Gospel Art Picture: Jonah
I love the story of Jonah. I'm grateful that he was human and made mistakes. I'm also grateful for the lesson in mercy and compassion taught by his story. So often we are quick to think that God punishes, but in reality He loves us. His patience outstretches ours!
Monthly Scripture: “He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” Luke 1:70
Week 1 Prophets are called by God.
* Have 10-16 children come up front. Have a few pieces of paper. Tell the children you are going to give them a task. They need to divide into 2 teams with equal number of people, make 4 paper airplanes and then toss the airplanes across the room 1 time.
It will probably be a little chaotic. Especially with junior primary! Give it a minute. It might get a little loud. See if anyone takes charge among the children. Go ahead and interrupt the children and ask the following questions. Does it help when there is someone there to lead, guide, and direct? What is it like when there is no one to turn to for instruction?
Now assign one child to divide the groups. Have that child also decide who will make the paper airplanes and who will fly them.
How would our church be if we didn't have a prophet to tell us the will of The Lord? Prophets are called of God! They are good men who were chosen before the world was to help guide us back to Heavenly Father.
“And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born” Abr. 3:23
Divide into groups or classes and give them a prophet. Let that group come up with 5 hints for the rest of primary to guess who their prophet was! Then have them come up and share their hints! Remember, we call on primary friends who are good listeners and raising their hands!
* "All leaders in the Lord’s Church are called by proper authority. No prophet or any other leader in this Church, for that matter, has ever called himself or herself. No prophet has ever been elected. The Lord made that clear when He said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” (John 15:16) You and I do not “vote” on Church leaders at any level. We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them."
(From General Conference October 2014 Sustaining the Prophets by Elder Russell M. Nelson)
Another couple words for sustain is help or assist. Have we ever thought about what we could do to help or assist the prophets? Have a ballot box up front. Like Elder Russell M. Nelson said, we do NOT vote for or choose our prophet! God chooses them. However, we can make choices to help them! Can anyone think of some things the prophets have said we should do? Brainstorm a few ideas and write them on the chalk board. Have children take a piece of paper to make their choice! They can illustrate and write what they are going to do this week to sustain the prophet! Have them cast their choice in the ballot box. If there is time, share a few papers that were put in the box.
* Stay in the Boat and Hold On! By Elder M. Russell Ballard is a must read! The following is a picture of the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.
This adventure reminds me of our mortal journey. Most of us experience periods in our lives where the tranquil waters of life are appreciated. At other times, we encounter white-water rapids...."
Who here would want to jump off the boat into the dangerous water? In life, the boat is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Ballard also says, "Along with rule number one as I’ve applied it, remember rules two and three: always wear a life jacket, and hold on with both hands. The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket and will help us know how to hold on with both hands."
Build a boat!!! (You can use 4-6 chairs, 2 oars, 2 life jackets... or you could go all out and bring in a little blow up raft, I bet the kids would love that!) Have children answer questions, scriptures and sing songs about prophets. Each time they do something add something to the boat up front! If there is still time, have a child come up front and sit in the boat. Have them tell our primary friends about their favorite prophet!
Recycled from previous posts:
* When a phone rings, what can you do? You can answer or ignore. Have someone (like the bishop) call you on your cell phone and have a child answer. What would have happened if you ignored the call? Heavenly Father doesn’t use cell phones to call His prophets, He uses His voice, the Holy Ghost and sometimes angels! The Lord called many prophets to leave what they were doing and then follow him.
Have a presidency member outside the primary room door. Throughout primary, have them call your cell phone and let a child answer. They will give the child hints about a certain prophet. Have the child share the hints with the primary and then guess what prophet the call is about!
* “Calling On…” This is a game of finishing the story. Children will pass around a cell phone. You start off the story of a prophet by saying (for example) "Nephi was a prophet called of God.... then pass the cell phone to another child and have them add whatever they know about that prophet. They pass it on to another friend who can add and so on. No one should have the phone for more than 30 seconds, thus giving lots of children the chance to participate. Ask the children what prophets they would like to talk about! Have a GAK close by!
* Learn the 5th Article of Faith song SPARKLE style. This is for SENIOR PRIMARY. To play sparkle each person will have to say one word in the article of faith, if they don’t know the word, then they are out. Then the last person says, SPARKLE (they get to still stay in)! You keep on going until everyone is out except for 2 people, then they are the article of faith sparkle stars!!
Have the article of faith posted on the board and let them practice a couple of times with the words up. Go to each child up and down each row. Then take it down!! Have the children stand, if they can’t think of a word they sit and are out. So first child says, We… second child says believe… 3rd child says that… 4th child says a… 5th child says Bubba Gump, he/she got it wrong so they sit and the 6th child says man… If other children shout out, they have to sit. Always encourage good listening and good manners.
Week 2 Prophets testify of Jesus Christ.
* "My dear brothers and sisters, if the Restoration did anything, it shattered the age-old myth that God had stopped talking to His children. Nothing could be further from the truth. A prophet has stood at the head of God’s Church in all dispensations, from Adam to the present day. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ—of His divinity and of His earthly mission and ministry."
(From General Conference October 2014 Sustaining the Prophets by Elder Russell M. Nelson)
You'll need 2 trays of THIS recipe. I've never tried it. So I don't know if it works or how it tastes. And, as I always must, I do not advocate the sugaring up of children. However, I just don't see how bringing in real glass and shattering that would be safe. If anyone has any other ideas, please share! I really do love this visual idea!
Show the children the smooth sheet of candy. What does it mean to shatter? Break apart! Many people say that God does not speak to men. Prophets are not real. They build a smooth lie.... but we know the truth! Prophets testify of Jesus Christ. God lives! He speaks to men!Have a few children come up front to shatter the candy.
When Jesus and Heavenly Father spoke to Joseph Smith it showed us the truth in the scripture, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?" Mormon 9:9. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ. God lives! He speaks to us today!
* HERE is a wonderful article from The Friend (Special Witnesses April 1994) Choose 15 good readers!! Have primary friends divide into pairs or small groups and station them at each of the readers. Have primary friends count how many times Jesus, or other names having to do with Him, are said when the quote is read. Have the groups rotate 4 times. The children will only hear 4 quotes... the point is, Prophets testify of Jesus Christ!
HERE is a more recent gathering of quotes, but I do feel like some of the words would be hard for a Sunbeam to understand. Pray! Pick and choose!
Now have about 6-8 pictures of the different prophets and their names written largely on strips of paper. Have speaking bubbles (like the ones in cartoons) with the prophet’s quote about Christ. Have the children match the names and responses of the prophets up front on the chalkboard.
* HERE is a Reader's Theater I wrote a while back. For Senior Primary!
Week 3 There is safety in following the prophet.
* See above in Week 1 about the boat idea!!!
* Prophet Safety Jeopardy
Personal opinion: I never (yes…never) had competitions in Primary. I never did teams or boys vs. girls. I always had the primary work as a family of friends, getting as many points as we could all together. The world has too many divisions. I’m for being unified and working together. But to each his own, just food for thought.
Categories and questions:Warning!!! Danger up ahead!!!
100 This prophet warned the people and they didn’t listen. He and his family were kept safe in an ark while the earth was completely flooded.
200 Read Mosiah 17:9-10 Abinadi warned this evil King, but was stilled burned by fire. He sealed his testimony with his own blood.
300 How does following the word of wisdom, revelation given to Joseph Smith, keep us from danger?
400 Jacob warned the Nephites of “… every kind of sin, telling them the awful consequences of them.” (Jacob 3:12) Name 3 sins and the results that can happen from making those bad choices.
Hear my Words, Learn of Christ100 Sing Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus (CS p.36)
200 Show GAK The Prophet Isaiah Foretells Christ’s Birth. Who is this prophet?
300 Spencer W. Kimball said this quote. Fill in the blank “ The ……… prophets, from Adam to Malachi are testifying of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ was the God of the ………, and it was He who conversed with Abraham and Moses.” (Ensign, May 1977, p.76) (Answer: Old Testament)
400 What does the prophet Nephi teach you about Christ? (Encourage Senior Primary to find actual scriptures!)
Stay on the Path100 This prophet saw a strait and narrow path leading to the tree of life. Who is the prophet or prophets and what can you do to stay on the path?
200 Sing We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet (Hymns p.19)
300 Read Mosiah 2:36-37 What can we do to have the Holy Ghost with us to guide us in wisdom’s paths?
400 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! DOUBLE POINTS!!! Name your favorite prophet and something that prophet has taught you to keep you safe.
Buckle Up with Modern Day Apostles
100 President Eyring has said, “Now, here is my counsel to children. The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise.”(Ensign Nov. 2009 p.72) How can you show honor to your parents or adults in your life?
200 Show a picture of the first presidency. Name these 3 men.
300 Where do we read the words of modern day apostles?
400 Sing last verse of Follow the Prophet. (CS p. 111)
Final Jeopardy Category: Safety in Following the ProphetsFinal Jeopardy Question: What is something you learned today and/or can bear testimony of?
Have a few questions, scriptures, and songs prepared on how there is safety in following the prophet. Have a child come up front to answer a question or read a scripture. Then let them buckle the bear and push them through the obstacle course.
Week 4 God speaks through prophets.
* Bring in 4 pictures, 2 copies of each picture. Have the children match the pictures. Are the matches the same? Read D&C 1:38, “What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, IT IS THE SAME.” Now have a sign “voice of the Lord” and “voice of my servants”… according to the scripture are these 2 a match and the same?
You could easily make this into a memory/matching game with pictures of the prophets. When they make a match the primary friend could share something about that prophet and what they have taught us to bring us closer to Heavenly Father.
* Ask for a volunteer. Whisper something into the child’s ear and then have them tell it to the primary. Invite another child to come up and do the same. Just as you spoke through your primary friends, God speaks through prophets.
Read Jeremiah 1:5-7, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak."
* HERE is a great sharing time from The Friend. There is an activity where the children can match a scripture to the prophet. You could have a strip of paper with one of the picture from the article on it. Make the strip into a headband. Have 10 children put on the headbands.
Give 10 groups 1 of the scriptures. Have them look it up and decide who the scripture is talking about.
For Senior Primary you could make it harder by putting the headbands on the children without them seeing. Then they have to ask questions to figure out what prophet is on their headband. After they figure it out, have a child read the corresponding scripture.
* "The Lord’s house is a house of order, and we need never be deceived about where to look for answers to our questions or uncertain about which voice to follow." (Oct. 2014 General Conference Live According to the Words of the Prophets Sister Carol McConkie Great read for preparation this week!)
We know that we can trust the voice of the prophet! God speaks through prophets! We're going to play a game. Name that voice! Have a table and a table cloth so you can hide 2 or 3 children behind it. Have questions about prophets or statements for 1 child to read behind the table. Have the primary guess who's voice it was! Then have another child answer the question.
To make it even harder for senior primary, have a child leave the room. Then they won't know who was called up front!