When George Albert Smith (1870–1951) was the President of the Church, he taught Church members to donate work, food, and clothing to help feed and clothe others. After World War II left many people starving in Europe, President Smith went to the president of the United States and asked for help to send food and clothing to these people. Because members of the Church had produced food and donated clothing under a welfare program, the Church had enough to help those in need. The United States government agreed to send the food and clothing, which helped many people in Europe.
The members of the Church followed the prophet and willingly donated work, food, and clothing. When a time of terrible need came, the Church was prepared to help. Many people in Europe were blessed because members of the Church followed the prophet.
We are blessed to have a living prophet. Our prophet teaches us to dress modestly and to read, watch, and listen only to things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father. When we do these things, we are protected from many of the harmful things of the world. Our prophet teaches us to be friendly and kind to everyone. Jesus tells us that when we are kind and serve others, we are serving Him. The prophet encourages us to read the scriptures. In the scriptures we learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus. We learn that when we keep the commandments, we will be blessed. The prophet teaches us what Heavenly Father wants us to do. When we follow the prophet, Heavenly Father will bless us.
To make prophet figures, paste page 18 onto heavy paper. Cut out the figures, and glue each to a stick. Use the figures to tell stories about each prophet or to sing “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11).
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. Invite three or four ward members to participate in a panel discussion (TNGC, pp. 175–76) about the prophets who have influenced them. Give them samples of the questions you will ask ahead of time, such as: Who is a prophet from the scriptures that inspires you? What does this prophet teach you about what the Lord wants you to do? Who were some of the latter-day prophets during your lifetime? Share an experience of listening to one of these prophets and knowing what Heavenly Father wanted you to do. Share something from this past general conference that the prophet has asked us to do. Allow time at the end of the discussion for the children to ask questions or share any personal feelings or experiences they have had in their families with following the prophet. Testify that you know that the prophet speaks for the Lord. During singing time the music leader can have the children sing verses from “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11); “Book of Mormon Stories” (pp. 118–19); and “Latter-day Prophets” (p. 134).
2. Post the My Gospel Standards poster on the board. From the last general conference issue of the Ensign (Nov. 2005), choose four talks given by the prophet or apostles. Tell the name of the speaker, display his picture, and teach principles from those talks. Invite the children to match the principle to one of My Gospel Standards, if possible. Have the children pass a beanbag as they sing “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11). Stop the music occasionally, and invite the child with the beanbag to share one thing he or she can do to live the principles taught in the conference talks. Encourage the children to listen to general conference.
3. Using simple costumes or signs, have five children represent Moses, John the Baptist, Abinadi, Joseph Smith, and President Gordon B. Hinckley. Have them read one of the following statements and ask the children to guess which prophet each is. After they correctly guess, ask, “What did the Lord teach and promise through this prophet?” Moses: “I lived during Old Testament times. The Lord told me to lead my people out of bondage. I went to Mount Sinai where the Lord spoke to me and gave the Ten Commandments. Who am I?” John the Baptist: “I was born just before Jesus Christ. I was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah and help the people prepare to receive Him. I baptized Jesus Christ. I also conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph Smith. Who am I?” Abinadi: “I lived about 150 years before Christ was born. I prophesied to King Noah and his people that Jesus would come to earth and redeem His people by taking upon Himself our sins and being crucified. The people did not believe what I said. I suffered death by fire for my testimony. Who am I?” Joseph Smith: “I wanted to know which church I should join. I read in the scriptures that ‘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’ (James 1:5). I prayed and was visited by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They told me not to join any of the churches. Who am I?” President Gordon B. Hinckley: “With the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I proclaimed that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and families are central to the Creator’s plan. I was also inspired by the Lord to build temples all over the world. Who am I?” You may have the Primary stand and sing songs to reinforce the teachings from these prophets each time they guess the name of one of the prophets. Testify that prophets teach truth, both long ago and now.
4. Help the children become familiar with the names and faces of our current First Presidency and Apostles by preparing pictures of them (available in the May or November Ensign or at www.lds.org). Prepare one or two sentences about each leader to put on the back of his picture. (For example: President Gordon B. Hinckley served a mission to Great Britain and has dedicated more temples than any other Church leader. President Thomas S. Monson had a career in publishing before he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at age 36. President James E. Faust served a mission to Brazil. He worked as an attorney. President Boyd K. Packer served as president of the New England Mission. He has carved and painted lifelike birds. Elder L. Tom Perry served a mission to the Northern States. He worked for companies in Idaho, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Elder Russell M. Nelson was an internationally renowned heart surgeon. Elder Dallin H. Oaks was a lawyer, law professor, president of Brigham Young University, and justice of the Utah Supreme Court. Elder M. Russell Ballard was a businessman and served as president of the Canada Toronto Mission. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin is an Eagle Scout. He played college football. Elder Richard G. Scott was a nuclear scientist. He presided over the Argentina North Mission. Elder Robert D. Hales was a jet fighter pilot. He served as president of the England London Mission. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland served as president of Brigham Young University and as an Area President in Chile. Elder Henry B. Eyring was a college professor and president of Ricks College [now BYU–Idaho] in Rexburg, Idaho. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was born in Czechoslovakia and was raised in Germany, where his family joined the Church. He was a pilot. Elder David A. Bednar was a college professor and president of BYU–Idaho.) Have some children hold the pictures, name the leader, and tell something about him. Play a guessing game with the pictures (TNGC, p. 169). Bear testimony that these men have been called of God to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and hold the keys of authority to direct God’s Church. Read D&C 84:36. Encourage the children to listen to leaders in general conference. Sing the last verse of “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11).
5. Song Presentation: “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11). Compare a flashlight lighting up a darkened room to a prophet sharing light from Heavenly Father so that His people (sing the words) “don’t go astray.” Define astray as off course or lost. Have the children sing that phrase with you. Ask them to listen for what the prophet knows as you sing the last phrase, “follow the prophet; he knows the way.” Lead them in singing that phrase. Ask them to listen to you sing the chorus and come in on the phrases they’ve just learned; then repeat the chorus again. Sing the chorus a third time, this time passing a flashlight from child to child. When the singing stops, have the child with the flashlight represent Adam. Teach the first verse by singing one phrase at a time and asking the children to echo it back while following “Adam” as he acts out the verse. (For example, he could pantomime planting a garden.) Have the children sing the chorus and pass the flashlight again. Repeat the process with Noah, and in following weeks continue teaching all the verses.
6. Friend references: “The Lord Speaks to Us through Prophets,” Nov. 2004, 24–25; “You Are a Child of God,” May 2003, 2–6; “Blessed for Following the Prophet,” May 2003, 24–26; “God’s Power within You,” Jan. 2002, 2–3; “David and Goliath,” July 2002, 32–33; “What the Prophets and Apostles Teach Us,” Oct. 2002, 24–25; “Presidents of the Church Maze,” Mar. 2001, 26; “Following the Crowd,” Aug. 2004, 2–3; “Conference Squares,” Apr. 2004, 24–25; “Conference Messages,” Apr. 2003, 24–25. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.