There once was a young boy who had a very important question. He wanted to know which church was right so he could join it. He read a promise in the Bible in James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” The boy believed that promise. He believed that if he sincerely asked Heavenly Father which church was right, he would get an answer.
You have probably guessed that the boy’s name was Joseph Smith. He studied the scriptures and believed in the promise. He prayed and was given a wonderful answer—Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared and told him not to join any of the churches. Joseph learned for himself that the promise in James is true, that a person who lacks wisdom can pray to Heavenly Father and receive an answer. Many answers will come not from a heavenly appearance but through the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
There are many stories in the scriptures about Heavenly Father making promises. The scriptures also teach us that Heavenly Father always keeps His promises. When we study the scriptures, we learn about His promises to us.
To make the bookmarks on page 20, mount the page on heavy paper, cut on the solid black lines, fold along the dotted lines, and glue backs together. Read each scripture and write on the blank lines the promise made. Keep these bookmarks in your scriptures as a reminder to read every day.
Promises in the Scriptures
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. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made promises to the children of Israel. Tell the story of the children of Israel in Egypt (see Ex. 5). The Lord promised to bring them out of bondage (see Ex. 6:6–7) and told Moses and Aaron to ask Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go. The Lord promised to send plagues until Pharaoh agreed. Divide the children into small groups. Give each group a slip of paper with one of the following scriptures written on it: (1) Ex. 7:20–21; (2) Ex. 8:6; (3) Ex. 8:17; (4) Ex. 8:24; (5) Ex. 9:6; (6) Ex. 9:10; (7) Ex. 9:23; (8) Ex. 10:14–15; (9) Ex. 10:22. Have the groups read the scripture together, determine which plague was sent, and draw a picture representing it. Gather the pictures, and present the story of the plagues to the group in a roller box (see TNGC, pp. 178–79). Have the children tell about the plagues as their pictures are shown. Explain that Pharaoh hardened his heart until the 10th plague, the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptians, when he finally let the children of Israel go. The children of Israel were spared as the angel of death “passed over” their homes and they passed through the Red Sea on dry ground (see Ex. 12–14). Testify that Heavenly Father blessed the children of Israel and kept His promise to bring them out of bondage.
For younger children: Tell the story of the plagues of Egypt in your own words, and invite the children to draw a picture of one of them.
2. Make a copy of the bookmark on page 20 for each child, or write the scripture references on the board (Gen. 9:12–17; Moro. 10:3–5; D&C 59:9–16; 3 Ne. 27:6; Matt. 11:28–30; Mal. 3:10; Alma 40:3–4, 23; John 14:27; D&C 34:5–8). Divide the children into groups, and have each group look up a scripture, read it, and find the promise. Have each group report to the whole Primary by reading or summarizing the scripture and telling how we are all blessed because of the promise. As each group reports, have the children fill in the promise made on the blank lines on their bookmarks. Encourage them to keep this bookmark in their scriptures as a reminder to read every day. Testify of Heavenly Father and Jesus’s love for us. Their promises bless all of us. Sing “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75).
3. Use the following scriptures, pictures, and songs to reinforce the idea that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ keep Their promises. Place the pictures in random order around the room. As you read a scripture, have the children listen for what was promised. Discuss how the Lord has fulfilled or will fulfill the promise. Have a child choose the corresponding picture and place it in front of the room. Sing the song. Repeat with the next scripture, picture, and song. (1) 2 Ne. 25:21 (records will be preserved), GAK 406 (Joseph Receives the Gold Plates), “The Golden Plates” (p. 86); (2) Abr. 2:9–11 (priesthood to be taken to all nations), GAK 408 (Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration), “The Priesthood Is Restored” (p. 89); (3) 1 Ne. 2:20 (Nephi will be taken to the promised land if he obeys), GAK 304 (Lehi and His People Arrive in the Promised Land), “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–21); (4) John 14:26 (the Holy Ghost will comfort us), GAK 602 (The Gift of the Holy Ghost), “The Holy Ghost” (p. 105); (5) D&C 89:18–20 (blessings of the Word of Wisdom), GAK 114 (Daniel Refusing the King’s Meat and Wine), “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153); (6) D&C 109:13 (blessings of the temple), GAK 502 (Salt Lake Temple) or a picture of a temple in your area, “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95).
4. Invite the children to turn to the word Promise in the Topical Guide. Teach them how to read the Topical Guide and that each time they see the letter p it means promise. Divide the children into groups of five or six. Have each group list four or five things they learn about the promises of the Lord as they read the Topical Guide. Invite them to share what they have learned, and make a list on the board. Sing “For Thy Bounteous Blessings” (p. 21) in a round. Invite the children to turn to D&C 82:10, and explain that the Lord’s promises require specific actions on our part. When we do what He asks, the Lord blesses us according to the promise. Mark, discuss, and memorize the scripture (see TNGC, pp. 171–72). Give each group a beanbag. As you sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79), have the children in each group toss the beanbag among the group members. When the music stops, have the child from each group with the beanbag say one thing he or she will do this week to be worthy of the promises of the Lord. Continue the game as time permits. Bear testimony of the great promises that have been given to the faithful. Sing the fourth verse of “I Am a Child of God” (pp. 2–3).
For younger children: Explain in your own words D&C 82:10 using examples from the scriptures of promises fulfilled. Then play the beanbag game.
5. Song Presentation: Teach the song “Scripture Power” (see Friend, Oct. 1987, 10–11, or the 2006 Outline for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation). Hold up a picture of the Savior, and ask the children to listen for two things that will help us be like Him. Sing, “Because I want to be like the Savior, and I can, I’m reading His instructions, I’m following His plan.” Holding up your scriptures, ask where we read His instructions and where we find His plan. While helpers hold the picture and scriptures, sing those lines again. Ask them to listen for what “His word will give to me.” Then sing the whole line, holding up your scriptures with two hands. Explain that His words will give us power! Sing the song to that point, and when you sing the word power, hold up your scriptures with both hands. Tell the children, “Because I want the power of the scriptures in my life, I’m changing two things. Listen and tell me what they are.” Sing, “I’m changing how I’ll live, I’m changing what I’ll be.” Take answers; then sing the lines together. Lead children in the whole verse. Ask them to count on their fingers how many times they hear the word power as you sing the chorus. Tell them to alternate singing words of the chorus with you: for example, they sing, “scripture power”; you sing, “keeps me safe from sin.” Then have half the Primary sing with you as you continue to alternate. Bear your testimony of the scriptures.
6. Friend references: “A Message from Alma,” Oct. 2004, 35; “Remember the Sabbath Day,” Nov. 2004, 38; “Scriptures in a Suitcase,” June 2004, 28; “Randy’s Turn,” Nov. 2004, 32; “Show You Know,” June 2003, 16; “Honor Jesus Christ,” July 2002, 23. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.