Sharing Time: Heavenly Father Prepares the Prophet

    “Sharing Time: Heavenly Father Prepares the Prophet,” Liahona, Mar. 2001, 2

    Sharing Time:

    Heavenly Father Prepares the Prophet

    “God saw these souls that they were good, … and he said: These I will make my rulers” (Abr. 3:23).

    Heavenly Father gave you gifts and talents to help you bless others. Heavenly Father also gave our prophet certain gifts and talents and prepared him to become the prophet for our day.

    When President Gordon B. Hinckley was small, he became severely ill with whooping cough. The doctor told his mother he needed good clean air to breathe. The family moved to a farm during the summer months. Young Gordon worked hard. He learned that we can harvest food only after planting and caring for it. He learned that Heavenly Father blesses us, but He expects us to do the work first.

    One day when President Hinckley was about five years old, he was sitting on his front porch with some friends. A family of another race walked down the street. Young Gordon and his friends made some unkind remarks. His mother talked with them and told them that all people are sons and daughters of God. That day he learned we must respect and help one another, regardless of race, religion, wealth, or anything else.

    President Hinckley grew up in a home where learning was very important. His parents had a room filled with books, and he and his brothers and sisters often went there. Now in his 90s, he still loves to learn.

    Soon after young Gordon was ordained a deacon, his father took him to stake priesthood meeting. To open the meeting, the men sang “Praise to the Man” (Hymns, number 27), a wonderful song about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Of that experience, President Hinckley said: “Something happened within me as I heard those men of faith sing. There came into my boyish heart a knowledge, placed there by the Holy Spirit, that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of the Almighty” (“Joseph the Seer,” Ensign, May 1977, 66). Throughout his life, Gordon B. Hinckley has borne powerful testimony of Joseph Smith.

    In his patriarchal blessing, President Hinckley was told, “Thou shalt ever be a messenger of peace; the nations of the Earth shall hear thy voice and be brought to a knowledge of the truth by the wonderful testimony which thou shalt bear” (quoted in “President Gordon B. Hinckley,” The Friend, May 1996, 2–3). President Hinckley has visited many countries and spoken to millions of people. Everywhere he goes, he shares his love. By his example, President Hinckley invites us to follow the example of the Savior.

    Sharing Time Ideas

    1. Invite a member of the bishopric or branch presidency to talk about what it means when we raise our hands to sustain someone in a calling. Have him explain how people sustain him. Place the titles of various Church callings in a bag. Have a child draw a title from the bag; then ask how the children can support the person in that calling. Tell the children we also sustain our prophet by our actions. Have them list ways we can sustain him.

    2. Select pictures from the Gospel Art Picture Kit or the Primary manuals depicting some of President Hinckley’s counsel (obeying parents, serving a mission, appreciating nature, attending the temple, studying the scriptures, praying, and so on). Place the pictures on the wall. On the floor, place pieces of paper facedown with some of these teachings written on them. Have a child throw a beanbag onto a piece of paper, pick it up, and read it aloud. Help the children match the quality or teaching with the picture.

    President Hinckley’s Example


    Make a book about President Hinckley’s example by mounting this page on heavy paper and cutting out the five numbered boxes. Color the pictures, and fill in the blanks. Punch holes where indicated, and put the pages in order. Thread string through the holes, and tie the ends.

    Book about President Hinckley

    Illustrated by Jerry Harston

    1. President Hinckley worked hard—and still works hard.
      I can follow his example by __________________________.

    2. President Hinckley studied and learned—and still does.
      I can follow his example by __________________________.

    3. President Hinckley developed a testimony of Joseph Smith.
      I can follow his example by __________________________.

    4. President Hinckley respects all people.
      I can follow his example by __________________________.

    5. President Hinckley serves Heavenly Father.
      I can follow his example by __________________________.