Lesson 32: Signs in America of Jesus Christ’s Birth

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 114–17


Purpose

To teach the children that when we have faith, signs can strengthen our testimonies of Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study 3 Nephi 1–2. 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.)

  2. 2.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. 3.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. b.

      The visual aids included at the end of this lesson (or you may make simple drawings on the chalkboard).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Tell the children that you are going to give them some clues about an event that took place many years ago. Ask them to raise their hands when they know what event the clues are describing. Invite children to come to the front of the class and hold the pictures (see the visual aids at the end of the lesson) of the following items as you hand them out:

  • Angel

  • Shepherd’s staff

  • Donkey

  • Star

  • Manger

  • Baby

When the children have guessed that the event is the birth of Jesus Christ, leave the star on display. Explain that this lesson teaches about a place far from Jerusalem where people watched for the signs of the birth of the Savior and saw a star.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account in 3 Nephi 1–2 of the people in Zarahemla at the time of the birth of Christ. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Explain that the Nephi in this account was the son of Nephi who was the son of Helaman.

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 were some of the people saying about Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecies? (3 Nephi 1:5–6.) How did the believers react to the unbelievers? (3 Nephi 1:7.)

  • What sign were they looking for? (3 Nephi 1:8.) What does their steadfastness teach us about their faith?

  • What threat did the unbelievers make to those who believed? (3 Nephi 1:9.) Why do you think some people get angry with those who believe in God?

  • What did Nephi do when he saw the wickedness of the people? (3 Nephi 1:12.) What was the answer to Nephi’s prayer? (3 Nephi 1:13–14.) Why did Jesus Christ say he was coming into the world?

  • How was the prophecy fulfilled? (3 Nephi 1:15, 19.) Why were the unbelievers so afraid when they saw the signs that the prophecy was fulfilled? (3 Nephi 1:18.) How would you have felt if you had been there?

  • What sign did the Nephites see that was also seen in Bethlehem? (3 Nephi 1:21.)

  • What did Satan do to try to keep the people from believing the signs? (3 Nephi 1:22.) How did the people show their belief in the Lord? (3 Nephi 1:22–23.)

  • What happened that caused the people’s faith and righteousness to decrease? (3 Nephi 1:29–30.) Why is it important to follow the righteous example and teachings of our parents? How have you been blessed by obeying your parents?

  • What was the attitude of the people toward the many signs they saw? (3 Nephi 2:1–2.) What can we learn about the strength of testimonies that are based on signs? What can we do to strengthen our testimonies?

  • What were the results of the Nephites’ unbelief? (3 Nephi 2:3, 11.) What did the righteous Nephites and Lamanites do to protect themselves? (3 Nephi 2:12.) How does being with other Church members and worshiping Heavenly Father help us grow stronger?

  • What finally happened to the people because of their wickedness? (3 Nephi 2:17–19.)

  • How do you know that the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s second coming will be fulfilled? (3 Nephi 1:20.)

  • What do you think the world will be like when Jesus Christ comes again? What kind of a person do you want to be when he comes? What can we do now to prepare for the Second Coming?

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Ask the children to name unfaithful people they learned about in previous lessons who asked for or saw signs and discuss the effect signs had on their testimonies. Use the following examples if the children need help:

  2. 2.

    Ask the children to pretend that they are home teachers or visiting teachers. Let them volunteer to share what they would teach the people to help them stay strong in their testimonies of Jesus Christ.

  3. 3.

    Help the children memorize 3 Nephi 1:20, and discuss how it applies to our lives.

  4. 4.

    Help the children memorize the tenth article of faith.

  5. 5.

    Sing or read the words to “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook, p. 34), “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 36), or “When He Comes Again” (Children’s Songbook, p. 82).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear testimony that Heavenly Father will fulfill all the prophecies that have been made. Emphasize the need to live righteous lives and to be prepared to meet the Savior when he comes again.

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.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study 3 Nephi 1:4–15, 19–22 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.