Thursday, September 27, 2012

Memorizing the 10 Commandments

The 10 Commandments are a fairly universal concept across religions, but I have always struggled to remember them.  I never learned any mnemonics to help me remember the order of the 10 commandments before, either, which is just sad, really.  But Paul taught me the ones his mission companion taught him. A few of them I didn’t like (they were a little hard for me to remember), so I did some internet research and together we came up with our own mixture to help us remember. and we spent an FHE compiling our own list and taking pictures (please excuse the gross, graying, tired-after-a-long-day-of-work me in them and focus on the hands instead :).    So, for your FHE/lesson-planning enjoyment, I give you, the 10 Commandments a la Fernandez.  :)

1. Hold up index finger, pointing toward heaven.  We should only have ONE God.

2. Hold up both index fingers and put them on either side of your head, kinda like a devil or the horns of a bull.  This could represent some of the “graven images” people worship that we should NOT make.

3. Hold up your first three fingers to make a “W”.  W stands for “Watch your Words.”  We must take care not to offend God by taking his name in vain (or, by extension, using other offensive language).

4. Remember that old finger play rhyme, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open up the doors and see all the people?”  Your thumbs and index fingers make 4 fingers total.  We can remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy by going to Church.

5. This one I made up, knowing a little American Sign Language.  If you make the sign for Father and Mother, you actually use all 5 fingers of your dominant hand to do them.

6. Don’t kill—open up one hand and aim a “gun” (forefinger of the other hand) at it…6 fingers, don’t kill.

7. Hold out a flat, open hand, palm up.  Stand two fingers (like a little running man) on top of it.  The open hand represents a Church, and the two fingers represent a bride and groom making covenants and promises of fidelity and virtue.  We should not break those promises by committing adultery.
 (And a fun alternative to number 7, again using some ASL...the number seven is actually touching your thumb to your ring finger...a symbol of marriage/commitment.  Love that one, too.)

8. One of my favorites—hold up four fingers on each hand (no thumbs) and put them across your face like jail cell bars.  Don’t steal or you’ll go to jail!  J

9. This one is hard to explain…look at the picture for clarification…but the cunning and sneaky “I’ve got you now” fingers (minus a thumb that is hiding inside) could represent the bad intentions of someone who is bearing false witness.  I also read online that the thumb could be the one bad person in the group of ten who decided not to tell the truth, who is being sneaky and hiding from the rest.

10. Make grabby hands.  Thou shalt not covet.   If you do it palms up and grab towards you a little, you actually do the ASL sign for want.  ;)

There you have it!  An easy way for anyone, but especially your little movers, to remember the 10 commandments!  :)


  1. wonderful way to present an object lesson
    object lessons are perfect way to teach
    children and young adults.
    thanks for the idea and all of your good works.

  2. Cool idea...10 commandments, gonna be our next thing to memorize!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I am going to work on this for my kiddos!