What does it mean to have faith? Faith is believing in things that are not seen but are true (see Alma 32:21). The first principle of the gospel is to have faith in Jesus Christ. Even though we have not seen Jesus, we can have faith that He lives and loves us.
Our faith in Jesus Christ will grow as we read about Him. The New Testament teaches of when He was on the earth. We can read about Jesus healing a blind man and calming a storm. The New Testament teaches that He suffered for our sins, that He died, and that He was resurrected on the third day.
The Book of Mormon teaches that after Jesus Christ was resurrected, He visited the people in America. Many saw and touched Jesus. He administered the sacrament, healed the sick, and organized His Church.
The Pearl of Great Price gives us the account of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Joseph Smith had faith that Heavenly Father would answer his prayer. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.
We can read the testimony of Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants: “This is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God” (D&C 76:22–23). As we read the testimonies of those who knew Him, our faith will grow and we too will bear testimony that Jesus Christ lives today and that He knows and loves us.
Remove page 14 from the magazine, and glue it to heavy paper. Cut along the solid lines. Form the long panel into a box by folding the dotted lines and gluing the tab. Draw or glue a picture of yourself in the blank panel, and write something you will do on the blank lines. Fold the five small panels along the dotted lines so the pictures and scriptures are on the outside. Punch holes where indicated. Attach pieces of string to the top of the box. Tie the picture of yourself to the strings at the top of the box so it hangs through the center of the box and 5″ (13 cm) below the bottom of the box. Tie the four remaining pictures to the bottom of the box. (See illustration.)
And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me (Moro. 7:33).
And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him (Gen. 7:5).
I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded (1 Ne. 3:7).
I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God (JS—H 1:15).
Get on your knees and pray and stand on your feet and do His will and put your trust and faith in Him, and God will bless you (Ensign, Apr. 2002, 5).
Because of my faith in Jesus Christ, I will _______________________.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed out from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Using the shape of the shield in the front of the CTR manual as a pattern, draw a large version of the shield and cut it out. Cut the shield into seven puzzle pieces and write on each piece one of the following scripture references that teach of the characteristics of Jesus Christ: Abr. 3:27 (Christ chosen as Savior), Jacob 4:9 (Creator), John 20:31 (Jesus is the Christ, Son of God), 3 Ne. 27:21 (example), John 11:25 (made it possible for us to be resurrected), Alma 34:8 (atoned for our sins), D&C 110:2–8 (He lives today and guides His prophet). Teach the children the fourth article of faith and that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. He is our Savior. He lives today and loves each of us. Divide the children into seven groups and give each group a puzzle piece. Invite each group to find the scripture reference, decide what it teaches about Jesus Christ, and write that quality on the puzzle piece. Invite one child from each group to bring the piece up and put the puzzle together. Ask, “How can our faith in Jesus Christ form a shield? Why is a shield of faith important for us to have today?” Read and discuss D&C 27:15–17. Bear testimony of your faith in the Savior. Give each child a small paper shield on which they can write an expression of faith, gratitude, and testimony of Jesus Christ to take home and share with their families. Sing “He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35).
For younger children: Use GAK pictures from the New Testament section to teach characteristics of Jesus. Let them draw on the paper shield a picture of one thing they can do to show they are thankful for Jesus Christ.
2. Put the following pictures in an upside-down stack: GAK 304 (Lehi and His People Arrive in the Promised Land), 308 (Abinadi before King Noah), 310 (Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni), 313 (Two Thousand Young Warriors), 314 (Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall), and Primary 4-26 (An Angel Appears to Alma and the Sons of Mosiah). Write the names of each of the prophets shown on the pictures, as well as the names of two or three other Book of Mormon prophets, on the chalkboard. Tell the children that the names of the prophets, plus others not shown in the pictures, have been written on the board as clues. Invite a child to choose a picture from the stack without showing it to anyone else. Let the child look at the picture to identify the prophet and review the story in his or her mind. Have the child play “Who Am I?” with the rest of the Primary children by answering their questions with “yes” or “no” until the children can guess which prophet he or she represents. Also, they must ask questions beginning with the phrase, “Did your faith in Christ. …” (Example: “Did your faith in Christ help you protect the king’s flocks?”) Play the game until each prophet is known. Sing the verse from “Book of Mormon Stories” (pp. 118–19) that teaches about that prophet.
3. Post a picture of the Savior at the top of the chalkboard. Have the children follow along in their scriptures as you summarize the principles in Alma 32:27–43. Teach the importance of planting the seed of faith in our hearts. Draw a seed on the chalkboard and ask, “How do we nourish the seed?” Have the older children turn to pages 4–5 in their Faith in God guidebooks and review the basic requirements for the Faith in God Award. Pick songs from the Children’s Songbook that teach each principle of the basic requirements—for example: prayer, “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14). Play a brief “music clue” to identify one of the basic requirements that will help us nourish our faith. Invite the child who identifies the clue to come to the chalkboard and draw stems, leaves, or branches on the “growing” plant. While that child is drawing, toss a beanbag to two or three other children and invite each to stand and tell one thing they could do this week to nourish their faith with that requirement. Sing the songs and repeat for all six of the requirements. Have the last child who draws on the chalkboard add the “precious fruit.” Direct the children to the promise of the “fruit” in Alma 32:42. Help them find the footnote reference for the account of Lehi’s vision in 1 Ne. 8:10–18. Compare the verses about “fruit” in 1 Nephi with those in Alma. Sing “Faith” (pp. 96–97).
For younger children: Instead of using the Faith in God guidebook, teach the same principles of prayer, etc., with pictures from the GAK.
4. Because of their faith in Christ, modern prophets and prophets of old have fulfilled the work of God even in the face of strong opposition. Heavenly Father blesses those who keep His commandments in faith. Post the following GAK pictures on a board and briefly tell (or have the children help you tell) the stories: 102—Building the Ark (story on back of picture), 303—Nephi Subdues His Rebellious Brothers (story on back of picture), 416—Translating the Book of Mormon (story from Primary 5 manual, lesson 5), 507—Brigham Young (story of crossing plains from Primary 5 manual, lessons 40 and 41), 520—Gordon B. Hinckley (story of Accra Ghana Temple in Ensign, May 2000, 25–26; Mar. 2004, 75). Emphasize that these prophets were blessed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Sing “Stand for the Right” (p. 159). Divide the Primary into five groups. Give each group a pair of shoes that they would associate with one of the prophets; for example, rain boots (Noah), sandals (Nephi), Sunday shoes (President Gordon B. Hinckley), cowboy boots (Brigham Young), and work boots (Joseph Smith). Each group is to choose one of My Gospel Standards and determine how faith in Christ will help them live that standard and what blessings they will receive as they live it. Let one child from each group stand in the “prophet’s shoes” and tell about their gospel standard and the blessings that come as they live it. Let the children guess which prophet they represent. Sing “Dare to Do Right” (p. 158).
5. Song Presentation: To teach “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” (Friend, Jan. 2003, 24–25), begin by teaching the melody. Sing the song for the children. Invite them to stand and “follow in faith” by marching in place to the 4/4 beat as you sing it again. Have the children hum the melody with you while they are still standing and marching. Point out that the melody is repeated within the verse except for in the last two measures of the sections. Post a picture of the Savior on the board facedown and cover it with pictures from the GAK or Primary packets that illustrate the concepts in each line of the song. Pick four pictures for each verse such as GAK 617 (Search the Scriptures), GAK 607 (Young Girl Speaking at Church), etc. Verse two might include GAK 216 (Christ and the Children), poster of My Gospel Standards, etc. Teach the words to the song by singing the first verse to the children. Invite them to listen to the words as they look at the pictures on the board and decide which picture illustrates each phrase in the verse. Tell them that there are no wrong choices. Sing the first half of the first verse and ask the children to do three things: 1) listen for a blessing from the Lord, 2) listen for something “I will” do, and 3) identify the pictures that illustrate the words. Take responses. Remove the pictures and place them in order on the board. Sing that much of the song together several times. Tell the children that as they learn the song, the pictures on the board will be removed and put in order until you can turn over the “surprise” picture underneath. Continue learning each section of the song. Turn over the picture of Christ and use it as a visual aid to teach the second ending.
6. Friend references: “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” poster, Jan. 1999, insert; “You Are a Child of God,” May 2003, 2–6; “Thou Art the Christ,” Apr. 2003, 34–36; “A Growing Testimony,” Apr. 2003, 2–3; “Faith Helps Us Choose the Right,” Oct. 2002, 33–35; “Our Lord and Savior,” Apr. 2003, 7.