To help each child understand that developing faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.
Invite someone with a strong testimony of Jesus Christ to visit your class for a few minutes at the beginning of the lesson to share his or her testimony and feelings about the Savior. Be sure to get the approval of the bishop or branch president before inviting someone, and also inform the Primary president.
Follow the instructions below to make a chart entitled “Becoming a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ.” (An example is included at the end of the lesson.) This chart will be used in the next four lessons, so you may want to mount it on heavy paper and color it. Make the chart large enough to be seen easily by all members of your class. (You might also want to use the chart sometime for sharing time.)
Make the following wordstrips:
Tape the wordstrips over the steps as indicated in the lesson. This lesson uses only the “Faith in Jesus Christ” step.
Print “Ask me what I learned about becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ” on a small piece of paper for each child.
Before class, place a copy of the standard works where the children can see them.
Prepare to sing or say the words to the song
“I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74); the words are included at the back of this manual.
Help those children who can to memorize as much as possible of the fourth article of faith.
Picture 3-9, Jesus the Christ (62572; Gospel Art Picture Kit 240); picture 3-16, Healing the Blind (62145; Gospel Art Picture Kit 213); picture 3-1, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus (62133; Gospel Art Picture Kit 208); picture 3-17, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (62380; Gospel Art Picture Kit 316); picture 3-10, The First Vision (62470; Gospel Art Picture Kit 403); and picture 3-18, President Lorenzo Snow.
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.
Display picture 3-9, Jesus the Christ. Keep the picture on display during the entire lesson.
Who is this?
Introduce your visitor and tell the children that you have invited this person to tell them briefly how he feels about Jesus Christ. Explain that part of each person’s testimony includes his feelings about Jesus. Thank your guest as soon as he is finished and invite him to leave. After he has left, ask the following questions:
Who was our visitor today?
How do you know the visitor was here?
Think of a child or some other person who is not present and ask the following questions, using the child’s name in the blank:
Did __________ see our visitor in class today?
How could __________ know that we had a visitor in class today?
Help the children understand that the person not present did not see the visitor here. However, if the class explained that the visitor came, the person would probably believe it. To believe in something that is real and true even though we have not seen it ourselves is to have faith.
Display the chart “Becoming a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ.” Read the title of the chart with the children. Have younger children repeat it aloud with you.
Explain that having faith or believing in Jesus Christ is the first step in becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Put the first wordstrip, “Faith in Jesus Christ,” over the first step of the chart. (For younger children, you might display a picture of Jesus with the wordstrip to remind them of what it says.) Have the older children read the words with you. Tell the children that during this lesson they will learn about faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible and Book of Mormon Testify of Jesus Christ
Even though we may not have seen Jesus, how can we believe or have faith that he lives and loves us? (Other people have seen Jesus and can tell us about him.)
Point to the books on the table and explain that these books are called scriptures. The scriptures tell of many people who have seen or talked with Jesus.
Hold up the Bible. Point out that part of the Bible tells about the time when Jesus lived on the earth, gave the people his teachings, and organized his Church. The Bible tells about the people who saw and knew Jesus and about the way he helped many of them.
Picture and scripture story
Display picture 3-16, Healing the Blind. Tell the children the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man who lived during the time of Jesus (see Mark 10:46–52).
Explain that when Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was coming, he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Many people told Bartimaeus not to bother Jesus and to be quiet. But Jesus heard Bartimaeus and asked to have Bartimaeus brought to him. Bartimaeus asked Jesus to heal him so that he could see.
Ask the children to listen as you read Mark 10:52 to discover what happened to Bartimaeus.
What happened to Bartimaeus? (Jesus healed him. Bartimaeus could see.)
Jesus said that Bartimaeus was healed because he had faith. Bartimaeus believed that Jesus could heal him.
What does the story of Bartimaeus help us know about Jesus? (Jesus loves us and will help us if we have faith in him.)
Picture and scripture discussion
Place picture 3-1, John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus, over the picture of Bartimaeus.
What is happening in this picture? (John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus.)
Read Matthew 3:17.
When Jesus was baptized, who spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”? (Heavenly Father.)
What do we learn about Jesus from what Heavenly Father said? (Jesus is his Son.)
Explain that Heavenly Father was bearing testimony that Jesus is his Son.
Hold up the Book of Mormon. Explain that in this book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, we can read of a large group of Nephite people in America who saw Jesus and heard him speak after he was resurrected from the dead.
Read 3 Nephi 11:8. Place picture 3-17, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere, over the picture of Jesus’ baptism. Read 3 Nephi 11:9–10. Explain that Jesus told the people that he was Jesus Christ, the Savior that the prophets had said would come.
Help the children understand how happy the Nephite people must have felt to know that Jesus had come as he said he would. Jesus asked the people to touch his hands and feet so they would know that he had died and had been resurrected.
What can we learn about Jesus from his appearance to the Nephite people? (He died and was resurrected. He lives.)
Modern-Day Prophets Testify of Jesus Christ
Picture and discussion
Hold up a copy of the Pearl of Great Price. Explain that the account of Joseph Smith’s first vision is written in this book. Ask the children to tell as much as they can about Joseph’s first vision. (Be prepared to explain the story of the First Vision if the children do not know it; see Joseph Smith—History 1:7–19.)
Place picture 3-10, The First Vision, over the previous picture. Emphasize that Joseph Smith saw Jesus hundreds of years after Jesus was resurrected.
Picture and story
Display picture 3-18, President Lorenzo Snow. Explain that while he was President of the Church, he had a personal visit from Jesus Christ in the Salt Lake Temple.
One day when President Lorenzo Snow was walking in the temple with his granddaughter, he told her about the experience. She told the following about their conversation:
“After we left his room and while we were still in the large corridor [hallway], leading into the Celestial room, I was walking several steps ahead of Grandpa when he stopped me, saying, ‘Wait a moment, Allie, I want to tell you something. It was right here that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me at the time of the death of President Woodruff. …’
“Then grandpa came a step nearer and held out his left hand and said, ‘He stood right here, about three feet above the floor. It looked as though He stood on a plate of solid gold.’
“Grandpa told me what a glorious personage the Savior is and described His hands, feet, countenance and beautiful white robes, all of which were of such a glory of whiteness and brightness that he could hardly gaze upon Him.
“Then grandpa came another step nearer me and put his right hand on my head and said: ‘Now, granddaughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grandfather, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face’” (Allie Young Pond, quoted by Ivan J. Barrett, in “He Lives! For We Saw Him,” Ensign, Aug. 1975, p. 20; also in LeRoi C. Snow’s “Remarkable Manifestation to Lorenzo Snow,” in Church News, 2 Apr. 1938, p. 8).
What does President Snow’s testimony help you know about Jesus? (He lives, he has a body, and he speaks to people in our time.)
We Can Have Faith in Jesus Christ
Ask several children the following questions:
Have you seen Jesus?
How do you know that Jesus is real and lives?
Allow the children to express their faith in Jesus as a result of the teachings of their parents, their Primary teachers, and the scriptures.
Help the children understand that we can have faith that Jesus lives and loves us because of the scriptures and the testimonies of truthful people. From the testimonies of others, we know that—
Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus loves us and wants to help us.
Jesus wants us to have faith in him.
Jesus was resurrected and lives again.
Jesus has a body and speaks to people.
Remind the children that having faith in Jesus Christ is the first step in becoming a member of the true Church.
Sing or say the words to the song “I Feel My Savior’s Love.”
You may want to select a picture from those used in the lesson and briefly tell about your faith in Jesus because of the testimony or experience related in the picture.
For example, show picture 3-17, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere. Explain that because Jesus appeared to the Nephite people after he was resurrected and let them touch his hands and feet, you know that he loves all people.
Give each child a small piece of paper with the statement “Ask me what I learned about becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ” printed on it. Encourage them to give this paper to their parents and share what they know about faith in Jesus Christ with their family.
Have the children repeat the following: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ” (Articles of Faith 1:1). Then help those who are able to memorize as much of the fourth article of faith as possible.
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.”
Hold up the Doctrine and Covenants. Explain that it tells about another time when Joseph Smith saw Jesus. As Joseph and Sidney Rigdon were studying and thinking about Jesus and his teachings, Jesus appeared to them.
Have the children listen as you read Joseph Smith’s testimony. Read Doctrine and Covenants 76:22 and the words “For we saw him” from verse 23.
What can you learn about Jesus from Joseph Smith’s testimony? (That Jesus lives.)
Explain that reading from the scriptures and learning about people who have seen Jesus helps us to have faith in Jesus. Even though we may not have seen Jesus with our own eyes, we can have faith that he lives and loves us because of the testimonies of those who have seen him and have told us about him in the scriptures. We can know in our hearts that Jesus is our Savior when we ask our Heavenly Father in our prayers.
Ask if any of the children would like to tell how they feel about Jesus. They could choose a picture and tell how the scene shown in the picture has strengthened their faith. Each picture could be used more than once.
After each child has had an opportunity to share how he or she feels about Jesus, explain that they are making an important step in preparing for baptism.
What is this step? (Developing faith in Jesus Christ.)
Point to the chart and have the children read or repeat with you the words “Faith in Jesus Christ.”
Have the children draw a picture of one of the scripture stories they learned about today.