Christmas: Advent Calendar

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fullsizerenderJesus is the Reason for the Season

Preparation

  • Print the pictures and the date cards. (Use seven sheets of white cardstock for the pictures and seven sheets of color cardstock for the date cards. You can use two different colors for the date cards if desired.)  Number the back of the pictures 1 through 25. (For example: Isaiah would be #1, Nephi would be #2,  the star and moon would be #3, and so forth.) Cut out the pictures and date cards. (A paper-cutter makes the job go faster.)
  • Attach the sign “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” to the top of a poster board or display board and attach the date cards underneath the sign with sticky tack (or purchase a pocket chart and place each date card in a pocket).
  •  For little ones, slip the matching pictures behind its date card in the pocket chart, or attach the scripture’s matching picture to the back of the date card before attaching it to the poster board.
  • Pocket Charts: If you have a pocket chart you can put items matching the scriptures into the back pockets such as a star or angel ornament to put on the tree, a candy cane like the shepherd’s crook, or a story, song, or activity that goes along with the scripture’s topic. Have the children check the pockets for additional fun things to do after reading the scripture. See here for a list of the scriptures so you can arrange what to put in the back pockets

Instructions:

Each day, starting on the first day of December, take a date card off the chart (going in numerical order) and read the scripture together as a family. Have the older children find the matching picture that goes with the scripture and replace the date card with the picture. Have the little ones turn the card around so the picture is showing and then put the card back in its spot if using a poster board, or, if using a pocket chart, take out the date card to display the picture behind it.

(The pictures and idea come from the Friend December 1985.)

Ideas for back pockets:

The 2016 Light the World advent cards could be put in the back pockets. Each card has activity ideas to do each day to serve and love like Jesus.

Day 3: Samuel the Lamanite (story)

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus    Song

Day 7: Mary and the Angel Gabriel (video)


Creation: Lesson for Little Ones

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Jesus Created this World for Us

Preparation

  • Item needed: a bible, a large, light blue felt display board and a small felt choosing board, 1/3 yard of brown felt and 1/2 yard of sea blue felt. (The felt needs to be good quality.)
  •  Print the visual aids. (Visual Aids are from the Primary One Manual cutouts and Microsoft Word clipart.)  Add felt or 60 grit sandpaper to the back of each item and cut the figures out.
  • Cut the brown felt 11 1/2″ x 28″ and the sea blue felt 15 1/2 ” x 28″.
  • Before teaching the lesson, attach each picture randomly to the small felt board.

Presentation

Open the Bible to Genesis 1:1 and read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Invite the children to repeat the scripture with you, a few words at a time. Explain that Heavenly Father had Jesus Christ make the world and everything in it.

Show the children the display boards.

Tell the children that Jesus made the light of day.

  • What gives light to our world? (The sun) Have a child find the sun and put it at the top of the board.

Jesus also made the night.

  • What we do we see in the sky at night time? (The moon and stars) Have a child find the moon and stars cutout and put it on the board.

Tell the children that Jesus made the waters in the sea and in the sky. (Put on the large, blue felt piece. Have the children then find the water in the sky–the rain cloud.  Have a child stick the rain cloud to the sky area.)

Jesus also made the dry land. (Put the brown felt land piece on top of the sea, leaving some of the sea exposed on top.)

Jesus made all the plants. (Have the children find the plants and put them on the land.)

Jesus also made the fishes and other sea creatures. (Have the children find the fish and put them in the sea area.)

Jesus made the birds. (Have the children find the birds and put them in the sky area.)

Jesus also made all other animals. (Point to an animal and have the children say what it is or make the sound it makes, and then have a child put it on the land area. Continue until all the animals are on the board.)

Jesus also made people.

  • Who were the first people that lived on the earth? (Adam and Eve) Put Adam and Eve on the display board.

Heavenly Father and Jesus made the earth for us to live on because they love us.

Sing the song “My Heavenly Father Loves Me.” (Make the song visual aid, and then follow the singing instructions listed under junior primary.)


Display Board

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Felt/Vinyl Display Board

 Fun Hint: Poster boards can be inserted into vinyl side to change background colors.

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  • Items needed: Two 22″ x 28″ two-sided blue project sheets from Hobby Lobby (cardboard sheets covered in colored paper), one yard of light blue felt from Hobby Lobby (Note: For felt figures to stick on the felt board, the background felt must be high wool count. Some craft stores and Walmart do not have good enough quality felt), one yard of deluxe clear vinyl (found in rolls at craft stores or Walmart. It has blue printed paper covering it. Be careful not to crease it as you transport it home), clear nylon thread, and a sewing machine
  •  Instructions: Cut the deluxe vinyl and the felt into 45″x 29″ pieces, making sure all sides are square. (I used a poster board as a guide to make sure the sides were square.). Fold each piece in half. Sew a 1/2 inch border on one side edge and a 1/2 inch border on the bottom edge of each folded piece. You should end up with one side edge that is open on both pouches. Stack the two pouches together and sew the sewn bottom edges together. Insert a blue project sheet into each pouch. The display board will fold at the top sewn edge in order to sit on a table.  Optional: Sew the open edge of the felt pouch together (but the open side makes it easier to replace bent or damaged project boards. Masonite boards can be used instead of the project boards for more durability, but they are heavier).
  • Note: A poster board can be inserted on top of the vinyl’s blue project sheet to change display board background color. In fact, several poster boards can be stored in the vinyl pouch.

Using the Display Boards

imageFelt board: Story figures can be printed onto printable iron-on fabric and then ironed onto felt. Or strips of 60 grit sandpaper can be hot glued to the back of each paper printed figure. (For increased durability, laminate paper figures before attaching sandpaper strips.)

Vinyl board: Attach permanent double-sided tape or sticky tack to the back of each figure you wish to display. The figures will easily peel off from the vinyl, but they will need to be stuck to the inside of ziplock or page protectors for storage. Dry erase markers can also be used on the vinyl board.

 

Small  Choosing Board

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Items needed: 1/2 yard good quality felt, 1/2 yard deluxe clear vinyl, one small foam board (see Dollar Tree).

Instructions: Using an exact knife, cut the foam board to 22 1/2″ x 17 1/2″. Cut a piece of felt 46″ x 18″.  Cut a piece of vinyl 18″ x 23″.

Fold the felt in half so it is 18″ x 23″. Place the vinyl on top of the folded piece. Sew the two sides 1/4 inch in from each edge. Insert the foam board into the top open side of felt pocket. Sew along the edge of the foam board on the open side. Trim off extra fabric along that edge.


My Heavenly Father Loves Me: Song

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My Heavenly Father Loves Me

(Children’s Songbook, pg. 228 )

Preparation

  • Items needed: a half sheet of poster board, glue, scissors, drawing compass or ruler, and one brad.
  • Print the visual aid items and assemble the activity using the following steps:
  1. Cut out the earth pieces, and place the two pieces together, with the middle edges overlapping until the scenes on both side match in the middle. Glue the pieces together.
  2. Place the earth on the half sheet of poster board and trace around the outside edge. After removing the earth, find the middle point on the earth picture and on the poster board using a compass or a ruler. (Note: it must be the exact middle in order for this activity to work)
  3. Cut out the triangle pieces inside the blue lines. Place the blank triangle on the earth just left of the top middle, making sure the tip is at the center mark. Trace around the triangle with a pencil and then cut out the piece from the earth.
  4. Place each triangle on the poster board circle outline in the correct order (see above picture). They will overlap each other in order for them to all fit, but the points of all the triangles need to be circling the center mark. Once all the parts are situated, lightly glue down each piece. Place the earth on top of the circle and check to make sure that the opening on the earth shows each picture correctly as you turn it. Cut out the poster board circle, trimming off any parts of the triangles around the edges. Laminate both the earth and the poster board circle. (UPS stores have laminators. They also can enlarge the images and print them bigger if needed.) Cut off the excess laminating around the edges, but do not cut out the laminate on the cut out slice of the earth.)
  5. Place the earth on top of the circle cutout. With a thick needle, poke a hole through the center mark on both items leaving the needle in place. Turn the earth and make sure everything is lined up. If both circles are lined up, put the brad through both holes, opening up the arms in the back. Note: The visual aids were found on Microsoft Word clipart and in the Friend magazine. The idea for this visual aid was posted on Sugardoodle from “The Choristers Corner,” but it didn’t include printable images.
  6. Be prepared to attach the back circle to the board with strong magnets or sticky tack. If you plan on having  the children help with the wheel turning, a tab can be added to the front circle edge to help the younger children turn it. If this song idea is used for family home evening, sing the song with the children throughout the week to help the children remember it.

Presentation

Remind the children that our Heavenly Father loves us, so he had Jesus make this beautiful world for us to live on. Explain that this song reminds us of many of the wonderful things we are blessed with on the earth.

Show the children the earth visual aid.

Senior primary:

Have the children listen for what word each pictures stands for as you sing the song for the children while turning the top circle on the earth visual aid. (See the underlined words below). Make sure the pictures are always at the top of the world. Sing the song again using the visual aid, and stop at each picture and have the children say the word. Sing the song again, two lines at a time, and have the children echo you. Then have them sing the whole song with you using the visual aids as clues.

After the children learn the song, you can use the actions to help remind them of the words instead of using the visual aid.

 

Whenever I hear the song of a bird

Or look at the blue, blue sky,

Whenever I feel the rain on my face

Or the wind as it rushes by,

Whenever I touch a velvet rose

Or walk by our lilac tree,

I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world

Heav’nly Father created for me.

Junior Primary

Sing a line while showing the visual aid. But before singing, tell the children to listen for the word each picture stands for. Sing that line again with the visual aid, but stop at the word and have the children say the word. Sing the line again in parts and have them echo you. Then have them sing the whole line with you. Do the same with the other lines. After they learn a new line, have the children sing it with previously learned lines.

After the children learn the song, you can use the following actions to help remind them of the words instead of using the visual aid.

 

Actions

Whenever I hear the song of a bird. (Cup hand around ear.)

Or look at the blue, blue sky, (Point at your eyes and then point at the sky.)

Whenever I feel the rain on my face (Stroke face, and then put hands up in front of you and wiggle your fingers as your hands move downward. )

Or the wind as it rushes by, (Wiggle your fingers as your hand move side to side.)

Whenever I touch a velvet rose. (Put finger out as if to touch something.)

Or walk by our lilac tree, (Make two fingers move as if walking.)

I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world. (Point to your smiling face, and then hold arms out with palms up.)

Heav’nly Father created for me.

 

Note: Accompaniment can be found at https://www.lds.org/music/library/childrens-songbook/my-heavenly-father-loves-me?lang=eng


Lesson 38: Peace Among the Nephites

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Lesson 38: Peace among the Nephites

Preparation

  • Items needed: two large, clear plastic cups, string, a dowel rod or ruler, a clear glass of water, food coloring, a large clear glass bowl, pencils, a small scoop of dirt in a baggie, tape, tacky wax, chalk and eraser, one sheet of colored card stock, a black marker, and small bag of butter mints.
  • Measuring scale assembly instructions: Punch two holes beneath the top edge of each plastic cup (the holes should be evenly spaced and on opposites sides of the cup). Cut two 24 inch pieces of string. Stick one end of one of the strings through a hole on one of the cups, then stick the other end through the other hole. Tie the ends into knots. Do the same with the other cup and string. Cut another piece of string 40 inches long and tie the ends together so it forms a loop. Hang it around the center of the dowel rod and tape down the string on the dowel. Hang the top of the string loop on a door handle and make sure the dowel rod sits evenly. Make adjustments if needed. Loop each cup’s string over an end of the dowel rod and tape down the string on the dowel. The scale should sit evenly. Once again make adjustments if needed.
  • Print and cutout all the signs. Tape the end of the arrow to the center of the dowel rod so the arrow points up. Using tacky wax, attach all the small words to the cardstock in random order.
  • Print one crossword puzzle for each person in the class. Print and cut out some healthy food items and some junk food items (from clipartix). Print the scripture story pictures or display them on an electronic device.
  • Before class starts, hang the scale on a clip or tack at the top of the board. Attach the sign “Health” in-between the cups on the scale. Attach the smiley face to the left of the scale and the sad face to the right. Put the cup of water and the food colorings in the clear glass bowl to help protect against spillage.

Attention Activity

Show the children the scale. Explain that our physical bodies need the nutrients that are found in healthy food choices in order to sustain good health. Add pictures of healthy foods to the left cup, and the scale arrow will point to the smiley face which represents good health.

  • What happens if we decrease the amount of healthy foods we eat (take off the healthy foods) and increase our consumption of junk food like candy bars, chips, soda, (put these items in the right scale cup)? (Good health could decrease.)

Explain that just as our bodies need proper nourishment to be healthy and strong, our spirits also need proper nourishment to be healthy and strong. (Put the sign “Spiritual” above the health sign, and take off the junk food items from the scale.)

  • What does our spirit need in order to be healthy and strong? (Spiritual food such as scripture study, prayer, church attendance, etc.)

Scripture Story

(Show the children the story pictures as you tell the story.

  1. Explain that after Jesus departed from the Nephites, the disciples continued to teach the people, and within a few years all the people in the land were converted to the Lord.
  2. The people listened to the disciple’s teachings. They repented and were baptized, and they received the Holy Ghost. Their spirits were nourished. (Write the things they did to nourish their spirits on the healthy food pictures. Tape them on the left scale cup as you mention each item.)

Have the children look up 4 Nephi 1:12 to find out what other ways the people nourished their spirits. (Have the children write the items they find on the healthy food pictures and put them in the left cup.) (They kept the commandments, fasted, prayed, and they attended church to hear the word of God.)

Explain that when our spirits are strong and nourished we tend to make righteous choices, and making good choices helps our happiness levels increase. Explain that because the Nephites nourished their spirits and were committed to following Jesus’s teachings, their happiness level increased. According to 4 Nephi 1:16 there never was a happier people.

Activity

Show the children the cardstock with the words on it. Have them take off the words they associate with happiness and put them under the smiley face. Then hand out a crossword puzzle and a pencil to each child. Have the children take turns reading the clues and finding the word on the board that matches the clue. Put a check mark next to the word if it is the correct word. Have the children write the answer in the correct spot on their crossword puzzle. Explain that the clues and words tell us what the Nephites experienced as a result of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(See the following answers for discussion ideas on some of the words.)

Activity Answers

Fairness/Every man did deal justly one with another.

Sharing/They had all things common among them. (There were no poor.)

  • What does it mean that the people had “all things common among them”? Each person gave the extra he produced (crops, flocks, etc), and this extra was used for those who were in need of help.

Healing/All manner of miracles did they work.  (Read 4 Nephi 1:5)  The miracles included healing the lame, the blind, the deaf, and raising the dead.)

Peace/There were no contentions, strifes, or tumults in the land.  (Meaning there was no fighting, arguing, riots, or war.)

Charity/The love of God … did dwell in the hearts of the people.

Goodwill/There were no envyings.  (There was no jealousy. There was only gladness that others were blessed.)

Honesty/There were no … lyings.

Safety/There were no robbers or murderers.

Virtue/There were no whoredoms nor any manner of lasciviousness (crude behavior). (The people were chaste and clean.)

Unity/ There were no divisions of race or class. (There was no manner of “ites.” The people were no longer divided into Nephites and Lamanites but were united.)

Help the children understand that each one of the clues in the crossword puzzle relates to how we treat people. Help them see that the most important key to happiness is how we treat others. When we live the gospel, we treat each other with love and kindness, and as a result we enjoy greater peace and happiness in our lives.

Scripture Story Continued

3) The people were blessed in all their doings because of their righteousness. They prospered and built cities. They were strong and multiplied. The people lived in peace for many years. After nearly 200 years, two generations had passed on, and the people had multiplied and had spread out over all the land.

4) Then sin slowly started creeping into the land again.

Object Lesson

Show the children the glass of water, and put one drop of blue food coloring into the water. Have the children watch it spread throughout the glass and observe how quickly one little drop spreads. Explain that if people allow themselves to be exposed to a little sin, it can quickly grow and spread if left unchecked. We need to be careful about what we allow into our thoughts and lives.

4) The people had become very rich because of their prosperity in Christ, and they began allowing pride to take a hold in their lives. (4 Nephi 1:23-24)  The people began to wear expensive clothing, jewelry, and other fine things of the world. From that time forth the people did not have their goods and their substance common among them. (4 Nephi 1:25)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about pride: “At its core, pride is a sin of comparison, for though it usually begins with ‘Look how wonderful I am and what great things I have done,’ it always seems to end with ‘Therefore, I am better than you.’

The people began to focus on themselves instead of helping others. (Put the words “selfishness” and “poverty” on the right side of the board. Do the same for the italicized words as they are mentioned below.)

Have the children read 4 Nephi 1:26-27 & 29 to find the ways pride and sin began to spread. Put a different colored drop of food coloring in the water for every item mentioned. (The water should turn brown.)

  • They once again began to be divided into social classes. (Inequality)
  • They built many different churches to themselves (not to God). The churches were built up to help people get gain (Greed). They denied the true church of Christ.
  • These churches professed to know Christ but denied most parts of his gospel. (These people were no longer nourishing their spirits with the teachings of Christ and they were becoming spiritually weaker and weaker.) (Take out the items from the left side cup on the scale.)
  • The churches became open to all manner of wickedness. They allowed the wicked to participate in sacred ordinances.
  • One of the churches denied Christ and persecuted the members of the true church of Christ because of the members’ humility and belief in Christ. (Persecution) They despised them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them. (Hate) (Jealousy)

Point out that as the people let wickedness into their lives, it spread. Have the children observe the color of the water, and explain that instead of nourishing their spirits, they filled their lives with worthless, self-indulgent thoughts, and their choice became increasingly wicked. They were filling their lives with darkness and dirt. (Put the dirt in the cup on the right side of the scale.) The choices they made resulted in misery and unhappiness for many people.

5) Among the true church of Christ were three disciples that Jesus had given power to remain on the earth until his second coming. Before Jesus Christ departed, he had asked each of his twelve Nephite disciples what they desired of him. Nine requested to speedily return to him when their ministry on the earth was complete.

6) Three of the disciples asked to remain on the earth to bring souls unto Christ. Those three became translated beings who would not taste death.

7) Those who denied Christ began to try and exercise power and authority over the three disciples. They cast them into prison; but by the power of God which was in them, the prisons were broken and they came out. They also cast the disciples into fiery furnaces and into dens of wild beasts, and from each place they came out unharmed. (4 Nephi 1:30, 33)

  • Why didn’t the people repent, realize their mistake, and change their ways after seeing these mighty miracles of God? (Their hearts were set upon wickedness. They wanted to do all manner of iniquity.) (4 Nephi 1:34)

The people dwindled more and more in unbelief and wickedness from year to year. Point out that the people had been given the wonderful blessing of the gospel. Show the children the butter mints and explain that they represent gospel blessings. Give each child a couple of mints to eat. Point out how sweet and wonderful they are. Put two mints in the water near the side of the glass so they are visible to the class. Ask the children to watch what happens to them in the dirty water. (They will dwindle away and disappear.) Explain that the Nephite’s faith and blessings dwindled and wasted away as the people increased in wickedness.

8) Once again the people began to divide into different groups of “ites.” Those who did rebel against God were called Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmealites. They did teach their children that they should not believe. The children were taught to hate the children of God, just as the Lamanites had taught their children to hate the Nephites. The wicked grew in numbers and became more numerous than the people of God. The more wicked part of the people began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton. The robbers of Gadianton spread over all the land. (4 Nephi 1:34-39) (Add “Theft” and “Murder” to the right side of the board.)

9) Eventually, even those who were called the people of Nephi began to be proud in their hearts because of their exceeding riches, and they become vain like unto their brethren the Lamanites. (4 Nephi 1:43) After three hundred years had passed from the time of Christ, both the Nephites and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked.

Conclusion

Explain that just as our bodies feel miserable and sick when we are unwell, we can experience misery and unhappiness in our lives when our spirits are not strong and healthy because we tend to make choices that lead to unhappiness. In the next lesson we will learn about the increasingly terrible and sorrowful things that occurred among the Nephites because of the poor choices they made as a result of allowing wickedness into their lives. (Put the words “War” and “Destruction” on the right side of the board.)

Point out the lists under happiness and unhappiness and ask the children which they would prefer. Remind the children that if they desire to live lives filled with the blessings of happiness and peace, they must strive to follow the Savior and his teachings. Remind the children that the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to make good choices that lead to happiness.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 28:1-9 &  4 Nephi 1:1-18, 2346

 

 

 


Lesson 37: Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites to Pray

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Lesson 37

Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites to Pray

Preparation

  • Items needed: chalk and eraser, several small popsicle sticks broken in half (or cut pieces of cardboard), tape, sticky wax, and one cardstock page. Optional: two small toy cars, one poster board.
  • Print the story pictures (or use a laptop or tablet to display the pictures at the appropriate times). Number the pictures in the order they were printed.
  • Print the neighborhood pictures. Cut out the cul-de-sac and the one-way road.
  • Before class starts, post the neighborhood pictures on the board or on a poster board (see the picture above for how they should be posted). The spaces between the pictures are the roads, but you may want to draw in cross walks, train tracks, etc.
  • Print and cut out the road signs, the warning signs, cars, and the boy figure. Glue or tape each road sign to a popsicle stick half. Using sticky wax, attach the road signs to the map in the locations indicated. Attach the red warning signs to a piece of card stock with sticky wax. Glue the matching cars together, back to back. Attach stick wax to each car.

Attention Activity

Show the children the neighborhood map. Point out the street signs, and ask what would happen if someone didn’t obey those directions. Demonstrate what might happen using the toy cars or the car pictures. Be sure to point out the dangers and the safety issues, and point out the benefits of observing and obeying street signs. Explain that just as road signs warn us of physical danger, help keep us safe, and help direct us towards the right ways to go, we have been given a special gift in our lives that gives us guidance and direction and helps keep us spiritually safe.

  • What is the special gift we have been given that warns us of spiritual danger and guides us towards the right ways to go so we can return safely home to Heavenly Father? ( The gift of the Holy Ghost ) (You may wish to relate the Holy Ghost promptings to some of the street signs such as “wrong way,” “stop,” “do not enter,” etc.)
  • What could happen if we don’t listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost? Just like ignoring road signs may put us in harm’s way, if we ignore the Holy Ghost we may find ourselves in spiritual danger.

Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn about the importance of seeking for and obeying the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to be directed safely back to our heavenly home.

Scripture Account

(Using the visual aids, tell the following story.)

After the Savior completed his first visit to the Nephites, the news of his visit spread among the people all that night. (Point out that the events discussed in previous lessons about the Savior visiting the Nephites all took place during one day.) Before leaving, Jesus had told the Nephites he would return and visit again the following day. Many people strove through the night to be at the place that he would appear (picture #1). Because the group that had gathered was so large, the twelve disciples divided the multitude into twelve groups. They taught the people to kneel down and pray to the Father in the name of the Son (picture #2). After praying, the disciples taught the people the words Jesus had spoken the day before. After instructing the people, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of the Jesus.

Point out that the disciples (the twelve apostles Jesus had selected) prayed before the instruction and after it. Ask the children to think about why the disciples did that as they listen to the next part of the lesson.

Invite a child to read 3 Nephi 19:9 aloud as the class follows along. Tell the children to look for what the disciples prayed for. (The Holy Ghost)

  • Why did you think the disciples sought to be blessed with the Holy Ghost? The disciples knew the Holy Ghost could guide them and help them in their ministry. The Holy Ghost could also touch the hearts of the people they taught and help the people receive a witness of the truth of the disciple’s teachings.

After the disciples had prayed, they went down to the water’s edge and the multitude followed them. Nephi went into the water and was baptized. When he came out of the water he baptized the other disciples that Jesus had chosen (picture #3). (See lesson 33 for why they were baptized even though they had already received that ordinance sometime prior to Jesus’s visit.)  After they were baptized, the Holy Ghost fell upon them and they were filled with the Spirit and with fire. (3 Nephi 19:13–14)

Explain that the phrase “filled … with fire” is symbolic. The influence of the Holy Ghost can change the heart, purifying it by “burning away” the desire to do evil and filling it with a burning desire to do good.

After they received the Holy Ghost, the twelve disciples were encircled about as if by fire that came down from heaven. Angels came down also and did minister to them (picture #4). Then Jesus came and stood in the midst of them and ministered to them (picture #5).

Have the children look up and read 3 Nephi 19:16-17 and ask them to look for what Jesus’s first instructions to the people were after he ministered to the disciples. (He commanded the people to kneel on the earth, and then he commanded the disciples to pray (picture #6).)

  • Why do you think it is it important to pray before receiving spiritual instruction? One reason is to seek to feel the Spirit during the meeting. When we are taught by the Spirit we may gain an increased understanding and testimony about particular gospel truths, or we may get inspiration concerning a problem we are having.

As the disciples prayed, Jesus went out of the midst of them a little way off and bowed himself to the earth and thanked the Father for giving his disciples the Holy Ghost (picture #7). Jesus asked that the Holy Ghost be given to all who believed in his disciple’s words. (3 Nephi 19:19-21)

Jesus’s prayer teaches that not only should we express gratitude to Heavenly Father for our blessings, but we should also ask Heavenly Father to bless us and others with the Spirit. When we are baptized we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, but it is up to us to invite the Spirit into our lives.

  • How do we invite the Holy Ghost into our lives? We can pray for the Spirit’s guidance. We can put effort into listening for and feeling his influence and guiding touch. We can follow his promptings.

As we prayerfully invite the Holy Ghost into all aspects of our life, he can guide us and help us avoid the things that are spiritually harmful– those things that will cause us pain and misery.

Jesus taught, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him…for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.”(3 Nephi18:18)

  • How can we pray always? To pray always means we can have a prayer in our hearts at any time or place. (3 Nephi 20:1)
  • What do you think the phrase “Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” means? Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained these words: “This is an… expression which was clear to the people in that day, more so than to people in our day. In essence… Jesus is saying… Satan wants you in his harvest. He wants to harvest your soul, and bring you into his granary.” He wants us to be under his control and influence.

Jesus said that if we are watchful (on guard or spiritually alert) and keep a prayer in our hearts, we can avoid getting drawn into the traps of Satan.

  • How can we be watchful? If we are familiar with the word of God that is found in the scriptures and in the words of the prophets, then we will know what is right and we will know what things to watch out for.  We can also be spiritually alert in listening for the promptings of the Spirit. The Spirit can warn us through thoughts or feelings if something is not right and is something we should not do.  The Spirit can also help bring to remembrance those things we have learned in the scriptures about what is right.

Do the following activity to help the children see how the Holy Ghost can bring to remembrance scriptures we have read in order to help guide us and warn us.

Story Activity

Remind the children of the map activity at the beginning of the lesson. Explain that you are going to tell them a story using the map. Show the children the signs and explain that they will be choosing a sign at certain points in the story. The signs represent warnings or guidance the Holy Ghost may give to help us go in the right directions.

(Put the figure of the boy on the board at “Jonathon’s house,” and move the figure during the story to each new location.)

Jonathon began his day as usual by reading his scriptures and saying his prayers. He asked Heavenly Father to help him to not make wrong choices.

During breakfast, Jonathon’s sister took the last piece of bacon that he had been reaching for, and she had already had more than him.

  • Which sign represents guidance the Holy Ghost my prompt Jonathon with? (Avoid contention) Jonathon remembered his prayer and a scripture he had read that contention is of the devil, and he didn’t lose his temper with his sister like he usually would have. The Holy Ghost helped him remember his prayer and the scripture he had read.

After breakfast, Jonathon took the bus to school. When he arrived he sat at his desk next to his friend Stewart. The teacher started the day by handing them their graded tests. Stuart asked Jonathon what he had gotten on the test. Jonathon hadn’t studied very hard for the test, and his low score reflected that. He was embarrassed to tell Stuart what his score was. He said a prayer in his heart to help him know what to say.

  • Which sign represents something the Holy Ghost might prompt Jonathan with? (honesty) Jonathon was honest and told Stuart he hadn’t done very well, but that he planned to study hard and do better on the next test.

The rest of the school day Jonathon continued to be watchful and to be careful to choose the right. After school, Jonathon went to play at Jared’s house. Jared’s mom wasn’t at home. Jared showed Jonathan his parent’s liquor cabinet and then said they should try a sip just to see what it tastes like.

  • Which sign represents something the Holy Ghost might prompt Jonathon with? (Avoid strong drink) Jonathon remembered a lesson and a scripture he had heard in Primary about the Word of Wisdom. He explained to Jared that he did not want to drink alcohol, and he explained why, and then he suggested something else they could do instead.

After playing at Jarod’s house, Jonathon went with his mom to the library to get some books. His favorite books were action adventure stories. He found a book that looked interesting, but when he flipped through some of the pages he realized it had some inappropriate language in it.

  • Which sign represents guidance the Holy Ghost my prompt Jonathon with? (Swear not) Jonathon felt yucky when he read the words in the book. He knew that reading the book would not be a good choice because he didn’t want those types of words in his thoughts, so he picked out some other books instead. The Holy Ghost had warned him through his feelings and thoughts.

After the library, Jonathan and his mom stopped by the neighborhood market to pick up some things for dinner. At the market, Jonathon asked his mom if he could get some cookies. She said no, but Jonathon thought that if he put them in the cart maybe his mom might go ahead and get them.

  • Which sign represents the warning the Holy Ghost my prompt Jonathon with? (obey parents) Jonathan realized that Satan was trying to tempt him to be disobedient, so he put the cookies back on the shelf.

Jonathon’s day had been full of times when Satan had tempted him, but he had been prayerful, watchful, and on guard against temptation, and because he listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, he was able to avoid going in wrong directions that would have led to spiritual harm and unhappiness.

Prayer was one of the safeguards Jonathon took. He said a prayer in the morning and he said a prayer in his heart and mind during the day when he needed additional help with specific problems.  As we continue with the next part of the scripture story we learn about something important that should be included in our prayers.

Scripture Account Continued

When Jesus had finished his prayer, he went to the disciples and he found them praying without ceasing. In 3 Nephi 19:24 it says: “they did not multiply many words for it was given unto them what they should pray.”

  • What does this scripture mean? Elder Bruce R. McConkie explains: “Perfect prayers are those which are inspired, in which the Spirit reveals the words which should be used.” The Holy Ghost can guide us to what we should pray for.
  • How can this help us resist temptation? The Holy Ghost can help us see areas in our life that need improving, areas where we are weak. He can help us know what to pray for, such as for help with changes we need to make and help to know how to strengthen our defenses.

When Jesus saw his disciples praying with the Spirit, “his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus.” (3 Nephi 19:25)  The word countenance refers to a person’s behavior or to the way a person’s face expresses his or her character.

Jesus went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth again (picture #8) and thanked the Father for purifying his disciples, and he prayed for them and for those who would believe in their words that they would also be purified through their faith. (3 Nephi 19:28)

As we pray in faith and seek for and obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost, our lives can be purified, and we will be able to return safely home to our Heavenly Father.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 18:18–25, 3 Nephi 19:1-36, and Alma 13:28–29

***(Note: Be prepared to explain the scripture 3 Nephi 19:18 if needed: “After Jesus had commanded the Nephites to kneel and pray, they prayed to Jesus calling him their Lord and their God.”)

Jesus had specifically  taught the people the day before to pray to the Father  in Jesus’s name, but in this unique instance the disciples prayed to Jesus Christ because he was with them in person as a representative of the Father (see 3 Nephi 19:22)

 

(The neighborhood pictures are based off a coloring page from the Crayola website.)


Sabbath Day: Lesson Items

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img_3330Item 10:  Stringboard Activity

Saturday Preparation for the Sabbath

Preparation

  • Items needed: Pencils, white cardstock, yarn or string, tape.
  • Activity assembly instructions: Print one of the visual aid pages (girl or boy) per child onto white cardstock. Cut the stringboard out by cutting on the dotted line, and then cut out the child figure on each page. Cut out small pieces of yarn and tape a small loop onto the back of each child figure. Cut out one piece of yarn, 12 inches long, per each stringboard. Put the yarn through the loop on the back of the child figure and then tape each end to the back sides of the stringboard, making sure the string goes across the string mark on the church and that the string is pulled tightly in place so that it doesn’t sag. Move the child figure to the far left-hand side of the stringboard. (Resource for Stringboard: Star B Manual, pg. 82)

Presentation

Give each child a stringboard and a pencil. Have the children name some things they could do on Saturday to help prepare for Sunday. (See ideas below. Parents may want to think ahead of things they would like each child to do so they can help direct the answers.)

Have the children write each idea on one of the pathway stones (for little ones, draw some simple pictures on the stones). Tell the children that on each Saturday they can move their figures across their stringboard as they accomplish each item. Tell them that their Saturday preparation for Sunday will help them have a peaceful, holy Sabbath day.

Alternate Idea: Cut out the stones and church. Glue the church building to the far upper-right edge of a half sheet of light blue cardstock. Write the children’s ideas on the stones and give the stones to the children to put on their stringboards with sticky tack. Tell the children that on Saturdays they can put their stones on their stringboard as they accomplish each item. They can move their figures forward on the stones as they do the things that help prepare them for Sunday. (This allows children to choose the order in which they do the tasks.)

Family Saturday Preparation Ideas:

  • Get Sunday clothes out and check to make sure they are clean and ironed.
  • House cleaning chores (including washing and ironing clothes if needed), yard chores and clean room.
  • Find and put out clean shoes, clean socks (or tights), ties, belts, and scriptures.
  •  Finish weekend homework.
  • If church is early in the morning, finish working on talks, lessons, and other church assignments.
  • Prepare or buy cookies or flowers to take to someone who is sick or in need of a visit–a family member, widow, shut-in, etc.
  • Do any other shopping that needs done.
  • Prepare meals to eat on the Sabbath, or plan light meals.
  • Get gas in the car and check to make sure the car is clean.

Optional Idea: Some families put up shelves or make a special place in each room to place Sunday items as they are collected on Saturday.  Or they put up a long family shelf with hooks below it to collect items on. Shelves can be painted and decorated as part of FHE. The children could post their stringboard reminders by the shelf.