Introduce the doctrine: Invite a child to come to the front of the room. Tell the other children to follow his or her instructions. Whisper simple instructions to the child, such as, “Tell them to put their hands on their heads” or “Tell them to quietly say hello to the person sitting next to them.” Repeat with several other simple instructions, ending with “Tell them to fold their arms.” Ask the children how they knew what you wanted them to do. Explain that one of the ways Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ send messages to people on earth is by speaking to Their servants and then commanding those servants to speak to the people. Ask, “Who are the servants who speak for Heavenly Father and Jesus?” Have the children say together, “Prophets speak for Heavenly Father.”
Encourage understanding: Before Primary, tape a picture of a prophet and some scripture references that tell about what he did or said to the bottom of some of the chairs. Examples could include Noah (Genesis 6:13–14; 7:5, 7–10); Moses (Exodus 14:8–9, 13–14, 21–22); Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 14:1–8; 16:1–3); and Joseph Smith (D&C 89). Invite the children to look under their chairs to find the pictures. Divide the children into groups, with one picture in each group, and have them prepare and present a role play of their prophet. Invite the other groups to guess which prophet they are portraying. Discuss how the people received the prophet’s message and what the results were.
Encourage understanding: Make a “Wheel of Prophets” like the one shown here. Divide the circle into eight sections, each with the name of a prophet from the song “Follow the Prophet” (CS, 110–11). Invite a child to spin the wheel. Share a brief story about the prophet indicated on the wheel (use the scripture references on CS, 111, for ideas). Then sing the verse about that prophet in “Follow the Prophet.” Invite another child to spin the wheel, and repeat the activity as time allows.
Encourage understanding: Cut a piece of paper into four sections and place them over a picture of the current prophet. On the back of each piece write a teaching of the prophet. (Refer to conference issues of the Ensign or Liahona to learn what the prophet has spoken about recently.) Invite a child to remove one piece of paper and act out the teaching. Ask the other children to guess what he or she is doing. Repeat with the other teachings. Show a copy of the Friend or Liahona and explain that we can read the prophet’s words today.
Encourage application: Have one child stand and complete this statement: “I will follow the living prophet by …” Invite another child to repeat the first child’s statement, adding another way to follow the prophet. Continue as time allows, encouraging the children to repeat as many of the other children’s ideas as possible.
Encourage understanding: Prepare simple road signs that read “Stop,” “Slow,” and “Go.” Choose three children to hold the signs, and tell them to lift the signs up when the music leader taps them on the shoulder. Tell the children that the Go sign means to start singing; the Stop sign means to stop singing; and the Slow sign means to sing slowly. Have the music leader lead the children in singing “Stand for the Right” (CS, 159).
Explain that road signs keep us safe and warn us of danger ahead. Then explain that the prophet’s directions are like these road signs because Heavenly Father protects and blesses us when we follow them. Divide the children into three groups. In each group, have a leader or older child share a short story about a time when he or she (or someone from the scriptures) was protected by following the prophet. Then have the groups move to another leader to hear another story. Invite them to sing the chorus to “Follow the Prophet” as they travel between leaders. Testify of the blessings that come as we follow the prophet.
Encourage application: Let the children draw their own road signs and write on them how they will follow the teachings of the living prophets. Have them take the signs home to help them remember to follow the prophet.
To help the children learn “Stand for the Right” (CS, 159), consider the following:
Display a picture of the current prophet and briefly discuss some of the directions he has given us. Tell the children that the song they will be learning explains the importance of following the prophet.
Divide the children into groups. Give each group one or two lines of the song, and invite them to create an action that will help them remember the words. Have each group teach their action to the other children.