Saturday, October 10, 2015

Choose Your Friends Wisely, For You Will Tend to Be Like Them

by Cheryl Jorgensen

By coloring large letters that spell FRIENDS, you will show how friends, whether they are good or bad can easily rub off on you. 

  • Pencil for each student and a piece of paper with the word FRIENDS on it in bubble letters for each student OR
  • Chalk and Chalkboard
  • Print PDF of "Choose Your Friends Wisely" handouts (make sure to choose "Actual Size" under Page Sizing & Handling); Cut into 10 handouts; NOTE: For personal use only
  • Attach to 2" x 3-1/2" adhesive magnets
  • Print copies of "The Sign on the Wall"
  • Print quotes for Reader #1 and #2
  • Before class print out the word FRIENDS in large bubble letters, about two inches high. 
  • During class, give each student a sheet of paper with FRIENDS printed on it and a pencil. 
  • Tell them to use the pencil to color in all the letters completely and very dark with the pencil. This may take a few minutes. 
  • After they are finished, you will have them rub their fingers over the letters to see that the graphite from the word friends has rubbed off on them.
Alternate option:
You may also have someone write the word "Friends" on the chalkboard and then have them rub the letters instead of using a pencil and paper.

Teacher Read:
"The friends you choose in life can have a big impact on the way you act. Friends can influence what type of clothes you wear, the type of music you listen to, what you believe, the words you use when you speak, the way you treat others, and the list goes on and on. In other words, friends can rub off on you."

Pass out 3x5 Cards and ask class members to think about friends they’ve had in their lives. Have them write down one trait they admired in one of their friends and one trait they did not like in a friend. 

I would like us to read a short story from the New Era Magazine that inspired this lesson (Pass copies of the story, “The Sign on the Wall,” around and have class members read a paragraph at a time).

Reader #1
There is a temptation for girls to reach out to the first available friend, settling instead of choosing. Ezra Taft Benson said,

"Have good associates or don’t associate at all. Be careful in the selection of your friends. If in the presence of certain persons you are lifted to nobler heights, you are in good company. But if your friends or associates encourage base thoughts, then you had best leave them.”

(Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 241.) 

Encourage girls to wait for the right friends. This does not mean they can't have friends who are members of a different religion; it just means that their friends should honor their standards. It also does not mean they have to wait for a perfect friend, only that they need to wait for one who will help them to be the best they can be.

Advice on the Selection of Friends:
In the scriptures, we find numerous examples where our Heavenly Father has mentioned traits found in good, and bad friends.
Proverbs 12:26--A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
People You Don't Want As Friends 
  • Gossips - Proverbs 20:19
  • Short-tempered - Proverbs 22:24-25
  • Those who drink - Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink wine
  • The rebellious - Proverbs 24:21-22
  • Liars, those untrustworthy, and those inconsiderate - Proverbs 25:18-20
As Paul said, the wrong kind of friends can be a corrupting influence (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The Kind of Friends You Want
  • Those who display wisdom - Proverbs 13:20
  • Those who are loyal - Proverbs 18:24
  • Those who give counsel - Proverbs 27:9
  • Those who are not afraid to wound you - Proverbs 27:6
Discuss what people wrote on their 3x5 cards and ask:  
What are some positive ways that your friends have rubbed off on you?


Reader #2 
"Friends" from For the Strength of Youth, page 12

Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become. Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other in living high standards. A true friend will encourage you to be your best self.

To have good friends, be a good friend yourself. Show interest in others and let them know you care about them. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Go out of your way to be a friend to those who are shy or do not feel included.

Bear Testimony of the need to have good friends in our lives.

Hand out Magnets to Class Members

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