Prayerfully study Matthew 1:18–25 and Luke 1:26–38, 2:1–20. 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.
Pictures 7-1, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572); 7-3, The Birth of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 200; 62116); 7-4, The Announcement of Christ’s Birth to the Shepherds (Gospel Art Picture Kit 202; 62117); and 7-5, Family with a Baby (62307).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Display picture 7-5, Family with a Baby. Ask the children the following questions:
How do you think these parents feel to have this new baby?
Where did this baby’s spirit live before it was born?
Who is its earthly mother? Who is its earthly father? Who is the Father of its spirit?
Explain that, just like this baby, each of us has an earthly father and mother and that Heavenly Father is also the Father of our spirits.
Display the picture Jesus the Christ.
Who is Jesus’ mother? Who is Jesus’ Father?
Help the children understand that Jesus is different from us because Heavenly Father is the father of Jesus’ earthly body. Tell them that this lesson will teach them more about Jesus’ birth.
Teach the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section, using pictures where appropriate. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Help the children understand that Heavenly Father is the Father of Jesus Christ’s spirit body and also of his physical body.
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.
Why do you think the angels appeared to the shepherds? (Luke 2:9–14.) (To witness to the shepherds that Heavenly Father’s Only Begotten Son had been born in Bethlehem.)
What do you think the shepherds told people about Jesus? (Luke 2:15–20.)
Why is Jesus called the Only Begotten of the Father? (Jesus is the only person born in mortality whose physical father is Heavenly Father.) Explain that as Mary’s husband, Joseph was chosen to be the man who would help teach and raise Jesus.
How does Jesus’ relationship with Heavenly Father differ from our relationship with Heavenly Father?
Why was it important for Jesus’ mother to be mortal? Help the children understand that because Mary was mortal, Jesus was also mortal and could die for us. Also help the children understand that because Heavenly Father is the father of Jesus’ physical body, Jesus did not have to die (see John 5:26; 10:17–18). He chose to suffer for our sins and overcome death (see Alma 22:14; D&C 19:16–19).
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Ask the boys to imagine what it might have been like to be Joseph. Ask the girls to imagine what it might have been like to be Mary. Have them tell you what they might have thought when the angel came to visit them. Ask them what they might have felt when they were told they would be the earthly parents of the Savior.
Have each child look up one of the following scriptures, where Jesus is referred to as the Only Begotten Son: John 1:14; 3:16–18; 1 John 4:9; Jacob 4:5, 11; Alma 5:48; 12:33–34; Doctrine and Covenants 29:42, 46; 93:11; and Moses 1:6. (If you have more than nine children in the class, you can assign two children to a scripture.) When the children have finished this activity, they should understand that the title Only Begotten Son tells us that Jesus is the only person born on this earth who is the physical son of Heavenly Father.
Ask the children to tell you something that they know about Jesus that is important to them.
Review the first article of faith with the children.
Have the children sing or read
“He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook,p. 34).
Bear testimony of Jesus Christ, emphasizing that he is Heavenly Father’s Only Begotten Son, or the only person born on earth whose physical father was Heavenly Father. Testify that Jesus is our Savior. Encourage the children to study and pray to gain a testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study Luke 1:26–38 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a class member to give the closing prayer.