Category Archives: Scriptures

Instant Lesson 2.0

This also makes a great instant family night lesson — just add refreshments!

See also Instant Lesson 1.0

Here’s another instant lesson idea to add to your bag of tricks. In a perfect world you will never be in the situation where a teacher cancels, or someone asks you to substitute at the last minute.  But we all know how it is to get a stomach bug in the middle of Saturday night and be laid up in bed.  Or how miserable it is to wake up Sunday morning with your child running a high fever.  When you get asked to fill in for a teacher who’s had to cancel last minute remember these instant lesson ideas! You may have no time to even pull up the lesson on your phone, much less read and prepare it, before you’re thrown into a classroom of children.  We’ve got you covered!

Grab the Gospel Art Book from your bookshelf. Or send a deputy to the library to grab several pictures of scripture stories from various books of scripture. Then ask each child to choose a picture and tell the story depicted. If you have time, turn to the actual scriptures and read at least one verse, to hear it in God’s words.

Then, ask the child to personalize the story: Have you ever felt like this scripture character? How did you face that situation in your own life? How might we show the same good qualities today? Can you think of a song that goes with this scripture story?

Now you’re ready for the unexpected!  (And the one thing you can expect with children is the unexpected!)


Thanks to Sister Brown for this great idea.


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Swing that Sword of Truth!

sword-of-truthToday’s guest author is Tina, mother of 6, a high school physics teacher who loves reading and listening to Broadway musicals.  Tina shares the following Primary lesson idea:

Today I taught my last Primary class to my wonderful 7 and 8-year-olds. I made them each (9 boys and 1 girl) a “Sword of Truth.”  The sword was made of Styrofoam wrapped with duct tape and aluminum foil. I wrote “Sword of Truth” on each one with an ordinary ballpoint pen.

For the lesson I read a scenario where a child either told a truth or a lie, each on a separate piece of paper. (Here’s the pdf: Telling a Truth or Telling a Lie) The children would tell me which it was. Then I crumpled up the strip of paper and they got to hit the crumpled paper with the sword of truth.

It’s been a wonderful year with them. They are the most energetic, enthusiastic, and delightful group of kids I’ve dealt with in a long time. I’m sure going to miss teaching these children.

It’s easy to make one or a dozen of these swords. Children of all ages would be thrilled to wield their “Sword of Truth.”


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February Sharing Time idea: Noah’s Ark vs. The Brother of Jared’s Arks



Click here for a pdf of this ready-to-use lesson plan!

The February 2017 theme is “When We Choose the Right, We Are Blessed.” The Sharing Time manual has some wonderful stories of scriptural heroes (men and women) choosing the right –  including Noah.

Children love the story of Noah and the ark. If your children are ready for a scripture challenge, teach them the difference between Noah’s ark and the brother of Jared’s eight arks (an ark just means a ship or boat). Review each scripture story (Genesis chapters 6-8 and Ether chapters 1-3, 6). Then hand out these six questions to groups of children to find the answers in the scriptures. Click here for a pdf of the following questions, with and without answers:

  Noah Brother of Jared
How many boats? One (Genesis 6:14) Eight (Ether 3:1)
What did the boat(s) look like? Three-story ark with a window and door (Genesis 6:16)  

Closed small barges with a door and holes on top and bottom that could be stopped up (Ether 2:16-17, 20)

How did they gather animals? Animals came to Noah (Genesis 6:20,  7:8-9)  

Brother of Jared had to catch the animals (Ether 1:41, 2:2-3)


How many people were in the boat(s)?


8 people (Genesis 6:10, 7:7)


At least 32 people (Ether 6:14-16)


How many days on the water? about 378 (Genesis 7:11-13, 8:13-16) (also see Liahona Sept 1984)


344 days (Ether 6:11)
Where did they land? Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4) Seashore (Ether 6:12)


For extra drama, help the children visualize the size of Noah’s ark: Genesis 6:15 gives the dimensions in cubits. Each cubit was about one and a half feet (see “Cubit,” Bible Dictionary). Ask a few math whiz children to figure the dimensions in feet: about 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high. If your chapel has a cultural hall, the average basketball court is 94 feet long by 50 feet wide by 10 feet tall to the top of the basketball rim. That means Noah’s ark was about the length of 4 1/2 cultural halls put end to end, about 2/3 as wide as a cultural hall, and about as tall as 4 1/2 basketball poles. That is a big floating house for a year.

APPLICATION: There are many lessons embedded in these stories, such as obedience (build that boat when God tells you!), faith (really, God? I’m going to get into that thing and not steer?), and trusting in God no matter what storm is raging outside (don’t think about the rain or the winds, just stay in the boat). Help the children see the connection to situations in their own lives.

Interested in more challenging scripture activities like these?

Getting Children to Open – not just bring – Their Scriptures

Primary as Pre-Seminary: Raising the Bar and Addressing the Boredom Challenge.


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Electronic scriptures in Primary?

The end goal is for children to learn to love the scriptures and hear God’s voice in His holy word. But how best to accomplish that goal? Specifically, should scriptures on electronic devices be allowed in Primary? You and the Lord will figure out the right answer for your Primary, and that answer may change over time. But here are a few considerations, and a list of pros and cons. Thanks to guests Stacy and Jennifer R. who added their thoughts!


  • Using phones to access scriptures should never be a means of separating those families with more money from those with less, or making any child feel uncomfortable if they don’t have a phone.
  • Stacy: “Whichever method you choose, give kids plenty of wait time for them to find the reference. It is very frustrating to still be looking for a scripture when someone is already reading it. When this happens a few times, kids lose interest in even trying to look up the reference.”


  • What better time to learn to use the Church’s extensive online materials and to learn appropriate etiquette regarding phone use than in Primary? Jennifer R.: “The Church has been asking all members to move toward online class manuals for years, in addition to the amount of resources being put into apps and web materials. Two weeks ago I showed both Junior and Senior Primary how to access the music app (the icon is green with a gold note) and make a playlist of this year’s Primary songs. (CDs are so ‘old school!’ They want mp3’s now!) Some may say the kids could end up just playing games on their phones. That could be true in some cases, just as some adults do in class. But the adults were never taught as children how to self-govern with smart phones. Perhaps we have a golden opportunity to teach the next generation of leaders some e-manners. Our Primary presidency does a good job of being in different parts of the room. They can see who isn’t looking up scriptures and then gently redirect the child. Phones get put under chairs if an activity or song requires action.”
  • Navigating in the scriptures can be easier with technology. This is especially helpful as children are beginning their exposure to the scriptures. For example, children need not know what book of scriptures contains Moses 1:39 in order to locate this scripture: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (from the Pearl of Great Price, not the Old Testament with the rest of Moses’ story, naturally).
  • Stacy adds: “For new or struggling readers there is the option of text to speech, which aids in comprehension. You can have one word read or a whole verse or chapter.”


  • I’d hate to think we’re raising a whole generation that can’t study the scriptures if the power is out. Or what if they’re called on a mission to a remote region where technology is scarce and electricity is precious and expensive — will their scripture study skills grind to a halt?
  • Research is mixed about how electronics affect understanding. For example, this Scientific American article states, “Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.” An article in is titled “Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper.” It states “in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper. When I need to read deeply—when I want to lose myself in a story or an intellectual journey, when focus and comprehension are paramount—I still turn to paper.” This absolutely applies to scripture study: focus and comprehension ARE paramount.
  • Stacy: “If using hard copies I always write the reference. And give tips, like this: Alma is in the Book of Mormon, about in the middle of the book, maybe even a page number.”

Stacy adds: We need not suppose that one way is better than another when we are working with children. Our way may not be better for them.

With all this in mind, here’s my personal thoughts. Ideally, I hope children learn to read the scriptures in both formats over time, and make intelligent choices about which format works best for them in what circumstances. Perhaps Primary leaders might have some weeks using only paper scriptures (borrowing copies from the library) and other weeks where either paper or electronics are allowed.

I’m sure the Lord will guide you as you seek to immerse His beloved children in His word in the scriptures.


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Listening for “My Word” in the Scriptures

20160111_184714Today’s guest contributor is Mackenzie, who has a fun family scripture study technique that would work beautifully in Primary as well. Mackenzie is a mother of two who enjoys outdoor sports and warm weather.

During scripture reading, Mackenzie gives her children a popsicle stick with a word that frequently appears in the scriptures, such as “Lord” or “God” (see photo) or “faith.” Then, as the scriptures are being read, each child holds up their word when they hear it. Mackenzie says it helps the children to focus and stay involved in scripture reading.  This would be a great Primary activity that even the Sunbeams would enjoy, whether they can read the words or not!  In fact, for the Junior Primary you might consider writing a word and adding a simple little drawing with it.

I can also imagine older children doing a “Word Choir” (!!) like a verbal equivalent of a bell choir. Cut out the words of a scripture individually. Give each child a word and ask them to unscramble themselves and stand in order. Then, each child reads their word in turn, holding up their word until the whole scripture verse comes together.

Even very young children can have positive experiences with the word of God in the scriptures.

~Marci with guest contributor Mackenzie

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Adapting the Same Lesson for Junior and Senior Primary

I was recently asked an excellent question: “I just got called as the Primary 2nd counselor and I’m super excited, but a little overwhelmed about Sharing Time. I’m not sure how to tailor the lessons to the younger vs. older kids. They seem VERY different, but the lesson outline is the same. Do you have any suggestions?”

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Plan activities that are picture-based for Junior Primary and word-based for Senior Primary. For example, “Follow the Prophet Tic Tac Toe” has a tic tac toe game board with pictures for Junior Primary and keywords for Senior Primary.
  2. While children of all ages can benefit from movement and application, this is even more important in Junior Primary. See Teaching to a Child’s Whole Body – resources for reaching children of all learning styles.
  3. Plan activities that are a little more challenging for Senior Primary. For example,  “Women and Service in the Kingdom: a Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys” has a puzzle activity for Junior Primary and a matching game for Senior Primary.
  4. Use the teachers in Junior Primary; use the kids in Senior Primary. You can ask the Senior Primary kids hard questions directly. But don’t be afraid to ask the same questions in Junior Primary; just let the teachers give the answers if it goes over the little kids’ heads. It’s good for the kids to be exposed to concepts even if they can’t quite grasp them yet. This has the added benefit of making the teachers feel involved and engaged. For example, in this lesson about families in the scriptures, I would explain that just like families in the scriptures, Heavenly Father has a plan for each child and each family today. I would ask Senior Primary children what that means. In Junior Primary I would ask the same question, but I wouldn’t expect the children to give useful answers. (The default answer for any question appears to be “Jesus,” which is a fine answer to many questions, but not all.) Inviting the teachers to give answers saves me from giving a solid lecture. It also helps to make the teachers feel like they’re in their own gospel learning class.  Teachers can also be useful when you need reinforcements. For example, go ahead and use that song that perfectly illustrates a gospel message, even if the little kids don’t know it yet. Ask the teachers to stand and join you in singing it. Any child who knows it can stand and sing too! Teachers can also read scriptures for you in Junior Primary so you’re not doing all the talking.
  5. Older kids can get into the scriptures themselves! It’s enormously satisfying to see the children begin to become familiar with the scriptures and to feel the power of God’s word. How to do it? See “Raising the bar and addressing the boredom challenge” and “Getting Children to Open – not just bring – Their Scriptures.” While this is particularly valuable in Senior Primary, don’t underestimate the readers in Junior Primary!  
 What works for you in adapting lessons for Junior and Senior Primary? Add your comments below!

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Getting Children to Open – not just bring – Their Scriptures

It’s great to reward the children for bringing their scriptures to Primary  — stickers on a chart or tokens in a jar, or a competition between classes, with a monthly class prize of a grab bag (stickers, erasers, etc…). But if you USE the scriptures EVERY WEEK, soon children will get the idea that if they don’t bring their scriptures, they’re missing out. Conversely, if you reward the children for bringing their scriptures but never open them, the children will get the mistaken impression that the only thing that matters is if you have the scriptures; it really doesn’t matter if you ever actually read them. There are far too many cobwebs on bookshelves in homes that bear witness of this empty concept. Here are a few ideas for using those scriptures children bring!

  • Read from the actual book of scriptures, even in Junior Primary. I use a technique to help even the youngest children get into the scriptures. I have a hot pink bookmark that I park in the scriptures and let the children find it, then we read that scripture. Read more about it here: Actively Getting Children into the Scriptures in Primary. I try to have children read at least one actual scripture from the book during every Sharing Time.

Two exciting things happened that told me this idea was working. Once while teaching Primary I said, “I have my hot pink bookmark hidden where this scripture is found.” A child said, “Oh, I love this game!” Then one autumn day young Logan looked out the window of the chapel and said, “Look! That bush is the color of Marci’s hot pink bookmark!” And it was!

Using actual scriptures gives children the visual cue to PAY ATTENTION to these special words. Reading God’s word from a poster is fine — but when they read it from the actual scriptures, children understand that these words are God’s words. I want them to learn the difference between made-up stories and God’s word. In fact, I want them to learn the difference between God’s word and a story about God’s word. All are fine – but using the scriptures themselves as a visual aid helps the children understand “good, better, best” when it comes to words – with God’s own word having unexplainable power. Having the children look for the hot pink bookmark in the scriptures also gets the children actively involved, more than just having me reading aloud from the scriptures.

  • Pass out scripture wordstrips as children enter the room.  In Senior Primary, I check to see who has scriptures as they enter the room. I give the children with scriptures one of the wordstrips, and ask the teacher to help them find it while the children are gathering. That way children are ready when it’s time to use those verses in the Sharing Time lesson. Occasionally we’ll take the time to pass out books of scripture from the library and have every child find a verse with the teacher’s help. But when you don’t have the time, passing out the wordstrips as children enter gives them time to find the verse. It also rewards those scripture-toting children with the chance to participate. (Hint: far more children bring copies of the Book of Mormon than the whole set of scriptures, so I try to use more scriptures from that book when possible.)
  • Post the scriptures I’m going to use on the board so that other children can follow along if they like. This is particularly good for soon-to-turn-twelve-year-olds and other children who are ready to take on a little more challenge. Often these children start to act up out of boredom — but you can engage them with the scriptures instead. Making it optional but available gives every child a chance to engage with the lesson at their own level.

Read more about Primary as pre-seminary here: Scriptures in Primary: Raising the Bar and Addressing the Boredom Challenge



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Reader’s Theater from the Scriptures: Abinadi and King Noah

Download a PDF of this Reader’s Theater – Abinadi.

Here’s a novel way to involve kids in the scriptures. While you can tell scripture stories to Junior Primary children, you can ask Senior Primary kids to perform the story using words of the scriptures themselves! Children take the parts of the various scripture characters, with a narrator reading the story line in between.

Here’s an example of this idea, using the story of Abinadi and King Noah. Children who are very familiar with the scriptures can read right from the scriptures. Unfortunately the story of Abinadi and King Noah spans several chapters, so we’ve just included excerpts here. But even reading from a script will get the children used to hearing the actual words of the scriptures, and help them to imagine these scenes as they actually unfolded. This helps the children see these stories as real events that happened to real people.


Readers for these parts needed:

Narrator, Abinadi, Noah, and two or more priests.

Before you begin, explain a few essential scripture words. Don’t try to explain every word. You may want to put these on wordstrips on the board so children can refer to the meanings as the words are read.

  • “pervert” = to mess something up
  • “mad” = crazy
  • “revile” = to criticize or say bad things about someone
  • “faggots” = a bundle of sticks tied together

Mosiah 11:20

Narrator:  And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy, saying:

Abinadi: Behold, thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me, saying, Go forth, and say unto this people, thus saith the Lord—Wo be unto this people, for I have seen their abominations, and their wickedness, and their whoredoms; and except they repent I will visit them in mine anger.

Mosiah 11:27-28

Narrator: Now when king Noah had heard of the words which Abinadi had spoken unto the people, he was also wroth; and he said:

King Noah: Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction? I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.

Mosiah 12:25-26

Narrator: And now Abinadi said unto them:

Abinadi: Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desire to know of me what these things mean? I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord.

Mosiah 13:1

Narrator: And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests:

King Noah: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad.

Mosiah 13:5-6

Narrator: Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord. And he spake with power and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying:

Mosiah 16:13

Abinadi: And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?

Mosiah 17:11-14

Narrator: And now king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying:

Priests (in unison): He has reviled the king.

Narrator: Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and he delivered him up that he might be slain. And it came to pass that they took him and bound him, and scourged his skin with faggots, yea, even unto death. And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:

Mosiah 17: 19-20

Abinadi: Thus God executeth vengeance upon those that destroy his people. O God, receive my soul.

Narrator: And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death.


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Families in the Scriptures: Musical Clues (Sharing Time or Family Night Lesson)


“Families are central to Heavenly Father’s plan.” Featuring families in the scriptures, here is a lesson plan built on the good ideas in the Sharing Time manual. Download the one-page lesson plan here:  Families in the Scriptures lesson outline.

Adam and Eve: Ask a child or teacher to read this clue: “Our family was the first family on earth.” Then give this musical clue: sing verse 1 of “Follow the Prophet,” Children’s Songbook, 110 — but hum the words “Adam” and “Eden” and let the children guess. Discuss the important role his wife Eve played as their family followed Heavenly Father’s plan for them. Read more (particularly Senior Primary children) in Moses 5:4-12, 58-59.

Abraham and Sarah: Ask a child or teacher to read this clue: “We were very old before we had a child.” Then give this musical clue: sing verse 4 of “Follow the Prophet,” Children’s Songbook, 110 — but hum the words “Abraham” and “Isaac” and let the children guess. Discuss the important role wife and mother Sarah played in having faith that God would keep his promises to send them a child, as their family followed Heavenly Father’s plan for them. Read more (particularly Senior Primary children) in Genesis 21:1-3.

Lehi and Sariah and sons: Ask a child or teacher to read these clues: “We crossed the ocean to get to the promised land” and “Our sons went back to Jerusalem to get sacred records to bring with us.” Then give this musical clue: sing “Nephi’s Courage,” Children’s Songbook, 120 — but hum the words “Nephi,” “Laman” and “Lemuel” and let the children guess. Discuss the important role the mother Sariah played as their family followed Heavenly Father’s plan for them. Read more (particularly Senior Primary children) about how happy Lehi and Sariah were when their sons brought back the plates: 1 Nephi 5:1, 7.

Joseph Smith Sr., Lucy Mack Smith, and Joseph Smith Jr.: Ask a child or teacher to read this clue: “Our son was the first person to ever see God the Father and Jesus Christ together.” Then give this musical clue: “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” Hymns, 26, or “On a Golden Springtime,” Children’s Songbook, 88. Their family followed Heavenly Father’s plan for them. Read more (particularly Senior Primary children) about all the people in the Smith family and Joseph’s remarkable experience in Joseph Smith History 1:3-4, 14-17.

Pioneer families: Ask a child or teacher to read this clue: “We crossed the plains to get to the promised land.” Then give this musical clue: “Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked,” Children’s Songbook, 214, or “Pioneer Children were Quick to Obey,” 215. Pioneer families followed Heavenly Father’s plan for them. Read more (particularly Senior Primary children) in Doctrine & Covenants 136:1-2, 20-21.

APPLICATION: Whatever your family looks like — whether a mom and dad, or just one parent, or grandparents, or whatever — your family can follow Heavenly Father’s plan for your family. You can pray to find out what Heavenly Father’s plan is for you. You can read the scriptures to find out how these families and other families followed Heavenly Father’s plan. Children can be leaders in holding family prayer, scripture study, and Family Home Evening. Remind your parents, and be as helpful as you can be!

TESTIMONY: Testify that the Heavenly Father has a plan for each child and each family, and He will help us accomplish it.

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A Celebration of Epiphany / Three Kings Day: Family Night Lesson or Sharing Time Supplement

Our guest author Daniel offers a Family-Night-style lesson celebrating an ancient Christian holiday that might have escaped our notice.  Daniel is a teacher and father who loves bird-watching and studying religion.

Download a PDF of this lesson by clicking here.

Star of Bethlehem, Edward Burne-Jones (1890)

Every year on January 6th, millions of Christians around the world celebrate a holiday called Epiphany.  In Spain and Latin America, they call it El Día de los Reyes (“Three Kings Day”), in Sweden it is Trettondedag Jul (“Thirteenth Day Yule”), and in Ethiopia they call it Timkat (though their different calendar puts it on January 19th).  Disneyland even hosts a 5-day celebration!  It is officially “The 12th Day of Christmas,” and is the day on which people of many cultures exchange their Christmas gifts.

The reason for this holiday is contained in the word Epiphany, from the Greek, which means “to make manifest,” “to reveal,” or “to appear.”  First celebrated in the 4th century AD, it traditionally commemorates three New Testament events during which Jesus Christ was “revealed” to the world:

  1. the visit of the wise men (usually called The Magi) shortly after his birth, when baby Jesus was heralded as a king for all people;
  2. Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, when the Spirit of God descended and a voice spoke from heaven, “This is my beloved Son;”
  3. and the wedding at Cana, at which Jesus’ first public miracle took place when he revealed his divine powers by changing the water into wine.

Each culture has developed rich traditions as a part of their celebration of Epiphany, ranging from the leaving of children’s shoes outside their doors in hopes that the Three Kings will fill them with gifts during the nighttime, to the baking and eating of a “King Cake,” to putting on massive and glorious parades that culminate in ritual re-enactments of the baptism of Jesus.  Christians the world over have developed an impressive variety of religious feasts, blessings, sacred processions, fasts, and musical celebrations in honor of Epiphany.  It is the climax of the ancient “Twelve Days of Christmas.”  It is the merry-making “Twelfth Night.”  It is a world-wide communal celebration of the revelation of Jesus Christ to all mankind.


Study and Discussion (choose anything that interests you)

 Read and discuss the scriptures associated with the three traditional “Epiphany” events.  What does each “reveal” about Jesus?

  • The visit of the Magi (Matthew 2)
  • The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3: 13-17 plus JST; Mark 1: 9-11; Luke 3: 21-22; John 1: 32-34)
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2: 1-11)

Brainstorm, Talk, and Write:

  1. If we were to celebrate three latter-day events for a new kind of Epiphany, which would you choose?  Which events in the history of our church “revealed” Jesus to us in essential ways?
  2. What about you and your personal experience with JesusCan you recall some of the events in your life in which Christ was “revealed” to you in any particular way?
    • Share your memories and experiences with the members of your group if you feel like it.
    • Write them in a journal or elsewhere and revisit these memories each January 6th with a prayer of gratitude and celebration for those events in which Christ “revealed” himself to you.

Expand Your Knowledge:

  1. Search your library of books, the internet, or “The LDS Scripture Citation Index” ( for more information and insights about the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the wedding feast at Cana.  Work together and make it fun for your group!  Share what you have learned with the others in your group (this can be as structured or as informal and free-wheeling as you’d like).  If you keep a scripture study journal, this might be a good time to write down any new insights.

Activities: Baking, Service, Art, and Video (choose any that interest you)

  1. Bake and eat a King Cake!  Search the internet for ideas and recipes that look good to you.  There are several yummy varieties out there – be sure to look up recipes for La Galette des Rois (a French pastry cake), Rosca de Reyes (the Spanish or Latin American variety), Dreikönigskuchen (a Swiss recipe), and Gâteau des Rois (another French variety).  Before you eat it, say a prayer in which you all take turns thanking God for events in your life in which Jesus Christ was “made manifest” to you in some way.  Watch out for the toy hidden inside!
  2. Take three gifts to a family in need.  Do it in grateful remembrance of the gifts of the Magi to baby Jesus and his humble little family.
  3. Search the vast “art museum” that is the internet for artwork depicting the three Epiphany events from the life of Jesus (for the visit of the wise men, the precise terms “Adoration of the Magi” and “Journey of the Magi” will be useful).  Try to find images from a variety of cultures and eras and using a variety of mediums (Christianity has a rich artistic heritage in painting, stained glass, tile murals, and stone carving to name a few).  Look closely at and ponder your favorite images and discuss the message or feeling each image conveys to you about Jesus.  Which images speak the most directly to your heart?  Which most closely reflect your personal experience of Jesus Christ?  Which inspire your devotion?
  4. Try your hand at religious art or musical expression, whether you’re a professional artist or a complete beginner.  Choose an “Epiphany” theme and depict it in an artistic way: draw a picture, make a play-doh sculpture, write a song, paint with watercolors, use markers on aluminum foil, make Epiphany-themed pancakes – use your imagination!  Try to pour your heart into the project, regardless of your skill level, offering your devotion to Christ through artistic expression.
  5. Explore the internet for videos of people from a variety of religious cultures celebrating Epiphany and Three Kings Day (and don’t forget “Timkat” or “Timket”).  What do people do?  Why do they do it?  As a group, think up some ways you might want to incorporate any of these religious traditions into your own celebration of Epiphany with your family and friends.  Now, let’s celebrate!


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