Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner
This sharing time will introduce your family to Gabriel, who isn’t actually found in your nativity set, but who plays an important role in the nativity story. Give adults a basic summary of his contributions, both as Noah during his lifetime, and Gabriel, as he is now known. For adults, you may use my article on Gabriel, found in the related links at the bottom of this lesson. For children, use the rebus story found in “Noah and the Flood,” Friend, Oct. 2002, 36–37. This page also has a Noah’s ark craft if you want to continue learning about Noah.
Attention Activity: Show the family several pictures from the Gospel Art kit (These are available online at LDS.org.) The pictures should be of various men from the scriptures, including Noah. Ask the family to name the people in the pictures, and then to tell you which one became the Angel Gabriel after his death.
Background: Explain to the family that Noah was chosen before the world was created to be a leader. What kind of person must he have been at that time to be chosen that way?
In his time on earth, he was known as Noah. Ask family members to share what they remember about Noah’s life.
Noah was a prophet, but, like all prophets, he was also a missionary. What did he do as a missionary? (He taught people that God wanted them to repent.)
Story: Briefly review the story of Noah and the Ark with your family. If you have young children, use the rebus story, a flannel board, or the children’s illustrated scriptures. For adults, read the story from the scriptures or retell it.
As an Angel: After his death, Noah was known as the Angel Gabriel. Have family members look up the following scriptures to learn what Noah did as an angel:
Dan. 8: 16; Dan. 9: 21
Luke 1: 11-19
Luke 1: 26-38
In each appearance, he was sent to tell people about something specific. Ask your family to look for the common aspect of each scripture—he was preparing the way for the Savior’s birth. (His announcement of John’s birth was related to the birth of the Savior.)
Application: Today, we can follow the example of the angel Gabriel by telling others of the Savior.
Ask your family to list what they would consider to be the ten most important things they want others to know about the Savior. You can do this as a family or individually. Consider making a poster to display using the answers and pictures of the Savior your family has or draws.
Next, ask them to think of ways they could share this information. Think beyond the usual answer of starting a gospel conversation. Ideas might include:
-making a website
--writing a letter to someone
--hanging pictures of the Savior in our home or lockers to spark conversation
--Writing a family book and giving it as a gift.
--Inviting others to a special family night held on a night other than Monday.
Give each family member a small gift box, a picture of the Savior small enough to fit on the box, and a slip of paper. Ask them to write the name of one person they will talk to about the Savior over the coming year. (This means they will bring up the subject periodically throughout the year.) Place the name of the person in the box and attach the picture to the outside of the box. Periodically, check ask family members to share results and to discuss any challenges or concerns they may have.
Share testimony of the importance of teaching others about the Savior.
A Christmas Bell for Anya