Lesson 2: Jesus Christ Volunteered to Be Our Savior

Primary 7: New Testament, (1997), 5–8


Purpose

To help the children feel greater love for Jesus Christ by teaching them that in the premortal life Jesus volunteered to be their Savior.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study John 15:13, Hebrews 12:9, Revelation 12:7–9, Doctrine and Covenants 93:21, and Moses 4:1–4. See also chapters 2 and 3 of Gospel Principles. 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.

    Arrange to have some of the children in your class sing “I Lived in Heaven” (Children’s Songbook, p. 4) or prepare to sing or read the words with the children during the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible or a New Testament and a Pearl of Great Price for each child.

    2. b.

      Picture 7-1, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572), and a picture of a newborn baby, preferably of a class member or you.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Show the picture of a newborn baby, and have the class guess who it is.

  • Why was this not the beginning of this person’s life?

Testify to the children that before we were born on earth we all lived with Heavenly Father as spirit children. Explain that our spirit bodies look like our physical bodies, with arms, legs, eyes, and so on, but are not flesh and blood. Also explain that this life as spirit children is called premortal life. During this premortal life our heavenly parents taught us the gospel and the plan of life.

You might share this quotation from Brigham Young: “You are well acquainted with God our Heavenly Father. … There is not a soul of you but what has lived in his house and dwelt with him. … There is not a person here to-day but what is a son or a daughter of that Being” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 50).

Scripture Account

Ask questions like the following ones, and give the children an opportunity to discuss their feelings:

  • Who loves you?

  • How can you tell that someone loves you?

  • Whom do you love?

Tell a story about someone who loved another person so much that he or she did something important for the loved one, such as a mother staying up at night to care for a sick child or an older brother or sister helping a younger brother or sister with a project for school.

Explain that this lesson is about what Jesus did in the premortal life that shows his great love for each of us.

Display the picture of Jesus Christ and tell the story of Jesus’ volunteering to be our Savior. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Help the children understand the following ideas:

  1. 1.

    In the premortal life we were spirit children and lived with our heavenly parents (Hebrews 12:9).

  2. 2.

    Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of Heavenly Father (D&C 93:21) and is the older brother of our spirits.

  3. 3.

    Lucifer, who became Satan, was also a spirit child of Heavenly Father.

  4. 4.

    Heavenly Father called a meeting for all his spirit children. At this meeting he explained his plan for us to become like him. He told us that he wanted us to go to earth to get a physical body. He explained that on earth we would be tested to see if we would keep his commandments.

  5. 5.

    At this meeting Heavenly Father also explained that on earth we would all sin and we would all die. Heavenly Father needed someone to be the Savior, to suffer for our sins, and to die for us so that we could be resurrected.

  6. 6.

    Lucifer wanted Heavenly Father to change his plan. Lucifer said he would save everyone by taking away their freedom to choose, which would have made it impossible for us to make mistakes or be righteous. Lucifer also wanted all the honor (Moses 4:1).

  7. 7.

    Because he loved us (John 15:13), Jesus volunteered to be our Savior. He wanted to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and give the glory to Heavenly Father (Moses 4:2).

  8. 8.

    Heavenly Father chose Jesus to be our Savior. Lucifer was angry and rebelled against Heavenly Father (Revelation 12:7–9; Moses 4:3–4).

  9. 9.

    Heavenly Father’s spirit children had to decide whether to follow Jesus or Lucifer.

  10. 10.

    One-third of Heavenly Father’s spirit children chose to follow Lucifer, and they were all cast out of heaven. Lucifer became Satan, and the spirits who followed him became evil spirits, who try to get us to do wrong things. These spirits who followed Satan did not receive physical bodies.

  11. 11.

    All the spirits who chose Heavenly Father’s plan and followed Jesus in the premortal life have been or will be born on earth with physical bodies of flesh and blood.

  12. 12.

    All the children in this classroom chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and have been born on earth with mortal bodies.

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 do you think it was like to live in heaven with Heavenly Father?

  • How does it make you feel to know that Heavenly Father is the Father of your spirit?

  • What does it mean that Jesus is the older brother of our spirits?

  • How did Lucifer want to change Heavenly Father’s plan?

  • How does it make you feel to know that Jesus volunteered to suffer and die for you?

  • How do you know that you chose to follow Jesus in the premortal life? Why are you glad you made that choice?

  • What does the fact that you chose to follow Jesus in the premortal life tell you about yourself?

  • Now that we have been born in mortality, why is it important that we still choose to follow Jesus?

Show the children the Bible, and explain that the New Testament in the Bible tells about the things Jesus and his Apostles did while they lived on the earth. Explain that this year’s lessons are based on the life and teachings of Jesus and his Apostles. Encourage the children to bring their Bibles to class each Sunday.

Have some of the children sing “I Lived in Heaven” (Children’s Songbook, p. 4), or sing or read the words with the class.

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.

    As a review, write the following words on the chalkboard:

    One-third

    Firstborn

    Older brother

    Father of our spirits

    Meeting in Heaven

    Lucifer

    Divide the class into smaller groups. Ask each group to discuss one or more of these concepts and prepare to tell the class what they remember about them. After a few minutes ask each group to report to the class.

  2. 2.

    Have the children open their Bibles to the list of books in the New Testament. Review lesson 1 by asking some of the following questions: How are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John similar? How are they different? What is the book of Acts about? Why are most of the rest of the books called epistles? Help the children become better acquainted with the books of the New Testament by writing references on the chalkboard and having them locate the references in their copies of the Bible.

  3. 3.

    Help the children memorize John 15:13.

  4. 4.

    Help the children memorize the books of the New Testament (see “The Books of the New Testament,” Children’s Songbook, p. 116).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear testimony that you and the children in your class are spirit children of Heavenly Father and that Jesus loves us so much that in the premortal life he volunteered to be our Savior. We loved Heavenly Father so much that we chose to follow his plan. Emphasize how important it is that the children continue to follow Heavenly Father’s plan here on earth. Testify that following Jesus and obeying his commandments are the only ways to be truly happy.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Moses 4:1–4 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.