Lesson 30

Jesus Christ in Gethsemane

“Lesson 30: Jesus Christ in Gethsemane,” Primary 7: New Testament (1997), 101–104


To help the children feel love for their Redeemer, Jesus Christ, because of his suffering and atoning for their sins.


  1. Prayerfully study Matthew 26:36–46, Luke 22:40–46, John 3:16, 15:12–13, Mosiah 3:7, and Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–18. Then 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.)

  2. Additional reading: 2 Nephi 9:21–22, Alma 34:9, Doctrine and Covenants 76:41–42, and Gospel Principles, chapter 12.

  3. Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

    2. The following wordstrips:

      • What is the Atonement?

      • Why do we need the Atonement?

      • We all will die.

      • We all sin.

      • Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

      • He is sinless.

      • He has power over death.

    3. Pictures 7-1, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572), and 7-30, Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (Gospel Art Picture Kit 227; 62175).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Ask the children if any of them would like to share with the class how last week’s lesson has helped them improve their worship during the sacrament.

Attention Activity

Ask the children to imagine a situation similar to the following one (be descriptive, making the situation as real as possible):

Pretend your family is visiting a relative. You disobey your parents and go into a room you are told not to go into. You accidentally break a very valuable object.

  • How would you feel?

  • What would you say to the owner?

  • What could you do to replace the broken item?

  • What would you do if you didn’t have enough money to buy another one just like it? How would you pay for it?

Explain that your father will help you because he loves you. He tells you that if you are truly sorry, are obedient, and pay what you can, he will help you by paying the difference.

  • How would you feel? Could you have paid the price by yourself? How would you feel about your father’s helping you?

Explain that by choosing to be born on earth, each of us needs help to be able to return to Heavenly Father.

Help the children understand that because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, they have a plan to help us do something we cannot do for ourselves. This lesson is about part of that plan; it is about the great sacrifice Jesus Christ made to pay for our sins and overcome death. This sacrifice is called the Atonement. Show the picture Jesus the Christ.

Brief Review

Have the children repeat the third article of faith. Then ask them to review the purpose of our earth life and why the Atonement is necessary for our salvation. To help with this review, use the wordstrips listed in the “Preparation” section.

“What is the Atonement?” (The Atonement is Jesus Christ’s voluntary act of suffering for our sins and giving his life on the cross to overcome death.)

“Why do we need the Atonement?” (Remind the children of Heavenly Father’s plan. We chose to come to earth and become mortal. Our physical bodies will someday die.)

“We all will die.” (We need a Savior to save us from physical death and make resurrection possible.)

“We all sin.” (Sinning makes us unworthy to return to Heavenly Father’s presence. We need a Redeemer to pay for our sins when we repent.)

“Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.” (Emphasize that Jesus Christ volunteered to be our Savior and Redeemer; he was willing to give his life for us.)

“He is sinless.” (Because Jesus Christ was perfect, he is the only person who could be our Savior and Redeemer.)

“He has power over death.” (Because Jesus Christ was sinless and the Only Begotten Son of God, he had power over death.)

Read John 3:16 with the class. Invite any children who would like to to share how they feel about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s providing us with this wonderful plan. Share your feelings of love for Heavenly Father and Jesus and tell how much you want to return to live with them someday.

Scripture Account

Display the picture Jesus Praying in Gethsemane. Teach the children the account of Jesus in Gethsemane as found in Matthew 26:36–46, Luke 22:40–46, and Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–18. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Explain that Jesus understood his mission and knew the time had come when he must suffer great agony and pain to atone for the sins of the world.

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 the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • What did Jesus say as he prayed to Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane? (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44.) Why was Jesus willing to obey Heavenly Father’s plan even though he would have to endure such terrible suffering? (He loved and trusted his Father, and he loved us.)

  • What happened to Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? (Luke 22:44; Mosiah 3:7.) Who appeared to Jesus to strengthen him? (Luke 22:43.)

  • For whom did Jesus suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane? (D&C 19:16.)

Help the children understand that Jesus also suffered on the cross, but his greatest suffering was in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he bled from every pore.

Read the following quotation from Elder Marion G. Romney: “The Savior … paid the debt for my personal sins. He paid the debt for your personal sins and for the personal sins of every living soul that ever dwelt upon the earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth” (Improvement Era, Dec. 1953, pp. 942–43).

  • How great was Jesus’ suffering? (D&C 19:18.)

  • Why was Jesus willing to suffer these things? (John 15:12–13.) How does it make you feel to know that Jesus suffered and atoned for your sins? How can we show Jesus that we are thankful for the Atonement?

  • What must we do so that Christ’s suffering will pay for our sins? (Repent, be baptized, and keep our baptismal covenants.) How does Jesus’ atonement allow us to return to Heavenly Father? What will happen if we do not repent? (D&C 19:15–17.)

Help the children understand that we accept Christ’s atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost, and obeying Jesus’ commandments. When we do these things, we can be forgiven and cleansed from sin so we can live forever with Heavenly Father.

Article of Faith

Review, discuss, and help the children memorize the third article of faith.

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. Prepare a list of scriptures similar to the following (or you could write them on the chalkboard) and a list, in a separate column, of each scripture’s message. Mix up the references so they are not opposite the corresponding message. Have a child look up a scripture, decide what message it contains, and draw a line from the scripture to its appropriate message. Give every child a turn.

    Matthew 16:21 (Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary.)

    John 3:16 (Jesus came to earth because he and Heavenly Father love us.)

    John 10:17–18 (Jesus has power to lay his life down and take it up again.)

    1 Peter 1:19–20 (Jesus was chosen in heaven to be our Savior.)

    1 John 1:7 (The atonement of Jesus Christ cleanses us from sin if we repent.)

    Doctrine and Covenants 20:29 (We can be saved in the kingdom of God only when we repent from our sins, believe in Jesus Christ, and are baptized.)

  2. Tell the children the following story, using the diagram as desired:

    man in a hole

    A man walking along a road fell into a pit so deep he could not climb out. No matter what he did, he could not get out by himself. The man called for help and rejoiced when a kind passerby heard him and lowered a ladder down into the pit. This allowed him to climb out of the pit and regain his freedom.

    We are like the man in the pit. Sinning is like falling into the pit, and we can’t get out by ourselves. Just as the kind passerby heard the man’s cry for help, Heavenly Father sent his Only Begotten Son to provide the means of escape. Jesus Christ’s atonement could be compared to lowering a ladder into the pit; it gives us the means to climb out. Just as the man in the pit had to climb up the ladder, we must repent of our sins and obey the gospel principles and ordinances to climb out of our pit and make the Atonement work in our lives. Thus, after all we can do, the Atonement makes it possible for us to become worthy to return to Heavenly Father’s presence.

  3. Read Mosiah 14:3–5 and Alma 7:11–12. Discuss how Jesus Christ, through the Atonement, not only suffered for our sins but also suffered our pains, sicknesses, and sorrows. He understands perfectly everything we experience and suffer on earth. Through his love and compassion, he will help us with our problems and challenges.

  4. Help the children memorize John 3:16.

  5. Sing or read the words to “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193) or “Help Us, O God, to Understand” (Children’s Songbook, p. 73).



Bear your testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Express your love for Jesus and Heavenly Father and your gratitude that they have provided a way for us to overcome sin and death and live with them again.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Matthew 26:36–46 and Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–18 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.