Do you remember that Lehi and his family had to leave their home and go into the wilderness? Do you remember that one morning they found a special ball outside their tent door? (See 1 Ne. 16:10.) It was a compass to direct them in their journey. They called it Liahona. One pointer on the Liahona showed them the way to go, but it only worked when they had faith in God and obeyed His word. When they were lazy or unkind to each other, it stopped working, and they lost their way.
Alma tells us that the words of Christ—His teachings—are just like that compass. His words show us the straight course that will lead us to our Father in Heaven (see Alma 37:44). We can read His words in the scriptures. We can hear His words in the messages of His living prophets. When we have faith and choose the right, we will hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and understand the words of Christ. We will know the right way to go.
Jesus Christ came into the world to provide the way for us to live with Heavenly Father again. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, all the angels in heaven rejoiced. The angels knew that this little baby was the Son of God, born to be our Savior. Jesus Christ came into the world for us. He lived His life as an example for us to follow. He died so we could live again. He wants us to come unto Him, to live worthily so that we may again live with Him and Heavenly Father. Just as the shepherds came, just as the Wise Men came, just as the children came and gathered round His knee, we, too, can come to Jesus Christ. We “come unto Christ” today by listening to His words and by keeping His commandments.
Remove page 31 from the magazine; mount it on paper. Cut along all the dotted lines, including around the window opening and partly around the title and the figures in one panel. Then follow the instructions on page 31.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook)
1. To help the children memorize Moroni 10:32 [Moro. 10:32], hide different parts or pictures of a Nativity scene in the room. After the children find them, invite the children, one at a time, to bring each piece to the front and, while placing it in the appropriate place in the scene, repeat the scripture. When all the pieces are in place, have everyone repeat the scripture. Sing “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful” (Hymns, no. 202). Discuss what it means to “come unto Christ” today—to follow His example, to keep His commandments, to prepare to be baptized, etc. Pass out sheets of paper with one of the following scriptures printed on the bottom: Luke 2:16 (Mary, Joseph, and the Babe); Luke 2:8 (shepherds in a field); Luke 2:12–14 (angels); Matt. 2:1 (Wise Men). Have the children read and illustrate these parts of the Christmas story. If possible, mount the drawings on colored paper and display them in the Primary room or where other members of the ward can enjoy them before the children take them home. Use Moroni 10:32 [Moro. 10:32] in the display also.
2. To review the life of Jesus Christ, use pictures from the Primary 7 manual Picture Kit or the library. Make a scripture reference wordstrip for each picture. For example: Luke 2:16 (a manger scene); Luke 2:46 (teaching in the temple); Mark 1:9 (baptism); Matthew 4:19 [Matt. 4:19] (calling His disciples); Matthew 5 (Sermon on the Mount); Matthew 9:27–31 [Matt. 9:27–31] (healing the blind); Matthew 8:23–27 [Matt. 8:23–27] (stilling the tempest); Mark 5:21–24, 35–43 (daughter of Jairus raised); three parables: Luke 15:4–7 (Lost Sheep), Luke 15:11–32 (Prodigal Son), Luke 10:25–37 (Good Samaritan); Matthew 26:26–29 [Matt. 26:26–29] (Last Supper); Luke 22:40–46 (Gethsemane); John 19:18–19 (Crucifixion); Mark 16:1–6 (Resurrection); Matthew 16:27 [Matt. 16:27] (Christ coming in glory). Set up four learning areas and assign an adult helper/teacher to each one. Give each helper four pictures with matching scriptures to display in random order in his/her station. Divide the children into four groups and assign each group an area. When the groups move to another area, have the pianist play from the CS (“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” p. 57; “Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” p. 55; “Jesus Said Love Everyone,” p. 61, etc.). For older children: Give everyone a pencil and a paper entitled “I Can Read It in the Scriptures.” When they arrive at each area, have them write down a reference, find it in their scriptures, connect it with the appropriate picture, and have the helper invite a child to tell something about the story pictured. Then have the children write a brief note about the story next to the reference on their papers. Repeat the procedure for each reference. For younger children: Have them identify the story from the picture. Then have the helper read just a bit from the appropriate scripture to confirm that choice. At the conclusion, have the adult helpers bring forward the pictures of the Nativity, Christ teaching on earth, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection, and hold them up while the children sing “He Sent His Son” (CS, p. 34).
3. Show a picture of Lehi’s family discovering the Liahona (see Primary 4 manual Picture Kit 4-15 or library) and explain what a compass is. Discuss the comparison of the word of Christ to a compass in Alma 37:38–47. Invite the children to participate in a “compass course.” Pass out the following wordstrips, one to a class: (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,(2) Repentance, (3) Baptism by immersion, (4) Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ask each class to choose an appropriate scripture for their wordstrip, using the Topical Guide, and to be prepared to explain what it means. Also have them select and practice an appropriate song from the CS, using its Topical Index. (Younger children could select a picture that would emphasize the principle.) As the classes make their presentations, post the wordstrips in a path or a stairway to a picture of Jesus Christ or a Nativity scene. Sing “Picture a Christmas” (CS, pp. 50–51) or “I Want to Live the Gospel” (CS, p. 148) and remind them that following the Savior’s example and remembering His life and words are the best ways to celebrate Christmas.
4. This year we’ve been learning “I Know the Scriptures Are True.” When we search, ponder, and pray about the scriptures, we know that they are true, that they contain the word of God. Display the scriptures you’ve memorized in Primary and review them by inviting the children to share which scripture or scripture story has been a favorite or has had a special meaning for them and why. (You might ask several children in advance.) Intersperse their thoughts with the songs you’ve learned this year. Discuss Alma’s comparison of the word of God to a seed (see Alma 32:28–32). Read Alma 32:23 with them. Share your testimony of the scriptures and your understanding that children can also know that these things are true. Sing “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (CS, p. 109).
5. Jesus Christ is the great Example for us (see 2 Ne. 31:16). Help each child make a paper Advent chain for the days remaining before Christmas (see Friend, Dec. 1997, p. 20). Write on each link a Christlike characteristic they could emulate and an appropriate scripture reference. As the children make their chains, ask each teacher to discuss with them what they can do to emulate the characteristics. Examples for older children: Love—John 15:12; Humility—Matt. 18:4; Peacemaker—Matt. 5:9; Judge Not—Rom. 14:13; Meek—Matt. 5:5; Patient—Heb. 6:15; Pure in Heart—Matt. 5:8; Good Works—Matt. 5:16; Obedient—Eph. 6:1; Trust the Lord—Prov. 3:5–6; Forgiving—Luke 23:34; Kind—Matt. 7:12; Serve Others—Matt. 25:40; Merciful—Luke 6:36; Honesty—Philip. 4:8; Faith—Mark 11:22–23; Courage—Ps. 31:24; Endurance—1 Cor. 13:7; Charity—1 Cor. 16:14; Prayerful—Luke 11:1–4; Example—John 13:15; Clean Language—Matt. 5:34, 37; Righteous—Matt. 5:6; Witness—Luke 24:45–48. Each day, after they take off a link and read the characteristic and the scripture, they could carry the link in their pocket or post it on a door or mirror to remind them to try to be more like Jesus Christ in that way all day long. For younger children, put a picture on each link that represents something they could do for someone, such as: a smiling face (smile); a musical note (sing); a heart (love); a hand (help); a toy (share); a crayon (draw a picture), etc. Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (CS, pp. 78–79).
6. For additional resources on faith in Jesus Christ, see the following from the Friend: “Sharing Time Ideas,” Dec. 1995, p. 34; “A Christmas Message from the First Presidency to the Children of the World,” Dec. 1997, pp. 2–3; “Sharing Time Ideas,” Dec. 1997, pp. 14, 23; “Like a Star Shining Brightly,” Dec. 1997, pp. 24–25, 32.