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“The Gift of Joy”

INDEX:

 

This Christmas teach your children about Jesus Christ and His gift of joy and happiness and then share that joy with someone else. Instead of the traditional Gingerbread house your family will delight in making a Gingerbread Nativity, complete with a precious marzipan baby Jesus that can become a treasured family tradition.

 

SONG

SCRIPTURE

VIDEO CLIP


LESSON SUMMARY

POINTS TO PONDER

 

STORY

TREAT
TIME

ACTIVITY

ACTIVITY PAGES

MUSIC MP3

 

VIDEO CLIP:
The Animated Stories from the New Testament: The King is Born chapter 8
(click on above for full screen)

PRINCIPLE:
Joy

 

 

PRINT THIS ENTIRE LESSON

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

   

SONG

 
 

Hymn #211 “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” verse 1.

 

If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/cm

SCRIPTURE

Luke 2:10

 

10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 

 

VIDEO

Watch chapter 8 from the animated Complete Learning System, The King is Born DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP

 

LESSON SUMMARY

 
 

For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:

 

“I bring you good tidings of great joy.” (Luke 2:10)

 

What is a tiding?

News or message.

 

What is the joyful news that the angel brought to the shepherds?

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

“Everything that Heavenly Father does for us is to help us find peace and joy in our lives. The most special gift He has given us is His Son, Jesus Christ. This was the greatest of all gifts ever given. It includes the gift of the Atonement and the gift of His commandments as taught by the prophets.”

First Presidency Message, Friend, Dec. 1995 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

What is true joy?

“One has true joy when he knows that he pleases God, and again, when he is assured that God is pleased with him....May we adopt and follow the true road to happiness...keep his commandments and thereby attain the great goal given us by the Lord, namely, life eternal and everlasting joy in the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son...”

Joseph Anderson, Ensign, May 1975 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

 

What is swaddling clothes?

Long strips of soft cloth, used in some cultures, to wrap babies and keep them still and calm.

 

What is a manger?

A box from which farm animals eat.

 

Sharing the gift of joy.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:17) When the shepherds found the baby Jesus they were filled with so much joy that they went and told others.

 

How can we share this joyful message?

“Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable....“Go, gladden the lonely, the dreary; Go, comfort the weeping, the weary; Go, scatter kind deeds on your way; Oh, make the world brighter today!”

Thomas S. Monson, Liahona, Dec. 2003 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

POINTS TO PONDER

 
 

What is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father has given us?

His son, Jesus Christ.

 

Why is Jesus Christ the greatest gift of all?

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) Jesus Christ was appointed and foreordained to be our Redeemer before the world was formed. With His divine sonship, His sinless life, the shedding of His blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, His excruciating death on the cross and subsequent bodily Resurrection from the grave, He became the author of our salvation and made a perfect Atonement for all mankind.”

James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 2001 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

What do we need to do to have joy?

Keep the commandments so that we might gain eternal life through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

How can we share this gift of joy and bring ourselves greater joy?

“Joseph Smith has said that the greatest and most important duty we have is to teach others the gospel....Fulfilling this sacred assignment to “warn our neighbors” brings unspeakable joys to both the receiver and the giver of the gift. Many families throughout the Church are experiencing the joys of doing this most important work.”

Rex D. Pinegar, Ensign, July 1973 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

STORY

"The Snow Angel"

 

Holly looked out the window at the gently falling snow. She longed to go outside and build a snowman. Mother put her arm around her, “Are you feeling okay, honey?” she asked.

Holly sighed, “I really wish that I could build a snowman. Like we did last year.”

Mother wiped away the tear that trickled down her cheek. Lifting the frail little girl into her arms she exclaimed, “He was the best snowman on the whole block! Wasn’t he?”

With a big smile, Holly nodded. “I’m not feeling too sick today, Mommy. Please, can we build a snowman?”

Mother changed the subject. “Would you like to watch your Snowman movie?”

Holly snuggled up in a comforter on the couch while Mother put in the DVD. When the movie was nearing the end Mother whispered, “I have a surprise! I’ll be right back.” Removing a pail from under the sink, she slipped on her coat and gloves and went outside.

“Hi, Mrs. Hansen,” the Davenport children hollered. The Davenports lived next door to the Hansens and they were busy building a snowman in their backyard.

Mother waved at the children and then began filling the pail with snow.

Six-year-old Sarah Davenport rushed over to Mrs. Hansen and asked, “Can Holly come out and build a snowman with us?”

“I’m afraid not, Sarah. She’s been very sick!”

“Momma told me she has chemo. Now will she get better soon?” Sarah asked.

“We’re hoping that the chemotherapy will make her better Sarah!”

“I know Heavenly Father is watching over Holly, ’cause I pray for her every morning and every night!”

“Thank you Sarah, but I don’t believe God answers prayers anymore.”

Mrs. Hansen’s comment puzzled Sarah. She knew Heavenly Father answered everyone’s prayers.

Page 2

   
 

Sarah looked down at the pail of snow Mrs. Hansen was holding. “What are going to do with the snow?”

“Holly wants to build a snowman, but she’s can’t come out into the cold. I’m taking the snow inside so she can make her own little snowman.”

Holly’s face lit up when Mother dumped the snow onto a plastic table cloth that she had laid on the floor. Holly put on her gloves and began forming three snowballs while Mother gathered buttons for eyes, a baby carrot for the nose, and a strip of cloth for a scarf. When the snowman was completed, Holly looked out the window as mother placed the little snowman on the ledge outside. “It’s better than nothing, Heavenly Father, but I wish I had a big snowman, like Sarah,” Holly prayed out loud.

Sarah went inside to find her mother. She found her in the kitchen making gingerbread for F.H.E. Mother looked up when Sarah entered the room. “Hi Sweetie. Why so glum?”

Sarah began to cry. “Mrs. Hansen is so sad, because she doesn’t know Heavenly Father answers prayers!”

Mother put her arm around Sarah. “Mrs. Hansen is having a difficult time. It’s always hard when a loved one is sick, but it’s even harder for the Hansen’s who don’t know that families can be together forever, like we do.”

Can’t her Daddy give her a blessing?” asked Sarah.

“No Sweetie. Her Daddy doesn’t hold the priesthood. They’re good people and they believe in Christ, but they don’t even have a church of their own they belong to.”

“Holly’s my best friend. If she’s got no priesthood, no church, and no snowman, we have to help!

“I’ve been meaning to give them a copy of The Book of Mormon, when they moved here, but then Holly got sick and I didn’t want to bother them,” said Sarah’s mother. “But you’re right Sarah. Their family could certainly use some everlasting joy right now!”

That night for F.H.E. the Davenports quietly worked to build a snowman, in the shape of an angel, in the Hansen’s front yard. In the angels outstretched arms they placed a copy of The Book of Mormon, wrapped securely in a plastic zipper bag, a gift box holding a tiny gingerbread stable and a card that read:

“To our dear friends,

‘And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ May the peace of our Savior Jesus Christ fill your heart with joy this season and always.

Your neighbors,The Davenport family.”

The next morning when Holly looked out the window to check on her tiny snowman, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “Mommy and Daddy, God does answers prayers! I told Him that I wanted a big snowman!” Holly exclaimed. “And look, it had to be Him, ’cause it looks just like one of His angels!”

 

by Margie Nauta Lee © 2006 Living Scriptures, Inc.

 

TREAT TIME

CLICK TO PRINT “Gingerbread Nativity” recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: Approx 15 minutes

Cool Time: Approx 30 minutes

Makes: (2) stables/mangers and (18) Christmas shapes

 

Directions:

Gingerbread: Print and cut out the stable/manger pattern included with this lesson. Grease a 9 inch square pan, and a jelly roll pan. Cream brown sugar, shortening and molasses. Stir in cold water. Stir in remaining ingredients. Evenly press or roll 1/4 of the dough into square pan and the rest into the jelly roll pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350° F. (Make icing and marzipan while gingerbread bakes.)

Immediately turn gingerbread out of pan onto a clean surface. While still warm, cut out (using the pattern pieces) with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (Square pan: stable floors and mangers. Jelly roll pan: all other pieces). Cool completely, approximately 30 minutes or make the day before. Assemble during treat time.

 

Marzipan: Grind almonds in blender or food processor until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to make a stiff paste. Knead until smooth and pliable.  

 

Treat Time:

Assemble stables and mangers and create marzipan baby Jesus’ and Christmas shapes according to directions below.

Gingerbread Nativity
w/ Marzipan Baby Jesus

and Christmas Marzipan Shapes

 

Gingerbread Ingredients

 

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. shortening

3/4 c. molasses

1/3 c. cold water

3 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Marzipan Ingredients

 

2 c. powdered sugar  

2 c. blanched almonds

1 egg white (may substitute 1 3/4 tsp. egg white powder and 2 Tbls. water)

1 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. lemon juice

 

…or purchase a 10 oz. can prepared Almond Paste.

 
 

Stable and manger: Assemble by applying icing (1 c. powdered sugar, 2 1/2 Tbs. shortening, 1 Tbls. light corn syrup and 2 tsps. milk) to edges of pieces and press together. Frost the top of the roof and floor. Apply hay to roof and floor and fill manger (1/2 cup shredded coconut + 5 drops yellow food coloring mixed together in a plastic sandwich bag). If desired, run a bead of icing along all edges to finish off. Place manger in stable.

Christmas Shapes: Divide remaining marzipan into fourths. Mix a few drops of food coloring into each portion. Let children mold into edible Christmas shapes. (Snowman arms are made out of a pretzel.)

 

Note: The Gingerbread stable can be eaten right away or made as a special holiday decoration (it will get hard and inedible as it stands out for display). If you choose to display it there are plenty of leftover pieces to frost and munch on while they are fresh, along with the yummy marzipan Christmas shapes!

Baby Jesus: Mold out of marzipan. Blanket is made by rolling marzipan into a very thin square and then wrap around baby. Place baby in manger.

 

 

 

ACTIVITY

 

 

Activity: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.

 

1. Prayerfully choose someone who you can share the gift of Joy (the Gospel/Book of Mormon) with.

2. Write your family’s testimony inside the card and sign.

3. Prayerfully think of the best way to present this gift of joy (build a snow angel, Christmas carol at their house, invite them to a to a F.H.E. with your family, etc.)

4. Take The Book of Mormon, Christmas card, and stable to the person or family you’ve chosen.

Preparation:

 

1. Print out the Christmas card artwork.

2. Fold each page in half. Place scripture page inside the cover page to form a card.

 

What you need:

 

(1) missionary Book of Mormon ($2.50 @ lds distribution centers or order online @ www.lds.catalog.com,

(1) copy of Christmas Card (artwork included with this lesson), or your own Christmas Card,

 

Optional: 1 gingerbread stable, manger, and marzipan baby (recipes and instructions included with this lesson.)

 

ACTIVITY PAGES

 
     
 

Click to Enlarge

     
         

MUSIC MP3

 

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

CLICK TO PRINT "20-MINUTE" LESSON NOTES

 

1. Watch chapter 8 from the animated Complete Learning System, The King is Born DVD. (Video clip is also provided for viewing online.)

 

2. At Christmas time we give gifts to our loved ones. What is the greatest gift Heavenly Father has given us?

“Everything that Heavenly Father does for us is to help us find peace and joy in our lives. The most special gift He has given us is His Son, Jesus Christ. This was the greatest of all gifts ever given. It includes the gift of the Atonement and the gift of His commandments as taught by the prophets.”

First Presidency Message, Friend, Dec. 1995 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

3. “I bring you good tidings of great joy.” (Luke 2:10)

 

What is a tiding?

News or message.

 

What is the joyful news that the angel brought to the shepherds?

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

4. The angel told the shepherds that they would find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. What is swaddling clothes?

Long strips of soft cloth, used in some cultures, to wrap babies and keep them still and calm.

 

What is a manger?

A box from which farm animals eat.

 

5. After the shepherds found the baby Jesus they were so filled with joy that they went about sharing the news with others. How can we share this gift of joy and bring ourselves greater joy?

Discuss ideas. For additional ideas see activity.

 

6. What do we need to do to have true joy?

Keep the commandments so that we might gain eternal life through the gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

Quote:

“One has true joy when he knows that he pleases God, and again, when he is assured that God is pleased with him....May we adopt and follow the true road to happiness...keep his commandments and thereby attain the great goal given us by the Lord, namely, life eternal and everlasting joy in the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son...” Joseph Anderson, Ensign, May 1975 © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.