Tuesday, July 22, 2008

August 2008 Primary Sharing Time Ideas and Helps

August Theme: I will show my faith in Jesus Christ by being baptized and confirmed.
August Scripture: “And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands” (D&C 68:27).

( Scarlet White Image courtesy Flickr by Marie Eve)

Sharing Time Ideas

Week 1. I will show my faith by being baptized and confirmed and keeping my baptismal covenants.
* The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” (History of the Church, 5:499). We were baptized by immersion in water for the remission of sins. We must also be baptized by and immersed in the Spirit of the Lord, “and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost” (2 Ne. 31:17). (This has been taken from a talk from Elder Bednar 2006, see here for the full talk)

Have a small container half full of sand. (I'm thinking the size of a shoe box... we don't want sand all over!) Hide small objects in the sand having to do with baptism. The objects could include a white cloth, a plastic tube of water, a piece of wood (because gates are built out of wood and baptism is the gate), a packet of seeds (to represent our faith as we commit ourselves to baptism), a CTR ring (because the Holy Ghost helps us to choose the right), a key (to represent the keys of priesthood as the proper authority wherewith to baptize), a small soap. I'd also intersperse some scriptures on baptism and songs on cardstock folded up (or in a small plastic egg) in the sand.

Remind the children that when we get baptized we don't want to be like a bag of sand! We need to know what covenants we will be making (or have made) for baptism and be faithful to obedience! We need to live worthy of the Holy Ghost!
AND this activity can be done without a MESS, but of course all Primary's are different! Know your children and what they are like. You could put a small plastic table cloth under the table if you felt you really needed it. Just tell the children before you start that they need to be very very careful to keep the sand in the box!! Gentle touching to find out more about baptism!

* Make up a reader's theatre of the experience of Alma and the waters of Mormon (found in Mosiah 18).

* "Covenant Catch". Have 2 pictures of baseball mitts posted on opposite ends of the chalkboard. It's all about the give and take to win!

Have the words My Baptismal Covenants under one and The Lord's Covenants When I'm faithful. Have the following on individual baseballs:
1. Come into the fold of God (become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ).
2. Be called his son or daughter (take upon me the name of Christ).
3. Bear others’ burdens, that they may be light; mourn with those that mourn; and comfort
those in need of comfort (help others).
4. Stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things an din all places (testify of Christ
and set a good example at all times).
5. Serve God and keep his commandments.
1. Forgive my sins.
2. Pour his Spirit more abundantly upon me (give me the companionship of the Holy Ghost).
3. Redeem me that I might be numbered with those of the first resurrection and have eternal life (permit me to enter the celestial kingdom to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ).

Have the children come up and match the baseballs to the mitt. You could throw a soft ball (Or beanbag) to a child for them to come up to choose a ball. For older primary you could use only scripture references on the balls.

I got the specifics of the baptismal covenant (-the balls- from here, Primary Manuel 4, which would also make a great handout or visual aid)

Week 2. The Holy Ghost will prompt me to repent and live righteously after I am baptized and confirmed.

* Bring in a battery powered weather radio (if possible). Show the kids that even though we can't see the radio signals, they are there telling us what's going on outside. Wouldn't this be very important if there was a tornado or hurricane!! Bruce R. McConkie in the Promised Messiah, p.16, has said, " 'And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.' (Moroni 10:5) He is broadcasting all eternal truth out into all immensity all of the time."
The radio can help us to safety and so can the Holy Ghost. He's there, we just need to be in tune!!
* "The Holy Spirit of Promise is the Holy Ghost who places the stamp of approval upon every ordinance: baptism, confirmation, ordination, marriage. The promise is that the blessings will be received through faithfulness." (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:45) Make up some case studies (e.g. Sherry was with friends who were drinking alcohol. They told her to try some. She thought, well... a little can't be too bad? So she drank.) Post them on the black board so children can come up and choose. Bring a stamp and ask the children if this would merit/get a stamp of approval. Was she making a righteous choice? How could she repent? Once they give answers on what she should do, stamp the paper and the primary friend who came up to choose it.
Another example, Tim saw an old man crossing the street. He was carrying a large bag of groceries. Tim offered to help him even though it meant he would be late to Cub Scouts. What he making a righteous choice? Did he honor his baptismal covenant? How? Do you think the Holy Ghost was with him?
* Drop a pin to the floor. See if the children can hear it drop. Tell them that the Holy Ghost whispers to us truth and can prick our hearts right to the center!

* Have a "whisper walk". Invite a child to come up to the front of the room and as you whisper, direct them to a picture of Christ. If the room is a little noisy, all the better to the point. Invite another child to come up, by now the room will be a little quieter to see what you are doing. Tell the children, the Holy Ghost softly directs and leads us to Jesus Christ. His chief mission is to testify of the Father and the Son. (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual p.11) But he also does many other things. Brainstorm all the things the Holy Ghost does and scriptures pertaining to it. Try to see if you can fill up the entire black board. (And as a tip, have kids who can write come up to the board to help. For Jr. Primary have 2 or 3 adults up to write down all the children's ideas... just keep it moving! Standing with your back to them is stagnant, enlist other's help to keep the flow)

Week 4. Heavenly Father forgives all who truly repent.
* Off of sugardoodle.net I saw this science type experiment. See here for visual aid, scroll down a bit to Wednesday. You bring in dirty pennies, stick them in ketchup and after a while, they are clean. Hmmmmm, Atonement anyone? Ps. 51: 7, 107 " Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

* Have GAK 220 (The Prodigal Son), 227 (The Atonement), 309 (Alma baptizing in the waters of mormon), 310 (Ammon defends the flocks), 311 (Anti-Nephi-Lehies), 321 (Conversion of Alma the Younger). Divide the children into groups with a teacher. Have them answer the following questions:
1. What is the story behind the picture?
2. What does this picture tell us of repentance?
3. How does this picture/story bear testimony of Heavenly Father truly forgiving those who repent.
Close with Isaiah 1:16-18. Power scripture.

* Have the words sin, iniquity, wrong, evil doings written in chalk on the board. Then make a big sign, REPENTANCE. Have the words prayer, sincere, humble, forsake/give up on separate paper on the board. Talk about true repentance. Read the following scriptures and have the children demonstrate with the eraser what happens to the words sin, iniquity, wrong evil doings when we truly repent. Great scriptures to go along with this lesson. Nice and short too for the children to read! And you can never get too much repitition of a good thing!
Heb. 10: 17
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb. 8: 12
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Jer. 31: 34
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Alma 36: 19
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
D&C 58: 42
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.


Chrissie said...

LOVE the bag of sand quote and linked idea. Funny!!! And also fun!!! Thanks - I'll be using this this week, here in South Wales, UK :D

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thanks Miss Chrissie! I'm glad it could be of help. I bet you will do a great job teaching and it's my simple prayer that all of our primarys can be places where the spirit is felt!

Lean said...

I love this Idea thanks for the time it has taken to come up with this and on behalf of our primary here in Rotorua, New Zealand I thankyou. I have never been one for making up good sharing times hence I appreciate all those persons who have that special talent.

Sondra said...

Thanks so much for your help! I'm so glad I found your blog!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Lean and Sondra, my sisters in the gospel... thank YOU! Hope you have an awesome Sabbath!

Liz said...

LOVE the idea of the sand. Do you know how I found your blog? I typed in fun sharing time lessons on baptism and got your blog! I am so excited. Thank you. I am so sure they will enjoy this tomorrow here on Prince Edward Island Canada! Keep up with the fantastic ideas.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Liz... I'm glad this can be of help. In my opinion, I don't think primary should ever be flashy lights, buzzers, or entertainment! Primary should, though, be an enjoyable experience where the spirit can be felt. We can have fun and still maintain reverence. The key is prayer and proper preparation!

Janel said...

Great help! I love the fun ideas. I actually just got called to be in the Primary Presidency last week...and was told to prepare sharing time for this Sunday. You have been a WONDERFUL help! Thanks for the ideas!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Janel! Congratulations! Primary is a wonderful place and I'm sure you will do a great job with the kids and with the Lord's help- as he helps us all!

DanelleJ said...

Thank you, Sofia! We used your Week One ideas in Sharing Time today in San Diego, CA. The children were very engaged. I appreciate your focus and adherence to the principles outlined in our manuals. Your ideas gave me additonal ways to ways to involve the children in lesson. Thank you for sharing!

Ginger said...

I found you're blog through my sister, and I'm not sure how she found you, but I am SO glad! I appreciate your feeling that we don't need to include flash & glitz. I've always felt that the best way to teach these special children the basics of the gospel is by helping them recognize the Spirit as it testifies truth to them. Thank you for sharing your inspired ideas. They are the stepping stones I need to build a sharing time that fits the needs of our small ward here in Montana.

Liz said...

I agree Sofia that it shouldn't be flashing lights and all, but it does need to capture their attention. No child just wants to sit there and be taught and not be drawn in. I used the sand one today. All the children, junior and senior, loved it. Even the teachers were getting involved. Thank you again. Primary can be fun and reverent at the same time. Keep it up.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

To my dear sisters
DanelleJ- How I wish I was in San Diego to enjoy the beach, sunshine and the lesson you and the spirit taught!

Ginger- I am grateful that these ideas can be a stepping stone. I appreciate that you take the time to tailor the ideas to fit the needs of your primary. You are a wise woman!

Liz- I couldn't agree with you more! It's all about the balance! In fact, it inspires me to a post.

KaylynB said...

Sophia, I love your ideas!!, but I am looking for ideas for week 3 and am wondering why you don't have anything posted? Maybe I am not looking in the right place. Help?

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister KaylynB, it's coming hopefully. I've got a few things I'm meditating on. Do you know the song by Sade- Smooth Operator, thank you 1985 ish? I love that term and wish I was a smooth operator but I'm more like chunk here, chunk there and do we ever see a song chunk operator? No... So... Really, I'm babbling and I'll stop now.

Ritchie's Beautiful Life said...

I love the template for your blogg. Where did you get it??

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Siter Ritchie, it's a beautiful life indeed! What a refreshing person you are! I got my blog template from the cutest blog on the block, just google it. They have free backgrounds and are just plain amazing people to be able to do all that template stuff and make it easy for techno-lame-o's like me.

Carol said...

What a wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing your ideas on your blog and enriching us all.

Kristal said...

Thnk you for your blog! What great ideas, and perfect for actually teaching the concepts and not just entertaining. I'll be using your ideas for week 2 this week.

momof8 said...

Instead of the sand box you could also put small items in a one liter sports drink bottle with sand or bird seed and have the kids shake it to find the items. The sports drink bottles have a wide mouth to fit things in easier. The kids in our primary love this!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Carol- I love your name. Thanks for visiting!

Sister Kristal- standing ovation to you!! How we need to teach, not entertain!! Well said. Well said.

Momof8- standing ovation to you as well- both to your sand adaptation and being a mom of 8. Wow. My great grandmother came from Cephalonia, Greece with 8 children. Amazing women you are!!

Omaof1 said...

Thank you soooo much for the great sharing time ideas for August. I've been racking my brain for days attempting to figure out what I should do for sharing time this Sunday and you really saved my bacon:) I'm going to use the idea about the sand, it sounds perfect!

Tab said...

Heh...as a guy you're going to make me look like a rockstar tomorrow at sharing time! You just helped me set the bar high for those over achieving sisters!

Thanks for the time and effort you put into all of this.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Dearest Oma- I understand what you mean by racking! For me, teaching children comes like running water, but ask me about food storage tricks or anything teenager... I'm staring at brick walls and it can be very overwhelming.

Brother Tab! What a blessed primary to have your priesthood influence. Male teachers work wonders, prepare to do miracles my friend!