Sharing Time: Follow the Prophet


What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, … whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same (D&C 1:38).
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, … whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same (D&C 1:38).

Follow the Prophet

Because Heavenly Father wants you to return to live with Him, He has called prophets to teach and guide you. When you listen to the prophet, you are listening to the person our Father in Heaven has called to represent and speak for Him.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has asked us to strengthen our families (see Ensign, May 1999, 88–89). He tells us that if we will look for the good in one another, there will be happiness in our homes. There will be less quarreling. There will be more forgiveness and happiness!

Many years ago, 11-year-old Cori sat in front of the television listening to general conference. When she was younger, she drew pictures, but today she was listening closely for the things the prophet wanted her to do. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) asked everyone to read the scriptures, go to the temple, spend more time with their families on Sunday, and have family home evening. Cori knew that if she followed the prophet, she could help make her family stronger. Today Cori knows that following the prophet’s counsel increased her family’s love for one another and for Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). When you follow the prophet, you are following Jesus Christ.

General Conference Activity

Make copies of page 14 for each family member. During each session of conference, listen for a talk given by a member of the First Presidency or one of the Apostles. In the left side of each box on page 14, write what you learned from him and then draw a picture of it. In the right side, write what you will do to follow his counsel and draw a picture of it.

Christ Holding Sacrament Bread(click to view larger)

Detail from Christ Holding Sacrament Bread, by Del Parson, © 1982 IRI

General Conference Messages

Saturday Morning Session Speaker What I learned: What I will do to follow his counsel:

Saturday Afternoon Session Speaker What I learned: What I will do to follow his counsel:

Sunday Morning Session Speaker What I learned: What I will do to follow his counsel:

Sunday Afternoon Session Speaker What I learned: What I will do to follow his counsel:

Sharing Time Ideas

(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)

1. Read aloud D&C 1:38. Prophets are servants of the Lord and speak for Him to guide and direct us. Share the story of the prophet Joshua from the Old Testament. The children of Israel had left their homes and wandered in the wilderness for more than 40 years. Through Joshua, the Lord promised the children of Israel that the city of Jericho would be theirs. He told Joshua what the people should do, and Joshua told the people.

Read together and role-play (see TNGC, p. 178) the account in Josh. 6:6–16, 20. You will need children to portray Joshua, the seven priests (with rolled-up paper for ram’s horns), and the children of Israel. Rather than shout, sing a song or hymn while the children stand and represent the wall around Jericho. Have the children sit down to represent the wall falling down. Give a choral reading (see TNGC, p. 163). Have “Joshua” say, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Have everyone respond with a choral reading of Josh. 24:24. Bear testimony that our homes will be blessed and our families will be strengthened as we choose to obey the prophets and serve the Lord.

2. Help the children understand that prophets strengthen our families by showing us how to follow Jesus Christ and walk in His light. Ask a child to leave the room while you hide a picture of a home. Invite the child back in, and ask him or her to go “home.” Tell the child there is someone who knows the way and can help. Turn off the lights, give another child a flashlight, and have him or her guide the “lost child” to the “home” by shining the light on the floor. Teach the children that even though we need physical light, spiritual light is even more important. Our prophets teach us how to walk in our Savior’s light. Sing “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” (p. 177).

Our latter-day prophets have taught the importance of families. Just as the flashlight helped to light the way to the picture of the home, our prophet’s counsel becomes the tool we need to build up our homes and strengthen our families each day.

Cut a picture of a family into puzzle pieces, and write counsel given from our prophets on each piece. (See recent conference issues and “Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice.”) Then attach the pieces to tools used for building (flashlight, screwdriver, yardstick, measuring tape, pliers, wrench, and so on), and display them on a table.

Divide the Primary into groups, and have a child from each group choose a tool. Ask the groups to discuss how the prophet’s counsel can be like a tool to build our families and be prepared to (1) say what they can specifically do to follow the counsel and (2) suggest a song or hymn that reinforces the counsel. One at a time, have them place their puzzle pieces on the board, and report and sing. Younger children could “show” what they can do to follow the counsel. Testify that just as we have talked about and shown ways to live and follow our prophet’s counsel in Primary, we can build our own homes on the teachings of Jesus and strengthen our families as we follow the prophet. Encourage the children to share in family home evening what they have learned.

3. Long ago when soldiers went into battle, they dressed in metal armor and carried swords and shields to protect themselves from the swords and arrows of their enemies. President Gordon B. Hinckley has explained that the reason we have “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” now is because the family is under a kind of attack and needs to be strengthened (see Ensign, Aug. 1997, 5). Today in the battle against evil, we can stand prepared by wearing a different kind of armor. It is called the armor of God. (See Eph. 6:11–17.) Such armor is what we call spiritual strength. It helps us to withstand temptation and be strong in living the commandments.

Living My Gospel Standards (see pp. 24–25 of this issue) will help strengthen our armor. Prepare case studies (see TNGC, pp. 161–62) that give children an opportunity to tell and/or show how they can live some of the standards. Write “I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family” on the board. Recite this standard by having each child repeat one word at a time. The child who says the last word (family) chooses a case study to answer. Repeat.

Learn the song “I Stand Prepared” (Friend, Jan. 1995, 12–13) by singing a line at a time and letting the children echo it back. Bear testimony that when we clothe ourselves with spiritual strength, we can be an example of one who puts on the whole armor of God and is a source of strength for our families.

4. During singing time, tell the children our Primary songs remind us of the many things we can do to follow the prophet’s counsel and strengthen our families. Make 10 large musical notes out of paper, and write a number between two and five on each one. Randomly place the notes on the floor (number side up). Tell the children they will have an opportunity to guess a Primary song by hearing only two, three, four, or five notes of it. Have a child toss a beanbag onto a note. Have the pianist play that number of notes of a song you have chosen. Let the children guess the song and then sing it. If they are unable to guess, have the pianist continue to add one note until they recognize the melody.

Invite a girl and a boy to stand at the front of the room and slowly turn around in circles during the song. Girls sing when the girl is facing them, and the boys sing when the boy is facing them. Everyone sings when both children are facing the group. Take turns using other repeating devices as desired (stop, go; children wearing blue, children wearing brown; and so on). Ask them what the message or gospel principle is in the song, and remind them of our prophet’s counsel to obey this principle. Suggested songs: “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14), “Truth from Elijah” (pp. 90–91), “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), “Seek the Lord Early” (p. 108), “Love One Another” (p. 136), “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–47), “Stand for the Right” (p. 159), “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61), “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–65), “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188), “Love Is Spoken Here” (pp. 190–91), “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197).

5. Post a picture of the prophet in the center of a large poster. Ask the children to name things the prophet has told us the Savior wants us to do; then write the answers on the poster (for example, pray, read scriptures, be kind). While you sing “We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” (Hymns, no. 22), allow the children to come up and write their initials next to things they will do during the week. Let them trace their shoes on a piece of paper and write or draw what they will do this week to follow the prophet. Younger children could sing “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197) and adapt the first words to “When the prophet tells me.”

6. Friend references: “From Latter-day Prophets: Ezra Taft Benson,” May 2001, IFC; “A Prophet’s Counsel,” May 2001, 2–4; “Friend to Friend: Family and Gospel,” Mar. 2001, 6–7; “Blessings Come When We Follow the Prophet,” June 2001, 38; “I Can Follow the Prophet,” Sept. 2001, 20. Other references: “Words of the Prophet: Your Family,”New Era, June 2003, 4–6; “Our Greatest Happiness,”New Era, June 2003, 12–15. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.