Would you like to hear some good news? The word gospel means “good news.” What is the good news? The good news is that Jesus Christ came into the world and made a perfect atonement. He atoned (paid the price) for the sins of each person who repents. This was Heavenly Father’s plan from the beginning. He loved us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son so that everyone who believed in Him “should not perish, but have everlasting life” (see John 3:16). Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected so that each one of us can live again and be free from sin.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ cannot live where there is sin. Something had to be done so that if we sinned and then repented, we could live where They are. Before anyone was born on this earth, Jesus Christ was chosen to be the one to atone for the sins of the world. He came to earth to show us how to live. He came to earth to pay the price (atone) for our sins and provide a way for us to live with Him again.
What is the way? He is the way! (See John 14:6.) We come unto Him by following His gospel. The first principle of the gospel is to have faith in Jesus Christ. We must believe in Him and do what He tells us to do. He has told us that we must repent of our sins. When we are old enough to be accountable for our sins, we repent and are baptized by immersion to show that we want to be members of His Church and have our sins washed away. When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, our sins can be forgiven and the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion. He can guide us when we have choices to make and comfort us when we have sorrow. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can have love in our hearts for Heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ, and for every person. In the scriptures, Nephi promises us that if we will “press forward … and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Ne. 31:20).
Eternal life means that we will be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever, to live the kind of lives They live. That is, indeed, very good news!
You can help spread the “Good News.” Finish the newspaper on page 39 by cutting out the headlines, articles, and scriptures at the bottom of the page and gluing them in the appropriate places. You can also write and illustrate some articles.
THE GOOD NEWS!
“We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ” (A of F 1:4).
Faith is hoping for things we can’t see but are true (see Alma 32:21). And faith must be centered on Jesus Christ. Our faith grows when we obey gospel principles and choose the right.
(Glue scripture references)
WE MUST ENDURE TO THE END
(See #1, below)
(Will be baptized/was baptized)
(Month and year)
(Location of baptism)
(By immersion and by priesthood authority)
____________ (See John 3:5.)
GOSPEL SHARED WITH NEPHITES
RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST
(See #2, below.)
Be a reporter and ask three people what it means to endure to the end (see 2 Ne. 31:16). Write their answers below the headline.
Draw a picture of a child being confirmed.
When Jesus Christ came to the American continent after His Resurrection, He taught His gospel. He promised that whoever repents and is baptized shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (see 3 Ne. 27:20). The Savior promised, “If he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world” (3 Ne. 27:16).
FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE
Baptism is an essential ordinance.
Notes: This month you might practice “Press Forward, Saints” (Hymns, no. 81). Help the children understand any unfamiliar words or phrases. CS = Children’s Songbook.
1. Discuss John 14:6 with the children. To help them memorize the scripture, repeat the scripture, stop and let a child say the next word or phrase, then have another child add another word or two. Continue repeating the scripture until as many of the children as possible have had a turn.
2. Use sing-a-story (see Primary Sharing Time Resource Manual, pp. 26–27.) to tell the events of the last week of the Savior’s mortal ministry. Use the words of the songs to develop the story or themes, and the narrative to provide continuity. Involve the children actively in the story and/or songs. Suggestions: TRIUMPHAL ENTRY ON PALM SUNDAY—have children wave arms or palm branches of green paper as they sing “Hosanna” (CS, p. 66). LAST SUPPER—at the celebration of the Passover, the Savior instituted the sacrament. Display empty sacrament trays as you remind the children what the sacrament represents and what we promise. Sing “The Sacrament” (CS, p. 72). GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE—Jesus Christ asked His friends to watch with Him; He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matt. 26:39). Sing “To Think about Jesus,” (CS, p. 71). TRIAL AND CRUCIFIXION—The Savior was taken from the house of Caiphas to Pilate’s Roman fortress, to Herod’s Palace, and back to Pilate, who washed his hands of the event and allowed the Crucifixion to go forward. Make a sign saying “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.” Sing “Help Us, O God, to Understand” (CS, p. 73). RESURRECTION—share the story from John 20 and display folded “linen clothes.” Sing “Jesus Has Risen” (CS, p. 70). Bear your testimony of the importance of the Atonement. Have children hold up appropriate pictures from the library or the Primary 7 manual picture kit while everyone sings “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (CS, p. 74).
3. Find a large picture of a family and mount it on heavy paper. Write on the back of the picture, “The Atonement makes it possible for families to be together forever.” Cut the picture into puzzle pieces. Pass out the pieces and have the children assemble the puzzle on a wall or chalkboard. After the puzzle is assembled, tell them that there is a secret message on the back of it that tells us something important about keeping the family together. Pass out the pieces again and assemble the message side. Sing “Families Can Be Together Forever” (CS, p. 188). Optional: Make a puzzle for each child to take home and share with his/her family.
4. Bring a bag, backpack, or bucket filled with several heavy objects that have been labeled with sins such as cheating, disobeying parents, lying. Let the children take turns holding the heavy bag. Then have a child take out the objects. When all the “sins” are removed, the child’s “burden,” or heavy load will be light. Compare the weight of the heavy bag and the light bag. Jesus Christ told us that if we come unto Him through faith, repentance, and baptism, our burdens will be lightened. Repentance is being sorry for committing a sin, not doing it again, and then trying to live more like the Savior. Use a bottle of clear water as a representation of a person free from sin. Drop a small amount of food coloring in the water and point out how the color spreads throughout the water. Compare this to sin. Then add a few drops of liquid bleach to clear up the color. Compare this to how repentance cleanses us from sin. Note: Try this experiment in advance to know how much food coloring and bleach to use. (See Primary 4 manual, pp. 47–49.)
5. Prepare these five wordstrips: “Faith in Jesus Christ,” “Repentance,” “Baptism by Immersion,” “Gift of the Holy Ghost,” and “Endure to the End.” For each wordstrip, leave the very small words intact, then cut the letters of the other words apart and paperclip them together; put all pieces of each wordstrip in a separate envelope. Include the following instructions: (1) Use these letters to spell an important gospel principle. (2) Look up the principle in the Topical Guide of the scriptures. (3) Choose a scripture about this principle to share with the Primary. (4) Tell us about, or act out the story of, a person in the scriptures who was a good example of this principle. Give each class or group of children an envelope. Allow time for the children to prepare and report. For the younger children: Take five pieces of different-colored paper and cut them in half. Write a gospel principle on a half piece of colored paper; on the matching half write the title of a song that applies to that principle (look in the CS Index under Topics). Repeat the procedure for the other four principles. Pass out a principle to each class. Have the teacher discuss the principle with his/her class. Post the song titles on the chalkboard. Have a child report about their class principle. Then have another child from that class choose the colored paper on the chalkboard that matches their principle. Sing the song listed. Continue until all the classes have reported.
6. See the following from the Friend for additional resources: “The Atonement,” Mar. 1995, pp. 48–49; “Jesus Christ’s Atonement Is the Greatest Gift of Love,” Feb. 1996, pp. 36–37; “Always Remember Him,” May 1996, IFC; “Remembering Jesus,” May 1996, pp. 44–45; “The Gift of Obedience,” Dec. 1996, pp. 14–15; “Jesus of Nazareth,” Apr. 1997, IFC; “Repentance,” Apr. 1997, pp. 36–37. See also the Primary 7 manual, especially lessons 29–33.