Create in me a pure heart, O my God, and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope! Through the spirit of power confirm Thou me in Thy Cause, O my Best-Beloved, and by the light of Thy glory reveal unto me Thy path, O Thou the Goal of my desire! Through the power of Thy transcendent might lift me up unto the heaven of Thy holiness, O Source of my being, and by the breezes of Thine eternity gladden me, O Thou Who art my God! Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquillity on me, O my Companion, and let the riches of Thine ancient countenance deliver me from all except Thee, O my Master, and let the tidings of the revelation of Thine incorruptible Essence bring me joy, O Thou Who art the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden!
[to read a reflection on this prayer]
As you introduce the new prayer for memorization, remember that is should be explained word by word. Where words are difficult, concrete examples should be given to illustrate their meaning. The children can spend five classes learning this prayer. Therefore, you can divide it into parts, helping them to gradually commit it to memory. By the fifth class, they all should be able to say the entire prayer.
O Thou kind Lord! I am a little child, exalt me by admitting me to the kingdom. I am earthly, make me heavenly; I am of the world below, let me belong to the realm above; gloomy, suffer me to become radiant; material, make me spiritual, and grant that I may manifest Thine infinite bounties.
Thou art the Powerful, the All-Loving.
[an activity I've done quite a few times for this prayer, is to have big exaggerated actions for each phrase or part-phrase in the prayer. That way you can go through the whole prayer each lesson, and just becomes easier each week, as the children also begin to do it more independently.]
Listen HERE (children can clap along with the clapping) or HERE (same version as in the video below).
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A mirror that's covered up in dust
Cannot reflect the sun's bright light
A bird with wings all full of mud
Is unable to take flight
When all of our words are truthful
Our souls are able to progress
The foundation of all human virtues
We know is truthfulness
A ship cannot catch the wind
If it is using a torn sail
Eyes can't see the path ahead.
If they are covered up in veils
Truthfulness is brighter than the light of the sun. x2
With truthfulness, O people, beautify your tongues. x2
Honesty adorns the soul of everyone. x2
Honesty is brighter than the light of the [G]sun. x2
It is suggested that you explain the new quotation for the children to memorize in the following manner:
Truthfulness is one of the most essential spiritual qualities. We should never tell even the smallest lie. Why do people tell lies? Sometimes it is because they are afraid to tell the truth. Yet we all know that God is aware of all our actions and we cannot hide anything from Him. If we are not truthful, it will be very difficult for us to develop other virtues, and we will not attain nearness to God. Let us memorize the following quotation of Baha'u'llah:
"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues."
Put to music HERE.
Related rap HERE.
Below are some sentences that will help you to explain the meaning of the words in the above quotation which the children may find difficult.
1. Sanjay dropped a glass and broke it. When his mother asked him what had happened, he told her the truth and did not lie. Sanjay showed the virtue of truthfulness.
2. A friend wanted to play with Gita and went to her house to find her. Gita had homework and could not come out to play. Her brother said he would tell the friend that she was not home, but Gita did not want her brother to lie. Gita went outside and explained to her friend that she could not play because she had homework. Gita showed the virtue of truthfulness.
1. Alok's father was building a house. Before putting up the walls, he placed rocks and cement under the place where the walls would go. The rocks and cement form the foundation of the house.
2. Before you learn to read and write you have to know the sounds of the letters. learning the sounds of the letters is a foundation for learning to read and write.
1. Aurora is friendly, kind and joyful. Aurora possesses many virtues.
2. Mrs. Patel teaches the children about justice, generosity, humility, and honesty. These are some of the virtues that everyone should have.
[Quotations from other religions:
Buddhism: In whom are truth, virtue, harmlessness, restraint and control, that wise man who is purged of impurities, is, indeed, called an Elder. Dhammatthavagga
Judaism: [He that] speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness: Proverbs 12:17]
[Discuss: What truthfulness mean. Examples of how the children see truthfulness practiced in their daily lives. How truthfulness is practiced in your class. What various situations would look like without truthfulness. Why truthfulness is important.]
In a country far away, some time ago, there lived a young shepherd, who, while his father worked in the fields and his mother kept up the home, had the task of taking care of the family's sheep. One day, the boy felt very bored and decided to play a trick on his neighbours. Suddenly he started crying out, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is eating the sheep!" All of his friends came running to help chase away the wolf, but when they got there, they found the young shepherd laughing at them because they had received such a fright and really there was no wolf anywhere to be found. His friends went back to their work saying that the boy had behaved very badly.
The following day, the boy repeated his foolery. "Wolf! Wolf! Help me! Help me!" Some of the neighbours came running again to help, only to find the young shepherd laughing at them, because this time too it was a lie that a wolf was near. The third day, when they heard the boy call "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is eating the sheep! Please come help!" no one paid any attention because they thought it was just another lie. That day, the wolf did come and eat the sheep! The young shepherd was very sad, but he had learned a good lesson. If we tell lies, the day will come when neither our parents, our brothers and sisters, nor out friends will believe what we say, even when it is the truth!
[An addition/alternative to this
- "telephone game" (i.e. "Chinese Whispers - but losing the racist title). By tying the concept into truthfulness, you can say the more we repeat things without checking what the true story is, it's easy for the truth to be changed and to become not truthful.
- "two truths and a lie"
- "Truthfulness is the foundation Marshmallow Tower": Use new JUMBO size Kraft marshmallows and Food writers. Write letters T-R-U-T-H on Five marshmallows - use as foundation. Write virtue words on other marshmallows and stack on top. After the class has worked together on the tower they can have the marshmallows for a snack.]
- To make various virtue blocks (Truthfulness being a solid block type shape), the others being triangles and tubes etc.
- two puppets
- puppet A is tired of people not telling the truth and begins to built a sculpture out of virtue blocks, with truthfulness as the foundation.
- puppet B walks past, and questions whether truthfulness is or isn't the best foundation upon which to build the virtue sculpture. He tries a few alternatives, but none of them give the same stability to the structure.
- They both end up building the sculpture together and the friend is convinced, while we need all those other virtues too – truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.