Friday, September 26, 2008

You Are My Sunshine

Tomorrow is Sister C's baptism and I was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. I post this for my own records but also because it can EASILY be adapted to a great Family Home Evening or possible sharing time. Should you write your own talks? Yes!! How else do you expect to get closer to Heavenly Father. But at the same time, these are some wonderful modern day revelations given that can greatly bless and enrich your life, so please enjoy.

What to do:
I made a posterboard of a giant sun with a picture of Christ and 2 little children in the middle. I then made 6 storm clouds to cover the sun and on the back of each cloud was a question (correspondingly found below). I started off with a quote from President Henry B. Eyring and also closed with a quote from him adding of course my own personal testimony. I was going to have Sister C (Who is 8 years old) take off the clouds and help answer the questions with me adding additional information from the prophets and scriptures.

Henry B. Eyring (Because He first Loved Us p.4), “The truth of most worth is to know God our Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and Their plan for us to have eternal life with Them in families. When God communicates that priceless truth to us, He does it by the Spirit of Truth. We have to ask for it in prayer. Then He sends us a small part of that truth by the Spirit. It comes to our hearts and minds. It feels good, like the light from the sun shining through the clouds on a dark day.”

The Storm Delayed by Ms.Kathleen June 13, 2007

1. Who is the 3rd member of the Godhead?
"The holy ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Spirit, in the form of a man… The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, and has a spirit body ONLY. He mission is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth." Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation 1:38
2. What are some things the Holy Ghost does?
Sanctifier- “He is also a cleansing agent… we can pray for the Holy Ghost to be our companion with assurance He will come. When we ask in faith, a change can come in our natures.” Henry B Eyring Because He first Loved Us p.149
3. Can you have the Holy Ghost with you any time and any place?
"This Comforter is, by his influence, to be a CONSTANT companion to every baptized person, and to administer unto the members of the Church by revelation and guidance, knowledge of the truth that they may walk in its light." Joseph Fielding Smith Answers to Gospel Questions 2:149-150
BUT “Sin in any form offends the Holy Ghost. You must not do anything or go anywhere that offends the Spirit. You cannot afford that risk.” Henry B. Eyring Because He first Loved Us p.177
4. What invites the Holy Ghost to be close to us?
Prayer, Scripture study, doing good!!
Henry B. Eyring Because He first Loved Us p.15 “Whatever invites the Holy Ghost to be your companion will bring you greater wisdom and greater ability to obey God.”
5. What does Moroni 10:5 say?
6. Who is the Holy Spirit of Promise?

“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… Every ordinances is sealed with a promise of a reward based on faithfulness. The Holy Spirit withdraws the stamp of approval where covenants are broken.” Smith Doctrines of Salvation 1:45

Henry B. Eyring Because He first Loved Us p.150 You, sweet Sister C and all of us, “Must choose to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The words of confirmation into the Church are an invitation: “Receive the Holy Ghost.” And that choice must be made not once, but every day, every hour, every minute.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

October 2008 Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

This photo is symbolic of the love and service that went into my Christina's 4th Birthday. My middle name is not Wiltons. But I gave it my all... And really, isn't that all that matters!

Week 1
I will serve God by doing things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

** Play a game of Sabbath Day Charades. The children can come up and choose paper with activities to act out. The children will have to decide if that activity keeps the sabbath day holy or not. Activities to act out can include (these were taken from a primary manual):
"Write letters to missionaries, Make cards of appreciation for family members, Write in your journal, Play or listen to sacred music, Study the scriptures, Read or tell a scripture story to a younger brother or sister, Visit relatives, Give a family home evening lesson, Work on your Gospel in Action award, Visit someone who is ill or lonely, Play quiet games with your brothers and sisters, read from your baby journal or family history, Look at family photographs"
going swimming, playing basketball games, doing chores, watching lots and lots of TV, shopping at the grocery store, taking a 4 hour nap, etc.

** Bring in an ice pack and a hot pack. Have the kids feel the difference. The things we choose to do on the sabbath can either make us feel warm and close to Heavenly Father or cold and distant from Him. Hide a bunch of word paper strips around the room. As the child gets close to an activity say "warmer, warmer", as they are further away say "colder, colder". The paper strips can include activities that are appropriate for Sunday or Sabbath scriptures!

** Make a long hand held scroll. Invite a child to come up. Like you are reading from the scroll, tell them to untie/ unbuckle their shoe with one hand. If they can't do it, they have broken the sabbath. Ask another to come up, tell them another primary child has a cut on their hand "accidentally" drop a band aid on the floor. Once they put the band aid on, tell them they have broken the sabbath. Is that really breaking the Sabbath? NO! Yet some people believed this a long time ago. What is the real law? Read Matthew 12:12, Exodus 20:8–11, D&C 59:10-13 Toss the scroll into the garbage!

Week 2
I can serve Heavenly Father by serving others.
** Have a box with miscellaneous objects inside (scriptures, garden shovel, fork, toy, sweater, book, drinking straw, envelope, shoe, etc.). Have children come up and choose an item then decide how they could use that item to serve someone. See how many different ideas you can get with each item. Have a scripture or song attached to some of the items to do after they have thought about a way to serve.

** Have the children make up a short poem to read to the Relief Society or Elders Quorum on service. Then have them sing a song like "I'm trying to Be Like Jesus" for them. No better way to learn about service than doing it!

** Have the children draw pictures and write letters to some widows or sick people in the ward. Have them come up with some scriptures on service to add to the envelope.

** Bring in a toy train- the type where you can add a car and build on the train to make it longer. As the children answer questions on service, read scriptures and sing- link a car. Watch it grow. When all the cars are on, have a child drive it to a picture of Christ. Service links us together and brings us closer to Jesus and Heavenly Father. Have paper with the words, "We choo-choo-choose to serve others! Challenge them to take the paper home and fill it up as a family with activities they will do to help others.

Week 3
The prophets and apostles teach me how to serve.

** Bring in a pocketbook or daily organizer.(Or you could just have a large paper that says "Schedule" with all the daytime and evening hours on it) Have a picture of the First Presidency. Have the children fill in what they think the prophets and apostles do in a day. Most of all, they are special witnesses of Christ. See here for some great quotes. What a true and priceless service to all of us they give as they bear such strong testimony of Our Savior.

** "The Lord revealed why “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets.” It is “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Eph. 4:11–13).
The ministry of the Apostles—the Presidency and the Twelve—therefore is to bring us to a unity of the faith. "Boyd K. Packer, “Special Witness: The Shield of Faith,” Friend, Jul 2003, 39

Have about 8 questions and 3-4 songs on service. As children answer the questions and sing nicely, invite one child up to the front. Then invite another to come up and hold that persons hand... and so on, forming a unified chain. Reemphasize that the prophets serve by "Perfecting, work and edifying" and in so doing, help unify us and make us stronger in the faith!!

** Linda Sherwood, “What Would the Prophets Want Me to Do?,” Friend, Sep 1999, 36 wrote a FANTASTIC WONDERFUL AND AMAZING article that could easily be tied into this weeks theme. Make little pictures to post on the board that go along with each question and story. Post a picture of the prophets mentioned. Have the kids try to match the question to the prophet who answered it. Also ask in each case how the prophet taught us service.

Week 4
Because others serve me, I too want to serve.

** Drop Everything and Come Running. Tell this story. Bring in a runners headband, armband and book bag. Make up some case studies (about 8) and put them on index cards. Also have some songs on service on different index cards and put everything into the backpack. Let a child come up, put on the headband, etc. and choose an index card. They will have to answer how they would serve the person, drop the backpack and walk-quickly (This is church, during a FHE would be different and they could run) across the room. Time how long it takes to walk across the room. Do this with all 8 children and see if as a primary you can drop everything and come help in under two minutes total.

** Mosiah 2:17, 19 "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!"
Write thank you notes to someone special who has helped you. Then add something you would like to do for them on it and do it!!
(Little ones can draw pictures, have teachers help add words like who has helped them, how, and what they want to do for the person)

** Rom. 12: 1, " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

Have large pieces of butcher paper. Have the children lie down and trace each other on the paper. Have them label different parts of the body with ways they can serve. (For example, hands can tie shoes for a little brother, eyes can watch out for children at school who are lonely, ears can be good listeners to mom and dad, etc.)

** Check Yo' Attitude. Have different role play situations for the children to act out. The children will have to come up with the wrong attitude and right attitude towards service scenario.
For example: Your best friend needs to do chores before she can come play. What can you do to not help or help?
Your friend's dad is very sick and is in the hospital. What can you do to not help or help?
Have some come up and share with the whole primary.
Alma 30: 8-9, "For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve. Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him..."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wouldn't it be lovely?

(Stunning Image by Meena Kadri, in regards to her own picture she says, "These children live in the slum at Manek Chowk. I watched the older one helping the youngsters do their homework while stuck in traffic on my scooter. I stopped and spent a while with their family who live in a low lean-to shelter on the edge of the street. Warm people." I found this on

I was thinking to myself recently about Primary Activity Days. Wouldn't it be nice to have an after school homework party?

We could invite the Young Men and Young Womens. Have different tables set up- math, spelling, reading etc., everyone working together to help out on school work. Healthy snacks could be readily available to boost those brain muscles- broccoli and ranch, carrots, celery. Delicious juice!

Then as children finish homework, they could work on real homework. Activities that will bring them closer to Heavenly Father. Puzzles, worksheets, games, art, writing missionary letters, reading in pairs the scriptures...

I love the scriptures. Love them. Love them!

I came across John 4:31-34. It was deeply profound to me.
" In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."

What a powerful and perfect God we worship. His glory is evidenced by the divine example of His Son, Jesus Christ. Do we understand the importance of the Father's work? Are we doing everything we can to do the will of Him on high?

I was also struck by my readings in the Doctrine and Covenants. The phrase "I have chosen" that our Savior often says stood out to me. Whenever we played soccer in elementary school, I was usually chosen first if not the team captain. (I say this not to brag- because believe me, I was not world cup material!) However, I always felt this big responsibility to score big or work hard to make sure everyone got the ball since I was chosen at the beginning. Our Elder Brother, our Redeemer has chosen us to care and teach His little ones. I share this because it truly is a humbling thought. And when we are humble we're ripe for the whisperings of the spirit.

So, this post is a little scattered. Sorry. But I pray that God will bless you and keep you. I don't know you, but I really do love you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Possible Sacrament Meeting Program "Finales"

At the end of a year's worth of hard work what can we do to conclude. What could be the finale?

I hesitate to use the word reward. I think it can have connotations like here's your cookie, good job. Because really, the reward for all the hard work, singing, practicing is knowing and feeling closer to Heavenly Father and Our Redeemer.

The last two weeks we have been practicing especially hard for our program. What I did was have a "fruit of the spirit" party... or an apple party if you will (during the 3rd hour of church). The things they will be teaching during the program will inspire people, their righteous examples will help others closer to Christ. This is part of what the "fruit of the spirit" is. A couple children were given scriptures from John 15 (Vs. 5 and 16) We BRIEFLY discussed the scriptures and that was that. We went outside, munched our apples and enjoyed fresh air for about 15 minutes. It was wonderful!! (Of course I had to preface my expectations before we went outside. Should we dogpile? Should we be making any loud pterodactyl type noises? Do we play by moving cars? Can we have fun though and get some energy out? Yes!)

Also, I always take the last 2 or 3 minutes of closing exercises or the sharing time to let them give each other compliments. They can compliment whoever in the primary for whatever. This is rewarding beyond words. It builds unity and love.We had a boy tell a sunbeam that he was really proud that the sunbeam memorized his talk. That sunbeam was so happy he could fly!

Other ideas (as in an appreciation gift)

* Crowns with a note "You are children of the Most High. Sons and Daughters of a King. A royally good job was done on our Sacrament Meeting Program, thank you!!"

* Wooden Rulers with a note " Matt 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." This ruler is to remind you of the hard work,diligence, and faithfulness you have put into our Sacrament Meeting Program. Thank you!!

*Bottle of Water (with a paper well note) "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14" You have given the best water one could possibly ask for during our Sacrament Meeting Program. You have borne testimony of our Savior. Thank you for the wonderful examples you are!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Greece they "Shhhh" the goats

(Image Courtesy Essjay is Happy in NZ Aug. 2005, found on
My mother is a teacher. A great teacher. A great mother. She is also Greek. Perhaps a great Greek? One thing my mother always told me is, "In Greece they shush/ "shhhhhh" the goats."

How can we maintain an atmosphere of reverence in primary... without "shhhh"-ing? After all, the children are not "cachikis" (goat in greek) and primary doesn't need to sound like a leaky faucet.

* Sing a song. Or sing a song. Did I mention sing a song?

*Quiet Signals. Let the children know when you give the signal, you expect attention and calm. For example say Give me 5 and hold up your hand. (Ask the children to hold up their hand and 5 fingers) Another example, using your hand cup your ear. (When they see you do this, they need put their hand to their ear... listening is important!!) Move on quickly. There's no need to chastise.

* Stand by a picture of the Savior, pointing to Him and quietly wait. (No more than 30 seconds, just enough to quickly get back to what you are doing with the primary's full attention)

* Touch your knees, your toes, your eyes and your nose. (whisper this and have them follow suit)

*Look at the ceiling, look at the floor, look at the door, look at Helen's shoe, smile at your neighbor, look at the picture of Christ. (speak this as quickly as you can and have them follow suit)

* Have the picture of Jesus stilling the storm (GAK 214) on a popsicle stick. Hold it up, you say peace, they say be still. Smile. Move on.

* Hold up a mirror. When it's quiet say "Can you see His image in your countenance?" I think so, thank you.

One reason we come to church is to learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus. To get closer to them. We need to PRAY beforehand that Primary will be uplifting and that the spirit may be felt. With God all things are possible. Be confident because the Lord is by our side when we are doing the things He asks.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

September 2008 Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

(Image courtesy Don2G April 2005 found on

This is a continuation post. (Idea's for weeks 1 and 2 can be found here)

Week 3 Heavenly Father knows me. He will answer my prayers in ways that are best for me.

** Have a child come up to the front of the room. Ask them where they would like to go, anywhere in the room! Take them by the hand, take them where they want to go. Invite another child to do the same but this time take them to a picture of Christ up in the room.

Read quote by President Hinckley, " The Lord has said, ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers’ (D&C 112:10). What a tremendous promise is given in this statement. If we are without conceit and pride and arrogance, if we are humble and obedient, then the Lord will lead us by the hand and answer our prayers. What greater thing could we ask for? There is nothing to compare with this."

Invite yet one other child and this time lead him to the chalkboard. At the chalkboard have a picture of a child praying (GAK 605) and the lesson's theme written covered by a large piece of paper. Have the child remove the paper.

** Is there a doctor in your ward or branch? Invite them in for a quick 5 minutes. Have a child come up and tell the doctor how to do brain surgery. Hmmmm… that’s tricky. Have another child come up and tell the doctor what medicine he should give a person with the flu. Ask the doctor how long he went to school. How long has he been a doctor? Ask the children if he probably knows more about being a doctor than they do. So it is with Heavenly Father. We should never tell Heavenly Father what to do. We must always ask politely, with reverence and be open to however He sees fit to answer our prayers.

** Divide the children into groups of 3 or 4. Ask them to find out some interesting things about each other. Then have them come up to the front, introduce each other and say one thing they learned about each other. Ask them if they know each other better now? After everyone has shared, ask them if they think they know someone in the room really well... perhaps a brother knows his younger brother really well.

How do you get to know a person? You need to talk to them and spend time with them. Heavenly Father has done this and knows each one of us better than we know ourselves!! When we talk and spend time praying to Him, He will answer our prayers in ways that are best for us.

Read Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

** Feeling ambitious?? Need a change of pace?? Bring in some shoe boxes (or you could use sturdy paper plates), paper, scissors, glue sticks, crayons… the works. Have the children make dioramas (a 3-D display work of art) of a place they can pray to Heavenly Father. Challenge them to go to this place and give sincere, humble prayer and see what happens! Bear testimony that Heavenly Father knows them and will answer their prayers in ways that are best for them.
-Give a 5 minute warning when you want to end the activity. Then again give a 1 minute warning. Now everyone has 10 seconds to put their box under their chair and show me what a reverent person looks like. I don’t need anyone to count, just look at my fingers and listen to my voice.
-Scrap patrol, if some children finish early have them go on scrap patrol with small garbage cans to help clean up.
-Have some pre-cut and drawn things for the sunbeams to glue to boxes, like windows, trees, bed, chairs, people-trace a small cookie cutter person, table… (And remember for it to be 3-D diorama style these things will need small tabs to be folded on and glued)
-Say this at the beginning, say it during the middle and end - Let the children know IF THEY DON’T FINISH IT’S OK!! I’m sure working on it at home would greatly please Heavenly Father as you will be keeping the Sabbath Day holy thinking about the wonderful blessing of prayer!!
-Have soft piano music in the background and remind the children to keep voices low enough to where we can hear the beautiful music.
-Have all the adults walking around and helping. Hold up boxes while others are working and compliment. Keep your compliments specific (E.G. Tim’s prayer box is very colorful! I can see all the colors of the rainbows, isn’t that beautiful! Vs. This is a nice box. Another example- Gayle has been working and concentrating so hard on her prayer box. You can definitely tell, look at all the details she put on the blanket. What dedication! Vs. Isn’t this a pretty blanket?) When you compliment in this way you are showing the children you really care and that you are willing to give proper attention to their diligence.
-Ask the bishop if you could display the boxes in his office for a week or two. As the children take the challenge seriously they can report back to him on Sunday and talk about what happened, he can then give them their prayer box back. But PLEASE make this just an option for the children, some will more than likely want to take their box home, never force anybody!!

Week 4 Answers to my prayers come from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and others.

** Also, another answer to prayers is described in Gospel Principles, "Often God gives us the power to help answer our own prayers. As we pray for help, we should do all we can to bring about the things we desire. (p. 44)

** Have a panel of children. Give them each a name; Enos, Daniel (Daniel 6:1-23), Zenos (Alma 33:3-6), Nephi (1 Nephi 17:7-8), Brother of Jared (Ether 3), Moses (Moses 1), Joseph Smith (D&C 122). Let the children look up scriptures related to that person and let the other children come up with questions to find out who these people are. Try to work in questions like, what did you pray for? how were your prayers answered? what did you see during your prayer? did you hear a voice during or after your prayer? After each prophet is discovered talk about how their prayers were answered.

** Have a talented singer from your ward or branch come in and start off the lesson by singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer (Hymn Book page 26).

On a table up front have a variety (that means at least 20 different things) of pictures, scriptures written on paper, stories about Joseph from the friend magazine. Do your research, you will be blessed! (Start by searching the friend magazine using key words Joseph Smith Prayer, look in the topical guide, try the institute manual Church History in the Fullness of Times) Have the children divided into small groups of 4-5. On the blackboard put: How was Joseph Smith's prayers answered. Give the children 7-10 minutes and some chalk. As they find answers invite them up to the blackboard to write down what they think. For younger children have them have an adult help or they can draw a small picture. Put a teacher with each group and have a rule where only 4 people can be at the chalkboard at a time.

With the remaining time have the children then talk about what they learned or found out. Did Joseph have any experiences where his prayers were answered by the holy ghost, scriptures or other people?

** There are 2 parables in the New Testament where Jesus Himself teaches about prayer.

The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-8) and The Selfish Judge (Luke 18:1-8)

Have the children write down an experience they have had with prayer and how it was answered- was it by the holy ghost, scriptures or other people?? The younger ones can draw pictures. Put together a modern day parable book and then read it to the children. If they can't remember examples in their own life, have a couple back up experiences in your life or other's lives that you can talk about and have them write down or draw. Give the book to a new convert or to the missionaries who are teaching someone.

** Have an envelope. I just received my power bill. How will I pay it? Explain that I can mail back payment, pay on the computer, go to the power plant and pay it. Take a vote, how would the children pay the bill? It's nice to have choices.

Have a stuffed dog. I need to take my dog for a walk. I could walk down the street, take him to the marina or I could take him to the park. Take a vote, how where would the children take the dog. It's nice to have choices.

Have a picture of someone praying. This person is saying a prayer. How does Heavenly Father answer prayers? Heavenly Father has choices too when it comes to answering prayers. He can answer them with the Holy Ghost, scriptures or through other people.

Have different case studies/examples/short stories of people and prayer. Give the children a piece of paper folded in thirds with a drawing of scriptures, people and the word Holy Ghost on each third. As you tell each case study, have them decide how the prayer was answered and show you by folding the paper to the answer they think.

For a few stories see here, here, here, and here. A case study could include, Mary was very nervous about a math test coming up. She knew all her multiplication facts except for 9 times 9. She said many prayers, but to her it didn't seem like it did any good. She still always forgot the answer. That night at FHE they studied D&C 81. It talked about the mansions Heavenly Father has prepared for us. It really touched her heart. Then all of a sudden, she knew the answer. 9 times 9 was 81!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

FHE Words of Isaiah (For 4ish and Younger)

( Image Courtesy Nick in Exsilio 1/3/07 Isaiah 6.1: "I have seen the Lord seated on a [high] throne." The Cross. Basilica di S. Clemente, Rome. 12th cent.)
Theme: 2 Nephi 15:20 "Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Opening Prayer
Optional Songs
Choose the Right Way (Children's Songbook page 160)
Dare to Do Right (Children's Songbook page 158)
Have a picture of a dog (with a foot kicking it), garbage (litter), a tree (with paint on it/graffiti), a sad faced little girl, and an alcohol advertisement. Tape them to the wall.
Have a picture of the scriptures, the temple, Jesus, a child praying, and a cat (with a hand petting it). Tape to the opposite wall.
Have 5 frowny faces and 5 smiley faces. Have the children decide what things are good and what things are bad and to match with the frowny/smiley faces. When they have matched everything, say "No. You're wrong. It's good to kick dogs! It's good to be mean to mother earth! Are scriptures really that great?" Take down all the faces. Put the frowny on the good and the smiley on the bad. (If you feel uncomfortable doing this, use a puppet like "Mixed-Up Mikey or Confused Courtney" to be the antagonist)
Hopefully the children will protest! With hands on your cheeks, say oh no!! What have I done!! Maybe I need a scripture to help me.
2 Nephi 15:20
There are people in the world that call good things bad, and bad things good. We never listen to those silly and WRONG voices! We listen to the scriptures and our prophets! Fix all the pictures and frowny/smiley faces.
Turn off the lights and say I'm sure glad the lights are on. Turn on the light and say, where is everyone? I can't see it's so dark in here!!
Have unsweetened (bitter chocolate) and milk chocolate. Read the scripture again and emphasize sweet and bitter. Tell them they are going to eat something sweet and give them the bitter. What a terrible thing to do!!
Read 2 more short scriptures while everyone is munching.
Moro. 7: 14 (14, 18)
Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
1 Jn. 1: 6
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
Make point clear, bear testimony: There is good and bad in the world, we must never mix these things up!! We must know the difference between good and bad, Heavenly Father will always help us to do so!!
Closing Prayer
Theme: 2 Nephi 15: 13 "Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge."
Opening Prayer
Fun to Do (Children's Songbook page 253b) With actions like reading a book, walking to school, learning at church (point to head then make chapel with hands)
Gather up as many stuffed animals as possible. Put them in a box and make bars on it. Read 2 Nephi 15:13. Explain that our little friends don't know anything. They need to learn things so they can get out of captivity! As a family draw questions from a hat then good answers free the stuffed friends.
What color is the sun?
What does a fireman do?
Who created the earth?
Can you name 2 noises you would hear on a farm?
What is the first book in the Book of Mormon?
Who is our prophet today?
What does rain do?
What do plants need to grow?
Can you name 2 things you wear in the winter?
Who is your hero?
What are some nice things you can do to help mommy?
Does Jesus really live? Was He really resurrected?
What is a library?
What is your favorite song, can we sing it?
What do trains do?

After all the friends are free, have some jewels or a hand drawn treasure chest and read the following Proverbs 8:10-11 "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."
Make point clear, bear testimony: We need to learn things! What we know helps us to be free! What we know is more precious than gold! Jesus Christ is our Savior, this is the most important thing I know.
Closing Prayer

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Primary Sacrament Meeting Program Practice Tips

It's that wonderful time of year again! Every ward and branch is different. For our Primary Sacrament Meeting Practices we take 2 hours to run through our program. Lessons and sharing times are not taught.

2 hours is a long time. The question is, will it be a wonderful 2 hours or a pull-your-hair out 2 hours? YOU have the choice! Isn't that wonderful! So here are some of my personal reflections, feel free to add any insight.

1. Pray. Sincerely. Pray for the spirit. Pray for patience. Pray for love and for Our Father's Help. And anything else you can think of that you need!!

2. Organize. If you are practicing in the chapel, have little signs where each class will sit. Give teachers a seating chart to seat kids. You can have signs to hold up to tell the children what songs are next. Have your program in large font for easy reading. Have copies for your teachers, music leader and pianist. If you are in the primary room, organize it like a mock chapel.

3. Make your expectations clear. Everyone should be
  • Good listeners
  • Happy singers
  • NOT SOCCER STARS (No one needs to be kicking! It confuses people, they'd rather be looking at amazing faces and hearing your beautiful voices, not weird thumping noises.)

4. BE POSITIVE and keep the flow! If someone has done a really good job, tell them. Have the kids give each other thumbs up. Encourage good presentation (Smiles, Enthusiasm, Bold singing and Bold reading) Just keep on truckin'! Move it along!

5. Take breaks. Repeat. Take... A break... Have teachers stay with classes. Go outside. Go to the bathrooms, get water in shifts. Stretch. Wiggle. Breath.

**I have a confession. We are having apples during our break. Our Primary President gave us the go ahead, so here we crunch.**

And finally, what is the point of our Primary Program? (Ephesians 4:12, 16) Who can you invite that Sunday that would be benefited? Our Savior lives. We are children of God. Remember this when you possibly have one child snoring in the corner, another 2 girls sticking gum on their foreheads (please remember to have them throw out gum!!) and another little boy under a pew playing peek-a-boo. Honestly! It will be wonderful! You will do great, but most importantly, the children will share amazing testimony, beyond description!