If God himself told His prophet something that the whole world needed to hear, but that prophet lived long ago or far away, how could we get the message? Answer: The prophets carefully wrote it down for us; we can find it in books and other writings called scriptures. The scriptures are the word of God revealed to prophets.
Hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was born, many Old Testament prophets promised the people that a Messiah (Savior) would come. Isaiah prophesied that a Child would be born (see Isa. 9:6). Micah said He would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2). Zechariah knew that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (see Zech. 11:12–13).
The New Testament was written by prophets who lived about the same time as Jesus Christ. Many heard Him teach, saw Him crucified, and talked with Him after His resurrection. They knew that He was the Son of God (see Matt. 16:16).
Book of Mormon prophets wrote a long record of their people who came to the Americas. They also wrote about Jesus Christ. Nephi saw much of the Savior’s life in a vision (see 1 Ne. 11:13–33). Alma prophesied that Jesus Christ’s mother’s name would be Mary (see Alma 7:10). Samuel the Lamanite prophesied that a new star would shine at Christ’s birth (see Hel. 14:2, 5). When the Savior visited the Nephites, the prophets wrote all that they could about what He taught them (see 3 Nephi 17). They wrote so that they could share it with us.
After Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, the Lord gave him other revelations, which are now included in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. These books contain important information about Jesus Christ and powerful testimonies that He lives (see D&C 76:22–24).
The Lord tells His prophets many things that we need to know—how to live, how to repent, what will happen in the future. But the most important thing the scriptures teach us is that Jesus is the Christ. Every prophet bears testimony of Him.
Refer to the illustrations on page 19 as you make a mobile that will remind you of some of the things God has told His prophets.
Mount pages 13 and 19 on heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. Color the mobile, then cut it out. Cut out the art pieces and the references.
Make a small hole through the five black dots in the mobile. Knot the ends of a 12″ (30 cm) piece of string together; pull the loop through the top hole, making a hanger.
Fold along the dotted lines, and glue the Side Tabs in place.
Tie a knot in one end of each of four 8″ (20 cm) pieces of string. With the knots on the inside of the mobile, thread a piece of string through each side hole.
Glue the Bottom Tabs in place with the “Prophets testify of Christ” square last.
Read the references for each set of scriptures and match them with the proper pictures (the frames around the pictures and the scripture references are color coordinated). Glue or tape each picture and its matched reference to the piece of string on its corresponding side of the mobile.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. Ask four adults, each using one of the following, to help you teach how we got the scriptures: (1) Bible—Bible Dictionary—“Bible”; (2) Book of Mormon—title page and Introduction; (3) Doctrine and Covenants—title page and Explanatory Introduction; (4) Pearl of Great Price—title page and Introductory Note. Each adult should also share his/her testimony of the assigned book. Divide the children into four groups and assign each group a learning area. When it is time for the groups to rotate to another area, have the pianist play a scripture song from CS (“The Golden Plates,” p. 86; “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” p. 57; etc.). The children could sing along.
2. To help the children memorize Amos 3:7, write the scripture and the reference across nine sheets of paper. On the reverse side of each paper, attach a picture of a prophet (include President Hinckley). Post the papers so the scripture reads correctly. Have the children repeat it once or twice. Then turn over the papers in random order, one or two at a time, and continue repeating the scripture until it is memorized and all the prophets are “revealed.” Share your own testimony that the Lord does reveal His will to the prophets.
3. Make warning signs, such as stop, icy road, steep grade, yield, railroad crossing, no entry, a poison symbol, etc. On the reverse side of each sign, attach a picture and/or scripture reference that shows how a prophet has warned the people. Possibilities: Noah and the flood (Moses 8:19, 23–24); Lot at Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1, 12–25); Joseph Smith and the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89); Moses and the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1–22); Jonah and the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1:1–2; Jonah 3); Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 102). Display the signs and discuss how these signs warn us of danger and how we are protected when we pay attention to them. Ask a child to identify a warning sign. Turn it over and tell about the picture or read the scriptures. Finish by telling them that because the Lord loves us, He tells His prophets what we need to know. If we listen to them, we will be blessed.
4. Have the younger children sit in a circle. Pass a beanbag around while singing or humming a scripture song from CS (“The Golden Plates,” p. 86; “Book of Mormon Stories,” p. 118; “Follow the Prophet,” p. 110; “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” p. 57; “Search, Ponder, and Pray,” p. 109). When the music stops, have the child holding the beanbag tell a scripture story.
5. Play a matching game with duplicates of some of the following pictures: scrolls, gold plates, a book of scripture, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd, the Prophet Joseph Smith, Moses, President Hinckley, etc. Face the pictures against the chalkboard and let the children take turns turning them over. When they get a match, have them tell about the picture.
6. Prepare four wordstrips: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants. Select from the Gospel Art Kit or your ward library one or two pictures depicting events told in each standard work. (Older children may just need the name of the event on a piece of paper.) Post the wordstrips and assign each class a picture to dramatize or tell about. After each presentation, have the class place its picture under the proper wordstrip. Suggested pictures: David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, the Wise Men, the Good Samaritan, Lehi finds the Liahona, Nephi builds a ship, Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, the pioneers go to the Salt Lake Valley.
7. For additional resources on the scriptures, see the following Friend articles: “The Words of Christ,” Mar. 1996, pp. 46–47, and “Search the Scriptures,” Aug. 1994, pp. 36–37.