Welcome to March! I’m so excited about the spring weather we’ve been enjoying here in Utah. It’s wonderful to see the flowers popping up and buds forming on the trees. What a great time of year! March is also exciting because this month in primary we’ll be preparing for General Conference by learning all about prophets.
The first two weeks focus on what a prophet is and how he serves the Lord. On the third week, we’ll learn more about our living prophet today. And finally on the fourth week, we’ll talk about how following the prophet keeps us safe and helps us to be happy.
You’ll notice that most of the resources this month come directly from the church’s website, LDS.org. If you are not already using it on a regular basis, be sure to check this website often. In our day, our modern prophets and apostles often use technology to share the Lord’s messages with us. The church’s website is just one way we can stay connected to our leaders and learn what the Savior wants us to do today.
You can introduce the idea of prophets by playing a simple game like Simon says or follow the leader. Or you could sing the song, “Do As I’m Doing” (p. 276) and have the children take turns choosing an action to do.
As a side note, in my family growing up, we would combine these games by having one person be the leader while we sang “Do As I’m Doing.” My mom would play the piano, and the rest of us had to follow the leader and do all the things the leader was doing while we sang along to the song. For several months this became one of our family night traditions. Usually it turned into all seven of us kids and Dad running around the house in circles, singing at the top of our lungs. At the time we had no blinds or curtains on our front windows, and I’m not sure what our neighbors thought of this performance every Monday. If you decide to use this activity in church, you may want to opt for a more reverent version.
Once you’ve settled down, remind the children that prophets are our leaders. The Lord’s church always has a prophet who speaks with Heavenly Father and teaches us how to follow Him. Ask the children if they know any prophets from the scriptures. For each prophet they name, talk about how that prophet lead his people and taught them what was right. You may want to sing a few verses of “Follow the Prophet” (p. 110) to conclude your discussion.
Tell the children that some prophets were called to physically lead the Lord’s people from one place to another so that they could find safety and peace. Other prophets have been called to help their people find spiritual safety and peace. Show the following pictures from the Gospel Art Book, also available online (use the links below). Then read the descriptions and have the children raise their hands when they think they know which pictured prophet you’re describing. For each prophet, discuss whether he led his people to physical safety, spiritual peace or both.
This prophet heard the message of the gospel and was converted. He hid in the wilderness and taught the people what he had learned. They came to him to be baptized. He led them through the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in peace. (Alma the Elder)
This prophet lived before Jesus was born. He taught his people many things about Jesus that he knew through revelation. He wrote down his prophecies so that the people would know what to look for when it was time for Jesus to be born. Through his writings, his people learned what they should do to follow Jesus. (Isaiah)
This prophet lived in Egypt where his people were slaves. Heavenly Father told him to rescue his people and take them to a land of promise. There they could be free and worship Heavenly Father instead of idols, like the Egyptians had. Heavenly Father gave this prophet ten commandments to teach his people. (Moses)
This prophet knew that Jesus would soon be born. He had to tell the people to repent and prepare for Jesus’s birth. The people did not want to listen, so this prophet climbed up on a wall to preach to the people. They tried to hit him with arrows, but Heavenly Father protected him. (Samuel the Lamanite)
This prophet was not sure which church was right. He prayed to know the truth and Heavenly Father and Jesus visited him. They told this prophet that he would need to restore the true church and translate the Book of Mormon. Because not everyone believed him, this prophet had to lead his people many times to new areas where they could live peacefully. Eventually he was arrested and then killed by angry men. (Joseph Smith)
This prophet was asked to leave Jerusalem with his family and travel into the wilderness. They were told that Heavenly Father had a new promised land for them. This prophet helped his father on their journey and built a ship to carry them to the promised land. When they arrived, this prophet built a temple where his people could worship God. (Nephi)
This prophet was called to make a record of his people. He took many other records that had been kept and put them together to create a book. This prophet was a great warrior, but his people were wicked and would not listen to him. He prayed that someday the book he made would help them to know the truth. (Mormon)
This prophet knew that his people were wicked. He tried to teach them to repent, but they would not listen to him. So Heavenly Father told this prophet to build a big boat called an ark. When it was done, the prophet gathered his family and lots of animals into the ark. Then it began to rain. The ark kept this prophet and his family safe from the storm until they could come out again. (Noah)
This prophet needed to find a new place where his people would be safe. He helped them to prepare and then they began to travel in wagons. They walked for hundreds of miles before they found the place that God wanted them to live. There they built a new city and a beautiful temple. (Brigham Young)
Get to know our current prophet this week, by reviewing his biography on LDS.org.
Watch some or all of this talk from our most recent general conference (click here to view it on Youtube). Then talk about the specific counsel he has given us for our day.
Discuss how Heavenly Father still leads His church through our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
Use the videos on this page to play a guessing game. Without letting the children see your screen, play one of the videos and have the children raise their hands as soon as they know which apostle is speaking. Pause the video and call on one of the children. If the child guesses the apostle correctly, move on to another video. If not, keep playing until you have identified the correct apostle.
Help the children to understand that our modern prophet and apostles teach us what we need to do today in order to follow Jesus. They teach us what is right so that we can avoid temptation or bad choices. Ask a few children to share something that they have learned from a prophet or an apostle.
Share your testimony of a time when following the prophet kept you safe physically or spiritually from something that could have hurt you.