Have you ever been so happy that you clapped your hands for joy? The Book of Mormon tells about people who did just that!
Because King Noah and his priests did not keep the commandments, the Lord sent Abinadi to warn them that they must repent. Abinadi also taught them about Jesus Christ. King Noah put Abinadi to death. But one of King Noah’s priests, Alma, believed everything Abinadi taught.
Alma “repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi” (Mosiah 18:1). Alma knew this would make King Noah angry, so Alma’s people hid.
Alma taught the people that they could be baptized and that if they kept the commandments, God would give them His Spirit. “When the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy” (Mosiah 18:11).
Baptism is the first covenant we make. We renew our covenant each week when we take the sacrament. When we keep our baptismal covenant, the Lord promises us “that [we] may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:9).
Remove page 16 from the magazine, and mount it on heavy paper. Cut out the large rectangle.
Cut slits on the nine solid lines, and fold along the broken lines.
Cut out the figures. Insert the tab on the baptism figure into the slit in the baptism scene (see illustration).
Glue the back of the sacrament figures to the tab that folds out of the sacrament scene (see illustration).
Cut out the scripture boxes, and read the references. Insert the tabs into the remaining slits.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed 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. To help the children memorize D&C 58:42, write the words of the scripture on large paper strips. Post them in random order on the chalkboard. After the children find and read the verse, have them close their scriptures. Invite two or three children to put the words of the scripture in order on the board. Repeat the scripture together. Remove several words and repeat again. Continue removing words until the board is blank. Ask, “What does it mean to repent?” Refer to the steps of repentance found in the Primary 3 manual, lesson 10 (p. 46): (1) feel sorry, (2) ask forgiveness, (3) right the wrong, (4) don’t repeat the wrong. Teach the principle of repentance. Sing “Repentance” (p. 98).
To play a game teaching repentance, draw a large circle on a piece of heavy paper and divide it into four sections. Write one of the four principles listed above in each of the sections. Attach a paper arrow in the center of the circle to spin, or place the circle on the floor and use a coin or other small object to toss onto it. Prepare case studies (see TNGC, pp. 161–62) with situations requiring repentance that reflect the needs of your Primary. For example: “You see the new girl in your class eating lunch by herself, but you don’t invite her to join you.” Invite a child to randomly choose one of the four steps of repentance by spinning the arrow or tossing the coin on one of the four sections. Have the child choose a case study and tell what he or she would do in that step of repentance. Read 3 Ne. 9:22 together. Bear testimony of the role of the Savior’s Atonement in the blessing of repentance. Sing “He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35).
For larger Primaries: Divide the children into smaller groups and play the game in each group so more children can participate.
2. Show GAK 208 (John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus) and teach the story of Christ’s baptism from Matt. 3:13–17. Sing “Baptism” (pp. 100–101). Teach that when we are baptized, we are following the example of Jesus. (Refer to 2 Ne. 31:4–13.) Show GAK 601 (Baptism) and ask the children what happens when you are baptized. Take responses. Explain the following steps of baptism using some of the suggested activities: (1) You must be at least eight years old. Sing the first verse of “I Like My Birthdays” (p. 104). (2) You will have an interview with the bishop. Invite a member of the bishopric to teach the children about the interview. (3) You will wear white clothing. If possible, have some baptismal clothing to show the children. (4) The baptism must be performed by a worthy priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder. (See activity for #5.) (5) Baptism is by immersion, so you will be completely covered with water. Referring to GAK 601, explain how a baptism is performed. Invite a priest or returned missionary to bear testimony of the gift of the priesthood and the joy that comes from participating in a baptism. Encourage the older boys to look forward to performing priesthood ordinances. (6) Baptism is for the remission of sins and confirmation gives you the gift of the Holy Ghost. Practice the song for this month, “When I Am Baptized” (p. 103). (7) You will also be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Invite two or three older Primary children to tell about the day they were baptized. Sing “The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77).
3. Ask the children what it means to make a promise. (Answer: You will do what you say you will do.) Have them name some things they have promised to do at home (for example, help with their younger siblings). How do you show someone that you have made a promise? (Shake hands, give the Cub Scout sign, etc.) Teach that baptism shows that we are making a promise, or covenant, with Heavenly Father. When we are baptized, what do we promise and what does Heavenly Father promise in return? Post the following pictures from the Primary packet on the board: 1-11 (Boy Being Baptized) and 1-3 (The Savior). Using red and blue paper, cut out a frame for each picture. Cut each frame into six puzzle pieces. Divide the children into three groups. Give each group one of the scripture references and two puzzle pieces from each frame: (1) Mosiah 18:8–10, (2) Moro. 6:1–4, and (3) D&C 20:37. Invite each group to look up and read the scripture reference. On the back of the blue puzzle pieces, write down the promises we make to the Lord found in the scripture reference. On the back of the red pieces, write the promises the Lord makes to us found in the reference. Invite children from each group to come up and put together the blue frame around picture 1-11 (Boy Being Baptized). Turn the puzzle pieces over one at a time and read the promises we make to the Lord. Ask the children what the promises mean and how we can apply them in our lives. Sing “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162). Invite the children to put together the red frame around the picture of the Savior. Turn over each puzzle piece to reveal the Lord’s promises to us. Sing “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (pp. 164–65).
4. To teach that we renew our baptismal covenants when we take the sacrament, tell the story “Clean” (Friend, Aug. 1999, 40–43). My Gospel Standards (see Faith in God guidebook, back cover) help us live our baptismal covenant by reminding us to keep the commandments.
Pick five of My Gospel Standards and write each one on a separate piece of paper. Choose pictures that illustrate each of them from the GAK or Primary picture packets. Place the pictures and My Gospel Standards papers facedown on the floor, or tape them facedown on the chalkboard. Choose children to come up one at a time and turn over any two papers. When a match of a standard is made to the picture that illustrates it, remove the two papers from the board. The person who makes the match must tell one way to live that gospel standard. He or she may then pick another child to choose a song to sing from the Children’s Songbook that teaches the gospel standard. Sing “Choose the Right Way” (pp. 160–61). Bear testimony of the blessing of repentance and of renewing our baptismal covenant as we take the sacrament each week.
For younger children: For children who can’t read, mount each picture and its matching gospel standard on the same color of paper. Sing the songs.
5. Song Presentation: Begin teaching “When I Am Baptized” (p. 103) by singing the whole song through for the children. Invite them to watch as you draw the melody line on the chalkboard as you sing it again. The melody goes up and then comes back down—like a rainbow. Draw two rainbow lines as you sing the first verse. Invite the children to stand and draw rainbows in the air as they hum the verse. Have the children close their eyes and visualize falling rain as you sing the up and down melody of the chorus. Help them pitch-lead “the falling rain” with you as they hum the chorus. Teach the message of the song by directing the children’s listening and asking questions about the message; (for example, “What makes the earth clean?” or “What makes me clean?”) Ask a question before you sing, sing, take responses, and have the children sing with you. Repeat. Bear your testimony.
6. Friend references: “I Will Make and Keep My Baptismal Covenant,” Jan. 2000, insert; “Covenants at the Waters of Mormon,” Apr. 2000, 10–11; “A Sacred Promise,” Sharing Time, Mar. 2000, 12–14; “I Come to the Water,” Mar. 2000, 46–47; “Faith Helps Us Choose the Right,” Sharing Time, Oct. 2002, 33–35; “The Right Key,” Mar. 2000, 2–5. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.