To help the children understand the importance of listening to and obeying the teachings of the prophets.
Prayerfully study Luke 1:70.
Ask a Melchizedek Priesthood holder from your ward or branch to come to class and tell the children that he is pretending to be King Benjamin. (He may want to wear a bathrobe or something similar over his clothes to symbolize a king’s robes.) Ask him to introduce himself as King Benjamin. Have him explain to the children that he was a righteous king who worked with his own hands to support himself so he wouldn’t be a burden to his people. Ask him to briefly explain that he had a tower built and that the people came from near and far to hear his message. Ask him to briefly teach the children one of the principles that King Benjamin taught (see Mosiah 2–5).
Print each of the following teachings from the prophets and Presidents of the Church on separate pieces of paper or have a picture representing each one. Place the papers in a container (or place the pictures face down on a table). Add more teachings if needed so that each child can have a turn.
“Have family home evening.”
“Study the scriptures.”
“Go to church every Sunday.”
“Don’t take things that belong to others.”
“Honor your parents by helping them at home.”
“Love one another.”
Display a copy of a Church magazine that contains a message from the prophet on a table or somewhere in front of the class. Before class, hide pieces of paper with clues about the location of the magazine written on them around the room, such as under a chair, in the window, and on the chalkboard. Each clue should tell the children where to look for the next clue. The final clue should lead them back to the magazine on display. In the magazine, underline or mark in some way a short message from the prophet that the children can understand.
A picture of the current prophet.
Picture 3-19, President David O. McKay.
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’s Church Is Led by a Prophet
Tell the children that they have an important visitor in class today. Ask them to listen closely to his message because he will tell them about a righteous king and prophet. After your visitor has finished talking, invite the children to shake hands with him and thank him for coming.
Ask the children to listen to a scripture and see if they can learn something about prophets. Read Luke 1:70. Help them understand that sometimes the Lord teaches us by telling his prophets what we need to know, and the Church always has a prophet leading it.
Who was the first prophet on this earth? (Adam.)
Who was the first latter-day prophet? (Joseph Smith.)
Who is our prophet and President of the Church now? (Show his picture and have the children practice saying his name.)
What Bible and Book of Mormon prophets can you name?
Can anyone choose to be a prophet? (See John 15:16.)
Explain that not everyone is called to be a prophet. Jesus Christ himself chooses who his prophet will be. When Jesus Christ chooses a prophet, he gives him all the authority he will need to preside over the Church. This prophet is also the President of the Church.
Heavenly Father Has Given Us Prophets to Lead and Bless Us
Ask the children to listen carefully to the following statements. If they agree with the statement, they should stand up. If they disagree, they should sit down. Take time to explain any statements the children do not understand. (Since all the answers to the following statements are “agree,” have the children sit down between each statement. The activity is designed to give movement and large muscle activity in the classroom.)
We receive messages from our prophet at general conference. (Agree. Explain that the prophet’s counselors and the Twelve Apostles are also prophets.)
Our prophet will never tell us the wrong things to do. (Agree. Explain that we believe that what the prophet tells us will always be the right thing to do.)
President (name the current prophet) is the prophet and President of the Church. (Agree.)
Our prophet tells us the things that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to do so that we will be happy and be able to live with them again. (Agree.)
Explain that the prophet gives us messages in the Church magazines, speaks in meetings, and directs and teaches other Church leaders.
Explain that Jesus Christ was the greatest prophet who has lived on the earth. He taught the gospel and performed many miracles.
Picture and story
Tell the children that you are going to tell them a story about President David O. McKay, one of the latter-day prophets. Explain that latter-day prophets are those who have lived since Joseph Smith, or close to the time that we live. Show picture 3-19, President David O. McKay, as you tell the following story:
When President David O. McKay was the prophet, he traveled throughout much of the world to meet and lead the members of the Church. Once when he was in Germany, he heard about a mother who was paralyzed (she could not move parts of her body) and could not come to the conference to hear him speak.
This mother had two children, and she wanted them to go to the conference and see and hear the living prophet. With great faith she said, “I know if I send my children to shake hands with President McKay, and then they come home and take my hand—if I can hold their little hands in mine—I know that I shall get better.”
Arrangements were made so that her two children were able to go to the conference. The children were thrilled and excited as they traveled to see the prophet.
At the end of the conference, President McKay shook hands with many people who were there. He knew that these two children were coming, and when he saw them, he shook hands with them and said, “Will you take this handkerchief to your mother with my blessing?”
The children took the handkerchief back to their mother. She was very happy and thanked the Lord every day for the handkerchief and the blessing which President McKay sent through her two children. Immediately after the children came home, she began to get better, and she was soon able to move her body and take care of her children. (See Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, comp. Clare Middlemiss [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955], pp. 149–51.)
We Can Follow the Prophet
Have a simple progressive treasure hunt. Begin by stating: “Somewhere in this room is a message from the prophet of the Church to the members of this class. See if you can find it.” Then tell the children the first clue. As each clue is found, either read it aloud or have a child who can read do so. The last clue could state something like, “It is printed on paper. It is with other pages of paper. It has a colorful cover.” When the children discover the magazine, read or have a child read from the magazine the marked message from the prophet. Then explain what a treasure the words of a prophet are. Prophets can tell us how to live so that we can return to Heavenly Father.
Bear your testimony of the blessings that have come to you through studying the teachings of the prophets in the scriptures and obeying the living prophet. You might want to share a personal experience of how a teaching from a prophet has influenced your life.
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.”
Have the children stand in a line and march quietly around the room while saying or singing the words to the chorus of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, pp. 110–11). After finishing the chorus each time, the child at the front of the line should tell how he or she will follow the teachings of the prophet and then go to the end of the line. Be sure each child gets a turn to be at the front of the line.Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,Follow the prophet; don’t go astray.Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,Follow the prophet; he knows the way.
Explain that when we follow the prophet by doing what he asks us to do, we will be blessed and be able to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Pass out a copy of the maze (located on the next page) to each child and ask them to color the right path to get back to Heavenly Father and Jesus. The children who can’t read may need some help.
Share facts and stories about the current prophet as you show his picture.
Help the children learn as much of the fifth article of faith as possible.