Sharing Time:

First Things First

By Laurel Rohlfing

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    “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (A of F 1:4).

    What would happen if you went to college before you went kindergarten? Could you learn to add numbers before you learned to count? Could you run before you learned to walk? When you learn something, you usually start with the simplest part of it, then move on to a more difficult part. You put first things first.

    Joseph Smith said that when you become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first things that you need to do are to have faith, to repent, to be baptized, and to have those with the proper authority lay their hands on your head so that you can receive the Holy Ghost. When we obey these first principles and ordinances, we can then learn other things that Heavenly Father wants us to learn and do.


    Each picture and story on the following pages are examples of faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    1. Color each picture.

    2. Use this completed poster to teach a lesson in family home evening on the fourth article of faith.

      Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

      Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ





      Gift of the Holy Ghost

      Gift of the Holy Ghost

    Sharing Time Ideas

    1. Dramatize the four stories.

    2. Have children relate or illustrate personal experiences demonstrating faith, repentance, baptism, and gift of the Holy Ghost.

    3. Show a plant in different stages from seedling to maturity to demonstrate how our understanding of the gospel grows. (See Alma 32.)

    4. Put different-size cans or rocks labeled “sins” in sack. Have child carry it around. Tell children that the weight of our sins can hold us back from living with Heavenly Father. We can rid ourselves of our sins by repenting. Take contents out of sack and say that when we repent, our sins are forgiven, and we can forget them. We no longer have to bear their heavy burden.

    Two blind men came to Jesus and asked Him to heal them. Jesus asked if they believed that He could restore their sight, and they said, “Yea, Lord.” Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” When they opened their eyes, they could see. (See Matt. 9:28–30.)

    The Lord told Jonah to tell the people of Ninevah to repent or they would be destroyed. The people were so wicked that Jonah was afraid to go and he ran away on a ship, instead. Jonah was thrown overboard at sea and was swallowed by a great fish. After three days he was vomited onto dry land, and the Lord again told Jonah to go to Ninevah. This time he did as he was commanded. He preached repentance to the people and when “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways,” they were saved from destruction. (See Jonah 1–3.)

    Jesus came to John the Baptist and asked to be baptized. When John immersed Jesus in the water, Heavenly Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (See Matt. 3:13–17.)

    When Jesus appeared to the Nephites in America, He chose disciples to help Him preach the gospel. Before Jesus left, He laid His hands on the head of each disciple and “gave them power to give the Holy Ghost” to others. (See 3 Ne. 18:36–37.)

    Illustrated by Robyn S. Officer