The Spirit of God
(by Mindy in CA)

I was nosing through some old books today and found this help from the 1992 "The Grapevine" by Valerie Briggs. I will send what I found:

"This is one of our church's oldest and most favorite hymns. The early saints enjoyed singing it as much as we do today. When this powerful and moving hymn was sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple in 1836, it started a great tradition. This hymn, along with the great "hosanna Shout", has been used at the dedicatory services of each temple since then. The chorus is an expression of great joy in which the Saints join with the "angels of heaven" in the cry which offers praise and reverence to God, the Father and to his Son, Jesus Christ: "Hosanna! Hosanna! hosanna! To God and the lamb!" Shortly after this dedication, Jesus Christ appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. (See picture in Ensign, Apr. 1988, inside front cover.)

To help children relate to the phrase "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," tell the story of the events that transpired during the dedication of the Kirtland temple.

Show picture #62432, A ".......bright light like a pillar of fire" rested on the temple which was filled with angels. [History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 428 as recorded by the prophet Joseph Smith.]

In the Bible we re told of the experience Moses had with the bush that seemed to burn s a result of the presence of the Spirit of God (Exodus 3:2-6).

Most children are also familiar with the story of the brilliant white light of the First Vision when God appeared to Joseph Smith.

Verse 1:
This hymn is easily learned by rote. Make word strip pairs with color-keyed rhyming words from the end of each phrase. Paper clip each word strip to the corresponding picture, i.e. "Burning" & "returning" (black letters on orange paper). "forth" & "earth" (black letters on brown paper.)

visions: use picture 62012--Joseph receives the Gold Plates
blessings: use picture 62371--Peter, James and John conferring Melchizedek Priesthood

Explain that "the lamb" is a special term used when referring to our Savior, because he was willing to sacrifice his life for our sins.
To teach the correct concept and to distinguish between the lambs referred to in the chorus and verse 4, use a picture of the Savior 62562 ~ The Second Coming, showing the armies of heaven, rather than a lamb picture as used in verse 4.

Verse 2:
This verse refers to the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of the Word of God (Book of Mormon), and modern revelation through a living prophet.
These things extend our knowledge of God.
"extend the Saints understanding" use pictures 62373 ~ the scriptures and a picture of President Hinckley.
"the knowledge and power" use pictures 62344 ~ Missionaries teaching the gospel and 62524 ~ Father blessing his Son, with clipped on word strips "understanding" & "expanding" in lack letters on yellow paper.

Verse 3:
A solemn assembly is a very special church meeting of worthy priesthood holders, usually held in the temple, where leadership comes together in a spirit of fasting and prayer to rededicate themselves to the Lord and his service. Color key the rhyming words.

Verse 4:
Use lamb lying with a lion [Isaiah 11:6] (Joy-210*), representing the peace that will be on earth during the Millennium of Christ's reign.
Explain that without any "ire" means with no anger or fear between them.

"And Ephraim be crowned..." refers to our blessings to be received for our missionary efforts, (we are "Ephraim") and the growth of the Church (Zion) through missionary work throughout the world. A child could wear a neck sign "Ephraim" and a crown on his head labeled "blessings in Zion".

"As Jesus descends...", use figure on Joy-206, or library picture 62562 ~ The Second Coming.

* "Joy" references are from The Joy of Children's Music, revised 1990; visual aids and specific teaching suggestions. It is a Briggs publication.