To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
Jesus Christ was baptized to show “unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments” and to set an example for us (see 2 Nephi 31:7, 9; see also Matthew 3:13–17). When we are baptized, we also show that we are willing to follow the Savior and obey His commandments. After Jesus was baptized, “the Holy Ghost descended upon him” (2 Nephi 31:8). After we are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost through the ordinance of confirmation. This means that we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost if we keep the commandments.
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Show the picture of Jesus Christ being baptized (page 110). Point out details in the picture (Jesus, the water, John the Baptist, and so on). Explain that Jesus was baptized because He loves Heavenly Father and wants to obey Him. Invite the children to say “Jesus” and “baptized” with you.
Point to different parts of the picture while you recite the words to the first verse of “Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, 100–101). Invite the children to point with you.
Jesus came to John the Baptist, (point to Jesus, then to John)
In Judea long ago,
And was baptized by immersion
In the River Jordan’s flow. (point to the water)
You may want to explain that “immersion” means that Jesus went all the way under the water when He was baptized.
Show the picture of the girl being baptized (page 110) and point out the similarities between the two pictures. Tell the children that they can be baptized, just like Jesus was, when they are eight years old. Hold up eight fingers, four on each hand, and count them. Repeat, and invite the children to do it with you. Emphasize that being baptized is one way we can follow Jesus; when we are baptized we show that we love Heavenly Father and want to obey Him.
Show the illustrations on page 111. Talk to the children about what is happening in the illustrations. Explain that after we are baptized, we are confirmed. Invite the children to say “confirmed.” Tell them this means that men who hold the priesthood put their hands on our head to give us the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Invite the children to say, “I will be baptized and confirmed,” a few words at a time. Briefly tell the children how you felt when you were baptized and confirmed.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the guessing game: Copy the illustrations on page 111 and color them if desired. Fold the page in half so that the baptism illustration is showing on one side and the confirmation illustration is showing on the other.
For the coloring activity: Copy the illustrations on page 111 for each child to color.
Tell the children that Jesus Christ tells us in the scriptures that He wants us to be baptized. Open the Book of Mormon to 3 Nephi 12:1 and say, “Jesus said, ‘Believe in me and be baptized.’ ” Invite the children to repeat the phrase with you, a few words at a time. Remind them that they can be baptized when they are eight years old.
Show the children your copy of the baptism illustration, read the caption, and invite the children to say “baptized.” Turn the page over, and repeat for the confirmation illustration.
Hide the illustrations behind your back. Then show the children one side of the page, and ask, “Is this boy being baptized or confirmed?” Invite the children to say the answer with you. Hide the illustrations behind your back again and repeat the activity as long as the children are interested. This activity is especially appropriate for older children.
Let the children color a copy of the illustrations on page 111. While they are coloring, review the principles taught in the lesson. Point out details in the pictures, read the captions to the children, and explain to them what they are coloring.