Introduce the doctrine: Bring a variety of books (such as a cookbook, a storybook, and a schoolbook) to Primary, and invite a few children to show these books and the scriptures to the Primary. Invite the children to discuss the similarities and differences between the books, including their authors. Point out that the scriptures are unique because they are written by God’s prophets and are the word of God.
Encourage understanding: Tell the children that there are four books of scripture we use in the Church: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Explain that we call these the “standard works.” Teach the children about each book. Include a few of the stories or teachings found in each book. Play a matching game (see TNGC, 169) with the names of the standard works and pictures representing a story or teaching found in each book.
Encourage application: Invite several of the children to share their favorite scripture or scripture story. Encourage them to share what they have learned from reading the scriptures. Bear your testimony of the scriptures.
Encourage understanding and application: Explain that the Lord uses action words to describe how we should study the scriptures. Display the following words and phrases on posters around the room: feast (see 2 Nephi 32:3); treasure up (see D&C 84:85); search diligently (see Mosiah 1:7); hold fast (see 1 Nephi 15:24). Plan creative ways to introduce and explain these ideas to the children. For example, you could invite the children to demonstrate the difference between nibbling and feasting on food and then discuss how this relates to studying the scriptures. You could also ask the children why they would “hold fast” to their parent’s hand in a crowded marketplace and then explain how they can hold fast to the scriptures and why that is just as important as holding fast to their parent’s hand.
Encourage application: Challenge the children and teachers to establish a habit of regular scripture study. Explain that each week, children who have read from or listened to the scriptures will be able to write their name on a piece of paper and add it to a paper chain. Tell them that as the chain grows, so will their knowledge of the scriptures. Consider storing the chain in a “treasure” box (this box could also be used to teach what “treasure up” means in the activity above). Encourage the children to share their goal of studying the scriptures with their families.
Encourage understanding: Blindfold a child. Have another child hold a picture of Jesus Christ somewhere in the Primary room. Have the blindfolded child try to locate the picture without any help. Repeat the activity, but this time ask two children to hold up a pole, rope, or string representing the iron rod that leads from the blindfolded child to the picture of Christ. Have the child follow the rope to the picture. Ask: “How is holding on to the rope like reading the scriptures?” (See 1 Nephi 15:23–25.) Teach the children the chorus to “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274). Share a few examples from your life when the scriptures have taught you what you should do. Explain how following the teachings in the scriptures has helped you come closer to the Savior.
Encourage understanding: Bring one or more objects that the children can learn about using some of their five senses. For example, you could bring a fruit or a flower, or you could play some music. Give a few children a chance to see, smell, touch, taste, or hear what you have brought. (Consider doing this activity in small groups so every child has the opportunity to participate.) Demonstrate that we can also see, touch, smell, and hear the scriptures, but to gain a testimony of them we need to receive a witness through the Spirit. Invite the children to sing “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (CS, 109). Ask them to listen, as they sing, for three things we can do to invite the Spirit to testify that the scriptures are true. Invite the children to create hand actions for the words search, ponder, and pray. Repeat the song, using the actions in place of these words.
Encourage application: Display a picture of Moroni, and read Moroni 10:4–5. Invite several children to share their feelings about the scriptures. They could also share what they have been doing to read the scriptures at home. (Ask a few children in advance so they have time to prepare.) Encourage the children to share their testimonies of the scriptures with their parents at home.