Friday, August 29, 2014

A good reminder....

Gustav Klimt Three Ages of Woman Mother and Child (detail)

"We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself.

But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God.

Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive.

And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it.

You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty.

Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are “enough.”"

President Jeffrey R. Holland The Tongue of Angels April 2007 General Conference

Friday, August 15, 2014

September 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

I know this is going to sound odd, but I really couldn't find a picture for this month's post. So, I decided to post this random good looking man's picture and tell him how grateful I am that he goes into Nursery every single Sunday to help out. How he gives the most wonderful father's blessings. How I'm grateful that he is the only LDS volunteer who makes gyros at Greek Fest... 9 years now? He is pretty awesome and his only flaw is that he is not an organ donor. He is desperately attached to his organs for some reason. ??  However, he lives the gospel and it definitely blesses our family!!

Monthly Theme: Living the Gospel Blesses My Family

Monthly Scripture: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is
anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” Articles of Faith 1:13

Week 1 I show my gratitude by offering thanks for all my blessings.

*  "But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding. As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,” to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,” and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”
Grateful in Any Circumstances President Uchtdorf April 2014 General Conference
   Have a fancy decorated goblet. Pass around the "gratitude goblet" and have children say things they are thankful for. You could even make paper (I'd use cardstock) goblets and have children color/decorate with sequins. The children could be encouraged to pass them around at dinner time with their families and share things they are thankful for.

* HERE is a wonderful sharing time idea from The Friend. I really love
" Draw large palette on piece of poster board. Divide children into six groups, and assign a different color to each group. Have each group draw pictures of blessings associated with assigned color; cut out and attach to poster."
     as well as-
" Play (a) game using poster. While childrens’ eyes are closed, remove one blessing, then have children open eyes and guess what’s missing. Discuss what it would be like without that blessing. Continue removing and guessing blessings as time permits."

* You really just can't beat The Friend. They are so inspired!
HERE is another great sharing time idea. I really like the one idea where children play a game of saying what they are thankful for, then the next child repeats what the previous friend said and adds what they are thankful for. By the last child, they will have to remember a lot!!

* Have the children act out the story of the 10 lepers. According to the handbook children do not portray deity, so just have one child hold a picture of Jesus and answer questions about what The Savior did.
Luke 17:11-18 Afterwards, you can have the children make thank you notes for someone who has done something they are thankful for!
Week 2 By giving service to others, I give service to God.

* Make some notes for older friends in a Senior Citizen Home!!

* Have the primary children make coupon booklets for their family of things they are willing to do this week to serve them!

* Have the children write thank you notes to local fireman!

* Make a candy bar card for The Bishop.

* I made a game entitled Primary Service Bingo. A child will come up and choose a square, do the service act, then get to X it out. See how many bingos you can get!! If you'd like the PDF file, feel free to email me. You could also divide the room in half and put up two sheets if you like a little competition!

Week 3 We believe in being honest.

* I love President Hinckley. I just love love love him!!!! His words are always so straight forward. HERE is a talk he gave that really drives home the point of what it means to be honest. It would be a good read to prepare for your lesson.

* “A man … went one evening to steal corn from a neighbor’s field. He took his little boy with him to sit on the fence and keep a look-out, so as to give warning in case any one should come along. The man jumped over the fence with a large bag on his arm, and before commencing to take the corn he looked all around, first one way and then the other, and not seeing any person, he was just about to fill his bag. … [The boy then called out]:
     “‘Father, there is one way you haven’t looked yet! … You forgot to look up.’” (I Believe in Being Honest and True by Ann Dibb April 2011 General Conference)
Cornhole is basically the same as a bean bag toss! Have some questions, scriptures and songs about honesty on pictures of corn all over the room. Once they choose one and answer, let them toss a few bean bags into the corn hole (you could use an upside down box with a  hole) that you've brought in. 1 point if they can land it on the board, 3 points for in the hole. How many points can you earn as a primary??
* "I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest." (The Priesthood Man Elder Eyring April 2014 General Conference)
   Bring in a rock collection!! Let the children observe the rocks and pass them around. What does it mean to have "a rock hard decision to be honest"? Have 3-4 cups. Place a rock under one cup and shuffle around. Let the child choose a cup and see if the rock is under that cup!! Have different case scenarios about honesty for the child to answer after!
For example:
    Brenda went to the movies with friends. After they wanted to see another movie and sneak into the next theater. How can Brenda be honest?
    Marty broke his mom's favorite lamp after she told him not to play soccer in the house. No one saw what he did. How can Marty be honest?
    Sally studied hard for her spelling test, but it was the wrong list! She didn't know any words, but it looked like the person sitting next to her did. How could Sally be honest?
    End by talking about what it would be like to be an apostle's hero! We can do that if we make the firm, rock hard decision, to be honest!!
*All aboard!!!  HERE is a really cool honesty train the children can make from The Friend. I can choo-choo-choose to be honest!!!

Week 4 By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow.

* A good read HERE to prepare for the week's lesson. I especially like picturing the grandma bent in a V shape!! Sweet patient woman!

* 1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
    Divide the primary into 6(ish- depending on how many children you have in primary) groups. Prepare in ADVANCE!!! Call parents and get some stories of children from your primary who have set good examples. Give a story to each group and have them try to guess who it might be from your primary.

* "We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them. The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving, and loving others. He sat down with individuals who were judged to be unworthy of His companionship. He loved each of them. He discerned their needs and taught them His gospel. He invites us to follow His perfect example." ("I Have Given You an Example" Elder Richard G. Scott April 2014 General Conference... great read!!)
     Invite 5 children up front. Have them share a way they can be a good example. Then have each child choose a motion to do. Have the primary watch carefully, then when all the 5 children have spoken and done their motion, the primary tries to remember all 5 motions and follow/do them.

* "I am inspired by the examples being set by the righteous members of the Church, including the noble youth. You courageously look to the Savior. You are faithful, obedient, and pure. The blessings you receive because of your goodness affect not only your lives but also my life and the lives of countless others in profound but often unknown ways.
     A few years ago, I was in line to make a purchase at my local grocery store. Ahead of me stood a young woman, about 15 years old. She appeared confident and happy. I noticed her T-shirt and couldn’t resist talking to her. I began, “You’re from out of state, aren’t you?”
She was surprised by my question and replied, “Yes, I am. I’m from Colorado. How did you know?”
I explained, “Because of your T-shirt.” I made my accurate supposition after reading the words on her shirt, “I’m a Mormon. Are you?”
I continued, “I must tell you that I’m impressed by your confidence to stand out and wear such a bold declaration. I see a difference in you, and I wish every young woman and every member of the Church could have your same conviction and confidence.” Our purchases completed, we said good-bye and parted.
       Yet for days and weeks after this random everyday moment, I found myself seriously reflecting upon this encounter. I wondered how this young girl from Colorado came to possess such confidence in her identity as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I couldn’t help but wonder what meaningful phrase I would figuratively choose to have printed on my T-shirt reflecting my belief and testimony. In my mind, I considered many possible sayings. Eventually, I came upon an ideal statement I would proudly wear: “I’m a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.” (Sister Ann Dibb October 2013 General Conference I know it. I live it. I love it.)
     Make copies of a blank T-shirt on a piece of paper for the primary children. After reading the above mentioned story, invite the children to design their own T-shirt. What would they put on it to show that they can be a good example?? Maybe you could even make a real t-shirt and give it to the Bishop to wear with a slogan the primary children come up with!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

August 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 2 Family home evening strengthens my family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's been on my mind....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information:

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

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

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

* HERE and HERE church manual reading.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Power of Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

4th of July Singing Time or LDS Family Home Evening

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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

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

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


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

General Guidelines for Preparing Questions

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

The following ideas may help you prepare your own questions.

Questions That Can Be Answered Yes or No

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

Factual Questions

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

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

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

Questions That Prompt Deeper Thinking

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

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

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

 Questions That Help Learners Apply Gospel Principles

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

General Guidelines for Asking Questions

 Ask Questions That Learners Can Answer!!!!!

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

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

Respond to Incorrect Answers with Respect and Courtesy

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

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

Wait for Responses

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

 Use Follow-Up Questions

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

Give Everyone an Opportunity to Speak

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

Help Learners Prepare to Answer Questions

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

Avoid Questions That Create Controversy or Encourage Argument

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

Occasionally Ask Questions That Prompt Silent Reflection

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

Creative Uses of Questions

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

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

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

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

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

Use the following questions to discuss a gospel principle:

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

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

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

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

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