There are many ways that Heavenly Father can talk to you. He can speak to you through the Holy Ghost. He can speak to you through the scriptures. One very important way that Heavenly Father talks to His children is through His living prophets. When the prophet speaks, he tells us things that Heavenly Father wants us to know.
In the Book of Mormon the people of King Noah were very wicked. Heavenly Father sent His prophet Abinadi to preach to them. King Noah’s wicked priests were angry and tried to kill him. But Abinadi said, “Touch me not, … for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver” (Mosiah 13:3). Alma, one of the priests, believed Abinadi’s words and learned the way to obtain God’s promised blessings.
In the Bible we read of God’s promises to the children of Israel. Through Moses, His prophet, the Lord delivered them from Egypt. Moses taught the children of Israel the way to obtain God’s promises and blessings.
There was not a prophet on the earth when Joseph Smith prayed to find out which church to join. He became God’s prophet and restored the true Church of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith taught the people what they needed to do to obtain God’s promises and blessings.
Today President Gordon B. Hinckley tells us what God wants us to know and do. When we listen to general conference, it is as if God Himself is speaking to us. We can learn the way to obtain God’s promised blessings when we listen to our prophet.
Above are pictures of the First Presidency and some members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. There are also pictures of the same men when they were children. Match the picture of the child with the picture of the man. Fill in the lettered lines with what these General Authorities speak about in general conference.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Help the children memorize D&C 1:38 by writing the following on the blackboard:
WHAT I THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN,
I HAVE SPOKEN, …
WHETHER BY MINE OWN VOICE OR
BY THE VOICE OF MY SERVANTS,
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
Circle the letters that are underlined. Divide the children into four groups, and have each group recite one line. Explain that they will have to solve a puzzle to find out the last line. The letters of the last line are in the preceding lines. The first word is in the first line, and so on. Invite the children to unscramble the words and fill in the final line: “It is the same.” Have the children say the last line together. Repeat the scripture several times with each group saying their line in turn and then all of the children saying the final line together.
Ask the children to think of things that the prophet spoke about in recent general conferences. Write their ideas down the middle of the blackboard. Then write the words Present and Future on either side of the list. Tell them that we can do some of the things that the prophet asks us to do right now (pay tithing, be honest, attend church). We will need to be older to do other things the prophet counsels us to do (have a temple marriage, receive the priesthood, magnify our Church callings). Have the children point to either “Present” or “Future” when you read one of the items on the list. Following the prophet and doing what we can today will bless our lives and will prepare us for other important things that we will do in the future. Bear testimony of the blessings you have received from following the living prophet. Sing “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19).
Display a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102; or item no. 35602). Read the introduction and opening paragraph of the proclamation. Explain that our Heavenly Father wants us to live with Him again and that coming to earth as part of a family is part of His plan. Ask a child to read the following sentence from the proclamation: “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” Tell the children they can strengthen their families.
Divide the children into nine “families.” Remember that families are all different sizes. Write the principles (faith, prayer, and so on) on small pieces of paper, and place them in a basket. Have each family draw a word. Instruct the families to act out the principle. Give the children time to prepare. For example, to demonstrate work, the children could pantomime sweeping the floor. Post wordstrips of the principles listed. Use the index in the Children’s Songbook to find a song that relates to the principle, and write the page number on the back of the corresponding wordstrip. (For principles not listed in the index, use a related topic; for example, use “service” in place of “compassion,” “reverence” in place of “respect.”) Invite the groups to act out their word for the rest of the Primary. Have the children guess what principle each family is illustrating. When the correct principle is guessed, remove the wordstrip from the board, and sing the song listed on the back.
Explain that pantomiming a principle is fun, but actually living that principle is even better. Challenge the children to think of one thing they can do this week to strengthen their own families.
Tell the children that they are going to learn an important sentence. Ask them to follow the actions with you, and then you will all repeat the sentence together. “Love (raise one hand) and serve (raise the other hand) go hand in hand (clasp hands together).” You may want to wear gloves labeled “love” and “serve.” Explain to the children that when we love people we want to serve them, and when we serve people we come to love them.
Before Primary prepare six handprints labeled with the following scriptures: Deuteronomy 10:12; Joshua 22:5; Galatians 5:13; Mosiah 4:15; Moroni 7:13; D&C 20:19. Place the handprints around the room. Have the children take turns choosing a handprint and looking up the scripture. Invite the children to raise one hand when they hear the word love and then the other hand when they hear the word serve. Sing “When We’re Helping” (p.198) and “Love One Another” (p. 136) in a round.
Have the children help each other trace their handprints onto pieces of paper. Label the hands “love” and “serve.” For younger children: Ask the children to draw a picture on each hand of how they can love and serve. Have the children fold the paper in half so that their hands can go “hand in hand.” For older children: Have the children write something they can do to love and serve others on each finger. Ask them to choose one of the things they have written to do that day.
Ask the children, “When is the time to be a missionary?” Tell them that full-time missionaries often knock on people’s doors. You are going to knock the answer to that question on the door. Have the children listen as you knock the rhythm of “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (p. 168). Explain that they can be preparing to serve full-time missions and that they can also be missionaries right now. Divide them into four groups. Using stations (see TNGC, 179), have the children learn more about missionary work from an adult leader. Tell them that full-time missionaries travel from place to place. They will “travel” too. When they hear the knocking on the door, they should travel to the next station. Each time the children should move, knock the rhythm of “I Want to Be a Missionary Now.”
Station 1: Display several ripe fruits and vegetables. Ask the children one way to know when food is ripe. (It changes color.) Read D&C 4:3–7 together. Help the children understand what “the field is white already to harvest” means. (See Friend, Sept. 2002, 4; or Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual , lesson 11, pp. 58–62.)
Station 2: Pack a suitcase for a missionary. Have a variety of things that a missionary needs: white shirts, scriptures, watch, walking shoes, umbrella, and so on. Let the children choose items and explain why a missionary will need each of them.
Station 3: There are many ways to be missionaries. Use the review activity in the Primary 3 manual, lesson 25, pp. 118–19. The children will listen to statements. If the statement is a good way to be a missionary, they should stand up. If it is not a good way, they should sit down.
Station 4: Use a story to show the blessings of missionary work. Invite a returned missionary approved by the bishop or branch president to share a short experience, or use the story told by President Gordon B. Hinckley in “Testimony” (Friend, Oct. 1998, IFC).
Friend references: “The Lord Speaks to Us through Prophets,” Nov. 2004, 24; “A Living Prophet,” Oct. 2004, 13; “The Family,” Feb. 2004, 24–25; “Preserving Jam (and Families),” July 2004, 4–6; “Love One Another,” Feb. 2003, 16–17; “Love at Home,” Sept. 2004, 42; “Send a Gift on a Mission,” Sept. 2004, 48; “A Jar Full of Love,” Nov. 2004, 40–42; “I Can Be a Missionary Now!” Nov. 1994, 24–25.