Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Great Website!!!

I just wanted to share a website that has been really uplifting to me. I have learned so much about different women in the scriptures and have felt very inspired. I hope you'll like this beautiful site too!!


October 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Minerva Teichert

Monthly Theme: The Mission of the Church is to Invite All to Come unto Christ.
Monthly Scripture: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” Moroni 10:32

Week 1 Following the prophet will help us come unto Christ.

* HERE is a good video (from for OLDER kids. I think it would be a little too scary for younger children. It's based off THIS talk, which is excellent!!!

* "Have you ever had the experience of driving around and around the streets of a city with the driver saying, “I know where it is; I’m sure I can find it”? Finally, in frustration, he stops and asks someone for directions. How much easier it is to find our way when we follow the directions of someone who knows how to locate our destination... Is there a voice that will always give us clear directions to find our way in today’s troubled world? The answer is yes. That voice is the voice of the living prophet and apostles." Follow the Prophet New Era Sept. 2001 Elder M. Russell Ballard
     Arrange 4 chairs (That's all you need, unless you want to add 2 more and make a van.) and make a pretend car! Have a few simple dress up items as primary friends go for their ride. Have a question that children will need to answer once they are in the car. Then have a simple set of directions for them to follow afterwards. For example, What have the prophets told us to do when it comes to scriptures? (Answers: Read them often, study them, read them as families, memorize them) Then the directions could be: Pat your head 5 times, wiggle your elbows like a chicken and make a fake sneeze. Great!! You are so good at following directions!!! When we follow the direction of the prophets it will help us be closer to Christ! I would make about 10-12 questions and sets of directions. You could even have some short quotes for the children to read while they are driving from latter day prophets.
     More examples of questions could include:
What do the prophets say about commandments? (Who are some prophets that gave us commandments from God?)
Where do prophets go and who is their message for?
What are some feelings you have had when you've listened to a prophet speak?
Why do you choose to follow the words of the prophets?
What have the prophets told us about the word of wisdom?
    Elder Ballard says, "I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray."

* HERE is a good matching activity from The Friend about the blessings that come from following the words of the prophet. You could find larger pictures at the library and put the "teachings" on papers hidden throughout the room. A child finds a "teaching", reads it, then puts it next to the picture that it matched.

* This idea is from Oct. 2004 The Friend by Sister Sheila E. Wilson,
      " Post a picture of the prophet in the center of a large poster. Ask the children to name things the prophet has told us the Savior wants us to do; then write the answers on the poster (for example, pray, read scriptures, be kind). While you sing “We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” (Hymns, no. 22), allow the children to come up and write their initials next to things they will do during the week. Let them trace their shoes on a piece of paper and write or draw what they will do this week to follow the prophet. Younger children could sing “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197) and adapt the first words to “When the prophet tells me.”

* Here is a little mini-book based off what President Uchtdorf has said about following the prophet. HERE is the direct link to the message. Children can illustrate each page, cut, then staple on the left hand side. Pens are good for drawing, THEN children can color with crayons!! After children are done, share a few of their beautiful illustrations! For fast finishers (sunbeams) you can have 2 adults with Gospel Art Books. Have the adults go through pictures and see if the children can name the prophet and some things they taught us.

Week 2 Sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ.

* Have 5 stations in the room. At each station invite a return missionary to share some pictures from their mission and spend 2 minutes telling the children the best part of their mission and why they loved it. They could show the children on a map where they served and say something in a different language if they learned another language!
     Have the children rotate in groups to all the stations. Bear your testimony at the end that sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ.

* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend! Great reminder of how Lehi wanted to share the fruit in his dream and how we can do the same!

* “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.” President Thomas S. Monson, “Welcome to Conference,” Ensign Nov. 2013
     Bring in a large bunch of grapes. Invite your lovely piano player to come up front and sit in a chair. Have a vine drawn on the chalkboard with paper leaves attached to it. On the leaves have questions, scriptures or songs having to do with missionary work on it. Invite a primary friend to choose a leaf and answer the question. After they share their brilliant answer, have them toss 3 grapes and try to get it in the primary pianist mouth!

* I really liked this story and thought I'd share.
     "While in Argentina recently, I encouraged members to invite someone to church before this general conference. An eight-year-old by the name of Joshua listened and invited his best friend and his friend’s family to an open house at their ward in Buenos Aires. Let me read from a letter I just received that explained Joshua’s invitation and his faithful follow-up:
      “Every few minutes [Joshua] would run out to the gate to see if they were coming. He said that he knew they would [come].
      “The evening wore on and Joshua’s friend did not come, but Joshua did not give up. He faithfully checked the front gate every few minutes. It was time to start putting things away when Joshua started to jump up and down announcing, ‘They are here! They are here!’ I looked up to see an entire family approaching the church. Joshua ran out to greet them and hugged his friend. They all came in and seemed to enjoy the open house very much. They took some pamphlets and spent lots of time getting acquainted with some new friends. It was great to see the faith of this little boy and to know that Primary children can be missionaries too.”  
       It is my testimony that as we work together, seeking the one, inviting, and following up with trust and faith, the Lord will smile upon us and hundreds of thousands of God’s children will find purpose and peace in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Following Up by Elder M. Russell Ballard April 2014 General Conference)

* HERE is a great list of MANY things you can do to be a missionary. If you print them on a small strip of paper, each child can have a strip and go around the room and quietly share the way they can be a missionary.

* HERE is a great short video!!!

Week 3 We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake.

* Repentance Reporters!!! Extra!! Extra!!! Read all about it!!!
    Today, our primary friends have become repentance reporters. All around the room have short quotes about repentance and pictures of examples from the scriptures who repented. Invite the reporters to walk quietly around the room for a couple minutes and then be ready to share some things they learned. We'll be working together to write our newspaper report.
     Have a large poster board up front and invite an older primary friend to write down what our reporters learned about repentance. Have it titled, "We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake."

* Bring in some nice, soft salt dough for the children to play with and have.
"Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master. A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also preconditions to repentance." October 2007 A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit by Elder Bruce D. Porter
     Play a game of "15 seconds". You will be asking a question about repentance (or having someone read a quote or scripture), then primary friends will have 15 seconds to make a work of art out of their salt dough. Invite a few children up front to share their creation. Would it work if the dough was hard and brittle? Have about 10-12 questions and play that many rounds.

* Divide into groups and give each group a small bag filled with items. Invite them to create a little skit to perform for the primary using the items in the bag. The message of their skit has to be about repentance!! Give the groups 1-2 minutes to figure out what they will do, then have them act it out for the rest of the primary.

Week 4 Temple work helps me and my family come unto Christ.

* “But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples … and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead … ; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah” Teachings: Joseph Smith, 472–73
     Build a LONG primary chain. Have small strips of paper that you can tape to make links. Have questions about temple work and invite a child up front to answer the question by writing on a link (or you can write for them if needed). On one end of the chain you could have a picture of a family, on the end of the chain have a picture of Jesus. Not only does temple work bind families together, but it helps us to come closer to Christ.

* " I now invite the attention of the young women, young men, and children of the rising generation as I emphasize the importance of the Spirit of Elijah in your lives today. My message is intended for the entire Church in general—but for you in particular.
     Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. You are sons and daughters of God, children of the covenant, and builders of the kingdom. You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family." The Hearts of the Children Elder Bednar Oct. 2011 General Conference
     Invite your ward family history specialist in. Have them talk to the children about what a family tree is and how to help with indexing! It does NOT need to be anything in depth, but could be an excellent way to get children excited about helping out with the work! (Elder Bednar also says in his address,"Parents and leaders, please help your children and youth to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. But do not overly program this endeavor or provide too much detailed information or training. Invite young people to explore, to experiment, and to learn for themselves.")
* Invite a few adults who serve in the temple and a couple youth (if possible) to have a panel discussion. The week before, see if you can have the children put a question they might have about the temple on an index card. (The reason for the time is that sometimes it's hard to think of good questions right on the spot!) Go through the questions or add some that you know would start a good conversation. Have a primary friend read a question and let the panel share their answers.
* HERE is a beautiful Mormon Message on temples.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

11 Year Old LDS Temple Preparation Book

My beautiful daughter Christina is turning 11 at the end of the month. I wanted to organize something for her to have as she prepares for her first temple experience in a year. This is very simple and I plan on printing it on cardstock and binding it for her.

All information was found from and is quoted. All images were attributed except for the cover photo of the Reno, NV temple from

It is a little lengthy (23 pages) but I'm hoping that it can be a keepsake for her. With the pdf format, you should be able to choose which pages you want to print!

Please do not use for commercial purposes!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

D&C 90: 15 "...Become acquainted with all good books..."

A while ago, I was having a hard time finding good books. It seemed like every book I picked up had foul language and it was disheartening to say the least. And zombies. Please. What is the fascination with something so sacrilege?
When I read a book, I want it to be something that I can share with my daughters. It doesn't have to be something right away, I'm fine with storing great books on the shelf for later.
I'm not an author. I'm not a great writer. So at first I was very hesitant to share my opinion after reading a book. However, I really like free things. And well, free books.... it's like justifiable hoarding. Because knowledge is power, right?
This is my first review, of hopefully many, due to a program by Bethany House. If you'd like more information click HERE. I don't get paid to write, but I do get a free copy of the book I review.
I realize this is a primary blog. I've never done any sort of advertising on my blog and I hope this isn't misconstrued as advertising. The way I see it, is that there are so many horrible books out there and if I can find a good book, why not share it? As the title of the post reads, "Become acquainted with all good books...." (D&C 90:15). This is just a little part of who I am. I love to read. I have "many" books that line the walls of my home (don't get me started on children's lit). So, without further ado....
A Noble Masquerade
by Kristi Ann Hunter
I do judge a book by it's cover. I'm a mother and time is precious! I knew at the first glance this historical fiction/romance novel would be up my alley. A classy, elegant woman with parasol in back... 1800's in England, I could get my Jane Austen/BBC type fix without bothering the hubby.
I also have to mention the dedication. I love that Kristi acknowledges God. There is a great religious tone to the book. A little bit of forgiveness, dealing with jealousy, dealing with feelings of inadequacy.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne is the main heroine of the story. And she is just that. She is brave in dealing with the period demands of being a lady, while yet being true to her feelings. Within the first few pages I was hooked and ready to see where this high spirited little girl would take me. She didn't disappoint!
I love a book that makes me laugh, and this book did indeed make me laugh out loud! (I got a few odd looks at the gym while on the exercise bike.. but totally worth it. 45 minutes never went so fast! I felt like Ironman.) Good humor one-liners were just right to balance the romance throughout. The descriptions from the perspective of Marsh (the lead male) were simple, yet touching. "She resembled a half-drowned sea urchin. And no woman had ever looked lovelier." His adorations for her made me smile over and over again!
Basic plot synopsis: Lady Miranda is a lady, but wants to be bold. She is in her 20's, almost a spinster and desires to be married. A younger sister seems to get all the attention instead. From her earlier years, she has developed a secret way to unleash her feelings in the form of letters to a brother's friend who (after stories were told) she feels to be just like her. She never planned on sending the letters to him, but one day... an accident happens! Many events unfold, and as the back cover states, "Miranda's heart is far from all that's at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love." Yes, Queen and country are involved!!
This book was an excellent, light hearted, very clean, fun read. I walked away from the book feeling happy and content!
It also made me think about what are some things in my life that I can do to be true to myself, and yet still be proper and respectful.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

September 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins detail 1838-42
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow

Monthly Theme: I obey Jesus Christ because I love Him.
Monthly Scripture: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15
Weeks 1 & 2
I show love for Jesus Christ when I keep the commandments.

*   "Brothers and sisters, we obey the commandments of God—out of love for Him...Dear brothers and sisters, living the gospel faithfully is not a burden. It is a joyful rehearsal—a preparation for inheriting the grand glory of the eternities. We seek to obey our Heavenly Father because our spirits will become more attuned to spiritual things." The Gift of Grace President Uchtdorf April 2015 General Conference
     Bring in a large backpack full of heavy books or rocks. Have a couple small children feel how heavy it is! The world would have us think that the commandments weigh us down, but obedience is just the opposite. Like President Uchtdorf has said, living the gospel faithfully is not a burden!  
      Have a 10-12 questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with obedience. Invite your piano player (if they have a good back!) to come up front and wear the heavy backpack, have them be a little dramatic about it. Oh so heavy!!! Invite children to answer the questions, then remove a rock/or book from the backpack.
     Bear testimony that sin is what weighs us down, obedience lightens our load. We obey the commandments because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus.    

* Deuteronomy 5:27, "Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it."
    Play a game, "Hear it, and do it". Come up with about 20 small strips of paper with instructions to be drawn out of a bag. (For example: jump on one foot 5 times then spin in a circle twice, pat your belly while make 7 kissing sounds, roll your shoulders while nodding your head for 15 seconds) In order to be able to choose something to hear and do, a child must be able to tell you a commandment (which you or another child can write on the chalkboard) Why do we keep the commandments? Why do we do all these things listed on the chalkboard? Because we love Jesus and Heavenly Father!!
     Challenge the children to listen to a conference talk. HEAR IT!!! And then choose something to do, from listening to that talk. DO IT!!!

* Pin the heart on the commandments. Yes. Very simple. Draw a set of stone tablets to represent the commandments, bring in some paper hearts (with tape) and a blindfold. Spin the child a couple times and let them pin it on the stone tablet commandments. In between each child have prepared questions, songs and scriptures having to do with obedience. Why do we keep the commandments? Because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus!

* Don't break my heart!! Have about 6 wooden clothespins and a few tissue paper hearts. Invite 6 primary friends to come up front and pass the paper heart with the clothespins WITHOUT ripping it!! Would Heavenly Father's heart be sad and broken if we didn't keep the commandments? Yes!! He loves us so very much and we show our love for Him and Jesus by being obedient to the commandments.
     In between each round of the game go over parts of the story of when Moses received the 10 commandments. Have questions prepared having to do with the week's theme.
      Jeremiah 24:7 " And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Week 3 My love for Jesus Christ grows when I pray.

* Have about 10 numbered hearts on the ground. Invite 10 children to come up front and walk around the hearts while the primary pianist plays a song about prayer. When the music stops, draw a number from the bag and have that child on the heart that the number was called, answer a question or read a scripture about prayer. Why do we have all these hearts? Because our love for Jesus Christ grows when we pray!

* On the chalkboard, draw bingo squares and write simple physical activities inside each one. Things that make our heart strong!! (For example 5 push ups, 10 jumping jacks, jog in place 30 seconds, 10 lunges, punch the air in front of you 30 seconds, etc.) How do we keep our hearts and bodies healthy? One way is by doing good exercise!! But what about our spiritual hearts? How do we keep our spiritual heart healthy?
      One way is to pray!! My love for Jesus Christ grows when I pray. Have a child make an X on a bingo square. Have the primary do what that bingo square says. Have a question (or scripture) about prayer to answer after the exercise.
     HERE is a really GREAT talk about hearts and what happens in a heart transplant. I really like how one has to be diligent about taking care and not slacking in our efforts to make sure our hearts are right before God. He says, "Please consider the state of your changed heart. Do you detect any rejection setting in as a result of the tendency of the natural man to become casual? If so, find a place where you too can kneel."

* Psalms 92:1-2 " It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night..."
      Have a bouquet of fake flowers. On each flower have a question, song, or scripture attached about prayer. Just like a seed grows into a flower, as we pray, our love for Jesus Christ grows bigger! Let a child choose a flower, answer the question then choose 2 primary friends. Now it's time to play a simple game of grow the flower.
      To play "grow the flower" have each child sit back to back. They link elbows and then try to stand up working together! This will get a lot of primary friends out of their chairs and moving. Just remember, you can't hear a flower grow.... so not too loud! End with encouraging the children to look for flowers this week and maybe each time they see a flower they really like they can say a prayer to grow their love for Jesus! (Girls in dresses might have a hard time playing this and being lady like, just a thought!!)

Week 4 My love for Jesus Christ grows when I study the scriptures.

* Alma 32:34, 41 " And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit...
      But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life."     Build a tree! Bring in a paper trunk, paper branches, paper fruit, paper grass for the bottom, a paper bird and nest, etc. Have a paper sack with questions about scripture study in it. Invite a primary friend to come up front, choose a question and answer it. Then have them pick a paper part of the tree to put on the chalkboard with a magnet.
     We can nourish our love for Jesus Christ when we study the scriptures. Like the scripture in Alma says, "If we nourish the word... behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life."

* Here is a little Reader's Theater I wrote up. All scriptures are quoted. You can have very simple costumes, a pair of glasses as a prop. Kids can share a few copies of the script or you can make 11 and highlight, it's up to you. Choose your readers carefully!! Longer parts should go to children who can read fluently. The dog would be an easy part for a Sunbeam! This was written for non-commercial purposes. Please do not use other than for home or church purposes. (UPDATE!! I accidentally wrote the WRONG scripture reference... it's 3 Nephi 23:1,5,13,14.... My apologies!!)

* A cute handout for the week could be this saying with small crystal light packet attached.
"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."
Elder Richard G. Scott Oct. 2011 The Power of Scripture

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book of Enos, Book of Mormon Writing Prompts

Book of Enos
Book of Mormon Writing Prompts
By Sofia Lykes July 2015

1. Who was Enos' father? Get a picture of your father, or a father figure to you. Glue it in the middle of a piece of paper. Draw lines from the pictures and add descriptions of your father. These descriptions could include- some of his best qualities, words of wisdom he often says, things he does to show his devotion to God.

2. Enos 1:6, "And my soul hungered." What are some spiritual questions you have? Write them down. See if you can find answers!

3. If someone came up to you and asked, "What is prayer?" how would you respond?

4. Enos 1:21 Develop a Nephite character who did "till the land". Talk about the day he or she had!

5. Enos 1:27, "There is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father." What will those mansions be like? Who will you want there with you? Create a picture of it and label.

6. Time your prayers for 1 week. Create a daily log and write down the things you prayed about and time it took. See if you can add news things and pray a minute longer the next day and the next!! Reflect on your prayers and ask family members what they pray about. Maybe you can add those ideas to your prayers too if the Holy Ghost inspires you to.

Book of Omni, Book of Mormon Writing Prompts

Book of Omni
Book of Mormon
By Sofia Lykes 2015

1. Omni 1:2 "I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done." What does it mean to regret something? Do you have any regrets? Write down your feelings on something you can do to improve. Don't get down on yourself!! You are a child of God who loves you!! We all have things we can work on though.

2. Make a map with arrows to show WHO got the plates from WHO. Son? Brother? Write down names and relationships. Start with Jarom and end with Mosiah. The whole chapter has 7 people who wrote!

3. Mosiah discovers the people of Zarahemla (verses 15,16)! Hooray!! A celebration will be held. Create an invitation to this grand event. What will take place? Time, Date? Will there be a feast? Dancing? You're the party planner! This is indeed a joyous time!

4. (Verses 17,18) Make a language guide. Draw pictures, write the word in English underneath. Beneath the English word, create a word or symbol for the ancient Zarahemlan language and underneath that, the language of Mosiah. Do at least 10 words!

5. Create a recipe for Salvation based on Amaleki's exhortation in
Omni 1: 25-26.

Book of Jarom, Book of Mormon Writing Prompts

Book of Jarom
Book of Mormon Writing Prompts
By Sofia Lykes July 2015

1. "Benefit of our brethren" Make a power point presentation with 5 things you believe would benefit those in the world who do not believe in Christ.

2. Draw a map of the Plan of Salvation. Label it.

3. Jarom 1:5
Define the following or write some examples of how to do the following:
- observed to keep the law
- observed to keep the Sabbath
- profaned not
- neither did they blaspheme
- laws of the land exceedingly strict (what does strict mean? Any examples you can think of in your own land?)

4. Jarom 1:12 "Prick their hearts with the word." Find a Friend Magazine. Have a piece of paper and draw a large heart. Look through the magazine and when you read something that makes you feel happy, or another peaceful feeling, draw a line from the heart and write down the words. Once your paper is full, write on the inside of the heart what all these words inspire you to do this week.

Friday, July 24, 2015

August 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Image courtesy

Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ Is the Son of God, and He Is a God of Miracles
Monthly Scripture: “For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; … and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith” 2 Nephi 27:23

Many ideas are recycled from previous posts I've written! Sorry, it's summer and I've been having too much fun with my kiddos!! Also, I'll just be real.... I've developed a slight addiction to Bollywood movies.

Week 1 Jesus Christ is a God of miracles.

HERE is the link to scripture figures on that can be cut out and mounted on popsicle sticks. Have 2 children to come up front behind a table with a tablecloth. They hide, then hold up the sticks as the story is told. Have questions about the stories for children to answer after. I find that having each story in a large Ziploc bag helps keep things organized. There are lots of examples of prophets and miracles, so just make sure to talk about how these miracles were only possible because of Jesus Christ and the power of the priesthood.
* Here is a brief story to share with the primary children. In the last General Conference, Bishop Gerald Causse said,
     "My wife and I had the great joy of rearing our five children near the magnificent city of Paris. During those years we wanted to offer them rich opportunities to discover the marvelous things of this world. Each summer, our family took long trips to visit the most significant monuments, historic sites, and natural wonders of Europe. Finally, after spending 22 years in the Paris area, we were getting ready to move. I still remember the day when my children came to me and said, “Dad, it’s absolutely shameful! We’ve lived here all our lives, and we have never been to the Eiffel Tower!”
    There are so many wonders in this world. However, sometimes when we have them constantly before our eyes, we take them for granted. We look, but we don’t really see; we hear, but we don’t really listen.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus said to His disciples:
     “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
     “For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (Is it Still Wonderful to You? April 2015)
     Do you have a miniature Eiffel tower statue? You could easily use a cone or water bottle with a picture taped to it! Have a ring toss game. (To make the rings you can glue two ends of a short rope, then duct tape around it.)
    Have questions or scriptures about Jesus and His many miracles. Invite  child to answer the question then take a turn to try to toss the rings on the Eiffel Tower. Remind the children that just like the Eiffel Tower was close to his family, beautiful miracles are close by us and we need to take the time to see those miracles in our lives!!

*     Have a small box of feathers with a picture of a quail on front. Briefly ask the children if they know why quails are miracles?
      "The book of Exodus reports that quail were miraculously provided to feed the hungry people of ancient Israel (see Ex. 16:13; Num. 11:32; Ps. 105:40). The pioneers had an equivalent experience. After the last of them had been driven out of Nauvoo, many were sick and some had died. Their provisions were meager. On the river bottoms near Montrose, Iowa, on 9 October 1846, many quail miraculously flew into camp. The quail were cooked and fed to some 640 destitute people (see Stanley B. Kimball, "Nauvoo West: The Mormons of the Iowa Shore," BYU Studies, winter 1978, 142)." Russell M. Nelson, "The Exodus Repeated," Ensign, July 1999, 9
      Have about 10-12 TOTAL questions, scriptures and songs having to do with Jesus Christ and His many miracles on little scraps of paper. Put these in the feathers and invite the children to come up and pick a paper. For children that have been extra helpful, let them choose a feather to take home!
* Pin the Pointer on the Liahona: Have a poster board with a large liahona drawn on it. Have 15 black arrows for the children to "pin" on with tape. Have a blindfold and spin them. BUT BEFORE you do this, they have to tell a story from the scriptures or from their own life about how Jesus is a God of miracles. If the younger kids need help, have them choose an older child to come up front to help them tell a story. I would also have a variety of different Gospel Art Kit pictures posted all around to help jog their memory.
    Alma 37:38-40 "And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it. And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness. And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day."
* As a visual- Have an apple. Ask the children if this apple will just up and change into a banana. Let's watch it for 10 seconds, just in case. Nope, not changing! Maybe if a primary friend holds it, it might change? Hmmm.... Kind of like Heavenly Father and Jesus, they don't just up and change out of the blue!!
   Mormon 9:17-19 "Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles. And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and
he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
    On the chalkboard write THEN and NOW. Have the children come up with some miracles and decide/write whether they belong under THEN or NOW.
* For the chorister this week, here is a simple idea!! During Singing Time, have a child come to the front and wear and overly large t-shirt. Have their hands barely sticking out. As you sing a song, have the child move their arm out (lengthened) or in (shortened) and correspond with a way to sing. For example, if the arm is outstretched, sing boldly, if it's shortened sing softly. (Other opposite ways to sing- sitting/standing, boys/girls, teachers/children, sing on right foot/sing on left foot, oooooo/aaaaah) They will have to watch their primary friend carefully! Boy, talk about miracles, what beautiful singing!!! Repeat the following scripture often after you sing. See if you can memorize!!!
     D&C 35:8 "For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name"
Week 2 Jesus Christ can heal the sick.

* Bring in some things you use when you are sick. Cough drops, Vicks vapor rub, thermometer, Kleenex, top ramen.... Why is sickness important? If we get sick does it mean we did something wrong? What are some things we do when we get sick? Jesus Christ can heal the sick! Please be sensitive and remind the children that the key word here is "can". Sometimes good people get sick and are NOT healed. Why do you think that is? We need to remember to do our best in life and have faith in Christ, no matter what happens He loves us and will never leave us comfortless.
    Today we'll talk about some stories where Jesus helped to heal others. Invite a primary friend up to help you tell the story and answer a few questions. Then they will have 10 seconds to try to get as many Kleenex out of the box (one at a time) without ripping them. See who can get the most!!!
    Some stories you could review are: Jesus healing the blind man (John 9), the woman with the blood issue who touched Jesus' robe and was healed (Luke 8), Jesus and Jairus' daughter (Luke 8), Jesus heals a man with evil spirits (Mark 5), Jesus heals the man who couldn't walk when his friends lowered him from the roof (Matthew 9), Jesus heals a deaf man (Mark 7:32-35), Jesus heals the man's ear when Peter cut it off (Luke 22:50-51).

* Have a poster board of an outline of a person. Time to break out the quarters and splurge for a box of band aids at the $1 store. Let the children come up and add band aids to the paper person as they answer questions, sing songs and read scriptures having to do with Jesus healing the sick

* Have different stations with special guests! Is there anyone in your ward with a medical background? Have any doctors or nurses come into primary and share with the children stories of Christ healing the sick. Perhaps they could even bring in something they use at work to help others feel better for the children to look at! Make sure each station has a picture to go with the story or a flannel board. Kindly remind guests to be enthusiastic and encourage primary friends to share any knowledge they have of the different stories! I would do probably 3 stations, rotate and then finish with the guests bearing testimony of Christ as our Divine Healer.
* For FHE you could play the board game "Operation" if you happen to have it! Put a gospel twist on it by reviewing stories of Christ healing and singing songs on faith to earn the opportunity to perform surgery! End with the fact that Jesus is the doctor of all doctors! He heals!
     Jeremiah 17:14 "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise."

Week 3 Jesus Christ has power over death.

* Hold up a book. Am I holding up a book? Yes!!! Sometimes we can be certain of things because we actually have seen it with our eyes. (Does anyone remember what Joseph Smith said about his vision?)
   Even though we have faith in Jesus Christ, who we have not seen... there were people who did see Him resurrected with their own eyes!! Have paper eyes throughout the room for a primary friend to come choose. On the paper eyes have the following scripture references of witnesses who saw Jesus resurrected: Mary Magdalene/Mark 16:9, Women of Faith/Luke 24:10, Peter/Luke 24:34, Disciples/Luke 24:13–32, 500 Brethren/1 Cor. 15:6, Many people in Ancient America by the temple in Bountiful/3 Ne. 11:14-17.
    Jesus Christ lives. He has power over death. Hold up the book one more time and bear testimony that as sure as we see this book right now, one day our eyes will see Him. In the mean time, we don't have to see to know! If we are faithful, we will be blessed.
* “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”Richard Bach (American Author Illusions)
    Go over, briefly, the life cycle of a butterfly. Indeed, the caterpillar does not end at the cocoon!
     Go over the final days of Jesus. Have pictures of the last supper, Jesus washing the feet of His apostles, the Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, Jesus appearing to Mary, and Jesus appearing in Ancient America resurrected. Have the children briefly share what each picture is about.
     Have the children end by drawing pictures of butterflies. Invite them to go home and share with their family what they learned today. Jesus Christ has power over death. He lives and we can live again too! HERE is a beautiful Friend article you can print as a handout for children to read at home with their family too!!
* Have 7 small numbered boxes. In each box, have one word (make sure they are in the right order 1-He 2-Is 3-Not, etc.) He is not here, but is risen. Invite 7 primary friends to find a box and stand in the right order. Have them open their box and take out their word. Then have them read it. Have them hold up their boxes. What is the same about all the boxes? They are EMPTY!!
    Prepare some questions, scriptures, or songs having to do with Jesus has power over death. Play a simple game where you have 5 people up front with their hands behind their back. Put an empty box in someone's hand. Have a primary friend answer one of your prepared questions, then try to guess who has the empty box!!
     He is not here, but is risen!!! Bear testimony that Christ has power over death. Through the divine plan of Heavenly Father and their sacrifice, Jesus was resurrected. Death is not the end!!
Week 4 Miracles come to those who have faith.

Just wanted to again mention what was so nicely put in the sharing time outline, "Also explain that even though we have faith, we will still experience sorrow, pain, and suffering, but God is aware of our needs and will care for us." Children are not exempt from having hard things happen in life and primary is a place where they should feel safe. They should always be reminded that Heavenly Father and Jesus love them.

* HERE is a great read!! Never thought about miracles as signs, "being visible tokens of an invisible power". Also it gives specific examples of many miracles.

* HERE is a story about a miracle in President Monson's life. He had lost some very important money and was able to find it! Bring in 6 pairs of jeans. In the one pocket have a story about a miracle and in the other pocket, questions to help understand the story. Divide into groups and give each one a pair of jeans. Have them search the pockets for the story and questions about it. If there is enough time, have a member of each group share what they learned.

* HERE is a beautiful/fun story for the children to act out. One primary friend could play the part of the dead turkey who leaps back up and flies over the mountain.
    Over and over in the above linked article (Do You Need a Miracle? Feb. 2003 New Era) it mentions, "Expect a miracle." We need to be faithful, repentant, and wait on The Lord for His timetable.
     Bring in some paper for children to draw pictures about miracles in their lives. Have them share with the entire primary if there is enough time.

* HERE is a story of a missionary who experienced a miracle at a stoplight. Share the brief story. Play a game of red light, green light. MAKE YOUR EXPECTATIONS CLEAR... NO RUNNING!!! Have a red piece of paper and a green piece of paper. When you hold up red, the primary friends stop. When you hold up green they can walk quickly towards a picture of Jesus. Only have 3 people per round. After each round ask a few questions about miracles or have some one read a scripture about them. Remember, we can learn and have fun, but we still need a reverent peace in our primary room for the Holy Ghost to testify of truth!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book of Jacob, Book of Mormon Writing Prompts

How can we liken the scriptures? I am firm believer in creative writing! These writing prompts can further deeper thinking after reading and enhance understanding. On some of the prompts, there is no right or wrong answer!
Book of Jacob
Book of Mormon Writing Prompts
By Sofia Lykes July 2015

1. What are some of the most precious spiritual things you know for certain? Image you had only 1 piece of paper (1 small golden plate) to tell your family and future children all the things you know to be true. What would you write?

2. Create! Describe a king so great that each king after was named the same. What did that king do and say to be so great? Give specific examples.

3. Jacob taught at the temple. What would that have been like? Title your creative essay- A day at the Ancient American Temple....
(Use all the senses in your writing! For example- As I gazed at the stones, some cracked, yet steady and unending, I felt so small. The wonder washed over me, like a tidal wave of heat that was also present. This was the house of The Lord. A bird sang somewhere in the distant jungle of green....)

4. Costliness of apparel. Do some brand name price checking. List 10 items, brand, and price. Ask a parent or sibling to help find similar clothes and prices without the "brand". One last task, find out how much food one of the brand name clothing items could buy in a third world country. What does costliness of apparel have to do with pride?

5. Jacob 2:21, "And the one being is as precious in His sight as the other." Who are some people you love? Choose 2. Who are some people who maybe aren't your cup of tea? Choose 2. Whoever you chose, write or type 4 nice things about that person. Deliver your notes secretly! Even if you choose not to deliver your note to someone who you maybe don't get along with, at least take the time to really think about this scripture.

6. Jacob quotes the prophet Zenos in chapter 5, also known as The Allegory of the Olive Tree. Summarize the story in your own words. What does the story mean to you? See if you can write down all your thoughts in the shape of a tree!

7. Jacob 6:12, "O be wise; what can I say more?"
Define wisdom. Make a haiku poem with the theme of wisdom.
("Haiku" is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.)

8. Jacob Confounds Sherem!! The Super Power of God will ALWAYS defeat evil!!! Create a comic strip (just because it's a comic strip does not mean it has to be funny... it's just a different way to summarize your understanding of the story) to show what happened in Jacob Chapter 7.
HERE is a website with free comic strip templates.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Apostles as Children Singing Time or Family Home Evening

When I saw THIS article from, I knew what had to happen!
(What The Apostles Looked Like as Children by Danielle Beckstrom) It would be a really good idea to do around conference time to familiarize children with names and faces of our beloved leaders!
 All images are accredited in the article. Make a simple matching game. You can do that however you like!

A simple way I like is to take the pictures and put them on a board that I can have push pins in. Then have plenty of rubber bands to match one current picture to the picture from when they were young by looping the rubber band. I only have 5 pictured, but hopefully you get the idea.

This would make a really fun singing time! Each primary child could get 2 guesses before you move on to the next song!

If you choose to do it for Family Home Evening, start off with having pictures of family members as infants. Can they match which baby picture belongs to each other? 

Here are some quotes that a family member can read. Cut each quote and put into a can. Have a family member draw a quote from a can, read, then have the family member try to match the pictures! All quotes are from the last general conference found HERE. Make sure to talk about the quotes too!

President Monson: "As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives."

President Eyring: " Other storms and tragedies will come across the world to people the Lord loves and whose sorrows He feels. Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were His own. Your fast offering will do more than help feed and clothe bodies. It will heal and change hearts."

President Uchtdorf: "Though we all have weaknesses, we can overcome them. Indeed it is by the grace of God that, if we humble ourselves and have faith, weak things can become strong."

Elder Boyd K. Packer: "The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed for eternity.

Elder Russell M. Nelson: "The question for each of us is: because of what I have heard and felt during this conference, how will I change? Whatever your answer might be, may I invite you also to examine your feelings about, and your behavior on, the Sabbath day."

Elder L. Tom Perry: "What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated: we make the subject eternal! We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was and that they can go forward into eternity."

Elder Neil L. Anderson: "Brothers and sisters, seeing and believing the Lord’s miracles in establishing His kingdom on earth can help us see and believe that the Lord’s hand is at work in our own lives as well."

Elder Quentin L. Cook: " One of the remarkable characteristics of young wild sunflowers, in addition to growing in soil that is not hospitable, is how the young flower bud follows the sun across the sky. In doing so, it receives life-sustaining energy before bursting forth in its glorious yellow color.
Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us. He truly is our light and life."

Elder D. Todd Christoffersen: "A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive."

Elder David A. Bednar: "The peace Christ gives allows us to view mortality through the precious perspective of eternity and supplies a spiritual settledness (see Colossians 1:23) that helps us maintain a consistent focus on our heavenly destination. Thus, we can be blessed to hush our fears because His doctrine provides purpose and direction in all aspects of our lives. His ordinances and covenants fortify and comfort in times both good and bad. And His priesthood authority gives assurance that the things that matter most can endure both in time and in eternity."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "If the emblems of the sacrament are being passed and you are texting or whispering or playing video games or doing anything else to deny yourself essential spiritual food, you are severing your spiritual roots and moving yourself toward stony ground....And that applies to adults also."

Elder Robert D. Hales: "To keep the commandments, we need to know the official doctrine of the Church so we are not diverted from Christ’s leadership by the ever-changing whims of individuals."

Elder M. Russell Ballard: “RM” doesn’t mean “retired Mormon”! As a returned missionary, you “should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [your] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could lift us to eternal life."

Elder Richard G. Scott: "Remember our Savior is the Prince of Peace. Peace in this mortal life comes from His atoning sacrifice. When we are consistently praying morning and night, studying our scriptures daily, having weekly family home evening, and attending the temple regularly, we are actively responding to His invitation to “come unto Him.” (This quote is from Oct. 2014 General Conference because he didn't speak in the April 2015 General Conference)