By Barry Ebert

Teaching Our Children Well  » 

There is a golden thread that runs through every religion in the world. There is a golden thread that runs through the lives and the teachings to all the prophets, seers, sages, and saviors in the world’s history, through the lives of all men of truly great and lasting power. All that they have ever done or attained to has been done in full accordance with law. What one has done, all may do.

— Ralph Waldo Trine, Preface to “In Tune With the Infinite,” 1897

When Marjorie Helms decided to begin work on a children’s curriculum about the common truths that run through all of the world’s major religions, she had a clear motivation: She wanted her own children to know these truths.

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Marjorie Helms, creator of “The Golden Thread of Truth” curriculum

Helms is a successful businesswoman and a Religious Science practitioner, but more than that, she’s a mom who wants her two sons to have a strong spiritual foundation.

“I think it’s such a gift for the boys [Jonathan is 13 and Christopher is 10] to grow up with the teachings of Science of Mind and Spirit,” Helms says. “And I think that the stories from all the great religions add to the richness of their spiritual education. This is where we can see the similarities between the religions instead of the differences. This is where the truth shines through.”

Visit TheGoldenThreadOfTruth.com for more information.

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It is the stories that form the core of Helms’s curriculum, and the accompanying crafts and activities are tied to the stories’ central themes. These stories tell the things that we hope all parents would do their best to tell their children regardless of their particular faith: Love thy neighbor; you reap what you sow; we are stewards of the Earth and each other; treat others as you would like to be treated; there is a power much bigger than us in the universe and we can align with it.

The curriculum is created for different age levels, beginning with K–3 and continuing up to discussion questions for tweens and teens. All of the curriculum is available online at her website TheGoldenThreadOfTruth.com and includes links to various videos, YouTube pieces and music. The project is now available to all and provides great support for home-schoolers and parents.

“The world is changing very quickly,” Helms says, “and a lot of people are so busy that they don’t make it to a church on a regular basis. This gives parents a way to get involved and also be more consistent. It’s parents who make the biggest difference in how children think about spiritual things.”

Teachings From the Great Religions

The Golden Thread curriculum introduces children to spiritual masters and teachers from all the great religions including Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. There is also wisdom from the lives of Aristotle, Solomon and Confucius as well as Lao Tzu and the teachings of the Tao.

Dr. Ernest Holmes was drawn to the similarities of the great religions and felt that we would be best served to place our focus on our common points rather than fighting about our differences. In his book “How to Use the Science of Mind,” written in 1948, he spoke clearly about his views on the subject that still ring true today:

We should waste no time in futile arguments as to what religion or spiritual outlook is right or wrong, but gladly accept the evidence of anyone’s prayer and faith as a demonstration of that person’s belief. Too much time is lost in arguing whether or not one’s philosophy is the only correct one, her religion the only true one, his method of procedure the only effective one. Let us leave these arguments to the contentions of smaller minds and try to find the thread of Truth running through all systems. Let us build on the affirmative and forget the negative.

In his books and lectures, Holmes was primarily speaking to adults, many of whom were already familiar with the Hebrew Bible and the teachings of Jesus. The middle section of “The Science of Mind” is filled with Holmes’s interpretations of Jesus’s parables, but these won’t make much sense unless we are familiar with the parables themselves. It is up to us, in the ongoing generations, to teach our children these time-less stories.

Planting the Seed of Discovery

The Parable of the Sower contains the very essence of the teachings of Science of Mind and is an easy-to-understand story of the Creative Process that shapes all our lives. This story, along with planting a seed in a small cup of fertile soil, opens the door for a young mind to the many ideas that the spiritual masters have brought to the world.

Jennifer Owens and her husband, Jason, are volunteer teachers in the Youth Ministry at the Calgary Center for Spiritual Living and she’s thankful for the difference the Golden Thread has made at her center. She has between three and 30 children in her room on Sunday mornings, including her 9-year-old daughter Kyra, and feels that the curriculum is connecting.

“It’s terrific,” Owens offers. “We started when it first began in December of 2012, and we’ve stuck with it. It’s a great way for kids to learn about other religions and get comfortable with them. I’m glad that the Science of Mind principles are so present in the lessons. There was a great unit on Holmes’s book ‘This Thing Called You.’ I think that book is one of his most friendly for people who are new to Science of Mind, and the kids were into it. Because their parents are studying Science of Mind, the kids are open to the ideas and comfortable talking about them and reflecting them back.”

Owens said that when their family went camping for a weekend during the summer, her daughter wanted to know when they were going back to church. That’s when she knew that they must be doing something right.

“It’s a great feeling to know that she enjoys being at church and wants to learn. It’s something we can all do together.”

“The story is at the heart of the lesson,” Helms explains. “And it goes from a very simple story to a more detailed version for the older kids. It’s up to the teacher to figure out how to best deliver the story and get things going. The crafts are important, too. Some kids feel more comfortable talking about things when their hands are busy doing something. It’s all about bringing the story to life.”

As the curriculum completes its second year and Helms looks forward, she has developed an online store to make more products available to teachers and parents. She intends to have a full three-year Golden Thread Curriculum available on the site.

In the end, the goal of this new spin on ancient wisdom is to help our children learn the stories that live in the hearts of people of all faiths all over the planet. This is how we will create peace, through a celebration of the great tapestry of truth that all the spiritual masters have used to shine a light upon the path of the human journey.