The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins detail 1838-42
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow
Monthly Theme: I obey Jesus Christ because I love Him.
Monthly Scripture: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15
Weeks 1 & 2
I show love for Jesus Christ when I keep the commandments.
* "Brothers and sisters, we obey the commandments of God—out of love for Him...Dear brothers and sisters, living the gospel faithfully is not a burden. It is a joyful rehearsal—a preparation for inheriting the grand glory of the eternities. We seek to obey our Heavenly Father because our spirits will become more attuned to spiritual things." The Gift of Grace President Uchtdorf April 2015 General Conference
Bring in a large backpack full of heavy books or rocks. Have a couple small children feel how heavy it is! The world would have us think that the commandments weigh us down, but obedience is just the opposite. Like President Uchtdorf has said, living the gospel faithfully is not a burden!
Have a 10-12 questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with obedience. Invite your piano player (if they have a good back!) to come up front and wear the heavy backpack, have them be a little dramatic about it. Oh so heavy!!! Invite children to answer the questions, then remove a rock/or book from the backpack.
Bear testimony that sin is what weighs us down, obedience lightens our load. We obey the commandments because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus.
* Deuteronomy 5:27, "Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it."
Play a game, "Hear it, and do it". Come up with about 20 small strips of paper with instructions to be drawn out of a bag. (For example: jump on one foot 5 times then spin in a circle twice, pat your belly while make 7 kissing sounds, roll your shoulders while nodding your head for 15 seconds) In order to be able to choose something to hear and do, a child must be able to tell you a commandment (which you or another child can write on the chalkboard) Why do we keep the commandments? Why do we do all these things listed on the chalkboard? Because we love Jesus and Heavenly Father!!
Challenge the children to listen to a conference talk. HEAR IT!!! And then choose something to do, from listening to that talk. DO IT!!!
* Pin the heart on the commandments. Yes. Very simple. Draw a set of stone tablets to represent the commandments, bring in some paper hearts (with tape) and a blindfold. Spin the child a couple times and let them pin it on the stone tablet commandments. In between each child have prepared questions, songs and scriptures having to do with obedience. Why do we keep the commandments? Because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus!
* Don't break my heart!! Have about 6 wooden clothespins and a few tissue paper hearts. Invite 6 primary friends to come up front and pass the paper heart with the clothespins WITHOUT ripping it!! Would Heavenly Father's heart be sad and broken if we didn't keep the commandments? Yes!! He loves us so very much and we show our love for Him and Jesus by being obedient to the commandments.
In between each round of the game go over parts of the story of when Moses received the 10 commandments. Have questions prepared having to do with the week's theme.
Jeremiah 24:7 " And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
Week 3 My love for Jesus Christ grows when I pray.
* Have about 10 numbered hearts on the ground. Invite 10 children to come up front and walk around the hearts while the primary pianist plays a song about prayer. When the music stops, draw a number from the bag and have that child on the heart that the number was called, answer a question or read a scripture about prayer. Why do we have all these hearts? Because our love for Jesus Christ grows when we pray!
* On the chalkboard, draw bingo squares and write simple physical activities inside each one. Things that make our heart strong!! (For example 5 push ups, 10 jumping jacks, jog in place 30 seconds, 10 lunges, punch the air in front of you 30 seconds, etc.) How do we keep our hearts and bodies healthy? One way is by doing good exercise!! But what about our spiritual hearts? How do we keep our spiritual heart healthy?
One way is to pray!! My love for Jesus Christ grows when I pray. Have a child make an X on a bingo square. Have the primary do what that bingo square says. Have a question (or scripture) about prayer to answer after the exercise.
HERE is a really GREAT talk about hearts and what happens in a heart transplant. I really like how one has to be diligent about taking care and not slacking in our efforts to make sure our hearts are right before God. He says, "Please consider the state of your changed heart. Do you detect any rejection setting in as a result of the tendency of the natural man to become casual? If so, find a place where you too can kneel."
* Psalms 92:1-2 " It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night..."
Have a bouquet of fake flowers. On each flower have a question, song, or scripture attached about prayer. Just like a seed grows into a flower, as we pray, our love for Jesus Christ grows bigger! Let a child choose a flower, answer the question then choose 2 primary friends. Now it's time to play a simple game of grow the flower.
To play "grow the flower" have each child sit back to back. They link elbows and then try to stand up working together! This will get a lot of primary friends out of their chairs and moving. Just remember, you can't hear a flower grow.... so not too loud! End with encouraging the children to look for flowers this week and maybe each time they see a flower they really like they can say a prayer to grow their love for Jesus! (Girls in dresses might have a hard time playing this and being lady like, just a thought!!)
Week 4 My love for Jesus Christ grows when I study the scriptures.
* Alma 32:34, 41 " And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit...
But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." Build a tree! Bring in a paper trunk, paper branches, paper fruit, paper grass for the bottom, a paper bird and nest, etc. Have a paper sack with questions about scripture study in it. Invite a primary friend to come up front, choose a question and answer it. Then have them pick a paper part of the tree to put on the chalkboard with a magnet.
We can nourish our love for Jesus Christ when we study the scriptures. Like the scripture in Alma says, "If we nourish the word... behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life."
* Here is a little Reader's Theater I wrote up. All scriptures are quoted. You can have very simple costumes, a pair of glasses as a prop. Kids can share a few copies of the script or you can make 11 and highlight, it's up to you. Choose your readers carefully!! Longer parts should go to children who can read fluently. The dog would be an easy part for a Sunbeam! This was written for non-commercial purposes. Please do not use other than for home or church purposes. (UPDATE!! I accidentally wrote the WRONG scripture reference... it's 3 Nephi 23:1,5,13,14.... My apologies!!)
* A cute handout for the week could be this saying with small crystal light packet attached.
Elder Richard G. Scott Oct. 2011 The Power of Scripture