To teach the children that Jesus Christ loves each of us and to encourage them to experience joy by having faith in him.
Prayerfully study 3 Nephi 17. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Book of Mormon for each child.
Pictures 4-46, Jesus Healing the Nephites (Gospel Art Picture Kit 317; 62541); 4-47, Jesus Praying with the Nephites (62542); and 4-48, Jesus Blesses the Nephite Children.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Have the children each take a taste of salt, and ask them how they would explain the taste to someone who had never tasted it before. You may need to remind them that they could not describe the flavor as “salty” because a person who has never tasted salt would not know what the word meant. Explain that it is sometimes hard to describe things you have experienced in words others can understand. The Nephites had such great joy when Jesus Christ appeared to them that they said, “No tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard” (3 Nephi 17:17). Tell the children that if they will picture in their minds the events they will hear in this lesson, they may be able to feel and understand with their spirits some truths that words cannot describe.
Using the pictures at appropriate times, teach the children the account of Jesus Christ healing the sick and blessing the children from 3 Nephi 17. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize that the Savior’s love for the people was so great that words could not express it.
Discussion and Application Questions
Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.
What did Jesus Christ say the people should do to help them understand the things he had taught them? (3 Nephi 17:3.) What does it mean to ponder? (To think deeply about something.) Why is it important to ponder and pray about what we are taught by our Church leaders and teachers?
Where did the Savior say he was going after he visited the Nephites? (3 Nephi 17:4.) How does this show that Jesus loves all of Heavenly Father’s children?
What did the people do when the Savior said he was leaving? (3 Nephi 17:5.) What did he do to show that he loved them? (3 Nephi 17:6–8.)
What did Jesus Christ say was the reason the people could be healed? (3 Nephi 17:8.) What is one reason miracles sometimes do not occur? (Ether 12:12, 18.)
How did the Nephites show their thanks when Jesus Christ healed the sick? (3 Nephi 17:10.) When should you thank Heavenly Father and Jesus? How can you show your thanks for the blessings you receive?
After Jesus Christ healed the sick, what did he command the people to do? (3 Nephi 17:11.) What did he do when the children had been brought to him? (3 Nephi 17:13–15.) Why were the words he prayed to Heavenly Father not written? (3 Nephi 17:16–17.)
Why did Jesus weep? (3 Nephi 17:20–21.) How has the gospel brought you joy? How did he show his love for the children? (3 Nephi 17:21.) How would you feel if Jesus Christ held you in his arms, blessed you, and prayed to Heavenly Father for you?
When the Savior told the parents to behold their little ones, what did the parents see? (3 Nephi 17:23–24.) What does it mean to minister? (To give help or service.) What can we do to serve others?
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Read and discuss the following statement from President Ezra Taft Benson, thirteenth President of the Church:
“I promise you, dear children, that angels will minister unto you also. You may not see them, but they will be there to help you, and you will feel of their presence. …
“Dear children, our Heavenly Father sent you to earth at this time because you are some of His most valiant children. He knew there would be much wickedness in the world today, and He knew you would be faithful and obedient” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, p. 105; or Ensign, May 1989, p. 83).
Read together 3 Nephi 17:20–21. Ask the children to choose a word or group of words from these verses that they think is important, and then have them share their feelings about the words they chose.
Ask the children to think about the times in their lives when they have been the happiest. Ask them the following questions about those times:
What were you doing?
What made you happy?
Why are we happiest when we live like Jesus taught?
Why are you happiest with certain friends and family members?
Explain that we naturally want to be with those whom we love and who love us. If we obey the commandments, we can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus and our families forever. This will give us the greatest joy we can experience.
Because the Nephite people who gathered at Bountiful were not sufficiently prepared, the Savior could not tell them everything that Heavenly Father wanted them to know. What did Jesus ask the people to do? (Have the children fill in the blanks from 3 Nephi 17:3.)
Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand. (3 Nephi 17:3.)
Following a conference, sacrament meeting, or Primary, what should you do to help you understand what you have heard?
Sing or read the words to “Had I Been a Child” (Children’s Songbook, p. 80) or “When He Comes Again” (Children’s Songbook, p. 82).
Testify that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love all children and that if we have faith in Jesus Christ and obey the commandments, we will know the joy of living with them again.
Suggested Family Sharing
Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”
Suggested Home Reading
Suggest that the children study 3 Nephi 17 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
Jesus Christ Heals the Sick and Blesses the Children
- Items needed: a marker or pen for each child, tape, magnets, a highlighter marker, thread or string, and several pieces of red or pink paper.
- Print and cut out the visual aids pdf or word.
- Directions for making the envelope and heart visual aid: Cut the thread into two, 20 inch lengths. Place the first page of cut out hearts face down in two rows in the same order as they were laid out on the page. The hearts should be about 1 ½ inches apart. Place one string on row one with the end of the string in the middle of the bottom heart. Put a piece of tape over the string on each heart so each heart is attached to the string. Do the same thing with the other row of hearts and string. Add the heart labeled “listens” to the top of row one. You should end up with a piece of string at the top that is four inches long on row one and five and half inches on row two. Using an x-acto knife, cut along the dotted line on the envelope. Tape the top of each string to the back of the envelope, each about two inches from a side. Put the string of hearts through the envelope opening you cut. Glue or tape the back edges of the envelope to a piece of heavy paper, leaving the top of the x-acto cut edge open. You should now have an envelope pocket. Stack the rows of hearts in order, and put the two stacks into the envelope.
- Mobile Handout: Print (or copy) and cut out an envelope for each child. Cut two pieces of string, 13 inches long, per child. Cut out eight hearts per child by folding several pieces of pink or red paper into thirds lengthwise, then placing half of a blank heart along the folded edge, and finally cutting out the hearts using the half a heart as a pattern (or you can purchase precut packages of hearts).
- Print the word search onto colored paper.
- Optional: prepare the salt attention activity found here.
- In what ways do your mother and father show they love you? (They make rules to keep you safe. They help you and teach you. They give you hugs and kisses. Some parents may even write notes telling you how much they love you.)
Point out that people show love through their actions. Show the children the word search and have them find the words that are actions of love. (All the words are horizontal.) When a child finds a word, have that child come up and mark it with a highlighter or circle it with a pencil.
Word Search Answers: ATTENTIVE, TEACHES, CONSIDERATE, CONCERNED, PRAYS, SACRIFICES, PATIENT, LISTENS, HELPS, SUPPORTS, COMFORTS, FORGIVING
Put the envelope on the board with the opening facing downward. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn about the love the Savior has for them. Point out that each of the action words in the crossword puzzle has been demonstrated by the Savior in our behalf. Jesus’s loving actions are like messages that remind us that he loves us.
Put the flannel board image of Jesus on the board, and remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned that Jesus taught the Nephites the beatitudes. As he prepared to leave at the end of the day, he perceived that the people did not fully understand what he had taught. Have a child read 3 Nephi 17:1–3 as the other children follow along. Have the children look for what the Savior told the Nephites they should do in order to gain more understanding.
- What does it mean to ponder? (It means to thoughtfully consider something and deeply think about it.)
Point out the Savior’s instruction found in 3 Nephi 17:3 that the Nephites should “prepare minds for the morrow,” for when Jesus would return to teach them again.
- How do you prepare your mind for an important lesson such as a school assignment? You read and learn about the subject, you ponder on (or think about) what you have been taught in order to understand it more thoroughly, and you may even ask for help from a parent to help you understand it further.
- What happens if you don’t prepare for an assignment by doing these things? (You may not properly understand the material.)
It is the same with the gospel; in order to understand the gospel we need to think about what we have been taught, study it thoroughly, and ask our Heavenly Father for help in understanding it. Through the Holy Ghost our minds can be enlightened and we can receive understanding. When we understand a concept better then we are ready to learn more and add to our understanding and knowledge.
- In the scripture that was just read, what did the Savior do to show his love for the people? (He wanted the people to understand the things he had taught so they could progress spiritually.)
The Savior has taught us many things. These teachings can be found in the scriptures. Someone who loves us teaches us the things that will help us in life. (Take the heart out of the envelope that says “teaches.” It will be the first one in the pile on the left.)
- Have a child read 3 Nephi 17:4-5, and then ask the children how the Nephites responded when the Savior expressed his intention to depart. (They wept and were sad. They wanted him to stay longer.)
- Have a child read 3 Nephi 17:6-8. Ask the children how the Savior responded when he saw the Nephite’s sorrow. (He had compassion upon them and asked if they had any sick or afflicted among them. He explained that he would heal them because he had perceived their desire to have the miracles shown to them that he had performed in Jerusalem. He also perceived that they had the faith to be healed. )
- How did the Savior demonstrate his love for the people? (He was filled with compassion for them. Compassion means he cared about their feelings. He was filled with sympathy and understanding.)
A person who loves us is considerate of our feelings. (Have a child take the heart out of the envelope that says “considerate.” It will be the first heart in the pile on the right.) (Alternate drawing from the left and right when the remaining hearts are mentioned.)
Have a child read 3 Nephi 17:9. Afterwards, put the picture of the sick and afflicted Nephites on the board.
- What types of ailments did Jesus heal? (The lame (those unable to walk), the blind (those unable to see), the dumb (those unable to speak–which was most likely due to deafness))
- What types of ailments might be included in afflictions of “any manner”? (All other types of physical illnesses and disorders, but also mental and emotional difficulties and disorders.)
Ask students to ponder ways in which they may be “afflicted” and what they would ask the Savior to heal if he were to bless them personally. Remind them that even though the Savior is not here to minister to them in person, his power to bless and heal is available through the priesthood. If it is his will that they be healed, and if they have faith, then they can be healed. If it is not his will, then we need to trust in the Lord and his purposes, but we also need to remember that the Lord will help us deal with the affliction if we ask for his help.
Point out that someone who loves us will be there for us when we have problems and difficulties. That person would offer comfort, support, and help. (Have children take the hearts out of the envelope that say “comforts”, “supports”, and “helps.” Remember that they alternate from left to right and then back to left again.)
After Jesus Christ healed the sick, he had the children brought to him. He had the people gather around them and kneel. He then said a prayer that was so wonderful and marvelous that the people could not even describe it. (Read 3 Nephi 17:14-17) (Optional: Do the salt object lesson.)
The hearts of the people were filled with joy when they heard the words that Jesus prayed to the Father in their behalf.
Point out that someone who loves us will pray for us. They will appeal to Heavenly Father for His help in watching over us, protecting us, and guiding us. (Have a child take the heart out of the envelope that says “prays.”)
After Jesus arose from his prayer, he noticed that the people were overcome with joy. The great faith of the multitude filled him with such joy that he wept.
A person who loves us is filled with joy when we make good choices; but they can also be filled with sadness when we make bad choices. Remind them that Jesus groaned inside himself because of the wickedness of the people of Israel. Explain that those who love us are concerned about us. They want us to make good choices. (Have a child take the heart out of the envelope that says “concerned.”)
After Jesus wept, he took the children one by one and lovingly blessed them and prayed to the Father for them. He tenderly took time for each individual child because of his great love for children.
- Someone who loves us will share their time with us. They will pay attention to us and listen to us. (Have children take the hearts out of the envelope that say “attentive” and “listens.”)
- How would you feel if Jesus Christ held you in his arms, blessed you, and prayed to Heavenly Father for you?
After blessing the children, the Savior told the people to look upon their little ones. The heavens opened and angels descended out of heaven and encircled the children. It appeared as if they were in a midst of fire. (Put the picture of the children on the board.) The angels ministered unto the children. The heavenly attention bestowed upon the children of the Nephites is further evidence of the special love Jesus has for children.
Ask the children if they can think of any other things Jesus has done that shows his great love for us. Have them look at the word search to get ideas, but they must explain how Jesus demonstrated that action. For example, Jesus demonstrated sacrifice by suffering and paying the price for our sins. Write on the blank hearts any other actions the children think of that are not included in the word search. Have the children then attach these hearts to the board with magnets or tape, making a pile underneath the other hearts.
Knowing that Jesus loves us helps us to have faith and trust in him. Because he loves us, we know that he wants what is best for us. He wants the things for us that will bring us eternal happiness and peace. If we have faith in Jesus and keep his commandments then we can someday live with him and Heavenly Father. again. One of the greatest joys is being able to be with the people we love and with those who love us.
Have the children make their own mobile with the blank hearts you have prepared. Hand out an envelope, a set of eight hearts, and a marker or pen to each child. Have them write eight of the ways Jesus has shown love for them on their hearts, and then have them tape the hearts to the string and tape the top of the string to the envelope opening. Remind the children that each heart is like a message from Jesus that reminds them that he loves them.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 17:1-25
This GUARDIAN ANGEL DOORKNOB REMINDER activity* matches the Primary 4 – Book of Mormon Lesson 35:
Jesus Christ Heals the Sick and Blesses the Children
Use for: Primary (ages 8-11), Sharing Time, Family Home Evening, Youth
TO FIND LESSON online click HERE.
3 Nephi 17
OBJECTIVE: The lesson teaches children that Jesus Christ loves each of us and to encourage them to experience joy by having faith in him.
Review enrichment activity in the manual #1 (p. 127) for which this activity illustrates. It is President Ezra Taft Benson’s quote.
*TO OBTAIN ACTIVITY (downloads are not available for this activity): You can print or copy them from the BOOK or CD-ROM available at LDS bookstores or online at deseretbook.com – seagullbook.com.
MORE INFORMATION: See Sunday Savers: Book of Mormon book or CD-ROM.
ACTIVITY: Guardian Angel Doorknob Reminder
Create a guardian angel that children can hang on their door as a reminder that Heavenly Father sends ministering angels to guard and watch over them. As they are faithful in keeping their promises, Heavenly Father and Jesus will send comfort and blessings. Show children how they can place this over their doorknob or next to their bed to review the quote from President Ezra Taft Benson.
TO MAKE: Using cardstock, copy, color, and cut out the Doorknob Reminder that follows for each child.
THOUGHT TREAT (when appropriate): Angel Food Cake. This soft sponge cake can remind children of the soft touch angels have on our lives—since they are around us and we are often not aware of their comforting and guiding presence.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Sunday Savers: Book of Mormon
(Activities for Lessons 11-46 for the Primary 4 manual)
SOURCE: Sunday Saver: Book of Mormon book or CD-ROM Activities:
– Visuals were created by Jennette Guymon-King, Illustrator
– Activities were written by Mary H. Ross, Author
USE BOOK OF MORMON QUIZ BEE TO HELP YOUTH LEARN STORIES:
Scripture Reference: Mark 10:13-16
Suggested Emphasis: Jesus loved little children and that we too should take special care of the children we are around.
When mothers brought their small children to Jesus to be blessed by him, the disciples tried to hold them back. Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to him.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16, NIV
You can read other accounts of this story in Matthew 19:13-15 and Luke 18:15-17. This is one of those stories that children love because it is about children!
Jesus must not have been stern and grave. These are not attributes that make children feel welcomed. He probably did not appear silly or weak either. This would not have made the mothers trust him and seek his blessing. Other than what we can learn through his actions we do not know a lot about Jesus’ demeanour. He definitely had strong emotions. He was indignant when the disciples tried to keep the children away. He was not afraid to rebuke them. This controlled strength along with a genuine attitude and openness drew people to Jesus.
Mothers want what is best for their children. They had seen Jesus do wonderful things. He had healed people and brought comfort to even the lowliest people in society. It was the custom for mothers to bring their children to a rabbi or synagogue leader before their first birthday. In this story the children were very young. Luke says they were babies (Luke 18:15) and all three passages refer to them as “little”. They were old enough to be “called to him.”
Matthew and Mark both record this story immediately following Jesus’ discussion on divorce. It was appropriate that these mothers and children come to him at this time. If women were mistreated and lacked power in the society of the time then children were even more so. Their innocence and sense of humility and hope were attributes that Jesus wanted his disciples to notice.
Jesus wants his followers to be like children. In Matthew 18:2-6 he drew a child onto his knee and told the listeners that they should be like the child. In that instance he was referring to a child’s humility. A child does not think about earning, deserving or even paying for blessings. He/she simply hopes and accepts with joy. Unfortunately, as the child gets older he begins to mimic adults and have more of a “market mentality” concerning both gifts and emotions. The idea becomes “I’ll do something for you (or feel good towards you) if it benefits me”.
In that same passage Jesus makes it clear how we should treat children. By treating children well we are treating Jesus well. Giving children opportunities to sin (by neglecting them or withholding the care they need) is strongly condemned by Jesus (Matthew 18:5-6).
Jesus’ words concerning children were extremely important and contrasted with practices of pagans of the day. It was common practice in both Greece and Rome to abandon unwanted children by the road to let them die. Later, early Christians were known for taking in these orphans.
Another passage where Jesus speaks about adults being like children is 1 Peter 2:2-3. We should crave pure spiritual milk like a baby craves milk.
Way to Introduce the Story:
Bring a doll to class and talk to the children about ways we take care of a baby. Talk about how much babies and children need affection and love. Discuss child safety and the foods babies and children need and like. A young mother might be willing to bring her baby to class and talk about how she cares for her baby. Perhaps she could show the contents of her nappy bag and explain the use of each item. “Babies need special care. In today’s story we are going to learn what Jesus said about babies and children.”
One day, after Jesus had been teaching people about God, some mothers started bringing their babies and little children to Jesus.
“Jesus,” one of the mothers asked, “you are such a good teacher. Will you please place your hand on my child’s head and give her a blessing?”
Jesus was very happy to bless the little children. He loved children.
But the disciples saw all of the mothers and children around Jesus and they thought they were bothering him. They knew that Jesus must have been very tired from teaching all the adults. Surely he wouldn’t want to spend time with all of these children! So the disciples began telling the mothers and children to go away and leave Jesus alone.
Jesus saw what the disciples were doing and he did not like it. That just wasn’t fair to the children! Jesus told the disciples to stop, “Shame on you, stop telling the children they cannot come to me.”
The disciples saw that Jesus was displeased so they let the children and mothers come to Jesus. They were surprised that Jesus loved the children so much. They probably thought he only wanted to spend time with adults like them.
After Jesus spent time with the children, he told the disciples something very important. “See these little children? See how they love me? They don’t brag or try to hurt anyone like some adults do. The kingdom of heaven is made for people who have hearts like little children.”
The disciples were very surprised. They were sorry they had kept the children away from Jesus. Now they knew that Jesus thought children were very important. If Jesus loved the little children then so would they.
- What did the mothers want Jesus to give their children? A blessing.
- What did the disciples do when mothers brought their children to Jesus? They tried to keep the children away.
- When Jesus saw the disciples keeping the children away, what did he say? “Let the little children come to me”
Learning Activities and Crafts:
(How to choose the best learning activities for my teaching situation)
- Make arrangements with the teacher in a younger bible class and let the children visit today (or next week). Perhaps your class could act out today’s story for them or teach them a song.
- Discuss how Children learn at different age levels.
- Collect names and addresses of children who live in other places and send them cards.
- A nice bulletin board idea is to place a picture of Jesus in the centre of the board and then put children’s pictures all around. These could be pictures from magazines or even photos of the children in your class. You could entitle the board “Who does Jesus Love” or “Jesus Loves the Children”.
- Help the children plan a picnic, party or other activity for younger children in the congregation. If your class is old enough then they might arrange a free babysitting night so that parents of young children could have a night out.
- Encourage the class to sit by a family with small children in worship today. They should only do this if they can be a good example for the child. Parents will not want another child to be a distraction.
- If your congregation has a crèche or childcare during worship then your class could sign up to help in there one Sunday.
- Find out about characteristics of children younger than the children in your class and discuss them. Children love to know how much they have grown and are often eager to help younger children. There are many online resources but here is one at
- Song Suggestions:
- Jesus Loves the Little Children
- Jesus Loves Me
- 1,2,3 Jesus Loves Me
- Help the children collect items to take to the local hospital for the children there. You could make parcels and decorate them. Some ideas might be colouring sheets and crayons, puzzles, books, hand or finger puppets, etc. If you put food or lollies in the parcels then be sure and label them. Some children in hospitals have strict diets.
- Help the children make parcels similar to the ones above to hand to younger children in your congregation.
- Help the children make paper doll chains of children and decorate them to look like children.
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Click here “Jesus Blesses the Children” printables to print on A4 size paperClick here for “Jesus Blesses the Children” to print on Letter size paper (USA)
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page at sermons4kids
- Colouring page at christiananswers.net
- Craft: Video clip (2 minutes and 30 seconds) on how to make paper people chains (simplekidscrafts.com)
- Group Activities at sermons4kids.com
- Crossword puzzle at sermons4kids.com
- “Alphabet Soup” word puzzle at www.sermons4kids.com
- ABC word puzzle at sermons4kids.com
- Word-shape word puzzle at www.sermons4kids.com
- Wordsearch puzzle at www.sermons4kids.com