Overcoming Death and Hell

February 10-16, 2020

The beginnings of different sections are bolded. Please follow the spirit to know if you should remove any sections or add anything specific for your own family.

Opening song and prayer

Introduce topic: “Today we are going to talk about how Christ made it possible to overcome death and hell.”

*Now I have to admit it. I can’t claim complete originality of this idea. I learned it on my mission from someone who learned it from someone else on their mission and so on and so forth. I wish I could credit whoever came up with the original drawing, but I’m afraid that this depiction of the atonement has been passed down by word of mouth by many missionaries. To give you a basic idea of what we’re going for here, I’m going to show the diagram before we talk about how to make it even more kid-friendly.

So we are on the left, and God is on the right. There are two obstacles for us to pass in order to get to God: death and hell. Christ built a bridge over death (everyone who has lived on this earth will be resurrected), and He gave us a ladder to overcome sin. The ladder is the gospel. Usually you would draw the obstacles and explain them, and then you would add the bridge with an explanation. Last, you would draw the ladder and explain that portion. Anyway, this is what we’re going for in this lesson. 

Activity/Discussion Option 1: Draw out the diagram above with just “you” on the left and God on the right. Add the two obstacles. Explain that Heavenly Father wanted us to come to earth so that we could grow to be like Him, but if we came to earth, there would be two obstacles that would keep us from coming home to Him. Label the first dip as “Death,” and go on to explain that we need to have a body to become like God. We lose our bodies when we die. Read 1 Nephi 10:21. Ask your children what the second obstacle is. Label the second dip as “Sin.” Go on to draw the ladder, and make a simple statement of testimony that Christ provided a way for us to overcome sin and live with God again. Explain that the ladder is different than the bridge; there are things that we have to do to accept Christ’s gift. If your children are old enough, you can ask questions to prompt them to label the ladder or you can read the fourth article of faith in order to help them label it. 

Activity/Discussion Option 2: With blue painters tape (or anything else you have handy around the house), make a large circle on your floor. This will be the first dip, death, that is depicted in the drawing above. Make a second circle for sin. Have your children stand on one end of the room. On the other side of the room and across your two circles, you can place a picture of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Explain to your children that the two circles are deep pits that we can’t cross on our own. We want to return to Heavenly Father, but we can’t get across the two pits. Explain that the first pit is death, and then ask them what the first pit is. It may seem redundant, but it will help them get the point across. Explain that the second pit is sin, and then ask them what the second pit is. Make it very clear what the two pits are. Create a bridge by placing pillows in a straight line across the first pit. As you set the pillows down, explain that Jesus Christ died and then was resurrected (You can read 1 Cor. 15:20, and explain that Christ was the first to be resurrected). Explain that because we chose to come to earth and because Christ was resurrected, we will be able to get our bodies back too. Have your children walk over the bridge of pillows. Explain to them that they are still stuck from the second pit, and then go on to make a simple sentence of testimony that Christ gave us a way to overcome sin and make it back to Heavenly Father. He did this through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have either a child or adult read the fourth article of faith, as they read, place stepping stones (honestly, you can just use pieces of paper labeled as faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End) across the second pit. Explain that in order to overcome sin, we have to make sure to complete each step. Instruct them to cross over the second pit, but explain that they have to touch each step in order to make it across to Heavenly Father. Celebrate that you have all made it back to Heavenly Father.

Scripture Reading: Here’s where this week’s Come Follow Me comes in. Read (or have someone read) 2 Nephi 9:6. Point out death and transgression and point back to either your diagram or pits that you created on your floor. Read (or have someone read) 2 Nephi 9:10. Testify that God did create a way to escape both of these pits. Read 2 Nephi 9:22-23. Reiterate that everyone gets the first bridge and will be resurrected. Testify that if we follow the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and endure), we can return to our Heavenly Father.

This would be a great time to see if any of your children feel comfortable bearing their own testimonies about Jesus Christ. Don’t necessarily push them to bear their testimonies (follow the Spirit!), but do encourage them to do so.

Closing Song and prayer

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