Wednesday, July 16, 2014

August 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

 
We love spending time together as a family!! This is my Maria at an Artown face painting event.

Monthly Theme: Participating in wholesome family activities will strengthen my family.
Monthly Scripture: "Successful... families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Week 1 Pray in your families unto the Father... that your families may be blessed 3 Nephi 18:21

* "But remember, the greatest schools on earth are individual homes. Yet how many homes voluntarily give up family prayer by allowing other less important things to take priority."
(John Groberg April Ensign 1982 The Power of Prayer)
Read this quote out loud to the children!
     Do you have a little people school?
I AM NOT SAYING GO OUT AND BUY ONE!!! I've had comments before saying we shouldn't bring in toys or that it can detract from the spirit. So here's my 2 cents, I promise I'm not trying to force you to do anything.
   If you do have one and you pray about it and feel good.... bring in the school and set it up in a fun way on the table. Attach numbers (1-10) to different pieces of your "school" set up. A reverent child can come up front to choose something to learn about family prayer.
   Van Gorder Elementary school (or one of your local schools) is one great school, but it's nothing compared to what we can learn at home!! When the child comes up front ask them something they could do without in order to have family prayer... perhaps a little less video games? Computer time? I phone time?? Then whatever # they choose, the following can correspond, or you can make up your own.
1. Can you think of a family in the scriptures that prayed together or for each other?
2. Sing Family Prayer CS 189
3. How do you feel when you kneel together as a family to pray?
4. Please read 3 Nephi 18:21
5. Why do you think it's important to pray together as a family?
6. Please share a time one of your prayers has been answered. (If they can't think of one that's OK. Is there another primary friend who has had a prayer answered??)
7. Sing Families Can Be Together Forever Hymns #300 Do you think prayer can help us have forever families... show me with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
8. Where are different places we can pray together as families?
9. Demonstrate with 3 other primary friends the proper way to kneel for family prayer.
(Point out the bowing of heads, closing of eyes.... or do we peek???, are we still or do we fidget fidget??)
10. Please read this quote by President Kimball, "No mother would carelessly send her little children forth to school on a wintry morning without warm clothes to protect against the snow and rain and cold. But there are numerous fathers and mothers who send their children to school without the protective covering available to them through prayer—a protection against exposure to unknown hazards, evil people, and base temptations. " (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 117-118)
What does this quote teach us about family prayer??

* "A return to the old pattern of prayer, family prayer‍ in the homes of the people, is one of the basic medications that would check the dread disease that is eroding the character of our society.” President Hinckley “The Blessings of Family Prayer,” Ensign, Feb. 1991 Highly recommend reading it!!!
     Have a large posterboard of a drawing of a person. Divide the primary into groups and give them scripture stories/and or from The Friend of prayer. After a few minutes of reading and discussion, have a representative come up front to share what they learned in their group. Give them a Band-Aid to put on one of the red dots.
Family prayer is the medicine that heals!!

* HERE is a great story from The Friend, Mac the Prayer Cat. Tell the story in your own words (or read animated) to the primary children. If your numbers are small enough, have them gather on a blanket as you tell the story. Have a stuffed kitty cat in your lap too! Did the children like that story? We'll pass our stuffed kitty cat to a friend who is sitting reverently who would like to share something they know to be true about family prayer. Does anyone have a time their family prayer was answered? Pass the cat each time to someone who wants to add something to the discussion!!
     Be sure to remind the children that sometimes just because we don't get what we want, doesn't mean our prayer hasn't been answered!!
     If you still have time, sing songs about prayer and invite one child to hide the cat, while another one finds it based on how loud or soft the primary is singing!!

* HERE is another great great great story from The Friend that is sure to capture everyone's attention.
If you have a fireman in the ward, perhaps you could ask them to bring in their uniform for the children to try on!! Have that person talk about the dangers of fire and to remember that prayer is a protection.

* HERE is a great song to learn this week!!! Nice and short and to the point!!

Week 2 Family home evening strengthens my family.

* Make family home evening suggestion boxes!! Call around your ward and ask for as many empty Kleenex boxes as you can ahead of time. Bring in construction paper, stickers, glue sticks, gospel magazines that are OK to cut for pictures.Once the children are finished they can write ideas for family home evening!!
     What will children do if they have siblings making boxes?? It's good to have plenty in case it gets
lost!!! Or... if someone is absent, perhaps they wouldn't mind making that box for our primary friend.
     From the Family Home Evening Resource Book, "Tell your family that you will leave it where they can put a question or suggestion in it whenever they get an idea. Tell them that they can suggest lessons they would like to hear, questions they want answered, and suggestions for improving family home evenings."

* Make a mock living room for primary children to pretend we're having a family home evening. Family home evening strengthens my family! But what are the best things we need to do during family home evening? Have case senarios for the children to act out in your living room, whisper in the ear of the children acting out and have the primary guess what they are doing right or wrong! Have a mother and a father and a couple children. You could even divide into groups so they could plan a couple ideas before they come up.
     For example, some things to act out:
- listening, answering, and asking questions
- helping with a baby who is crying
- praying to invite the spirit to Family Home Evening
- volunteering to help clean up
- really taking care of the scriptures
- singing nice and boldly!
- not keeping hands to self
- interrupting
- whining/complaining
At the end of the lesson, have the children choose something they can do better to help make sure Family Home Evenings have the spirit!
" We should not be discouraged if every family home evening is not ideal; it is important just to spend time together. The Lord promises that if we patiently continue to hold family home evening, He will strengthen our families." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)

* Have the children plan a family home evening!!! Email me for a PDF copy of the lesson plan outline (or make your own) for them to fill out. For really young children, have teachers or older children help fill out and then they can draw pictures to show during their lesson.
 
* "The family home evening program can build love and peace in our homes. As this feeling grows, our families will desire to live the gospel, and much of the quarreling and contention in our homes will be eliminated. As our families pray, sing, and discuss the gospel together, the Spirit of the Lord can come into our homes and replace any spirit of contention found there." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)
    Bring in some large building/lego type blocks. Invite primary children to build a strong home with the blocks!! Have questions, songs, scriptures, quotes from latter day prophets all about family home evening.... after a primary friend answers the question or reads the scripture... etc. have them add a few legos to build that strong home full of love and peace!!!

Week 3 Scripture study gives my family and I spiritual strength.

* "Unfortunately, most children do not generate the same enthusiasm for studying the scriptures as they do for watching a first-rate movie. But that can be changed."  (Sept. 1987 Ensign Family Scripture Study A MUST READ!!!)

Bring in the following popular movies. These are OK movies but when compared to scripture study, there is no comparison!! Have stories from the scriptures that have "words" having to do with the movie. Have the children try to figure out what scripture story matches the movie and will feed our spirits more than that movie!
     Scripture study is what gives our families spiritual strength!!
     I am in no way promoting DISNEY!! I am likening the scriptures. If you do not feel with prayer that this activity is appropriate for your primary, then DO NOT DO IT. Perhaps it'd be better used for a Family Home Evening!! However, the whole point of this activity is to show the children that movies are nice, but the scriptures are BETTER!!! ALWAYS!! Also, when they watch these movies, perhaps their minds can remember back to the story from the scriptures in which it was related!
Some examples movies/scripture story:

1. Disney's FROZEN / A Priceless Heritage Oct. 1992 " Also heroic were the rescuers who responded to President Brigham Young’s call in the October 1856 general conference. President Young called for forty young men, sixty to sixty-five teams of mules or horses, wagons loaded with twenty-four thousand pounds of flour to leave in the next day or two to “bring in those people now on the plains.” (LeRoy R. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, Glendale, Cal.: Arthur H. Clarke Co., 1960, p. 121.) The rescuers went swiftly to relieve the suffering travelers.
     When the rescued sufferers got close to the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young convened a meeting on this block. He directed the Saints in the valley to receive the sufferers into their homes, make them comfortable, and administer food and clothing to them. Said President Young: “Some you will find with their feet frozen to their ankles; some are frozen to their knees and some have their hands frosted. … We want you to receive them as your own children, and to have the same feeling for them.” (Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, p. 139.)
      When the rescuers brought the Willie handcart pioneers into this valley, it is recorded by Captain Willie: “On our arrival there the Bishops of the different Wards took every person, who was not provided with a home, to comfortable quarters. Some had their hands and feet badly frozen; but everything which could be done to alleviate their sufferings, was done. … Hundreds of the Citizens flocked round the wagons on our way through the City, cordially welcoming their Brethren and Sisters to their mountain home.” (James G. Willie, Journal History, 9 Nov. 1856, p. 15.)
     These excruciating experiences developed in these pioneers an unshakable faith in God."
How does this story make you feel?
 
2. Disney's Lion King / Daniel 6:16, 18-22 Have you witnessed miracles in your family?

3. Disney's Snow White / Isaiah 1:18 How does repentance help strengthen our families? Can you name a time when "I'm sorry" really helped out a family member?

4. Disney's Jungle Book / Living Water in the Rain Forest Feb. 2006 Ensign By Bruce C. Kusch "
     While I was on a trip to Brazil with two colleagues from Brigham Young University–Idaho, we had the opportunity to spend several days in the Amazon Jungle on the Rio Negro. The river is enormous beyond imagination, and the vegetation in the jungle is thick. One could easily lose his way if he were to venture into it without a guide. Our guide, Moreno, was a native of Italy. He knew the jungle and the river well. Now in his late 30s, he had realized his childhood dream of living in the Amazon Jungle.
     Our small group boarded a canoe docked at our floating hotel and departed for the starting point of our hike. We were fascinated by what we saw and impressed by Moreno’s deep knowledge and his ability to lead us through the thick and imposing jungle. As we walked he would explain the various plants, animals, insects, and vegetation that surrounded us. He taught us about plants and insects that could be harmful if we were not careful. He also pointed out various plants that Amazon Indians had used for medicinal or other useful purposes. Deeper into the jungle we went. We truly had no idea where we were going. We merely followed Moreno and trusted that he would get us safely back to our canoe and eventually our hotel.
      At one point, Moreno stopped the group, and we all gathered around him. “This jungle is hot and humid,” he said. “We are at least a mile from the river, and a person cannot live here without water. You would die quickly. There is water right here, right now, where we are. Can any of you see it?”
We could not. All we saw were trees, vines, and shrubs. The mosquitoes seemed to be everywhere. None of us had any idea where there might be water nearby.
With a smile on his face, Moreno said, “Let me show you.” He grabbed his machete and walked to a vine, lightly covered with green velvet moss. After two quick swings, he was holding a piece of the vine in his hand. We still didn’t understand.
     “Water is right here,” he said, “right in my hand.” Just then he lifted the vine vertically and clear, cool water came dripping out! We were all amazed. As we looked around, we could now see similar vines everywhere. Some were large, others small. But once we were taught by one who knew, we saw that in this jungle there was an abundance of water. We each took turns drinking from the vine. As we hiked back to our canoe, we continued to see that water was everywhere. Now we knew where to look.
     I have since thought about this experience in relationship to the true vine, living water, and following one who knows. In John 15:1, Jesus teaches us that He is the true vine and His Father is the husbandman."
Do we thirst for family scripture study EVERY day?? The scriptures are always around us, we just need to take the time to read them!
 
5. Disney's Sleeping Beauty / Mosiah 24:8, 16-22
Do we read our scriptures each day before we go to sleep? Why is scripture study so important?

6/7. Dinsey's Cinderella & Beauty and the Beast/ Your Happily Ever After President Uchtdorf April 2010
     " For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
     Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
     In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.
     In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.
     In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?
Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?
     The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter. 2 Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?
     In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy."
What are some hard things you have faced that have brought you closer to The Lord? During those times, did scripture study bring you peace?
 
8. Disney's The Sword in the Stone / 1 Samuel 17:4, 8-11, 32, 37, 40-50
Why do you think Heavenly Father blesses the faithful? Are children and youth important to Him?
 
9. Disney's Alice in WONDERland / Isaiah 29:14
What is The Lord's marvelous work and wonder?
 
10. Disney's The Fox and The HoundYour Personal Checklist for a Successful Eternal Flight
Elder Pinnock Oct. 1993 General Conference
      "Never feed the foxes! What does that mean? Breaking commandments is like feeding foxes. In England where we live, my wife and I had heard that foxes were right in town. We wanted to see a fox. A neighbor told us that if we left food for the foxes we probably would see one. Our butcher gave us some bones. Each night we would place some bones out in the backyard. Soon a fox came to eat. Then a few more. Now we have at least five foxes racing through our flower garden, digging up the lawn, and leaving a shamble every night, sort of like a furry Jurassic Park.
      What started out as a curiosity is now a problem, and sin is much the same. An indiscretion can begin a process that can make a mess of a whole life. Remember, if you don’t start feeding the foxes, they will never tear up your yard. If you avoid making the seemingly small and harmless mistakes, your life will be free of many larger problems later on. Be a courageous young man by living straight. Create happy memories for yourselves and those around you."
What are some things you can do to avoid sin?
 
11. Disney's Finding Nemo / Eduring Well Jan. Ensign 2014 By Elder J. Christopher Lansing
   " When our only daughter, Lindsay, was young, she and I enjoyed watching movies together. One that we enjoyed and watched together many times was an animated film called Finding Nemo. In the movie, Nemo is caught by a scuba diver and ends up in a fish tank in a dentist’s office. His father, Marlin, is determined to find Nemo. Marlin meets a fish named Dory during his journey. They face obstacle after obstacle as they try to find Nemo. Whether the obstacle is big or small, Dory’s message to Marlin is the same: “Just keep swimming.”
     Several years later Lindsay served a mission in Santiago, Chile. Missions are hard. Disappointments are many. Each week at the end of my email I wrote, “Just keep swimming. Love, Dad.”
     When Lindsay was expecting her second child, she found out that her unborn baby had a hole in his heart and that he had Down syndrome. As I wrote to her during this very difficult time, I closed my emails, “Just keep swimming.”
     Obstacles come into each of our lives, but to get through them and to get where we want to go, we must keep swimming."
How do the scriptures help us to keep swimming?
 
12. Disney's Monsters Inc. / Alma 19:16-31 (watch for the word in verse 26) 
Why would Ammon be called a monster? How will scripture study in families benefit you as a future missionary?
 
Week 4 The Sabbath is a day of rest and worship.
   
* D&C 59: 9-10 "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
   For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;"
    Have a posterboard picture/drawing of a person. Have removable spots (circles of paper) all over it's body. When we keep the Sabbath, we keep ourselves unspotted from the world!! Learn more about the Sabbath by inviting children to remove spots from the person! The dots could have scriptures, songs or questions pertaining to the Sabbath.
The Blessing of Keeping The Sabbath by Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie Oct. 2000 has some excellent ideas that would fit well the spots!!

* Exodus 31:16-17 " Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
This is just a sidenote, but I wonder if we polled a bunch of bishops if they would consider Sunday a "refreshing" day?
     Bring in a large pitcher of lemonade or water. On a hot summer day, nothing beats an ice cold drink!! It's so refreshing!! Have little mini paper cups to give anyone in primary who would like a drink. (Be aware of allergies!!) As they drink have them imagine they are in a dry, burning desert... what does this drink do for them?
    All through the week we go, go, go! Sunday is our day to stop and be refreshed! Divide into groups and have groups come up with 3 things you can do on Sunday to make it a day of rest and worship! Have groups share!

* HERE is an idea from The Friend (by the lovely Sheila Wilson) with a good story and craft to make. I would adapt by bringing in a SMALL soccer ball and laundry basket. So first, tell the story, then invite children to come up front and answer a question (or read a scripture) about the Sabbath Day, then get 2 tries to kick the ball into the basket!
DO NOT MAKE CHILDREN FEEL BAD if they play sports on SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a personal decision they make with parents (STATE THAT!!!) and primary isn't the place to make them feel ashamed or unworthy. Heavenly Father gives us commandments and we do the best we can!!
* HERE is a very simple and wonderful story about Elder Koichi Aoyagi's gospel conversion. In the story he works hard to help with his father's rice fields every single day so that Sunday he can go to church. Unfortunately all the work does not get done... but his father still tells him to go to church! I would also bring in an image of a Japanese rice field... they are beautiful!!
    Bring in a bowl of cooked rice, some chopsticks, and a large cup. Have questions, scriptures, and songs about the Sabbath prepared. Invite a primary friend up front to answer a question about the Sabbath (or read a scripture). Then they have 2 tries to use the chopsticks to get as much rice as they can in the cup! Work together as a primary to see if we can fill the whole cup and learn all about this Holy Day together!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's been on my mind....

  
Many of you, I'm sure are familiar with the whole "Ordain Women" movement.
There have been numerous bloggers that are supportive of this.
I saw a list of bloggers who affiliate themselves with this and have signed petitions, they even made the huffpost news.

I just wanted it to be known that I do NOT affiliate or support IN ANY way the "Ordain Women" movement.

This is what The First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 have to say:

“In God’s plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women. Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. All service in the Church has equal merit in the eyes of God. We express profound gratitude for the millions of Latter-day Saint women and men who willingly and effectively serve God and His children. Because of their faith and service, they have discovered that the Church is a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.

“We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding. We feel special concern, however, for members who distance themselves from Church doctrine or practice and, by advocacy, encourage others to follow them.

“Simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.” (HERE is the link back to lds.org newsroom)

I had a bit of a rant that I published, but have decided to hold my tongue and delete those comments I made. I don't think this blog is the place to court controversy. But at the same time I want it completely clear that my blog is a place that observes and follows the words of our Prophet!!

For more information:

* President Hinckley offers some thoughts HERE as well as some people who are better at expressing themselves than I am... NMCCCT?? Really Sofia?

* Nice and clear from our most recent General Conference, Elder Oak's Talk HERE The Keys and Authority of The Priesthood

* Elder Holland's wife is a rock, just like her husband HERE are some of her thoughts from June 1982 Ensign.

* HERE and HERE church manual reading.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Update July 8, 2014: My heart is broken and there are no words. I didn't know this sweet angel, but my deepest condolences go out to Caleb's family. He has returned to our loving Heavenly Father. My heart just aches for them. I am so very sorry for their loss.





When I was young I always wondered why the hymns talked about an "hour" of prayer. It still sometimes seems daunting to pray for so long during one sitting. However, as I become more aware of the people around me, my prayers definitely have increased in length.

When my little boy died, this blog became a place of solace for me. I couldn't believe that so many people would take the time to offer their condolences and mourn with me.

I understand that God knows best. I understand that sometimes we don't get what we would like for the moment being. I understand we need trials and tests. I also understand the power of faith. I understand that there are miracles everyday.

 
This is Caleb. He was born too early.
 
This is his mom's blog http://twofishinabed.blogspot.com/
 
I think he might be one of the most handsomest little babies with those edible cheeks!!!
 
I just share because I hope that you will add him and his family to your prayers at night.
 
I share because maybe you have gone through something similar and can help.
 
I share because he is so beautiful and more people in the world need to know who he is. What a brave little fighter he is.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

4th of July Singing Time or LDS Family Home Evening

Jingo is like Bingo, but involves more thinking! Here is a game of Patriotic Jingo I created with clue cards at the bottom. There are 10 different boards, so you could even use as a singing time game and give each class a board. Of course, you'll need some sort of marker to put on the squares.
All clues are based off scriptures, songs and church magazine quotes.
If you don't have a scribd.com account, feel free to email me and I'll try to get a PDF version to you as soon as I can!
Like all things on this blog, please do not use for commercial or monetary gain.
  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Questions????? A MUST READ!!!



I feel like this should be a standard copy in every binder and training for teachers. It's the best thing you'll EVER read as far as learning how to ask a good question!! Learning how to ask good questions will invite the spirit, plenty of participation, and help everyone be edified!

Prepare yourself. PURE GOLD AS FOLLOWS!!! I did add a few !!! marks because I tend to be a hyper person in regards to punctuation. !!! !!! !!! From Teaching, No Greater Call... word for word (pages 68-70)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, often asked questions to encourage people to ponder and apply the principles He taught. (see, for example, Matthew 16:13–15; Luke 7:41–42; 3 Nephi 27:27). His questions prompted thought, soul-searching, and commitment.

General Guidelines for Preparing Questions

Church-produced lesson manuals suggest many questions that you can use in lessons. Read them carefully to decide which will be most helpful for those you teach. You may also prepare your own questions. As you consider questions to use in a lesson, ask yourself,
 
“Will they help those I teach understand the main ideas of the lesson?
 
Will these questions help those I teach apply the gospel principles being taught?”

The following ideas may help you prepare your own questions.

Questions That Can Be Answered Yes or No

Questions that can be answered yes or no have limited use in gospel instruction. You should use them primarily to obtain commitments or to determine if someone agrees or disagrees.

Factual Questions

Factual questions are used to establish the basic facts of a scripture passage, event, or gospel principle. They have specific answers. They can help learners begin to study scripture passages, understand major points, review ideas, and overcome misconceptions.
For example:
- When Nephi’s brothers asked to be forgiven for binding him with cords, what was his immediate response?
- When and where was the Church organized?

Make sure that you do not ask only factual questions. They do not require much thought, and they may discourage those who do not know the answers. When you do use them, you should generally make sure that the information necessary to answer them is available to those you teach.

With factual questions, you can help everyone begin a discussion at the same point. You can then move to questions that prompt deeper thinking and help learners see how gospel principles apply in their lives.

Questions That Prompt Deeper Thinking

Some questions encourage learners to think deeply about the meaning of scripture passages and gospel principles. These questions often begin with the words what, how, or why. They cannot be answered with yes or no, and they usually have more than one right answer. For example:
- Why do you think this revelation came at this time in the history of the Church?
- What can this story teach about how the Lord helps those in need?
- How would you define faith?
- What does it mean to be meek?
- How is this object like the gospel principle we are discussing? (This is a good question to ask with an object lesson.)
- How was the reaction of Laman and Lemuel different from Nephi’s reaction?

When asking such questions, be open to all answers !!(see “Listening,” pages 66–67).

 Encourage learners to ponder the scriptures and gospel principles being discussed and to express their ideas. Do not try to get them to give specific answers to questions; they will quickly become aware of what you are doing and either stop participating or start guessing instead of thinking. When you need a specific answer, it is best to ask a factual question or present the information in some other way.

 Questions That Help Learners Apply Gospel Principles

It is important to ask questions that help learners apply gospel principles in their lives. For example:
 How has this promise from the Lord been fulfilled in your life?
 How do we sometimes make the same error as the people in this story?
 How can God’s chastening be a blessing to us?
 What are some circumstances today that are similar to the events in this scripture account?
  If you were this person, what would you do?
Ask learners to share examples of how they or others have applied the gospel principles being discussed. As
prompted by the Spirit, encourage them to bear testimony of the principles they discuss.

General Guidelines for Asking Questions

 Ask Questions That Learners Can Answer!!!!!

Do not use questions to show your own knowledge!!!!

Ask questions that will prompt thoughtful answers from those you teach!!!

Respond to Incorrect Answers with Respect and Courtesy

Occasionally someone will give an incorrect answer or an answer that shows little understanding. Others in the
group might laugh at such an answer. This might embarrass the individual and make him or her hesitant to participate in the future. It can interfere with his or her learning.Respond to incorrect answers with respect and courtesy!!!!!
Ensure that the individual still feels comfortable participating.

You may choose to take responsibility yourself by saying something like, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I asked that
question very clearly. Let me try again.” Or you could rescue the individual by saying, “Perhaps you were thinking of something else” or “Thank you for bringing that up, but I’m not sure my question was clear.” Such responses will help those you teach feel more and more comfortable participating, even when they think they might be risking a wrong answer.

Wait for Responses

Do not be concerned if learners are silent for a few seconds after you have asked a question. Do not answer your own question; allow time for learners to think of responses. However, prolonged silence may indicate that they do not understand the question and that you need to rephrase it!!!!

 Use Follow-Up Questions

Follow-up questions can help learners think more deeply about a principle they are discussing. For example,
if learners suggest one way that a scripture account can be likened to themselves, you might ask, “What else can we learn from this story?”

Give Everyone an Opportunity to Speak

To encourage more learners to participate, you may want to direct some follow-up questions to those who have not yet made comments during the lesson.
If several people have comments about a subject, you may want to say something like, “We’ll hear your comments first and then yours.” Then those you teach will remain orderly because they know that they will have an opportunity to speak. 

Help Learners Prepare to Answer Questions

To help learners prepare to answer questions, you may want to tell them before something is read or presented
that you will be asking for their responses (see the “look for” and “listen for” approaches in “Teaching from the
Scriptures,” page 55). For example, you could say, “Listen as I read this passage so that you can share what most interests you about it” or “As this scripture is read, see if you can understand what the Lord is telling us
about faith.”

Avoid Questions That Create Controversy or Encourage Argument

The Savior said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me” (3 Nephi 11:29; see also verses 28 and 30).
Be careful not to ask questions that promote argument or highlight sensational issues. Do not ask questions that create doubt or that lead to discussions that fail to edify. Make sure that your questions move learners toward a unity of faith and love (see Mosiah 18:21). When there is disagreement, strive to emphasize points of agreement and correct doctrine.

Occasionally Ask Questions That Prompt Silent Reflection

You may occasionally choose to ask questions that learners should ponder silently rather than answer in
an open discussion. For example:
    What have you done today that is moving you toward eternal life?
    Have you failed to do something today that would have moved you toward eternal life?

Creative Uses of Questions

You may want to use questions in some of the following ways:

Write questions on wordstrips, and tape the wordstrips to the bottoms of chairs. At appropriate times during the discussion, ask each person to remove the question from his or her chair. Then have him or her read the question and respond to it.

Ask each learner to write one question based on a gospel principle or verse of scripture. Gather the questions and discuss them.

Ask individuals to role-play characters of their choice in the lesson, and let the others ask them questions
(see “Role Playing,” page 178). This works particularly well with children.

During the week before the lesson, give questions to a few learners. Ask them to prepare to respond to those
questions as part of the coming lesson.

Use the following questions to discuss a gospel principle:

“What do we already know about this principle?” “What do we want to know?” “What have we learned
today?” You can form the basis of the lesson by having learners answer these questions and then writing their
answers in three columns on the chalkboard.

Write a question on the chalkboard before class begins so that learners can begin pondering it as soon as they
arrive.

 Have learners answer questions by finding and reading appropriate scriptures or hymns. Ask learners to respond to questions by sharing examples from their own lives.

Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a few questions to consider. Then have each group report
their answers to the class.

Additional Information
For additional help, see “Plan and Conduct Meaningful Discussions,” pages 303–4 in the “Gospel Teaching and
Leadership” section of the Church Handbook of Instructions.

July 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Joseph Smith Free Image from myctrring.com
 
Monthly Theme: We become members of the Church by baptism and confirmation.
Monthly Scripture: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." John 3:5

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 our last 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! I am sure that God the Father lives and that He loves us. I am sure as the keyboard I type on that Christ is my best friend. The Gospel is restored!!

Week 2 I become a member of the Church through baptism and confirmation.

As with all guest speakers in primary, check with your Bishop first.

* Invite a few primary friends to share some thoughts about their baptism!!

* Invite the missionaries in to talk a little on baptism and confirmation! Ask them to share one really special story of someone they helped to become a member of The Church.

* "We are all welcome to come into the waters of baptism." Elder Hales (The Covenant of Baptism, Oct. 2002)
Who here has a door mat to their home that says Welcome? Like Elder Hales says, we are all welcome to come into the waters of baptism!! Baptism is the door that helps us to enter the Kingdom of God!
     Have a welcome mat and invite a child up front to stand on it. Turn 7-10 paper envelopes into little doors by drawing on them. Invite the child to choose a door and open it. Inside the envelopes have questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with baptism and confirmation.
     Inevitably, hopefully... You will have a child that will say, "But babies aren't welcome in the waters of baptism!" Give them 1,500 points for that answer! They are right. If they ask what the points earn them, it's just points for being the most awesome person ever! At 10 points you are awesome and you have 1,500!! Don't be afraid to have conversations with the children you teach. Just make sure you are teaching DOCTRINE!! Click HERE if you need more insight on the topic.

* Question: What do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who are from the USA, Haiti, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Russia.. or any country for that matter, have in common?
We have all been baptized and confirmed! That's 15 MILLION of us!! How exciting!!
      "As a Latter-day Saint you are also a member of a worldwide church with members in over 170 nations. Even if you move to another neighborhood, city, or country, there will be a congregation that you will belong to. And all of the same blessings and privileges will be yours—including the blessing of fellowship. The gospel makes brothers and sisters of all of us, and wherever we go in the world, we find others with whom we have something very significant in common." (lds.org gospel topic membership)
     Hide pictures of 7-10 flags from around the world all over the primary room. Have questions, scriptures and songs on baptism and confirmation attached to them. You can sing I Belong To The Church of Jesus Christ ( CS #77 ) while children look.
      No matter where in the world you are, there are baptized and confirmed Saints willing to help and love you! What a blessing to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Week 3 The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.
* The Primary Children will be the teachers today!! Wow!! Exciting. Did you prepare a lesson children? That's OK. All we need is our scriptures and some paper. Divide into groups (4-5 minutes) and give the children the following scriptures (or scriptures of your choice) about the Holy Ghost. Invite them to draw a picture about what they learned and be prepared to share what the scripture talks about. Tell the children to feel free to talk about any special experiences or feelings they have had with The Holy Ghost. For the rest of sharing time have a couple from the group come up and share their picture and thoughts. Make sure to thank them for doing such a great job teaching!!
     From Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual Chapter 5:The Holy Ghost:
The Holy Ghost knows all things see D&C 35:19; Moroni 10:5; Moses 6:61
The Holy Ghost testifies of the Father and the Son see D&C 20:27; 3 Nephi 28:11
The Holy Ghost is a comforter see John 14:26; Moroni 8:26; Acts 9:31
The Holy Ghost brings to our remembrance truths that we have been taught earlier see John 14:26
The Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator see Luke 12:11–12; John 14:26; 2 Nephi 32:5; Alma 5:46–47; D&C 8:2–3
The Holy Ghost guides us to all truth and shows us what we should know and do see John 16:13; Moroni 10:5; D&C 39:6; 2 Nephi 32:5; Moses 8:24
   
Recycled ideas from previous posts:

*"The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found. 'And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned' (Alma 32:23)." Boyd K. Packer, "Prayer and Promptings," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 45  
       Have a first aid kit. Invite the children to come up and choose items from the kit that have questions, songs and scriptures about the Holy Ghost on them.

* Have the word “Holy Ghost” written in about 10 different languages on the board.
“In every language, the Spirit of God—the Holy Ghost—guides, or can guide, every member of the Church.” Boyd K. Packer, "The Cloven Tongues of Fire,” Ensign, May 2000, 7  
      Have a globe with small numbers attached. Invite a child to come up and spin the globe, using their finger to stop it. Have the numbers correspond to questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the Holy Ghost.

* Has anyone ever stayed at a hotel when they've gone on vacation? What was it like? There is a hotel called The Comfort Inn... do you think if you stayed there forever you would have comfort forever? Maybe, maybe not. There is only one real way to have comfort all the time, and that is by having the Holy Ghost with you. He is the true comforter!!

     Make a mock "comfort in" room- a small blanket, pillow, table with a flower vase. Let the child come up front and get cozy at the comfort in... then ask them questions having to do with the Holy Ghost or have them read short stories of people who were comforted or guided by The Holy Ghost.
 
Week 4 I can know the truth through the power of The Holy Ghost.

* From our most recent general conference, April 2014, "Another truth I have come to know is that the Holy Ghost is real. He is the third member of the Godhead. His mission is to testify of truth and righteousness. He manifests Himself in many ways, including feelings of peace and reassurance. He can also bring comfort, guidance, and correction when needed. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is maintained throughout our lives by righteous living.
     The gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred through an ordinance of the gospel. One with authority lays his hands on the head of a new member of the Church and says words such as these: “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
     This ordinance alone does not change us in a noticeable way, but if we listen and follow the promptings, we will receive the blessing of the Holy Ghost. Each son or daughter of our Heavenly Father can come to know the reality of Moroni’s promise: “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5; emphasis added)." President Boyd K. Packer (The Witness)


* Sister Silvia  H. Allred wrote in The Friend of her conversion story, "When I was 14 years old, two missionaries knocked at our door. They began teaching my family about the true nature of God. In the visits that followed, they taught us how to pray. They also taught us about the Restoration and the plan of salvation. After the third or fourth visit, most of my family stopped listening to the missionaries, except for my 17-year-old sister, Dina, and me. We both felt the witness of the Holy Ghost in our hearts and received the spiritual confirmation that the message was true.
     My sister and I obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon and began reading it. Every day after school, we raced home to get to the book first. While the first one home was reading, the other one impatiently waited until mealtime, ate in a hurry, and then took her turn reading until bedtime. Such was the excitement we felt."
     Have some reverent races!!! Invite 2 children at a time to walk reverently, but quickly to some point in the room. The first person there gets to answer a question about a story from The Book of Mormon that talks about the Holy Ghost. HOWEVER!! If the first person isn't being reverent, by default the question goes to the other friend. If it's a tie, the wonderful primary pianist will decide who answers the question! Make sure to have pictures to go along with questions!
     Some questions could include:   Did Nephi know beforehand what he should do went he went to get the brass plates? What truth did the spirit testify to him that he should do when he found Laban?
   How was the Liahona like The Holy Ghost?
   Read Jacob 7:8. Sherem was an anti-Christ who wanted a sign from God. He was a liar and very wicked. He said many things that were wrong. How did the Holy Ghost help Jacob?
   What were some things King Benjamin testified to his people? Did the Holy Ghost testify to the people the truth of his words? See if you can fill in the scripture to describe this experience, "And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with _____________________" (Mosiah 4:3) JOY!!! The Holy Ghost also helped to change their ways and they never wanted to sin again! (Mosiah 5:1-2)
   What did the Holy Ghost do for Abinadi? (He protected him so he could finish his message Mosiah 13:3,5)
   Who were Alma and Amulek? How did they meet each other? They preached together the word of God and the Holy Ghost was with them. In fact the Holy Ghost helped them a lot!! See Alma 8:30-32
      End with the following quote:
Elder Henry B. Eyring has said, "Here, then, is a simple summary: the Holy Ghost’s mission is to testify of the Savior. The Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. So the Holy Ghost always comes to those who read and ponder the message of the book that Jesus is the Christ." (How to Know the Truth, New Era May 2004)
    
* Tell a couple short stories about the pioneers. They endured a lot!! They did so because The Holy Ghost testified to them the truth! HERE is a link to build a handcart and to help remember today's stories!
Here is one story:
"Phoebe Carter was similarly led 750 miles (1,200 km) from Scarboro, Maine, to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835. Phoebe was 28 years old when she determined to gather with Church members, even though she had to make her trek alone. As she later reported: “My friends marvelled at my course, as did I, but something within impelled me on. My mother’s grief at my leaving home was almost more than I could bear; and had it not been for the spirit within I should have faltered at the last. My mother told me she would rather see me buried than going thus alone into the heartless world. … ‘Phoebe,’ she said, impressively, ‘will you come back to me if you find Mormonism false?’ I answered thrice, ‘Yes, mother, I will.’ … When the time came for my departure I dared not trust myself to say farewell, so I wrote my good-bye to each, and leaving them on my table, ran down stairs and jumped into the carriage. Thus I left my beloved home of childhood to link my life with the Saints of God.”6
At that point Phoebe had no idea that her footsteps of faith would lead her on a journey much longer than the 750 miles (1,200 km) to Kirtland. She would marry Wilford Woodruff and join with him in journeying through Missouri to Nauvoo and then on the 1,350-mile (2,170-km) trek through wilderness lands to the Great Salt Lake Valley." (July 2013 Pioneer Faith and Fortitude, Elder Russell M. Ballard)
 
* I really like Hidden Pictures because my children do!! A very easy sharing time is to enlarge THIS (A Pioneer Hidden Picture from The Friend) Ask the primary friends why they think the pioneers decided to join the church and head west. The Holy Ghost was strong in testifying to them the truth!! Have scriptures, songs, and questions about the Holy Ghost on a piece of small paper. On the other side of those questions, scriptures and songs have these words: an alarm clock, baseball bat, bowling ball, cap, carrot, golf club, ladybug, paintbrush, peas in a pod, salt and pepper shakers, slice of bread, slice of pizza, slice of watermelon, toaster, toothbrush. (One to one correlation, question/thing to find)
After the child draws a piece of paper, they have to answer the question and then find that item in the picture!! If they need help they can invite a couple more primary friends up to help them!
 
* Go on a pioneer trek to find out more about the holy ghost!!! Set up 4 chairs up front. 2 drivers and 2 riders. Have aprons, bonnets, hats and simple things to have the children become pioneers. Make an ox!!
I love the FREE cardboard in between toilet paper at Costco! It's huge! Caution, you will look like a hoarder as you haul it out.
   Have stories, songs, scriptures, questions about The Holy Ghost. Switch children every so often to drive on as you learn more!!