December 28–January 3. Doctrine and Covenants 1: “Hearken, O Ye People”

“December 28–January 3. Doctrine and Covenants 1: ‘Hearken, O Ye People,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“December 28–January 3. Doctrine and Covenants 1,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2021

family reading scriptures

December 28–January 3

Doctrine and Covenants 1

“Hearken, O Ye People”

Your first step in preparing to teach should be to prayerfully study Doctrine and Covenants 1. As you do, listen for promptings about the children’s needs, and look for principles that will be meaningful to them. These impressions will help you plan meaningful activities to teach these principles.

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

Hold up the Doctrine and Covenants, and ask the children to share anything they know about this book. Who wrote it? What does it contain? Why is it important? For help, you could refer to “Chapter 23: The Doctrine and Covenants” (Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 90–92). Share your love for the Doctrine and Covenants and your eagerness to learn from it this year.

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Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children

Doctrine and Covenants 1:4

Through His prophets, the Lord warns us of spiritual danger.

The Lord declared that His voice is a “voice of warning.” How will you inspire the children to hear and obey the warnings He gives?

Possible Activities

  • Let the children hold pictures of warning signs—such as traffic hazards, bad weather, or poison—and talk about how they warn us of danger. Or tell a story about a time when you obeyed a warning. Compare these warnings to the warnings the Lord gives us through His prophets. Testify that He warns us because He loves us and wants us to be safe (see also this week’s activity page).

  • Read to the children from Doctrine and Covenants 1:4: “And the voice of warning shall be unto all people.” Share something that the prophet has recently taught that can keep us safe. Show related pictures, if possible. Talk about how you are following the prophet’s counsel.

Doctrine and Covenants 1:17, 29

Joseph Smith is God’s prophet.

As you and the children begin studying the Doctrine and Covenants, help them build their testimonies of Joseph Smith’s divine calling.

Possible Activities

  • Show a picture of the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families; see also Gospel Art Book, no. 87). Ask the children to stand next to the picture and share what they know about Joseph Smith.

  • Let the children hold a picture of the Savior and a picture of Joseph Smith. Talk to them about what the Savior gave us through Joseph Smith, such as commandments (see verse 17) and the Book of Mormon (see verse 29). Tell the children that in the Doctrine and Covenants they will learn about the commandments the Lord gave to the Church through Joseph Smith.

  • Share your feelings about Joseph Smith, and testify that God “called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven” (verse 17).

Doctrine and Covenants 1:38

The prophet’s words are God’s words.

The children you teach may have heard the President of the Church speak, but they may not realize that his words come from God. Help them learn to recognize the words of the prophet as God’s words.

Possible Activities

  • Play a simple game by giving instructions to one child and asking him or her to repeat the instructions for the other children. Help them see that following the child’s instructions is the same as following your instructions and that following the prophet is the same as following the Lord. Read to them the last line of Doctrine and Covenants 1:38: “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

  • Sing together a song about prophets, such as the last verse of “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110–11). Share your testimony that the prophet speaks the word of God.

  • Share a picture, recording, or video clip of the living prophet. Bear your testimony that the prophet tells us what God wants us to know. Invite the children to share how they feel about the prophet.

    general conference session

    The prophet teaches us what God wants us to know.

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Teach the Doctrine: Older Children

Doctrine and Covenants 1:15–17, 29–30

The Lord knew the challenges we would face, so He restored the gospel through Joseph Smith.

You can help the children prepare for future challenges by teaching them how the Restoration of the gospel provides spiritual protection.

Possible Activities

  • Help the children think of some of the problems in the world today. Review Doctrine and Covenants 1:15–16 with them, and help them identify some of the problems that the Lord prophesied would occur. Invite them to discover in verses 17 and 29–30 what the Lord has done to help us face the challenges of our time.

  • Ask the children to imagine they are preparing for a trip. What would they pack? How would it help them to know that it would rain during their trip or that their car would get a flat tire? Read together verse 17, and discuss what the Lord knew would happen to us and how He prepared for it. (If necessary, explain that a “calamity” is a disaster or terrible thing.) How do God’s commandments help us deal with the challenges of our time?

Doctrine and Covenants 1:30

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s “true and living church.”

How can you help the children appreciate the great blessings of belonging to “the only true and living church”?

Possible Activities

  • Invite the children to list some things that are living and some things that are not (if possible, bring pictures or examples). What is the difference between a living thing and a nonliving thing? Read together verse 30. What does it mean that the Church is “true”? that it is “living”?

  • Display a picture, such as a painting of the Savior, and ask the children to describe it with the lights in the room turned off. Use this activity to help the children see that for many people, the Savior’s true Church is in “obscurity” and “darkness.” How can we help others learn about the Church?

Doctrine and Covenants 1:37–38

The word of the Lord lasts forever.

You can help the children build their faith in Jesus Christ by teaching them that His word is sure and dependable.

Possible Activities

  • Help the children compare things that are temporary, like a bubble or a snowflake, with things that seem permanent, like a mountain or the sun. Ask them to find in verses 37–38 something that the Lord said is permanent. Why is it a blessing to know that God’s word “shall not pass away”?

  • Help the children understand that the “voice of my servants” includes the voices of our apostles and prophets. Help the children find “prophecies and promises” in a recent general conference address by one of the Lord’s servants. Bear your testimony that these words are inspired by the Lord and “shall all be fulfilled.”

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Encourage Learning at Home

Review with the children what they learned today, and invite them to pick one thing that they feel everyone should know about. Encourage them to share it with a friend or family member.

Improving Our Teaching

Children learn in many ways. “Not all children are alike, and each child is developing rapidly. Your efforts to teach children will be most effective as you use a variety of teaching methods,” including stories, visual aids, and music (Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 25).