“Sharing Time: Baptism, My First Covenant,” Friend, May 1997, 12
A covenant is a two-way promise between Heavenly Father and us, His children. The covenants He makes with us are sacred and holy. In them He promises glorious blessings to us. When we make covenants with Him, we show our love for Him and promise to keep His commandments.
The baptism covenant is the first gospel-ordinance covenant you make with Heavenly Father. When you make this sacred covenant, you show your love for Him. You also promise, or covenant, to take the name of Jesus Christ upon you, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. (See D&C 20:37.) You should also be willing to bear testimony of Him, and to love and serve Him by loving and serving others. (See Mosiah 18:8–10.)
After you make your baptismal covenant (are baptized), you are confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father always blesses you with His spirit when you keep your baptismal covenant. Each Sunday you can remember and renew your baptismal covenant as you partake of the sacrament.
Carefully remove page 13 from the magazine. Color the poster, fill in the blanks with your name, your baptism date—or the year in which you will be baptized—the name of the priesthood holders who baptized and confirmed you, and the promises you and Heavenly Father have made or will make to each other. Draw a picture of yourself or glue a small photo of yourself in the center square. Hang your poster in your room or put it in your personal history book.
Note: This month you might practice “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” (Children’s Songbook, p. 102).
1. Write the name of each child on a separate strip of paper. On the opposite side, write something about that child’s name, such as why his or her parents named him/her that, what the meaning of the name is, or if anyone else in his/her family has that name. Number the strips on the information side, and place them around the room with the names down. Give each child a list of the names of all the Primary children. Have them walk around the room and guess which information goes with which name. Have them write the information-strip number by the name on their list.
2. Recite with the children the fifth article of faith. Tell them that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery knew that baptism was necessary but did not know who had the authority to baptize them. Read the first sentence in JS—H 1:68. Display picture #409 (Gospel Art kit), and invite a priesthood brother to tell about the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist. Have each child draw a picture of this important event. Suggest that the children share this story and their drawings with their families.
3. Sing “Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, p. 100). Show picture #208 (Gospel Art kit) of Jesus Christ’s baptism. Ask questions to help the children learn everything they can about baptism from this picture. Sing “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” (Children’s Songbook, p. 102) and have them share what took place at the Savior’s baptism that is not shown in the picture. Also have the children share how their baptism is similar to and different from the Savior’s. Share your feelings about the significance of your own baptism. Sing “When I Am Baptized” and “The Fourth Article of Faith” (Children’s Songbook, pp. 103 and 124 respectively). Note: For very young children, show the picture of Jesus Christ’s baptism and a picture from the meetinghouse library of the baptism of a child today and ask what is similar.
4. Show the children “Baptism—A Promise to Follow Jesus” (Primary Video Collection #53179). Invite an adult member of the ward to share his or her feelings about his/her baptism, or ask the bishop/branch president to explain the baptismal interview.
5. Discuss what it means “to bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn, … comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:8–9). Divide the children into small groups. Each group leader begins by saying, “I am a member of Heavenly Father’s kingdom.” Then adds a statement (see examples below), which the next child in the group repeats, adding a statement of his or her own. Each child repeats all previous statements before adding his/her own. Continue until every child has been included. Examples of statements: I will obey the commandments; I will be kind to younger children; I will help my neighbor.
6. For additional help on baptism and covenants, see the following from the Friend: “Carrie’s Covenant,” Mar. 1994, p. 2; “The Baptism of Jesus,” Jan. 1995, p. 48; “A Good Name,” Feb. 1995, p. 11; “Covenants and Ordinances,” May 1995, IFC; “New Day Rising,” May 1995, p. 2; “Sister Simon’s Saints,” May 1995, p. 39. See also: President Joseph F. Smith’s baptism in “A Sacred Experience,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, p. 122; Enrichment Activities #7 in “I Can Prepare for Baptism,” Primary 2 manual, p. 59; Enrichment Activities #2 in “Alma Baptizes at the Waters of Mormon,” Primary 4 manual, p. 40; Enrichment Activities #1 in “The Baptism of Jesus Christ,” Primary 7 manual, p. 19.