The video clip from Maccabees and the lesson will help your children understand what it means to have the freedom to worship God as we choose, while the activity, story and fun treat emphasizes the importance of using our opportunities to vote even when we are young in order to maintain our freedoms.
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
The Articles Of Faith 1:11
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege,
let them worship how, where, or what they may.
Watch chapter 5 from the animated Complete Learning System, Maccabees: The Story of Hanukkah DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
What does it mean to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience? (Discuss ideas.)
“The 11th Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a framework for religious freedom for all churches. ... Though we may profess different creeds and
worship in different manners and places, we respect each others humanity and expression
of faith.” W. Cole Durham Jr, 2009 annual banquet of the First Freedom Center.
Did King Antiochus give the people of Israel the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of [their] own conscience,” (A of F 1:11.)? (No.)
What were the people of Israel threatened with if they refused to worship the Greek gods? (Death.)
What did the people of Israel do? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that some of the people obeyed King Antiochus, but the Maccabees stayed true to their faith.)
Unlike the people of Israel during King Antiochus’ rule, citizens of the United States are
guaranteed religious freedom. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Are there people today who are threatening to take away our religious freedom? (Discuss ideas.)
Religious freedom continues to be at risk. Even today, leaders in many nations use their power to keep their people from worshiping how they please.
Katie sat reverently with anticipation as she watched the General Authorities walk across the stand and take their seats. “There he is, Quinn,” she whispered to her little brother. “There’s the Prophet.”
As the choir sang, “Know This, That Every Soul is Free,” Katie thought about the people of Israel and how King Antiochus had tried to force them to worship idols.
I am so glad that I’m free to worship how I please or I wouldn’t even get to be here to see the Prophet.
After the song, President Eyring stood for the sustaining of the Church leaders. Katie remembered what Daddy had taught them in Family Home Evening. “When you sustain someone in church you are voting to support the person the Lord has chosen for that calling.”
President Eyring spoke clearly into the microphone, “It is proposed that we sustain Thomas Spencer Monson as prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Henry Bennion Eyring as First Counselor in the First Presidency; and Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf as Second Counselor in the First Presidency. Those in favor may manifest it.”
Katie exuberantly raised her hand, casting her vote of support for God’s chosen.
Kristin sat on the school house steps next to Katie while she tied her shoe. “I think you should run
for class president,” Kristin urged Katie.
“Not me, I’m not a good leader,” Katie said. “I couldn’t even decide if I wanted my Mom to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch.” Katie giggled, “So I had her make both and give me a half of each.”
“You know who will run?” Kristin whispered, “Madison. She’s a born leader. Look at all those girls
following her around the playground.”
“And Kevin or maybe Zach,” Katie added. “They’re both popular, too.” Katie then jumped to her feet and raced after Madison and the other girls. “Come on, Kristin,” she prodded, “You know what they say, ‘If you can’t beat them. Join them.’”
Mrs. Martin’s sixth grade class stood in a single file while waiting their turn to enter the voting both.
“It’s your turn, Katie,” Mrs. Martin prompted.
Katie looked down at her feet, willing them to step into the booth. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Martin. I don’t know who to vote for,” she confessed. “I like both of the candidates.”
It’s not like voting to support President Monson. I knew in my heart that he is chosen by God.
Mrs. Martin motioned for her class aide to come take her place handing out the blank ballots to the
children. “I understand your apprehension, Katie. Voting is a very important obligation. But, liking and choosing which candidate would make the best class president are two different things. I won’t tell you who to vote for, but maybe I can help you decide who will make the best class president.”
Mrs. Martin lead Katie to the back of the classroom where they sat down at the reading table. She took
a piece of paper and drew lines down it to form three columns. She wrote “Qualifications” in the first
column and “Kevin” and “Madison” in the other two columns.
Before going back to her place at the voting booth she handed Katie the paper. “Write the qualifications you think a good class president needs to possess,” Mrs. Martin instructed. “Then put an ‘X’ next to the name of the candidate you believe better exemplifies each quality. When you’re done, add up the ‘X’s’. The candidate who has the most is the person you should vote for.”
Katie thought for a minute. “Hmm. What makes a good class president?” she thought. “Smart? Yes. Organized? Yes. Cute? No. Good leader? Yes. Good ball player? No. ....” Katie finally had her list.
The first qualification she had written down was “Smart.” Katie put an “x” under both names, “Ugh.
This isn’t helping. Madison and Kevin are both straight ‘A’ students.” But as Katie went down the list
she realized that Madison was better at some things and Kevin was better at others. When she was all
done, she counted the “x’s” under each name.
“Wow, it’s really, really close,” she said to herself, “but I now know who to vote for!”
Katie paused after she got up from the table. Mrs. Martin said a secret ballot lets you vote your
conscience without being pressured by those around you with different opinions and values. Katie
quietly tore her list up and threw it in the garbage so no one would see it before getting back in
line to vote.
After Mrs. Martin handed Katie a blank ballot, she ducked inside the voting booth. Without any doubts Katie punched the pin through the hole next to her choice for class president.
Cake: In a large bowl mix eggs and sugar on high for 7 minutes. On low speed beat in flour, baking
powder, salt and extract. Pour batter into a prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10
minutes and then remove from pan. Cool completely. Cut star shapes out of cake with a star shaped
Icing: Mix together all of the ingredients. Heat the mixture in microwave for 60 seconds. Stir. Place bowl on top of another bowl filled with hot water to keep warm. Dip sides of cakes in icing. Place on wire rack and pour small amount on top to coat. Let set until icing dries.
Fondant: In a large bowl, stir together the shortening, corn syrup, salt and almond flavoring. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until it becomes a stiff dough. Knead for 30 seconds. If the dough is sticky, knead in more powdered sugar until it is smooth. Divide into thirds. Leave one white, color one blue and one red. Roll out 1/8 inch thick on a clean surface, dusted with powdered sugar.
Treat Time: Give each family member a star to decorate. For each cake, using
the same cookie cutter you cut cake with, cut a star out of each color of fondant.
Place stars on top of each other with white on top to prevent the other colors from
bleeding onto the white. With a sharp knife follow pattern to cut out. Gently press
the pieces you need onto your cakes. Put the unused pieces back to be used again.
Cut three small stars out of the white fondant and gently press onto the blue.
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup shortening
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 3/4–2 cups powdered sugar
Red & blue gel food coloring
4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Activity: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Explain: The people of Israel during the time of King Antiochus didn’t have freedom of religion nor the opportunity to vote for good leaders. There are countries still today that do not allow their citizens these privileges. Church leaders have encouraged
us to be good citizens and to strengthen our communities and nations where ever we live. There are many ways to be good citizens. These include participating in government or political processes, obeying the law, and serving in our neighborhoods and communities.
It is essential that in countries where citizens have the opportunity to vote that they do so.
3. Ask: How old do you need to be to vote in the United States?
(U.S. Constitution Amendment 26 - 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any State on account of age.)
4. Explain: Even though children are not old enough to vote in government elections there are other places where they have the opportunity to vote. Children can vote by the uplifted
hand to sustain someone in a church position as a sign of our personal commitment to uphold the Lord’s choice of that person in that calling. When we say “amen” at the end
of a group prayer we are giving your vote of agreement. In school children may have
the opportunity to vote for school or class officers. Parents should also give their children
opportunities to vote on family matters, such as what to have for dinner, where to go on
vacation, what service project to do as a family, etc. These opportunities to vote will help
prepare them for voting in the future to help ensure our freedom of religion.
5. Hold an election using the provided ballot or make your own ballot. Before voting
help your children to be informed voters by discussing the issues.
6. Give each family member a “I Voted” sticker. Tally ballots and discuss the results.
What you need:
A copy of the “Family Voting” activity (artwork included with this lesson) for each child, a nail, glue, tape, paper, a tissue or shoe box, a rope and a sheet.
1. Print out the artwork. Cut out stickers.
2. Cover box with paper. Decorate w/extra stickers. Cut a slit in the top to make a ballot box.
3. Tape the rope across a hall or doorway. Drape sheet over rope to make a voting booth.
1. Sing: Children’s Songbook #130, “The Eleventh Article of Faith.”
2. Watch: chapter 5 from the animated Complete Learning System Maccabees: The Story of Hanukkah DVD. (Video clip is also provided for viewing online.)
3. What does it mean to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience? (Discuss ideas.)
“The 11th Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a framework for religious
freedom for all churches. ... Though we may profess different creeds and worship in different manners and places, we respect each others humanity and expression of faith.” W. Cole Durham Jr, 2009 annual banquet
of the First Freedom Center.
4. Did King Antiochus give the people of Israel the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of [their] own conscience,” (A of F 1:11.)? (No.)
5. What did the people of Israel do? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that some of the people obeyed King Antiochus, but the Maccabees stayed true to their faith.)
Unlike the people of Israel during King Antiochus’ rule, citizens of the United States are guaranteed religious
freedom. The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
6. Are there people today who are threatening to take away our religious freedom? (Discuss ideas.)