“The Kingdom Up on High,” Friend, Aug. 2008, 14–16
Jesus came to John the Baptist,
In Judea long ago,
And was baptized by immersion
In the River Jordan’s flow.
“To fulfill the law,” said Jesus,
When the Baptist questioned why,
“And to enter with my Father
In the Kingdom up on high.”
Now we know that we must also
Witness faith in Jesus’ word,
Be baptized to show obedience,
As was Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(“Baptism,” Children’s Songbook, 100–101)
McKenzie, age eight, has recently been baptized and confirmed. She said, “The best part of being baptized was when I went into the water. I felt pure, comfortable, excited, and happy.” Matthew, age seven, is looking forward to his baptism and confirmation. He said, “Men with the priesthood will put their hands on top of my head.”
Matthew and McKenzie understand that being baptized and confirmed is a commandment. They know that they need to follow Jesus’s example so they can enter “the kingdom up on high” to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ someday (see 2 Nephi 31:17–18).
Complete the circle puzzle on page 14 to remind you that being baptized by immersion, being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost are some of the most important things you will ever do.
Cut out the blank circle and the two halves of the divided circle. Glue each piece of the divided circle to the blank circle to complete the puzzle. Read the scripture, and think about how baptism and confirmation go together.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Prepare the materials for the question-and-answer game found in Primary 3, lesson 11, p. 53. Provide the questions and an item to toss for each class. Begin by asking the children to listen as you sing or say the words to the first verse of “I Like My Birthdays” (p. 104). Leave out the word eight. Explain that we look forward to all of our birthdays, but our eighth birthday is special because it means we are old enough to be baptized and confirmed. Review Doctrine and Covenants 68:27, and help the children understand that it is a commandment to be baptized and confirmed. Display GAK 208 (John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus), and review the story of Jesus’s baptism. Invite the children to share what they know about baptism and confirmation. Review the covenants that are made at baptism. Be sure to include answers to the questions in the game so the children will be familiar with them.
Pass out the game to each class, and allow enough time for them to complete it. Share the story about a young girl who wanted to be baptized (Primary 3, lesson 11, p. 53). Bear testimony of the importance of baptism and confirmation, and sing a song that is familiar to the children, about baptism or the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For older children: If possible, provide copies of the Faith in God guidebook, and review pages 2–3, which discuss the covenants made at baptism. Display GAK 208, and invite the children to share the story of Jesus’s baptism. As a Primary, look up Doctrine and Covenants 20:73. Invite a child to read the baptismal prayer. Write these scriptures on the chalkboard: D&C 68:27; 2 Nephi 9:23; D&C 20:74; D&C 20:46. Using the same questions in the game, invite the children to find the answers to the questions using these scriptures.
Ask the children to listen as you hum or play “The Holy Ghost” (p. 105). The song will give them a clue about the important person you are going to talk about. Invite the children to share what they know about the Holy Ghost, and include in the discussion the four statements found in Primary 3, lesson 12, p. 57.
Display GAK 601 (Baptism) and 602 (The Gift of the Holy Ghost). Review the ordinances of baptism, confirmation, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Provide each child with a copy of the baptism and confirmation circle found on page 14. Allow them time to complete the activity. Emphasize that these ordinances are linked together and that the circle will help them remember the importance of both experiences.
Invite the children to share experiences when they were prompted by the Holy Ghost to make good choices. (If additional experiences are needed, see “Friends by Mail” on the inside front cover of the Friend in these issues: Dec. 2005; Jan., May, Aug., Nov. 2006; Jan. 2007.) After each experience is shared, sing the last two phrases of the second verse of “The Holy Ghost,” beginning with “Oh, may I always listen to that still small voice.” Bear your testimony of the blessing of having the gift of the Holy Ghost and how He has helped you make righteous choices.
Write the word Remember on the chalkboard. Invite the children to share things they think are important to remember. Add the words Jesus Christ after Remember. Invite the children to share why they think it is important to remember Jesus Christ.
For younger children: Explain that you are thinking of an important way to remember Jesus Christ. Share three or four simple clues to help the children guess that you are thinking of the sacrament. Display GAK 603 (Blessing the Sacrament) and 604 (Passing the Sacrament). Invite the children to share what they know about the sacrament. Read the sacrament prayers (see D&C 20:77, 79), and ask the children to listen for the word remember. Discuss what occurs in sacrament meeting to prepare for the sacrament and why it is important to be reverent at church. Review the covenants made at baptism, and help the children understand that during the sacrament we have the opportunity to renew—or promise again that we will keep—the covenants we have made.
For older children: Display GAK 603 and 604. Divide the room in half, and have one side look up Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79 and the other half look up Moroni 4:3; 5:2. Read Doctrine and Covenants 20:77 and Moroni 4:3 at the same time. Do the same with Doctrine and Covenants 20:79 and Moroni 5:2. Review the covenants made at baptism, and help the children understand that during the sacrament we have the opportunity to renew the covenants we have made.
Conclude by role-playing situations for all of the children where understanding baptismal covenants can help them make good choices (see TNGC, 178; Primary 3, lesson 33, p. 163). Sing “I Will Be Valiant” (p. 162), and bear testimony of the privilege of partaking of the sacrament and renewing covenants.
Gather and prepare the materials to play “Keeping Our Baptismal Covenant” (Friend, Oct. 2006, 24). Begin by telling the story “Clean Again” (Friend, Oct. 2006, 4). On the chalkboard write the steps of repentance, and review them with the children (see Primary 3, lesson 10, p. 46). Sing the first two lines of the second verse of “Help Me, Dear Father” (p. 99).
Play “Keeping Our Baptismal Covenant.” During the game, whenever a child lands on a square that requires him or her to move back, discuss the steps of repentance and invite the children to suggest ways to do what the songs teaches: “Making things right, and changing my ways.” Conclude by singing the second verse of “Help Me, Dear Father.” Bear testimony of repentance.
Song presentation: “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” (p. 102). Sing or play the first line of “Nephi’s Courage” (pp. 120–21) and the chorus of “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (pp. 172–73). Help the children recognize that both of these songs are about scripture stories. Display GAK 208, and invite the children to share what they know about this event. Read Matthew 3:13–17. As you teach the first verse of “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized,” invite the children to raise their hands when the song reminds them of events that occurred in the scripture account.
As you teach the song, direct the children’s listening by asking questions such as “What is the name of the river where Jesus was baptized?” “Who was there when Jesus was baptized?” “What do I follow when I am baptized?” “How am I baptized?” “What power is used to baptize?” “Whose kingdom will I be a member of when I am baptized?” “What will guide me every hour?” This song provides a wonderful opportunity to teach important doctrine to the children through song. Bear testimony of these important truths as you teach.
The melody of this song is gentle and soothing. Invite the children to sing it reverently. It may be helpful to teach it at a slower tempo than is suggested. Then when the children are familiar with the words, increase the tempo to what the composer recommends. To add interest as you review this song, sing the first two lines softer, and then increase the volume when the melody goes up on the third line. Help the children recognize that the melody on the last line goes down in pitch, which invites them to sing the last line softly.