Russel M. Nelson
Friend March 2018 “ Meet Our New Prophet”
Friend June 2019 “Grateful for Parents” President Nelson’s parents didn’t attend church when he was young, and he wanted them to. When he learned about the Word of Wisdom he broke every bottle of liquor in the house. The thing he wanted for Christmas every year was to be sealed to his parents.
Friend August 2018 “President Nelson Loves Children” President Nelson meets Primary children as he travels all over the world.
(Link includes photos.)
Friend January 2019 “Show and Tell” Senior Primary children in Greater Manchester, England, wrote their own verse about President Russell M. Nelson for the song “Follow the Prophet.”
Russell is a prophet,
Baptised at sixteen.
His parents were less active;
He was very keen.
He became a doctor,
Doctor of the heart.
Building many temples,
He has made a start.
Friend May 2019 Bookmark with a testimony by President Nelson
I Am a Child of God
Note: I’ve included the words from the manual that each of the below visual aids goes with.
We lived in Heaven: (Click on the below picture. Print the picture, or show it on an electronic device.) Explain that before we were born on earth we lived in heaven with Heavenly Father.
We were spirits there. A spirit is what is inside of us that makes us alive. When we were spirits, we didn’t have flesh and bones like our bodies have now, but we looked the same.
(Use these puppets to demonstrate what it means to be a spirit. See here for assembly instructions.)
Show the first picture again and explain that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, and we are his spirit children
Sing: I Am a Child of God. Tell the children they are going to sing the song “I Am a Child of God.” Explain that God is another name for Heavenly Father. (I like the Red Headed Hostess visual aids for the first verse of this song, but it does cost money. Jolly Jen has a flip chart that would work too, or you could use the below visual s from the Nursery Manual. Also see lds.org for the music)
Who is a child of God? Do the bean bag activity in the lesson. Print and cut out this activity. Show the pictures one at a time and ask the following:
Is a policeman a child of God?
Is a grandmother or grandfather
Is a bishop
Is a soldier
Is a mailman or missionaries
Is a mom or dad
Is someone who doesn’t go to our church
Is someone who lives in a different country or culture
Have the children take turns posting each picture under the title “Child of God.” The title can be written on the board or in a file folder or display board. You can also bring up people they know such as a neighbor.
Help the children understand that everyone is a child of God even though we may be different in age, hair color, what we do, where we live, skin color, or the church we attend, we are all children of God.
We can be like Heavenly Father
(Print and cut out these images pdf.) Use the following questions with the images. They could also be made into a matching game.
- What is a baby dog called?
- What will that puppy grow up to be?
- What is a baby chicken called?
- What will that chick grow up to be?
Explain that just as animals grow up to be like their parents, we will grow up to be like our parents.
Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, so we can grow to be like him. Heavenly Father is loving, good, and kind. When we are loving, good, and kind, we are being like Heavenly Father. We should try to become more like Heavenly Father every day.
Have children tell or act out ways they can be loving, good, or kind.
Review Game: I really like the Red Headed Hostess folder game as a review, but it does cost money.
The images for the activity “Who is a Child of God?” are from the Friend magazine. Soldier 6/16, Bishop 1/16, etc.
The images for the animals are from Pixabay: Free Images
- 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 Christmas paper 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). Walmart has a jewelry pocket holder that would work with this smaller version of the activity.
- 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.
- See here for a list of the scriptures.
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. Older children can find the matching picture that goes with the scripture and replace the date card with the picture, or if you have little ones have them 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 came from the Friend December 1985.)
Activity Cards and Inserts
The below activity cards have an activity related to each day’s scripture, and they also have an item related to the scripture that you can put into the pocket chart or into lunch bags. Click on each page, save, print saved file, and cut out the cards. Put the cards in the correct pockets of the chart, or staple one on each of the lunch bags. Read through the activity list below to make sure you have all the supplies needed, then fill the pockets or bag with those items. (The Christmas squares paper is from Freepik.com)
Day 1: Isaiah Card and Mobile: (Print and cut out the two pages of the “Prophets Foretold Jesus Christ’s Birth Mobile.” Follow the remaining preparation instructions on the activity.) The first few days of the advent calendar are about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth, so on each of the first five days, tie a prophet card on the mobile and read the scripture of that prophet’s words. Day one is Isaiah. Explain that a virgin is a pure woman and Immanuel means “God with Us” meaning Jesus’ birth into mortality.
Day 2: Nephi Card and Coloring Page: (Print a copy of the coloring page for each person who will be coloring. Include crayons in the sack or pocket.) Have a child tie the Nephi card onto the mobile and then have family members color in the figures of Nephi and Isaiah on the coloring page. Ask the children what the scripture tells about Jesus’ birth.
Day 3: Samuel the Lamanite Card, Video, and Song: Tie the Samuel the Lamanite card onto the mobile. Color in his picture on the coloring page. Watch the video about Samuel the Lamanite and then sing along with the “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” Video.
Day 4: Micah Card and Song: Tie the Micah card on the mobile, and color the Micah figure on the coloring page. Explain that this scripture tells of where Jesus would be born. Sing along with a YouTube video of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Day 5: Adam Card and Retell: Tie the Adam card onto the mobile. There is no Adam figure on the coloring page. Explain that other prophets also foretold of Jesus’ birth. Have them color in the last prophet on the page, and then have them retell about the prophets and what each foretold about Jesus’ birth.
Day 6: Video: Watch the video “Chapter One: Elisabeth and Zacharias” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. I included the DVD in this bag. You could have popcorn in the bag instead of the DVD if you are watching it on LDS Media.
Day 7: Video and Mary and Angel Figures: Place Mary and the Angel on a wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library or on a table if using a child friendly nativity set. Watch Mary and the Angel Gabriel (video). (See more Cutouts below.)
Day 8: Video and Joseph Figure: Watch the video “Chapter Four: Joseph and the Angel” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. Place Joseph on a table (or on a wall if using cutouts from LDS Media Library).
Day 9: Chocolate Coins: Using chocolate coins, discuss what taxes could be used for—roads, schools, etc. Set aside the tax coins and put them in bag or pocket #10 to enjoy tomorrow. (Chocolate coins can be purchased at party stores or in the party supply section at Walmart.)
Day 10: Chocolate Coin Taxes: Distribute and eat the chocolate coin taxes. Optional: Look up an online map of Israel from Jesus’ time period and point out all the cities people may have gone to be taxed.
Day 11: Maze Coloring Page: (Print a maze for each child.) Using a crayon, find the path to Bethlehem through the maze for Mary and Joseph.
Day 12: Stable and Video: Watch half the video “Chapter Five: Jesus Christ is Born” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media library. Watch to the point where a stable is mentioned (pt. 37) then have a child place the stable on a table—or on the wall if using cutouts from LDS Media–and then put the figures of Mary and Joseph in the stable. (Click on the following image of a stable, save, and then print it the full size of the paper for the cutouts.)
Day 13: Baby Jesus Figure and Song: Put the baby Jesus and manager in the stable (or on the wall) Sing the song “Away in a Manger.” Sing along with a YouTube video or a Children’s Songbook recording.
Day 14: Window Picture: Print the picture of the earth and the picture of Jesus. Attach the front of the picture of Jesus to the back of the picture of the earth, or put both in a single page protector. Have the children hold the picture up to the light of a window or lamp. Explain that Jesus created the earth but was born humbly in a lowly stable.
Day 15: Shepherd Figures: Place the shepherds and sheep figures on the table or wall–but not in the manger.
Day 16: Angel Figure and Song: Place the angel on the table or wall near the shepherds. Watch and sing along with a YouTube video of “Stars were Gleaming.” (Verse One)
Day 17: Candy Canes: Place the shepherds and sheep in the stable. Candy Canes: Explain that shepherds carried hooked staffs in order to get sheep who had wandered off or needed help. Candy canes remind us of caring shepherds and of Jesus who is the Good Shepherd. Watch the second half of the video “Jesus Christ is Born.” (From pt. 47 to the end)(Children’s Songbook)
Day 18 Map and Wisemen Sticker: (Print the below map and the Wisemen sticker page. Put the map in a page protector if planning to use it again. Cut out the Wisemen and make them into stickers or put tape of the back of them. Put one of the stickers in this bag.) Show the map to the children and explain that it is a map of the land of Israel where Jesus was born. Have a child decide where the East is on the map and then stick the Wisemen sticker onto that part of the map. (The map is from the LDS Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students Unit 7)
Day 19: Wisemen Sticker and Marker: Have a child put the Wisemen sticker on the first place the Wisemen went looking for baby Jesus. Draw a dotted line between the two stickers with a marker or dry erase marker. Look at this painting of Jerusalem by James Tisset and discuss reasons the Wisemen thought the King of the Jews might be in Jerusalem.
Day 20: Scroll Activity: (Cut a a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Cut all the pieces in half widthwise. You should end up with 8 pieces of paper 5.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Write in the middle of one of the papers the word “Bethlehem.” Roll the papers into small scrolls–one per family member–and tie them with string or jute.) Explain that Herod’s chief priests and scribes would have read the prophecies of Jesus’ birth on records made on scrolls. Have each family member choose a scroll from the bag or pocket. The person who finds the word “Bethlehem” will read it during the next day’s activity and place the next sticker. You may want to mention that when King Herod heard of the birth of a new king of the Jews,” he became alarmed because it threatened his rule as king.
Day 21: Wisemen Sticker: Have the family member read the scroll and then draw a dotted line from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and put the Wisemen sticker near Bethlehem.
Day 22: Star Activity: Decorate star cookies or decorate a star craft item such as these popsicle sticks stars or the below string threading activity, then hang the decorated star or star cutout over the manager scene.
Day 23: Wisemen Figures: Put the Wisemen figures in the nativity scene (or on the wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library).
Day 24: Retell the Story of Jesus’ Birth: If needed, review the story of Jesus’ birth by reading a storybook or watching “The Nativity” video. Then, using the Nativity figures or cutouts, have family members retell or act out the story of Jesus’ birth. Optional: Give a candy kiss or hug after each person’s response and input.
Day 25: Picture of Jesus and Song: Print an image of Jesus as an adult. See LDS Media Library or use the cutout. Show the picture and post it near the nativity. Optional: Sing along with a YouTube video of “Joy to the World.”
*Send me the pictures of the advent calendars you make so I can share the different ways it can be done.
Prophets Foretold the Birth of Jesus
- Click on the above mobile item pictures and then print and cut them out.
- Cut two pieces of string each 17 inches long and three pieces of string each 10 inches long.
- Punch a hole in the top of each of the circle pictures and put the long strings through the holes on the Isaiah, Samuel, and Adam cards. Put the short strings through the holes in the Nephi and Micah cards.
- Use tape to attach the title card to the top of the hanger. Tie each card onto the hanger rod after reading the scriptures. Tape the string to the rod so they don’t move around. (Alternate: Holes could be punched into the bottom of the title card instead of using a hanger.)
Open and download this file. Click on and drag each image to one of the calendar days. Put the things that fulfill the purposes of the Sabbath on the Sunday squares and put the other things on one of the weekday squares. Before deciding where a picture goes, ask the following question:
Does it bring me closer to Heavenly Father,
increase my spiritual strength,
or rest my body?
As you do the activity, pay attention to all the days on the calendar that the family has to do their work, sports, and recreation, and notice that there is only one day a week that we are to set aside as a holy day of worship.
- Open the game here.
- Either print a copy of the game and cut out the game pieces, or download and open the game in Microsoft Word. If opened in Microsoft Word, the game pieces can be moved by clicking on the center of the image or label and then dragging it to where it should go on the chart.
Place the correct picture and label on the chart according to which “day” it took place in the creation (one square will get two pictures). Check your answers in Genesis 1:1-27, and move pieces to their correct position as needed.
- This game can be played individually or as a group. If played as a group, divide group members into teams. (More copies of the game board and creation pictures will be needed if playing with teams, one set per team.)
- Give each team a game board and a set of creation pictures and labels.
- Have each team place the correct picture and label on their chart according to which “day” it took place in the creation (one square will get two pictures). After they are done, have them look in Genesis 1:1-27 to check their answers.
- The game pieces are from the Friend March 2002 “For Little Friends”
Friend November 2019 “Friends By Mail” During general conference, we used the “Pitch Your Tent” cutouts (March 2018) to create a 3D model and added quotes from President Nelson’s talk! Ava and Maryanne P., ages 8 and 6, Washington, USA
Friend April 2019 “For Parents of Little Ones” Helping children get the most out of conference.
Friend May 2019 “Show and Tell: Conference” Children share what they did during conference like building a block temple or playing a fun game during conference. One family filled 15 bowls with snacks and put a picture of one of the Apostles or members of the First Presidency on each one. When one of the Brethren speaks, they eat what is in that cup! Children also shared what they liked about conference and what they learned.
Friend November 2018 “Show and Tell: Conference” Children share what they liked about conference and what they learned.
Friend May 2018 “Show and Tell: Conference” Children share what they like about conference, what they did during conference, how they listened to conference, etc.
Friend May 2018 “Conference News” At Conference new temples are announced (fill in the blank activity to find out which temples were announced at this conference), solemn assemblies occur where we raise our hand to sustain a new prophet (pictures of a family at home participating), callings and releases of new leaders occur, and we are taught by our leaders.(Also guess how many languages this conference was translated into.
Friend May 2019 “Family Night Fun” Look through the general conference section at the beginning of any Friend magazine that arrives after conference, and make a family goal to do something our leaders invited us to do.
Friend May 2018 “Show and Tell” “Sustaining a prophet in general conference is such an opportunity and privilege. No matter where you are, it is still a privilege.” Christina K., age 10, New South Wales, Australia
Ensign March 2018 “Get Ready for Conference” (Also see Elder Uchdorf’s article “The Word of God to His Children” on how to prepare to receive personal answers and revelation during general conference.
Ensign March 2018 “5 Steps for Making Conference Stay with You”
After conference, choose one quote, lesson, principle, or whole talk that inspired you.
Share it with your family and write it down somewhere you will see it every day.
Make a goal for how you will apply that principle to your life each day.
Support each other. Being accountable to others is great motivation!
When the next general conference approaches, sit down with your family and share what you’ve learned and the blessings you’ve received from applying this principle
Friend October 2016 “For Parents of Little Ones” Ideas on how to help children learn to love conference.
Friend November 2017 “Show and Tell-Conference Edition” Children share why they love Conference.