The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most tender in the Bible. This New Testament FHE lesson helps us understand that even when we feel so lost, we can always return to God. Each of our FHE lessons includes three lesson plans for different ages, treat recipes, activity ideas, and more.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
1. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the sheep of his fold;
Dear is the love that he gives them,
Dearer than silver or gold.
Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are his “other” lost sheep;
Over the mountains he follows,
Over the waters so deep.
Out in the desert they wander,
Hungry and helpless and cold;
Off to the rescue he hastens,
Bringing them back to the fold.
2. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the lambs of his fold;
Some from the pastures are straying,
Hungry and helpless and cold.
See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost,
Bringing them in with rejoicing,
Saved at such infinite cost.
3. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the “ninety and nine”;
Dear are the sheep that have wandered
Out in the desert to pine.
Hark! he is earnestly calling,
Tenderly pleading today:
“Will you not seek for my lost ones,
Off from my shelter astray?”
4. Green are the pastures inviting;
Sweet are the waters and still.
Lord, we will answer thee gladly,
“Yes, blessed Master, we will!
Make us thy true under-shepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep.”
Activity: Begin the lesson by telling the children that you have lost some treats or items in the home. Have them go on a scavenger hunt to find the items. They can be coins, candies, or even their own toys.
Ask: Have you ever lost something? How did you feel when you found it?
Read: In the scriptures, Jesus tells multiple stories about lost things being found. One of these stories is about a man who had two sons. One of the sons left home and made bad choices. Eventually, he returned home and his father welcomed him with open arms.
Ask: How do you think the father felt when his son came home?
Read: When we don’t follow our Heavenly Parents and Jesus Christ, we can get lost spiritually. It’s important to stay on the covenant path. We can make good choices. However, it’s also important to remember that we all make mistakes. No matter what we do, we can come back to God at any time.
Share: Tell about a time when you made a bad decision and repented. Talk about how you felt when you turned to God.
Testimony: Close with your testimony of how we can return to God at any time.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Scriptures: Begin the lesson by reading or recapping the story of the Prodigal Son as found in Luke 15:11-32. Ask everyone to share what gospel principles they learn from the parable.
Video: Watch the following video. Ask everyone to ponder who they relate to in the video and what other things we can learn from this parable.
Ask: Can you relate to anyone in this video? Why? What are some new gospel principles that stood out to you from looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son from a different perspective?
Read: We all need rescuing. We all fall short of the glory of God. By turning our hearts to God, we can find joy in our own relationship and receive more power to help others.
Share: Discuss a time when someone helped you come more fully to God. What did they do that was helpful?
Ask: What are some ways we can help others return to God? How do we respect the agency of others while inviting them to come to Christ?
Testimony: Close with your testimony of God’s joy when the lost return.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Consider those in your life who have left the Church or are struggling with their testimonies as you read “Waiting for the Prodigal” by Elder Brent H. Nielson.
Homemade Chocolate Coins
These chocolate coins are easy to make and fun to put together. Customize them with your favorite toppings. Use it alongside scriptures of the lost coin.
Go on a scavenger hunt together as a family. Use one online or create your own. Examples could be to find things of a different color or texture on a nature walk.