You belong to many groups. You belong to a family. You belong to a school. You may belong to a sports team or a performing group. But one very special organization you belong to is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This organization is different from the rest and more valuable and sacred.
Groups often have leaders. The leader might be a president or a coach or a teacher. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our leader is the Savior Himself.
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He organized His Church. He called and “ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses” (Mark 3:14–15). Jesus gave these Twelve Apostles the authority to govern the Church after He was gone.
Today the Apostles—the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve—have the same priesthood, or authority, that Jesus Christ gave His Apostles when He lived upon the earth. When today’s Apostles speak to you at general conference or send messages through your bishop or branch president, they represent Jesus Christ—the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Make a booklet to help you remember the words to the song “The Church of Jesus Christ” (see 2003 Outline for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation). Remove page 4 from the magazine. Cut on the heavy dark line, being careful not to cut any broken lines. Then follow the illustrations to fold the pages into a booklet.
I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I know who I am.
I know God’s plan.
I’ll follow Him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’ll honor His name.
I’ll do what is right; I’ll follow His light.
His truth I will proclaim.
Help the children understand the important part they play as members of the Church. Share what President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “You who are members of this Church must have a loyalty to it. This is your church. You have as great a responsibility in [what you do] as I have in [what I do]. It belongs to you just as it belongs to me” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, Apr. 2001, 39). Draw a picture of a body, and cut it into puzzle pieces. Place the pieces in a container, leaving one piece out. Have the children take turns choosing a puzzle piece. Assemble the body, and ask what is wrong. Have the children read 1 Cor. 12:14–20. Discuss how every member of the Church is important. Add the final puzzle piece, and sing “The Church of Jesus Christ.” Draw a paper doll for each child to color; have the children write or draw something they can do to be a good Church member.
Help the children learn about the Church Jesus established while on the earth. Write the following scriptures on the chalkboard: Matt. 3:13–17; Matt. 6:9–13; Mark 3:14–15; Mark 12:41–44; Luke 22:19–20; John 5:39; Acts 5:42; 1 Cor. 15:29; Eph. 4:11–12; Eph. 5:19. Then write these terms: baptism, prayer, priesthood, tithes and offerings, sacrament, scriptures, temple, baptism for the dead, apostles and prophets, and songs and hymns. Read the scriptures, and have the children draw lines from the references to the correct terms. Discuss how these aspects of the gospel are the same today; sing songs or hymns about each one.