Invite the children to sit on the floor in a circle, and roll a ball to one of them. Ask that child to share something he or she has learned recently about the gospel at home or in Primary. Then invite the child to roll the ball to someone else. Repeat until every child has had a chance to share something.
Little children may not know a lot about what their bishop does to serve them and other ward members. You can help them appreciate their bishop’s service.
- Print out as many balloons as you think you will use. I like to use 8-10.
- Print out enough blank cards on card stock to write your bishops name.
- Print “Bishop” for Don’t pop the balloons on card stock so the children can not see through the paper.
Don’t Pop the Balloons
Don’t Pop the Balloons is like hangman just not as morbid. Use the”Bishop” and with the blank cards write your Bishops name
. Turn the letters face down on the chalkboard.
Ask the children to take turns guessing a letter of the alphabet. When a letter in thank you is guessed, turn it over. If the letter is not in the word, “Pop” a balloon but taking it away. The object of the game is to guess the phrase before the balloons are all gone. I like to write the letter they guessed on the balloon just to remember. Print out as many balloons as you would like. I like to use between 8-10.
After they have solved it ask…
What are some ways our bishop [branch president] helps us live the gospel?
What characteristics do you admire in our bishop? How is the bishop a good example for you? How can you be a good example to others?
What important spiritual gift is a bishop given? Have a child read D&C 46:27–29 for the answer. The gift of discernment the bishop is given inspiration to know important things about his ward members, such as who might be in need of spiritual help or whom to call to a position.
Scriptural and Historical Accounts
Responsibilities of a Bishop
In early 1831, almost a year after the Church was organized, many people were joining the Church and gathering in Ohio, as the Lord had commanded. As the Church grew, Joseph Smith
needed additional leaders to help with the work of the Church. The Church was facing many financial (money-related) challenges. Many of the Saints who gathered to Kirtland were poor
. They had no land or money and little food, clothing, or other things that were necessary for them to live. The Church also needed money to build a temple and to publish written materials such as revelations and missionary pamphlets. The Prophet himself did not have a home or a way to provide for his family, and other Church leaders who were serving in the Church full-time also needed help in supporting their families.
The Prophet asked the Lord what should be done to provide for all of these needs. In February 1831 the Prophet received a revelation calling Edward Partridge
, who had only been a member of the Church for two months, to serve as the first bishop of the Church. The bishop’s first responsibility was to help the Prophet provide for the physical and financial needs of the members of the Church. Joseph Smith received other revelations in the next few months that helped Bishop Partridge know what else he was to do as bishop.
When Church members began to gather in Missouri at the end of 1831, Bishop Partridge was called by the Prophet to move to Missouri and be the bishop there
. Newel K. Whitney
was called to be the bishop for the Saints who remained in Ohio.
To emphasize that bishops are called by God, tell the following story about Bishop Newel K. Whitney, the second bishop of the Church:
When Newel K. Whitney was called to be a bishop
, he did not feel that he would be able to be a good bishop. He was friends with the Prophet Joseph Smith and said to him, “I cannot see a bishop in myself, brother Joseph; but if you say it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll try.” “You need not take my word alone,” answered Joseph. “Go and ask Father for yourself.”
Newel Whitney decided to do as the Prophet had advised. Before he went to bed, he prayed to know if he should accept the call as bishop. His humble prayer was answered. He heard a voice from heaven say, “Thy strength is in me.” These simple words told Brother Whitney what he wanted to know. He went to the Prophet and told him that he was willing to accept the calling of bishop. This experience and others helped Newel Whitney know that the Lord is in charge of the Church. (See B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:271.)
As the Church continued to grow, other bishops were called to lead the members. When Bishop Whitney was called, Bishop Partridge became known as the First, or Presiding, Bishop of the Church. He had responsibility over all the other bishops.
- Ribbon to tie the letters together
- Print the THANKS Letters on card stock
Print the letters on card stock. Give each child a letter that they can color and cut out. When they are done tie each letter together with a ribbon. Tape the “Thank you” on the Bishop’s door.
Even at a young age, children can find joy in doing their best to keep the Lord’s commandments.
Invite the children to choose something they will do because of what they learned today, such as thanking the bishop for his service or preparing to defend their beliefs by learning the Articles of Faith.
There are 3 options with the lessons. The first one is a color PDF of the full lesson, all the pictures, scriptures and art projects with the watermark removed.
The next option is all the pictures in Black and White
The 3rd option is a PowerPoint with all the pictures and scriptures that you can pull up on your device. It is like having a digital copy. It eliminates the printing and the cutting out. This makes the lesson easier come Sunday morning.
All three options are now included in a zip drive that will immediately be emailed to you for $2.75. You can pick and choose from all three options to make your lesson just right for you!
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