Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 2008

Theme: I am a child of God, and He has a plan for me.

Scripture: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature
and destiny” (“Proclamation,” paragraph 2).

Song: “I Am a Child of God” (CS, 2–3; Hymns, no. 301)

Sharing Time:

Opening Activity:
Have the children sit in a circle. Explain that “opposition in all things” means that we have choices. Give examples of opposites: hot—cold, happy—sad, good—evil, light—dark, honest—dishonest, etc. As music is played, have the children pass two different-colored beanbags around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding one beanbag gives a word that has an opposite; the child holding the other bag guesses what it is. Explain that one of the greatest blessings that Heavenly Father has given us is agency, which means that we are free to choose from the opposites and varieties in life. Explain that when we choose the right, Heavenly Father blesses us.

Place GAK 239 (The Resurrected Jesus Christ) at the front of the Primary room. Prepare six large paper circles. Cut each circle in half. On six of the half-circles, write one covenant (tithing, baptism, sacrament, Sabbath day, Word of Wisdom, temple marriage). On each of the other half-circles, write one scripture reference that tells a way to keep a covenant (Mal. 3:10; Mosiah 18:10; Moro. 4:3; D&C 59:9–13; D&C 89:5–21; D&C 131:2). Place the half-circles in two columns on the chalkboard or bulletin board. Have the children take turns looking up one of the scriptures and reading it aloud. Then ask the group to identify the covenant it matches. Choose a child to represent all of us when we come to earth. Have the child stand at the back of the Primary room. As a match is made, connect the two halves of the circle and place it on the floor, making a pathway for the child to walk on. The path leads back to the Savior. As we make and keep our covenants, we can return to live with Him. If time permits, sing songs to reinforce each covenant.

** Jr. Primary Adjustment: Children will be able to match the circles by their color. I will read the scripture then we will repeat the scripture.

Taking out the bean bag again, have the children name the opposites of sad and bad. Explain that what we do will lead us to Heavenly Father. If we will make good choices we can return to our Heavenly Father.

Songs: Prelude during bean bag game Choose the Right Way p.160
During the Return to Heavenly Father Choice Game:Order of Songs-
I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing (p. 150 2nd Verse)
This is My Beloved Son (1st Verse Only)
I Stand All Amazed (I’d like to have each line sung a capella and then have the children repeat, one child will stand at the front holding a picture of the Savior in Gethsemane)
The Chapel Doors p.156
The Word of Wisdom P. 154 1st Verse
I love to see the Temple (p.95)
I am a Child of God (p.2)

Activities to reinforce what was taught this week AS A FAMILY:

1. In the scriptures, we learn how individuals in the same story made different choices. Read the following stories and talk about the choices each of the people made. Make a list of those people who used their agency correctly. (1) King Noah and his priests listen to Abinadi. Read Mosiah 17:1–4, 11–12. (2) Cain and Abel make sacrifices to the Lord. Read Moses 5:16–21, 29–35. (3) Nephi and his brothers go back to Jerusalem to get the plates. Read 1 Ne. 3:1–7, 11–15, 28–31. (4) Alma’s sons Shiblon and Corianton go on missions. Read Alma 38:Preface, Alma 38:2–4; Alma 39:Preface, Alma 39:1–4

2. Read the following as a family: Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Strait and Narrow Way,” Friend, May 1991 Safety is of the Lord (Prov. 21:31).
“While traveling along a mountain road one night in a driving rainstorm punctuated with claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, Sister Wirthlin and I could barely see the road. I watched the white lines on that road more intently than ever before. Staying within the lines kept us from going into the deep canyon on one side and helped us avoid a head-on collision on the other. To wander over either line could have meant disaster. That mountain road is so like life. If we stay within the lines that God has marked, he will protect us and we can arrive safely at our destination. The Savior said, “For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation” (D&C 132:22). How can we keep ourselves on the Lord’s way? He has given the answer over and over again. We must learn the word of God by studying the scriptures and applying His word, by praying daily and serving our fellowmen. If we do all we can to stay within the lines in the midst of storms and temptations, we will overcome all challenges and enjoy eternal life with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.
Make a “Strait and Narrow” way using tape across your living room floor. Write locations on small individual pieces of paper (e.g. Home, church, school, the grocery store, the gym, the park, in the car) and place them in a jar. Have each person draw a location out of the jar. In order to advance on the strait and narrow, that person has to say one good choice for each step that a person can make at that location. (e.g. The person draws out Home from the jar. I choose to help mom make dinner (step) I choose to do my chores without complaining (step) I choose to listen to my sister talk about her day and compliment her (step) I choose to not kick the cat (step) ) If the person gets stuck, make sure as a family to help!! After all, what are families for!

3. Read the following as a family: L. Tom Perry, “Choose the Right,” Friend, Mar 1995 Choose you this day whom ye will serve (Josh. 24:15).
“On a recent trip to New Zealand, I met with a mission president who wore a beautiful tie tack with the inspiring CTR, or “Choose the Right,” emblem. “When I was a bishop,” he explained, “[I] had an interview with a good-looking young man who was to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He told me a special story. He related to me how one day after school, he and some of his friends found a package of cigarettes. They decided to go down on the cliff alongside some large boulders and smoke them. They lit up, and the young man said that as he was looking down at the smoldering cigarette that he held between his fingers, he saw his CTR ring. He quickly put the cigarette out and made a very wise choice—to never, ever do such a thing again. He chose to choose the right, as he remembered what the emblem stood for. From this story I gained a special love for the CTR emblem.” “Now, here in New Zealand,” the mission president said, “the last thing I do every morning as I dress for this great calling is pin my tie tack with this beautiful CTR emblem on my tie. I love it! It helps me make the right choices through the day.” There is power in a tie tack or a ring if we associate them with our desires for purity and righteousness. Even more important than physical reminders is having the conviction deep in our hearts to live the kind of life that will cause us to make the right choices, not only for peace and happiness in the world right now but also for peace and happiness eternally. I promise you that you will receive everlasting happiness if you consistently choose to do what is right.”
Sing the following songs as a family : Choose the right way (Children’s Songbook 160), I will be Valiant (Children’s Songbook 162), I’ll walk with you (Children’s Songbook 140), Nephi’s Courage (Children’s Songbook 120), and last I will follow God’s Plan (Children’s Songbook 164). Pray as a family about someone you can give a CTR ring to and then do it.

4. Read the following as a family: Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Have a Work to Do,” Friend, Aug 1997 Thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord (D&C 3:9).
“I love you children. You are very much the same the world over. Regardless of the color of your skin and of the circumstances in which you live, you carry with you a beauty that comes of innocence and of the fact that it was not long ago that you lived with your Father in Heaven. How lovely you are, wherever you are, you precious children! I look back to my own youth. Neither young men nor young women were doing much scripture reading at that time. What a marvelous change has been wrought. A new generation is arising who are familiar with the word of the Lord. Growing up in a world that is full of immorality and filth of every kind, you, for the most part, are meeting the challenge of living in the world without partaking of the evils in it. Now is a time to do what is right, regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those who need help. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another. In other words, to become more Christlike. Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. We can improve the world about us, in our homes and in our social activities. We can do it, if we will be prayerful and faithful. We can spend a little less time in idleness, in watching some worthless television programs. That time can be put to better advantage, and the consequences will be wonderful. Of that I do not hesitate to assure you. The Church needs your strength. It also needs your love and loyalty and devotion. May we go forward with determination to try a little harder to be a little better.”
Make a LARGE poster with the words “We choose to try a little harder and be a little better.” written at the top. Each person writes a statement on what they are going to try to be better at for the week. Make sure there is plenty of space around each statement so that family members can write POSITIVE feedback nearby. (e.g. Naomi: I choose to speak kinder words, then Pablo writes nearby: Today Naomi told me I looked really handsome in my corduroy pants even though they weren’t ironed.) Review it at the end of the week, did you succeed?

5. Read the following as a family: Making the Right Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 37; and “Making the Right Decisions,” Ensign, May 1991, 34–35.Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shares some of his thoughts on this subject.
“Place the Savior, His teachings, and His Church at the center of your life. Make sure that all decisions comply with this standard. Be surrounded by true friends who accept you the way you are and leave you better because of their association. Work at keeping your thoughts clean by thinking of something good. Your righteous decisions determine who you are and what is important to you. They make doing the right things easier. You can live in a world of turmoil and great challenge and be at peace. You will be inspired to know what to do and to have the power or capacity to do it.”

Play a game of darts as a family. Make the analogy that to win you need to make as many hits to the middle as possible because that’s where the highest points are. When we put Christ in the center of our lives we can then make winning choices.

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