Monday, May 30, 2016

June 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

This is a picture from last year when my daughter Maria got baptized.

Monthly Theme: The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Make It Possible for Me to Live with God Again.
Monthly Scripture: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:4).

Week 1 Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to love Him, trust Him, and keep His commandments.

* "As we increase in faith, we also must increase in faithfulness...if our faith does not change the way we live—if our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions—our religion is vain, and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of eventually flat lining. Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls." By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf General Conference April 2016 He Will Place You on His Shoulders
     Bring in some small clothes, even a baby shirt. Does it makes sense that when we grow we have to get bigger clothes? Try putting on the baby shirt... it doesn't even fit on my arm!! As our faith grows, so do the good things we need to do!
      Make a layer book for each child. Grab 2 pieces of paper, layer them, then fold and staple.
This picture shows several layers, you wont need that many. On the first layer, have the children write FAITH and draw a picture to illustrate what faith means to them. On the 2nd layer write LOVE HIM and draw a picture to illustrate why the children love their Savior. On the 3rd layer write TRUST HIM and have them draw a picture about why they trust Jesus. On the 4th layer have them write KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS and draw something they can do this week to really show their commitment to goodness. It would really help if you had an example to show the children of this layer book and what you drew inside!
       Did the pages/layers in your book get bigger? Repeat the quote from President Uchtdorf, "As we increase in faith, we also must increase in faithfulness..."

* "Most of you are familiar with Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. As she contemplates which way to turn, she is confronted by the Cheshire Cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?” The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”1
Unlike Alice, we know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life. May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals." President Monson General Conference April 2016 Choices
       Have a path to a table set with a nice tea and a couple crazy hats. We know our path and where we want to go! And today our path leads to learning more about faith! Invite a primary friend to start on the path and state where they want to go - eternal life with Heavenly Father! They walk the path and sit down to tea (of course decaffeinated and don't forget to pretend pour it!!), wear a hat and get to answer a question about faith. Prepare 10-12 questions and have 2 scriptures to read about faith also! Have 3 paper Cheshire Cats hidden in the room. If someone can find one, remind them that the Chesire Cat says it's not important what path you take... wrong! What are some things we should avoid that don't help our faith??
(Yaya Christina and my Christina.... we're so Greek... these were the most fun hats to make!! I had to share.)
* topic helps says, "Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties (see Alma 7:11-12; D&C 122:8). He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us as we remember His plea: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36)."
      Bring in a blindfold and ask for a volunteer. Do they trust you? Set up a mini obstacle course. Guide the primary friend by the hand, talk to them when they get to an obstacle and help them through it. Would this have been pretty easy to do blindfolded without my help? Faith in Jesus means relying completely on Him!!
        Have about 10 pictures of people from magazines cut out with paper thought bubbles coming from their heads and a ? in each bubble. “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36)." Invent 10 different scenarios/short situations for each person. Invite a primary friend to come up front and choose a person. Read their scenario and ask the primary child how that person can be faithful! For example- Sara just had a really long day at school. 2 of her friends got in an argument and wanted her to choose a side and choose who she liked more. Sara had a bad feeling.... what could Sara do to show faith? A response could be- First off, Sara doesn't know what will happen. She has to trust Heavenly Father that He will help her. She can say a prayer, she can tell her friends that she doesn't want to choose... Jesus loved everyone and so can she!
Week 2 Repentance brings forgiveness.

* “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.And I will remember [them] no more." Jeremiah 31:34
     HERE is some really interesting information with GREAT VISUALS!!! I would have 6-7 red pieces of paper covering white pieces of paper throughout the room. Invite a child to take off the red paper, read an interesting fact from the article, then crumple the red paper and throw it away.
     Repeat the scripture often throughout the lesson and try to help the children memorize it by leaving out words here and there or having them fill in the blank as you say it. Are the red papers gone? Yes!! And our sins or mistakes (if we are younger than 8) can be too when we repent or prepare for repentance by saying sorry!!

* Bring in 5 paper bags with a couple simple costumes and props to tell the story for the following: Alma the Younger repents (Mosiah 27), Saul repents (Acts 9), Enos repents (Enos), The Anti-Nephi-Lehies (Alma 23-24), Jonah repents (Jonah 2).
     Do the children know these stories? Have them break into groups and prepare a short skit to present the scripture story of repentance. They must use all the items in the bag. Just in case the children aren't familiar or can't remember the story, type up 2 paragraphs to summarize and put that into the bag too. After 5 minutes, have the children present their story to the entire primary.

* HERE is a link to the FHE Resource book. If you scroll down there is a 5 question True or False test that would be a great introduction activity to your lesson. Children can stand on their right foot if they think the answer is True or left foot if they think the answer is false.
     Break into small groups of 3-4 primary friends and give each group a scripture on repentance. Have them read it and come up with a true/false question for the entire primary, then share.

* "In my youth I learned an important lesson about how our actions may limit our freedom. One day my father assigned me to varnish a wooden floor. I made the choice to begin at the door and work my way into the room. When I was almost finished, I realized I had left myself no way to get out. There was no window or door on the other side. I had literally painted myself into a corner. I had no place to go. I was stuck.
     Whenever we disobey, we spiritually paint ourselves into a corner and are captive to our choices. Though we are spiritually stuck, there is always a way back. Like repentance, turning around and walking across a newly varnished floor means more work—a lot of resanding and refinishing! Returning to the Lord isn’t easy, but it is worth it." Elder Robert D. Hales November 2010 Ensign Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life
       Play a game of 4 corners, label each corner with a color. Bring a bag with 4 small pieces of paper to match the colors of each corner. Draw a color from the bag and all the children in that corner are out. In between each round have questions (8-10), scriptures (2-3), or songs (2-3) on repentance for a child to answer or read. Songs of course are sung by the entire primary. You might not get to all the questions or scriptures, that's OK! It's better to be over prepared than under prepared!

Week 3 When I am baptized, I make a covenant with God.

* HERE is a great board game from The Friend on our baptismal covenant!

* Camp Covenant!! Write it on the chalkboard!! Bring in some camping supplies and have a reverent child come up and choose to learn more about baptismal covenants today at Camp Covenant!!
lantern (Please read Mosiah 18:8, emphasize LIGHT)
cast iron pot (How can we develop strong testimonies to prepare for baptism and help us afterwards?)
tent (Fill in the blank. Baptism is the gate that helps us to enter this shelter of The Lord...)
sleeping bag (Use the sleeping bag to demonstrate immersion)
backpack (What does it mean to bear one another's burdens that they may be light?)
mosquito repellent (How does keeping our covenants repel sin?)
marshmallow roasting stick (Sometimes we are a lone marshmallow in the fire. What does the covenant to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all places mean?)
matches (What does Heavenly Father promise us once we are baptized and confirmed? Please read Matthew 3:11)
hiking boots (Why was Jesus baptized and how can we follow Him?)
hat (Using your beautiful mind and brain, come up with 10 ways to comfort a person who needs comfort!)
picture of the mountains ( Sometimes it can be very peaceful when we camp in the mountains. What can we do to bring peace or mourn with a person who is mourning?)
      Mark 1:4 "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." We might not have been exactly in the wilderness camping today, but hopefully we were able to feel the Holy Ghost (a feeling of happiness or calm or peace) while talking about baptism and covenants! Challenge the children to go somewhere in nature this and pray about something they can do to keep their baptism covenant this week.

* HERE are some good ideas from The Friend. I like the one about inviting a priesthood holder to come in as John the Baptist (with the permission of the Bishop).

* I Like My Birthdays (CS 104) is a great song!! The first verse is pretty easy to learn:
Have 2 birthday hats for children to wear on I like my birthdays every one
Have a party horn blower toy for a child to blow on the word JOY only!! in the phrase Each brings a greater joy to me
Have 2 children come up and hold up 8 fingers for the phrase But I can't wait until I'm 8
Have a child hold up a picture of Baptism on the phrase For then I'll be baptized you see -and have the child point to their eye on the word see
    After you've gone through the song a couple times, have an undecorated  REAL birthday cake. Have 10-12 questions/scriptures (Not each, TOTAL!) about baptismal covenants for the children to answer/read. After the child answers have them add some frosting to the cake. Once it's completely frosted, children who come up can add sprinkles. Have the missionaries come in and give them the cake and sing I Like My Birthdays for them!

Week 4 The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.

* Have you ever heard about a breathing buddy? How does it feel when we take nice deep breaths? Bring in about 10 small stuffed animals. When you lie down on your back, you place your breathing buddy on your stomach and breath in and out... really noticing you buddy going up or down.
       Have 10 questions about the Holy Ghost attached to the breathing buddies. Invite a primary friend to come up and choose a breathing buddy. The Holy Ghost can give us comfort, calm, and peace. He's just like a breathing buddy- helping us stay focused, ready, and aware. After the primary friend answers the question, invite them to put the breathing buddy on their tummy and take 3 deep breaths. The primary can also do this in their chairs!
       "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4

* Bring in a snow globe. Ask a child to come up front and shake it. Sometimes we feel angry, or sad, or afraid. We feel like there is a snowstorm inside of us. Will this storm last forever? Will the snow keep on falling and the wind never stop? What happened in our snow globe?
      The Holy Ghost can comfort and guide us. When we feel shaken up (shake the snow globe), He can be there for us to help us settle down and be at peace no matter what the situation. Has anyone had a time when the Holy Ghost has comforted them?
     Make some snow water bottles during sharing time. Save up some of your plastic water bottles, bring in a funnel and let the children add 1 tablespoon of glitter to it and a little bit of baby oil. (Try it out at home first!! HERE is one that uses glitter glue) Have some adults on hand to help out. For those that are finished, have them look up scriptures about the Holy Ghost or act out the story of when Jesus calmed the storm.
      "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Psalms 107:29

* After a long day, I love to change into my jammies and cozy socks! They are so comfortable and help me to relax. Does anyone else feel the same way? The Holy Ghost helps to give us comfort and guide us. He helps us to be calm and is there for us during and after a long day!! Hide some jammies and socks around the room. Invite a primary child to go and find an item. Have short stories attached where the Holy Ghost gave comfort or guidance.
      "For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." Isaiah 51:3

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sacrament Meeting Talk Jan. 2016

In January I was asked to give a talk. Since this blog is like my "small plates", I hope you don't mind me posting it even though it's not primary related.

          My dearest friends, I am so grateful to be here this Sabbath Day with you. To worship, to give thanks, to learn of Christ, and to be one in the gospel together. I’m grateful for the messages that have been spoken and pray that the spirit will be with me as I share my thoughts.
          When I was 7 years old, it was the end of swim practice and time to enjoy a few minutes to relax. At Oppio pool, there was a high dive. I had never been on it before but I saw people jumping and laughing afterwards. I climbed rung after rung. Up and up I went, it seemed pretty high. As I got to the top, I had to take a couple quick breaths. I was up here. 2 choices - I could either climb down, or jump. I walked up to the edge, took a deep breath, and decided, no… I did have another option. While the phrase, like a boss hadn’t been invented yet, that was indeed my 3rd choice. I could do a graceful swan dive, head first like a boss. I would own it. I’m very blessed I didn’t break my neck and instead just belly flopped. Now... one might think that this experience turned me off the high dive- however, the magic of childhood made the experience a rush that was to be enjoyed. To this day, I would still jump off! If you paid me $20.
          What is courage? We have all had moments in our lives when we’ve had to take a stand. When our belief, conviction, and strength were taxed. Sometimes, courage is just facing the day and making it through. Courage comes in all shapes and forms. Courage comes in words, in actions, in thought and attitude. Today I will be talking about courage to believe. And I’m going to focus on 4 words that Elder Holland has said in an April 2013 Conference Address, “Lord, I believe.” They really are profound words and I love them, “Hope on. Journey On.”
          Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Do you believe that God is the eternal Father? Not just the eternal Father, but your loving Father? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? When you address Him in prayers, do you speak with Him or at Him? Do you feel that He listens to you? I know God lives and I know that He loves us. I testify that He is real. I felt overwhelmed yesterday morning. I felt so sad. I was staring straight ahead on my front porch, listening to each breath I took, and the cold seemed to seep deep into me. The branches were bare on the trees all around me. Dogs were barking and seemed so angry at each other. A bird sat at the top of a tree, all alone, so very alone. And then, I looked even farther up. There was a huge cloud with 2 puffy eyes and a very sad frown. As it moved ever so slowly, that frown… you guessed it, did not stay. It turned itself right up again and smiled that frown away. Some might scoff at me. Some might say it’s a coincidence or that I’m delusional. But I see Heavenly Father’s hand in my life. I see His love for me in the clouds, in close parking spots, in little old women who stop to tell my children they are beautiful at WinCo, and in so many other aspects of my life. What is the greatest proof to you that God is real? Go home, write it down!
          From it says, “The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or a visit from a friend. In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active. The principle of hope extends into the eternities, but it also can sustain us through the everyday challenges of life. “Happy is he,” said the Psalmist, “that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5). With hope, we can find joy in life. We can “have patience, and bear with … afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions” (Alma 34:41).”
          Elder Holland said from his talk, “A 14-year-old boy recently said to me a little hesitantly, “Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is.” I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for “only believing.” I told him that Christ Himself said, “Be not afraid, only believe,” a phrase which, by the way, carried young Gordon B. Hinckley into the mission field. I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction and that the definitive articles of our collective faith forcefully reiterate the phrase “We believe.”
          Courage to believe is having hope. Hope On. What do you know to be true? What do you want from this life? Have hope and believe. Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Whether we are just starting in our belief, discovering truth, or whether we know and are firm, we must have hope to press forward.
          Journey On. One time, when Christina was 3 years old, we were waiting for our order of pretzels and cheese at The Claim Jumper. It was taking a while and the waitress came over to tell us it would be 5 more minutes until they were done. Christina very sweetly said to the waitress, “Your 5 minutes is up.” Patience. Isn’t patience one of the absolute worst lessons we have to learn about!?!?! The DMV? Don’t even get me started on it with children under 3. The fact that we don’t have robots to cook and clean yet? Yeah. Hollywood lied!!! Imagine that!!
          On a more serious note, does this journey of life ever seem a little long? I really don’t like waiting to hold my dearest baby Joe again, to feel him breath and have his warmth again. I really don’t like having to wait to put my hand on my mother’s face and see her shining eyes again. I don’t like struggling though obstacles, and waiting for that time when I can rest. I hope I don’t come off as whining and complaining. I’m not. The veil is thin and I feel those I love close by. There’s just something so important about our bodies though and physical touch. I’m simply saying, patience to journey on is hard. Enduring isn’t a walk in the park.
          President Monson says, “What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.”
          The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” It might be that we have to take life breath by breath, moment by moment, day by day. Whatever our situation, whatever we face, whatever comes our way- God loves us. He loves you. He will not leave you. He is merciful and good. He is all powerful. Your belief, your knowledge, your willingness to do His will and His almighty arm will be what helps you to endure. Isaiah 41:10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
          We are not alone. Do not expect perfection from yourself right this very second, but do the best you can. There are angels, many that the eye cannot see, that are with us at this very moment. They are on the errand of The Lord, to help His children. We can journey on and know that there is heavenly help guiding and directing us. There are angels that we can see too! Look around. Look at the faces of those by your side, behind you, in front of you, next to you. These are some of God’s finest angels. You are not alone. There are so many here willing to help, to cook you meal after meal, to listen, to cry with you, to give you a hug, to call upon the very powers of heaven and bless you, to give you encouragement. We are mortal, but we do the best we can. We journey on together. If this beautiful journey ever seems overwhelming, when we wonder how to move on, when we seem stuck, I repeat “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
          Rung by rung, we courageously climb the ladder of our high dive. We obey God’s commandments, we pray, we read our scriptures over and over again, we have family home evening, we help and give service, we are baptized, we serve missions, we get married in the temple, we hope, we believe, we repent often, we are kind, and we endure. And then the moment comes when we reach the top. We never know when we’ll reach the top and be called to jump. But we don’t have to be scared. We can have confidence through Christ our Savior. He has died for us. He has lived for us. He lives for us still. We hoped on and we journey on. We can own it. When we jump off that high dive, we are uninhibited and liberated. We feel the wind, we feel the freedom, we are truly happy because our hope is a reality. We don’t belly flop, we slice through that water sharp and clear. We have done our part, we were brave, we were valiant and God looks to welcome us with a clean towel and open arms.
          I bear my testimony that hope is the attitude that will keep us strong and stalwart in this life. I know that if we have the courage to believe, that that belief and hope brings us to action. As we endure to the end and make our daily choices, I know that if we remember Christ and do as He did, all will be well in the end. I bear testimony that God the Father is real. He loves us dearly for we are His children. Glory be to His name forever and to His Son, Jesus Christ, in whose sacred name I close, Amen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gift or Visiting Teaching Mother's Day Gift

I wanted to do something easy for my kid's teachers at school. So I grabbed a bag of these tasty babies and attached a note that says, "Knowledge is power!! Thanks for being the great teacher you are!"

I also have my children write detailed notes to their teacher. If they get stumped on what to write:
What does your teacher do to help you?
How does your teacher make the classroom a happy place?
What is a favorite memory of your teacher?
What are some fun things your teacher has taught you about?
Why do you think your teacher became a teacher?
What are 4 words you would use to describe your teacher?


For a visiting teaching friend, grab a bag and attach this quote

"When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children."
Sister Julie B. Beck Mothers Who Know Liahona Nov. 2007

Would it have been convenient if I made a tag. Yes. Sorry, I know. I'm lame. I do ideas, not digital art.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

May 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

The Eight Witnesses, by Olinda Reynolds
Monthly Theme: The Church of Jesus Christ Has Been Restored.
Monthly Scripture: “I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph Smith—History 1:17

Week 1 The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored.

* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend. It talks about a mom and child restoring a piece of furniture. There is a puzzle activity included that you could attach questions, scriptures, and songs to about The Restoration. You could put pieces under primary friends' chairs. Have primary friends try to put the puzzle together one piece at a time as they come to the front and answer the question on back. (Or scripture...etc.)

* HERE is a ready to use sharing time!! It is called "Partial Pictures". Have the children look up the scripture and match it to the picture. You can always show them the complete picture after!
Some questions to go along with the #'d pictures:
1.What priesthood did Peter, James, and John restore?
How does the Melchizedek priesthood bless our lives?
2. Sing An Angel Came to Joseph Smith (CS #86 )
Why do you think Heavenly Father sent the angel Moroni to Joseph?
What would you do if an angel came to you? Can you think of any scripture stories where an angel came to deliver a message from Heavenly Father?
3. How does it make you feel to know that God appeared to a young boy?
Why do you think Joseph Smith was chosen to help restore the church?
(Look carefully at that question, why do "you"- this isn't about being right or wrong, encourage the children to really think about things and value their answers!)
What did Heavenly Father say to Joseph?
4. What temple did Elijah appear to Joseph?
What did Elijah restore to Joseph and Oliver?
Sing The Hearts of The Children ( CS #92)
5. Read James 1:5
What are things we can do to gain wisdom?
Can anyone give ideas or tips on how to make scripture study meaningful?
6. What are some of your favorite stories from The Book of Mormon?
Why do you read The Book of Mormon?
What knowledge did The Book of Mormon restore?

* Invite a primary friend to the front. Ask them if you are standing in front of them. Are they sure? Well, that isn't the only thing we can be sure of!! Elder Holland in General Conference said, "I bear witness of that gospel and that Church, with a particular witness of restored priesthood keys which unlock the power and efficacy of saving ordinances. I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference." (The Cost & Blessings of Discipleship, April 2014, such a great talk!!)
     Time to play... Are you sure?? Have about 20 statements, either fact or fiction/true or false, in regards to The Church being restored!! Make sure to have plenty of visuals to go along with statements. Have a child come up front and draw a statement from a bag. Then have the primary stand up if they are sure the statement is right!
Some sample statements:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized April 6, 1830. (true)
Joseph Smith had a vision of only an angel. (FALSE!!! He saw God the Father and Jesus)
Why is this so important to know??
The Aaronic Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist. (True)
Could you be baptized if this hadn't have happened?? Read D&C 22:2
     It's OK if we aren't sure about some things in life. But if we seek, we will find. Bear testimony!

 * What does the dictionary define restored as? Ask a child to come and help you demonstrate. Give them a book or a toy. Now have them give it back and return it to you. Key words: "Give back and Return". Now have the child hold a picture of the earth. Have a sign that says "TRUTH". Have the child with the earth picture hold the truth sign, then you take it away. (Apostasy!!) Return the truth or restore it back.

* Have a large basket of rocks. On the rocks attach questions, songs, and scriptures having to do with Joseph Smith, the 6th Article of Faith and the Restoration. Try to have the children come up and choose rocks that get bigger in size.
      "The restored gospel is the kingdom of God on earth, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands that would become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, as seen by Daniel (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45). It is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was organized 6 April 1830 in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior." (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manuel pg. 61)

Week 2 Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration.

* Joseph Smith and Restoration Jeopardy!!
Categories and ?'s :
He was  a child too!!
100 When Joseph was small (7 years old) he had to have surgery on this part of his body. He wouldn't drink alcohol to ease the pain and held his father's hand while enduring the hurt. His leg
200 What month was Joseph Smith born? December (right before Christmas, the 23rd!)
300 How many brothers and sisters did Joseph have? 10
400 What was the name of Joseph's mother? Lucy
500 True or False: Joseph had to work hard as a child on the family farm. True!

The Early Church
100 Sing the 6th Article of Faith Song
200 After the church was organized on April 6, a miracle happened! The Prophet Joseph met a man named Newel who was possessed of a devil. Acting on Newel's faith as well as his own, Joseph cast out the devil in this name? Jesus Christ
300 At the first conference of the church, the sustained leaders by doing what we do today. What do we do? We raise our right hand to the square in support.
400 Emma Smith, Joseph's wife was called "An Elect Lady" of the Lord. She was commanded to do something special and put together this book. A hint: It's often green! The first hymn book.
500 True or False: When Brigham Young was introduced to the church he immediately joined. False!! He studied and pondered the church for 2 years before joining.

Truth Restored!100 Read 2 Nephi 3:24
200 True or False: The church started in 1830. False!! The church started with Adam and was restored many times, including the last dispensation with Joseph Smith.
300 Sing the Priesthood is Restored (CS pg. 89)
400 Name a witness of the Book of Mormon. Answers can include the 8 witnesses from the beginning of the Book of Mormon, to prophets to even children who have a testimony it's true.
500 True or False: All truth has been revealed!! False: Much truth has been revealed, but there is a lot more that is yet to come!

Final Jeopardy Question: What is something you've learned about Joseph Smith or the Restoration?

* A good talk to read and personally study in preparation for this week's sharing time is Joseph Smith- Prophet of the Restoration by Tad Callister.

* Who was the greatest prophet sent to earth?  
"The scriptures record that throughout history, on occasions of exceptional importance, God the Father’s voice has been heard. On repeated occasions Jesus Christ has personally appeared to select individuals. Yet there is only one supernal, singular instance of which we have knowledge that God the Father Himself appeared in person. This was done with His precious Holy Son, Jesus Christ, to an audience of one. That one was young Joseph Smith Jr., an extraordinary spirit prepared before the foundation of the earth. He would become the greatest prophet sent to earth." Truth Restored, Richard G. Scott, October 2005 General Conference

* Divide into small groups. Give each group a story about Joseph Smith (a teacher can read it to them) and have them draw a picture to share with the primary along with a brief summary of the story.

* Here is an idea from the Friend with an early church for the children to make.

Week 3 The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.

* "He who reads it oftenest will like it best." Joseph Smith
           Divide the primary into groups. Have about 4 stations for them to rotate. Each station they will have 3 minutes. Some might not finish in 3, but that's OK... they can finish their things at home!! You will need an adult or 2 at each station to help the children.
Station 1Build King Benjamin's tower- have a bunch of blocks for them to build with, a picture of King Benjamin from the Gospel Art Book, & a teacher to read a couple scriptures from that story
Station 2- I will go, I will do- have a piece of paper for each child, have each child write & draw 5 things they can do today to go and serve someone- little children will need help writing down their ideas and if they don't get 5, that's OK!!, have a picture of Nephi and paper headbands for the children to decorate and wear
Station 3- Hidden Golden Plates- use a picture of the golden plates or small Hershey golden nuggets, go outside and have the children find them! Gather together and sing "The Golden Plates" (CS 86) Have each child share a favorite story from The Book of Mormon
Station 4- Ammon's Sheep- have spoons for each child and cotton balls, let the children pass a sheep/cotton ball around in a circle but don't let it drop!, have a cotton ball for each child and see how many times they can bounce it on their spoon without dropping it, see if they can toss it with their hand and catch it with their spoon, have them toss the cotton balls into a basket with their spoon at the end. Have a picture of Ammon from the Gospel Art Book, and have the teacher read a scripture about the story.
     When you gather together, bear testimony that The Book of Mormon is full of great stories. All the stories are a witness to Jesus Christ. Invite the children to go home and think of an activity they can do with their family based on one of the stories from The Book of Mormon.

* "Those who have read the scriptures, and who have drunk of the stream of knowledge which they convey, know how to appreciate them." Joseph Smith
     Have a blue blanket or blue plastic table cloth. Lie it on the ground like a stream with a few fake plants from your house. Have pictures from the Gospel Art Book, from The Book of Mormon section, and scatter them throughout your river with paper clips attached to them. Invite a primary friend to come up and fish out some knowledge. You'll need a fishing pole with a magnet on the end.
       Have the child tell a little bit about the picture. How did this prophet testify of Christ or what does this story have to do with Jesus?
      Send the children home with a white paper cup that they can decorate/color at home (or if you have time at Primary) with their favorite story from The Book of Mormon.... repeat the quote emphasizing, "Who have drunk.... know how to appreciate".

* Invite about 10 people in who speak a different language. See if they can bring in a Book of Mormon written in another language. Ask them beforehand to say "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ". If children would like they can try to repeat! What did all these wonderful people say? The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ! Pass around the Book of Mormons very carefully!! Take a look at the different languages and ways people write.
     Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God!!
HERE is an EXCELLENT video to show!! If you still have time have a couple Book of Mormon facts written in code (first letter switched with last). See if the primary can figure them out!
Here are a few facts:
 The Book of Mormon was first published in English in New York in 1830
Eht kooB fo NormoM saw tirsf dublishep ni Hnglise ni WeN KorY ni 0831
     In 1851 the Book of Mormon was translated into Danish, its first translation to a non-English language.
    Ni 1851 eht KooB fo NormoM saw dranslateT onti HanisD sti tirsf nranslatiot ot a hon-englisn eanguagl 
     3 men saw and 8 men handled the plates... they give their witness at the beginning of the Book of Mormon
     3 nem was dna 8 nem dandleh eht slatep.... yhet eivg rheit sitnesw ta eht geginninb fo eht Koob fo NormoM

* THIS is always a fun visual on how we need to hold to the rod!!

Week 4 The priesthood has been restored.

* Here is an awesome sharing time from the Friend. You could easily attach questions, scriptures and songs about the priesthood to the puzzle pictures and have the children come to the front to answer and put together.

* Here is an awesome diorama idea from the Friend. You'd need lots of shoe boxes!! But it would be fun and memorable for the children!
* Here is a crossword puzzle about the priesthood. (Scroll past the bug search and find)

* Here is a sharing time on how the priesthood blesses our lives with a flannel board story.

 * A lot of children don't understand what the priesthood is. Let every child draw a short fact about the priesthood from a brown paper bag. Have the room set up with 2 lines of chairs facing each other. Have younger children sit on one side and older children on the other. Each child may tell his/her fact to his/her partner and talk about it for 30 seconds. Then the younger children get up and move one chair to the right while the older ones stay seated. Repeat! Have pictures to go along with some of the facts. For senior sharing time, see if they can come up with their own facts to share about the priesthood! A good reference is HERE, Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual Chapter 25.

* Play musical chairs reverently. Have them in a circle with #'s taped to the back. It's actually more like a cake walk where you draw numbers and whoever is sitting on that number gets to answer a question or read a scripture about the priesthood.... don't take away chairs! Have them sing songs about the priesthood as they walk around the circle

Monday, March 28, 2016

Playing the Part- By Jen Turano- A Book Review


Jen Turano is a great author!! Playing the Part is the 3rd book in her series A Class of Their Own.
Having 3 daughters, I'm constantly on the look out for good literature with strong female characters. The women in Jen's books are always virtuous, brave, smart, charming, funny, down to earth, hard working, clever, and believe in God.
This book is clean!!! On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is a little violence and 10 is extreme, I'd give it a 2. There was a nasty little goat named Geoffrey that seemed to be intent on wreaking havoc. There were a couple chaste kisses.
The basis of the book- Lucetta Plum is a very successful actress in New York in the 1800's. She's had to work hard and has some amazing abilities. Unfortunately, as an actress she's had an admirer who has taken to extreme measures to secure her as a possession. Fortunately, she has a well abled and muscled body guard, and a benefactor in society named Abigail- the doting grandmother type who buys her all the latest fashions from Paris. Much to Lucetta's chagrin, Abigail is quite the matchmaker and sees a solution to the crazed admirer by taking Lucetta to meet her grandson. Enter violent goat.
Will they be a match? How will things end up with the obsessive stalker? Why is the grandson's castle haunted? Is he truly who he seems, or does he have a more sinister situation... seeing as there is a dungeon in the basement!!??!!
It's not an overly complicated book. But it's full of good humor, fun characters, and good moral lessons.
I definitely recommend this book! It's one that will leave you smiling and wishing for times that were less complicated and more proper.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 April LDS Primary Sharing Time Ideas & Helps

By CM Dudash

Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.
Monthly Scripture: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” Articles of Faith 1:3

Week 1 Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior.

* Moses 7:39 "And that which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me..." (The pronoun "that" being Jesus Christ)
      Play "The Chosen One". Invite 6 primary friends up front. Send one person out of the room. Choose one of the 6 friends to be "the chosen one". That friend will choose a motion and everyone has to follow it. It would be easiest if 3 children faced the other 3 children. They all repeat the motion until the chosen one changes it, then they follow that motion. The person who left the room comes back in and has 2 guesses to who the chosen one is. (The chosen one might have to be sneaky to not get spotted, and the other children in the game can't look directly at the chosen one.)
      In between each round of the game, have scriptures or questions about the premortal world. Have pictures. Discuss what the word Savior means. Who chose Him?? What can we do in our lives to follow the REAL chosen one, Jesus Christ?

* Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that it is "extremely important to get straight what happened in that premortal council. It was not an unstructured meeting, nor was it a discussion between plans, nor an idea-producing session, as to how to formulate the plan of salvation and carry it out. Our Father's plan was known, and the actual question put was whom the Father should send to carry out the plan." (Deposition of a Disciple 1976)
     Have about 15 pieces of paper placed in a crooked path on the ground. Let's get straight the path and get straight our understanding of what happened before we came to earth!!
     Have 15 questions, scriptures, or songs having to do with the week's theme. (Not 15 each, 15 total) Invite a child to come up front and answer the question and then straighten out a piece of paper. At the end of the lesson, have a child walk the straight path and hold up a picture of Christ. He was chosen to be our Savior. Remind the children that if they have felt happy or peaceful today at church, that is the Holy Ghost bearing testimony that this is true.

Week 2 Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me.

* 1 Peter 2: 21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps"
     Have 10 paper footprints placed in a wide circle. Invite 5 primary friends to walk around the circle while the primary pianist plays some music.  (As I have loved you would be a great song!) When the music stops, they stand by a footprint and answer what is on it.
     Some ideas for words on the footprints:
home - What is a way you can follow Jesus' example here?
school - What is a way you can follow Jesus' example here?
story from the life of Jesus - briefly tell a story from Jesus' life and how He was an example
opposite of a good example- what is a bad choice that doesn't follow Jesus' example?
scripture- previously choose some scriptures beforehand they can read if they land on this footprint
family & friends- share with the primary someone in your life who chooses to follow the example of Jesus, what have they done that is like Him?

* 3 Nephi 18:16 "Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you."
    Give everyone a piece of paper/crayons and have them fold it in half. On one side teach the youngest primary friends (sunbeams) how to draw a sun. Demonstrate for them on  the chalkboard. It's always nice to have an example!! Sometimes with art, we don't always get a perfect picture on the first try... but that's OK. If we follow the example and keep on trying, we'll do just fine.... just like in life!! For the other friends, teach them how to draw a lightbulb. For Senior Primary, demonstrate how to draw a flashlight or campfire. You don't have to be an artist!! Just try your best or even invite someone in from the ward who knows how to draw. Remember, keep it simple!! Why are we so grateful for light??
     On the other side of their paper, have them draw a picture of The Savior. Have older children write down at least 5 things Jesus did to set an example for us.

* HERE is a short little video, it's a little slow- but definitely worthwhile for younger children.
     Have different pictures from the life of Christ. Have one friend hold the picture and briefly share what The Savior was doing. Invite another friend to come up and act out a way to follow the example of Jesus in their own life. (For example, if a friend holds up a picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane- another primary friend can demonstrate praying and saying I'm sorry)

Week 3 Through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved.

* I love SPARKLE!!! It is such a fun way to review and learn an article of faith. Going down the rows, every child stands, each child must say 1 word from the article of faith, then the next child says the next word. If they don't know that word they sit down. However, children sitting down can raise their hands to get back in the game if a person doesn't know the word. After the last word, the next person has to say sparkle and sit down. You keep on going until you have a lucky duck!! (I'd say winner, but everyone is a winner who has fun!!)

* What is the atonement? HERE is a very clear explanation. Divide the primary into groups of 3 or 4. Pair some younger children with older children who can read. Give them copies of that Friend article and a yellow marker and have them read for a couple minutes. Have them highlight with the marker anything that really sticks out to them.
    Afterwards, have everyone sit down in their chairs. Invite a few to share what they highlighted as a group. Great!! Now have the primary friends write on an index card an answer to the first question in the article, "What would you be willing to give for someone you love very, very much?" AND their name. Have them bring up their index card and put it into a paper bag up front.
     Invite a primary child to pull out 2 cards and share what others are willing to give. Can anyone guess who wrote that? Have them share who did. At the end review that Jesus has atoned for us. He has given His life, and everything, so that we can return to Him and Heavenly Father if we will repent and follow Him. Jesus has done this because He loves us very much!!

* Bring in a broken something, like a plastic cup with different broken pieces. Is it bad when something breaks? Yeah, pretty much because you can't really use it again unless you fix it, right? Is it a bad idea to break things? Well, one time there was a little girl who was confused about Jesus. She knew that He never made mistakes and was perfect, but couldn't understand why he would break something.
     HERE is the story to read to the primary. (Sometimes it helps the primary focus to have a few children acting out the story while you read) Was it OK for the bands of death to be broken? What are the bands of death?? Yes, absolutely!! It was completely necessary and needed!!

     Do you have the game, Don't break the ice!! DO NOT go out and buy it, just if you have it, it'd be easy to play. Instead though, we'll play DO break the ice!! Each friend gets a turn to hammer out a piece of ice and answer a question about the atonement. When the ice finally breaks, it's OK!!! It's actually great!!! It's like how Jesus has shattered the sadness that comes with death and sin, and through His atonement has cleared the way for us to return to Heavenly Father if we do what's right! He broke the bands of death, and we are grateful!!

Week 4 Jesus Christ was resurrected, and I will be too.

* The outline's suggestion is excellent for this week! HERE If you aren't able to get people to come in, have children make paper bag puppets of one of the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and take them home to testify to family members! (You'll need paper bags, glue sticks, crayons, small scissors, and colored paper) Of course, once they are finished, children can come up and share their puppets!

* Invite a person in from the ward who has had someone close to them pass away. You will need your Bishop's approval. Have them share a picture of that person and their testimony of the resurrection.

* What is the resurrection? Bring in a glove to demonstrate it is the body. Can the glove move by itself?? No, it needs the hand. Just like our bodies need our spirits. Once we die, our spirit and body are separated for a little bit. In the resurrection, our bodies and spirits are brought together again for eternity in perfect form.
     Bring in enough pairs of gloves so that each child in primary with have a glove. Hand them out randomly, then have the children find their match. Once they have their partner, have them read a scripture about the resurrection together and talk about what they think it will be like then. Give each pair a piece of paper and have them draw a picture together or brainstorm words to describe the resurrection. During this time, you can collect all the gloves back. After a few minutes, invite children to return to their chairs. Have a few children share their work.

*  "As we learn we are immortal creatures, we realize that life, which does not end with the grave, does not begin with the cradle either. We lived before we came to this earth. We are creatures of the stars, time travelers, who come from afar and, if we are true and faithful, may return to celestial halls and live again with the mighty God who is the Father of our spirits. God’s Holy Son, our Savior, whose glorious resurrection makes it all possible, will be there to encircle us “in the arms of [His] love” (D&C 6:20)." Elder Alexander B. Morrison April 1995 "I am the Resurrection and the Life"
     Bring in a decorated time travel machine. A box with some glitter and paper on it? No friends!!! A real pretend time travel machine that will amaze and capture your attention today!! Bring in a spinner that points to 4 categories- premortal, earth life, resurrection, compliment. Invite a primary friend to come up front and sit in the time travel machine, after all, we are creatures of the stars!!, and spin the spinner. Have questions prepared about each topic premortal, earth life, and resurrection. On compliments they give 3 compliments to different people in primary. (It is AMAZING... some children do not know how to give compliments!! Teach them!! It develops a primary environment of love)
      Our time travel machine would not even be possible if it wasn't for The Savior and His resurrection. Life would really have no meaning!! Bear your personal testimony of what the resurrection means to you.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Few Easter Ideas

I know everyone is on pinterest and has probably heard of these ideas. But just in case, I'd thought I'd share.

I'm not super big on having long, drawn out activities with my 4 year old and toddler. I don't mind having "moments". I love simple, and my sanity.

On the first Family Home Evening of the month, I introduce 1 or 2 songs about the resurrection with visuals or motions. This month we sang, Did Jesus Really Live Again? (CS 64) and Easter Hosanna (CS 68). Then, on our drive to school we sang these 2 songs each morning.

We took some white flowers and talked about how Jesus is a perfect person, who never sinned, and lived a completely clean life.
Because He loved us, He knew we would need help getting back to Heavenly Father. He "took upon" Himself our sins, just like the white flower takes the red water upon it's petals.
Mosiah 15:8-9, "And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men—
Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice."

I hung some Gospel Art pictures and we reviewed the story of the last week of Christ. We took a grapevine wreath and put toothpicks in it.
Many people were cruel and mean to Jesus. Sometimes our choices are bad, and that hurts The Savior. He wants us to choose the right and be kind.
So throughout the month, when someone does something nice for another family member, they are able to take out a thorn.
Our glow in the dark egg hunt is always a favorite. I take eggs and put glow sticks inside. When it is dark out, the kids get to go and get them!!
I usually have a few scriptures in some of the eggs to:
Psalms 27:1
Isaiah 60:19
John 8:12
Ephesians 5:14
2 Nephi 10:14
Ether 4:12
D&C 6:21
This year we also did this fun Resurrection Hunt found HERE.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

March 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Monthly Theme: Heavenly Father Speaks to Us Through His Prophets
Monthly Scripture: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, … whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” D&C 1:38

Weeks 1 & 2 Prophets speak for Heavenly Father.

* Print out pictures of the 12 apostles (or you could do a picture of the quorum and draw lines from each member on the chalkboard) and make matching paper strips with their names. Invite the children to try matching the name with the apostle after you (or a good primary reader) read a short quote from that apostle. When you hear the words of these apostles, do they make you feel good or happy or peaceful? Do these words testify of Christ or Christ-like things we should do?? Each child can get 2 tries to try to match the name with the right apostle!! Didn't quite get it, that's OK, this is hard!! Great guess!! Let's let another friend try!
I'm going to do this for Family Home Evening, so here are some quotes and fun facts about the new Quorom of the 12 Apostles. Remember when these men are sustained, they are sustained as prophets! (If you mouse over the top right hand corner to the square with the arrow, you can click on that and it will open it up to then let you print)

* "Prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time. Their voices echo through the centuries as a testament of God’s will to His children. Today is not different from ages past. The Lord does not love the people of our day any less than in past times. One of the glorious messages of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is that God continues to speak to His children! He is not hidden in the heavens but speaks today as He did in ancient days." (President Deiter F. Uchtdorf Why Do We Need Prophets? March 2012)
    Have a picture of Jesus. Play a game of hide and seek! Invite 1 primary friend to close their eyes and count slowly to 20. Invite another primary friend to hide the picture. After a while, invite another primary friend to give a couple hints about where the picture is. So it is with the prophets!! If we listen to them, we will find Christ!! In between rounds of the game, have a few pictures of prophets throughout the ages. Who are these men and what did they teach? At the end of your lesson, ask is Heavenly Father and The Savior hidden from us?? No!! Bear testimony that prophets speak for Heavenly Father!

* Again, from President Uchtdorf (same talk as the idea above) "Heavenly Father wants what is best for us. That is why His instructions are so crucial and sometimes so urgent. That is why He has not abandoned us today but continues to reveal His will to us through His prophets. Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children."
   What is a hinge? A
movable joint or mechanism on which a door, gate, or lid swings as it opens and closes, or that connects linked objects. In order for a door to not fall down, it needs a hinge!! The door depends on that hinge just like we must depend upon listening and following what the prophets say.
     Invite 5 primary friends up front. Have them whisper to you who their favorite prophet it and write it down on individual pieces of paper. Put it in a bowl. Invite a friend to come up and pick a paper. Have them guess out of the 5 friends who's favorite prophet that is! Once the person is guessed, have them share why they love that prophet. It might be fun to even do a teacher round!!!
     At the end of the lesson, challenge the children to go home and show their parents a hinge on the door and tell them what they learned in primary!

Week 3 We are led by a living prophet today.

* These Jeopardy games on President Monson are always a hit.
* Bring in a dead plant and a living plant. Which one gives us air? The dead plant is still important because it will crumble and give nutrients to the soil! The living plant helps us breath though!!
     Just as important as the air we breath are the words of LIVING prophets. If the size of your primary permits and the weather, go outside! Beforehand, hide little Easter eggs with facts about President Monson in them. Hide the eggs by living plants!! Once they are found, come back inside and share what is in the inside of the eggs. If you have a larger primary, this would not be a good idea!! A larger primary could have an outline of a tree on the chalkboard. Have leaves with interesting facts about President Monson on them. Invite children to choose a leaf, read, and then put on the tree.
     President John Taylor said, “We require a living tree—a living fountain—living intelligence, proceeding from the living priesthood in heaven, through the living priesthood on earth. …" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, (2011), 153–61)

* HERE is an excellent talk with lots of insight for the week's topic.

* Here is a great poem from The Friend. Children can draw a picture of President Monson and share. (Again, mouse over the top right hand corner. Click on the square with the arrow and it will direct you to a page where you can print)
Also, I took the liberty of changing 1 word in the poem. Instead of President Hinckley, I changed it to President Monson. I hope the brilliant author, Sister Arthur doesn't mind!

Week 4 There is safety in following the prophet.

* Bring in a toddler car seat. Why do we have these in cars? To keep our little brothers or sisters safe, right?? The seatbelts help us if we are in an accident and keep us from getting severely hurt hopefully!
     Like seatbelts, there is safety in following the prophet. Have 10-12 questions and/or scriptures to read about the week's theme. Invite a child to come up and buckle in a stuffed animal. For older primary children, have them do it not facing the car seat or with one hand. Have them answer a question afterwards! You could even have your primary pianist buckle up the animal and time her. Can anyone beat her time??
     As a sidenote, if you take out your toddler seat and their is not a mass grave of crumbs and questionable dried food, I solemnly salute you as an amazing mother. If there is that mass grave as well as some sort of fungus growing on top, I solemnly salute you as an amazing mother. Because the truth of the matter is you were able to get the seat out in the first place. Congratulations.

* "In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated. For instance, more than once in these general conferences, you have heard our prophet say that he would quote a preceding prophet and would therefore be a second witness and sometimes even a third. … The Apostle Paul wrote that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” 2 Corinthians 13:1." President Henry B. Eyering The Way to Safety Liahona October 2015
     For SENIOR sharing time, have a few copies of different talks from General Conference. Break into groups and have the children find examples of prophets quoting other prophets... what is the message of safety being told to us?? End with the following quote, again from President Eyering,   
     "When the words of prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention and fill our hearts with gratitude to live in such a blessed time. …
Our Heavenly Father loves us. He sent His Only Begotten Son to be our Savior. He knew that in mortality we would be in grave danger, the worst of it from the temptations of a terrible adversary. That is one of the reasons why the Savior has provided priesthood keys so that those with ears to hear and faith to obey could go to places of safety."
* Bring in your chef hat, cutting board, and basket of food safety. Did you know that one doesn't simply cook. They have to know a few things about food safety so they don't get hurt or sick!
HERE is a link to about food safety. Have some visuals and demonstrate to the kids a few important tips about being safe while preparing food.
    Divide into groups and have the children come up with a recipe for following the prophet.... what is the end result? A cake? A cookie? A salad?? No! Safety!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

February 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Monthly Theme: The scriptures teach of Heavenly Father's plan.
Monthly Scripture: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” Moses 1:39

Week 1 Heavenly Father has a plan for me.

* HERE is a great video ever to teach about Heavenly Father's plan!!

* Wrap 5 tissue boxes and put words or pictures to represent the following parts of Heavenly Father's plan:
Premortal World, Earth Life, Spirit Paradise/Prison, 2nd Coming & Resurrection, Final Judgement- Sun/Moon/Stars
Bring in a ball and set up the boxes on the other side of the room. Invite a primary friend to come up front and roll the ball to knock down the boxes. (If you do it in a tower formation, one on top of each other, you could really work on sequencing and  memorizing the different parts to the plan... have a different child fix it in the right order!) Before they get a chance to bowl, ask a question or have them read a scripture having to do with the plan of salvation.

* Pin the plan! Yes. Have an outline of the plan of salvation and cut outs/pictures of the different parts. Blind fold a child, spin them, and have them try to pin it on the right part! Have questions about each part:
What do you think it was like in the premortal world?
What happened in the premortal world?
Why is earth life important?
What happens at the end of earth life?
What is the difference between spirit paradise and the celestial kingdom?
How do it make you feel knowing Jesus will come to earth again?
What do you look forward to, if you should make it to the celestial kingdom?
Who made the plan of salvation possible?
What is another name for the plan of salvation?

* HERE is an excellent article from The Ensign. I really like the idea of teaching a "journey" through the plan. In different parts of the room you could have set up what it might be like at each part of the plan and invite a primary friend to come journey to each part.

* Bring in paper bags with 4-5 random items. Divide the primary into groups and give them a certain part of the plan of salvation. They have to use those items in the bag to teach the rest of the primary about that part of the plan. They can act out scenes or use the objects as demonstrations.... let's see what we can come up with!!

Week 2 Jesus Christ created the earth for me.

* Bring in some of your favorite pictures from when you've been camping or vacationing or of your backyard. Share them with the children. What are some things about the earth that you are grateful for? Bear testimony to the children you know that God and Jesus created and organized the earth for us!
   Bring in your camera (only if it's digital and you can show what picture was taken) and invite a primary friend (weather permitting) to go outside WITH a female teacher and take a picture of something outside they are grateful for. 1 picture and they have about 1 minute! They can come in and share with the primary after. In the meantime, primary children can color pictures of things they are grateful for about the earth- plants, flowers, animals, family, food, etc. Primary Photographers (the ones who go outside) will only be chosen if they are working reverently and doing their best work!!

* Create a "Nature Scavenger Hunt" together! Write down on a piece of paper things you might see outside in your area. Have the children raise their hands to share as you write neatly! Number each item and draw a little line after where the children can put an X if they find it. After you make it, send someone to the library to get copies. Have children take it home to do with their family!
    Do we give thanks every day for the beautiful earth Jesus Christ created/organized for us? What can we do to make the earth a better place?

* Make a simple bird feeder. You can bring in small apples wrapped in a string to hang from a tree, put peanut butter (watch our for allergies!), and bird seed. If you use a bin for the bird seed and plastic bags to put the feeder in, it shouldn't get too messy!

   While 1 or 2 primary friends are making a feeder with an adult leader, have the rest of the primary do a bird matching game. To be able to make a match they have to answer a question or read a scripture that you have prepared beforehand on the week's theme.
   Isaiah 31:5, "As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it."
     Jesus created/organized the earth and all the beautiful things in it. As you go home today, look for the birds in the sky and say a prayer of thanks!

* Break into groups and give each group a bag of legos. Have them create something that has to do with our earth and come up with clues to have the rest of the primary guess what it is! Does it take a while to create something? What is easier, creating or destroying? What are some things you've created with your hands? What about your minds?
John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

* Go over the creation by having the children hold up pictures of each day. Read some scriptures and ask the children why they are grateful for the earth. Then play an adaptation of 4 corners. You will need a blindfold. Invite 1 primary friend to the front to be blindfolded. Here is a sample question to ask:
What is your favorite animal of the 4- dolphin, lion, dog, or giraffe? You have to choose one and then go to the corner I point. Dolphins (point to a corner) Lion (point to a corner) Dog (point to a corner) Giraffe (point to a corner) Without a sound the rest of the primary chooses their corner. Using name sticks, draw a child's name out. The blindfolded child has 2 guesses to guess where that primary friend is and what animal they chose.
Some other questions could be (I'd have about 12 ready):
What insect do you think is the most interesting- butterfly, worm, spider, or centipede?
Where would you want to travel to most- the ocean, the forest, the desert, or the polar icecaps?
What is your favorite plant- apple tree, cactus, rose bush, or dandelion?

Week 3 Families are central to Heavenly Father's plan.

* If there is someone in the ward who has been blessed to be able to adopt, have them come in and share their testimony! If they have a family picture album, invite them to bring it in and share a little with the primary. Families can be made in different ways!! Not every family is the same and THAT IS OK!!!!! The most important thing about a family is that there is love.
   Invite the primary children to create a family picture album. They can draw a family member on each page and write something special about that person. Sunbeams might not be able to concentrate, so you can have cut outs of magazine people that they glue stick for dad, mom, grandpa, grandma, sister, brother... etc.

* How well do you know your family??? This will take some preparation. Call up 10-12 family members of children in primary. Have them tell you something interesting about them that others may not know.
     Read scriptures and have a couple questions prepared about families and their part in Heavenly Father's plan. After each question or scripture, have that interesting fact about a family member and see if they can figure out who it is!

* Have 6 chairs up front with pictures or signs for a dad, mom, pet cat, grandpa, sister, and brother. It's our happy family!!! Invite 6 children up front to walk around the chairs while the primary pianist plays a song about families. When the music stops, they have to quickly- and reverently- find a chair. Once they are seated, have some case scenarios that they have to answer what they would do as that member of that happy family.
For example:
It's family home evening and time for treat. What can you do to help?
Vacation time to Disneyland, 10 hour road trip- what do you do in the car?
Mornings can get busy- what do we do at breakfast time?
Watching the news, there was flooding in the town where Aunt Lupe lives- what will we do?
Time to get ready for the temple- what will everyone do to get ready?
Mom is busy running errands and we are going to the store with her- what will everyone do to help?
     If any of the kids get stumped, have them ask primary friends for ideas or suggestions!

* Not necessarily for primary, but as a family home evening idea, you could play a game of family history charades!! Like traditional charades but with only memories you have as a family or stories you could act out from your ancestors? Challenge the children to go home and play this with their families!

Week 4 I will follow God's plan.

* Do a demonstration. Invite 10 children up front. Each child chooses a simple dance move. But before they do their move, they must do the dance moves of the previous primary friends in line. The entire primary can do it as well by their chairs. By the end can anyone remember everything without any help?
     What does it take to follow someone? Good listening, careful watching, doing the action, thinking clearly, paying attention!!! Do we need to do all these things to follow God's plan? Yes!!
      Invite 6 more children up to play again. Ask each child to say 1 word that has to do with God's plan. We'll have to remember that word and action now!! Repeat as many times with more children as you have time. Make sure the entire primary is following along and repeating the words and actions too!

* Sing Come Follow Me, Hymns 116. Have pictures from the life of Christ and blank footprints on pieces of paper, already cut out. Heavenly Father's plan is a plan of happiness. We can follow that plan by following The Savior. Hold up a picture and ask the children what it is about. What is something that Christ did in this picture that we can follow?
(Even if it's a picture of the nativity, there is an answer!! We can be born and receive a body, right?? We can love our families!!)
Write down what we can do to follow on a foot print. Make a path leading to a picture of Jesus. At the end, invite a primary child to follow the plan and path, then share your testimony! (Not the child, you!!)
    "Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same. To Peter and Andrew by the shores of the beautiful Sea of Galilee, He said, “Follow me.”To Philip of old came the call, “Follow me.”To the Levite who sat at receipt of customs came the instruction, “Follow me.”And to you and to me, if we but listen, will come that same beckoning invitation, “Follow me.”" President Monson Models to Follow Oct. 2002

* Have a map to find something special in the primary room... was the map important?
      "Not all will follow the map [Heavenly Father has given us]. They may look at it. They may think it is reasonable, perhaps even true. But they do not follow the divine directions. Many believe that any road will take them to a 'happily ever after.' Some may even become angry when others who know the way try to help and tell them. They suppose that such advice is outdated, irrelevant, out of touch with modern life. Sisters, they suppose wrong." Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Your Happily Ever After," Ensign, May 2010, 127 
     Have the children make a map that leads to happiness! What can they draw or write on their map? How about going to church, reading scriptures, praying and preparing for the temple? What else can we think of??