Head of Christ by Franz von Stuck 1890
Monthly Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16
Week 1 Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.
* HERE is an excellent flannel board resource from The Friend about Jesus as our Good Shepherd. It's a really good visual of how a shepherd will save his sheep because he loves them. (You could also have the children color this resource and tape to popsicle sticks to tell the story at home.)
Play find the flock. Have 8-10 little paper sheep hidden throughout the room. On the paper sheep have questions, songs, and scriptures having to do with Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. A really good song to include is Little Lambs So White and Fair CS 58!
* Mark 4:36- 41 tells the beautiful story of one of Christ's greatest miracles. Line up a few chairs up front and make a pretend boat. You can bring in a sheet for water to lie beside the chairs, and a couple of paddles... you could even make a drawing of a boat out of some cardboard to lean against the chairs. (Costco has FREE cardboard between their paper towels that is big and sturdy!) Invite a few children into the boat and one child to hold (not act out, just hold) the picture of Christ calming the waves (Stilling the Storm, by Ted Henninger GAK 214). Read the scripture passage.
Just as Jesus saved those on the boat, He has saved all of us! How does this story make you feel? Now that the sea is all calm, let's go fishing!!
Invite a primary friend to enter the boat and use a fishing line to try to hook a fish. (MAGNETS!!! Magnets on the end of the fishing pole, magnets on the back of the fish) On the fish, have questions, songs, and scriptures having to do with Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer!
Questions could include:
What does Redeemer mean?
Why was Jesus the only one who could save us? (Acts 4:12)
What did Jesus do to help us return to Heavenly Father?
How does it make you feel to think about the great love Jesus has for you that He would lay down His own life for you?
Older children could sing from the hymn book Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer (#103)
HERE is a great coloring page that would make a good handout to take home. Have the children think of 5 things they can do this week to show their love for Jesus, their Savior and Redeemer. As they do that thing, they can color that number on the picture!
* Mark 2:1-5 tells the story of Jesus saving a man who had the palsy. In general conference, a whole talk was devoted to the importance of us helping Jesus to save and rescue others, Rescue in Unity by Elder Chi Hong Wong. I really like this visual, and think it would be great if 4 children could demonstrate with a make shift bed (perhaps a piece of cardboard with 4 strings??that you would have to make and try beforehand at home to make sure it works!) and a stuffed animal.
"This rescue assignment needed everyone working together. At the crucial moment, it would take careful coordination to lower the man with palsy from the roof. The four people would have to work in unity and in harmony. There could not be any discord among the four. They would have to lower the man with palsy at the same pace. If someone released the rope faster than the other three, the man would fall out of his bed. He could not hold on by himself due to his weakened condition.
In order to assist the Savior, we have to work together in unity and in harmony. Everyone, every position, and every calling is important. We have to be united in our Lord Jesus Christ....
Jesus Christ loves us all and has the power to save and heal, both physically and spiritually. When we assist Him in His mission of saving souls, we too will be rescued in the process."Break into groups and have them come up with 4 ways/examples of how Jesus has helped save us and others and something we can do to help rescue others and bring them to The Savior! Give them a couple minutes to discuss. Then invite 4 from each group to come up front, demonstrate working together to lower the bed and share their answers!
Weeks 2 & 3 Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved.
* Is there a boy in Primary who sometimes needs a little extra love? Prepare in advance for that boy to bring in his merit badges from cub scouts this week. Have him show the primary all the merit badges and share a couple that were his favorite. What did he have to do to earn merit badges? Make sure to thank him for his help! What does merit mean?? The dictionary says, "The quality of being particularly good or worthy."
Elder Richard G. Scott has said, "Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have. He was a God, Jehovah, before His birth in Bethlehem. His Father not only gave Him His spirit body, but Jesus was His Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Our Master lived a perfect, sinless life and therefore was free from the demands of justice. He was and is perfect in every attribute, including love, compassion, patience, obedience, forgiveness, and humility. His mercy pays our debt to justice when we repent and obey Him. Even with our best efforts to obey His teachings we will still fall short, yet because of His grace we will be saved “after all we can do.”
Go back to your special friend. He was pretty accomplished and had a great merit badge sash! Even though he is extremely wonderful and good, could he save you? Could I save you? Could our beautiful pianist save you? Could you save yourself? Repeat the quoted phrase, "Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have."
Have the children design a merit badge, it could be a simple circular piece of paper. Have crayons or colored pencils. Be as creative as you like! The merit badge is something Jesus did for us or others. Brainstorm some ideas with the children. If you need a couple more, badges could include- healing, miracles, kindness, charity and love, obedience, Atonement, humble, teaching, faithful, good friend, stilling the waters, resurrection. Have the children share.
Bear testimony that through Jesus Christ and the atonement, all mankind may be saved. He was the only one with the merits who could do so. And He did so because He loves us!
* HERE is a really good coloring page. I really like the word definitions on the side! If you hide #s 1-6 on the bottom of 6 different chairs, you could invite the 6 different children to come up, one at a time, to read the definition (or say it in their own words) and then color the corresponding numbers on the picture. HERE is the song for the 3rd Article of Faith. After each child comes up to color, children wearing that coloring can stand while you sing the song! Yes, you'll sing it 6 times and Yes!! You'll have it memorized by the time you're done!!
* HERE is a puzzle from The Friend with a really good explanation of The Atonement.
* Mystery word! Have 2 children come up front. One will need to know how to write (if not, they can whisper the mystery word to you and you can write it) Ask one child to close their eyes and hold out their hand. Write a mystery word from the 3rd Article of Faith on their hand with your pointer finger. Then have the person who was holding out their hand guess the word.
Play this game a few times and in between turns, have pictures from the final days of The Savior's life. Talk about each picture and what it had to do with The Atonement.
* HERE is a really amazing video. It has the actual Garden of Gethsemane! Some of the words might be a little hard for a 3 year old to understand, but the spirit is strong and they will feel it if you choose to show this!
* From our last General Conference the following words stick out to me-
"Qualifying for exaltation is like entering another country. We must each obtain our spiritual passport. We do not set the requirements, but, individually, we must meet all of them. The plan of salvation contains all of the doctrines, laws, commandments, and ordinances needed for all to qualify for exaltation.2 Then, “through the Atonement of [Jesus] Christ, all mankind may be saved." (The Book by Elder Allan F. Packer)
I think it's important to note the word MAY. It doesn't state WILL. The word MAY means that it's possible but it's not a for sure. Divide into groups and have them come up with something we need to do to prepare for exaltation. Have them design a stamp (color on a piece of paper) to put into a primary passport! After everyone shares, have a picture of Jesus and put the passport by Jesus. No matter what, the only reason we even have a chance at exaltation is because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Challenge the children to do something this week to add to their spiritual passport. They can draw a picture of it and share and add their stamp next week!
Bear testimony that we can prepare now to meet God again. Jesus Christ loves us and through Him we can be saved.
Week 4 Jesus Christ was resurrected, and I will be too.
* HERE (The Empty Tomb April 1988) is an excellent talk just to read to prepare for the week's lesson. I really love President Gordon B. Hinkley! Such beautiful words.
* HERE is another great talk. You'll definitely feel the spirit if you read!!
* Some questions to think about or ask the children as part of the lesson:
The resurrection unites (puts together) the spirit with what? (the body)
When we are resurrected, will the spirit and body ever be divided again? (no)
Who was the first to be resurrected? (Jesus....Others had been brought back from death, but were restored to mortality (Mark 5: 22-43; Luke 7: 11-17; John 11: 1-45), whereas a resurrection means to become immortal, without blood, yet with a body of flesh and bone. )
Who saw Jesus after He was resurrected? (Many people! Mary, other women, the apostles, the righteous in the America's, Joseph Smith)
Do we have to see Jesus to know that He has been resurrected? (NO!!!)
What did Jesus eat after He was resurrected? (Fish and Honeycomb)
When we are resurrected, will it be at the same time? (no 1 Cor. 15:23)
Where do we go after we are resurrected? (The Kingdoms of the 3 degrees of Glory)
What will our bodies be like when we are resurrected? (First, it depends on the age in which we died. Babies will come back as babies. But President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I am sure that if we can imagine ourselves at our very best, physically, mentally, spiritually, that is the way we will come back.”)
How can we gain a testimony that Jesus was resurrected?
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus lives and we can too?
From Previous Posts
* This idea is from Sister Elizabeth Ricks (April 2007 Friend) "Display three shoe boxes, and ask the children to raise their hands if they like to try on new shoes. Explain that you want them to imagine trying on some other people’s shoes, but more important you want them to imagine what it would be like to actually be that person. One by one, take out a pair of shoes from each box. (You can also display pictures or drawings of shoes.) Show a pair of boots to represent the soldiers who guarded Jesus’s tomb. Use detail to tell the story in such a way that the children can imagine being there when Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb. Next, use a pair of sandals to tell the story of Mary Magdalene. Ask the children how it might have felt to have been at the garden tomb when the resurrected Savior appeared. Last, show a pair of shoes that children in your area commonly wear. Ask how it feels to be a member of the Church and to have the knowledge that you will be resurrected because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64), and bear testimony that the Easter story is the most glorious story in the world. Testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died and was resurrected.
* Have a picture of a sign "Dead End". What does this mean? Have a plastic toy bulldozer. How is Jesus Christ like a bulldozer? To some it may seem like when we die, there is no where else to go. But we know that there is more beyond the grave and Jesus has cleared the way because of His atonement and resurrection! Have the bulldozer run over the dead end sign!
* Have a teacher or another adult come to the front to help. Tie their hands together. What does that feel like? Can they do as many things with their hands tied? Mosiah 15:20 "But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead." Cut the string. The teacher's hand is free now. How does that feel?
How does it feel to know that we aren't tied down to sickness, pain, and sorrow that comes from this earth life? Can you feel the spirit bearing truth, it's a peaceful happy feeling, that we are free! We will live again!!
* A wonderful idea from Cheryl Esplin, Jesus Christ Is My Savior,” Friend, Apr 2009, 10–12 "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!”
* Bring in a few balloons filled with helium.
Alma 11:41 "...For behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works."
Have questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with the resurrection on the ends of the balloons that are all along the ceiling. (Do NOT do this activity unless you can still reach the balloons!!)