Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tithing Parable

  • Developing Talents #1
  • Learn how to budget and save money. Discuss why it is important to faithfully pay our tithing and how Heavenly Father blesses us when we do (see 3 Nephi 24:10–11). Pay your tithing and begin saving for a mission.
  • I find tithing a bit challenging to teach to children who haven't yet gained an understanding of money values.  Even the object lesson where they pay tithing on ten candies and then are "showered" with more candy seemed to distract them more than teach the concept, so I made up this parable to discuss with my primary class of six year olds.  The kids can act it out or make gold stones.  You could trade 10 beans for candy or yummy "golden" cold cereal or cheese crackers.  You could play several rounds and have the kids act out the three different groups to see how paying tithing is a blessing.  The kids could draw a picture illustrating the story for an activity as well.
  • This parable also illustrates how the Lord doesn't require tithing for His benefit, but rather for our benefit so that He can bless us even more.  For Activity Days if the girls like theater, they could make this into a play to show their parents when they come to pick them up.  Perhaps ask parents to come ten minutes early to see the presentation.  

(for fun, the king's gold can be made by spraying fish tank gravel gold)

Tithing Parable: The King's Stones
  • Once upon a time a very wise and powerful king gave each of his subjects 10 stones.  “These are very special stones” he said.  “Tomorrow, bury them in your field and work very hard all day.  Then in the morning of the day after tomorrow, dig them up and they will have changed into 10 nuggets of gold.  When you dig up your gold nuggets, you must immediately bring the biggest one back to the castle or you will be very sorry.  With the other 9 gold nuggets you will be able to buy your family whatever they need.”

    So his subjects each took their 10 stones home and buried them in the field.  Some of his subjects got up extra early the next morning so they could work from the minute the sun came up until it went down that night.  “All day long” just as the king had said.  It was the hottest day the kingdom had ever had, but still, they fed animals, washed laundry, baked bread, ploughed fields, planted seeds, and mended broken fences until the sun set.  At the end of the day they hurried home, ate a quick dinner and fell quickly asleep.

    There was another group of subjects that weren’t very excited to work hard all day long on the hottest day in history.  They took care of their animals in the morning as they always did, they half-way cleaned their houses, baked nothing at all, ploughed fields until lunch, and then feeling exhausted from the heat took long naps under shady trees or headed off to swim and fish in the stream all afternoon.

    The third group of subjects didn’t work at all, why should they, tomorrow they would have gold, right?  They heard there was a traveling circus nearby, so instead of working, they set off to the next town to eat popcorn and watch dancing ponies and tightrope walkers in the shade of a circus tent all day.

    On the morning of the second day, the subjects eagerly dug up their stones to get their gold.  The first group was thrilled to find 10 large nuggets of gold shining up at them as bright as the sun had been the day before.  They could hardly believe how rich they had become.  It was a miracle and they rejoiced!  Most of them carefully selected the biggest stone to return to the castle, but a few rushed off to the next town hoping the circus would still be there.

    The second group also found 10 gold nuggets shining up at them.  Although they were not very big, they were very pleased.  It should be almost enough to take care of their family through the winter.  Most of them quickly chose the largest nugget to return to the castle, but a few were very worried that it wasn’t quite enough and decided to take either the smallest gold nugget to the castle or to not take any gold at all to the castle.

    The third group also dug up their stones only to find that they were still stones and not gold at all.  They were angry that the king had tricked them and not given them magical stones.  A few decided that perhaps they were not gold because they hadn’t worked hard all day long.  They chose their biggest stone to take back to the castle even though it wasn’t gold.

    On the way to the castle the king’s subjects discovered that if they hadn’t brought the largest gold nugget, that they had problems.  Either the gold slipped out of their pockets and was lost or it crumbled to dust.  Only the biggest gold nuggets ever made it to the castle.

    At the castle the King thanked each man for bringing his largest gold nugget or stone.  He said that they would be very glad that they did.  In return he gave each man 10 more special stones to take home.  He said if they worked hard during the next month they could dig them up and find 10 more gold nuggets.  He also said they should immediately bring the largest gold nugget back to the castle or they would be sorry indeed.

    Well as you can guess, each subject hurried home to bury his new special stones and the next month even more of the subjects appeared at the castle with their very best golden nugget to present to the king.

    Soon there were people in the kingdom with huge piles of gold that never seemed to run out while some were very poor without enough supplies to make it through the winter.  Those subjects with much gold were very generous and tried to help others however they could.  Sometimes they would give gold or supplies to their neighbors, but once in awhile, they gave something even better, a pile of the king’s stones.  Do you know why the stones were better than gold?  If you do, you understand the king’s magic and you too will always have all the riches you need!  The End.

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