To help each child understand that in the pre-earth life we lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and chose to follow them.
Prepare to hum and sing the first verse of
“I Am a Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, p. 2). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual.
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.
We Are Children of God
Tell the children that you are going to hum a song. Ask them to listen carefully and tell you the name of the song when you are finished. Hum “I Am a Child of God.”
What song did I hum?
Who does the song say you are?
Have the children sing the first verse of the song.
Remind the children that in the previous lesson you talked about where we lived before we came to earth.
Where did we live before we came to earth?
Whom did we live with in heaven?
What makes us all brothers and sisters? (We are all children of Heavenly Father.)
We Made an Important Choice in Heaven
Tell the children that they are going to learn about something very exciting that happened before we were born, while we lived with Heavenly Father.
Show picture 2-4, The Pre-earth Life. Explain that this is one artist’s idea of what heaven is like. Explain that in heaven we were all spirits who walked and talked with Heavenly Father. Ask the children to think about what it might have been like to live with Heavenly Father. Help them understand how wonderful it was to be able to see him and be with him.
Tell the children that while we were in heaven, Heavenly Father called us to attend a great meeting. All of Heavenly Father’s children were there. Heavenly Father wanted to talk to us.
Explain that Heavenly Father told us that we needed to go away from him for a time in order to get a physical body and learn to choose the right. Heavenly Father told us he would provide a place where we could do these things.
Where did Heavenly Father want us to go? (To earth.)
Heavenly Father told us that when we came to earth, we would not remember living with him. He also said we would need someone to help us return to heaven to live with him again after our time on earth was finished. He promised to send someone to help us.
How does it make you feel to know that Heavenly Father loved you enough to send someone to help you get back to heaven to live with him again?
Explain that when Heavenly Father told us that he was going to send someone to help us, we all shouted for joy (see Job 38:7).
Show picture 2-3, Jesus the Christ.
Who is this?
Explain that Jesus Christ lived in heaven with us. He is the firstborn of our Heavenly Father’s spirit children.
Article of faith
Tell the children that as a church we have statements called the Articles of Faith that tell what we believe. Help the children memorize the first part of the first article of faith : “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Tell the children that God, the Eternal Father is another name for Heavenly Father.
Scripture story and discussion
Tell the children that Heavenly Father asked whom he should send to teach us. Open the Pearl of Great Price to Abraham 3:27 and read aloud what Jesus answered: “Here am I, send me.” Jesus said he would do whatever Heavenly Father wanted him to do to help us. Read aloud the last part of Moses 4:2 (from Father). Jesus also said that he would give all the glory to Heavenly Father. Explain briefly the meaning of glory.
How can you tell that Jesus loved Heavenly Father? (He was willing to do what Heavenly Father wanted him to do.)
Whom else does Jesus love? (Us.)
Emphasize Jesus’ love for Heavenly Father and for us by reviewing what Jesus was willing to do.
Jesus Christ was willing to—
Come to earth to help us.
Testify of Heavenly Father.
Teach us the right way to live and be happy.
Show us what to do so we can live with Heavenly Father again.
Give his life for us.
Point out that another spirit son whose name was Lucifer also wanted to be sent to earth to help us. He told Heavenly Father that he would come to earth and force all of us to do what is right. He wouldn’t let us choose for ourselves. Lucifer wanted Heavenly Father to give him all the honor and glory.
Read aloud Heavenly Father’s decision from Abraham 3:27: “I will send the first.”
Whom did Heavenly Father choose to help him?
Explain that Lucifer became very angry that he wasn’t chosen. He did not accept Heavenly Father’s plan. Instead, Lucifer caused a great war in heaven. It was not a war of guns and bombs, but a war of talking and trying to get people to follow him. Lucifer convinced some of our spirit brothers and sisters that his evil ideas were good, and they chose to follow him instead of Jesus.
Tell the children that Lucifer is also called Satan, or the devil.
Whom did you choose to follow, Jesus or Satan?
Ask the children to stand if they chose to follow Jesus. Explain that all of them chose to follow Jesus, so they should all be standing.
Explain that we know we followed Jesus because we are here on earth. The spirits who followed Satan were not allowed to be born on earth and receive physical bodies.
Tell the children how happy you are that you chose to follow Jesus. Tell them that you are proud of them because they chose to follow Jesus and not Satan. Praise the children for choosing the right.
We Want to Continue to Follow Jesus Christ
Emphasize to the children that they were not forced to follow Jesus. They had a choice. They could have followed Satan. But they chose the right way.
Tell the children that they have the same choice in this life on earth. Satan is still trying to get us to follow him. Heavenly Father wants us to follow Jesus because that will make us happy and enable us to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again. But we are not forced to follow Jesus. We can choose whether we do the good things Jesus wants us to do or the bad things Satan wants us to do.
Show the CTR chart. Ask the children who is in the picture on the chart. Read the words on the chart as you point to them. Then have the children say with you, “I will choose the right.”
Let the children respond to the following questions (or some you have created) about what they would do to follow Jesus:
If you choose to follow Jesus, what could you do if you accidentally hurt someone?
If you choose to follow Jesus, how will you act in this class? (Have the children demonstrate actions such as sitting quietly, listening, participating appropriately, and not disturbing other children.)
If you choose to follow Jesus, what could you do or say if someone gives you a gift or does something for you?
If you choose to follow Jesus, how will you treat someone who has been unkind to you?
Refer again to the CTR chart and have the children repeat the words on it.
Bear testimony that before we came to earth, each of us made a choice. We chose to follow Jesus Christ, and we will again live with him and Heavenly Father if we do what Jesus has taught us to do.
Explain that each week in Primary the children will learn about things Jesus wants us to do.
Encourage the children to thank Heavenly Father in their prayers for sending Jesus to earth to be our Savior. Suggest that they ask Heavenly Father to help them make right choices so they can live with him and Jesus again someday.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
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.”
Have the children look at their CTR rings. If the children are not wearing CTR rings, you may wish to tie a piece of string around each child’s finger like a ring. Tell the children that their rings will remind them that they chose to follow Jesus and that they should continue to make right choices.
Sing or say the words to the first verse of
“I Lived in Heaven” (Children’s Songbook, p. 4):I lived in heaven a long time ago, it is true;Lived there and loved there with people I know. So did you.Then Heav’nly Father presented a beautiful plan,All about earth and eternal salvation for man.
After you sing, ask questions such as the following about what the song says (repeat the lines of the song as necessary to help the children with the answers):
Where does the song say you lived? When did you live there?
Whom did you live with there?
What did Heavenly Father do while we were in heaven with him?
What was the plan about?
Sing the second verse of the song and ask similar questions:Father said he needed someone who had enough loveTo give his life so we all could return there above.There was another who sought for the honor divine.Jesus said, “Father, send me, and the glory be thine.”
(© 1987 by Janeen Jacobs Brady. Used by permission.)
Have the children draw pictures of what they think heaven is like.
Sing or say the words to
“He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook, p. 34) or “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (Children’s Songbook, p. 164). The words to “He Sent His Son” are included at the back of the manual.
I Will Follow God’s PlanMy life is a gift; my life has a plan.My life has a purpose; in heav’n it began.My choice was to come to this lovely home on earthAnd seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.I will follow God’s plan for me,Holding fast to his word and his love.I will work, and I will pray;I will always walk in his way.Then I will be happy on earthAnd in my home above.