“March 8–14. Doctrine and Covenants 23–26: ‘Strengthen the Church,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“March 8–14. Doctrine and Covenants 23–26,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Show a picture of Emma Smith (see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families). Invite the children to share what they know about her, including things they may have learned studying Doctrine and Covenants 25 this past week. “Chapter 13: Joseph and Emma” (Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 51–55) can help.
The Lord counseled the early leaders and friends of the Church to pray (see Doctrine and Covenants 23:6) and study the scriptures (see Doctrine and Covenants 26:1). How can you help the children make prayer and the scriptures part of their lives?
Read to the children from Doctrine and Covenants 23:6, beginning with “you must pray.” Help them identify the different ways and places the Lord said we should pray. Invite them to draw a picture of themselves praying in one of those ways or places.
If needed, explain to the children how to pray. A song about prayer, like “I Pray in Faith” (Children’s Songbook, 14), can help.
Read to the children, “Let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures” (Doctrine and Covenants 26:1). Tell them why you study the scriptures. Help them think of ways they can learn from the scriptures, even if they can’t read yet.
Sing together “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, 109) or another song about prayer and scripture study. Help the children discover the blessings promised in the song. Tell them about spiritual feelings you have had when praying and reading the scriptures.
The Lord said that sacred music “is pleasing unto me.” Help the children see singing as not just a fun activity but also a way to worship Him.
Invite each child to share his or her favorite hymn or Church song, and sing some of them together. Read Doctrine and Covenants 25:12 to the children, and invite them to imagine how Heavenly Father and Jesus feel when They hear us sing these songs.
Teach the children a song about singing, such as “Lift Up Your Voice and Sing” (Children’s Songbook, 252), or a song about Jesus Christ, such as “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook, 34–35). Invite them to sing the song with their families this week.
The children you teach are preparing to make their first covenant with Heavenly Father when they are baptized. How can you help them see how precious our covenants are?
Read Doctrine and Covenants 25:13 to the children. Explain that the word “cleave” in this verse means to hold tightly to something. To help them understand, pass something solid, like a rock (or even an iron rod), around the room and invite the children to hold the object as tightly as they can. Explain that cleaving to our covenants means holding on to (or keeping) the promises we make with Heavenly Father and never letting go (or never giving up).
Use this week’s activity page to teach the children about the times when we make covenants with Heavenly Father. Read Doctrine and Covenants 25:15, and explain that the “crown of righteousness” represents the blessing of returning to live with God, our Heavenly King.
When the Church was first organized, there weren’t many members. The Lord asked the Saints to build up the Church by sharing the gospel and strengthening one another. We can do the same today.
Ask the children to find every instance of the words “exhortation” and “exhort” in Doctrine and Covenants 23:3–7; 25:7. Help them define these words. How might exhorting someone strengthen them? Invite the children to role-play “exhorting” someone but doing so with love.
How can we do better in the work of strengthening other members of the Church? To illustrate this principle, give one child a task that requires many helpers. Then ask other children to help, and discuss how much easier the task became. Share an experience in which you were strengthened by the service of a fellow Church member.
Joseph Smith suffered many trials, but he was able to “be patient in afflictions” because the Lord promised that He would always be with him.
Help the children list on the board some of the afflictions or challenges that Joseph Smith and other early Saints were facing (see “Chapter 11: More People Join the Church,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 46–47, or the corresponding video on ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Then invite them to discover what the Lord said to Joseph about his afflictions in Doctrine and Covenants 24:1, 8. How can we seek the Savior’s help when we are having a difficult time?
To teach the children that sometimes we need to be “patient in [our] afflictions,” you could show the video “Continue in Patience” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Ask the children to think of something they really want but have to wait for. Why does the Lord sometimes require us to have patience during challenging times in our lives? How does He let us know that He is “with [us]” during our afflictions?
Soon after Emma Smith was baptized, the Lord told her, “Cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.” Consider how this counsel could bless the children you teach.
Read together Doctrine and Covenants 25:13, and ask the children what it means in this verse to “cleave unto the covenants” we make. To illustrate, pass around objects that are firmly fastened together and let the children try to tear them apart. Why is the word “cleave” a good word to describe how we should feel about our covenants?
Review together some of what you know about Emma Smith’s life (see “Chapter 13: Joseph and Emma” [Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 51–55], or the corresponding video on ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Give each child a verse or two from section 25, and invite them to share how the Lord’s counsel and assignments might have helped Emma “cleave unto the covenants” she had made. How can we follow her example?
Invite the children to pick a favorite verse that you discussed together, write down the reference, and share it with a family member or friend.