To help the children understand that great blessings can result from being members of the Church.
Prepare to help the children sing or say the words to
“The Holy Ghost” (Children’s Songbook, p. 105) and “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 99); the words to these songs are included at the back of this manual.
Before the class begins, spread the objects you have collected—including pictures 3-13, 3-14, 3-48, and 3-49 (see 4d below)—on a table or on the floor, and cover them with the cloth.
The following wordstrips:
A cloth large enough to cover the objects you have collected.
Picture 3-48, Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (62332; Gospel Art Picture Kit 309); picture 3-13, Boy Being Baptized (62018); picture 3-14, Girl Being Confirmed (62020); and picture 3-49, Enos Praying (62604; Gospel Art Picture Kit 305).
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.
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 Can Become Members of Jesus Christ’s Church
Tell the children that under the cloth on the table are some objects. Explain that you will remove the cloth for ten seconds. The children are to concentrate and try to remember as many of the objects as they can.
Have the class gather around the table. Uncover the items for ten seconds. Then cover the items again. Have the children return to their seats.
Let the children take turns trying to name all the objects on the table. After those who want to try have had a chance to respond, remove the cloth to see how well they have done. Explain that each of these objects can remind us of blessings we receive from Heavenly Father when we are baptized.
Have a child tape the wordstrip “The Blessings of Baptism” on the chalkboard.
Picture and scripture story
Display picture 3-48, Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon.
Briefly review the story of Alma from lesson 20. Remind the children that after Alma escaped from the servants of wicked King Noah, he hid in the wilderness. There he wrote the teachings that the prophet Abinadi had spoken.
After many days, Alma went among the people and secretly began to teach them about Jesus Christ. Many of them listened to Alma and believed him. Those who believed went to a place called Mormon. In this place was a fountain of pure water and a thicket of small trees where Alma hid himself in the daytime from the king’s searchers.
Many people gathered to hear Alma. He taught them about faith and repentance. Alma baptized all who wanted to be baptized, and they became members of Jesus Christ’s true Church.
Have a child tape up the wordstrip “We Become Members of Jesus Christ’s Church.”
We Can Have the Gift of the Holy Ghost
Wordstrip and discussion
What gift may we receive after we are baptized? (The gift of the Holy Ghost.)
Have a child tape the wordstrip “Gift of the Holy Ghost” underneath the previous wordstrip.
Explain that after we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. It also is a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. If we do what is right, the Holy Ghost will stay with us always and tell us the right things to do.
Sing or say with the children the words to “The Holy Ghost.”
Article of faith
Review with the children the fourth article of faith. Explain that the gift of the Holy Ghost will be a blessing to us throughout our entire lives—if we live worthily.
In your own words, tell the story of how the Holy Ghost helped Tim:
Tim could see that his mother was worried. His father looked tired and sad. It had been some time since they had received a letter from his brother, Wally, who was serving a mission.
Tim sat down on the couch in the living room. He could hear his mother and father as they talked together in the kitchen.
“What a terrible disaster it is to have an earthquake,” his father said, “and so close to the area where Wally has been laboring. I hope we soon hear how he is.”
Tim listened closely. “Earthquake … Wally?” he thought to himself. He felt a lump in his throat. He could imagine his brother injured or buried beneath tons of rock. He glanced at Wally’s picture on the desk, and tears filled his eyes. He quickly went to his room and shut the door. Tim imagined all sorts of terrible things and worried all that night and all the next day. Every time he tried to talk to his parents about Wally, a lump came to his throat and he couldn’t make the words come out.
Tim’s fears grew stronger. He felt that he had to talk things over with someone. He knew his father was working in the basement, so Tim went downstairs.
Tim opened his mouth to begin what he had planned to say. But it was not easy to talk about Wally. He hung his head, and his eyes filled with tears.
“You’re concerned about Wally, aren’t you, Tim?” his father asked. “When we heard about the earthquake, we were concerned. Your mother and I have prayed for Wally’s safety. We received comfort from the Holy Ghost that all is well and that we need not worry. You may have the same comfort, Tim.”
“How?” asked Tim.
“Pray to Heavenly Father. Tell him of your fears. Ask him to help you know if Wally is safe. I am sure that you will receive comfort.”
Tim did what his father told him to do. He prayed for Wally’s safety. He asked his Heavenly Father to help him know that Wally was alive and well. As Tim finished his prayer, a great feeling of peace and comfort came over him. He was not worried about Wally anymore. He knew all was well.
Finally a letter arrived assuring the family that Wally was safe. Tim wasn’t surprised at all. He already knew that Wally was safe. Tim had been comforted by the Holy Ghost.
How did the Holy Ghost help Tim? (He gave him a calm feeling—a feeling that Wally was safe.)
Tell the children that the gift of the Holy Ghost was a great blessing to Tim and his family. It can be a great blessing to us, too.
After We Are Baptized, Heavenly Father Will Forgive Us
Have a child tape the wordstrip “Heavenly Father Forgives Us” on the chalkboard.
Explain that another great blessing of baptism is that we can be forgiven when we make mistakes and do wrong. Our Heavenly Father knew that all of his children would make mistakes. He commanded everyone to repent of their wrongdoings. If we repent, he has promised that he will forgive us and give us other blessings. Remind the children that part of repenting is having faith in Jesus Christ. Another part is living more like Jesus wants us to live, that is, obeying his commandments better. We can learn more about Jesus and his commandments by studying the scriptures.
Picture and scripture story
Display picture 3-49, Enos Praying.
Explain that Enos was a prophet whom we can read about in the Book of Mormon. Enos’s father asked him to take care of the records that included the scriptures and a history of his people. This history was written on metal plates. Enos’s father had taught Enos the gospel as contained in these records, so Enos knew how he should live. One day Enos went into the forest and prayed to Heavenly Father all day long and far into the night. He asked to be forgiven for the wrongs he had done. Then something wonderful happened.
Explain that Heavenly Father forgave Enos and promised to bless him. A voice came to him saying, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Enos 1:5). Enos was forgiven because he had faith in Jesus Christ, about whom he had read in the records. He was forgiven because he believed in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Heavenly Father also promised Enos that those records would be kept safe and that the Lamanites would one day be able to read the words. The records would help them learn of Jesus, keep the commandments, and obtain forgiveness when they did wrong.
Explain that we know Heavenly Father kept his promise to Enos because we can read in the Book of Mormon the things that were written on the plates.
What blessing did Enos receive when he repented? (Accept any correct answer, but emphasize that Heavenly Father forgave him.)
Express your gratitude for the knowledge that everyone who truly repents will be forgiven. Emphasize that the scriptures can be a great blessing in helping us to develop faith in Jesus Christ and learn of his teachings.
Help the children sing or say the words to “Help Me, Dear Father.”
Review the blessings of membership in the Church as listed on the wordstrips. Remind the children that Heavenly Father has promised to give us great blessings if we are baptized and keep the commandments.
Invite the children to think of the blessings that Heavenly Father has given them the next time they take the sacrament. Encourage them to pay special attention to the sacrament prayers and think of the promises they will make when they are baptized. Those who have been baptized could reflect on their recent baptism.
Bear your testimony that Heavenly Father always keeps his promises to us if we obey him. You might share with the children an experience of when you felt you were particularly blessed because of your membership in his Church.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children. 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 a chart with the words of 3 Nephi 11:33 on it. Cut another piece of paper the same size as the chart, and print on it “The Blessings of Baptism.” Cut this piece of paper into several pieces like a puzzle. Tape each piece over the chart so that all the pieces cover the scripture. Use care so each piece can be removed easily without damaging the printed scripture.
Show the children “The Blessings of Baptism” puzzle, and have them read the title. Explain that you will read some questions about the lesson. Whoever answers a question correctly may pull off a piece of the puzzle covering. Eventually the children will reveal the scripture underneath. Following are some suggested questions:
What covenants do we make at baptism? (To always remember Jesus Christ, to take his name upon us, and to keep his commandments.)
What did Alma do in the Waters of Mormon? (He baptized people who wanted to be baptized.)
Alma and his followers belonged to what church? (The Church of Jesus Christ.)
How was Tim’s prayer answered? (The Holy Ghost helped him know Wally was safe.)
Why did Enos pray? (He wanted to be forgiven of his sins.)
What book was translated from the gold plates? (The Book of Mormon.)
When will you be old enough to be baptized? (When I am eight years old.)
After the puzzle pieces have been removed, have the class read the scripture with you. Explain that to “inherit the kingdom of God” means to live with Heavenly Father forever.
Sing or say the words to the hymn
“Count Your Blessings” (Hymns,no. 241).Count your many blessings;Name them one by one.Count your many blessings;See what God hath done.Count your many blessings;Name them one by one.Count your many blessings;See what God hath done.
Have crayons and a piece of paper labeled “Blessings of Membership” for each child. Have each child draw and color a picture of a blessing they might receive after they are baptized and confirmed as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.