COMPARISON: It is important for your students to realize that Godâ€™s laws related to food and drink are not the same in each dispensation. (If they donâ€™t understand this, they will really wonder why Jesus would turn water into wine!) Draw two columns on the board and title one â€œThe Law of Mosesâ€? and the other â€œThe Word of Wisdom.â€? Have them list the requirements for each one. The main point to emphasize for the Law of Moses is that meat had to be butchered in a very specific way. Because King Nebuchadnezzar would not have followed these laws, Daniel could not eat his meat.
BEING IN THE WORLD: As you study Daniel 1, point out that there were many ways in which Daniel was willing to adapt to his new environment: he was willing to learn according to Babylonian patterns (1:4) and have his name changed to their language (1:7) but he wasnâ€™t willing to eat food that violated the Law of Moses (1:8). It might be interesting to invite to your class someone who has lived in another country and ask them to discuss some habits that they changed while they lived there and others that they did not.
WHATâ€™S IN A NAME?: Write this on the board before class:
Daniel – God’s Prince = Belteshazzar – Bel’s prince
Hananiah – Mercy of Yahweh = Shadrach – Command of Aku
Micheal – Who is what God is = Meshach – Who is like Aku
Azariah – Yahweh will help = Abed-nego – Servant of Nebo
*Bel, Aku and Nebo are names of Babylonian gods
Point out that by renaming them, the King was attempting to erase their background. Ask the children whose name they have taken on them and discuss what it means to take Christâ€™s name.
DRAWING ACTIVITY: Give each child a pencil and paper. Tell them that they will draw the scripture story as you teach it to them.
1. (Draw 4 sad stick figure boys together) When Daniel and his friends are captured by the Babylonian soldiers.
2. (Draw little circles to represent chains hanging from their arms) When they appear before the Babylonian king.
3. (Draw a square to represent the palace) When the King gives the boys a nice place to stay.
4. (Draw a square with legs for a table inside the palace square) When the King gives them food to eat.
5. (Draw little circles, squares and triangles on the table to represent food) When the four friends are offered the king’s food.
6. (Draw an “X” over the foods on the table) When the four friends ask for something different to eat.
7. (Make the number 10) When the boys ask to have vegetables for 10 days.
VISUAL AIDS: Ann Woodbury Moore, â€œDanielâ€™s Choice,â€? The Friend, Mar. 1999, 12, contains pictures of food and drink that may be useful as you teach this lesson. â€œDaniel Obeys the Lord,â€? Friend, June 1998, 34 contains figures related to this story that could be used for a flannel board, puppets, coloring page, etc. Virginia Pearce, â€œSharing Time: Joseph Smith Receives a Revelation,â€? Friend, June 1992, 44 contains a picture with hidden items related to the Word of Wisdom in it.
STORY: Susan Arrington Madsen, â€œDavid O. McKay: A Visit with the Queen,â€? Friend, Feb. 1997, 35 contains an experience that President McKay had with the Word of Wisdom that your students may enjoy acting outâ€”especially if you bring a crown and a teacup.
GAME: â€œBody Building,â€? Friend, July 1986, 8, contains a game related to the Word of Wisdom.