“The Greatest Gift,” Liahona, Dec. 2007, F4–F5
Do you like to receive gifts? We all do. Gifts show us that someone cares about us. Knowing that someone cares about us and loves us makes us happy. When we love people, we want to give them gifts.
What kinds of gifts do you like to give to the people you love? The gifts that you give do not need to be fancy or expensive. Your gift can be reading a story to a younger child, helping your mom or dad prepare a meal, or saying a kind word.
Because our Heavenly Father loves us, He gives us many gifts. In John 3:16, we read about a most precious gift: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus came to earth as a baby born in Bethlehem. His life is an example for us. He also atoned for our sins and gave us the opportunity to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. If we follow Jesus Christ in faith, we can receive another wonderful gift: “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 6:13).
As we follow Jesus Christ in faith, we look forward to the time when He will return to earth. We know that He will come again and that someday we will receive the greatest of all the gifts of God—eternal life.
Each of the ornaments on the opposite page is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Read the scripture references to find out how the ornaments are symbols. Mount the ornaments on heavy paper, and cut them out. Cut out the scriptures. Glue or tape each one on the back of the correct ornament to remind you how the ornament is a symbol of Christ. Put a ribbon through the top of the ornament, and hang it where your family can enjoy it.
Shepherd: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” —John 10:11
King: “And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion.” —Moses 7:53
Star: “There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” —Matthew 2:1–2
Lamb: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” —John 1:29
Gift: “Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.” —Ether 12:11
Note: This activity may be copied or printed from the Internet at www.lds.org. For English, click on “Gospel Library.” For other languages, click on “Languages.”
Display a flag, a heart, and a smiley face. Ask the children what these may represent (country, love, happiness). Explain that each is a symbol. Ancient prophets told people that Jesus Christ would come to earth. Some used symbols to teach of Christ. Display a picture of a lamb (see Primary 2 manual, 123). Explain that a lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Discuss ways that Jesus Christ is like a lamb. Pass out the following scripture references: Genesis 22:3–8; Exodus 12:21–28; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Nephi 12:6. Read the scriptures, and discuss how each tells of Christ. Explain that when we understand symbols, we can see that the ancient prophets foretold Christ’s coming to the earth. Bear testimony that just as you know that Christmas is coming soon, the prophets knew that Christ would be born.
Invite two children to hold Gospel Art Picture Kit 238 (The Second Coming) and 239 (The Resurrected Jesus Christ). Have the children point out what is the same and what is different. Ask the children holding the pictures to read the title and the summary on the back. Explain that one is a picture of what Jesus might look like when He comes again and the other is a picture of what He might have looked like when He was resurrected. Tell them that there is a reason for the similarity. Ask all of the children to look up Acts 1:11. Display a globe. As you read the scripture, move the picture of the resurrected Jesus away from the globe as you read, “… taken up from you into heaven.” Move the picture of the Second Coming toward the globe as you read, “… shall so come in like manner.” The week before Primary, invite several children to be prepared to share things they have learned this year that will help them prepare for the Second Coming. Between participants, sing songs you learned this year and review the principles the songs teach. Bear testimony that as we follow Jesus in faith, we can enjoy eternal life.