Second edition is also on the women heros (heroines) of the bible. This is the story of bravery and courage from a very young women who saved an entire nation of her people-Queen Esther.
Advance Prep: Make sure to have all ingredients for the treat as well as for any activity you have planned.
Scripture: For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargementand deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s houseshall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?15. Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,16. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me,and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:14-16
Song: Do What is Right (Hymnbook #237)
Poem/Thought: As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for men and women who will stand for principles against the growing pressures to compromise those very principles. Men and women are required who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right, not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to enduring good." Richard G. Scott,, "Living Right," Ensign, Jan. 2007, 14
Lesson: (Sorry, I don’t know where I got this particular story so I can’t cite it. If you know, let me know and I will put the appropriate cite in.)
King Xerxes ruled over the mighty land of Persia. When he needed a wife, his servants searched the land for the most beautiful women. They brought these women to the palace so the king could choose his bride. A woman named Esther was chosen. She was good and wise and very beautiful. But she was an Israelite. A kind relative named Mordecai had adopted Esther as a child, and raised her as his own daughter. He warned her not to tell anyone she was an Israelite.
When King Xerxes saw Esther, he was very pleased! He set the royal crown on her head, and she became his wife and queen. Then the king gave a big party to celebrate!
Later on, a powerful man named Haman became angry at Mordecai. Haman was the most powerful man in the kingdom besides the king. Haman knew that Mordecai was an Israelite, and he encouraged King Xerxes to make it legal to kill all Israelites. (This part may to too much for some little ears. On one certain day, anyone would be able to kill any Israelite and take what belonged to the Israelite and the Israelite would not be able to defend themselves.)
Esther knew this law meant that she too must die. Mordecai told Esther to go to the king and plead for the people so they would not be killed. She could be killed for going before the King when she had not been called to him. She said she would if Mordecai would ask the people to pray for her and she and her maidservents would also fast and pray.
Esther was brave and went to see the King. She invited the king and Haman to a banquet.
"I have prepared a banquet for you and Haman. I would like you to be my guests," said Esther.
So the king and Haman came and enjoyed a delicious meal served by Esther. "Now, dear Queen, tell me what it is I can do for you," said King Xerxes.
"Dear King," said Esther. "If you are pleased with me, I beg you to spare my life. And also spare the lives of my people. It seems unfair that we are to be put to death with even a chance to defend ourselves."
"Who dares to do this?" demanded the king.
"It is cruel Haman," said Esther, pointing to her enemy. The king ordered Haman to be hung that very same day on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Esther and her people were safe!
It took courage and boldness for Esther to approach the king without being invited. She was literally risking her life. This is even more amazing when we realize that Esther was likely between the ages of 14 and 20, a very young woman. One day we may be asked to risk all that is dear to us when we speak up for what is right. But, like Esther, you may be in the place where you are "for a time like this".
(There is so much more to this story for those who would like to take the time to read Esther.)
Discussion/Q&A: Why was it so impressive for Esther to go to the king without being summoned? Why was it dangerous for Esther to go to the king without being summoned? What did she do to have the courage to go to the king? In what situations could we be called upon to summon our courage and stand up to others?
Activity: Script-Tac-Toe: Provide a large tic-tac-toe pattern on the board. Place a number 1-9 at random in each square. Prepare 1-3 lists of 9scripture-related questions each. Have several questions which only the moderator knows are ³FREE spot² questions. When a team chooses a Free-spot question and answers it correctly, they can place their mark over any one unused number on the board. Divide into Team ³X² and Team ³O². Teams take turns selecting a number from the board and hearing the question. A correct answer gets their mark placed in that numbered square. An incorrect answer allows the opposing team a chance to answer the question for a point. First team to make a Tic-tac-toe in a diagonal or straight line wins the game.
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
2 T. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. apricot preserves
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Add the beaten egg, orange juice and vanilla. Mix, just until mixture forms a ball. Refrigerate for a 1/2 hour or more. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly greased surface (when you cut the dough, turn it so that the floured surface sits on your palm, and the greased surface holds the filling and sticks together better). Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds. Makes about 30 Hamantaschen
Give each family member 2 or 3 rounds. Fill each round with 2/3 tsp. preserves. Then form into triangles by folding up 3 sides and pinching edges together. Bake at 350°F. for 15-17 minutes on lightly greased baking sheets.(This Jewish cookie recipe is traditionally made during the Feast of Purim, to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews because of Esther’s courage. Hamantaschen means “Haman’s pockets”, but traditionally are said to be the evil Haman’s three pointed hat or his triangular ears.)