If you knew that Jesus Christ was coming to speak to you, would you take time out from your playing to go and listen to Him? Each April and October, the prophet and other General Authorities speak to us in special meetings called general conference. They tell us the things the Savior would tell us if He were here. Their words are like the scriptures and will guide us in our lives.
In the Book of Mormon, we read about a king who was also a prophet. His name was Benjamin. When King Benjamin was getting very old, he wanted to teach his people about the Savior one more time before he died. He had a tall tower built near the temple, and he climbed upon the tower to speak so that he could be heard by all the people.
The people came with their families to hear him. They pitched their tents around the temple and were ready when King Benjamin spoke to them. However, there were so many people that they still couldn’t all hear him. So he had his words written down and given to them.
He taught them the things the Savior wanted them to do. He testified to them that the Savior, Jesus Christ, would come to them.
The people listened to their prophet. When he finished speaking to them, they wanted to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments. They made a covenant to always remember Jesus, and they taught their children the words of King Benjamin. The people became very righteous as they did what the Lord, through their prophet, asked them to do.
Last October, our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, spoke to us, and he will speak to us this April. Like King Benjamin, he speaks to us for the Savior. He tells us the things we should do to live our lives the way the Savior wants us to. He doesn’t need a high tower to speak to us today. He speaks to us from the new Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
The Center holds many people, but not everyone can go there to hear him, so his words are carried by television, radio, computer, and Church magazines to people all over the world. His words, like those of all the Latter-day Saint prophets before him, testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is important to listen to his words just as we would listen to Jesus Christ if He were here to speak to us.
Our prophet loves us just as the Savior loves us. If we do the things he teaches, we can be happier in this life. We can learn how to live again with Father in Heaven and the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is wonderful to know that through our prophet, the Savior is speaking to each of us!
Glue page 12 to a heavier piece of paper.
Cut out the two sections and the window in Section 1.
Under “Things the Prophet Asks Me to Do,” write four things you remember from conference that President Hinckley asked us to do.
Under “Things I Will Do to Follow the Prophet,” write four things you will do to follow the prophet’s counsel.
Color the pictures of children doing things that prophets have asked us to do.
Form two tubes by gluing the ends of Section 1 together, and then gluing the ends of Section 2 together (see illustration).
Place Section 2 inside Section 1, and turn it until a picture is visible. Each day, turn the pictures and remember what you will do to follow the prophet.
Things the Prophet Asks Me to Do
Things I Will Do to Follow the Prophet
I will pray.
I will study the scriptures.
I will remember the Savior.
I will be kind to others.
(Note: CS = Children’s Songbook; GAK = Gospel Art Kit)
1. Attach statements from conference addresses along a string, with BIRTH as a label at one end, and ETERNAL LIFE as a label at the other. To help the children understand how we are led by the words of our prophets, first explain that when we come to earth, we cannot remember Heavenly Father’s plan for us. We must learn from the scriptures and our living prophets about His plan and have the faith to follow their words.
Using a soft scarf to represent forgetting our premortal existence, blindfold a child and have him/her move along the string from Birth to a conference-address statement. Remove the blindfold and have him/her read the statement and tell how the message can be applied to his/her life. Repeat with different children (using a different scarf each time or simply having the children close their eyes) until all the messages have been read and the applications made. Sing “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19).
2. Play “What Song Am I?” Have the children toss a beanbag onto musical notes placed on the floor. When the beanbag lands on a note, tell the pianist the number on the note and have her play the first few notes of that song. Let the children guess which song it is. Tell them that this song teaches us one of the same messages that our prophet taught us in our last general conference. Ask what the message is. Have the child who identifies the message tell what she/he can do in the coming week to follow the prophet. Have her/him help lead the song. (Use songs similar to those listed in Idea #3.)
3. To help the children understand how we progress “line upon line,” have them build a ladder. Make a poster without rungs, and have the children draw the rungs from a container. Each rung should have written on it something that the prophets have counseled us to do (e.g., pay tithing, keep the Word of Wisdom, pray, hold family home evening, study the scriptures). Explain that with only one or two rungs, it is impossible to climb the ladder, but with all the rungs, we can climb to the top and obtain the peace and happiness that Heavenly Father has in store for those who follow the prophets’ counsel. Reinforce each subject by singing a song from the CS on that subject, noted on the back of the rung (e.g., • tithing / “I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing,” p. 150 • Word of Wisdom / “The Lord Gave Me a Temple,” p. 153 • family home evening / “Family Night,” p. 195 • scripture study / “Seek the Lord Early,” p. 108).
4. Invite a member of the bishopric/branch presidency to help with this Idea. Hang a sheet or blanket in the front of the Primary room. Have him stand behind it, and have a child stand in front of it. Have the bishopric/branch-presidency member whisper a scripture or some special message to the child; then have the child share it with the entire Primary. Explain that this is an example of one way the Lord speaks to us, that the child was speaking for the bishopric/branch-presidency member, just as our prophet speaks for the Lord. Have the bishopric/branch-presidency member share an experience he has had in which he was blessed by obeying the counsel of our prophet, and invite him to bear his testimony to the children.
5. Help the children memorize a portion of D&C 1:38 (see Teaching, No Greater Call, pp. 171–172). Explain that this scripture teaches us that Heavenly Father speaks to us through his servants, our prophets. Whenever the prophet teaches us, it is the same as if Heavenly Father is speaking to us.
Divide the children into four groups. Give the first group a picture of the First Vision (GAK 403) and have one child hold it up as they repeat: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken.” Repeat this procedure with the other three groups. Group two’s picture: Moses and the Burning Bush (GAK 107); its scripture: “whether by mine own voice.” Group three’s picture: President Hinckley (GAK 520); its scripture: “or by the voice of my servants.” Group four’s picture: a large equal sign; its scripture: “it is the same.” Occasionally a group might repeat the phrase silently in their minds. Repeat each phrase until the children have memorized the scripture.
6. Additional Friend resources: “At Conference Time” (song), Oct. 1997, pp. 12–13; “He’s Talking to Me,” May 1998, pp. 36–37, 11; “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Aug. 1998, IFC; “They Testify of Him,” Jan. 1999, pp. 24–25.