“Be Not Afraid,” Friend, Jan. 2007, 46–48
Look at the picture on the left. Imagine that you are one of the children. Would you be afraid to cross a rushing stream? Would you be afraid if the Savior were holding on to you?
This beautiful picture is titled Be Not Afraid. The children in the picture do not need to be afraid because the Savior is helping them to the other side.
Brother Greg Olsen, the artist who painted this picture, explained that the children represent each of us. “The stream represents the difficult, trying times that we all go through,” he says. “We need to do our part, reach as high as we can, and the Savior will lead us safely across to the other side.”
When we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we understand that we are not alone on our journey through life. When we are humble and have faith, we can know that the Lord will lead us by the hand and give us answers to our prayers (see D&C 112:10). When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we will not be afraid.
Glue the picture and the frame pieces on page 46 to heavier paper. Cut out the picture and frame pieces, and carefully glue or tape the corners together to form the frame. Put the frame around the picture, and secure it with tape or glue. Display the picture Be Not Afraid where it will remind you to have faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine that you are the child reaching up to grasp His hand or that you are being held safely in His arm.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied or printed from www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Help the children memorize Alma 32:21. All of the children will memorize the second part, beginning with the word if, by setting the phrases to music. Sing the words of the scripture to “Have a Very Happy Birthday!” (pp. 284–85). Fit one word to each note; you will sing the scripture through twice. Sing the song through several times until the children memorize it.
Explain that when we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we allow Him to lead us, even if we can’t understand where we are going. Make an obstacle course in the Primary room using chairs, tables, and other items. (You may want to label your path with good things such as baptism and bad things such as dishonesty.) Select one child to walk the path. Next ask for a volunteer to be blindfolded. Let him or her go through the path. Then ask for a volunteer to be blindfolded, but explain that you are going to rearrange the obstacle course. Ask him or her to choose a friend who will not be blindfolded to be a guide. Have the two children leave the room with a member of the Primary presidency for a moment. Rearrange the obstacle course. Let the friend guide the blindfolded child through the course. The guide can use verbal instructions and gently hold the child’s arm. Explain that the obstacle course is like our lives. As we journey through life we need to choose a guide we know we can trust. The best guide is Jesus Christ. Bear testimony that we do not need to see Him to know that He loves us and guides us.
Blow on a feather or a pinwheel. Ask the children if they can see the wind that is moving the feather. Ask them if they know that the wind is really moving the feather. Explain that we do not have to see something to have faith. Sing “God’s Love” (p. 97). Review Alma 32:21 by singing the song that you learned at the beginning of sharing time.
2. Ask the children, “What would happen if you put on your shoes before you put on your socks?” Discuss the importance of doing things in the right order. Display the letters in FAITH in the wrong order. Explain that these letters form a word but that the letters are in the wrong order. Ask the children what the first principle of the gospel is. Have them look up the answer in the Articles of Faith while the pianist plays the first two lines of “The Fourth Article of Faith” (p. 124). Ask the children to sing just that much of the song and put the letters in the correct order to spell FAITH. However, as Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “The first principle of the gospel is not ‘faith.’ The first principle of the gospel is ‘Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’” (“Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 1994, 98). Ask the children why they think faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle.
Display the following pictures: GAK 100 (Creation—Living Creatures); Primary Picture Packet 6-12 (Moses Parting the Red Sea); GAK 243 (Christ Walking on the Water); GAK 318 (The Brother of Jared Sees the Finger of the Lord); GAK 412 (Mary Fielding and Joseph F. Smith Crossing the Plains). Briefly review each story and ask the children a question such as “What did Moses need before he could part the Red Sea?” Have the children respond by singing the line “first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
3. Invite a brother in the ward or branch approved by the bishop or branch president to dress in a simple costume to portray Joseph Smith and to tell the story of the First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:5–20). Have him focus on the faith and determination that Joseph Smith had in reading from James 1:5 and knowing that he could “ask of God.” While the guest is telling the story, have the pianist play “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” (Hymns, no. 26) softly. Ask the guest to bear testimony of Joseph Smith and of the power of prayer. Share hymnbooks to sing “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer.”
For younger children: Sing “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14). Tell the children that the first part of the song talks about praying in faith, and the second part of the song explains how to pray. While we want to pray correctly, it is more important to pray with faith. Explain that Joseph Smith did not know exactly how to pray, but he prayed with faith, and Heavenly Father answered his prayer. Bear witness of Joseph Smith and the power of prayer.
4. Show the children what a mustard seed looks like. (If mustard seeds are not available in your area, choose another kind of seed that will grow into something large, such as a kernel of corn that will grow into a corn stalk.) Have the children look up Luke 17:5–6. Read it together. Restate the scripture by explaining that the Apostles wanted to increase their faith. Jesus told them that even a tiny amount of faith could move a large tree. Elder David B. Haight (1906–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “President Hinckley often speaks to us about developing more faith. That faith is a result of our living the principles of the gospel, living the way we should” (“Faith of Our Prophets,” Friend, Nov. 2003, 27). As we keep the commandments, we will increase our faith. As we increase our faith, we will have a greater desire to keep the commandments.
Sing “Keep the Commandments” (pp. 146–47). Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil or crayons. Have them fold the paper into four sections. Ask them to draw pictures of four commandments that they could keep (see “Drawing Activities,” TNGC, 166–67). To give them ideas of what to draw, have the pianist play several Primary songs about specific commandments, for example, “Baptism” (pp. 100–101); “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (p. 109); “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11); “Love One Another” (p. 136); and “I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth” (p. 150). Allow the children to share the pictures they have drawn. Explain how having faith will help them keep the commandments.
5. Song presentation: “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” (Friend, Jan. 2003, 24). Ask the children to listen to a hymn that tells us what we can do when we are feeling discouraged. Have the pianist play the chorus of “Count Your Blessings” (Hymns, no. 241), and ask if any of the children know what the advice is. Sing the chorus for the children. Explain that the song “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” is a list of some of God’s blessings to us. Write 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the chalkboard. Ask the children to listen for the first blessing. Sing “The Lord has blessed me with gospel truth,” and then sing “la, la” through the next two lines. When the children respond, write “gospel truth” after 1. Have the children sing the words to the blessing with you, and then sing “la, la” through the rest of the first two lines, just as you did. Follow the same pattern for “The Lord has blessed me with simple faith.” Explain that the part they have been singing “la, la” to tells more about the blessing. Tell the children how thankful you are for all of Heavenly Father’s blessings to you. Testify of God’s love and the importance of following Him in faith.
6. Friend references: “Be Not Afraid,” Feb. 2005, 2; “Prayer in the Storm,” Nov. 2001, 46–47; “The Faith of a Sparrow,” July 2000, IFC; “Jesus Walks on the Water,” Nov. 2001, 10–11; “Isaac’s Talk,” June 2003, 28–30; “Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Oct. 2000, IFC; “Faith in Jesus Christ,” June 2005, 31; “Trust Jesus,” Sept. 2004, 17.