This year we have been learning about promises. A promise is a pledge that you will do something or not do something.
As we read the scriptures, we see that the Father and the Son always fulfill Their promises. One of the greatest promises that Heavenly Father made was to send His Son to the earth. In the Grand Council in Heaven, Heavenly Father promised to send a Savior. The Savior would atone for our sins so that we could live with Heavenly Father again.
How did Heavenly Father send His Son to the earth? He sent Him as a newborn baby. He allowed Jesus to learn and grow, just the way that we learn and grow. Because Heavenly Father loves us so much, He allowed His Son to die for us. But then Jesus was resurrected, making it possible for us to live again too.
What a wondrous promise Jesus Christ was to the earth! Heavenly Father had promised to send Him. Heavenly Father kept His promise.
What does Heavenly Father expect from us? The Primary song “He Sent His Son” reminds us:
Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.
What does he ask? Live like his Son.
(Children’s Songbook, 34–35)
As we live as Jesus lived, we will qualify for the promises that Heavenly Father has for us.
Glue page 14 to heavy paper, and cut out the cards. Place the round Nativity card on a flat surface. Read the scripture listed. Take turns choosing cards and reading scriptures. If the scripture tells about an event that happened or a prophecy that was given before Jesus was born, put it before the picture of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. If the scripture tells about an event or prophecy that came after Jesus was born, put the card after the picture of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
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. Tell the children that you will ask them a question with music and they will raise their hands when they know the answer. Display GAK 113 (Isaiah Writes of Christ’s Birth), and point to the baby in the picture while the pianist plays “Who Is the Child?” (p. 46). If the children are not familiar with this song, sing the first verse. Display GAK 201 (The Nativity), and sing the second verse. Point out the similarities between the two pictures. Explain that the man who is writing in the first picture is Isaiah. Isaiah saw the birth of the Savior in a vision hundreds of years before the Savior was actually born.
Isaiah used other titles for Jesus Christ. Display wordstrips with scrambled letters of the following words: Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Divide the children into five groups. Give each group a wordstrip, telling them how many words are in that title and what letter the word or words start with. Because the puzzles may be difficult, give them hints. As the children solve the puzzles, write the correct word(s) on the back of the wordstrips. Display the five titles. Have them put the wordstrips in order by looking up Isaiah 9:6. Help the children understand what each word means and how it is an appropriate title for Jesus Christ. For example, Jesus is “wonderful” because He performed many miracles—wonders—while He was on the earth.
Ask the children to listen for other titles of Jesus Christ as they sing “The Shepherd’s Carol” (p. 40). Have them stand whenever they hear a word that refers to Jesus. Divide the children into groups to sing a round. Bear testimony that Jesus came to the earth as the literal Son of God.
2. Ask the children how they would feel if, when the sun went down, it did not get dark. Ask them how they would feel if the prophet told them that one day the sun would go down and it would not get dark. Would they be less frightened? Tell them that this happened and that they will find out more about it in the scriptures.
Help the children locate “Jesus Christ, First Coming of” in the index to the Book of Mormon (p. 178). Tell them that even though Jesus did not live on the American continent when He had a mortal body, Book of Mormon prophets still prophesied of Him. Review Isaiah 9:6, and show them how to locate the same scripture in the Book of Mormon by using the index (2 Nephi 19:6).
Play a matching game by pairing Book of Mormon prophets who testified of the Savior with the scripture that records their prophecies. (Nephi—2 Nephi 25:19; King Benjamin—Mosiah 3:5; Abinadi—Mosiah 15:1; Alma—Alma 7:10; Samuel—Helaman 14:2.) You may want to add pictures of each of these prophets from the GAK or from the Primary 4 picture packet. Have the children read the prophecy and make a match.
For younger children: Display pictures of the same five prophets. Allow five children to wear simple costumes depicting the prophets mentioned. Read the prophecy from the scriptures. Let the children guess which prophet each child is representing.
Read Helaman 14:3–4. Explain that because Christ is the Light of the World, having light even when the sun was not shining was an appropriate sign for His birth.
Sing “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” (p. 36). Have the children notice how the first verse, when the people are waiting for Jesus, sounds a little bit sad. But the chorus, when the people realize that the Lord is born, sounds joyful. Ask the children to sound joyful when they sing the chorus. Testify that Jesus came into the world to be an example and to atone for the sins of all people.
3. Invite a member of the bishopric or branch presidency to visit Primary. Have him come to Primary the week before and tell the children that he will be coming to visit them the next week.
When the children enter the room, remind them that a guest is coming, but explain that you don’t know exactly when he will arrive. Invite them to choose a favorite Christmas song to sing while they wait. Tell the children that Heavenly Father promised to send a Savior to the world. The people waited and waited for the Savior and didn’t know exactly when He would come. One of the signs that Jesus was born was a new star. Sing “There Was Starlight on the Hillside” (p. 40). Continue singing songs until the guest arrives. Have him bring a set of scriptures wrapped as a gift and tell the children that gifts are not always things that we can hold in our hands. Gifts can be things such as stories and songs. Invite a child to unwrap the gift. The scriptures will have a bookmark at John 3:16. Have the guest ask the children what they think Heavenly Father’s gift to the world was. Invite a child to read the scripture. Have the guest tell the children that he wants to share the story of how Heavenly Father gave the gift of His Son to the world. Have the pianist softly play “Silent Night” (Hymns, no. 204) one octave higher while the guest reads Luke 2:1–20. Thank the bishopric or branch presidency member for his gift of a story, and suggest that the children give him the gift of a song. Sing a favorite Christmas song. After the guest leaves, explain that he had promised to come visit them and that he kept his promise. In the same way, Heavenly Father promised to send His Son; Heavenly Father kept His promise. Just as the guest visited Primary, Jesus Christ visited the earth. Just as the guest brought the gift of a sacred story, Jesus gave us the gift of eternal life by atoning for our sins. Testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Tell the children that their gift to Heavenly Father and Jesus will be their obedience to the commandments.
4. Remind the children that all year we have been talking about the promises of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Have the children look up and mark 2 Nephi 10:17. Jesus will fulfill His promises to all of us. Explain that we too can make promises to follow Jesus Christ in faith.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “To follow Christ is to become more like Him” (“Christlike Attributes—the Wind beneath Our Wings,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 102). If we want to become more like Jesus, we should do the things that He did. Ask the children to suggest things Jesus did that they too can do. List their ideas on the chalkboard. Divide the children into groups. Allow the groups to choose an idea from the chalkboard. Give the groups large pieces of paper, and ask them to illustrate the idea. While the children are drawing, invite the pianist to play “He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35). Put the drawings together in a roller box (see TNGC, 178–79). Have the children sing “He Sent His Son” while you assemble the roller box. When the roller box is ready, display it while the pianist plays “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79). Give each child a piece of paper that says, “I promise to follow Jesus Christ in faith. This week I will try to be like Him by ________.” Have the children fill in a goal and then sign their names. Challenge the children to be more like Jesus. Bear testimony that Jesus always keeps His promises.
5. Friend references: “Christmas in the Americas: A Christmas Program,” Dec. 2004, 18–21; “The Savior’s Birth,” Dec. 2001, 30; “Christ’s Life on Earth,” Mar. 1999, 39; “Isaiah Prophesies of the Savior,” Mar. 1998, 34; “Christmas Music Quiz,” Dec. 2004, 26; “Sing of Christmas,” Dec. 2003, 28.