As members of your class have studied the Doctrine and Covenants this year, they may have found passages about the Savior that are meaningful to them. Begin class by giving them opportunities to share these passages. How has our study of the Doctrine and Covenants so far deepened our faith in Jesus Christ?
Because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is such an essential doctrine, consider spending sufficient time ensuring that class members understand it. To do this, you could display on the board questions like these:
What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
How does it affect my daily life?
How does it affect my eternal life?
How do I receive the Savior’s redeeming power in my life? Give class members a few minutes to ponder these questions and to look for scriptures that help answer them. Class members could write their scripture references on the board, and you could discuss a few of them as a class. Here are some examples:
Tell the children the following story, using the diagram as desired:
A man walking along a road fell into a pit so deep he could not climb out
. No matter what he did, he could not get out by himself. The man called for help and rejoiced when a kind passerby heard him and lowered a ladder down into the pit
. This allowed him to climb out of the pit and regain his freedom.
Who do you think is the man in the pit?
We are like the man in the pit.
What is the pit?
Sinning is like falling into the pit, and we can’t get out by ourselves.
Who is the nice man that helps us out the the pit?
Just as the kind passerby heard the man’s cry for help, Heavenly Father sent his Only Begotten Son to provide the means of escape.
What do you think the ladder is?
Jesus Christ’s atonement could be compared to lowering a ladder into the pit; it gives us the means to climb out.
Just as the man in the pit had to climb up the ladder, we must repent of our sins and obey the gospel principles and ordinances to climb out of our pit and make the Atonement work in our lives. Thus, after all we can do, the Atonement makes it possible for us to become worthy to return to Heavenly Father’s presence.
Joseph Smith saw the risen Savior and bore a powerful witness that Jesus Christ lives.
April 3, 1836, was Easter Sunday. After helping administer the sacrament to Saints gathered in the newly dedicated Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery found a quiet place behind a veil in the temple and bowed in silent prayer. Then, on this sacred day when Christians everywhere were commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the risen Savior Himself appeared in His temple
, declaring, “I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:4).
What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is “he who liveth”?
It doesn’t just mean that He rose from the tomb on the third day and appeared to His Galilean disciples. It means that He lives today. He speaks through prophets today. He leads His Church today. He heals wounded souls and broken hearts today. So we can echo the words of Joseph Smith’s powerful testimony: “After the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony … which we give of him: That he lives!” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22). We can hear His voice in these revelations. We can witness His hand in our lives. And we can each feel “the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” (Hymns, no. 136).
To help class members study Joseph Smith’s testimony, you could divide them into two groups and assign each group to read either Doctrine and Covenants 76:11–14, 20–24 or 110:1–10. Invite each class member to find at least one word in these verses that describes the Savior. Class members could take turns writing the words they found on the board, and you could use these words to guide a discussion about the Savior’s attributes and power.
How does Joseph Smith’s testimony strengthen our faith in the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ?