Thursday, August 7, 2008

When I take the sacrament, I renew my baptismal covenants. August Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

When I take the sacrament, I renew my baptismal covenants.
Sharing Time Helps and Ideas for the 3rd Week in August 2008

( The Susquehanna River, where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry recieved the Aaronic Priesthood and were baptized)

** Bring in a license plate with your current car registration. Have a copy of The Friend magazine on the table or the Ensign or Liahona, etc. Have a gallon of expired Milk so the kids can smell. Tell the kids the importance of renewal. To renew means to make new (thank you merriam-webster dictionary). If you don't renew your car registration you can get fined or your car taken away. If you don't renew your magazine subscription you won't get them anymore. Things expire. And when they expire that stinks! (Bring a child volunteer milk sniffer to prove the point!) We never want the covenants and promises we made at Baptism to expire, so we renew them when we take the sacrament.**

** Bring in a runner's headband, wristbands, marathon T-shirt. Dress the child and tell them they are going to jog. Have them start to jog in place. Ask the primary members if they think the person could jog for 5 minutes without a drink of water or rest. What about all 3 hours of church? What about jogging for a whole day or week? It's impossible! Our bodies need to be refreshed by water, food, and sleep. Then it's jog on to Olympic glory we go! When we are baptized we make the promise to help others, keep the commandments, set a good example. Like the runner though, those promises need to be refreshed and sacrament is the time and ordinance to do so. Then it's on to Celestial glory we go!

I would bring in a little homemade torch and have one child come up at a time to jog next to you, pick a question about baptismal covenants and sacrament and then answer the question. Have them pass the torch on to another child (jogging). Again, there is a visual there of "renewal and starting anew, refreshing" like in a marathon. Questions could include:

!. Who will baptize us?
2. What are we baptized in?
3. What does it mean to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ?
4. How can you bear someone's burden, or help someone that's sad or in trouble?
5. What can I think about during the sacrament?
6. What can I do during the sacrament?
7. Have you ever felt the spirit during sacrament? What does it feel like? (I use this question OFTEN because it is sooooooooooo important for our children to be able to recognize WHAT and HOW the spirit feels like)

I would have about 20 questions and scriptures total prepared, it's always better to be over prepared than under prepared!!! Bring some GAK pictures (like 208, 309, 407, 601, 603, 604) too!! **

** Bring in about 25 Books of Mormon, Bibles, etc. And arrange them all over the room. If we read the Book of Mormon once, is that a good thing? You betcha! But are we done learning from the Book of Mormon because we've already read it. We know everything now and can just put in on a book shelf and be done. NO! We have to reread it!! Many times!! President Hinckley has said, "". . . I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon. . . ." Explain that taking the sacrament is like rereading. We have to do it to learn and grow!

Have the children come up and pick a scripture book. On the backs of the books have pictures and stories that have to do with baptism and the sacrament. Personalize, perhaps you could even have pictures of some of the primary children who've been baptized and their feelings. **

**Invite some priesthood leaders to primary, to act out the very sacred experience of the restoration of the priesthood and baptism. Have a very simple vest or hat to wear and a white sheet for the angel... make it classy, but not over the top because it's the words here that speak with power. Read the following to the children while the brethren help the children visualize:
(From Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual Religion 341 through 343, 2nd edition p.55)
"Joseph and Oliver were thrilled as such doctrines as the resurrected Savior's visit to the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere and his teachings about baptism were unfolded during the translation (see 3 Nephi 11:18-38). At this point their souls were driven to mighty prayer to learn how they could obtain the blessing of baptism. On 15 May 1829, Joseph and Oliver went into the nearby woods along the Susquehanna River to pray. Oliver described the scene that followed: "On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the veil was parted and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance! What joy! what wonder! what amazement! While the world were racked and distracted... our eyes beheld- our ears heard."
The angel introduced himself as "John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and told them that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John' (Joseph Smith history 1:72). He laid his hands upon Joseph and Oliver and said, "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins" (Joseph Smith history 1:69; see also D&C 13:1). John explained that the Melchizedek priesthood would be bestowed upon them at a later time. For the first time in centuries the priesthood was again on the earth.
John directed Joseph to baptize Oliver, and Oliver to then baptize Joseph. They were then to confer the Aaronic priesthood upon each other. As they came out of the water from their baptisms, they were filled with the spirit of prophecy. Oliver predicted "many things which should shortly come to pass," and Joseph prophesied "concerning the rise of this Church and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men." They were "filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of their salvation" (Joseph Smith History 1:73)"

This was a magnificent event and because of it, we are here at church! The truth has been restored, baptism is very special and sacred. This is something we can think of often, especially during the sacrament, because at sacrament we renew our baptismal promises/covenants.

You can then have the children draw pictures that have to do with baptism, baptism covenants and sacrament. Make a book of these pictures and mail to a ward missionary who can use it to teach children in another part of the world. The senior sharing time can write their own testimonies and thoughts down also.**

** I found this idea in the Friend May 1997,by Karen Ashton:
"Discuss what it means “to bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn, … comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:8–9). Divide the children into small groups. Each group leader begins by saying, “I am a member of Heavenly Father’s kingdom.” Then adds a statement (see examples below), which the next child in the group repeats, adding a statement of his or her own. Each child repeats all previous statements before adding his/her own. Continue until every child has been included. Examples of statements: I will obey the commandments; I will be kind to younger children; I will help my neighbor."

And if I may humbly add, when you divide the groups give them each a small picture of a sacrament tray. Explain that the things we are saying are the things we should remember during sacrament, because sacrament is when we renew our baptismal covenants. And please don't force the sunbeams to try to remember what was said before, if they can great. If not, no worries, let them just come up with ideas on what does baptism mean and what should we do before and after we are baptized. **

FHE Idea/Handout to send home with the children (As pictured above):
** Friend July 2005 Illustrated by Thomas S. Child See Here. Print the page in color for them to take home and review scriptures as a family. (You'll have to scroll down to the image, click on it... )


ColbyWarnock said...

Thanks so much for posting these ideas. As primary secretary I like to give a couple of ideas to the Bishopric member and Class who is doing sharing time for the month. This site (which I found through Sugardoodle) had some of the best ideas I've seen. I appreciate you doing this and will be checking back.

(I'm going to do the sand activity for FHE as my son is being baptized next month!!)

Colby Warnock

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Warnock, thank YOU for your kind words! It seems like you are going above and beyond for your calling and may God bless you for it! Also a BIG congratulations to your son and family! What an exciting time!

I'm so glad you could also use these as FHE ideas!

Leanne said...

Oooo! I'd like to thank you too! A friend suggested your blog and I'm so glad she did. I'm new at being the PP in our Ward and your blog is helping me so much. Thank you for your efforts that inspire us and help us along our journey to love, teach and set a good example for the littlest members of the church. :)

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Leanne- you sound very enthusiastic! Just what the world needs to be a better place! May God bless you in your calling and life always! Thanks for coming!

Ryan and Debra said...

Thanks so Much for the Great Ideas! I sure appreciate your Blog. I wish I would have known about it Before. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!!!
Debra Snow, A New Primary President looking for Ideas

Simone said...

Sister, you blog is lovely! Would you mind if I link it?

Simone said...

ops, I meant "youR blog"

The Gray Team said...

I LOVED your ideas! Just what I needed! Thank you so much! Definetly a favorite!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Simone - Obrigado!! Link away my dear friend.

The Gray Team - glad to be of help. God is the oil, I'm just the funnel!

ABC Family said...

I just want to echo all of these other comments,THANK YOU for your efforts to make mine and other's days a little easier!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister ABC family- I must admit, I do this more because I'm selfish. I feel closer to God when I'm sitting and thinking of ways to bring children closer to Him. But if it makes your day easier, fantastic too!

Ross Harvey said...

The image of the Saviour wrongly attributed to El Greco is in fact by Georg Cornicelius, It is Christ Tempted by Satan, 1888, but with the figure of Satan in the background removed.