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Children Learn How to Follow Jesus Christ During Friend to Friend

President Oaks, Primary General Presidency talk about being a disciple during March 2024 broadcast

This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.

By Mary Richards, Church News

Using stories, songs, pictures and puppets, the March 2024 Friend to Friend broadcast taught children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The broadcast built upon the two previous episodes from September 2023 and March 2023, which talked about being a “child of God” and a “child of the covenant.” Those identities — along with a disciple of Jesus Christ — have been taught by President Russell M. Nelson as being each person’s most important and enduring designations.

During the Saturday, March 9, Friend to Friend episode, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen, spoke with seven of their great-grandchildren who are of Primary age.

“Disciples of Jesus Christ listen to Jesus Christ,” President Oaks said. “Sometimes, He gives us a feeling, sometimes a thought, sometimes we hear His voice. President Nelson has asked us to listen to our Savior and hear Him.”

He and Sister Oaks told the children a story about President Oaks’ grandmother, Chasty Olsen, that she had told him when he was in Primary. She lived in a small town in Utah and was the oldest of her brothers and sisters. In the summertime, they played in a dry river bed near their home.

March-2024-Friend-to-Friend President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen, take a photo with seven of their great-grandchildren during the filming for the March 2024 Friend to Friend broadcast, which aired on Saturday, March 9. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Sister Oaks said that one day when the children were playing, Chasty heard a voice saying, “Get the children out of the riverbed.” They kept playing and the voice repeated. The third time she heard the voice, Chasty obeyed and hurried the children out.

Suddenly, they heard a roaring sound and were frightened to see a great wall of water coming down the riverbed. It covered the place where they had been playing, President Oaks said.

“There had been an unusual huge rainstorm in the distant mountains that sent this wall of water down the stream. That was not expected in their dry desert town. When Chasty followed the voice, she saved all their lives.”

President and Sister Oaks talked with their great-grandchildren about how to hear the Holy Ghost and what the Holy Ghost does — warns, comforts, testifies, guides, teaches and more.

Sister Oaks said she was thankful to be able to share the story not only with the great-grandchildren but also the children of the world watching the broadcast.

“I want you to know that Jesus Christ will always be with you,” she said, adding “And as we remember him, and we do what is right, He’ll always be beside us.”

President Oaks then spoke to all of the Primary children around the world.

“Our Heavenly Father loves you. He has given you parents and teachers who will guide you in the right way and He will know of your righteous loving actions and He will bless you for them. As His servant, I bless you throughout your life to stay on the covenant path that takes you back to our Heavenly Father.”

Following Jesus Christ

Throughout the episode — available in the Gospel Library and on YouTube — examples are shown from when the Primary general presidency interacted with children and taught lessons during recent ministerial trips around the world.

During her time in the Philippines, Primary General President Susan H. Porter asked children what they do to follow Jesus.

Some of their answers included reading “Come, Follow Me” with their families, partaking of the sacrament, praying and helping others. They spoke about how they feel guided by the Holy Ghost when they read the scriptures.

A young boy conducted a children’s devotional with President Porter. In another part of the episode from the Philippines, President Porter and several children packaged food and hygiene products in bags to give to people in need.

President Porter interviewed children about what the day was like and how they packaged the gifts. “What a special way today to follow Jesus,” she said.

President Susan H. Porter helps assemble food boxes during a children’s service activity in Roxas City, Philippines, in November 2023. The activity was featured during the March 2024 Friend to Friend broadcast. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Sister Amy A. Wright, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, met Louie the Toucan and his bird friend Gilbert in a meetinghouse classroom for a Tongan ward in Utah. These two puppets have been featured in previous Friend to Friend broadcasts.

Sister Wright had written on the board the verse 3 Nephi 5:13, which reads, “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”

Louie and Gilbert wanted to know about what being a disciple might mean, and so throughout the broadcast, they searched the meetinghouse to find answers. They witnessed children pick up trash, reach something high up for another child and comfort a young girl who was sad.

Then, Sister Wright taught a lesson to a Primary class about when a young girl followed Jesus Christ by helping a boy during singing time.

A young girl jumps by a boy in a wheelchair while they sing "Do As I'm Doing" in Primary in a video shared during the March 2024 Friend to Friend broadcast. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The boy was in a wheelchair, and it was his turn to choose an action for the song “Do As I’m Doing.” He chose the action “jump,” although he physically could not jump. A young girl eagerly volunteered to come forward and jump for him as they sang. That girl was following Jesus and is a disciple of Jesus Christ, Sister Wright said.

“The Holy Ghost continues to teach me that we are never more like our Savior Jesus Christ when we do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves.”

While in Nashville, Tennessee, Sister Tracy Y. Browning, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, met the Cal family in their home.

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She showed them a painting of people going toward the Savior and asked the family if they saw themselves in the painting. Daisy, 7, and Declan, 4, pointed to children in the painting that looked like them. Daisy noticed that the girl in the painting recognized Jesus Christ and was beckoning others to come unto Him as well.

Said Sister Browning, “One of the ways we can become like the Savior and learn to recognize Him is by following His example.” She talked to Daisy about being baptized soon and how she will have access to the same power that her parents have as she keeps her covenants made at baptism.

“When you are baptized, you are following the example that He set when He was baptized,” Sister Browning said. “... This as a family is how we can come to learn to recognize our Savior Jesus Christ and everyone can play a part in that.”

Music Video, Easter Craft and More

Vignettes sprinkled throughout the episode showed bunny puppets interacting with each other in kind ways and helping and serving each other.

Children sang “I’m Trying to be like Jesus” in a music video interspersed with clips from the Book of Mormon and Bible videos. Scenes included children hugging family members, serving others, playing with friends, giving talks in Primary, being baptized, praying and reading scriptures.

A segment of the episode showed how to make an Easter lily flower craft by tracing a hand on white paper, cutting it out, and curling the finger shapes into petals and placing leaves around a wooden stem.

The craft instructions are also in the March “Friend” magazine.

Try this fun craft activity from the March 2024 "Friend" magazine.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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How to Use the Friend to Friend

The full episode or portions of it can be used at home or in Primary to help teach children about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The episode is available in the Gospel Library or on the three Gospel for Kids YouTube channels:

This episode will be available in Gospel Library in Albanian, ASL, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Descriptive audio, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian.

Previous episodes have taught about being a child of God, making covenants, baptism, the Holy Ghost and the sacrament. They are also available on YouTube and in the Gospel Library.

Copyright 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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