Think about your very best friend. Do you know your friend really well? Do you know if your friend likes to read or to sing or is kind to others? Do you spend time together? You probably like to do many of the same things, right? Even if best friends don’t look alike, they often think alike. Sometimes a good friend lives so far away you have to write letters or phone long distance, but you can still be friends.
You have another good Friend Whom you know a lot about. You know where He was born and what His mother’s name was. You know that He went to the temple when He was twelve years old. You know that when He grew up to be a man, He was baptized in the River Jordan by His cousin, John the Baptist. You probably know many of the stories about His life and what He taught. You know that He loves you. Did you know that the more you come to know this wonderful Friend, Jesus Christ, the more you will understand that He can be your very best friend?
The scriptures are a wonderful place to learn about Jesus Christ. Think of some of your favorite scripture stories. The New Testament tells how He called His apostles to leave their fishing nets and follow Him. They came immediately. Great multitudes of people followed after Him to hear Him teach. He taught them how to pray and how to treat each other kindly. He said that each should be a good example—like a light that would shine forth to all men.
One time His disciples were on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. A great storm arose, and they were afraid that they would perish. Jesus Christ calmed the winds and the water, and His friends were safe. (See Luke 8:22–25.) We can also be safe in His care.
The Savior healed those with problems. The blind could see again, the lame could walk, the sorrowing were comforted. He worked miracles to bless the people because He loved them. He still works miracles today. He loves you. He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). When we keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, we are following Him. He will help us follow Him. We will come to know the Savior when we follow Him, pray to Heavenly Father in His name, learn about Him in the scriptures, and love Him.
Look at the picture on page 45 of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Find hidden in the picture the objects shown in the box below it (all are related to the life of Jesus Christ), then color it.
Note: CS = Children’s Songbook. This month you might want to practice from it: “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” (p. 57) and “This Is My Beloved Son” (p. 76).
1. Tell or read the story of Jesus Christ stilling the wind and the waves (see Matt. 8:23–27). Clear an area in the room. Ask some of the children to form a boat by holding hands in an elongated circle. Give lightweight pie tins or pan lids to two or three children representing the storm. Give blue paper or fabric to those representing the waves of the sea. Choose two or three children to be disciples, and let one child hold a picture of Jesus Christ. Have the children dramatize their parts as everyone else sings “Master, the Tempest Is Raging” (Hymns, no. 105).
2. Discuss John 17:3, explaining what “life eternal” means. (See D&C 14:7 and footnote references.) To help the children memorize John 17:3, write on the chalkboard or on a chart the first letter of each word to be memorized: A t i l e, t t m k t t o t G, a J C, w t h s. Point to the letters as you repeat each corresponding word. Repeat until they no longer need the letters.
3. To help the children learn more about Jesus Christ, ask four adults in your ward/branch to each talk about one of the following subjects in the Bible Dictionary, using simple props: (1) “Galilee,” and “Galilee, Sea of”—maps, pictures, fishing net; (2) “Clothing”—simple clothing, similar to what is mentioned; (3) “Education”—scriptures written on a scroll, writing materials, picture of the boy Jesus in the temple; (4) “Barley,” “Corn,” “Fig tree,” “Fish,” “Olive tree,” “Rye,” and “Vine”—samples of these foods, or, if not available, pictures of them. Have the classes rotate from speaker to speaker; remind them that in the Savior’s time, walking was how the people usually went from place to place, even if the distance was long.
4. Give each class a slip of paper with a scripture reference on it of a parable (see examples below). Allow them time to read the parable and practice how they want to dramatize it. After each class dramatization, let the other children guess which parable was presented. Then ask, “What does Jesus Christ want us to learn from this parable?” Parable possibilities: Luke 10:25–37—the good Samaritan (love your neighbor); Matt. 25:1–13—the ten virgins (gain your own testimony); Matt. 25:14–30—the talents (be good and faithful and improve yourself); Matt. 25:31–46—the sheep and the goats (what we do to each other, we do unto the Savior); Matt. 20:1–14—laborers in the vineyard (all who labor receive the same reward); John 10:1–18—the Good Shepherd (Christ knows His sheep and they know Him); Luke 15:11–24—the prodigal son (repentance brings forgiveness).
5. Have each class read in the scriptures an event from the life of Jesus Christ (see suggestions below). Then you act as a reporter doing a “man on the street” interview with each class, using a real or pretend portable microphone. Ask the class members questions so that all the children will learn what happened in the incident and why it was important. Help the children appreciate that this was the “news” of the day. Possible scriptures: Matt. 3:13–17—Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan; Matt. 4:18–22—the calling of the first disciples; Mark 10:13–16—blessing the children; Matt. 8:23–27—calming the storm; John 2:13–16—cleansing the temple; 3 Ne. 17:21–25—blessing the Nephite children in the Americas. For younger children, tell them the event and then say, “Let’s pretend we were there,” and ask them simple questions.
6. Tell or read some of the miracles Jesus Christ performed and display a simple drawing you have made of an object that could represent each one, such as: John 2:1–11—changing water into wine (water jug); John 9:1–7—healing the blind man on the Sabbath (an eye); Mark 6:34–44—feeding the five thousand (two fishes, five loaves); Matt. 8:5–13—healing the centurion’s servant (Roman helmet); Luke 7:11–15—raising the son of the widow of Nain (tombstone); Matt. 15:29–31—healing the lame, blind, and dumb (crutch, eye, mouth); Matt. 17:24–27—finding the tribute coin in the mouth of a fish (coin); Luke 17:11–19—ten lepers healed (words “thank you”); Matt. 14:22–33—Jesus Christ walks on the water (waves). Clear an area in the room and have the children sit in a circle. Put the drawings in a stack, drawing side down, in the middle of the circle. Have the children pass a beanbag while the pianist plays “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” CS, p. 57. When the music stops, the person holding the beanbag selects a drawing, then identifies the miracle it represents. Continue playing the game as time permits.
7. For additional resources on Jesus Christ, see the following from the Friend: “This Is My Beloved Son,” Dec. 1992, pp. 12–13; “I Can Feel Peace as I Become More Like My Heavenly Father,” Feb. 1994, pp. 12–13; “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus,” Dec. 1994, p. 23; “I Believe That Jesus Will Come Again,” Sep. 1995, pp. 12–13. See also the Primary 7 manual, lessons 1–28 and the pictures. (The pictures could be used to teach songs or to play matching games.)