Some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge. This lesson, video clip and activity will help your family understand that only God makes final, righteous judgements, but we can judge righteously by first focusing on our own heart and actions; while the easy and fun treat serves as a reminder to not judge unrighteously!
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/cm
I Samuel 16:7
24. Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
7. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man
looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Watch chapters 4 from The Animated Stories from the New Testament The Righteous Judge DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
Cheryl placed her lunch tray on the table and slid onto the bench. “You’ll never guess what happened!
I forgot my homework this morning. When I went to the office to call my mom, Randy was in Mrs. Martin’s office and he was crying. I bet he got caught cheating or something...”
The bell rang, ending the lunch recess. Kathy opened the school door to go inside, just as Randy was leaving with a man she assumed was his dad. Kathy slipped into her chair. Leaning forward she
whispered in Shauna’s ear, “Did you hear? Randy got suspended for cheating. I just saw him leaving with his dad. I think it was his dad anyway....”
After school Shauna rushed to catch the school bus. Jeanne waved at Shauna and slid over to make
room for her friend. Shauna looked around to make sure no one was listening. “You’re never going to believe this. Randy got kicked out of school for cheating! Kathy saw a man leading him out of the school. She thought is was his dad, but it couldn’t have been. Randy’s dad is overseas. It was probably
a policeman taking him to juvenile detention! I can’t believe he’d do this to his mom. Doesn’t she
have enough to worry about right now? ...”
Jeannie dropped her backpack on the kitchen table. “Mom, I’m home!” Jeannie called, but there was no answer. “Mom, where are you?” she called, but there was still no answer. Jeannie searched the house, but Mother was not there.
That’s strange, Jeannie thought, pouring herself a glass of chocolate milk. Mom always tells me if she’s not going to be here when I get home.
Just then a car pulled into the driveway. Jeannie looked out the window to see who it was and was happy to see Mother getting out of Sister Owen’s car.
“Thanks for the ride, Marilyn and for going with me,” Mother told the driver of the car. “I am so
grateful that I have such wonderful counselors. Your support means so much to me.”
Jeannie met Mother at the door. “Hi, Mom! Guess what happened today!” Jeannie continued without giving Mother a chance to answer, “Randy got suspended from school for cheating! A policeman even came to the school and took him to juvenile detention.”
Mother looked at Jeannie with a shocked expression. “Jeannie, why would you say such a thing?”
“’Cause that’s what all my friends at school said,” Jeannie answered with a puzzled expression. “Cheryl saw him crying in the Principles office. Then Kathy saw him leaving with a man she thought was his dad. But Shauna said it was a police officer, because Randy’s dad is overseas. I guess we’re not positive he was cheating, but he must have been caught doing something pretty bad.”
“Well, you are all wrong. It simply is not true!” Mother said solemnly shaking her head.
“How do you know?” Jeannie asked.
“I just came from the Thompson’s house,” Mother explained, with a trembling voice. “That’s why I wasn’t here when you got home.”
Jeannie looked at her mother with concern. “What’s wrong, Mom,” she asked.
“Randy’s uncle took him out of school early today, because Brother Harris passed away.”
“Randy’s grandpa? The one that’s been living with them?”
“Yes,” Mother replied. “Oh, dear! Look what time it is. I told the Thompsons I’d bring them dinner tonight.” Mother gave Jeannie a hug. “We’ll talk some more about this later. Okay?”
Jeannie laid on her bed. Opening her scriptures to the page she had left off at the night before, she began to read. When she was about half way down the page a passage hit her like a ton of bricks, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
“That’s what I’ve done,” Jeannie whispered. “I’ve judged Randy unrighteously.” Without even
finishing the page, she knelt next to her bed and prayed, “Father, I was wrong to judge Randy.
Please help me know what can I do to fix it?...”
Father notice the soft beam of light coming from under Jeannie’s door. “Jeannie it’s after midnight. You should be asleep.” But, Jeannie didn’t hear him. She had fallen asleep kneeling at her bed,
waiting for an answer. Father gently lifted his little girl in his arms and tucked her into bed.
“Daddy,” Jeannie said with a sleepy voice, “‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ is wrong. My words hurt Randy! Plus, they spread like wild fire. Do you think I’ll
be able to put out this fire?”
“If you do the best you can, Princess, I promise you the Lord will do the rest.”
Give each family member (1) Ho Hos®, (1) Ding Dong® and (1) chocolate covered
pretzel rod. Gently push pretzel rods into center of Ho Hos® to create gavels. Use the Ding Dongs®
as sound blocks.
The striking of a gavel by a judge can bring order to the court room and also signify the end of an issue. When we are faced with the temptation to judge others unrighteously we can think about the judge’s gavel–putting our thoughts in order and putting an end to the issue.
Activity: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Read: Matt. 7:3-5. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother,
Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
2. Ask: What is a mote? (Mote: a tiny piece of a substance : the tiniest mote of sawdust.
A mote in someone’s eye is a fault in that person that is less serious than the fault
in someone else who is judging them unrighteously.)
3. Ask: What is a beam? (Beam, a long, sturdy piece of squared timber. A beam in one’s
eye is a fault that is greater in oneself than in the person one is finding fault with.)
4. Ask: Have you ever gotten a small piece of dust or something in your eye?
Did it need to be removed?
5. Explain: Jesus knew that we sometimes need help and sometimes we need to help others
overcome faults, just like the dust needed to be removed from our eye. (Remove the
paper “mote” from the boy’s eye.)
6. Ask: But if we have a beam in our eye (hold the paper “beam” up to your eye) can we remove the mote? (Tape the face on the wall. Put the paper “mote” back in his eye. Without standing sideways have each family member try to pull the paper “mote” out
of the eye while holding the paper “beam” up to their eye.)
7. Ask: Did we look foolish trying to take the mote out of the boy’s eye while having the beam
in our own eye?
8. Explain: It is just as foolish to judge other’s faults unrighteously while attempting to
cover up or hide our own faults. Let us not look foolish! Instead be humble and recognize
and work on overcoming our faults. Then, with love and compassion, we can help others.