“November 29–December 5. Doctrine and Covenants 137–138: ‘The Vision of the Redemption of the Dead,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)
“November 29–December 5. Doctrine and Covenants 137–138,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2021
Record Your Impressions
Show a picture of Jesus Christ in the spirit world, such as the one found in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. Invite the children to share something they know about the spirit world.
In a vision, Joseph Smith saw members of his family together in the celestial kingdom. How can you use his vision to teach the children that families can be together forever?
Show a picture of someone in your family, and talk about how much you want to be with him or her in the celestial kingdom. Explain that Joseph Smith’s brother Alvin died as a young man and Joseph missed him very much. Read Doctrine and Covenants 137:1, 5, and ask the children who Joseph Smith saw in his vision of the celestial kingdom (see also Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 152–53). Invite the children to stretch their arms out wide to show how much they love their families, and ask them to share why they want to be with their families in the celestial kingdom.
Use Doctrine and Covenants 137:1–5 and this week’s activity page to help the children discover details about Joseph Smith’s vision of the celestial kingdom. Invite them to draw a picture of themselves and their family on the activity page while you play or sing a song about families, such as “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, 188).
The scriptures can sometimes be difficult to understand, especially for children. Doctrine and Covenants 138:11 teaches that the Holy Ghost can open “the eyes of [our] understanding.”
Show a picture of President Joseph F. Smith (see Gospel Art Book, no. 127). Explain that he was the sixth President of the Church, and one day he was reading the scriptures and pondering them (thinking about what they meant). As you read Doctrine and Covenants 138:6, 11, invite the children to pretend they are President Smith and do actions that go along with the words.
Tell the children about a time when you pondered something in the scriptures and the Holy Ghost helped you understand it. Sing together a song about scripture study, such as “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, 109). What does this song say we should do to understand the scriptures?
After Jesus Christ was crucified, He visited His faithful Saints in the spirit world. He instructed them to teach the gospel to those who had not received it.
Show a picture of a tomb (see Gospel Art Book, nos. 58, 59 or Bible Photographs, no. 14), or draw a picture of a tomb on the board. Show a picture of the Savior in the spirit world while His body was in the tomb (such as the one in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families). As you do, ask questions to help the children notice key details in Doctrine and Covenants 138:18–19, 23–24, 27–30, such as who Jesus visited, how they felt, and what He asked them to do.
Show a picture of missionaries (see Gospel Art Book, nos. 109, 110), and ask the children to share what missionaries do. You may also invite them to act out some of the things that missionaries do. Read Doctrine and Covenants 138:31–34 to the children. Explain that just as there are missionaries here on earth, there are also missionaries in the spirit world who teach the people there.
Joseph Smith had a vision of the celestial kingdom and saw his parents and his brother Alvin there. This vision teaches us that if we are righteous, our family relationships can continue in the next life.
Invite the children to read Doctrine and Covenants 137:1–5 and draw a picture of what they read (see also this week’s activity page). How might Joseph Smith have felt when he saw members of his family in the celestial kingdom?
Show the video “Families Can Be Together Forever” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org), or sing a song about families, such as “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, 188). What does the video or the song teach us about what we can do to make our families eternal?
What can the children learn from President Joseph F. Smith’s example that might improve the way they study the scriptures?
Invite the children to read Doctrine and Covenants 138:1–11, and help them write a one-sentence summary of President Joseph F. Smith’s experience. What did he do that led to his remarkable vision? What does it mean to ponder or reflect on the scriptures?
Ask the children what they do when they have questions about the gospel. Share some examples from the scriptures or your own life of when pondering the scriptures brought understanding from the Spirit (see, for example, 1 Nephi 11:1–6; Doctrine and Covenants 76:19–24; Joseph Smith—History 1:11–12).
President Joseph F. Smith learned that the work of preaching the gospel continues in the spirit world. This work ensures that everyone will have a chance to accept the gospel.
On the board, list some verses from section 138. Then list, in a different order, statements that summarize each set of verses. Invite the children to match the statements with the correct verses. Verses could include 12–16 (righteous spirits gather to wait for Jesus to appear), 18–19 (the Savior appears to the righteous spirits), 29–30 (Jesus appoints messengers to preach the gospel), 31–35 (the righteous spirits preach the gospel), and so on. After the children make a match, ask them to share what they learn from the verses.
Ask some of the children to read Doctrine and Covenants 138:33 to find out what principles of the gospel were taught to the spirits of the dead. Ask other children to read the principles taught in Articles of Faith 1:4. What is similar in these verses, and what is different? What does this teach us about Heavenly Father and His plan?
Invite the children to plan a time this week when they will ponder the scriptures they are reading.