriptures help guide us?
How can we recognize the answer?
During his presidency Abraham Lincoln did not let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue than the Emancipation Proclamation that declared freedom for all slaves within the Confederacy. During the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg (now called the Gettysburg Address) he stated:
“...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler
How has this affected the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
How does it affect our family?
Today, in the United States, we do not have to face the evils of slavery that Moses, Moroni, and Abraham Lincoln did, but there are other evils in this world that can enslave us spiritually.
What are some of these evils?
What can our family do to protect and keep us free from these evils?
“Freedom obtained by obedience to the law of Christ is freedom of the soul, the highest form of liberty. And the most glorious thing about it is that it is within the reach of every one of us, regardless of what people about us, or even nations, do. All we have to do is learn the law of Christ and obey it. To learn it and obey it is the primary purpose of every soul’s mortal life.”
Brenda slipped into her chair, in her second grade school class, just as the bell rang.
Mrs. Smith stood. “Class, I need your attention! Next Monday is Presidents Day and there will be no school! So this week we are going to do some fun things to celebrate and learn about two very special past presidents. Who can tell me which two presidents’ birthdays we celebrate on Presidents Day?”
“George Washington and Abraham Lincoln!” answered Amanda.
“Yes! Who can tell us one thing they know about George Washington?”
“He was the first President of the United States!” answered Brandon.
“That’s right! Class, what else do you know about George Washington?”
“He had wooden teeth?” queried John.
Mrs. Smith smiled. “I’m glad you brought that up John. That is what they used to think, but we now know that his false teeth were really made out of teeth from different kinds of animals, like elk, hippopotamus, and even human!”
“Oooh, yuck!” groaned the class.
“There are also many myths written about George Washington,” Mrs. Smith continued, “to illustrate his character that we’ll talk about tomorrow. Now, what do we know about Abraham Lincoln?”
Mrs. Smith called on Gracie Mae who proudly raised her hand. “My momma told me he was the greatest president ever because he freed my people!”
“You’re mother is right! President Lincoln was a very great President. He knew that slavery was wrong and he made the Emancipation Proclamation to free the Southern slaves and the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that makes it a crime punishable by law to own slaves.”
Brenda was confused. Gracie Mae had been her best friend forever! She was African American not Hebrew. And it was Moses who told Pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves. Not Abraham Lincoln!
When Brenda got home from school that afternoon, she found her mother at the oven baking cookies.
Mother placed some cookies on a plate and poured two glasses of milk. “Are you hungry?” she asked.
“Kinda!” answered Brenda as she hung her coat on the hook near the door, “But mostly I’m mixed-up!”
Mother smiled, “Come have some cookies and milk with me and tell me what has you so mixed-up.”
Brenda sat next to her mother and took a bite of her cookie. “Well, today Gracie Mae and Mrs. Smith said that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, but Sister Bradley told me Moses freed the slaves!”
“Oh! I see why you’re mixed-up! Did you know that there have been many times in history that people and governments have believed it was their right to own slaves?
Brenda wiped some cookie crumbs from her mouth. “That’s not right, Mommy.”
“No it’s not!” Mother continued, “So both Gracie Mae and Sister Bradley are right. Moses was called of God to help free the Hebrew slaves. And right here, in the United States, Gracie Mae’s ancestors and many others were brought to the United States from Africa to be slaves. The northern states were against slavery and the southern states were in favor of slavery. This caused a war between the states called the Civil War. The North won the war and President Lincoln freed the slaves.”
Brenda’s eyes were getting wet. She loved Gracie Mae. She couldn’t even imagine what it would be like if Gracie Mae had lived when Abraham Lincoln did. “Mommy, I’m so glad Abraham Lincoln was President and I know why he freed the slaves!”
“Yes! ’Cause he knew that everyone is a child of God no matter what color their skin is!”
Mother’s eyes filled with tears too as she gave Brenda a big hug, “President Lincoln did believe in and was guided by Heavenly Father. He listened to the spirit and stood up for what he knew was right! That is one of the reasons why the citizens of the United States enjoy freedom today. But, there are still some countries in the world today that don’t have that freedom.”
“Mommy, when I see Abraham Lincoln in heaven I’m going to give him a big hug for doing what’s right so Gracie Mae doesn’t have to be a slave like her an-sisters?”
Mother smiled, “An-cest-ors. Me too, Brenda. But I want you to know that there is even a greater gift of freedom that Heavenly Father and Jesus gave us. It’s called agency and when we use our agency to choose the right and obey the commandments we will enjoy the best kind of freedom. The freedom to return to live with our Heavenly Father!” by
If you don’t want to make the pretzel dough, buy (3) 11 oz. cans Pillsbury™ type refrigerated bread sticks to make your logs.
Mix and rise the pretzel dough in your bread machine using the dough cycle or mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast and baking powder together.
Add milk and oil (butter) to make a dough.
Knead until dough is smooth.
Set dough in a greased bowl in a warm spot and allow to double in bulk. (If you don’t want to make the pretzel dough, buy Pillsbury™ type refrigerated bread sticks to make your logs.)
Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
With oiled hands (do not use flour) let children help roll each half of the dough into (4) eight inch logs, (6) six inch logs, (6) three inch logs, and (1) two inch log (logs should be about 3/4 inch diameter), and (1) thin 8” x 6” rectangle. Any extra dough can be made into two inch logs for a log pile next to your cabin.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 30 minutes (if using store bought bread sticks skip the rise time).
Bake on a high rack in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (If using store bought bread sticks follow package directions for baking).
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, coarse salt, or garlic. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Assemble (2) log cabins by alternating eight inch logs for back, six inch logs for sides, three inch logs for front (see diagram).
Hold each layer together with prepared frosting or cheese spread. Roof is made by placing the rectangle at a slant on top of cabin.
Make a chimney with the two inch log.
Sprinkle roof with additional cinnamon sugar or Parmesan cheese after log cabinss are assembled.
A copy of the of the “Abraham Lincoln Filing Cabinet" game (art work included with this lesson) and markers, crayons, or colored pencils, scissors, and clear tape.
Print out the Abraham LIncoln Filing Cabinet
Cut along dotted lines.
Make the “Filing Cabinet” (top hat) by forming a cylinder with part (1) by placing bottom edge of paper along solid black line near top edge. Tape in place. Fold tabs to the outside along solid black line near side edge. Make top with part (2) by folding tabs to inside. Slide into the top of part (1). Tape in place. Make brim by sliding part (3) down over the cylinder you made with part (1). Tape to tabs on part (1) to hold in place.
5. Fold cards and place in hat.
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
Tell the children that in the video Abraham Lincoln referred to his top hat as his filing cabinet and that you are going to see what you can learn from the secret papers that have been filed inside his hat.
Take turns picking a paper out of the filing cabinet and reading the question. Answer and discuss the questions together as a family or divide into teams and keep score.
1. Watch chapter 12 from the Animated Complete Learning System, Abraham Lincoln DVD (Video clip provided online for viewing.)
2. Have you memorized the “Pledge of
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.
3. How many times do you think you will say the “Pledge of Allegiance” in your lifetime?
(There are an average of 180 school days in a year. If you multiply this number by 7 school years, you will say the “Pledge of Allegiance approximately 1,260 times by the time you finish 6th grade!)
4. What is the “Pledge of Allegiance”?
(A promise to be faithful and true to the United States flag as it represents all 50 states and the Government that unites it’s citizens.)
5. What do we mean when we say, “indivisible”
(unable to be separated. This part refers to the unity
that was needed in America after the Civil War.) or “one Nation under God” (as a unified whole,
we acknowledge our need for God to lead, guide, and protect us.) in the “Pledge of Allegiance?
6. What was the Civil War about?
The southern states wanted independence from the northern states so they could preserve their economic system, which was based upon cotton, and slavery to produce the cotton. Abraham Lincoln knew slavery was wrong and that states needed to remain united. The Civil War was fought from 1861-1865. Three million people fought on American soil and 600,000 died.
Today, in the United States, we do not have to face the evils of slavery in the same way that they did during the time of Lincoln,but there are other evils in the world that can enslave us spiritually. Ask what those evils might be.
7. Who was president during the Civil War?
(see lesson summary)
• Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, was President during the Civil War.
• He lived in a log cabin his father made. Abraham had very little formal education when he was young, but he loved to read and would walk miles to borrow a book.
• Lincoln was a devout believer in the Bible and read it often.
• He believed in and obeyed God. Before the battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln went to his room, locked the door and prayed to God for victory at Gettysburg. He made a solemn vow to God that if He would stand his boys at Gettysburg, Abe would stand by God. A sweet
comfort crept into Abe’s soul and he knew they would be victorious in the battle for freedom.
8. Why do you think Abraham Lincoln was such a beloved President?
Lincoln had very humble beginnings, and worked hard to improve his life and gain an education. He was very tall and not especially handsome. He was sought after when he became a lawyer, because he was known to be fair and honest. He ran for political office many times, and although he did not always win, he didn’t give up. He believed in God and believed in freedom for all. Lincoln was assassinated while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre. He was 56 years-old.