To teach the children the meaning of their baptismal covenants and the importance of keeping them.
Prayerfully study Mosiah 17:2–4; 18. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,”> p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Book of Mormon for each child.
Optional: A lock and key for the attention activity (for example, a padlock, diary, jewelry box, or suitcase).
A cutout copy of a paper key with the word Covenant written on it (see the end of the lesson).
A copy of the handout “My Baptismal Covenants” for each child (see the end of the lesson).
Picture 4-23, Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (Gospel Art Picture Kit 309; 62332).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to say the opening prayer.
Display a key. Ask the children what a key is used for. You might have a child use the key to open a lock. Hold the paper key so the children cannot see the word Covenant, and tear it in half. Explain that a key would not work if you had only half of it. Turn the pieces of the key over to show the word Covenant. Ask the children if they know what this word means. Explain that in the gospel a covenant is a sacred agreement or promise between Heavenly Father and his children. When we keep our covenants with Heavenly Father, he will always fulfill his part. But if we do not keep our covenant promises, the covenant is broken. Keeping our baptismal covenants is a key to blessings and eternal life. Explain that eternal life is becoming like Heavenly Father and living with him forever. Explain that as the children learn of Alma and his people they will be reminded of their baptismal covenants and how they can better keep them.
Teach the children the account of Alma baptizing at the Waters of Mormon from Mosiah 17:2–4; 18. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize the covenants we make at baptism and the importance of keeping them. Use the picture at an appropriate time.
Discussion and Application Questions
Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.
What made the place called Mormon a good hiding spot for Alma to teach the people? (Mosiah 18:4–5.) Why did they need to hide?
How did the people of Alma feel when they learned they could be baptized? (Mosiah 18:11.) How did you feel when you were baptized? What do you remember about that day?
What promises did each of us make when we were baptized? What did Heavenly Father promise us? (Mosiah 18:8–10.) Display the handout “My Baptismal Covenants,” and discuss each promise. Explain that none of us is perfect but we must do our best to keep our baptismal covenants.
How can we show that we have taken Jesus Christ’s name upon us and that we are standing as his witnesses?
What does it mean to bear one another’s burdens and mourn with others? In what ways did Christ serve us and others while he lived on the earth? How can we follow Jesus Christ’s example and serve others?
What commandments did Alma give his people to help them keep their baptismal covenants? (Mosiah 18:21–23, 27–29.) How can we live more like Alma’s people?
Through what ordinance can we renew our baptismal covenants each Sunday? You may wish to explain that to renew means to make like new or begin again. Review the sacrament prayers with the children and help them find the covenants contained in them (see Moroni 4:3; 5:2). Give each child a copy of the handout, and review their baptismal covenants.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Ask a child to hold on one hand a moderately heavy book with his or her arm straight out while you talk to the class about the baptismal covenants. Ask the child holding the book if his or her arm is getting tired. Have another child help hold the book. Explain that one of the promises we make when we are baptized is to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” Discuss some burdens children their age might feel, such as being made fun of, being sick, having problems with family members, wanting to belong, or having difficulties in school. Ask the children how they can help make each other’s burdens lighter.
Before class ask the children’s parents to tell you about a time when their child served someone. Share these experiences with the class, and commend the children for their service. Point out that these acts of service have made the burden lighter for those they served.
Explain to the children that part of the covenant we made when we were baptized was to be willing to take the name of Jesus Christ upon us and become a true Christian, or follower of Christ. We must live worthy of his name. Ask the children to think about how well they are honoring the name of Jesus Christ as you share the following story from President George Albert Smith, the eighth President of the Church:
“A number of years ago I was seriously ill. … I became so weak as to scarcely be able to move.
“One day … I lost consciousness of my surroundings and I thought I had passed to the Other Side. …
“I began to explore … and after I had walked for some time … through the forest, I saw a man coming towards me. I became aware that he was a very large man, and I hurried my steps to reach him, because I recognized him as my grandfather. … I remember how glad I was to see him coming. I had been given his name and had always been proud of it.
“When Grandfather came within a few feet of me, he stopped. … He looked at me very earnestly and said:
“‘I would like to know what you have done with my name.’
“Everything I had ever done passed before me as though it were a flying picture on a screen. … My whole life had passed before me. I smiled and looked at my grandfather and said:
“‘I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed.’
“He stepped forward and took me in his arms, and as he did so, I became conscious again of my earthly surroundings. My pillow was as wet as though water had been poured on it—wet with tears of gratitude that I could answer unashamed” (“Your Good Name,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1947, p. 139).
Explain to the children that as they willingly keep the commandments and give service to others, they are honoring the name of Jesus Christ.
Sing or read the words to
“Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, p. 100) or “The Fourth Article of Faith” (Children’s Songbook, p. 124).
Bear testimony that as we keep our baptismal covenants, we will learn to serve one another better and become more like Jesus Christ.
Suggested Family Sharing
Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”