Senior Sunday School
Opening song: “All Hail the Glorious Day,” Hymns–Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, page 223.
Song: “What Was Witnessed in the Heavens,” Hymns, page 299.
Song: “In Remembrance of Thy Suffering,” Hymns, page 258.
Brief general statement by the superintendent about the nature of the Easter Program.
A gifted reader will now read the following:
Reader (Birth of the Savior)
Now, I, Mormon, do finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi; concerning the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as was known among my people. And my people were a branch of the House of Israel who had been led to this promised land.
And it came to pass that six hundred years had passed away from the time Father Lehi left Jerusalem. And the more righteous among the people were pondering the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, and the signs he had spoken of whereby they might know of the birth of the Savior. But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite. But behold, the righteous did watch steadfastly for that day, and that night, and that day, which shall be as one day, as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
And it came to pass at the going down of the sun, there was no darkness, and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came. And they began to know that the son of God must shortly appear; for they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
And there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. The sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
The organist will now play softly one verse of “I Know that My Redeemer Lives,” Hymns, page 361.
Reader (Crucifixion of the Savior)
And now it came to pass, the thirty and third year had passed away, and the people began to look with earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite; yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land. For this would be the sign that Jesus had been slain for the sins of the world.
For Samuel, the Lamanite, had said, For behold, Jesus surely must die, that salvation may come; yea, it behoveth him, and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the lord.
And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in the land.
And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch, that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder; and there was exceeding sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.
And the darkness did last for the space of three days. and there was great destruction in the land. Cities were burned, some buried beneath earth or sea, and the whole face of the land was changed. And in one place the people were heard to cry, saying:
Choral Reading – (Advanced Senior Class.)
O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared. O that we had not killed and stoned the prophets and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters and our children have been spared.
And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of this land, crying: Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent: for the devil laugheth and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people …;
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto my own and my own received me not. And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name.
Congregational Song: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives,” (first verse) Hymns, page 361.
And now it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year that a great multitude gathered together of the people of Nephi, round about the temple that was in the land Bountiful, and they were conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
Choral Reading – (Advanced Senior Class – II.)
And we heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and we cast our eyes round about for we understood not the voice. It was not a harsh voice; neither was it a loud voice; but nevertheless it did pierce our souls.
And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not. And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. And behold, the third time they did understand the voice they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name – hear ye him.
And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them. And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
Choral Reading – (Senior Class–I.)
And we do know that he is Christ for we did go forth and did see with our eyes and feel with our hands and do bear record that it is he of whom it is written by the prophets that should come. Hosanna! blessed be the name of the most High God.
Congregational Song: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (second verse) Hymns, page 361.
And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto Nephi and he commanded him that he should come forth. And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet. And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him.
And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you the power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.
And again the Lord called others and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And it came to pass that Jesus touched with his hand the disciples whom he had chosen, one by one, even until he had touched them all, and spake unto them as he touched them. And the multitude heard not the words which he spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the disciples bare record that he gave them power to give the Holy Ghost. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true. And he said unto them: Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them – Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
And now behold, these are the words which he shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water and come forth again out of the water.
Choral Reading – (Advanced Junior Class.)
Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.
After Jesus had called the twelve disciples, and they had received the power and authority to baptize, he stretched forth his hand to the multitude and cried unto them saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water: and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
Choral Reading– (Gospel Message Class.)
Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
And blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
And Jesus said unto them: Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you: my bowels are filled with mercy. For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
And it came to pass that when he had spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him. And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him. And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.
And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground Jesus prayed unto the Father. And when he had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose and bade them arise. And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
Choral Reading – (Second Intermediate Class.)
And when he said these words he wept, and he took our little children, one by one and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again. And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
Congregational Song: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (third verse) Hymns, page 361.
And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me. Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did show himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them. And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.
And it came to pass that after he had ascended into heaven … and had gone unto the Father, after having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and eve had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth his power unto them, and had ascended unto the Father –
Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them. And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to baptize and to teach as many as did come unto them; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus were filled with the Holy Ghost.
Congregational Song: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (four verses), Hymns, page 361.
Concluding comments: Member of the ward bishopric (10 minutes)
Congregational Song: “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” Hymns,, page 148.
Benediction: Member of the Gospel Message Department
Junior Sunday School
Theme: Easter is a Special Time to Remember Jesus
Opening Song: “Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” The Children Sing, Page 789
Song: “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story,” The Children Sing, page 9
(With little children we do not wish to stress the crucifixion. We want them to know that after Jesus died he was resurrected or lived again. We, too, will live after we die.)
Brief Statement: Teacher
In the Bible we are told the story of the first Easter. We are told that long, long ago Jesus died. Three days later he rose to live again.
When Jesus died all the people thought He would never live again. our Heavenly Father knew better. He had promised that Jesus would live forever. Because Jesus lived again we will live again after we die. We call coming to life after we die, the resurrection. We celebrate Easter Sunday to remember that Jesus lived after He died. We celebrate Easter to remember Jesus. (Adapted from Living Our Religion, part one, page 45)
Song: “Christ Is Risen,” The Children sing, Page 160. (This could be especially prepared by older children.)
Jesus taught us to be loving and kind to one another. He told us to do unto others as we would that others would do unto us.
Read from Bible, “…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40
A good story teller could prepare “Polly’s Easter Sermon,” A Story to Tell, page 394. (A flannel board or shadow show could be used to add variety and interest.)
Song: “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” The Children Sing, page 101.