Sharing Time Jesus Christ Is My Savior
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).
Do you ever feel peaceful when you pray? Do you feel grateful when you think of your blessings? When you sing a reverent Primary song, do you feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? These spiritual feelings are the beginning of your testimony.
An important part of a testimony is to believe that Jesus Christ plays a central role in Heavenly Father’s plan for us. He was born to Mary. He “increased in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52). He was baptized as an example for us. He organized the Church, called twelve Apostles, and taught the gospel. He healed the sick and raised the dead. And He suffered for our sins, died, and was resurrected. Because of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected. Because of Him, we can repent and return to live with Him and Heavenly Father again.
Your own testimony of the Savior will be strengthened as you learn about Him and read the testimonies of the prophets. You can read some of these testimonies in the scriptures. President Gordon B. Hinckley shared his testimony with the children: “Jesus is my friend. He is my exemplar. He is my teacher. He is my healer. He is my leader. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my God and my King. Gratefully, and with love, I bear witness of these things” (Friend, Nov. 2002, 3).
Many prophets have seen and been taught by Jesus Christ. The scriptures on page 21 tell something of these prophets’ stories. Look up the scripture reference to identify the prophet and read the rest of his story. Then match the prophets to the scripture references.
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Detail from Jesus Christ Visits the Americas, by John Scott; The Lord Appearing to Moses, by Wilson Ong; The First Vision, by Dale Kilbourn; painting of Paul by Paul Mann
|“I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description” (see JS—H 1:17).||Brother of Jared|
|“He fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying … , why persecutest thou me?” (see Acts 9:3–8).||Jacob|
|“Now I … bid farewell. … Then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face” (see Ether 12:37–39).||Saul/Paul|
|“He saw God face to face” (see Moses 1:1–2).||Moroni|
|“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord” (see Isa. 6:1).||Nephi|
|“Thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory” (see 2 Ne. 2:2–4).||Isaiah|
|“The Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: … I will make of thee a great nation” (see Abr. 2:6–11).||Joseph Smith|
|“The veil was taken from off the eyes … , and he saw the finger of the Lord” (see Ether 3:6–16).||Moses|
|“My brother … has seen him as I have seen him” (see 2 Ne. 11:2–3).||Abraham|
Sharing Time Ideas
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. In advance, ask three or four ward or branch members to come prepared to teach a scriptural story about the example of Jesus and to tell how they have applied His example in their lives. Using GAK pictures 240 (Jesus the Christ) and 212 (Sermon on the Mount), teach the children that one of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to teach the gospel and set an example for us. Post the pictures on the wall. Explain the meaning of the word example, and sing “Do As I’m Doing” (p. 276). Introduce the ward or branch members, and ask them to tell their stories. Invite the participants to use pictures and post them on the wall as they teach. Give the children footprint-shaped pieces of paper. Have them draw or write one way they can follow the example of Jesus and then sign their names on the reverse side. Post the footprints on the wall in a path leading to the pictures of Christ. Sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79).
2. Review the third article of faith with the children. Help them understand the words atonement and laws and ordinances. Explain that we remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ when we take the sacrament each week. The sacrament is an ordinance. Show GAK 225 (The Last Supper). Help the children identify the people in the picture, and reinforce the role of the Apostles. Tell the story of the Last Supper from Matt. 26:17–30. Show GAK 315 (Christ Appears to the Nephites). Read or tell the account of Jesus giving the sacrament to the Nephites (see 3 Ne. 18). Repeat with the children the last line from verse 7 (“And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you”).
Show GAK 604 or some sacrament bread and water trays. Teach that when we take the sacrament, we promise to “always remember” Jesus. Sing “To Think about Jesus” (p. 71). One way to remember Jesus during the sacrament is to think about the stories we know about Him. Have the children sit in a circle. Choose several pictures from the GAK that depict stories from the life of Jesus. Put them facedown in a pile. Pass a beanbag or an appropriate object around the circle while the pianist plays “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” (p. 57). When the music stops, have the child with the beanbag choose a picture from the pile. The child can either tell the story or choose one or two other children to help him or her role-play the story. Give help as necessary, and repeat as time permits.
3. Post the sixth article of faith, and recite it or sing it (p. 126) with the children. Explain the meaning of Primitive Church (the Church of Jesus Christ when He was on the earth). Help the children memorize the sixth article of faith (see TNGC,171–72). On one side of the board post pictures such as the following from GAK: 205 (Boy Jesus in the Temple), 208 (John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus), 213 (Jesus Healing the Blind), 225 (The Last Supper), 235 (Go Ye Therefore), 601 (Baptism), 604 (Passing the Sacrament), 609 (Young Couple Going to the Temple), 612 (Missionaries Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ), and 613 (Administering to the Sick). On the other side of the board post GAK picture 211 (Christ Ordaining the Apostles). Teach the children that Christ organized His Church when He was on the earth and gave the Apostles of His day the authority (“keys of the kingdom,” or priesthood keys) to lead. Read and discuss Matt. 16:18–19. Post a picture of the current First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Read D&C 107:18 aloud, and teach the children that prophets and apostles are given the same authority (keys) today. Prepare five key-shaped papers with one of the following scripture references on them: (1) D&C 20:72–74; (2) Matt. 4:23; (3) Luke 2:46–49; (4) D&C 84:64–70; (5) Matt. 28:19–20. Divide into five groups, and give one key to each group. Have the children look up the scriptures and decide which priesthood duties are described. Compare how the duties were similar and/or different in Christ’s time compared to today. Emphasize that the principles were the same then as they are today. Have each group choose from the board pictures that illustrate the priesthood duty, both from the time of Christ and from the Church today. Have each group report to the Primary. Sing “The Sixth Article of Faith” (p. 126).
For younger children: Teach about priesthood authority using the picture activity. Reinforce the principles by singing appropriate songs from the Children’s Songbook.
4. Class Presentation: In advance, ask several children to come to Primary prepared to share a story of one of the witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (see below). Review in your own words the story of the death of Christ using GAK pictures 230 (The Crucifixion), 231 (Burial of Jesus), and 232 (Jesus’s Tomb). Ask the children to reflect on how Jesus’s family and friends must have felt when He died. Tell them that we have invited some of those “friends” to share with us the joy they felt when they knew Christ had been resurrected. Using name tags, ask the children to share the stories of the following people who saw Christ after His Resurrection: Mary Magdalene (see John 20:11–18), Peter and John (see John 20:2–10), Cleopas (see Luke 24:13–32), the disciples (see John 20:19–22; Luke 24:33–53), Thomas (see John 20:24–29), and the Nephites (see 3 Ne. 11:8–17). After the children have told their stories, sing “Jesus Has Risen” (p. 70). Teach the principle of resurrection with the glove and hand imagery (see Primary 1 manual, lesson 45, enrichment activity 2). If there is time and with the approval of the Primary presidency, invite someone who has had a death in the family to share his or her testimony of the Resurrection. Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64). Remind the children that Easter is a celebration of gratitude for the blessings of the Atonement and Resurrection.
5. Song Presentation: A week before introducing it, invite a family in the ward or branch to learn and practice the hymn “I Believe in Christ” (Hymns, no. 134) in family home evening. If possible, ask them to be prepared to sing this hymn to the Primary children. You may also want to read Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s testimony (see Ensign, May 1985, 9–11).
Teach the children that the hymn “I Believe in Christ” is an expression of testimony from Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an Apostle who died in 1985. To teach the first half of the first verse, prepare a poster with GAK 238 (The Second Coming) at the top. Sing the first line of the hymn, and ask, “Who is Christ?” (He is my King!). Sing that much of the hymn together. Display on a poster simple drawings of a heart, a person singing, and the scriptures. Sing the first half of the verse, and ask the children to listen for three ways this Apostle “sang his testimony” (singing with his heart, his voice, and using inspired words). Sing the first half of the first verse together. Invite the family to sing the first verse for the children. Prepare another poster for the second part of the first verse using Primary packet picture 6-3 (Christ and God the Father) and GAK 200 (The Birth of Jesus). Sing the first line of the second part of the first verse, and ask, “Who is Christ?” (He is God’s Son). Discuss and sing that much together. Sing the next two lines, and ask the children to listen for three things Christ did while He was on the earth (healed the sick, the dead He raised, good works were His). Illustrate the poster with GAK pictures such as 213 (Jesus Healing the Blind), 222 (Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead), and 214 (Stilling the Storm). Invite the family and the children to sing the whole hymn together, using the pictures on the charts as guides. Repeat as time allows.
6. Friend references: “Gratitude,” Nov. 2002, 2–3; “The Savior’s Church, Then and Now,” Feb. 2003, 38–39; “Thou Art the Christ,” Apr. 2003, 34–36; “Clean Again,” Mar. 2004, 14–16. These references and others can be found at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.