“Jesus Christ Is My Savior,” Friend, Apr. 2009, 10–12
Before Heavenly Father sent us to earth, He chose Jesus Christ to be our leader and Savior. You chose to follow Jesus Christ before you were born.
When Jesus came to earth, He taught the gospel and set up His Church. He kept His promise to be our Savior. He suffered and died and was resurrected so that we could be resurrected and live again with Heavenly Father and our families.
The scriptures teach us of the many blessings made possible by Jesus Christ. Do you remember the story of Lehi’s dream? Lehi saw a tree. The tree represents the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
On the tree was fruit that would make people happy. Lehi tasted the fruit, and it filled him with great joy. Lehi wanted his whole family to taste the fruit. (See 1 Nephi 8:10–12.)
The fruit of the tree represents the blessings we receive because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We taste of the fruit when we trust in Jesus Christ, when we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and when we live the gospel and feel our Savior’s love.
Remove page 11, and mount it on heavy paper. Cut slits in the tree on the white lines, and cut out the fruit. For each fruit, look up the scripture, identify the blessing Heavenly Father has given us, and write it on the line. Put the tab of the fruit into a slit on the tree.
April Theme: Jesus Christ made it possible for me to live with my Heavenly Father again.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit.)
In the premortal life, I chose to follow Jesus Christ. Ask the children to name some of the choices they have made that day (what to wear, what to eat, and so on). Write responses on the board. Explain that Heavenly Father has given us agency, the ability to make choices. Teach about the Council in Heaven, when Heavenly Father presented His plan. Explain that using our agency is an important part of that plan. Help the children understand that Satan wanted to change the plan and take away our ability to choose. Jesus Christ wanted to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and volunteered to be our Savior. Emphasize to the children that they chose to follow Jesus Christ (see Primary 6, lesson 2).
Write questions to help the children review what they have learned. Put the questions in a container. Choose a child to pick a question out of the container and answer it. Then have that child choose someone else to pick a question and answer it. Continue as time allows. Sing “I Lived in Heaven” (p. 4). Bear testimony of the importance of continuing to follow Jesus Christ.
I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior. A few days in advance, ask two or three older children to come to Primary prepared to bear their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Write on the board: “In the premortal life I chose to _____ _____ _____.” Ask the children to remember from last week’s discussion the choice they made in the premortal life (follow Jesus Christ). Repeat the sentence together. Tell the children that their choice to follow Jesus Christ shows that they had a testimony of Him in the premortal life and that their testimony will grow as they continue to learn about Him in this life. Use the chalkboard to teach enrichment activity 2 in lesson 30 of the Primary 7 manual, page 104. Use John 14:6 to reinforce the idea that just as the ladder provides the only way out of the pit, Jesus Christ provides the only way to eternal life. Hand out a paper and a pencil or crayons to each child. Invite the children to draw a picture of a way they can follow Jesus Christ. Emphasize that scriptures, good music, and the testimonies of others can help build and strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Sing both verses of “Help Us, O God, to Understand” (p. 73). Invite the children you asked beforehand to bear their testimonies.
My family and I will be resurrected. Beforehand and with approval of the bishop or branch president, invite a member who has experienced the death of a loved one to bear testimony of what the Resurrection means to him or her. Put the following GAK pictures in a pile in the following order with 227 on top: GAK 227 (Jesus Praying in Gethsemane), GAK 228 (The Betrayal of Jesus), GAK 230 (The Crucifixion), GAK 231 (Burial of Jesus), GAK 233 (Mary and the Resurrected Lord), GAK 234 (Jesus Shows His Wounds), and GAK 316 (Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere). While the pianist plays “Beautiful Savior” (pp. 62–63), have the children pass around a small stone. Tell them it is symbolic of the stone rolled in front of the opening of Christ’s tomb. When the music stops, have the child holding the stone take the picture from the top of the pile and tell about it or choose someone to help. Continue for each picture, pausing after GAK 234 to sing the second verse of “On a Golden Springtime” (p. 88) and to read Luke 24:39 in unison. Have the children feel their hands to help them understand that after Jesus was resurrected, the Apostles could feel His hands just as the children can feel their own hands. Continue with the rest of the pictures. Teach that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone who has ever lived on the earth will be resurrected. Have the invited guest bear testimony. Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64). At the end of the third verse, have the children stand when singing the words “Oh yes! And so shall I!”
By following Jesus Christ, we will be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again. Have the children try to draw something unfamiliar (for example, an unusual animal or flower). Then provide a picture of the object, and have them draw it again. Discuss how models help us. Then explain that on the wall of President Thomas S. Monson’s office is a favorite painting of the Savior. He said, “When facing difficult situations, I often look at it and ask myself, ‘What would He do?’ Then I have tried to respond accordingly” (in Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Thomas S. Monson: In the Footsteps of the Master,” supplement to the Ensign, June 2008, 2).
Give each class one or more scripture references that illustrate the Savior’s example. Have class members read to discover what Jesus did to be an example, and have them suggest ways they can follow that example. Possibilities: John 19:26–27 (showed concern for mother); John 13:14–15 (served others); Acts 10:38 (went about doing good); Matthew 4:23 (taught the gospel); Mark 1:9 (was baptized); Luke 2:52 (grew in wisdom); Mark 10:14–16 (loved little children); 3 Nephi 17:15–17 (prayed). Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79).
For younger children: Match pictures showing Jesus’s example with pictures of children following His example. Possibilities: GAK 206 (Childhood of Jesus Christ) with 2-23 (son helping father) from Primary 2 picture packet; GAK 242 (Jesus and His Mother) with 1-46 (children with their grandmother) from Primary 1 picture packet; GAK 212 (Sermon on the Mount) with GAK 607 (Young Girl Speaking at Church); GAK 208 (John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus) with 2-20 (baptism) from Primary 2 picture packet; GAK 205 (Boy Jesus in the Temple) with GAK 617 (Search the Scriptures); GAK 216 (Christ and the Children) with 2-49 (family on picnic) from Primary 2 picture packet; GAK 225 (The Last Supper) with GAK 604 (Passing the Sacrament); 1-64 (Christ praying with the Nephites) with 1-9 (girl praying) from Primary 1 picture packet.
Friend references: “Jesus Christ Is My Savior,” Mar. 2005, 20–22; “Why I Believe in Jesus Christ,” Apr. 2006, 18–19; “Savior and Redeemer,” Apr. 1999, 12–13; “Sharing Time Butterfly,” Apr. 2007, 4–6; “Friend to Friend,” July 1999, 6–7.