Imagine that you lived more than 2,000 years ago in Zarahemla, a Nephite city surrounded by a high wall. Imagine that one day, while walking through the city with your parents, you hear a lot of commotion. You see a man standing upon the city wall. He is prophesying of the Messiah and explaining the things that will happen in Zarahemla and in the land of Jerusalem as signs of His birth.
You and your parents listen to the man’s message. He is Samuel, a Lamanite prophet. The Lamanites have been your enemies for many years, but as you listen, you feel that Samuel’s words are true. In five years, he says, the Messiah will be born in the land of Jerusalem, and when He is born, a new star will appear. In Zarahemla, he continues, there will be a day and a night and a day without darkness.
Some of the people around you do not believe Samuel and are very angry. They throw stones at him and try to shoot him with arrows, but he escapes.
Your parents tell you Samuel is a prophet of God. You and your family are baptized and prepare for the coming of the Messiah (see Hel. 16:1–5). You study the scriptures together, pray, and obey the prophets. In five years, a new star does appear and there is a night without darkness. You know the Savior has been born. What a joyful day!
Just as prophets testified of the Savior’s birth, they have prophesied that He will come again. At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will rule and reign forever. Everyone will know He is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world.
We can prepare for His Second Coming just as the righteous people in Zarahemla prepared for His birth. We can follow the words of the prophets. We can study the scriptures and pray. We can keep our baptismal covenants and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
If we follow the prophet, we will be prepared for the Second Coming. What a joyful day it will be!
Ask the children how they would send an important message to the world today. Explain that 2,000 years ago something wonderful happened—Jesus Christ was born. Heavenly Father wanted people all over the earth to know about it, so He sent prophets to tell them the signs of the Savior’s birth. Tell the story of Samuel the Lamanite (see Hel. 13:1–16:8). Have children role-play the story. Show a map of the world. Ask where people saw the new star on the night of the Savior’s birth. Explain that although Bethlehem was far from Zarahemla (which was located somewhere in the Americas), people in both places saw the star. In the East, Wise Men knew it was a sign the Savior had been born. They traveled a long way to worship Him (see Matt. 2:1–12). Explain that just as people prepared for the Savior’s birth, we need to prepare for His Second Coming. Have the children write or draw something they can do to prepare. Ask them to share their ideas with their families.
Make a picture of the Nativity into a puzzle. On the back of each puzzle piece, write a scripture reference that prophesies of the birth of the Savior. Possible scriptures: Isa. 7:14; 1 Ne. 11:13, 15, 18; 2 Ne. 25:19; Hel. 14:2–5. Place the puzzle pieces on the floor. Have a child choose one of the pieces. Have another child read the scripture aloud. Discuss what the prophecy or sign was and where and when it would take place. Have the children put each puzzle piece in place. Sing a song or hymn about Jesus’ birth. Testify that prophets have told us the Savior will come again.
Glue this page onto heavy paper.
Color the picture of things you can do to prepare for the Second Coming.
Cut out sections A and B and the window in section A.
Form each section into a tube by gluing the tabs to the back of the opposite edge.
Place section B inside section A. As you turn section B, pictures will appear in the window to remind you of things you can do to be ready for the Second Coming. Each week, choose one thing you will try to do better to help you be prepared.
I can pray daily.
I can keep my baptismal covenants.
I can follow the prophet.
I can study the scriptures.