Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prophets’ Baptism Timeline Sharing time

June 2013 Week 5
Anyone seen a timeline before, maybe at school? A timeline is a diagram that shows when different events in history or someone’s life have taken place. There are dates or years on timelines, read from left to right (point to timeline) to show the amount of time passed between each of the events. We are going to explore a special timeline today and learn about some prophets, their baptisms long ago and how they had testimonies of the gospel, even as children. I have a scrapbook that has pictures of some prophets as children that need to be matched up with the correct prophet portrait on the timeline so we can read a journal entry about their baptism experience. We will draw a year out of the bag and identify the prophet that was baptized that year.

I made a timeline by covering two old trifold boards in butcher paper and creating the timeline. I used velcro dots for pictures to attach to the timeline because I wanted to remove them and reattach pictures to the timeline and quickly set up Senior sharing time.This timeline could be simplified by drawing the timeline on two rolling chalkboards often found in meetinghouses.

So, for example if you pulled out 1884 from this bag, you would find 1884 on the timeline and look at the picture of the adult prophet above who was baptized in 1884.  Then we will work together to figure out the name of that prophet.  Then in our teams (rows) we will look through the scrapbook of picture of the prophets as children that I’ve provided you and try to find the picture of that prophet as a child.  (each row has a scrapbook from the dollar store with identical pictures of the prophets as children and can take turns within the row holding the scrapbook for their team.)

We then will compare the pictures of the prophet (as a child and as an adult) and learn about their baptism and testimonies as children. Finally, we will take the picture of the child from my scrapbook and add it to the timeline.
(Read after each child picture is matched)

Joseph F. Smith-1852 - (Hint on the child picture- This prophet was a pioneer crossing the plains) Joseph F. Smith was baptized on 21 May 1852 in City Creek... in Salt Lake City. The ordinance was performed by President Heber C. Kimball, a member of the First Presidency and a close friend of Joseph’s martyred father, Hyrum Smith. Because his father had been killed when Joseph F. was 7, he was baptized at 13 after they had crossed the plains and settled into in the Salt Lake valley.  In describing that day, Joseph F. Smith said: “… I remember the testimony that filled my being when I was baptized. At that time City Creek flowed down through the heart of the city, and in that stream I was baptized when a boy, and when I came out of the water my whole being was filled with the testimony that my act was accepted of God.”


George Albert Smith-1878 - “I grew up in Salt Lake City.  When eight years of age, I was baptized in City Creek. I was confirmed a member of the Church in fast meeting in the Seventeenth Ward, and I learned when I was a boy that this is the work of the Lord. I learned that there were prophets living upon the earth. I learned that the inspiration of the Almighty would influence those who lived to enjoy it. …”

David O. McKay-1881 -  As 8 years old, David O Mckay’s father was called on a church mission and the family supported the call. It was a McKay family tradition that the children were baptized on the day of their eighth birthday. When David reached his eighth birthday, September 8, 1881, he was baptized in Spring Creek in Huntsville, Utah by Peter Geertsen. His father returned from his mission in April, 1883.
David O McKay said, “I say it has been easy for me to understand and believe the reality of the visions of the Prophet Joseph.  It was easy for me in youth to accept his vision, the appearance of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ to the boy praying.”

Joseph Fielding Smith-1884 -“Joseph Fielding Smith was baptized by his father on 19 July 1884 in Salt Lake City, Utah, probably baptized outdoors in City Creek.”  Joseph Fielding Smith stated: “I was born with a testimony of the gospel. . . . I do not remember a time when I did not have full confidence in the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and in the teachings and guidance of my parents” I learned at a very early day that God lives; he gave me a testimony when I was a child, and I have tried to be obedient always with some measure of success”


Spencer W. Kimball-1903 - “From childhood he has been most conscientious in his work—nothing short of the best was good enough. For years he had a record of perfect attendance at Sunday School and Primary.”   President Spencer W. Kimball was actually baptized twice.  His first baptism was on his 8th birthday, being baptized by his father in a hog-scalding tub.  "His father knelt outside the tub as he baptized his son. His father stood outside the tub, which some people felt was not a correct way to baptize. To be sure that Spencer was properly baptized, he was baptized again, when he was twelve years old, in the Union Canal just a block away from his home."  “If you are baptized when you are eight years old, of course you are a child, and there is much you would not be expected to know. But the Holy Ghost comes to you as you grow and learn and make yourselves worthy. It comes a little at a time as you merit it. And as your life is in harmony, you gradually receive the Holy Ghost in a great measure.”


Harold B. Lee-1907 - Harold B. Lee's journal contains this brief recollection of his baptism: "I was baptized a member of the Church on June 9, 1907, at Clifton, Idaho by Lester Bybee. The place was known as 'Bybee Pond'... This was on a Sunday morning. I was confirmed the same day by Bishop E. G. Farmer."  “When we went into the waters of baptism we entered into a covenant with the Lord that we would do all within our power to keep God’s commandments, with the understanding that the Lord’s promises would be given to us and His glory would be added forever and ever…”

Gordon B. Hinckley-1919 -“ I went to Primary when I was a small boy. In those days we met on Tuesday afternoon after school. Here we learned about Jesus and His great love for us. We learned about God our Eternal Father, to whom we could go in prayer. We learned about the boy Joseph, who went into the woods to pray and whose prayer was answered with a visit of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”  I was baptized by my father April 28, 1919, in a ward house baptismal font in Salt Lake City, Utah.  “Since then my faith has grown much further. I have become His Apostle, appointed to do His will and teach His word. I have become His witness to the world.”

Howard W. Hunter-1920 - Howard W. Hunter’s mother was a member of the church, but his father was not a member. When Howard turned eight-years-old, he wanted to be baptized, but his father explained that he wanted him to wait until he grew up to decide the right church for him. When Howard turned twelve, he begged his father to let him be baptized so he could become a deacon. Finally, a few months after Howard's twelfth birthday, his father agreed to let him be baptized. He was baptized on April 4, 1920 in a big public swimming pool since the church had no baptismal font in Boise at that time. (See Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Robinson.) taken from  Howard W. Hunter said, “I think of this period of my life as the time the truths of the gospel commenced to unfold. I always had a testimony of the gospel, but suddenly I commenced to understand.” (President Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley are about 3 years apart in age, Pres. Hinckley was born in 1910 and Pres. Hunter was born in 1907, but President Hinckley was baptized first since he was baptized when he was 8)

Thomas S. Monson-1935 - “I recall the time I approached baptism, when I was eight years of age. My mother talked with me about repentance and about the meaning of baptism; and then, on a Saturday in September of 1935, she took me on a streetcar to the Tabernacle baptistery… At the time it was not as customary as it is now for fathers to baptize their children, since the ordinance was generally performed on a Saturday...and many fathers were working at their daily professions or trades. I dressed in white and was baptized. I remember that day as though it were yesterday and the happiness I felt at having had this ordinance performed.”


I hope you will record details and feelings of your own baptism in a journal so that other generations can read how you became a member of God’s church and that you had a testimony of the gospel at a young age. Who knows, a boy sitting here today could someday be called as a prophet to lead this Church! I am grateful that I was baptized into this true church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Pictures of the prophets as children were taken from the following sources:

 You can find a copy of the file named "Sharing time- Prophets are baptized" at my Skydrive:


  1. This is amazing. Thank you so much for all the work it must have taken to pull this together and for sharing it with all of us primary leaders trying to come up with something for a 5th Sunday.

  2. I agree, thank you for sharing. This will be a wonderful lesson to conclude the month.

  3. Thank you so, so much! I've been out of town and only have a day to prepare (I remember trying to read the sharing time beforehand, but realized there wasn't one and then left town). I appreciate so much the work you have done here and how perfectly it fits with the monthly theme!

  4. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. I truly believe that your lesson here was inspired. I have warm thoughts of each of these men in my heart as I prepare to share this special timeline with our Primary children. Thank you again.

  5. I appreciate your hard work and that you are willing to share it! Thanks SO much!

  6. I agree with anonymous. This was inspired. Thank you for sharing your beautiful idea and hard work with us.

  7. Amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Wow! This is so creative, so informative, so inspired and so fun! Thank You So Much!