“Sharing Time: The Prophets Testify of Jesus Christ’s Birth,” Friend, Dec. 1997, 14
From the time of Adam, righteous men looked forward to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets taught that Jesus Christ would come to save all of Heavenly Father’s children from death. They also taught that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, men could be forgiven of their sins and return to Heavenly Father. Many of the prophets knew of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, long before it happened.
Isaiah, a mighty prophet of the Old Testament, spoke of the Savior’s birth: “For unto us a child [Jesus Christ] is born, unto us a son [the Son of God] is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
Lehi, a prophet of the Book of Mormon, fled Jerusalem with his family. He wandered for many years in the wilderness, endured much affliction, and inherited from God a promised land. He prophesied, as his son Nephi recorded it, that “Six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world” (1 Ne. 10:4).
Nephi prayed to see and understand the vision his father, Lehi, had received. In answer to his prayer, an angel of the Lord showed him the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Nephi said, “I looked and beheld the virgin [Mary] again, bearing a child in her arms.
“And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God [Jesus Christ], yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Ne. 11:20–21.)
Samuel the Lamanite, another prophet of the Book of Mormon, stood boldly upon the wall at Zarahemla. He had been sent by the Lord to call the wicked Nephites to repentance and to foretell the Savior’s birth. He cried with a loud voice, “For five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name” (Hel. 14:2).
When the Savior, Jesus Christ, was born, the prophecies were fulfilled. The time that all the holy prophets had waited for had finally come. An angel appeared to shepherds while they watched their flocks. The angel spoke to the shepherds, saying, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11.)
Instructions: Each horizontal row on page 15 will make an ornament depicting one of the prophecies of Christ’s birth. To make each ornament, read these instructions and follow the illustrations. (1) Mount page 15 on heavy paper. Cut out a horizontal row of circles. Fold each circle in half vertically with the picture or scripture inside. (2) Glue the outside of two of the half circles together. (3) Coat the entire outside of the third circle with glue. Form a loop of yarn or string near the top of the circle on the fold and press it into the glue. (4) Press the unglued outsides of the other two half circles on the glued side of the third circle. (5) Hang the ornament in a window or on a tree.
Note: The practice song for December might be a Christmas carol. Christmas music from the Children’s Songbook, Hymns, or the Friend is appropriate to use in Primary.
1. Bring crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and colored paper to Primary. Give each child a piece of colored paper. Have the children fold the papers in half and then in half again to form cards. Let each child decorate his own card and sign it with a Christmas greeting for the bishop/branch president. Sing appropriate Christmas songs as the children decorate their cards. When the cards are completed, let the children sing to the bishop/branch president and give him their cards.
2. Bring a Nativity set to Primary. On the bottom of each piece, tape a slip of paper with either the title of a Christmas hymn/Primary song or a question about Christmas written on it. You might use some of the following questions: What city were Mary and Joseph traveling to when it was time for Baby Jesus to be born? (Bethlehem. Luke 2:4–6); When Jesus was born, where was He laid? (In a manger. Luke 2:7); What happened to the shepherds who were watching their flocks near Bethlehem? (An angel of the Lord came and declared the glad tidings. Luke 2:8–10); What did the multitude of heavenly hosts say to the shepherds? (“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13–14); Why did Joseph name the baby Jesus? (An angel revealed it to Joseph. Matt. 1:20–21); Whom did the Wise Men visit before going to Bethlehem and finding Jesus? (King Herod. Matt. 2:1–3); What gifts did the Wise Men bring Jesus? (Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matt. 2:11); Why didn’t the Wise Men return to King Herod to tell him where Jesus was? (They were warned in a dream to not return. Matt. 2:12); What was Joseph told to do after the visit of the Wise Men, and why? (He was told to flee to Egypt because Herod would try to kill Jesus. Matt. 2:13); What happened to all of the little children in and near Bethlehem two years old and under when King Herod found out that the Wise Men were not coming back? (They were killed. Matt. 2:16).
3. Read and discuss with the children Matthew 25:40. Help them understand that when they love and serve others, they are loving and serving the Savior. Supply strips of paper for each child to make a paper chain Advent calendar for the remaining days before Christmas. Have them write a good deed they will do on each piece of paper. Tell them to choose the good deed they will do for today and glue or staple that strip together. Have them add a link to their chains each day after they do the good deed.
4. On small slips of paper, write some of the gifts that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given the children. Place these pieces of paper in small boxes and wrap them. Let the children share their favorite parts of Christmas. Then have them open the wrapped boxes and discuss the gifts inside that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given them. Sing appropriate Christmas hymns as you open the gifts.
5. Invite two adult ward/branch members to tell the story of the Savior’s birth from the Bible (Luke 2; Matt. 2) and from the Book of Mormon (Hel. 14:1–5; 3 Ne. 1:4–15, 21). Help the children understand that the whole earth was awaiting the birth of the Savior. Write the scripture references on a piece of paper for each child and suggest that they share these two different accounts of the Savior’s birth with their families.
6. Invite a mother from the ward/branch to bring her baby into Primary and talk about how its name was selected. Remind the children that during the Christmas season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Tell them that Jesus Christ has many names that help us understand what He has done for us. Give each class one of the following scripture references, with one of His names and its meaning, to look up, read, and then report to the entire Primary: Matt. 1:23, “Emmanuel” (“God with us”); Matt. 16:16, “Christ” (“Son of the living God”); John 10:14 “Good Shepherd” (He leads, guides, and protects us); 2 Tim. 1:10, “Saviour” (He saves us from death); 1 Ne. 10:4, “Messiah” (“Savior of the world”); D&C 18:11, “Redeemer” (He pays for our sins); Moses 5:7, “Only Begotten” (The only son of God in the flesh).
7. For additional resources, please see the following in the Friend: “Beneath the Christmas Tree,” Dec. 1995, p. 8, and “Treetop Tradition,” Dec. 1996, p. 16.