What You'll Need: scriptures, Gospel Art Kit picture #125, cardstock and art materials for activity, ingredients for treat.
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Esther, through fasting, faith, and courage, had saved a nation.
You will probably not be called upon to put your life on the line, as did Esther, for that which you believe. You will, however, most likely find yourself in situations where great courage will be required as you stand firm for truth and righteousness.
…you are some of our Heavenly Father’s strongest children…with His help, you will have the courage to face whatever comes. Though the world may at times appear dark, you have the light of the gospel, which will be as a beacon to guide your way.
- Thomas S. Monson
Opening Song: Dare to Do Right (PCS #158 )
Show children Gospel Art Kit picture 125 as you tell the following story…
Esther was a beautiful young woman. The king chose her to be his queen. Haman was the kings highest officer, and he didn't like the Jews who lived in his country. Haman had planned to kill all of the Jews.Ask the following questions about the story:
Esther was worried when she found out about his plan. She was also a Jew. Esther wanted to tell the king about Haman's evil plan, but she couldn't go right in to see him. If she went in without the king calling her, the law said that she would be killed. The only way she would live was if the king would hold out his scepter to her.
Esther asked her people to fast and pray for 3 days before she went to see the King. She wanted Heavenly Father's help to give her courage. She bravely walked right in to see the king. He lowered his scepter to Esther, and she touched it. When Esther told the king about Haman's evil plan, the king had Haman killed and Esther saved her people.
Today, Jewish people still celebrate Esther each year with a special feast called "Purim". They remember her bravery in saving her people.
- Why was Esther afraid to walk up to the king?
- What does it mean when someone is against you? (They don't agree with you or want to go along with you; they may want to cause you trouble)
- Can you think of a time when it felt like someone was against you and you had to be brave? (A friend wouldn't be your friend anymore? Someone wouldn't help you when you needed it? Someone hurt you on purpose?)
Tell your children about a time when your courage was challenged and how you used your faith in the Lord to find strength to do what was right. Bear your testimony about the courage that can come from putting your faith in God.
(For tips on sharing your testimony please click here.)
Practice Song: If you are teaching your family the March Song of the Month, go over the words and music with your family. You may choose to use the FREE downloadable words chart I created for this song by clicking HERE.
Activity: Esther’s Crown
Have children make their own crown, like Esther wore. Use this pattern and decorate with any art supplies you have on hand.
Treat: Haman's Hat Cookies
These triangular "cookies" are known as Hamantashen or Haman's Hats, the most popular sweet made at Purim. They are shaped like the three cornered hat worn by Haman...who Esther defeated when saving her people. *Make the dough up to 3 days ahead for an easier Monday evening.
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Filling: store bought pie filling of whole fruit jam.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. I like to do mine overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. (Any more and it will ooze out) Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible.
Put cookies on greased cookie sheets and place in freezer for 10 minutes prior to baking to help retain their shape while cooking.
Bake at 375* for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
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