To strengthen each child’s faith that Heavenly Father will help and bless us in time of need.
Prayerfully study Matthew 2:1–15, 19–20.
Make for each child a paper circle that is large enough for the child to draw a picture of his or her face on it. Punch a hole in the top of each circle and write Heavenly Father Watches Over Me around the edge of the circle.
Prepare to share a personal experience when you felt that Heavenly Father was watching over and protecting you, such as when you were protected from an accident, when you had to solve a problem, or when you needed comfort. Or, with the approval of your Primary president, invite a member of your ward or branch to come to your class and share such an experience.
Prepare to sing or say the words to
“I Thank Thee, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 7). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual.
A small gift for each child, such as a flower, a pretty stone, or a short note of appreciation.
Crayons or pencils.
A long piece of yarn for each child.
Picture 2-7, The Wise Men (Gospel Art Picture Kit 203; 62120); picture 2-8, Flight into Egypt (Gospel Art Picture Kit 204; 62119); picture 2-9, David O. McKay as a Boy.
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.
Heavenly Father Does Many Things for Us
Ask the children to close their eyes. Put a small gift on each child’s lap and then ask the children to open their eyes. Allow them a moment to talk about the pleasant surprise.
Who do you think put this gift on your lap?
Why do you think I gave you a gift?
Who else does nice things for you? (Parents, family, friends, Heavenly Father.)
What has Heavenly Father done for you? (Answers might include planning for us to come to earth, giving us families, and sending Jesus Christ to earth to be our Savior.)
With the children, sing or say the words to “I Thank Thee, Dear Father.”
Explain that one thing Heavenly Father does for us is protect and comfort us when we have problems. If we have faith in Heavenly Father, he will give us courage and help us make good decisions about how to handle our problems.
Heavenly Father Protected Baby Jesus
Display picture 2-7, The Wise Men. Tell the story of the Wise Men seeking the Christ child, as found in Matthew 2:1–12.
Explain that King Herod told the Wise Men that he wanted to worship, or show love for, the Christ child (you may want to explain that the Christ child is another name for baby Jesus). But King Herod really meant to harm Jesus. Read aloud Matthew 2:12 and explain that Heavenly Father protected Jesus by telling the Wise Men not to go back to King Herod.
Display picture 2-8, Flight into Egypt. Tell the story found in Matthew 2:13–15. Read aloud verse 13 and explain that to destroy means to kill.
Why did the angel appear to Joseph? (See Matthew 2:13.)
Why did the angel tell Joseph to go to Egypt? (So King Herod would not be able to find Jesus.)
Why did King Herod want to kill baby Jesus? (He was afraid Jesus would grow up to take his place as king.)
Explain that Heavenly Father watched over and protected Jesus by warning Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Heavenly Father always watched over Jesus.
Read aloud Matthew 2:19–20.
Heavenly Father Watches Over Us
Remind the children that each of us is a child of Heavenly Father. He watches over us just as he watched over Jesus. When we obey his commandments and ask for his help, Heavenly Father will help us. (You may want to point out that Heavenly Father always helps us, but sometimes he does not help us exactly as we expect him to.)
How can you ask for Heavenly Father’s help? (Pray.)
How might Heavenly Father help you when you are sick? when you are lonely? when you are frightened?
Show picture 2-9, David O. McKay as a Boy. Point out David O. McKay (he is sitting on his father’s lap) and tell the children that this boy grew up to become the ninth President of the Church. Tell the following story about an experience he had when he was a little boy:
“One night while his father was gone, David … heard noises around the house and felt sure there were burglars. He knew his mother would be frightened too if she heard [the noises], and he hoped that she would not. As he lay there wide awake, … he decided to do what his parents had taught him to do—pray. He had always said his prayers kneeling at his bedside, so he felt that now too he must get out of bed and kneel down to pray. Climbing out of bed was a terrible test; it took all his strength and willpower because he was so frightened. But he did it!
“As he knelt down by the side of the bed, he prayed earnestly and with real faith. Then, just as clearly as one person speaks aloud to another, he heard a voice say to him, ‘Don’t be afraid. Nothing will hurt you.’ David then climbed back into bed and fell fast asleep” (Marie F. Felt, “David: A Boy of Promise,” Instructor, Sept. 1969, p. 330).
Tell the following story about Elder Hugh B. Brown, who became an Apostle in the Church:
“If I had a bad dream in the night when I was young, I would awaken and call out, ‘Mother, are you there?’ Since mother’s room was next to mine, she would hear me and answer quickly, ‘Yes, Son, I’m here.’
“Years later when I left for a mission to England, my mother reminded me that she wouldn’t be there to answer when I called but that our Heavenly Father would always be there.
“Many times on my mission and throughout my life I have called out: ‘Father, are you there?’ … Always, I have received an answer” (in Joleen Meredith, “Friend to Friend,” Friend, Aug. 1975, p. 7).
Explain that Heavenly Father may not talk to us out loud, but he is always watching over us. Sometimes he helps us by giving us peaceful feelings or by putting ideas into our minds.
Teacher presentation or guest speaker
Share a personal experience when you felt that Heavenly Father was watching over and protecting you, or have the invited ward or branch member share his or her experience.
Give each child crayons or pencils and a paper circle. Have each child draw his or her face on the circle. String the yarn through the hole at the top of each circle and tie the yarn so the child can wear the circle around his or her neck. Read aloud or have the children read the words on their circles.
Bear your testimony that just as Heavenly Father loved and watched over Jesus Christ when he was on the earth, Heavenly Father also loves and watches over each of us.
Point to a child and say, “Heavenly Father will always watch over (child’s name).” Repeat for each child.
Encourage the children to trust Heavenly Father and ask for his protecting care in their prayers tonight.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer. Ask the child to express gratitude to Heavenly Father for his love and help.
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.”
Prepare pieces of paper describing situations in which the children could ask for Heavenly Father’s help. Put the pieces of paper in a container and have the children take turns choosing one and telling what they would do in the situation described. You may want to use the following situations or create some of your own:
Your family is about to leave on a trip. Your parents are concerned about the safety of the family while traveling.
Your little sister is sick and in the hospital. You are worried about her.
You become lost while hiking with your family.
You have a broken leg and you are tired of the pain and the uncomfortable cast. You feel very frustrated.
This is your first day to go to Primary in a new ward or branch and you are afraid.
Place the chairs randomly throughout the room and tell the children that the chairs represent the problems we have in life. Blindfold one of the children and guide her or him through the room with verbal directions. Explain that although we can’t see Heavenly Father, following his commandments will help us through our lives. If the child bumps into a chair, explain that we all bump into problems and can ask Heavenly Father for comfort and help to deal with our problems. Give each child who wants to participate a turn to be blindfolded and guided through the room.
Sing or say the words to both verses of
“God Is Watching Over All” (Children’s Songbook, p. 229) or “I Know My Father Lives” (Children’s Songbook, p. 5). The words to “I Know My Father Lives” are included at the back of the manual.
God Is Watching Over AllGod has numbered in the skyAll the stars that shine on high.Worlds so great and sparrows small;God is watching over all.He remembers night and dayEv’ry child at work or play.He will teach you what to do;God is watching over you.
(Original title: “Loving Care.” From Tuning Up of THE WORLD OF MUSIC series, © 1936 by Silver Burdett & Ginn. Used by permission.)