To help the children learn about Jesus’ childhood and understand that God provided witnesses to testify that Jesus Christ is his Son.
Prayerfully study Luke 2:21–52, Matthew 2, the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 3:24–26, and Doctrine and Covenants 93:11–14. 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.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
As the children come into class, show two or three of them the object you have brought; then hide it before the rest of the class arrives. Ask one of the children who saw the object to describe it without saying what it is. Ask the class if they know what the object is. Ask the other children who saw the object to describe it. Help the children understand that they can be more sure about something if they hear it from more than one person. Show the object to the class.
Explain that the children who first saw the object acted as witnesses because they knew about the object and described what it was like. A witness is someone who has a personal knowledge of something and shares that knowledge with others. A witness can also be something that gives evidence or proof; for example, the Book of Mormon witnesses that Jesus is the Christ. Explain that when Jesus was a child, Heavenly Father provided many witnesses to testify that Jesus was his Son.
Teach the account of Jesus’ childhood as found in the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)
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. You could use enrichment activity 1 as a review of the previous lesson before you teach this lesson.
Why did Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the temple? (Luke 2:21–24.)
How did Simeon know that Jesus was the Son of God? (Luke 2:25–30.)
How did Anna witness that Jesus was the Son of God? How do you think she knew who he was? (Luke 2:36–38.)
How did the wise men know that Jesus was the Son of God? Why did they give him gifts? (Matthew 2:2, 11.)
How can you be a witness of Jesus Christ?
Why did Heavenly Father tell Joseph to take his family to Egypt? (Matthew 2:13–14.) What did Herod do to try to keep Jesus from becoming king? (Matthew 2:16.) How did Joseph know it was safe to return from Egypt? (Matthew 2:19–20.) Where did the family go to live? (Matthew 2:21–23.)
What do you think Jesus did as a boy to gain experience and knowledge? (JST, Matthew 3:24–26; Luke 2:40, 52; D&C 93:11–14.) What things are important for you to learn as you grow up? What goals have you set?
Show the picture Boy Jesus in the Temple. Why were the men in the temple impressed with Jesus? (Luke 2:46–47. Note that Joseph Smith’s translation of this scripture says, “And they were hearing him, and asking him questions.”) What does this tell us about how much Jesus had learned in his childhood? What can you do to learn more about the gospel? How was Jesus honoring and obeying his Father in the temple?
What did Jesus do to honor and obey Joseph and Mary? (Luke 2:51–52.) Explain that Joseph and Mary taught Jesus during his childhood just as our parents teach us during our childhoods. How can you honor your parents?
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Have the children name as many people as possible from the previous weeks’ lessons who witnessed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. To help the children remember these witnesses, you could have them look up the following scriptures: Luke 1:30–32 (Gabriel), Luke 1:41–43 (Elisabeth), John 1:29–34 (John the Baptist), and Luke 2:8–17 (the angels and shepherds).
Discuss goals the children could set to help them learn more about the gospel, such as reading the scriptures every day, praying, participating in family home evening, and so on. Ask the children to write on a piece of paper two goals that will help them learn more about the gospel this year. Encourage them to keep the paper where they can see it often.
Make a copy of the map at the end of this lesson for each child in your class. Let the children find and label the places where Jesus lived: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth. (Maps #13 and #14 in the LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible can help you with this activity.)
Help the children memorize the first article of faith.
Write on the chalkboard scripture references to times when Heavenly Father witnessed that Jesus is his Son (Matthew 3:16–17; 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:6–8; Joseph Smith—History 1:17). Have the children look up the references, and discuss what happened in each instance.
Help the children memorize Luke 2:52.
Sing or read the words to
“Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (Children’s Songbook, p. 55) or “This Is My Beloved Son” (Children’s Songbook, p. 76).
Share with the children your feelings about Jesus Christ, and tell them why it is important to you that he is the Son of God. Help them understand that if they follow Jesus’ example they can be more like him.
Enrichment activity 2 could be used as a life application of the lesson.
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study Luke 2:40–52 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.