Friday, February 27, 2015

THE PERFECT SUBSTITUTE INCENTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Who here by raise of hands has ever had a phone call or two (or 6) on Sunday morning saying that the teacher can't teach primary that day?

Substituting and Primary go hand in hand. And how do we make sure that we give a good lesson even without proper preparation?We say a couple prayers and have faith!

Another thing I have found is keeping the kids involved and motivated for a final activity. Usually it's art!!! What can we draw to reinforce part of the day's lesson?

Disclaimer: I am not an artist. The extent of my capabilities are sticks and circles with smiley faces.

Whatever my artistic handicaps may be, I still realize that children LOVE TO CREATE! When they are engaged they learn better. So that's where this BRILLIANT AMAZING FABULOUS AWESOME WOW WOW WOW website comes in:

 
 
Rob is a BYU grad (Rise and shout!!!!!!!) and shares the most easy to follow tutorials for drawing. His kids do a great job too!! You can scour his site for ideas.
 
I matched a couple of friend articles with Rob's tutorials for quick reference... for "those" Sunday mornings!! Or even for a fun Family Home Evening!!!
Just click on the links.
 
Topic Compassion: Harry, the Helper Rabbit (Friend Aug. 1997) & Rabbit Tutorial
 
Topic General Conference:
Quote from President Hinckley- " While we were at lunch, we sat with a man who is now a grandfather who said that his little four-year-old grandson came to him the other day and said, “Grandpa, why do the hummingbirds hum?” Grandpa said, “I don’t know. Why?” The little boy said, “Because they don’t know the words.”
       It is unlikely that we will remember very many of the words that we’ve heard during the meetings of this conference. But I hope that we shall be able to “hum” the spirit of this conference and that we shall carry with us a great feeling of uplift because of our participation together. It has been a glorious time. The Spirit of the Lord has been with us. We have every reason to be grateful. We have been refreshed in our testimonies and strengthened in our faith." Let Us Go Forward & Hummingbird Tutorial
 
 
Topic Love/Protection:
 
Topic Lost Sheep:
Finding the Sheep (Friend Feb. 2007) & Lamb Tutorial
 
Topic Temptations:
Beware the Wolves (New Era July 2012) & Wolf Tutorial
 
Topic Clean Speech:
 
 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

March 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Gospel Art Picture: Jonah
I love the story of Jonah. I'm grateful that he was human and made mistakes. I'm also grateful for the lesson in mercy and compassion taught by his story. So often we are quick to think that God punishes, but in reality He loves us. His patience outstretches ours!
 
Monthly Theme: God Speaks through Prophets.
Monthly Scripture: “He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” Luke 1:70

Week 1 Prophets are called by God.

* Have 10-16 children come up front. Have a few pieces of paper. Tell the children you are going to give them a task. They need to divide into 2 teams with equal number of people, make 4 paper airplanes and then toss the airplanes across the room 1 time.
   It will probably be a little chaotic. Especially with junior primary! Give it a minute. It might get a little loud. See if anyone takes charge among the children. Go ahead and interrupt the children and ask the following questions. Does it help when there is someone there to lead, guide, and direct? What is it like when there is no one to turn to for instruction?
   Now assign one child to divide the groups. Have that child also decide who will make the paper airplanes and who will fly them.
   How would our church be if we didn't have a prophet to tell us the will of The Lord? Prophets are called of God! They are good men who were chosen before the world was to help guide us back to Heavenly Father.
     “And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born” Abr. 3:23
     Divide into groups or classes and give them a prophet. Let that group come up with 5 hints for the rest of primary to guess who their prophet was! Then have them come up and share their hints! Remember, we call on primary friends who are good listeners and raising their hands!

* "All leaders in the Lord’s Church are called by proper authority. No prophet or any other leader in this Church, for that matter, has ever called himself or herself. No prophet has ever been elected. The Lord made that clear when He said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” (John 15:16) You and I do not “vote” on Church leaders at any level. We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them."
(From General Conference October 2014 Sustaining the Prophets by Elder Russell M. Nelson)
     Another couple words for sustain is help or assist. Have we ever thought about what we could do to help or assist the prophets? Have a ballot box up front. Like Elder Russell M. Nelson said, we do NOT vote for or choose our prophet! God chooses them. However, we can make choices to help them! Can anyone think of some things the prophets have said we should do? Brainstorm a few ideas and write them on the chalk board. Have children take a piece of paper to make their choice! They can illustrate and write what they are going to do this week to sustain the prophet! Have them cast their choice in the ballot box. If there is time, share a few papers that were put in the box.

* Stay in the Boat and Hold On! By Elder M. Russell Ballard is a must read! The following is a picture of the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon.
He says, "At the beginning of the trip, one of the experienced river guides reviewed important safety instructions, emphasizing three rules that would ensure the group’s safe travel through the rapids. “Rule number one: stay in the boat! Rule number two: always wear a life jacket! Rule number three: always hold on with both hands!” He then said again, with even more emphasis, “Above all, remember rule number one: stay in the boat!”
   This adventure reminds me of our mortal journey. Most of us experience periods in our lives where the tranquil waters of life are appreciated. At other times, we encounter white-water rapids...."
   Who here would want to jump off the boat into the dangerous water? In life, the boat is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Ballard also says, "Along with rule number one as I’ve applied it, remember rules two and three: always wear a life jacket, and hold on with both hands. The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket and will help us know how to hold on with both hands."
    Build a boat!!! (You can use 4-6 chairs, 2 oars, 2 life jackets... or you could go all out and bring in a little blow up raft, I bet the kids would love that!) Have children answer questions, scriptures and sing songs about prophets. Each time they do something add something to the boat up front! If there is still time, have a child come up front and sit in the boat. Have them tell our primary friends about their favorite prophet!

Recycled from previous posts:
* When a phone rings, what can you do? You can answer or ignore. Have someone (like the bishop) call you on your cell phone and have a child answer. What would have happened if you ignored the call? Heavenly Father doesn’t use cell phones to call His prophets, He uses His voice, the Holy Ghost and sometimes angels! The Lord called many prophets to leave what they were doing and then follow him.
    Have a presidency member outside the primary room door. Throughout primary, have them call your cell phone and let a child answer. They will give the child hints about a certain prophet. Have the child share the hints with the primary and then guess what prophet the call is about!
 
* “Calling On…” This is a game of finishing the story. Children will pass around a cell phone. You start off the story of a prophet by saying (for example) "Nephi was a prophet called of God.... then pass the cell phone to another child and have them add whatever they know about that prophet. They pass it on to another friend who can add and so on. No one should have the phone for more than 30 seconds, thus giving lots of children the chance to participate. Ask the children what prophets they would like to talk about! Have a GAK close by!
 
* Learn the 5th Article of Faith song SPARKLE style. This is for SENIOR PRIMARY. To play sparkle each person will have to say one word in the article of faith, if they don’t know the word, then they are out. Then the last person says, SPARKLE (they get to still stay in)! You keep on going until everyone is out except for 2 people, then they are the article of faith sparkle stars!!
     Have the article of faith posted on the board and let them practice a couple of times with the words up. Go to each child up and down each row. Then take it down!! Have the children stand, if they can’t think of a word they sit and are out. So first child says, We… second child says believe… 3rd child says that… 4th child says a… 5th child says Bubba Gump, he/she got it wrong so they sit and the 6th child says man… If other children shout out, they have to sit. Always encourage good listening and good manners.
 
Week 2 Prophets testify of Jesus Christ.

* "My dear brothers and sisters, if the Restoration did anything, it shattered the age-old myth that God had stopped talking to His children. Nothing could be further from the truth. A prophet has stood at the head of God’s Church in all dispensations, from Adam to the present day. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ—of His divinity and of His earthly mission and ministry."
(From General Conference October 2014 Sustaining the Prophets by Elder Russell M. Nelson)
     You'll need 2 trays of THIS recipe. I've never tried it. So I don't know if it works or how it tastes. And, as I always must, I do not advocate the sugaring up of children. However, I just don't see how bringing in real glass and shattering that would be safe. If anyone has any other ideas, please share! I really do love this visual idea!
     Show the children the smooth sheet of candy. What does it mean to shatter? Break apart! Many people say that God does not speak to men. Prophets are not real. They build a smooth lie.... but we know the truth! Prophets testify of Jesus Christ. God lives! He speaks to men!Have a few children come up front to shatter the candy.
     When Jesus and Heavenly Father spoke to Joseph Smith it showed us the truth in the scripture, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?" Mormon 9:9. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ. God lives! He speaks to us today!

* HERE is a wonderful article from The Friend (Special Witnesses April 1994) Choose 15 good readers!! Have primary friends divide into pairs or small groups and station them at each of the readers. Have primary friends count how many times Jesus, or other names having to do with Him, are said when the quote is read. Have the groups rotate 4 times. The children will only hear 4 quotes... the point is, Prophets testify of Jesus Christ!
    HERE is a more recent gathering of quotes, but I do feel like some of the words would be hard for a Sunbeam to understand. Pray! Pick and choose!
Now have about 6-8 pictures of the different prophets and their names written largely on strips of paper. Have speaking bubbles (like the ones in cartoons) with the prophet’s quote about Christ. Have the children match the names and responses of the prophets up front on the chalkboard.

* HERE is a Reader's Theater I wrote a while back. For Senior Primary!

Week 3 There is safety in following the prophet.

* See above in Week 1 about the boat idea!!!

* Prophet Safety Jeopardy
Personal opinion: I never (yes…never) had competitions in Primary. I never did teams or boys vs. girls. I always had the primary work as a family of friends, getting as many points as we could all together. The world has too many divisions. I’m for being unified and working together. But to each his own, just food for thought.
 
Categories and questions:
Warning!!! Danger up ahead!!!
100 This prophet warned the people and they didn’t listen. He and his family were kept safe in an ark while the earth was completely flooded.
200 Read Mosiah 17:9-10 Abinadi warned this evil King, but was stilled burned by fire. He sealed his testimony with his own blood.
300 How does following the word of wisdom, revelation given to Joseph Smith, keep us from danger?
400 Jacob warned the Nephites of “… every kind of sin, telling them the awful consequences of them.” (Jacob 3:12) Name 3 sins and the results that can happen from making those bad choices.

Hear my Words, Learn of Christ
100 Sing Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus (CS p.36)
200 Show GAK The Prophet Isaiah Foretells Christ’s Birth. Who is this prophet?
300 Spencer W. Kimball said this quote. Fill in the blank “ The ……… prophets, from Adam to Malachi are testifying of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ was the God of the ………, and it was He who conversed with Abraham and Moses.” (Ensign, May 1977, p.76) (Answer: Old Testament)
400 What does the prophet Nephi teach you about Christ? (Encourage Senior Primary to find actual scriptures!)

Stay on the Path
100 This prophet saw a strait and narrow path leading to the tree of life. Who is the prophet or prophets and what can you do to stay on the path?
200 Sing We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet (Hymns p.19)
300 Read Mosiah 2:36-37 What can we do to have the Holy Ghost with us to guide us in wisdom’s paths?
400 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! DOUBLE POINTS!!! Name your favorite prophet and something that prophet has taught you to keep you safe.

Buckle Up with Modern Day Apostles
100 President Eyring has said, “Now, here is my counsel to children. The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise.”(Ensign Nov. 2009 p.72) How can you show honor to your parents or adults in your life?
200 Show a picture of the first presidency. Name these 3 men.
300 Where do we read the words of modern day apostles?
400 Sing last verse of Follow the Prophet. (CS p. 111)

Final Jeopardy Category: Safety in Following the Prophets
Final Jeopardy Question: What is something you learned today and/or can bear testimony of?
 
* Bring in an umbrella stroller with a seat belt. Have a demonstration where a stuffed animal is placed inside without the safety belt and pushed. Try again with the safety belt on. Prophets keep us safe by securing us in the knowledge that Christ lives and strapping us in the strength of His revelations. Make a very small and simple obstacle course for a child to push the stroller through.
    Have a few questions, scriptures, and songs prepared on how there is safety in following the prophet. Have a child come up front to answer a question or read a scripture. Then let them buckle the bear and push them through the obstacle course.

Week 4 God speaks through prophets.

* Bring in 4 pictures, 2 copies of each picture. Have the children match the pictures. Are the matches the same? Read D&C 1:38, “What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, IT IS THE SAME.” Now have a sign “voice of the Lord” and “voice of my servants”… according to the scripture are these 2 a match and the same?
   You could easily make this into a memory/matching game with pictures of the prophets. When they make a match the primary friend could share something about that prophet and what they have taught us to bring us closer to Heavenly Father.

* Ask for a volunteer. Whisper something into the child’s ear and then have them tell it to the primary. Invite another child to come up and do the same. Just as you spoke through your primary friends, God speaks through prophets.
    Read Jeremiah 1:5-7, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak."
* HERE is a great sharing time from The Friend. There is an activity where the children can match a scripture to the prophet. You could have a strip of paper with one of the picture from the article on it. Make the strip into a headband. Have 10 children put on the headbands.
     Give 10 groups 1 of the scriptures. Have them look it up and decide who the scripture is talking about.
      For Senior Primary you could make it harder by putting the headbands on the children without them seeing. Then they have to ask questions to figure out what prophet is on their headband. After they figure it out, have a child read the corresponding scripture.

* "The Lord’s house is a house of order, and we need never be deceived about where to look for answers to our questions or uncertain about which voice to follow." (Oct. 2014 General Conference Live According to the Words of the Prophets Sister Carol McConkie Great read for preparation this week!)
     We know that we can trust the voice of the prophet! God speaks through prophets! We're going to play a game. Name that voice! Have a table and a table cloth so you can hide 2 or 3 children behind it. Have questions about prophets or statements for 1 child to read behind the table. Have the primary guess who's voice it was! Then have another child answer the question.
    To make it even harder for senior primary, have a child leave the room. Then they won't know who was called up front!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

February 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Head of Christ by Franz von Stuck 1890

Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.
Monthly Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16

Week 1 Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.

* HERE is an excellent flannel board resource from The Friend about Jesus as our Good Shepherd. It's a really good visual of how a shepherd will save his sheep because he loves them. (You could also have the children color this resource and tape to popsicle sticks to tell the story at home.)
     Play find the flock. Have 8-10 little paper sheep hidden throughout the room. On the paper sheep have questions, songs, and scriptures having to do with Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. A really good song to include is Little Lambs So White and Fair CS 58!

* Mark 4:36- 41 tells the beautiful story of one of Christ's greatest miracles. Line up a few chairs up front and make a pretend boat. You can bring in a sheet for water to lie beside the chairs, and a couple of paddles... you could even make a drawing of a boat out of some cardboard to lean against the chairs. (Costco has FREE cardboard between their paper towels that is big and sturdy!) Invite a few children into the boat and one child to hold (not act out, just hold) the picture of Christ calming the waves (Stilling the Storm, by Ted Henninger GAK 214). Read the scripture passage.
     Just as Jesus saved those on the boat, He has saved all of us! How does this story make you feel? Now that the sea is all calm, let's go fishing!!
Invite a primary friend to enter the boat and use a fishing line to try to hook a fish. (MAGNETS!!! Magnets on the end of the fishing pole, magnets on the back of the fish) On the fish, have questions, songs, and scriptures having to do with Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer!
Questions could include:
What does Redeemer mean?
Why was Jesus the only one who could save us? (Acts 4:12)
What did Jesus do to help us return to Heavenly Father?
How does it make you feel to think about the great love Jesus has for you that He would lay down His own life for you?
Older children could sing from the hymn book Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer (#103)
     HERE is a great coloring page that would make a good handout to take home. Have the children think of 5 things they can do this week to show their love for Jesus, their Savior and Redeemer. As they do that thing, they can color that number on the picture!

* Mark 2:1-5 tells the story of Jesus saving a man who had the palsy. In general conference, a whole talk was devoted to the importance of us helping Jesus to save and rescue others, Rescue in Unity by Elder Chi Hong Wong. I really like this visual, and think it would be great if 4 children could demonstrate with a make shift bed (perhaps a piece of cardboard with 4 strings??that you would have to make and try beforehand at home to make sure it works!) and a stuffed animal.
     "This rescue assignment needed everyone working together. At the crucial moment, it would take careful coordination to lower the man with palsy from the roof. The four people would have to work in unity and in harmony. There could not be any discord among the four. They would have to lower the man with palsy at the same pace. If someone released the rope faster than the other three, the man would fall out of his bed. He could not hold on by himself due to his weakened condition.
In order to assist the Savior, we have to work together in unity and in harmony. Everyone, every position, and every calling is important. We have to be united in our Lord Jesus Christ.... 
     Jesus Christ loves us all and has the power to save and heal, both physically and spiritually. When we assist Him in His mission of saving souls, we too will be rescued in the process."
Break into groups and have them come up with 4 ways/examples of how Jesus has helped save us and others and something we can do to help rescue others and bring them to The Savior! Give them a couple minutes to discuss. Then invite 4 from each group to come up front, demonstrate working together to lower the bed and share their answers!

Weeks 2 & 3 Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved.

** It was brought to my attention kindly that I made a mistake! I'm so sorry! Please just adapt this idea as you see fit. You could have the cub scout still share his belt loop which is a preparation for the merit badges they'll be earning in scouting.
       Is there a boy in Primary who sometimes needs a little extra love? Prepare in advance for that boy to bring in his belt loop badges from cub scouts this week. Have him show the primary all the badges and share a couple that were his favorite. What did he have to do to earn badges? Make sure to thank him for his help! In Scouting boys earn Merit badges. What does merit mean?? The dictionary says, "The quality of being particularly good or worthy."
     Elder Richard G. Scott has said, "Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have. He was a God, Jehovah, before His birth in Bethlehem. His Father not only gave Him His spirit body, but Jesus was His Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Our Master lived a perfect, sinless life and therefore was free from the demands of justice. He was and is perfect in every attribute, including love, compassion, patience, obedience, forgiveness, and humility. His mercy pays our debt to justice when we repent and obey Him. Even with our best efforts to obey His teachings we will still fall short, yet because of His grace we will be saved “after all we can do.”
     Go back to your special friend. He was pretty accomplished and had a great belt loop! Even though he is extremely wonderful and good, could he save you? Could I save you? Could our beautiful pianist save you? Could you save yourself? Repeat the quoted phrase, "Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have."
     Have the children design a merit badge, it could be a simple circular piece of paper. Have crayons or colored pencils. Be as creative as you like! The merit badge is something Jesus did for us or others. Brainstorm some ideas with the children. If you need a couple more, badges could include- healing, miracles, kindness, charity and love, obedience, Atonement, humble, teaching, faithful, good friend, stilling the waters, resurrection. Have the children share.
     Bear testimony that through Jesus Christ and the atonement, all mankind may be saved. He was the only one with the merits who could do so. And He did so because He loves us!

* HERE is a really good coloring page. I really like the word definitions on the side! If you hide #s 1-6 on the bottom of 6 different chairs, you could invite the 6 different children to come up, one at a time, to read the definition (or say it in their own words) and then color the corresponding numbers on the picture. HERE is the song for the 3rd Article of Faith. After each child comes up to color, children wearing that coloring can stand while you sing the song! Yes, you'll sing it 6 times and Yes!! You'll have it memorized by the time you're done!!

* HERE is a puzzle from The Friend with a really good explanation of The Atonement.

* Mystery word! Have 2 children come up front. One will need to know how to write (if not, they can whisper the mystery word to you and you can write it) Ask one child to close their eyes and hold out their hand. Write a mystery word from the 3rd Article of Faith on their hand with your pointer finger. Then have the person who was holding out their hand guess the word.
     Play this game a few times and in between turns, have pictures from the final days of The Savior's life. Talk about each picture and what it had to do with The Atonement.

* HERE is a really amazing video. It has the actual Garden of Gethsemane! Some of the words might be a little hard for a 3 year old to understand, but the spirit is strong and they will feel it if you choose to show this!

* From our last General Conference the following words stick out to me-  
      "Qualifying for exaltation is like entering another country. We must each obtain our spiritual passport. We do not set the requirements, but, individually, we must meet all of them. The plan of salvation contains all of the doctrines, laws, commandments, and ordinances needed for all to qualify for exaltation.2 Then, “through the Atonement of [Jesus] Christ, all mankind may be saved." (The Book by Elder Allan F. Packer)
  I think it's important to note the word MAY. It doesn't state WILL. The word MAY means that it's possible but it's not a for sure. Divide into groups and have them come up with something we need to do to prepare for exaltation. Have them design a stamp (color on a piece of paper) to put into a primary passport! After everyone shares, have a picture of Jesus and put the passport by Jesus. No matter what, the only reason we even have a chance at exaltation is because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
     Challenge the children to do something this week to add to their spiritual passport. They can draw a picture of it and share and add their stamp next week!
     Bear testimony that we can prepare now to meet God again. Jesus Christ loves us and through Him we can be saved.

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

* HERE (The Empty Tomb April 1988) is an excellent talk just to read to prepare for the week's lesson. I really love President Gordon B. Hinkley! Such beautiful words.

HERE is another great talk. You'll definitely feel the spirit if you read!!

* Some questions to think about or ask the children as part of the lesson:
The resurrection unites (puts together) the spirit with what? (the body)
When we are resurrected, will the spirit and body ever be divided again? (no)
Who was the first to be resurrected? (Jesus....Others had been brought back from death, but were restored to mortality (Mark 5: 22-43; Luke 7: 11-17; John 11: 1-45), whereas a resurrection means to become immortal, without blood, yet with a body of flesh and bone. )
Who saw Jesus after He was resurrected? (Many people! Mary, other women, the apostles, the righteous in the America's, Joseph Smith)
Do we have to see Jesus to know that He has been resurrected? (NO!!!)
What did Jesus eat after He was resurrected? (Fish and Honeycomb)
When we are resurrected, will it be at the same time? (no 1 Cor. 15:23)
Where do we go after we are resurrected? (The Kingdoms of the 3 degrees of Glory)
What will our bodies be like when we are resurrected? (First, it depends on the age in which we died. Babies will come back as babies. But President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I am sure that if we can imagine ourselves at our very best, physically, mentally, spiritually, that is the way we will come back.”)
How can we gain a testimony that Jesus was resurrected?
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus lives and we can too?

From Previous Posts

* This idea is from Sister Elizabeth Ricks (April 2007 Friend) "Display three shoe boxes, and ask the children to raise their hands if they like to try on new shoes. Explain that you want them to imagine trying on some other people’s shoes, but more important you want them to imagine what it would be like to actually be that person. One by one, take out a pair of shoes from each box. (You can also display pictures or drawings of shoes.) Show a pair of boots to represent the soldiers who guarded Jesus’s tomb. Use detail to tell the story in such a way that the children can imagine being there when Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb. Next, use a pair of sandals to tell the story of Mary Magdalene. Ask the children how it might have felt to have been at the garden tomb when the resurrected Savior appeared. Last, show a pair of shoes that children in your area commonly wear. Ask how it feels to be a member of the Church and to have the knowledge that you will be resurrected because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ."
       Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?”‍ (p. 64), and bear testimony that the Easter story is the most glorious story in the world. Testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died and was resurrected.

* Have a picture of a sign "Dead End". What does this mean? Have a plastic toy bulldozer. How is Jesus Christ like a bulldozer? To some it may seem like when we die, there is no where else to go. But we know that there is more beyond the grave and Jesus has cleared the way because of His atonement and resurrection! Have the bulldozer run over the dead end sign!

* Have a teacher or another adult come to the front to help. Tie their hands together. What does that feel like? Can they do as many things with their hands tied? Mosiah 15:20 "But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead." Cut the string. The teacher's hand is free now. How does that feel?
How does it feel to know that we aren't tied down to sickness, pain, and sorrow that comes from this earth life? Can you feel the spirit bearing truth, it's a peaceful happy feeling, that we are free! We will live again!!

* A wonderful idea from Cheryl Esplin, Jesus Christ Is My Savior,” Friend, Apr 2009, 10–12 "Beforehand and with approval of the bishop or branch president, invite a member who has experienced the death of a loved one to bear testimony of what the Resurrection means to him or her.
     Put the following GAK pictures in a pile in the following order with 227 on top: GAK 227 (Jesus Praying in Gethsemane), GAK 228 (The Betrayal of Jesus), GAK 230 (The Crucifixion), GAK 231 (Burial of Jesus), GAK 233 (Mary and the Resurrected Lord), GAK 234 (Jesus Shows His Wounds), and GAK 316 (Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere).
     While the pianist plays “Beautiful Savior” (pp. 62–63), have the children pass around a small stone. Tell them it is symbolic of the stone rolled in front of the opening of Christ’s tomb. When the music stops, have the child holding the stone take the picture from the top of the pile and tell about it or choose someone to help. Continue for each picture, pausing after GAK 234 to sing the second verse of “On a Golden Springtime” (p. 88) and to read Luke 24:39 in unison.
     Have the children feel their hands to help them understand that after Jesus was resurrected, the Apostles could feel His hands just as the children can feel their own hands. Continue with the rest of the pictures. Teach that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone who has ever lived on the earth will be resurrected. Have the invited guest bear testimony. Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64). At the end of the third verse, have the children stand when singing the words “Oh yes! And so shall I!”

* Bring in a few balloons filled with helium.
Alma 11:41 "...For behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works."
Have questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with the resurrection on the ends of the balloons that are all along the ceiling. (Do NOT do this activity unless you can still reach the balloons!!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pickle Poem Adaptation- LDS Christmas Primary Gift/ Ornament


The Christmas pickle is a Christmas tradition in the United States. A decoration in the shape of a pickle is hidden on a Christmas tree, with the finder receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year.

There are a few poems out there, but I decided to make my own. Please do not use for commercial purposes.

A small little pickle, funny too see
Hanging so softly in our Christmas tree!

It reminds us to look really close all around
And appreciate the things that always surround!

So hang it at night on one special limb,
Among all the lights, so bright, and trim-

And each day in life as we go about
Remember the pickle and not to doubt….

We are loved and Heavenly Father is there
He is not hidden, just call Him in prayer!

Jesus Christ was born, our Savior, our friend!
Merry Christmas and joy, to you we send!!
 
Love, The Primary Presidency

Monday, December 15, 2014

2015 January LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps And Ideas

Christ in the Garden of Olives by Gustave Moreau
(Public Domain work of art)


Monthly Theme: We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Monthly Scripture: "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." Articles of Faith 1:1
 
Week 1 God is the Father of my spirit.

* Tell the children you are going to ask a couple of questions. They can nod their head yes or no. They do not need to answer out loud. See if they can hear a common word....
Is Bishop K OUR bishop?
Is the Book of Mormon used for scripture study in OUR homes?
Is the temple a sacred place in OUR city?
Is this church building used with respect by OUR ward?
What was the common word? OUR!! Meaning you and me!! All of us!
Read Matthew 6:9, "...Our Father‍ which art in heaven, Hallowed‍ be thy name."
When Jesus told us how to pray, did He say that Heavenly Father was just HIS father? No! OUR father.
     God is the Father of our spirits. He knows each of us by name! Play a game- a name game! Invite 1 primary child from one side of the room up. Tap 4 children on the other side to also come up. See if the 1 child can name the names of the 4 children you tapped.
     Ask questions, sing songs, and share experiences about Heavenly Father in between each round of the game!
Sample Questions:
What are a few words to describe Heavenly Father?
What has Heavenly Father created that brings you joy?

How can we know Heavenly Father lives?
Who has seen Heavenly Father? What about heard?

    End with bearing testimony that God is the Father of our spirits! There are a lot of people out there with a lot of different names, but Heavenly Father knows each of OUR names and loves us!

* Bring in about 5 candy bars and a small plastic knife to cut. Please BE AWARE of any food allergies!!!
     I know that these are delicious candy bars. I've tasted them and enjoyed them many times. Would you rather know for yourself that they are delicious or just go off my words?
     What if I were to tell you that Heavenly Father lives. God is the Father of our spirits. We are His children and He loves us dearly. Would you rather know this for yourself or be dependent on my testimony?
     Read John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know‍ thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." What does this scripture promise us if we know and develop our testimony of God the Father and Jesus Christ?
     Divide into small groups. Give each group a sheet of paper to draw on and a few crayons. Give each group one of the following questions and have them draw their answer:
1.What is a spirit?
2. Who created our spirits?
3. Is everyone in the world brothers and sisters?
4. How can we know Heavenly Father loves us?
5. Why should we pray to Heavenly Father?
6. What are some things Heavenly Father has said?
7. Where is Heavenly Father?
8. How can we talk with Heavenly Father?
9. What are some feelings we have knowing that we are children of God?
10. What can we do to return to Heavenly Father?
   Have a person from each group come up front to share their answers. Truth is a beautiful thing!! And we don't just have to take another person's word for it, like the candy bars! The truth that God is the father of our spirits can be a part of our testimony today. Testimonies are for sharing, and so is the chocolate you brought in!
(*I do not advocate sugaring up children, this just happens to be an idea that popped into my head. You could easily substitute in some delicious cut up apples!)

* Have everyone look into their neighbor's eyes for 5 seconds. Now switch to your neighbor on the other side. (You might have a few giggles, but that's OK!)
What did you see when you looked into their eyes?
"As we look into the eyes of a child, we see a fellow son or daughter of God who stood with us in the premortal life." (Children by Elder Neil L. Anderson October 2011... such a GREAT talk!!!)
     We are children of God. God is the father of our spirits!! Review what happened in the premortal life by bringing in a few white sheets. Dress up a few primary friends in white. They were in the heavenly host... what happened??
     Have about 10 pictures of eyes all over the room. On the eyes have questions, scriptures, or songs having to do with Heavenly Father on them.
Children can go home and have family look into their eyes! Have them ask what family members see. Be sure to teach our family that when we look into each other's eyes we are seeing a beautiful child of God!
 
Week 2 Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

* Sing Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, CS 57. Bring in mini-books prepared for the children. (Plain paper, cut in half, stapled on the ends!) Invite them to write & draw a favorite story about Christ. Bring in a bunch of stuffed animals. After about 5-7 minutes to make their book, have a few volunteers come up front to a special chair to read to the animals and the rest of primary! (This idea is more geared toward Junior Primary)
    Did you know there is an art competition this year, "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" at the Church History Museum? It's for people 18 years or older and children can encourage family members to participate! HERE are more details.

* Have a few children up front to act out the following story from our last General Conference,
     "One evening Susan and I stood near a window in our home and watched two of our little boys playing outside. During the course of their adventures, the younger of the two boys was injured slightly in a small accident. We quickly recognized that he was not seriously hurt, and we decided not to provide immediate assistance. We wanted to observe and see if any of our family discussions about brotherly kindness had sunk in. What happened next was both interesting and instructive.
     The older brother consoled and carefully helped the younger brother back into the house. Susan and I had positioned ourselves near the kitchen so we could see what next took place, and we were prepared to intervene immediately if additional bodily harm seemed likely or a serious accident was imminent.
      The older brother dragged a chair to the kitchen sink. He climbed up on the chair, assisted his brother onto the chair, turned on the water, and proceeded to pour a large quantity of dishwashing soap onto the scratched arm of his little brother. He did his best to gently wash away the dirt. The reaction of the little brother to this procedure can only be described accurately using language from the holy scriptures: “And they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth” (Mosiah 16:2). And did that little boy howl!
      After the scrubbing was finished, the arm was carefully dried with a towel. Eventually the screaming stopped. The older brother next climbed up onto the kitchen counter, opened a cabinet, and found a new tube of medicated ointment. Though the scratches on his little brother were not large or extensive, the older brother applied almost all of the ointment in the tube to the entire injured arm. The screaming did not resume, as the little brother clearly liked the soothing effect of the ointment much more than he appreciated the cleansing effect of the dishwashing soap.
       The older brother returned again to the cabinet in which he had found the ointment and located a new box of sterile bandages. He then unwrapped and put bandages all up and down his brother’s arm—from the wrist to the elbow. With the emergency resolved, and with soap bubbles, ointment, and wrappers all over the kitchen, the two little boys hopped down from the chair with bright smiles and happy faces.
       What happened next is most important. The injured brother gathered up the remaining bandages and the almost empty tube of ointment, and he went back outside. He quickly sought out his friends and began to put ointment and bandages on their arms. Susan and I both were struck by the sincerity, enthusiasm, and rapidity of his response.
       Why did that little boy do what he did? Please note that he immediately and intuitively wanted to give to his friends the very thing that had helped him when he was hurt. That little boy did not have to be urged, challenged, prompted, or goaded to act. His desire to share was the natural consequence of a most helpful and beneficial personal experience."
     After reading this story while the children act it out (make sure to have props like dish soap, ointment, and band aids- the children don't have to make a mess, just pretend!) ask, What does this story have to do with Jesus Christ? All answers are good answers! Repeat the underlined words. Will knowing Jesus help others? It will!! So just like the little boy shared his band aids, we need to be good missionaries and share our knowledge about Jesus Christ.
     Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Have a band aid box up front with 5-10 questions about Jesus. Divide into partners and have the pairs sit on the floor throughout the room. Invite one child to come up to the band aid box and pull out a question about Jesus. Take 30 seconds for pairs to talk to each other about the answer to that question.
    After children return to their seats, bear testimony that knowledge of Jesus Christ is the healing power that will help the world!
(Quoted story from Come and See by Elder David A. Bednar Oct. 2014, such a great talk!!!)
 
* There are a lot of beautiful videos about the life of Christ on Lds.org. I  like this music video, I'm Trying to be Like Jesus. It seems a little slow, but it might just be because it's night and I ate 6 sugar cookies. Woooooo!!!
 
* HERE is a link to teaching children the topic of Jesus Christ. I really like this poem, “I Find the Savior” (August 2013 Friend).
    After reading it to the children, have hidden pictures throughout the room from the life of Jesus. Have children find the pictures and talk about the stories. You could even have special giant glasses for them to put on to look for the pictures. Jesus Christ is the Son of God!! He lives and loves us!!

Week 3 & 4 Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me.

* Have a large bunch of index cards. Have children write down something that shows Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for them. Examples could include the earth, animals, family, flowers, etc. They can be as specific as they like!! Have a hat that you can tape the index cards to, 1 at a tme.
    Invite 3 children up front. 1 child will wear the hat and won't be able to see the index card. The other 2 children will give hints to that person to try to help them guess the something that shows Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us!

* HERE is a great story from The Friend. You could easily summarize or read it with enthusiasm. Play the alphabet game after! Go from class to class and have them come up with a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet. (For example, Sunbeams get A. Apples! CTR 4 gets B. Butterflies!! CTR 5 gets C. Chins!) The word will be something that shows that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me!!

* My favorite scripture is found in  1 John 4: 7-11,
     " Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
     It is really humbling to think of that great love. I can't help but read that scripture and feel the truth and spirit behind the words.

* Invite a member in to share a time when someone showed them great love. How do we know when someone loves us? They tell us and they show us.
     HERE is a list of MANY scriptures that TELL us God loves us!! Have children spend a few minutes to look up different scriptures from the topical guide. Would anyone like to share a couple? Play a game of win-win-draw to SHOW some of the different things Heavenly Father and Jesus have done or created to show their love for us. A child would come up to the chalk board and draw, other primary friends guess.

* 2 Nephi 1:15, "... I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."
Bring in a bear, to give bear hugs! Let the children give the bear a hug and pass to their neighbor. When the music stops, that person can say how they know Heavenly Father and Jesus love them. For example, He gave me my sister or One time I broke my arm, but it healed quickly.
     Go over the story of Jesus blessing the children in America. (3 Nephi 17)
HERE is a simplified version with pictures.
     How does it feel to be hugged? Safe. Warm. Happy! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us! We are, like the scriptures say, "encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."