To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
A prophet is a man who has been called by God to speak for Him. Prophets receive God’s word by revelation and are then commanded to preach to the people (see Amos 3:7; 1 Nephi 22:2; D&C 1:38; Bible Dictionary, “Prophet,” 754). We are blessed to be led by living prophets. Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. Their teachings are the mind and will of the Lord.
Bring a picture of the current President of the Church, if available.
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Invite the children to play “follow the leader” with you. Choose a child to walk, clap, or do some other action. Tell the other children to follow the first child, doing what he or she does. Continue until each child who wants a turn to be the leader has had one. Ask the children to follow you to the lesson area, and have them sit down.
Tell the children that we have a special leader to follow, our prophet. Explain that a prophet is a man who speaks with God—God tells the prophet what we should do. Tell the children that if we follow the prophet, we will be happy and Heavenly Father will bless us. Explain that to follow the prophet means to do the things he tells us to do.
Show the picture of Joseph Smith (page 102). Say, “This is the Prophet Joseph Smith. Heavenly Father and Jesus talked to Joseph Smith.” Hand the picture to a child to hold. Tell the children one thing the Prophet Joseph Smith taught us to do, such as read the scriptures. Have the children pretend to read the scriptures, and invite them to say, “Follow the prophet.” Hand the picture to another child and repeat the activity, acting out something else the Prophet taught, such as praying, eating good foods, and so on. After each action, have the children say, “Follow the prophet.” Continue until each child has had a chance to hold the picture.
Show a picture of the current President of the Church, if available. Tell the children his name and some of the things he has taught us to do. Explain that when we do these things, we will be blessed.
Invite the children to act out ways we can follow the prophet.
Invite the children to march around the room with you as you sing or say the words to the chorus of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 111):
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; don’t go astray.
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; he knows the way.
Invite the children to sing with you. Repeat, allowing the children to take turns leading the marching. Explain that to go astray means to do wrong things.
Tell the children that you know that when we follow the prophet, we will be blessed. Have the children say, “I will follow the prophet,” a few words at a time.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the figures activity and the guessing game: Copy and cut out the figures on page 103. Color if desired. Fold along the dotted lines to make stand-up figures.
For the coloring activity: Copy and cut out the figures on page 103 for each child to color.
Tell the children that you are going to help them learn about some prophets who lived long ago. Place the four stand-up figures on the floor or on a table. Have the children take turns choosing one of the figures. Tell the children the prophet’s name and read the caption. Invite the children to repeat a key word from the caption, such as “pray,” “baptized,” “obey,” and “scriptures.” Repeat until each child who wants a turn has had one.
Have the children cover their eyes or turn their backs while you put the stand-up figures somewhere in the room. Make sure they are easily seen. Ask the children to look for the figures. When they find one, have them bring it back to the lesson area. Tell the children the prophet’s name and read the caption to them. This activity is especially appropriate for older children.
Let the children color a copy of the figures on page 103. When they are finished, fold along the dotted lines to make stand-up figures for the children to take home. If you don’t have time to make the figures during the nursery class, ask the children’s parents to do it at home.