May 2009 Sharing Time: To Be Baptized

This sharing time will help children learn more about baptism.

Preparation: Obtain a flannel board and cutout pictures of a mother, a father, and two sisters from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 7-Pioneers and the Restoration; two missionaries from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 2-People; and a winter scene from Primary Visual Aids Cutouts, Set 3-Nature. Put tape or flannel on the back of each picture.

Make enough copies of the baptism coloring page on page 111 of the Nursery Manual for each Junior Primary child. Write one letter on seven separate sheets of paper to spell B-A-P-T-I-S-M. Post the papers at the front of the room.

Presentation: Using the picture cutouts and the flannel board, tell the following true story:

As a young girl, Christina and her family lived in Uddarp, Sweden. Her father was a mason who built houses, fences, and fireplaces out of stone. There was a forest nearby where her father and older brother, Lars, would hunt for meat for the family. Christina and her mother grew vegetables in their yard. Not far from Christina's home was a large grist mill where grain was ground into flour so they could make bread.

In 1858, when Christina was ten years old, the wife of the miller asked Christina to come stay with them and tend her baby. Even though Christina was young, she was very good with babies and the woman liked her. Christina went to live with the miller's family, but was able to visit her own family often.

Christina liked living at the mill. The townspeople would gather there, and other people would come from many miles away to have their wheat ground. It was a place where everyone enjoyed talking to one another and sharing news. Christina liked sitting and listening to all the things the grownups had to say.

One day Mormon missionaries came to Uddarp and began teaching the restored gospel. People were afraid of this new religion from America. Most of the townspeople did not like the missionaries and would not listen. Christina even heard many people say the missionaries were evil. She believed all the rumors that she heard.

Meanwhile, Christina's family invited the missionaries into their home. The elders taught them about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. They soon came to know that the missionaries were teaching the truth.

After Christina had lived with the family who ran the mill for three years, they moved away. Christina did not want to return home because her family had been listening to the missionaries and had been baptized. She went to work for another lady in the neighborhood whose husband was the blacksmith.

After a few months, her family convinced her to come back home. When the missionaries came to visit, Christina would refuse to listen to them. She did not want to sing or pray with them as her family did. Her parents were very worried about her, but the missionaries told them she was old enough to make this important decision for herself.

One day Christina picked up the Book of Mormon and began looking though the pages. Her sister, Anna, teased her and said, "Be careful, it might burn you." Christina didn't pay much attention to her sister. But as she read, she became more and more interested. She soon felt the book was true.

In December of 1862, two days after Christina's 14th birthday, the missionaries came to her parents' home. Elder Josephson told Christina, "I had a dream last night that I'd caught a fish." He teased her about it and said, "It couldn't possibly be this little girl?" Christina did not laugh at his joke. She was thinking very hard about what Heavenly Father wanted her to do. While her family talked to the elders, Christina went into another room and knelt down and prayed. She asked to know what she should do. Her prayer was answered, and the Holy Ghost made her feel as if she had been "lifted up." She returned to her mother and whispered that she wanted to be baptized. Her family was very pleased.

The next day they walked six miles to the sea where they broke a hole in the ice and Christina was baptized. She felt very happy. She was glad she had found out for herself that the Church is true. ("To Know for Herself," by Shauna Gibby. A true story about Christina Peterson Jeppson.)

Bear testimony of your own decision to be baptized. Help the children understand that Heavenly Father wants them to be baptized and He wants them to know for themselves it is the right thing to do. Have the younger children color the baptism picture.

Point out the letters at the front of the room to the older children. Explain that baptism is a wonderful blessing. As you point to each letter ask the children to think of other blessings that start with that letter. Have them share their ideas.

Sing baptism songs such as, "Baptism," Children's Songbook 100; "When I Am Baptized," CS 103; "When Jesus Christ Was Baptized," CS 102; and "I Want to Be Baptized," Friend, July 2005, 45.

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