What is a missionary? Some missionaries wear Sunday clothes and name tags every day. They work full-time finding and teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you have a brother or sister who is a full-time missionary? Are your grandparents missionaries? Do you know the full-time missionaries serving in your ward or branch?
Who can be a missionary? President Hinckley encourages you to be good examples and share your testimonies of Jesus Christ with your friends. Speaking of missionary work, he said, “Let even the Primary children think of ways to assist. Many a parent has come into the Church because of a child who was invited to Primary” (Ensign, May 1999, 107).
Sandy was a Primary child who showed that she could be a missionary too. When she was five years old, she invited her best friend, Craig, to go to church with her on Sunday. Craig wanted to go with Sandy and was excited to ask his mother. But Craig’s mother had other plans, and she said no. When Craig asked his mother the next week if he could go to church, she said no again. Because Sandy was a good missionary, she asked Craig a third time to go to church with her family. Craig got up early on Sunday morning and put on his best clothes. Then he woke up his mother and asked if he could go to church with Sandy. When she said no for the third time, Craig started to cry. Craig’s mother decided that if he wanted to go so badly, maybe she should go too. Craig and his mother went to church that day with Sandy and her family. That evening they began learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the full-time missionaries, and soon they were baptized.
More than 20 years later, when Craig tells this story, he likes to count all the people who are members of the Church because of five-year-old Sandy, who invited a friend to church. He can count more than 100 people. Craig says, “I don’t know how many others Sandy invited to church. … I do know that I owe her more than I can say” (Friend, Oct. 1998, 36–37).
Like Sandy, we can be missionaries now by being a good example, by inviting our friends to Primary or activity days, and by sharing our testimonies.
Carefully remove page 12, and mount it on heavy paper. Cut around the solid black lines. Fold tabs on the colored lines to make a box. Glue the flaps. You and your family can play this game to help you remember to be a missionary now. Take turns rolling the box, looking at the picture on the top, and telling how to be a missionary in that pictured situation.
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. Recite and discuss the suggested scripture for this month, Matt. 5:14–16. What does it mean to “let your light so shine”? What does it mean to “put [your light] under a bushel”? What could be the “good works” of Primary children? What does this scripture have to do with sharing the gospel through our example? Cut out a paper candle for each child and tape to the bottom of each chair. Post a picture of Jesus Christ on the board. Cut out three large paper candles. Write one of the following scripture references on each candle and post around a picture of Christ: 1 Ne. 18:8–16, 20–22 (Nephi is courageous on the ship); JS—H 1:5–15 (Joseph Smith prays for guidance); Dan. 1 (Daniel refuses the king’s meat). The scriptures give examples of young prophets who “let their light shine.” Sometimes being an example takes courage. Divide the children into three groups and give each group a scripture reference and materials to make simple puppets to retell the story (see TNGC, pp. 176–77). Invite each group to tell the story of each prophet’s example. (The Joseph Smith story should end with Joseph kneeling in prayer. Please do not portray Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ with puppets.) Children can also let their lights shine and be an example. Tell two or three stories of children being an example to others using your own experiences or stories from “Trying to Be Like Jesus” from an issue of the Friend. Have the children find the paper candles under their chairs. Invite them to bring them out from “under the bushel” and write on them one way they can be an example to others. Sing “Shine On” (p. 144). Pass out the three large paper candles, then have the pianist continue to play the music while the children pass the candles to each other. When the music stops, have the children with the candles stand and tell one way they can share the gospel with their examples. Bear testimony of the importance of sharing the gospel by example.
2. Begin sharing time with a music clue. Hum or play “When We’re Helping” (p. 198) and have the children guess the topic of sharing time. Helping and serving others makes us happy. When we serve others, we are sharing the gospel. Tell the story “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them” (Friend, Sept. 2002, 4–6). In this story, Kyle wanted to be a missionary. He made friends with Pedro and invited him to Primary. Pedro liked the people in Primary and noticed that he felt happy when he was there. Soon, he and his family were taking lessons from the missionaries. Ask the children to listen for all the ways that Kyle gave service. Who else in the story gave service and how? What happened because of Kyle’s willingness to serve? Take responses. Using the cube from the sharing time activity in this month’s Friend, play a game with the children. While the pianist plays “When We’re Helping,” invite a child to roll the cube. It will show a place service could be given—for example, at home, at church, or with friends. Ask the children to think of something they could do at that place to give service and raise their hand when they are ready. Invite a child to pantomime that service as everyone sings “When We’re Helping.” (You might want to substitute the word “others” for “mother” in the song.) The child who guesses the service correctly is the next child to roll the cube. Play the game as time permits.
To bring reverence for the next part of sharing time, sing “Called to Serve” (pp. 174–75). Emphasize the missionary focus of this song and that we are chosen to “tell the Father’s story” and “his love proclaim.” We tell Heavenly Father’s story and proclaim His love as we live and share the gospel. Choose four or five pictures from the GAK that show the Savior giving service. Possibilities include 213 (Jesus Healing the Blind), 216 (Christ and the Children), 226 (Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet), 227 (Jesus Praying in Gethsemane), and 233 (Mary and the Resurrected Lord). Briefly and reverently show the pictures and recount the incomparable service given by Jesus Christ. Bear testimony of Him and of our opportunity to share the gospel as we serve others. Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79).
3. Staple six small sheets of paper together for each child’s Testimony Journal. (The first page can be decorated by the children as a cover.) Teach about five elements of a testimony from “I Can Pray to Heavenly Father Anytime, Anywhere” (Friend, Aug. 2003, 24–26; or Ensign, May 2003, 113–14). Teach the children that we share the gospel with our testimonies. We often “sing our testimonies” when we sing the hymns of the Church and the Primary songs. Let the children sing their testimonies with the following songs: “I Know My Father Lives” (p. 5), “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75), “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” (Hymns, no. 26), “The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77), and “Seek the Lord Early” (p. 108). After each song, let the children write or draw an expression of their testimony in their journals. Invite them to take their journals home and share their testimonies with their families in family home evening.
4. Invite a returned missionary who has been approved by the bishop or branch president to share with the children the joy of missionary work. Have the returned missionary focus on things that children did in his or her mission to help missionary work and things that each of us can do to be a missionary now. Sing “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (p. 168). Divide the children into three groups and move them from station to station to learn skills that will help them be missionaries now and later. Station 1: Explain that the Articles of Faith are brief statements about the Church’s basic beliefs. We can teach others about the doctrine of the Church when we know the Articles of Faith. Help the children memorize one of the Articles of Faith (see TNGC, pp. 171–72). Station 2: Missionaries must know about and have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Church. Use GAK pictures 402 (Joseph Smith Seeks Wisdom in the Bible), 403 (The First Vision), 404 (Moroni Appears to Joseph Smith in His Room), 406 (Joseph Receives the Gold Plates), 416 (Translating the Book of Mormon), 407 (John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood), and 408 (Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration). Help the children tell the story of the Restoration. For older children, help them find the Joseph Smith story in the Pearl of Great Price (JS—H 1). Station 3: Missionaries must know what is in the scriptures and how to use them. Look up “Missionary Work” in the Topical Guide and pick eight to ten scriptural references. Write the references on strips of paper and place them in a container. Let the children pick a reference and find it in their scriptures. Read the reference and discuss what is taught about missionary work. Help the children apply it today. When all the children have been to each station, gather them to sing “The Things I Do” (pp. 170–71). Bear testimony of the blessings of missionary work.
5. Friend references: “Let Your Light Shine,” Oct. 2000, 42–43; “The Field Is White Already to Harvest,” Sept. 2002, 28–30; “Friend to Friend: On the Lord’s Side,” Sept. 2002, 8–9; “Missionary Work,” June 2004, 31; “Being a Witness for God,” Dec. 2003, 37; “What Is Christmas?” Dec. 2003, 34–36; “I Can Be a Missionary Now,” Oct. 1998, 14–15. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.