To help each child understand that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Christ organized when he was on the earth.
Prayerfully study Doctrine and Covenants 115:4. See also Gospel Principles (31110),
chapters 16 and 17.
Prepare to sing or say the words to the first verse of
“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 57) and “The Church of Jesus Christ” (Children’s Songbook, p. 77).
Study the world map found at the end of the lesson and identify a few locations familiar to the children, including your own state or country.
The pictures displayed on the chalkboard, wall, or floor during the lesson should end up looking like this:
A Bible and a Doctrine and Covenants.
Tape or other adhesive (optional).
Picture 2-3, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572); picture 2-19, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 208; 62133); picture 2-20, Boy Being Baptized (62018); picture 2-37, Sermon on the Mount (Gospel Art Picture Kit 212; 62166); picture 2-38, The First Vision (Gospel Art Picture Kit 403; 62470); picture 2-66, Christ Ordaining the Apostles (Gospel Art Picture Kit 211; 62557); picture 2-67, Jesus Blessing the First Sacrament; picture 2-68, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration (Gospel Art Picture Kit 408; 62371); picture 2-69, Child Partaking of the Sacrament; picture 2-70, Children from Around the World.
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 Organized His Church in the Holy Land
Show the children the world map found at the end of the lesson.
What is this? (A map.)
Briefly discuss maps and what they are used for. Show the children where they live on the map. Point out some other places the children might be familiar with, such as where a missionary is from or where one is serving, or where a new family in the ward or branch moved from.
Explain that on this map is an area often called the Holy Land. Point out this area. Explain that this is where Jesus Christ grew up, taught people the gospel, and organized his church. Remind the children that in Primary this year they have learned many things about Jesus and his teachings to the people in the Holy Land.
Show the Bible and open it to the New Testament. Remind the children that this book of scripture contains stories about Jesus Christ and the people of the Holy Land. We can read in the New Testament about how Jesus organized his church in the Holy Land.
Tell the children that you are going to discuss some parts of Jesus Christ’s church as he organized it in the Holy Land when he was on the earth. (You may want to point out that Jesus organized his church the same way among the Nephites in America when he visited them after his crucifixion.)
Show picture 2-37, Sermon on the Mount, and have a child place it in the top left corner of the chalkboard, on the wall, or on the floor in front of the class.
What does this picture show? (Jesus Christ teaching the people.)
What are some of the teachings of Jesus that you remember?
Explain that Jesus loved the people he taught and wanted them to know the gospel, the things Heavenly Father wanted them to do. One reason Jesus organized his church was to help the people learn the gospel. Explain that organize means to gather together in an orderly way.
Why did Jesus want the people to have the gospel? (He loved them and wanted them to know how to live with Heavenly Father again.)
Show picture 2-19, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus, and have a child place it below the picture of the Sermon on the Mount.
Ask the children to tell you what they know about the picture. Explain that Jesus set the example of how we should be baptized. Baptism by immersion by someone who holds the priesthood is an important part of Jesus’ church.
Show picture 2-66, Christ Ordaining the Apostles, and have a child place it below the baptism picture.
Explain that Jesus Christ chose twelve men to help lead his church (not all the men are shown in the picture). These men were called Apostles. Jesus gave them the priesthood to help them lead his church and serve people.
Show picture 2-67, Jesus Blessing the First Sacrament, and have a child place it below the picture of the Apostles.
Have the children tell what they know about the picture. Remind the children that Jesus Christ gave the people the sacrament to help them remember him.
Show picture 2-3, Jesus the Christ, and have a child place it below the picture of the first sacrament.
Tell the children that Jesus wanted everyone to know that the true church was the Church of Jesus Christ.
Have the children stand and sing or say the words to the first verse of “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” with you.
Jesus Christ Organized His Church for Us
Explain that the Apostles led the Church after Christ died. After the Apostles died, however, the people began to forget Jesus and the Apostles. They did not obey the commandments or follow Jesus’ teachings anymore. Soon the Church of Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth. Hundreds of years went by and there were many different churches, but none of them had the true priesthood.
Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus still loved all the people on the earth. They wanted the Church of Jesus Christ to be on the earth again so people could learn the gospel.
Display the world map again and tell the children that in 1820 Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, who was living in New York, in the United States. Show the children where New York is located on the map.
Show picture 2-38, The First Vision, and have a child place it next to the picture of the Sermon on the Mount.
Have the children tell what they know about the picture. Explain that Jesus commanded Joseph Smith to organize the Church of Jesus Christ, just as Jesus himself had organized it when he was on the earth.
Show a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants (or show the title page of the Doctrine and Covenants in the triple combination). Point out that just as the New Testament contains the teachings of Jesus when he was on the earth, the Doctrine and Covenants contains teachings Jesus has given to Joseph Smith and other prophets of our day.
Show picture 2-20, Boy Being Baptized, and have a child place it next to the picture of Jesus being baptized.
Have the children tell about this picture. Point out that the child is being baptized by immersion (being completely covered by water) by someone who holds the priesthood, just as Jesus was baptized.
Show picture 2-68, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration, and have a child place it next to the picture of Jesus ordaining his Apostles.
Point out Peter, James, and John in the picture of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Explain that Peter, James, and John were three of the original Apostles who were given the priesthood by Jesus Christ. Tell the children that Jesus had Peter, James, and John return to the earth and give the priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Jesus knew that we would need the priesthood just as the original members of his church needed it.
Show picture 2-69, Child Partaking of the Sacrament, and have a child place it next to the picture of Jesus blessing the first sacrament.
What is happening in this picture?
Why do we take the sacrament?
Point out that Jesus Christ has given us the sacrament for the same reason he gave it to the Apostles in the Holy Land: to help us remember him.
Move picture 2-3, Jesus the Christ, so it is between the two rows of pictures.
Explain that we are members of Jesus Christ’s church, just as his followers in the Holy Land were.
What is the name of Jesus Christ’s church today?
Read aloud Doctrine and Covenants 115:4. Explain that latter-day means the time we now live in and saints are people who obey the teachings of Jesus.
Have the children stand and say “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” together a few times.
Briefly compare the two columns of pictures, emphasizing that Jesus’ church is the same today as it was in the Holy Land. Jesus has given his teachings to us just as he gave them to the people in the Holy Land.
Show the world map again. Point out the Holy Land again and explain that when Jesus was on the earth, most members of his church lived in the Holy Land.
Where do the members of Jesus Christ’s church live today?
Show picture 2-70, Children from Around the World, and explain that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live all over the world. Point out that the children in the picture come from many different countries. Explain that Jesus wants all people, not just the people in one or two countries, to learn his teachings and belong to his church.
Sing or say the words to “The Church of Jesus Christ.”
Remove all the pictures except picture 2-3, Jesus the Christ, from the columns on the chalkboard, table, or floor. Mix up the pictures and place them face down (or face up for younger children) on the floor in two columns.
Tell the children that the object of this game is to match the pictures. One at a time, have each child turn over two pictures. If the pictures match (for example, the picture of Jesus being baptized matches the picture of the boy being baptized), have the child tell what part of the church of Jesus Christ is represented by the pictures. If the pictures do not match, have the child turn them face down again in the same positions. (If you think the children will be distracted by the pictures on the back sides of the pictures to be matched, place plain pieces of paper over the back pictures.)
Continue until all four matches have been made. If you have a large class, you may want to mix the pictures up again and repeat the game so everyone has an opportunity to make a match.
Testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Jesus organized when he was on the earth. Tell the children your feelings about an aspect of the gospel discussed in the lesson today (baptism, priesthood, or the sacrament).
Encourage the children to tell their families about what they have learned today. You may want to ask a few questions to help the children quickly review the ideas taught in the lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Suggest that the child thank Heavenly Father for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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.”
Help the children memorize the first part of the sixth article of faith: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church.” Explain that the Primitive Church means the Church in the Holy Land during the time Jesus was on the earth.
Give the children paper and crayons or pencils and have them draw pictures of themselves at church or of the building they meet in for church. Help the children understand that the Church is more than just a building. It is an organization that helps teach us how to live so we can return to be with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ someday.