To help each child understand that he or she belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Cut a large piece of paper or posterboard into as many large jigsaw puzzle–type pieces as there are people in the class (children and teacher). Write the name of each class member on a piece of the puzzle.
A set of scriptures.
Picture 1-4, The First Vision (Gospel Art Picture Kit 403; 62470); picture 1-8, Passing the Sacrament (62021); picture 1-12, Girl Being Confirmed (62020); picture 1-18, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 208; 62133); picture 1-39, Blessing a Baby; picture 1-40, Administering to the Sick (62342); a picture of the living prophet.
Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Hold up the puzzle piece with your name on it. Tell the children that it belongs to a puzzle. Pass out the other pieces and help the children assemble the puzzle. Point to each name in the puzzle and read it to the children. Explain that just as each puzzle piece belongs to this puzzle, each of them belongs to this class. Explain that to belong to something means to be a part of it.
What else do you belong to?
Explain that we belong to other groups, such as families or neighborhoods. We also belong to Jesus’ church.
Show picture 1-39, Blessing a Baby.
What is happening in this picture?
Explain to the children that most of them received a name and a blessing when they were babies. Because of this naming and blessing, their names were put on the records of the Church and they can say, “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Help the children say “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” a few times.
Do the activity verse “I’m Glad I Came to Church Today” with the children:
Explain to the children that we come to our church meetings to learn more about Jesus and what he wants us to do. Tell the children that in this lesson they will learn about some of the important things that are a part of Jesus’ church.
Jesus’ church has the priesthood
Show picture 1-8, Passing the Sacrament; picture 1-12, Girl Being Confirmed; and picture 1-40, Administering to the Sick. Let the children tell what they know about what is happening in each picture. Explain that the priesthood is needed to do each of these things. The priesthood is the power that Heavenly Father and Jesus have. They share this power with righteous men so the men can help do Heavenly Father’s and Jesus’ work on earth. Point to the priesthood holders in each picture. Have the children say the word priesthood a few times.
Who do you know who holds the priesthood?
Help the children understand that men who hold the priesthood can bless and pass the sacrament, baptize, give blessings to people, and do other important things. Show picture 1-39, Blessing a Baby, again and tell the children that babies are blessed by men who hold the priesthood.
Display picture 1-18, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus. Let the children tell what they remember about the picture. Briefly review the story, as found in Mark 1:9–11.
Who is baptizing Jesus? (See Mark 1:9.)
What power did John need to have to baptize Jesus? (The priesthood.)
Explain that being baptized by someone who holds the priesthood is an important part of belonging to Jesus’ church. Tell the children that when they are eight years old, they can be baptized a member of Jesus’ church.
Jesus’ church has a prophet
Show picture 1-4, The First Vision, and tell the story of Joseph Smith and the First Vision, as found in Joseph Smith—History 1:5, 10–19.
Who came to talk to Joseph Smith in the grove? (See Joseph Smith—History 1:17.)
Explain that because Heavenly Father and Jesus talked with Joseph Smith, we call Joseph Smith a prophet. A prophet tells us what Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to know.
What is a prophet? (A man who has a special calling to talk with Heavenly Father and Jesus and tell us what they want us to know.)
Show a picture of the living prophet. Tell the children about him. Explain that Jesus’ church always has a living prophet to teach us what Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to know and do.
Help the children sing or say the words to the chorus of
Jesus’ church has the scriptures
Hold up the scriptures.
What am I holding?
Let the children tell what they know about the scriptures. Remind the children that the scriptures contain the teachings of Heavenly Father and Jesus. The scriptures contain many true stories about Jesus, prophets, and other people. The scriptures are an important part of Jesus’ church.
We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Whose church do we belong to?
What is the name of the church we belong to?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 115:4 to the children. Explain that this name means that this is Jesus’ church in the time in which we now live. Help the children understand that there are many people throughout the world who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You may want to explain that there are other churches on the earth today that teach about Jesus and teach people to live good lives, but they don’t have the priesthood, a living prophet, or all of the scriptures.
Ask everyone who belongs to Jesus’ church to stand. Remind the children that all of them should be standing. Have the children repeat, “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Briefly review, using the pictures and the scriptures, that the priesthood, a living prophet, and the scriptures are important parts of Jesus’ church.
Bear your testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. Help the children feel how important and wonderful it is to belong to Jesus’ true church.
Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.
Make a badge that says I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for each child to wear home. Let the children color their badges.
Do the following finger play with the children:
Here Is the ChurchHere is the church (clasp hands with fingers interlaced inside),And here is the steeple (extend forefingers and put tips together).Open the doors (open palms, keeping fingers together)And see all the people (wiggle fingers).Close the doors and hear them pray (close hands with fingers inside; hold hands to one ear).Open the door and they all walk away (open hands, make fingers “walk” away).
Tell a story about a child who belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints going to church. Include the activities the children in your class might participate in, such as sitting with their families in sacrament meeting, taking the sacrament, sitting reverently in Primary, praying, and singing.
You could also have the children think of these ideas by asking questions such as “What should children who belong to the Church do on Sunday?” “What should they do in sacrament meeting? in Primary?” “What should they do at home on Sunday?” “What should they do during family home evening?” “How should they treat their families? their friends?” Help the children understand what boys and girls who belong to Jesus’ church should do.
Have the children think of different groups they belong to, such as a family or a Primary class. Have the children tell what they like about belonging to each group. End this discussion with what they (and you) like about belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sing or say the words to
“The Church of Jesus Christ” (Children’s Songbook, p. 77).
Additional Activities for Younger Children
Before class, draw four simple pictures—an eye, a hand, an ear, and a mouth—on separate pieces of paper.
Tell the children that there are many things we can do at church. (Post the picture of an eye.) We can read scripture stories. (Post the picture of a hand.) We can play kindly with our friends. (Post the picture of an ear.) We can listen carefully to our teachers. (Post the picture of a mouth.) We can speak softly while we are in church. Have each child come up and point to one of the pictures. As a picture is pointed to, tell the children again what it stands for.
Help the children sing
“Book of Mormon Stories” (Children’s Songbook, p. 118), improvising actions as suggested by the words. Or have the children march around the room as they sing.