The cute video clip of Benjamin Franklin, a man of many hats, is a great example of a person who learned how to work hard. This lesson, fun activity and story of two sisters working together, will help your children learn the importance of gaining good work habits that will help make their adult lives happier and more productive.
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Doctrine & Covenants 75:3
3. Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry,
neither be idle but labor with your might—
Watch chapter 2 from the Animated Complete Learning System, Benjamin Franklin DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
To be idle means to be lazy and unwilling to work. To labor means to work hard.
Was Benjamin Franklin a man who was idle or who labored with his might? (Discuss ideas.)
Benjamin Franklin was known as a man with many hats because he had many jobs. He was a man with ambition and a desire to work. He worked as an author, printer, satirist, political theorist,
politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. He developed his good work habits when he was a boy. At the age of twelve Benjamin Franklin became an apprentice printer for his brother James. Benjamin would help his brother set type which was hard work. He would then have to go out and sell the products.
How would you feel if you had to quit school and go to work at age twelve? (Discuss ideas.)
Is the Lord pleased when we are working? (Discuss ideas.)
The Lord taught often in parables that drew upon images of work. Indeed, it is good for our soul to enjy our labors and benefit from them (Eccl 2:24). Yet we need to be wise not to “worship” the results of our daily work. Jesus cautiond us to not labor for things that perish, but ultimately for things that eternally endure (John 6:27).
What are some of the jobs that children can do to please the Lord? (Discuss ideas.)
Does the Lord expect us to work all the time? (Discuss ideas.)
Just as productive work is important, so are times of leisure. We can make moments of rest everyday that help us strengthen and enjoy our marriages, families and friendships. The story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) is helpful. When the Lord visisted, Martha was toiling at being a good hostess. Jesus gently taught Martha that the greater “work” was to simply rest at His feet, like Mary recognized (Luke 0:39)
Quote: “Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.” Benjamin Franklin
Mother sat on the edge of Maddie’s bed and tickled her back. “Come on, Sleepy Head. Get up,” she pleaded. “If we get our work done early, we can do something fun today.”
Maddie kicked at the covers. “I’ll get up if you stop tickling!” she squealed.
“Breakfast will be ready in ten minutes. So hurry! It’s your turn to set the table,” Mother called out as she left the room.
“Ugh,” Maddie mumbled. “Work, work, work. What am I? A slave?”
As she tottered down the hall, Maddie inhaled the smoky aroma coming from the kitchen. “Mmmm. Bacon,” she sighed. “At least we slaves are fed well.”
“Good morning, Sleepy. Or are you, Grumpy?” Father greeted, while plucking the freshly baked
blueberry muffins out of the hot tin and placing them into the napkin lined breadbasket.
Maddie rubbed her eyes. “Both!” she grumbled. “Saturday is the only day we can sleep in! Why do we have to get up so stinking early?” she complained.
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise,” Father quoted, ignoring Maddie’s bad mood.
“Who came up with that stupid saying,” Maddie grumbled.
“Maddie,” Father reprimanded, “That’s enough of that kind of talk.”
“Sorry, Dad,” she apologized. “Who was it that said that and what does it mean?” she reworded
“That’s better,” Father said. “It was Benjamin Franklin. You can find the answer to what it means in the
Doctrine and Covenants. Section 88, verse 124. But, right now we have work to do. Breakfast is almost ready and the table still needs to be set.”
“I always have to set the table,” Maddie moaned.
“Can I help set the table, Maddie?” three-year-old Jordyn offered.
Maddie smiled at Jordyn. “Do you think you can put the napkins by the plates, like this?” Maddie
demonstrated by folding a napkin in half and placing it on the left side of a plate.
Jordyn giggled. “I can do that. ’Cause I’m big!” she exclaimed folding a napkin in half and then in half again, before placing it next to another plate. “See how I do it?”
“That’s very good!” Maddie said, trying to suppress her giggles. “Having a cute little helper sure makes work more enjoyable,” she whispered to Jordyn as she followed behind with the silverware.
After breakfast the family sang Primary songs as they worked together to clean up the kitchen. Even Jordyn helped by drying the pans that Father washed. Maddie discreetly re-dried the spots Jordyn missed before putting them away in the cupboard. Jordyn’s eagerness to help was contagious and the two hours spent cleaning the house went by quickly.
With sisterly love and tenderness, Maddie taught Jordyn how to dust the bookshelf. “I’ll move the books and you can wipe away the dust bunnies with the blue dust wand,” she explained.
“I like bunnies,” Jordyn replied.
While Jordyn dusted, Maddie picked up the Doctrine and Covenants that she had taken off the shelf. She quickly found D&C 88:124, “Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.”
“I’m done, Maddie,” Jordyn stated proudly.
“Good job,” Maddie said. “Now let’s see who can put the most books back on the shelf. Ready, set, go.”
Just then Mother entered the den and looked around pleased. “You girls did a wonderful job in here.”
“Thanks, Mom,” Maddie answered. “Jordyn’s a big helper. Aren’t you?”
Jordyn smiled proudly. “Maddie’s a big helper, too!
Maddie picked up the D&C and flipped to the page she had marked. “Mom, what does idle and invigorated mean?” Maddie asked.
“Idle means to be lazy and invigorated means to be filled with energy and life,” Mother answered. “You’ve worked hard today, so you definetly haven’t been idle. But did you rise early enough to be
invigorated so we can do something fun now, like I promised?” She asked.
Maddie smiled and put her arm around Jordyn. “We already did something fun today: helping each other. Huh, Jordyn?”
Jordyn nodded her head in agreement. “Helping Maddie work is fun!” she exclaimed.
2 (10.2-oz.) cans refrigerated grand size biscuits
(or make your favorite pizza dough recipe
divide into individual servings.)
1 (8-oz.) sliced pepperoni and/or sliced ham
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
1 (lb.) mozzarella cheese
Optional: olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, pineapple, etc.
Flour for dusting dough
Let children open cans, slice toppings and shred cheese according to their abilities.
Give each family member 1 or 2 biscuits. Dust biscuits with flour and roll or shape with hands into a
1/4 inch thick round pizza crust. Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread sauce on tops with
a spoon. Top with your favorite toppings. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is
While pizzas cook, work together as a family to clean up the kitchen and set the table. While you work talk about how it pleases the Lord when families work, cook and eat together in harmony.
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
Activity: YoYounger children will need help from an older sibling or
1. Explain: Just like adults need tools to work outside the home, we have tools to help us do our work in the home. The Lord has also provided us with tools to useas we do
2. Ask: What kind of tools did Benjamin Franklin need to use in his jobs? (Discuss ideas. Examples: Printer: printing press, ink, type; Fireman: fire truck, water hose; Inventor: kite, string, key, lightning rod; Author: pen, paper; etc.)
3. Ask family members who work outside the home what kind of tools they need to do their jobs.
4. Explain: Church leaders have taught us that it is important for children to learn to work so that they can develop good work habits. We have also learned that
it pleases the Lord when we are busy working and not
5. Mix up the “Kids Can Work Too’ls” and place face down
on the floor or table. Place the word strips, face up,
in a row.
6. Take turns choosing a tool. Use the tool to act
out how it is used to help us to labor with our might.
Then place tool in the correct column.
7. Bear your testimony of the importance of learning to “labor with your might–” (D&C 75:3)
1. Watch chapter 2 from The Complete Learning System Benjamin Franklin DVD.
2. Read: Doctrine & Covenants 75:3
“Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with
3. What does idle mean? To be idle means to be lazy and unwilling to work.
4. What does labor mean? To labor means to work hard.
5. Was Benjamin Franklin a man who was idle or who labored with his might? (Discuss ideas.)
6. Benjamin Franklin was known as a man with many hats because he had many jobs. He was a man with ambition and a desire to work. He worked as an author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. He developed his good work habits when he was a boy. At the age of twelve Benjamin Franklin became an apprentice printer for his brother James. Benjamin would help his brother set type which was hard work. He would then have to go out and sell the products.