To help each child learn about the gift of the Holy Ghost and understand how to recognize the Holy Ghost’s promptings.
Prayerfully study Acts 2:1–24, 32–33, 36–47 and John 14:25–27. 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 Bible or a New Testament for each child.
Chalk and a chalkboard.
Picture 7-39, Day of Pentecost.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Teach the children that when Jesus was with his Apostles he taught them many things. He knew he would not always be with them, so he promised to send a special gift to help them.
Read the following clues. Have the children stand when they think they know what the gift is and whisper the answer in your ear. If they correctly identify the Holy Ghost, have them remain standing.
I teach the truth.
I am a guide.
I give comfort.
I testify of Jesus Christ.
I usually speak to your mind or heart.
I am a member of the Godhead.
I am a spirit person but do not have a physical body.
Write Holy Ghost on the chalkboard. Read John 14:25–27 with the children. Review the list of clues to help the children understand what the Holy Ghost does for us.
Write Pentecost on the chalkboard. Explain that Pentecost comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth. Pentecost was a Jewish celebration held every year fifty days after the Passover. Jesus gave the sacrament to his Apostles at the Last Supper, which happened at the time of the Passover. It was fifty days after the Last Supper that his disciples received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Write Gift of the Holy Ghost on the chalkboard.
Teach the children the account of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–24, 32–33, 36–47). (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Show the picture Day of Pentecost 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.
On the day of Pentecost, how did the Holy Ghost come to Jesus’ Apostles? (Acts 2:1–4.)
What gave the disciples the ability to speak in tongues and be understood by people who spoke other languages? (Acts 2:4.) How does this spiritual gift of the Holy Ghost help the Church’s missionary effort today? (By helping many of the missionaries learn foreign languages. The gift of tongues can also help contacts understand the gospel message even when a missionary does not speak the language well.)
What caused the hearts of the people to be pricked after Peter had testified of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection? (Acts 2:33, 36–37. The Holy Ghost.) What does it mean to have a pricked heart? (To have a sharp feeling of regret or sorrow.) How can the Holy Ghost help us feel sorry for things we have done?
How does the Holy Ghost help us know what to do? Help the children understand that people feel the Holy Ghost helping them in their lives in many different ways, such as a feeling of peace or an impression that something is right, having a clearer understanding of the scriptures and other subjects, finding an answer to a problem in the scriptures, hearing a talk or a lesson at church that helps you, and so on. If you feel it is appropriate, you might want to share an experience when you felt the Holy Ghost in your life.
What did Peter tell the people they needed to do to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost? (Acts 2:38.) What do we need to do to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost?
How many of you have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost? Help the children understand that it is possible to have promptings of the Holy Ghost before baptism; however, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after our baptisms. If we are righteous, the gift of the Holy Ghost entitles us to have the Holy Ghost with us as a constant companion (see D&C 121:45–46).
After the 3,000 souls were baptized, what were some of the things they did so the Holy Ghost would continue to guide them? (Acts 2:42–47.) (You could have the children find the answers in the scriptures and list them on the chalkboard.)
What do we need to do to have the Holy Ghost with us? (Repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, live righteously, pray for the Holy Ghost’s guidance, be still and listen, and follow the promptings that come.)
Share the following quotation with the children:
“Pray to Heavenly Father to bless you with His Spirit at all times. … The Holy Ghost is … a gift from Heavenly Father. … He whispers to you in a still, small voice to do right. When you do good, you feel good, and that is the Holy Ghost speaking to you. The Holy Ghost is a wonderful companion. He is always there to help you” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, p. 103; or Ensign, May 1989, p. 82).
Invite the children to share an experience when they or a member of their family felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Encourage the children to listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost and strive to follow those promptings. (See enrichment activity 6.)
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Share the following story about President Harold B. Lee, the eleventh President of the Church:
“I was probably about eight years of age, or younger, when I was taken by my father to a farm some distance away. While he worked I tried to busy myself with things that a young boy would. The day was hot and dusty and I played about until I was tired. Over the fence there was a broken-down shed that looked very interesting to me. In my mind I thought of this broken-down shed as a castle that I would like to explore, so I went to the fence and started to climb through to go over to that shed. There came a voice to me that said this very significant thing. ‘Harold, don’t go over there.’ I looked about to see who was speaking my name. My father was way up at the other end of the field. He could not see what I was doing. There was no speaker in sight. Then I realized that someone that I could not see was warning me not to go over there. What was over there, I shall never know, but I learned early that there are those beyond our sight that could talk to us” (in Conference Report, Mexico Area Conference 1972, pp. 48–49).
Write each of the following references on a separate piece of paper. (For additional references about the Holy Ghost, see the Topical Guide in the LDS edition of the Bible.) You could have the children draw the papers from a container. Have the child look up the reference listed on the paper and tell what that verse says about the Holy Ghost.
John 14:26 (The Holy Ghost is called the Comforter; he will teach all things and help us remember things.)
John 15:26 (The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth; he will testify of Christ.)
John 16:13 (The Holy Ghost will guide us to all truth and will show us things in the future.)
Acts 4:31 (The Holy Ghost helps us speak the word of God with boldness.)
Acts 5:32 (God gives the Holy Ghost to those who obey him.)
Galatians 5:22 (Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, and faith come through the Spirit.)
Read the following quotation. You may wish to make a copy for each child.
“After baptism, a person is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in that brief ordinance receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Afterward, all through life, men, women, even little children have the right to inspired direction to guide them in their lives—personal revelation!” (Boyd K. Packer, “Personal Revelation—Available to All,” Friend, June 1990, inside front cover).
Make a handout of the following statement for each child:
If I live righteously, the gift of the Holy Ghost can help me by teaching me, guiding me, comforting me, protecting me, warning me of danger, testifying to me of the truth.
Ask the children to identify as many names for the Holy Ghost as they can think of. Mention the following names if the children do not think of them: the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, Comforter, and the Spirit. (See “Holy Ghost” in the Bible Dictionary in the LDS edition of the Bible.)
Sing or say the words to
“The Holy Ghost” (Children’s Songbook, p. 105) or “The Still, Small Voice” (Children’s Songbook,p. 106).
You may wish to list the ideas in “The Still, Small Voice” on the chalkboard. Emphasize that as baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we all can have this help in our lives. Help the children understand that as they live righteously and listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost, they can receive guidance, warnings, and comfort.
Bear testimony that Jesus loves each of us, and so he has made it possible for us to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to be a help, a teacher, a comfort, and a guide.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study Acts 2:1–8, 36–41 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.