In December we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We sing and think about that peaceful night when He lay in a humble manger. One day He will come again—and this time He will come in great glory. Prophets tell us that He shall “reign on the earth over his people” (D&C 76:63).
No one knows exactly when He will come again. However, the Lord tells us this about His Second Coming: “I will suddenly come to my temple” (D&C 36:8). He may appear in other places too, but He will surely come to the temple because it is His house.
We can read about those who were with Jesus at the temple in ancient times. Simeon and Anna saw Him in the temple when He was presented there as a baby. They had been hoping and waiting to see the Messiah, or Savior. (See Luke 2:25–38.) And when Jesus was 12 years old, He astonished the learned men in the temple with His understanding and knowledge. They knew the law and the commandments, yet they were taught by the boy Jesus. (See Luke 2:41–47.)
Righteous Nephites saw the resurrected Savior when He appeared at the temple in the land of Bountiful. Jesus Christ blessed them and prayed for them, and they were filled with joy and peace. (See 3 Ne. 10:12; 3 Ne. 17:5–17.)
Jesus Christ is the Messiah. If we believe in Him, repent, and keep His commandments, one day we will stand in His presence. We will be the kind of people who will be at the temple when He comes in glory.
This Christmas, we can remember the baby in the manger. We can also think about the resurrected Savior, who will one day come to His temple.
Write the following references on separate slips of paper: Luke 2:4–21; Luke 2:22–39; Luke 2:40–52. Divide the children into three groups, and have each group prepare to present the story from one of the scripture passages. Also have each group illustrate the people, buildings, and scenery from the story. Have the groups take turns presenting their scriptures. While one child reads the verses, have the others in the group display their drawings. Discuss how the people in the scripture were prepared to be with the Savior. Sing appropriate songs or hymns.
Show a picture of the resurrected Savior; explain that He will come to His temple when He returns to earth. Sing a song or hymn about the Savior or the Second Coming. Discuss and list on the chalkboard ways the children can be worthy to be in the Savior’s presence when He comes again.
Invite four adults, dressed in simple costumes, to tell the story of the Savior’s birth and visits to the temple. (See Luke 2:4–21; Luke 2:22–39; Luke 2:40–52; 3 Ne. 10:12; 3 Ne. 17:5–17.) They may represent people who witnessed the event or who heard about it. Have each person present his or her story in a different area of the room. Divide the children into groups, and have them rotate to each area so they hear all four stories. Have the children draw a picture of one of the stories to take home and share with their families.
Instructions: Mount this page on heavy paper. Cut out the three boxes and around the figures on the dotted lines. Punch holes where indicated. Make a book by putting the pages in order with page 1 on top and fastening the pages together with string or yarn (see illustration). Use the book to tell about when Jesus visited the temples in Jerusalem and in the land of Bountiful in ancient America. Talk about the time when Jesus will someday return to earth.