When my daughter and I hiked Mt.Rose for a 4th grade field trip, it was quite the reverent experience. It started snowing heavily and peace just blanketed everything around us. We were very blessed to make it off the mountain in time, but I'll never forget the quiet as the snow fell.
Monthly Theme: Reverence Is Love and Respect for God
Monthly Scripture: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” Matthew 22:37
Week 1 Reverence is love and respect for God.
* "Even the temple where Jesus taught and worshipped in Jerusalem was built in such a way as to establish respect for and devotion to the Father. Its very architecture taught a silent but constant lesson of reverence. Every Hebrew was privileged to enter into the outer courts of the temple, but only one particular class of men could enter into the inner court or holy place. Into the innermost sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, only one man was permitted to make his way, and this was limited to only one special day each year. In this way a great truth was taught: that God must be approached carefully, respectfully, and with great preparation."
Hallowed Be Thy Name President Howard W. Hunter 1977
Display a picture of the ancient temple of Jerusalem. Play a game of "Steps of Reverence". Have a number spinner and invite a primary child to spin a number. After they answer a question on reverence, or read a scripture about reverence, or fill in the blank from a song on reverence... they get to walk that many steps toward the temple. (Normal steps!! Not giant steps!!) The 1st primary friend waits there until another primary friend spins, answers another question, then takes their spot to walk the number they spun. Once you reach the temple, you can start again (if there is time) and see if you can get there in less steps!!
We approach Heavenly Father in reverence like they did in ancient times. We show respect for God by walking the path that Christ walked in reverence and love.
* Jonah's Reverent Shirt is a good little story from The Friend. Share the story with the primary children. Discuss some ways to show reverence and write them on the chalk board. Bring in some paper and show the children how to make an origami Reverent Shirt!! HERE is a link and it's easy enough for sunbeams!! (You'll have to have scissors for each class and teachers/older children can help little ones on that part!)
Have the children choose one thing listed on the board that they can work on this week to show reverence, then write it down on their shirt they made!
* HERE is a great link to a reverence maze. You could make a copy for each child (pair younger ones with older children and have the younger children point to the picture of who is being reverent while the older child draws through the maze)
Has anyone ever been in a corn maze? They sure are fun... if you like that sort of thing!! Sometimes though you can get lost and it can become frustrating. Life is a little bit like a maze sometimes! Sometimes we get to a wall or are not sure which way to go. But reverence invites revelation!! (President Boyd K. Packer) Reverence would help us in the maze of life by inviting revelation to steer us the right way!!
Bring in a little maze game if you have it. They look like this:
(If you are feeling generous, Oriental Trading has 72 mazes for $8, but beware- some reviews say they are flimsy and were shipped broken. Yikes! Or you can find them at party supply stores to buy for your primary children.) Have a primary child come up front and try to get the ball to the end of the maze. Have all of the children listen to hear if they can hear the ball. Was that pretty quiet?? Reverence is more than being quiet!! But being peaceful and still definitely helps in setting a reverent atmosphere!!
Invite children to come up front and take turns with the maze. They will have 20 seconds to get the ball to the end, but first they have to answer a question on reverence. Each time, have the children listen to see if they can hear the ball. Wow!! That was really peaceful and quiet!! When it's reverent we can hear the Holy Ghost and feel love for Heavenly Father!! Bear testimony that we don't have to be confused or lost, like in a maze, we can show reverence and love and be guided back to Heavenly Father.
* THIS is a great story!! I LOVE IT!!! If you are able, call a few families before you teach (not on Sunday!!) and gather some family camping or hiking pictures. About 10-12. Get information on where they went and maybe a fun experience about that trip!!
On the day you teach, share that story from The Friend. What did the children like about that story? Have they ever thought about reverence being more than just something we do at church?? Put up the camping and hiking pictures you received throughout the room. Invite a primary friend to come up and choose one picture. If they answer a question about reverence, you'll tell them about this picture, or even the picture of who it is can briefly share about their trip!! After each picture, ask how they felt when they were quiet and listening to the nature around them??
Reverence is love and respect for Heavenly Father, for all He has given us. The peace we feel in nature, we can feel everywhere as we take the time to ponder about The Savior.
Week 2 Reverence during the sacrament helps me to remember Jesus Christ.
* HERE is a great talk to prepare yourself for this week's topic!!
What stands out to you from this talk?
Is there anything you feel you should share with the children?
What do the words and spirit prompt you personally to do better about reverence, the sacrament, and remembering Jesus?
* Go on a Primary Field trip, if you can!!
What is reverence?? Sing The Chapel Doors, Children's Songbook pg. 156. When we come to church, how do we enter the chapel? Do we think about where we are going? Do we rush to our seats and dream about snacks or coloring time while elbowing our annoying younger sister?
Today we are going on a field trip. The only rule is that we listen carefully, speak in whispers, and walk with mindful feet!! Those that can do that get a special treat.... because on field trips you always need a snack!! Let's see if we can feel reverence and the Holy Ghost when we go to the special place.
We are going to walk in the halls with our arms folded. We are going to look at the art on the walls and listen to our breathing. We are going to gently touch the chapel doors and look at the wood on it. We are going to walk slowly across the chapel and look at the lights. Look at the sacrament table. Look at the windows. Close your eyes and think of a song that is played on the organ. We will place our hands on our hearts and feel our breathing, our hand going up and down with the rise of our chest. Now it's time to end our Primary Field Trip and talk about what we felt!!!
Head back to the Primary Room and pass out a healthy snack. Invite the children to share what they felt or thought about on their field trip. Bear testimony that when we show reverence, especially in the chapel during the sacrament, we can remember Jesus and be close to Him!!
* HERE is a ready made activity from The Liahona with a Sacrament wheel. All you will need to bring are scissors and a brass fastener to hold it in the middle.
* HERE is a wonderful talk from General Conference on the sacrament! It has GREAT pictures. You could easily turn it into a matching game where you write the 5 ways to help us show reverence during sacrament on the blackboard. A child comes up and chooses a picture to match to one of the ways. When a match is made, have a child read a quote from that section of the talk or answer a questions.
Such questions could include:
1. Prepare in Advance
What are some things you can do before church in the morning?
Throughout the week, do you think about the sacrament? If not, what can you do to help you remember?? (Small signs by the mirror, look at pictures of Jesus in your home)
2. Arrive Early
How can you help your family to get ready before church?
What do you feel when you listen to prelude music?
Do you just have to sit when you get to church- can you look at scriptures or hymn books? What else could you do? (write in a journal spiritual thoughts, look at Faith in God)
3. Sing and Learn from the Words of the Sacrament Hymn
What is your favorite hymn and why?
Do we know where the sacrament hymns are in the hymnal??
4. Spiritually Participate in the Sacrament Prayers
Are you able to say the words of the sacrament prayer in your mind as they are spoken out loud?
Do you know the meaning of some of the larger words, if not... who could you ask to help you?
For the young gentlemen in primary, why do you look forward to blessing and passing the sacrament?
5. Ponder and Remember Him as the Sacrament Emblems Are Passed
What does it mean to ponder?
What are things about Jesus that you can remember?
Why do you think we are commanded to remember about Jesus?
The sacrament is a time to be reverent. And when we are reverent we can remember Jesus Christ and feel close to Him!
Week 3 I can show reverence for sacred places and things.
* HERE and HERE are GREAT talks to prepare for this week's primary message!!!
* Have a REVERENT ROAD!!! (masking tape on the ground... make it fun and go all around the room and in between chairs if possible) Bring in 5 small cars. Along the road have pictures of places or things that are sacred. Invite a thoughtful and kind primary friend to choose a car, and drive it on the ground or in the air, along the road to a reverent stop. Have them tell what makes that place (or thing) sacred and how we can show reverence for it.
If there is still time, you can pass out some car coloring pages (just google car coloring pages) and have them write down a sacred place they'd like to drive to someday. They can also take the car home and drive it around the house to spots where they can show reverence - kitchen table where we pray over the food, picture of Jesus, by the bed where we kneel to pray, the front door where we welcome friends in love and gratitude, the dresser where we place our Book of Mormon, etc. I also made a little bookmark to remind them of the lesson. (If you mouse over the square on the top right of the bookmark page then click it, it will take you to a new page where you can click a print button)
* Have a Reverence Race!! Break into groups and see who can come up with the longest list of places where we should be reverent or things that we should show reverence for. Teams will have 3 minutes!! After, invite a member of the team to share from their list.
Have children draw a picture of the temple, or something/somewhere off the mentioned lists. Let them take it home and share with their family why it's important to be reverent!!
Week 4 Reverence for God helps me respect and love others.
* Tender Turkeys!!! I know. Something is wrong with me and alliteration. Invite primary friends to draw a turkey, then write a note to someone they love and are thankful for. If they don't know how to write, older children can help! Have them make as many as they can, but DON'T SIGN THEIR NAME!!! During the week they will hide their tender turkeys to show their love. Reverence is love and we can be grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing us with so many wonderful friends and family members!
* Reverence Review (I know!!) Jeopardy!!
Primary friends, how many points can we get!!!???!!! Invite one friend to sit by the board and be the score keeper, someone who is a math whiz!!
Shh!!! Be Still
100 Show with your entire body what you do when walking in church halls.
200 Show with your body what we do during prayer.
300 What gospel story from the New Testament has the words, "Peace, Be still."? (Jesus calming the storm, have a picture to hold up while they tell the story)
400 Why does reverence involve being quiet? (One answer is so we can hear and feel the Holy Ghost)
500 Can you name a time in your life when you were still and felt the Holy Ghost? (If not, you can call on another primary friend or teacher!!)
More than just Quiet
100 How do I dress in a reverent way? (Be clean and modest)
200 Many people take The Lords name in vain, why is this not reverent? (It's not showing respect or love for all Jesus has done for us.)
300 Can you be reverent at school, how? (Have a grateful heart for all God has given you and serve friends to show your love)
400 Why shouldn't we play games or text on the cell phone at church? (And please be mindful, we don't judge!! We just do the best we can do!! One answer could be because when we do that we aren't focusing on The Savior or the feelings of the Holy Ghost.)
500 What can we do to make our home a reverent place?
Sacred Place, Special Feeling
100 This sacred place has the words, Holiness to The Lord on it. (Temple)
200 This sacred place we visit weekly and renew our baptismal covenant. (The chapel, or sacrament meeting)
300 These are sacred books, and we should only treat them with the highest respect. What are the books and where should we put them? (Scriptures, in safe places and never on the ground.)
400 Who gives us feelings of peace, joy, and happiness when we show reverence in sacred places? (The Holy Ghost)
500 What makes a place sacred or holy? (One answer is it's where we show reverence and worship in a respectful way)
Reverence in the Scriptures
100 This brass ball only worked when Nephi's family showed reverence and love by keeping the commandments (Liahona)
200 Name someone in the scriptures who wasn't very reverent.
300 Joseph Smith knelt in the sacred grove for prayer. What made that grove of trees sacred? (He saw God the Father and Jesus Christ)
400 Moses saw the burning bush and was asked to do this, to show reverence? (Take off his shoes as he stood on Holy ground)
500 DOUBLE JEOPARDY- Get this question right and you get your choice of points up to 500. How did Jesus show reverence in the Garden of Gethsemane? (One answer could be He atoned for the sins of all mankind, the greatest act of love, and did His Father's will showing the ultimate example of respect)
Softly Sing our Melody (Children will have to sing their answer!)
100 Hum the tune of Reverently, Quietly
200 In the Chapel Doors it goes, "The chapel doors seem to say to me, shhhh be still.... " what is the next line? (For this is a reverent place to be, shhhhh be still)
300 In the hymn book, in Our Savior's Love, verse 3, it says, "Our Father, God Of all creation, hear us pray In rev'rence, awed By thy Son's...." Please fill in the blank. (Sacrifice. And yes, they can have 30 seconds to look it up if they need to)
400 In Two Happy Feet it says, " I have two happy little feet
To take me where I go. They hop me and they skip me,
And make a noise, I know. But in my Heav'nly Father's house
So softly do they fall That, though I walk, you cannot hear
My little feet at all." Can your feet still be happy at church? (Yes! Bonus points of 100 if you can hum the tune!)
500 In Reverence is Love it goes, " When I'm rev'rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.The pathway to follow is clear..." What is the next 2 lines?
(And when I am rev'rent, I know in my heart Heav'nly Father and Jesus are near.)