“Heed the Prophets—Follow What They Say,” Friend, Apr. 2008, 12–14
Now we have a world where people are confused.
If you don’t believe it, go and watch the news.
We can get direction all along our way,
If we heed the prophets—follow what they say.
These words from “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11) teach you to heed and follow the prophet. The words heed and follow mean to listen and obey. Can you think of a time when you listened to the prophet? Can you think of a time when you or your family chose to obey and do what the prophet asked you to do? How did you feel when you obeyed?
Listen to some Primary children share what it means to follow the prophet: Austin said, “When I do what he says, it makes me happy.” Lindsay said, “The prophet has asked me to wear modest clothes, attend church, read my scriptures, and pray. He wants me to be baptized, choose the right, and follow the examples of my mom and dad.”
Doctrine and Covenants 21:5 states, “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth.” This scripture teaches you that the prophet will always say what Heavenly Father wants you to know. The prophet will always show you the way to live so that you can return to Heavenly Father someday.
Remove page 12, and mount it on heavy paper. Listen to the prophet speak at general conference, and choose three things he asks you to do. Write them on the poster. Hang the poster where you can see it to remind you to follow the prophet.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Show GAK 407 (John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood) and 408 (Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration). Briefly share how John the Baptist came to Joseph Smith to restore the Aaronic Priesthood and how Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. Explain how Heavenly Father can bless Church members through the priesthood. Invite a priesthood leader approved by the bishop or branch president to talk to the Primary about how the priesthood blesses us.
Display GAK pictures that show some of the blessings members receive because of the priesthood: GAK 601 (Baptism), 602 (The Gift of the Holy Ghost), 603 (Blessing the Sacrament), 609 (Young Couple Going to the Temple), and 613 (Administering to the Sick). Provide paper and pencils, crayons, or markers. Invite the children to draw examples of how the priesthood has blessed their lives.
Invite a child to read D&C 107:64–67. Ask: “Who is the ‘Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church’?” Teach the children that our prophet holds all priesthood keys; that is, he has the authority to preside over the whole Church. Sing “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19). Share your testimony of the prophet and of the priesthood.
Show GAK 520 (Gordon B. Hinckley), and share the story told by President Hinckley (1910–2008) of a woman who forgave a teenager for making a wrong choice that changed her life forever (see “Be More Forgiving,” Friend, Mar. 2007, 2–3). Explain that prophets have taught us to be forgiving.
Hum or play “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99), and ask the children if they recognize the song. If they do, sing it together. If not, help the children learn and sing the phrase “Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive.”
Use dramatizations to involve the children in learning scripture stories about forgiveness (see “Dramatizations,” TNGC, 165–66). For example: Genesis 42–45—Joseph forgives his brothers; 1 Nephi 7—Nephi forgives his brothers. Sing the phrase “Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive” after each dramatization.
Show GAK 240 (Jesus the Christ), and share your testimony of the Savior’s Atonement. Help the children understand how He made it possible for us to repent and be forgiven of our mistakes and sins so that we can return to live with Heavenly Father again. Conclude by singing the phrase “Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive.”
Show GAK 102 (Building the Ark) and 520 (Gordon B. Hinckley). Compare and contrast the prophet Noah and President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008). Help the children recognize that although only Noah’s family listened to his words, many Church members listened to President Hinckley’s counsel to read the Book of Mormon. With approval from the bishop or branch president, invite a family to share their experience of following the prophet by reading the Book of Mormon.
Help the children look up 2 Nephi 32:9. Memorize the phrase “I say unto you that ye must pray always.” Learn the song “Don’t Ever Forget to Pray” (Friend, Apr. 2006, 11), or sing “A Child’s Prayer” (pp. 12–13). Bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer.
Create a “Follow the Prophet” maze by using Primary 3, lesson 8, p. 39. Enlarge each picture of the maze on a separate piece of paper. Place the figure of the child at the top left of the chalkboard and the picture representing the Savior at the bottom right of the chalkboard. Place the other pictures around the room. On separate pieces of paper, write the phrases that go with each picture. These will be used as clues.
Sing verse 9 of “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11), and ask the children to listen for what we can get if we follow the prophet. Teach them that our prophet gives us direction all along our way. If we follow him, we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Invite a child to choose a clue. Ask his or her class and teacher to act out the clue for the other children to guess. When a child answers correctly, have him or her find the matching picture in the room. Place the picture on the chalkboard next to the figure of the child. Sing the chorus of “Follow the Prophet” after you put up each picture. Continue to act out clues and post the pictures on the chalkboard until the maze is completed. Bear testimony of the blessings that come from following the prophet.
For older children: Choose scriptures that go with the clues, and write the scripture reference on the clue. Ask the children to look up the reference and read the scripture before acting out the clue.
Song presentation: “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” (Hymns, no. 19). Hum or play the first line. Ask the children to raise their hands if they have heard this hymn before. Share the first five words: “We thank thee, O God,” and explain that this hymn describes blessings we have received from Heavenly Father, and when we sing this hymn, it is an opportunity to give thanks for His blessings. Invite the children to share what they know and feel about this hymn.
Hold up a hymnbook, and show where the hymn is found. Point out that the word brightly is used to describe how it should be sung. Help the children feel the rhythm by clapping the steady beat of 4/4 time as the pianist plays the first line. Then have the children clap the rhythm of the first line. Divide the room in half. Have one side clap the steady beat and the other side clap the rhythm of the melody line. Change sides and repeat.
As you teach the words of the hymn, invite the children to listen for blessings that Heavenly Father has given to them and how these blessings help us (for example: the gospel, a prophet to guide us, and so on). Help the children recognize the phrases that describe things they should do because they have been blessed (for example: “feel it a pleasure to serve” and “love to obey thy command”).
Share Mosiah 2:41. Testify that we are blessed and happy when we do what the prophet asks of us.
Friend references: Fiction: “Forgiving Laurie,” Nov. 2000, 38–40; “Holding a Grudge,” Nov. 2006, 13; “Pebble of Forgiveness,” Feb. 2003, 42–44; “Read the Book of Mormon,” Mar. 2004, 11; “Forgive,” Oct. 2005, 2–3.