Encourage understanding (participating in an object lesson):Give each child a pebble. Ask the children to put the pebble in their shoe, and invite them to stand and walk. Ask the children how it feels to walk with a pebble in their shoe. Ask how sin is like the pebble. (It doesn’t feel good; it makes us unhappy.) Have them remove the pebble, and ask how repenting and receiving Heavenly Father’s forgiveness is like removing the pebble from our shoe. Explain that because of Jesus Christ, we can repent and receive forgiveness of our sins. Bear testimony that repentance is a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father and that it brings us happiness.
Encourage understanding (playing a memory game and reading scriptures): Display pictures of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and a child being baptized. Let the children look at the pictures for 20 seconds. Then cover the pictures and ask the children to tell you as many things as they can that are the same in the two pictures. You may want to list their answers on the board.
Ask the children to read Doctrine and Covenants 20:72–74 to discover who can baptize someone and how a baptism should be performed. Invite the children to share what they have found. Emphasize that the person who performs the baptism must have priesthood authority and that the person being baptized must be immersed, or go completely under the water. Show both pictures again. Point out that both Jesus and the child are being baptized by immersion, by one with priesthood authority.
Encourage application (coloring and singing a song): Make a copy of page 111 in the nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones, for each child to color. Sing “Baptism” (CS, 100–101), and encourage the children to be baptized as Jesus was. Invite a child who has recently been baptized to tell the other children about his or her baptism.
Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Have a child stand by the door. Blindfold the child, and have him or her try to find his or her chair and sit down without any help. Repeat the activity, but this time ask another child to guide the blindfolded child by touching his or her arm and leading the way. Discuss with the children why it was easier for the child to find the chair the second time. Explain that the Holy Ghost can help us by giving us direction in our lives. Invite the children to say, “The Holy Ghost can help me.”
Encourage understanding (singing a song and playing a matching game): Write the word help on the board. Sing “The Holy Ghost” (CS, 105), and invite the children to count things mentioned in the song that the Holy Ghost does to help us.
Before Primary, prepare 10 pieces of paper with a CTR shield drawn on the front. On the back of each paper, write one of the following 5 phrases describing how the Holy Ghost helps us: the Holy Ghost comforts us, the Holy Ghost testifies of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost teaches us, the Holy Ghost tells us what to do or not do, and the Holy Ghost helps us to do good (each phrase will be on two different papers). Place the papers on the board in random order with the CTR shields facing the children. Invite a child to turn over one of the papers. Say the words on the back together. Choose another child to turn over another paper and try to make a match. Say the words on the back together. If the papers match, take them off the board. If they do not match, turn them back over. Repeat until all the matches have been made.
Encourage application (discussing scriptures): Divide the children into groups. Give each group one of the following scripture references: John 14:26; John 15:26; 2 Nephi 32:5; D&C 11:12. Ask each group to read their scripture and discuss what it means. Invite the children and their teachers to share examples of how they have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Encourage understanding (discussing covenants and reading scriptures): Explain that a covenant is a sacred two-way promise between us and Heavenly Father; we promise to do certain things, and when we do, He promises to bless us. Remind the children that we make a covenant with Heavenly Father when we are baptized, and explain that we renew that covenant when we take the sacrament. Make wordstrips with phrases from the sacrament prayers that explain what we promise when we take the sacrament and what Heavenly Father promises us (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79). Give the wordstrips to a few children, and have them stand in the correct order as you read the scriptures out loud.