January 18–24. Doctrine and Covenants 3–5: “My Work Shall Go Forth”

“January 18–24. Doctrine and Covenants 3–5: ‘My Work Shall Go Forth,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“January 18–24. Doctrine and Covenants 3–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2021

men working in field

Harvest Time in France, by James Taylor Harwood

January 18–24

Doctrine and Covenants 3–5

“My Work Shall Go Forth”

As you study Doctrine and Covenants 3–5, you may receive impressions about what the children you teach need to understand. The activities in this outline may also give you ideas.

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

Show the picture of Joseph Smith from this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, and help the children share what they know about the story it portrays. Help them remember the story of Martin Harris losing the first pages of the Book of Mormon translation (see “Chapter 4: Martin Harris and the Lost Pages,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 18–21; or Saints, 1:51–56).

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Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children

Doctrine and Covenants 3:7–10

I can choose the right when others try to get me to do wrong.

Help the children learn what Joseph Smith learned: if they trust Heavenly Father, He will be “with [them] in every time of trouble” (Doctrine and Covenants 3:8).

Possible Activities

  • Review the story of Martin Harris and the lost manuscript pages (see Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 18–21, or the corresponding video on Share with the children some potential situations when they might be tempted to do something they know isn’t right. How can Heavenly Father help us choose the right? (see Doctrine and Covenants 3:8).

    Martin Harris

    Martin Harris, by Lewis A. Ramsey

  • Read these words from Doctrine and Covenants 3:8: “He would have extended his arm and supported you.” Invite the children to stand and extend their arms as you read the phrase again. Share with them some ways the Lord may extend His arm to help them when others try to get them to do wrong things. Let them take turns extending their arms as they tell about other ways the Lord extends His arm to help us.

Doctrine and Covenants 4

The Lord needs me to do His work.

Children can “embark in the service of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:2) in many ways, and they can prepare now for additional opportunities in their future.

Possible Activities

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 4:1 to the children. Bring some pictures that depict God’s “marvelous” latter-day work (such as pictures of missionaries, temples, and the Book of Mormon). Let the children take turns selecting a picture and talking about it. Share why the Lord’s work is marvelous to you.

  • Help the children think of actions or draw pictures depicting the phrase “serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:2). Share an example of someone you know who serves God in this way.

  • Sing together a song about missionary work, such as “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (Children’s Songbook, 168). Discuss what the song teaches about how we can help God do His work.

Doctrine and Covenants 5:10

We have received the word of God through Joseph Smith.

How can you help the children strengthen their testimonies that Joseph Smith and other prophets teach the word of God?

Possible Activities

  • Hide a picture of Joseph Smith somewhere in the room (see Gospel Art Book, no. 87). Read Doctrine and Covenants 5:10, and invite the children to look for the picture to find out who the word “you” is referring to. Bear your testimony that we have received God’s word through Joseph Smith.

  • Show the children copies of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Explain that God gave us these scriptures through Joseph Smith. Share some of your favorite verses from these books, and tell why you are grateful for them.

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Teach the Doctrine: Older Children

Doctrine and Covenants 3:5–10; 5:21–22

I should care more about pleasing God than pleasing others.

As the children learn about Joseph Smith’s experience with the lost pages of the Book of Mormon translation, they can be inspired to remain faithful when others tempt them to be disobedient.

Possible Activities

  • A few days in advance, invite one of the children to come to class prepared to share the story of Joseph Smith and Martin Harris losing the first pages of the Book of Mormon translation (see Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 18–21; or Saints, 1:51–56). Read together Doctrine and Covenants 3:5–8; 5:21–22, and look for the blessings that come when we remain true to God.

  • Give the children time to think about a situation where a friend might try to get them to do something wrong. Invite them to find a passage in Doctrine and Covenants 3:5–8; 5:21–22 that could help them during those situations. Role-play a few examples.

Doctrine and Covenants 4

The Lord needs me to do His work.

Doctrine and Covenants 4 can inspire the children to be part of the Lord’s “marvelous work” (verse 1).

Possible Activities

  • Write on the board Serve God. Invite the children to search Doctrine and Covenants 4 and make a list of things they learn about what it means to serve God. Ask them to add to the list things they learn from the song “I Will Be Valiant” (Children’s Songbook, 162) or another song about serving God.

  • Bring tools (or pictures of tools) that someone might use to work in a field. How do these tools help us? Help the children find things in Doctrine and Covenants 4:5–6 that could be like tools for doing God’s work.

  • Invite full-time or ward missionaries to share something from Doctrine and Covenants 4 that has inspired them to do God’s work. What can we do to help with God’s work?

Doctrine and Covenants 5:1–7, 11, 16, 23–24

I can be a witness that the Book of Mormon is true.

Martin Harris was promised that he could be one of the witnesses of the gold plates if he was faithful. We won’t see the plates like Martin did, but we can receive a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon. How can you help the children develop and share their own witnesses of the Book of Mormon?

Possible Activities

  • Write questions like the following on the board, and help the children find answers in Doctrine and Covenants 5:1–3, 7, 11: What did Martin Harris desire to know? Who could Joseph Smith show the gold plates to? Why would seeing the plates likely not be enough to convince someone that the Book of Mormon is true?

  • Ask the children what a witness is and why a witness is important. What did Martin Harris need to do to be a witness of the gold plates? (see Doctrine and Covenants 5:23–24). Even though we haven’t seen the plates, what can we do to be witnesses of the Book of Mormon? (see Doctrine and Covenants 5:16; Moroni 10:3–5).

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Encourage Learning at Home

Encourage the children to write their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and share them with someone they know.

Improving Our Teaching

Adapt activities to accommodate children with disabilities. Small adaptations to activities can ensure that all children can learn from them. For instance, if an activity suggests showing a picture, you could sing a song instead to include children with visual impairments.