To help each child feel that Jesus Christ loves and blesses all children.
If possible, prepare the following materials for the review game:
Cut a circle about the size of a dinner plate out of heavy paper. Color one-third of the circle red, one-third yellow, and one-third blue.
Make twelve colored cards or pieces of paper: four red, four yellow, and four blue (more cards may be needed for a larger class).
Write a review question such as one of the following on each card:
Whom does Jesus Christ love?
How do you know Jesus loves you?
What did Jesus mean when he said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me”?
What did Jesus’ disciples (helpers) try to do when the parents brought their children to see Jesus?
How did Jesus show he loved the sick and injured people in America?
What did Jesus do after he blessed the children in America?
Whom did the parents in America see standing with their children after Jesus blessed them?
Why did Jesus bless the children?
How can we show our love for Jesus?
Place the cards in a small box or sack with a question mark drawn on the outside.
Bring a button or coin that can be dropped onto the colored circle.
Prepare to sing or say the words to both verses of
“I Think When I Read That Sweet Story” (Children’s Songbook, p. 56). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual.
A Bible and a Book of Mormon.
Picture 2-35, Christ and the Children (Gospel Art Picture Kit 216; 62467); picture 2-36, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children.
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.
Jesus Christ Loved and Blessed Little Children
Show the box or sack containing the cards for the review game. Tell the children that at the end of the lesson they will play a game. They will need to listen carefully to the lesson so they will know the answers to the questions in the game.
With the children, sing or say the words to both verses of “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story.” (If the children do not know the song, teach or sing it to them.) Discuss the words of the song and have the children imagine how wonderful it would be to have Jesus Christ put his arms around them or put his hands on their heads.
Display picture 2-35, Christ and the Children, and show the Bible. Explain that the story you are going to tell is found in the Bible. Tell the story found in Mark 10:13–16.
Explain that the disciples were afraid that the children would interrupt and disturb Jesus while he was teaching. But the Savior wanted the children to come near him. Read aloud what Jesus said from Mark 10:14 (starting with Suffer the little children). Explain that in this scripture suffer means to allow or let. Reread Jesus’ words, substituting the word let for suffer and leaving out the word to: “Let the little children come unto me.”
What did Jesus do when the children came to him?
Read aloud Mark 10:16. To help the children understand what Jesus did, remind them of the things they learned about the priesthood in lesson 17. Explain that the blessings our fathers or other priesthood holders give us are similar to those that Jesus would give us.
Why did Jesus want the children to come to him? (Because he loved them and wanted to bless them.)
Point out that even though he was busy teaching the adults, Jesus took time to hold and bless the little children because of his great love for them.
Bear your testimony that Jesus loves children. You may want to sing “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story” again with the children.
Display picture 2-36, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children. Let the children look at the picture and tell you what they see in it. Show the Book of Mormon. Explain that Jesus Christ taught the people in America as well as those in the Holy Land and that his visit to America is described in the Book of Mormon. Tell the story found in 3 Nephi 17.
Explain that when Jesus Christ had finished teaching the people in America, they did not want him to leave. Jesus loved the people very much, so he blessed and healed all the people who were sick or injured or disabled (see 3 Nephi 17:7–10).
Then Jesus asked that all the little children be brought to him. He gathered them around him and said a wonderful prayer (see 3 Nephi 17:11–15).
Tell the children that the Book of Mormon says that the words of this prayer were so great and marvelous that they could not be written down (see 3 Nephi 17:15).
Explain that Jesus then took the children one by one and blessed them and prayed to Heavenly Father for them. As the parents watched, they could see angels with their children (see 3 Nephi 17:21–24). All the people there could feel Jesus’ great love for them.
How do you think the children felt when Jesus blessed them and prayed for them?
How do you feel when you think about Jesus?
Jesus Christ Loves Us
Explain that although Jesus Christ is not here in person now, he loves us just as much as he loved the children who were alive when he was on the earth.
How do we know Jesus loves us? (Answers may include the following: He created the earth for us; he gave us commandments to live by; he gave his life for us; he directs the Church and speaks to us through his prophets; he set a good example for us.)
Remind the children that under Heavenly Father’s direction, Jesus Christ created the earth and all the plants and animals on it.
Ask each child to name a favorite animal or plant. Remind the children that when they see these things that Jesus created, they can remember that Jesus loves them.
Show again pictures 2-35, Christ and the Children, and 2-36, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children.
Do you think these children are happy that Jesus loves them?
Are you happy that Jesus loves you?
We Can Show Jesus Christ We Love Him
Explain that even though Jesus Christ is not on the earth, we can show him that we are thankful for his love for us and that we love him. Explain that one way we can show Jesus that we love him is by keeping his commandments.
Read aloud Matthew 25:40 to tell the children about another way we can show Jesus we love him. (Explain that the King is another name for Jesus Christ.) Explain that in this scripture the Savior is telling us that if we are kind to other people, it is like being kind to him. When we treat others kindly, we show Jesus that we love him.
Play the following game to help the children remember what they have learned from the lesson today. (If it was not possible to prepare all the game materials, adapt the game as necessary, or read the questions listed in the preparation section and have the children take turns answering them.)
Remove the cards from the box or sack and place them face down on the floor or table in piles according to color. Place the colored circle near the cards.
Let a child drop the button or coin onto the circle and then choose a card the same color as the area of the circle on which the button landed. Read the question on the card aloud and have the child answer the question. Give each child a turn.
If the child who drew the card cannot answer the question, you or the other class members may give hints as needed. If time permits, play the game again without giving any hints. Compliment the children for knowing so much about Jesus and his love for them.
Tell the children that Jesus Christ loves each of them and will always love them. Jesus loves being with children and wants to help and bless them. Bear your testimony that Jesus loves and values each child in your class.
Encourage the children to think during the week of all the things that Jesus has done for them because he loves them. You may want to have the children make a list or draw pictures of the things they think of and bring the list or pictures to Primary next week.
Remind the children that they can show Jesus that they love him by obeying the commandments and being kind to others.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that the child express thanks for Jesus Christ and his love.
As the children leave the class, whisper to each child, “Jesus loves you, and I love you too.”
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”
Bring to class a small mirror attached to a stiff piece of paper. Do not let the children see the mirror. Hold up the back side of the paper and tell your class that you have a secret picture of someone Jesus Christ loves very much. Allow the children to come up one at a time to view the “picture.” Ask them to keep the picture a secret until everyone has had a turn to look. Remind the children that Jesus loves each of them.
Sing or say the words to
“Jesus Loved the Little Children” (Children’s Songbook, p. 59) or “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74). The words to these songs are included at the back of the manual.
Help the children do the following activity verse:
Jesus Loves All ChildrenJesus loves all children (hold arms outstretched),The little ones still small (use hand to indicate knee-high child),The baby in the cradle (form cradle with arms),The ones so big and tall (raise hands high over head).
(From Finger Fun for Little Folk by Thea Cannon. © 1949 by the Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Used by permission.)
Repeat as many times as you want.
Make a copy of the drawing of Christ with the children (found at the end of the lesson) for each child. Let the children draw in the faces of the children in the picture and then color their pictures. If you cannot make a copy for each child, make one copy and allow each child in your class to color one of the children in the picture.
Tell the children that if they had been there at the time Jesus Christ lived on earth, he would have taken them into his arms and blessed them too. Remind them that although Jesus is not on the earth right now, he still loves all the people on the earth.