“O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God” (Alma 37:35).13484_000_mar
Week 1: God speaks through living prophets.
Identify the doctrine (seeing a demonstration and memorizing a scripture): 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 clap three times” or “Tell them to stand and march in place.” Allow several children to have a turn as the leader. Explain that although they did not all hear you give instructions, they were able to obey the instructions because they knew who to follow. Ask who we should follow to know what Heavenly Father wants us to do. Show a picture of the current President of the Church. Have the children say together, “God speaks through living prophets.” Read Amos 3:7, and explain any words the children do not understand. Help the children memorize the scripture (see TNGC, 171–72).
Week 2: The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are prophets.
Identify the doctrine: Write on the board, “The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are prophets.” Tell the children that in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are led by the President of the Church, his two counselors in the First Presidency, and the Twelve Apostles. Explain that the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are prophets.
Ask questions: Questions can encourage participation and discussion. Ask questions to help determine if children understand the doctrine being taught and to encourage them to ponder (see TNGC, 73). For example, you could ask questions such as “How does Heavenly Father speak to members of the Church?” and “How have you been blessed by following the prophet?”
Encourage application (playing a matching game): Gather pictures of six members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, and write their names on separate pieces of paper. Put the papers and pictures facedown on the board. Have a child turn over a picture, and invite another child to turn over a piece of paper with a name on it. If the picture and name do not match, put them back in place and allow two other children to choose. If the papers match, whisper to the two children a gospel principle the leader taught in the most recent general conference (see the latest conference issue of the Ensign or Liahona), and have them act out a way they can live the principle. Invite the other children to guess what they are doing.
Repetition: Children learn through repetition. In weeks 2 and 3 you will be teaching the children the same doctrine in different ways. This will be an opportunity to reinforce their understanding of the doctrine.
Week 3: God’s prophets and apostles speak to us in general conference.
Encourage understanding and application (playing a game): Write on separate pieces of paper a one-sentence summary of the most recent conference messages from members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Place them on the board along with pictures of the leaders. Discuss each message. Invite a group of children to leave the room. Remove one of the messages from the board. Invite the children to return and decide together which message is missing. Ask the children to choose a Primary song that corresponds with the message, and sing it together. Invite the children to suggest ways they can apply the message. Repeat with other messages.
Week 4: I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet.
Identify the doctrine (singing a song): Sing the ninth verse and the chorus of “Follow the Prophet” (CS, 110–11). Invite the children to listen for reasons we follow the prophet. Have the children say together, “I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet.”
Encourage understanding (acting out scripture stories): Tell the children the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (see 1 Kings 17:8–16), and invite the children to act it out with you. For example: “The Lord told the prophet Elijah to go to a city called Zarephath (walk in place). When he got to the city, he saw a woman gathering sticks (pretend to pick up sticks). Elijah asked the woman to give him a drink (pretend to give someone a drink) and a piece of bread. The woman told Elijah that she had only a little flour and oil to make bread for her son (shake head no). Elijah told her to make some bread for him first and God would give her more flour and oil. The woman obeyed Elijah (pretend to knead bread). She had enough flour and oil to make bread for many days (pretend to eat).” Repeat the activity with the stories of Moses and the brazen serpent (see Numbers 21:5–9) and Nephi and the brass plates (see 1 Nephi 3–4; 5:21–22). Ask the children to share how the people in the stories were blessed because they followed the prophet’s counsel.
Encourage application (discussing the prophet’s teachings): Ask the children, “Who is our prophet today?” Show a picture of the current President of the Church. Explain that he was called by God. Have the children discuss in small groups how they can follow him. Ask a few children from each group to share their ideas. Invite the children to choose one way they can follow the prophet during the week. Create a reminder for them to take home and share with their families. Remind the children that they can hear the prophet’s words during general conference, and encourage them to watch or listen to conference with their families. The week following general conference, ask some of the children to share experiences they had as they listened to the prophet and followed his teachings.
Tip: Consider ways to let children and their parents know about the resources available at conferencegames.lds.org.