To help each child understand that we can overcome trials and challenges by coming to Jesus Christ.
Prayerfully study John 9. 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.) Note: While preparing and teaching this lesson, be sensitive to any of the children in your class who are sight impaired.
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Bible or a New Testament for each child.
A piece of cloth to serve as a blindfold.
Picture 7-14, Jesus Healing the Blind (Gospel Art Picture Kit 213; 62145).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Blindfold a child, and ask him or her to draw part of an object, such as part of an automobile, on the chalkboard. Have a second child come up, put on the blindfold, and draw another part of the same object. Continue until several of the children have drawn part of the object. Discuss with the children why this was a difficult task.
How did not being able to see make it hard to draw the picture?
How would you feel if you could never see again?
Tell the children you are going to talk about two kinds of blindness. Ask them to listen for the different kinds of blindness while you teach the scripture account.
Display the picture Jesus Healing the Blind. Teach the account in John 9 of Jesus healing a man who had been born blind. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) As you teach the story, help the children understand that the Pharisees (the religious rulers of the Jews) were worried that they would lose their popularity if people believed in Jesus Christ. Therefore, they often tried to make people doubt Jesus and the things he did and taught. They did not recognize the gospel truths Jesus taught and were therefore spiritually blind. Explain that when we let our own selfish interests get in the way of following the Savior, we can become spiritually blind.
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 did the disciples ask Jesus about the man who had been born blind? (John 9:2.) Why might people sometimes think that sickness and adversity come because someone has sinned? What did Jesus say was the reason for the man’s blindness? (John 9:3.)
In what way were the Pharisees spiritually blind? (John 9:16.) What did they accuse Jesus of? Why do you think they didn’t recognize Jesus as the Son of God?
What was happening to the man’s spiritual as well as physical sight? What did the man say when he was asked a third time about Jesus? (John 9:30–33.)
What happened to the man because he testified of Jesus? (John 9:22, 34.) When Jesus heard that the man was cast out of the synagogue (a Jewish religious meetinghouse), what did he do? (John 9:35.) How do you think the man felt when Jesus came looking for him? What was the man’s final testimony of Jesus? (John 9:35–38.) What had happened to his spiritual sight?
Why do you think Heavenly Father and Jesus allow us to have trials and problems in our lives? How might these trials and problems help cure our spiritual blindness? How might Heavenly Father and Jesus help us with our trials and problems? (See enrichment activity 4.)
How have you and your family been blessed in trials? Encourage the children to discuss this question, but be careful that the children don’t talk about personal family matters that should be private.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Divide the class into groups. Give each group one of the following scriptures to read. Have them talk within their group and then report to the class how the person or people in the scripture dealt with their trials.
Help the children understand the importance of being aware of those with disabilities. You might ask an adult with a physical disability (or the parent of a child with a disability) to come to class and discuss ways to be kind to those who have disabilities. Emphasize that we do not make fun of people with disabilities; we do not tease them. We can help them if they need help; we can invite them to play with us; we can be their friend. We should include them and allow them to participate with us in our activities.
Sing or read the words to
“I’ll Walk with You” (Children’s Songbook, p. 140).
Read and discuss this statement from President Spencer W. Kimball:
“Should all prayers be immediately answered … there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 97).
Bear your testimony that the Lord will bless us and help us with our problems and trials if we obey his commandments, have faith in Jesus Christ, and try to be more like him.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study John 9:1–38 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.