The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Make It Possible for Me to Live with God Again
Song of your choice from the Children’s Songbook
Thanks to Jill over at Hatch Patch Creation for sharing this ideas
“We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:4).
Week 1: Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to love Him, trust Him, and keep His commandments.
Introduce the doctrine and encourage understanding: Write “Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to love Him, trust Him, and keep His commandments” on the board. Show the children some seeds. Ask: “What can these seeds become?” “How do you know these seeds will grow?” “What must we do to make them grow?” Explain that our faith in Jesus Christ, like a seed, can grow if we nurture it. Discuss things we can do to help our faith grow, and explain how these things will lead us to love and trust Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. Sing “Faith” (CS, 96–97). Make up simple hand movements to go with the first verse.
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Repetition: Children learn through repetition. Consider expanding the object lesson in week 1 to reinforce the principle of faith. Plant the seeds in a pot, and occasionally bring the growing plant to Primary. Tell the children what you have done to help the plant grow. Compare nurturing a seedling to nurturing faith in Jesus Christ.
Week 2: Repentance brings forgiveness.
Introduce the doctrine: Invite the children to open their scriptures and read Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43. Ask them to identify what happens when we repent of our sins. (If possible, invite the children to mark these verses in their scriptures.) Briefly tell the children about Enos (see Enos 1:1–4), and have a child read Enos 1:5–8. Testify that the Atonement of Christ makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins.
Encourage understanding: Explain that people who have repented and have been forgiven of their sins have a desire to serve God. Divide the children into three groups, and give each group one of the following pictures and scripture references: Alma baptizing in the Waters of Mormon (Mosiah 17:2–4; 18:1–17); Jonah (Jonah 1–3); the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their swords (Alma 23:4–18; 24:6–19). Explain that these stories tell about people who repented of their sins and served the Lord. Ask each group to review the scriptures and prepare and present a role play showing how these people repented and then served the Lord (by teaching the gospel, serving a mission, and refusing to fight).
Week 3: When I am baptized, I make a covenant with God.
Encourage understanding: Ask a child to come to the front of the room and hold his or her arms out. Then place a book in each hand. Read Mosiah 18:7–11. Explain that one of the covenants we make when we are baptized is to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” Ask the child holding the books if his or her arms are getting tired. Have two other children help hold up his or her arms. Discuss some burdens children might have, such as being teased, being sick, feeling alone, or struggling in school. Ask the children how they can help make each other’s burdens lighter.
Encourage application: Tell the children that baptism is the gate that leads to the path to eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31:17). On one side of the room place a picture of a child being baptized. On the other side of the room place a picture of the Savior, and explain that in this activity this picture represents eternal life. Tell the children that we stay on the path to eternal life when we keep our baptismal covenants. Briefly review these covenants (remembering Jesus Christ, obeying the commandments, and helping others). Give each child a paper with a CTR shield drawn on it. Have the children write on their paper a commandment that will help them keep their baptismal covenants (they may draw pictures to represent the commandment they choose). Invite a child to place his or her paper on the floor between the two pictures. If possible, help the children find the commandment in their scriptures and read it together. Repeat until the children have made a path between the pictures.
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Week 4: The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.
Encourage understanding: Divide the children into groups, and give each group a piece of paper with the following scriptures:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with ______” (D&C 11:13).
“If ye will enter in by the way [baptism], and receive the Holy Ghost, it will ______ unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).
“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, … shall ______ you all things, and bring all things to your ______, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
“Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do ______—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to ______ ______; and this is my Spirit” (D&C 11:12).
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may ______ ______ ______ of all things” (Moroni 10:5).
Ask the children to look up the scriptures and fill in the blanks. Then have them discuss what these scriptures teach about how the Holy Ghost can help us. Invite them to share experiences when the Holy Ghost has helped them.
Scriptures: It is important for children to learn gospel truths from the scriptures (see TNGC, 50–51). Invite the children to point to each word as you read a scripture out loud. Ask younger children to listen for a specific word or phrase and raise their hands when they hear it.
Encourage application: Tell the children that the Holy Ghost helps us in many ways. Sing “The Holy Ghost” (CS, 105). Ask the children to raise their hands when they sing about a way the Holy Ghost can help them. Stop the song and discuss what they learned about the Holy Ghost. Continue singing and discussing. Share a time when the Holy Ghost has comforted or guided you.
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