For more information on this topic read “Obedience to the Prophets,” by Claudio R. M. Costa, Ensign, Nov 2010, 11.
It is a great blessing to receive the word, commandments, and guidance of the Lord in these difficult days of the earth. The prophet can be inspired to see the future in benefit of mankind. (Claudio R. M. Costa, “Obedience to the Prophets,” Ensign, Nov 2010, 11.)
“We Thank Thee, O God,” Hymns, #19.
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Play hangman with the word PROPHET.
After the family has guessed the word, talk about prophets. Tell the children that a prophet must be a member of Jesus’ church. He must be a righteous man who has kept the commandments. Ask the children what some of those commandments might be (baptism, temple marriage, honoring the priesthood, prayer, and so forth).
What is a prophet like? (Kind, humble, righteous.)
Who chooses a prophet? (God.)
When a man is called as a prophet to lead the Church, God gives him special duties and responsibilities. He knows and testifies of Jesus Christ. He knows and tells of the future. He knows and teaches righteousness. Talk about how these responsibilities affect them as members of the church.
(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Sharing Time, Family Time, Anytime: Book Two, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], p. 77.)
In the mission field, my companion and I were teaching a Harvard University student. After we told him the Joseph Smith story and bore our testimonies to him, as we had done many times before, he said, “Wait a minute. Are you telling me you believe God and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and told him he was to set up a new church?” We said we did believe that. He continued the interrogation: “You also believe an angel gave plates to Joseph Smith, who translated them into the Book of Mormon, and that the Savior appeared to the people on this continent?” We said we did. “You also believe the president of your church is a prophet who receives revelation from God, as did Adam, Noah, and Abraham?” We said we did. Getting more animated by the minute, the investigator said, “That is the most incredible story I have ever heard. If I really believed all of that, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I would run down the streets screaming it to everyone. Why aren’t you more excited about it?” That was a penetrating question.
Do you have a testimony? What are you doing about it? As the Harvard student implied, a testimony is not enough. A testimony that Joseph Smith saw God and the Savior is meaningless unless that fact begins to mean something to each of us individually.
A few years ago I was going through a much needed spiritual renaissance. As part of that rejuvenation I read two sets of books on the history of the Church: A Comprehensive History of the Church, by B. H. Roberts, and History of the Church, by Joseph Smith. These sets consist of a total of thirteen volumes, and it took me approximately two years to read them. In the course of my reading, I found myself absolutely captivated by Joseph Smith—emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. As I read the revelations he received and the letters written by him and to him and about him, I gained a great testimony of the divinity of his mission here upon the earth.
I once again received an undeniable testimony, just as I had at ten years of age. However, at age thirty-five I was better able to appreciate what the Prophet accomplished in his thirty-eight years. I caught myself wishing I had been born during his ministry. As I read about the dissenters and traitors, I wondered why I could not have been born then instead of now. After all, he needed all of the help he could get, and I would not have betrayed him. If I had been born then, I would have done everything in my power to help him with the work. But then I asked myself: Are you sure? Are you sure you would have been valiant? You would have given your life for Joseph Smith, but what are you doing for the prophet and president of the Church today? You would die for Joseph Smith, but you are not willing to accept a home teaching assignment to visit more than two families.
Why do we sometimes find it easier to accept and follow past prophets? It is partly because history has proven their counsel to be sound. Future generations will find the same to be true of the prophets of our day. Each of us might ask ourselves, What am I doing for our current, living prophet?
(Glen L. Pace, Spiritual Plateaus, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991].)
Go on a “Bear Hunt.” This is a follow the leader type story. Have everyone repeat each line of the story after the leader. Pat a rhythm on your thighs as you tell the story, use actions to suggest each part.
We’re going on a bear hunt
We’re going to catch a big one
I’m not afraid
What do I see?
Tall wavy grass
We can’t get over it
We can’t get under it
We can’t get around it
We’ll have to go through it!
Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish
[Repeat, replacing grass with the following:]
Mud, icky sticky mud (squish, squash)
A river, a very cold river (splash)
A forest, a deep, dark forest (stumble-trip)
A cave, a very dark cave (tippy-toe)
Oh, oh! It’s dark in here
I feel something
It has lots of hair
It has sharp teeth
It’s a bear!
A very big bear!
Through the cave, tippy toe, tippy toe
Through the forest, stumble-trip, stumble-trip
Through the river splash, splash, splash, splash
Through the mud squish, squash, squish, squash
Through the grass swish, swish, swish, swish
In the house
Up the stairs
Jump on the bed
Pull the covers over your head…
I’m not afraid!
Summarize by explaining that just as we followed the leader for this story, we should follow the prophet, the leader of the Church.