To help each child understand that we are spirit children of Heavenly Father, who knows us and loves us.
Find out two or three admirable characteristics of each child by consulting with his or her parents.
A Bible and a Pearl of Great Price.
A beanbag or small soft object.
Picture 1-1, The World (62196); picture 1-2, Moses in the Bulrushes (Gospel Art Picture Kit 106; 62063).
Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Toss a beanbag or soft object to a child as you say the words “I know a child of God named _____.” Have the child say his or her own name and give the beanbag back to you. Repeat the activity until everyone has had a turn.
We are spirit children of Heavenly Father
Who is Heavenly Father? (Use the children’s responses to give you direction in explaining this section of the lesson on the appropriate level.)
Show picture 1-1, The World. Explain that before we were born on earth we lived in heaven with Heavenly Father. We were spirits there. A spirit is what is inside of us that makes us alive. When we were spirits, we didn’t have flesh and bones like our bodies have now, but we looked the same.
Explain that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, and we are his spirit children. We don’t remember living with Heavenly Father before we came to earth, but we know we are his spirit children because we read it in the scriptures.
Show the Bible and read Psalm 82:6, explaining that the most High means Heavenly Father. Emphasize that every person on the earth is a child of Heavenly Father.
Sing “I Am a Child of God” again. Explain that God is another name for Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father knows us and loves us
Explain that Heavenly Father loves each one of us very much because we are his children. He knows our names and all about us. He knows what makes us happy and what makes us sad. He knows what is best for each of us.
Say the following verse several times with the children, using the actions described:
Heavenly Father Knows Me
Ask a child to come to the front of the class. Using what you learned from the child’s parents, explain that Heavenly Father knows about that child’s admirable characteristics. For example, you could say, “Heavenly Father knows that Emily is a loving daughter, helps her mommy take care of her sister, and is usually cheerful and smiling.” Continue until each child has had a turn.
Explain that when we do kind and loving things, we are being like Heavenly Father.
We can be like Heavenly Father
What is a baby dog called?
What will that puppy grow up to be?
What is a baby chicken called?
What will that chick grow up to be?
Explain that just as animals grow up to be like their parents, we will grow up to be like our parents. Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, so we can grow to be like him. Heavenly Father is loving, good, and kind, and he wants to help us. When we are loving, good, and kind, we are being like Heavenly Father. Explain that we should try to become more like Heavenly Father every day.
Heavenly Father has important work for us to do
Show picture 1-2, Moses in the Bulrushes, and tell the story of how Pharaoh’s daughter saved Moses from danger when he was a baby, as found in Exodus 2:1–10.
Explain that Moses grew to be one of Heavenly Father’s important helpers, a prophet. Heavenly Father told Moses that Moses was his son (see Moses 1:4, 6) and that he had an important work for Moses to do. Read the first phrase of Moses 1:6 to the children. Moses did this work when he brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, where they were treated very cruelly, into another land, where Moses taught them Heavenly Father’s commandments.
Have the children come to the front of the class one at a time, and help each one repeat the first phrase of Moses 1:6, substituting his or her own name: “I have a work for thee, (child’s name), my son (daughter).”
Explain that Heavenly Father has important things for us to do while we live on the earth, such as being a mother or a father, a missionary, a teacher, a helper at church, or a helper in the community.
What important work might Heavenly Father want you to do?
Have the children pantomime what they want to be when they grow up, such as a mother or father cradling a baby, a missionary tracting, or a teacher teaching a class.
Tell the children that they should always remember that they are spirit children of Heavenly Father and that he knows them and loves them. Help them understand that they can become more like Heavenly Father and that they have important work to do on the earth. You might share with them a personal experience that helped you to know that Heavenly Father knows you and loves you.
Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.
Show pictures of different people, or talk about people the children know, and ask, “Is this person a child of God?” For example, “Is the bishop a child of God?” “Is the police officer a child of God?” “Is your neighbor a child of God?” and so on. Help the children understand that everyone is a child of God.
To emphasize that Heavenly Father knows and cares about each child, have the children finish your sentences, as in these examples: “Heavenly Father knows I am sad when _____,” “Heavenly Father knows I am happy when _____,” “Heavenly Father knows my favorite thing to do is _____,” “Heavenly Father knows I like to come to Primary because _____,” and so on.
Explain that Heavenly Father is the king of heaven and earth. Because we are his children, we are princes and princesses. Make a simple crown for each child and write the words I am a child of God on each crown. Let the children color the crowns.
With the children, sing or say the words to the first verse of
“I Lived in Heaven” (Children’s Songbook, p. 4) or both verses of “I Know My Father Lives” (Children’s Songbook, p 5).
Additional Activities for Younger Children
Ask the children to think of something they like (you could also get this information from their parents beforehand). Ask each child what he or she likes, and tell him or her that Heavenly Father knows that, as in this example: “Heavenly Father knows that Leah likes dogs.”
Help the children do the actions to the following activity verse:If you’re very, very tall (stretch and reach arms up),There’s a place at church for you.If you’re very, very small (crouch down),There’s a place at church for you.Tall (stretch up)Small (crouch down)Tall (stretch up)Small (crouch down)Heavenly Father loves us all.
Help the children do the actions to the following verse while you say the words:
Little Baby MosesLittle Baby Moses had a boat for his bed (cup one hand and place forefinger of other hand in it).His loving sister watched him through the grasses where she hid (peek through fingers of hand held across eyes).One day a princess found him (lean forward, looking down) and took him in her arms (pretend to lift baby);She said, “I’ll take this baby and keep him from all harm” (pretend to rock baby in arms).
(From Fascinating Finger Fun by Eleanor Doan. © 1951. Used by permission.)