To help the children know that Jesus Christ loves and blesses children everywhere.
Prepare a handout for each child as shown:
Prepare the following wordstrips:
Be prepared to point out the following locations on the world map: (a) your country, (b) Jerusalem, (c) the Americas, (d) Holland (the Netherlands), (e) Fiji, and (f) Mexico.
Be prepared to teach the song
“Children All Over the World” (Children’s Songbook, p. 16).
The following cutouts of children in their native dress to illustrate the stories: Dutch boy (cutout 3-7), Fijian girl (cutout 3-8), two Mexican boys (cutouts 3-9 and 3-10).
Picture 3-56, Christ and the Children (62467; Gospel Art Picture Kit 216); picture 3-57, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children; and picture 3-58, Map of the World, or a world globe if available.
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.
Jesus Christ Loves All Children
Display picture 3-58, Map of the World, and point to the country where you live. Tell the children that you would like to have them learn about some other countries in the world. (If one of the following examples is from the country in which you are now living, select another country.)
Display the “Holland” wordstrip and cutout 3-7. Point out Holland (the Netherlands) on the map. Explain that most of this country’s land was once covered by water. The people pumped out the water and built dikes to keep the water out. Windmills were once used to run the pumps. The people are famous for raising tulips and other beautiful flowers. Some of the people in farm areas and fishing villages wear wooden shoes called klompen. These shoes are noisy on hard floors or other surfaces, but they protect the people’s feet from damp earth better than leather shoes do.
Display the “Fiji” wordstrip and cutout 3-8. Point out Fiji on the map. Explain that children in Fiji live in a land surrounded by ocean. The people grow bananas, coconuts, and sugarcane. The warm tropical climate is very comfortable. Some people call this the land of beautiful sunrises, but the Fijians call their home the happy isles, because the people seem to like their island home.
Display the “Mexico” wordstrip and cutouts 3-9 and 3-10. Point out Mexico on the map. Explain that the people in Mexico speak Spanish. Long ago they learned how to grow corn, and it became their most important food. On the nine nights before Christmas, friends and neighbors gather and act out the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Afterward, the children play the piñata game. Explain that a piñata is a container made of clay or papier-mâché shaped like an animal and filled with candy, fruit, and toys. It is hung above the heads of the children, who are blindfolded and take turns trying to break the piñata with a stick. After the piñata breaks, they scramble for the candy and other contents.
Explain that the children who live in these different countries are the same in some ways and different in others. But whether they look and act the same really doesn’t matter: Heavenly Father and Jesus love them just as they love you. Heavenly Father and Jesus love and watch over all children everywhere.
Teach the children the song “Children All Over the World.” Have them sing or say it through once or twice.
Picture and scripture story
Display picture 3-56, Christ and the Children, and point out Jerusalem on the world map. Explain that this is where Jesus lived when he was on the earth. Tell in your own words the story of Jesus, his Apostles, and the little children that is found in Mark 10:13–16. Bring out the following points:
A large crowd of people had gathered around Jesus to listen to him teach.
Some people wanted to bring their children to Jesus so that he could bless them.
Because the Apostles were concerned for the welfare of the Savior, they wanted to send the children away.
Jesus told the Apostles to let the children come.
Jesus loved the children and blessed them.
Picture and scripture story
Display picture 3-57, Jesus Blessing the Nephite Children, and point out the Americas on the world map. Tell in your own words the following story from 3 Nephi 17:
After Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected and had ascended into heaven, he visited the Nephite people in the Americas and taught them many important things.
When the time came for Jesus to leave, the people began to cry because they loved him and could feel his great love for them. They wanted him to stay longer.
Because of the people’s faith and desires, the Savior stayed longer.
Then Jesus told the fathers and mothers to bring their little children to him. Soon the little ones were all gathered around Jesus.
One by one he took them in his arms and blessed them. Then he prayed to our Father in Heaven for the children.
After that he said to the fathers and mothers, “Behold your little ones” (3 Nephi 17:23). As the parents watched, the heavens opened; angels came down, made a circle around the children, and then went among them.
Explain that just as Jesus Christ loved and blessed the children in Jerusalem and the Americas, he loves and blesses the children that live today all over the world.
Jesus Christ Loves and Blesses Us Today
Cutouts and story
Display the cutouts of the children in their native dress. Explain that you want the children to listen to stories about children from different countries and about how they were blessed by Heavenly Father and Jesus.
Help a child tape the cutout of the Dutch boy near Holland on the world map. Then tell the following story:
“Eleven-year-old John Roothoof lived in Rotterdam, Holland. He had once been happy going to school and church, playing with his friends, and doing all the things a boy enjoys. Then, without warning, a painful eye disease caused him to lose his sight. No longer could he go to school or read. He could not even see well enough to play with his friends. Each day was filled with darkness and suffering.
“Word reached the Latter-day Saints in Holland that President Joseph F. Smith was coming to visit them. John thought about this for a long time, and then he said to his mother, ‘… If you’ll take me with you to the meeting so he can look into my eyes, I believe I’ll be healed.’
“At the close of the meeting the next Sunday, President Smith went to the back of the small chapel to greet the people and shake hands with each one. Sister Roothoof helped John, his eyes bandaged, go with the others to speak to their beloved leader.
“President Smith took the blind boy by the hand and then with great tenderness lifted the bandages and looked into John’s pain-filled eyes. The prophet blessed John and promised him he would see again.
“Arriving home, John’s mother took the bandages from his eyes so she could bathe them as the doctors had told her to do. As she did so, John cried out with joy, ‘Oh, Mama, my eyes are well. I can see fine now—and far too. And I can’t feel any pain!’” (“President Smith Took Him by the Hand,” Friend, Aug. 1973, p. 36).
What happened to John? (The prophet blessed him to see again, and Heavenly Father healed him.)
How did Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ show their love for John?
Cutouts and story
Help a child tape the cutouts of the Mexican children near Mexico on the map. Introduce the story by explaining that the children’s names are Miguel and Tomás and that their mother earned a living by washing clothes for other people:
“One day when [their mother] came home from delivering the washing, she was discouraged. She had worked hard, but no one had been able to pay her that day, and she did not have any money to buy bread. She knew how hungry her children were because they had not eaten since their small supper of bread the night before. Miguel, the oldest, had shared his piece of bread with María, who was still hungry but who was too little to understand why there was not more. Tomás noticed that Mamá had not eaten and offered her part of his bread.
“Miguel and Tomás wanted to help. Miguel remembered the stories Mamá had told about Jesus [Christ] when he taught the people to pray for help. Miguel and Tomás needed help, so they knelt together and prayed. After praying, Miguel and Tomás went to the bakery and asked Señor Alonzo if they could do some errands for him. Señor Alonzo, not knowing how hungry the boys were, said he did not have any work for them to do. They kept looking for jobs. By dark they had earned some money but not enough.
“Two disappointed and hungry boys started home. As they were walking along the street, a man rode by on his bicycle. He hit a bump, and something flew out of his basket. Miguel ran after him and called for him to stop, but the man went right on. Tomás picked up the package to see what had fallen. It was a fresh loaf of bread. They hurried back to Señor Alonzo’s bakery and explained what had happened. Señor Alonzo remembered who the man was and said he would give him another loaf the next time the man came to his store. He then told the boys that he would sell the slightly damaged loaf of bread for half price. Miguel and Tomás quickly counted their money; they had just enough. The boys bought the bread and hurried home.
“Mamá was surprised to see the bread. The boys explained how their prayers had been answered. That night a hungry family knelt down and gave thanks to [Heavenly Father] for food to eat” (Walk in His Ways: Basic Manual for Children, Part B , p. 25).
How did Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ bless Miguel and Tomás? (By answering their prayers.)
Explain to the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ bless children wherever they live in the world. The true Church of Jesus Christ is the same all over the world. Explain that children in the Church have an opportunity to attend Primary, where they sing the same songs and hear the same lessons all around the world. Throughout the world, children of the same age as those in your class wear CTR rings to help them remember to choose the right. Children in the Church may be baptized when they are eight years old no matter where they live. They may be baptized in a baptismal font in a Church meetinghouse, in an icy lake, in the ocean, or in a small stream or pond. But their baptism is always by immersion and is always performed by someone who holds the priesthood.
Scripture and teacher testimony
Read to the children 2 Nephi 26:33, beginning with the words “he inviteth them all to come unto him.” Then have the children take turns telling how they know that Jesus Christ loves them.
Bear your testimony that Heavenly Father loves all children, no matter who they are, or where they live, or what kind of house they live in, or what color their hair, eyes, or skin are. Heavenly Father wants us all to be happy and come back to live with him again.
Have the children sing or say the words to “Children All Over the World.”
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
Give a “Jesus Christ Loves Me” handout to the children as they leave. Invite the children to tell their families what they have learned about Jesus loving all children throughout the world.
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.”
Bring an empty soft drink bottle. Seat the children in a circle on the floor. Tell them that after you spin the bottle, it will stop and point to one of them. That child is to name something that shows him that Jesus loves him. This child then spins the bottle. Try to give each child a turn by asking those who have had a turn to move back from the circle a little.
Teach the children the following poem and actions:
Jesus Loves Little ChildrenSome children ran down a dusty street, (run in place)Hurrying fast on their little feet, (point to feet)Through the crowd to find a place (stick out elbows as if moving through a crowd)Close to Jesus, to see his face. (stand on tiptoe and look around)Some grownups said, “Send them away.” (push hands out from chest)“He’s too busy for children today.” (frown and shake head)But Jesus said, “Let them come unto me. (beckon with hands)“They belong to Father’s kingdom and they’re loved by him and me.” (hug self)
With the older children, you may want to discuss the following principles that show Jesus Christ’s love for us. Emphasize that these blessings are available to all of us regardless of where we live.
Jesus Christ gave us commandments to guide us.
We have prophets to lead us.
We can repent because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins.
We can receive priesthood blessings.
Let the children draw and color a picture of something that shows that Jesus Christ loves them (such as family, trees, flowers, or animals).
Encourage the children to do a kind act for someone during the coming week and be prepared to tell the class about it. If feasible, you might want to remind them of this during the week.