Lesson 27

Samuel, the Boy Prophet

“Lesson 27: Samuel, the Boy Prophet,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 117–19


To encourage the children to listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost.


  1. Prayerfully study:

    • 1 Samuel 1:1–5, 9–11—Hannah and Elkanah have no children. Hannah prays for a son and promises him to the Lord.

    • 1 Samuel 1:17–28—Eli tells Hannah her prayer will be answered. Samuel is born, and Hannah fulfills her promise by bringing him to the temple.

    • 1 Samuel 2:18–21, 26—The child Samuel ministers at the temple. Eli blesses Samuel’s parents for letting him serve the Lord.

    • 1 Samuel 3:1–10, 19–20—The Lord calls to the child Samuel.

    • Revelation 3:20—Christ stands at the door, but we must listen for his voice.

    • Amos 3:7—The Lord speaks to Church members through his prophets.

  2. Additional reading:

  3. Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible for each child.

    2. A Book of Mormon and a Doctrine and Covenants.

    3. Pictures 6-34, Hannah Presenting Samuel to Eli at the Temple; 6-35, Boy Samuel Called by the Lord (Gospel Art Picture Kit 111; 62498); and 6-36, Jesus at the Door (Gospel Art Picture Kit 237; 62170).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

After the children have entered the classroom, choose a child to go outside and knock at the door. Have another class member let the child in; then show the picture Jesus at the Door. Read and discuss Revelation 3:20. Let the children discuss why the artist painted the outside of the door with no doorknob. (Jesus is waiting to help us, but we must open the door ourselves to invite him in.) Ask the children how they can let the Savior into their lives. Help the children understand that one way the Lord speaks to us is through his Holy Spirit. If we listen to the Holy Ghost, we can receive guidance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Tell the class that this lesson is about a young boy who heard the voice of the Lord, listened, and obeyed.

Scripture Account

Using the pictures at appropriate times, teach the children the account of Samuel’s birth and childhood from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights.

  • Hannah traveled every year with her husband, Elkanah, to the temple to offer sacrifices to the Lord. She had no children, and at the temple she wept and prayed fervently for a son. What promise did Hannah make to the Lord as she prayed? (1 Samuel 1:11.) When Hannah left the temple after praying for a child, how did Eli comfort her? (1 Samuel 1:17–18.) How did Hannah keep her promise to the Lord? (1 Samuel 1:24–28.) Why is it important to keep the promises we make?

  • What did Hannah bring for Samuel when she and Elkanah came up to the temple every year? (1 Samuel 2:19.) How was Hannah blessed after taking Samuel to be raised in the temple to serve the Lord? (1 Samuel 2:20–21.)

  • Who spoke to Samuel in the night? (1 Samuel 3:4.) Whom did Samuel first think was calling him? (1 Samuel 3:5–6, 8.) How did Samuel learn it was the Lord calling? (1 Samuel 3:8–9.)

  • How do we receive promptings from the Lord? (Through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and the words of Church leaders.) Who helps us recognize what the Lord wants us to do? (The Holy Ghost, our parents, teachers, and Church leaders.) How can we prepare ourselves to receive and understand the influence of the Holy Ghost? (Keep our thoughts and actions pure, keep the commandments, ask Heavenly Father to send the influence of the Holy Ghost, and take time to listen for the Spirit after we pray for guidance. [See enrichment activity 3.])

  • When the Lord has a message for the whole Church, how does he send it? (Amos 3:7.) Why do you think the Lord spoke to Samuel, a child? (1 Samuel 3:1.) Elder Harold B. Lee explained that at this time “there was no prophet upon the earth through whom the Lord could reveal his will” (“But Arise and Stand upon Thy Feet”—And I Will Speak with Thee, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [7 Feb. 1956], p. 2). Because there was no other prophet, the Lord prepared Samuel from the beginning of his life to be His prophet.

  • Which other prophets of God were called from boyhood? (Mormon [see Mormon 1:2–5] and the Prophet Joseph Smith.)

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Tell the class of a time when a child (you or someone you know) heard and heeded the promptings of the Holy Ghost. You could tell the following true story:

    A young boy was pedaling quickly, making deliveries on his bicycle. Suddenly he had a strong impression to stop. He immediately did so. As he stood with his bike by the side of the road, a car at a crossroad just ahead ran the red light and went through the intersection where the boy would have been had he not obeyed this prompting.

    Invite the children to tell of times when they or someone in their families received impressions from the Holy Ghost that guided, warned, or comforted them. Explain that we do not have to hear an actual voice; we may have a strong feeling about something. When this happens, what should we do?

  2. Ask the children the following question: When an impression or idea comes, how can we know it is from God? On the chalkboard or a large piece of paper write From God and Not from God. Then write Moroni 7:13, 16–17 and Doctrine and Covenants 6:23; 9:8–9. Read and discuss the references with the children, and put their ideas under the appropriate heading.

    From God

    • Warm feeling inside

    • You want to do good

    • You want to love and serve God

    • Peace in your mind

    Not From God

    • Confusion

    • You want to do what is wrong

    • You do not want to follow Jesus

    • You doubt Jesus Christ

  3. Assign a child to represent the boy Samuel in the temple. Have another child pretend to be Eli, and choose a third to be the voice of the Lord. (Be careful about whom you ask to represent the Lord, and make sure that the child you choose uses only those words that are recorded in the scriptures.) Let the children act out the account of Samuel hearing the voice of the Lord (see 1 Samuel 3:1–10). Other children in the class could take turns reading the verses or directing the account.

  4. Sing or read the words to “The Still Small Voice” (Children’s Songbook, p. 106).

  5. Show the picture Jesus at the Door. Sing or read the words to “Seek the Lord Early” (Children’s Songbook, p. 108). Ask the class members to name the ways to seek the Lord mentioned in this song (search the scriptures, pray, obey the prophet, keep the commandments). Tell the children that as they do these things, they are inviting Jesus into their lives. Have the children sing this song with you again.



Share with the children a time when you felt the Savior’s love or heeded the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and guide, and that as we live righteously we may hear his voice through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study 1 Samuel 3:1–10, 19–20 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.