Saturday, March 22, 2008

April Sharing Time 2008

The prophet teaches me to read and pray about the Book of Mormon

(Moroni 10:3–4; Gordon B.Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True,”
Ensign, Aug. 2005, 2–6; GP, chapters 8, 10).

Have a large picture of the conference center (possible overhead projection?), make a list of questions based off of President Hinckley's talk and when the kids answer the questions correctly, they can move people into the conference center. See how many people can fit into the conference center.

Questions will of course be age appropriate and scriptures can be used to help.
Opening Activity: Pointing to the conference center, giving the following statistics.
The auditorium in the Conference Center seats 21,000, and a separate theater in the building seats an additional 850. The building is constructed of granite from the same quarry which provided the granite for the Salt Lake Temple.
Why does the conference center need to be so big? What is taught at the conference center and by who?
Today we are going to focus on how the prophet teaches me to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. (Make a sign to display your objective or write this on the board)

Senior Sharing Time questions (Tape a quote for the child to read under their chair) Tell the children that reverence, participation, thoughtfulness and helpfulness gets people to the conference center. Let's see how many people we can get there as a primary! Have one child designated as the person taper to the board. (A possible variation, they could draw stick figures around a picture of the pulpit and organ)
1. President Hinckley has said, "We often sing in our congregations a favorite hymn, “An Angel from on High,” whose words were written more than a century and a half ago by Parley P. Pratt They represent his declaration of the miraculous coming forth of a remarkable book. Exactly 176 years ago this fall that book was first being set in type and run on a press in Palmyra, New York."
So who wrote An Angel from on High and what was that book that inspired that song? (Parley P.Pratt and the Book of Mormon)
2. President Hinckley has said, "It is inspiring to learn how Parley Pratt came to know of the book about which he wrote the words of this hymn. In August of 1830, as a lay preacher, he was traveling from Ohio to eastern New York. At Newark, along the Erie Canal, he left the boat and walked 10 miles (16 km) into the country where he met a Baptist deacon by the name of Hamlin, who told him “of a book, a strange book, a VERY STRANGE BOOK! … This book, he said, purported to have been originally written on plates either of gold or brass, by a branch of the tribes of Israel; and to have been discovered and translated by a young man near Palmyra, in the State of New York, by the aid of visions, or the ministry of angels. I inquired of him how or where the book was to be obtained. He promised me the perusal of it, at his house the next day. … Next morning I called at his house, where, for the first time, my eyes beheld the ‘BOOK OF MORMON’—that book of books … which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.
What material were the plates written on? How has the book changed the entire course of your future life?
3. Parley P. Pratt said, "I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.”
Have you ever had an experience like this with the scriptures? What about Harry Potter? What can we do to make our attitudes better, just like Brother Pratt?
4. President Hinckley has said, "Parley Pratt’s experience with the Book of Mormon was not unique. As the volumes of the first edition were circulated and read, strong men and women by the hundreds were so deeply touched that they gave up everything they owned, and in the years that followed not a few even gave their lives for the witness they carried in their hearts of the truth of this remarkable volume. Today, a century and three-quarters after its first publication, the Book of Mormon is more widely read than at any time in its history. Whereas there were 5,000 copies in that first edition, about 5,000,000 are currently distributed each year, and the book or selections from the book are available in 106 languages.
Can you name a language the Book of Mormon is written in? Have you ever handed out a Book of Mormon? What makes a good missionary?
5. President Hinckley has said, "Its appeal is as timeless as truth, as universal as mankind. It is the only book that contains within its covers a promise that by divine power the reader may know with certainty of its truth."
Where is this promise found in the Book of Mormon?
6. President Hinckley has said about the Book of Mormon, "Its origin is miraculous; when the story of that origin is first told to one unfamiliar with it, it is almost unbelievable. But the book is here to be felt and handled and read. No one can dispute its presence. All efforts to account for its origin, other than the account given by Joseph Smith, have been shown to lack substance. It is a record of ancient America. It is a scripture of the New World, as certainly as the Bible is the scripture of the Old. Each of these volumes of scripture speaks of the other. Each carries with it the spirit of inspiration, the power to convince and to convert. Together they become two witnesses, hand in hand, that Jesus is the Christ, the resurrected and living Son of the living God.
What was miraculous about the origin of the Book of Mormon? What experiences have you had to know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet?
7. President Hinckley has said, "The Book of Mormon narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of those problems. I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras."
Who were some evil schemers in the Book of Mormon?
8. President Hinckley has said, "No other written testament so clearly illustrates the fact that when men and nations walk in the fear of God and in obedience to His commandments, they prosper and grow, but when they disregard Him and His word, there comes a decay that, unless arrested by righteousness, leads to impotence and death. The Book of Mormon is an affirmation of the Old Testament proverb: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34)."
What else does the Book of Mormon reaffirm (or help prove true) in the bible?
Quote to help spark ideas:
"While the Book of Mormon speaks with power to the issues that affect our modern society, the great and stirring burden of its message is a testimony, vibrant and true, that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, He who walked the dusty roads of Palestine healing the sick and teaching the doctrines of salvation; who died upon the cross of Calvary; who on the third day came forth from the tomb, appearing to many. Prior to His final Ascension, He visited the people of this Western Hemisphere, concerning whom He earlier had said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16)."
9. 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. If you will read a bit more than one and one-half chapters a day, you will be able to finish the book before the end of this year. Very near the end of its 239 chapters, you will find a challenge issued by the prophet Moroni as he completed his record nearly 16 centuries ago. Said he:
“And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? …
“And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true” (Moro. 10:27, 29).
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."

Will you accept this challenge? Will you dedicate yourselves to reading the Book of Mormon this year?

Closing Activity: See how many people you got to the conference center. Praise the children on their teamwork and just plain awesome spirits! As we listen to the words of the Prophet at conference and read our scriptures, may we be filled with the Holy Ghost and know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Jesus lives and is our Saviour. Bear Testimony.

Jr. Primary
Same Opening Activity
Prayerfully select quotes: I found the following sites to be extremely helpful.

Sharing Time:

Have Displayed 10 pictures of different Prophets and the Savior
Make 10 quotes of those prophets (in referencing the book of Mormon) and have them so they aren't showing. 1 quote is from the Savior Himself. See if the children can match the quote to the prophet. Make sure to explain a quote is something a person has said. On the quotes there can be hints to help them get to know that prophet better.

1. President Ezra Taft Benson, " How pleased I am to hear of your love for the Book of Mormon. I love it too, and Heavenly Father wants you to continue to learn from the Book of Mormon every day."
Hints: He was born on a farm in Idaho where he learned about hard work. He had a very important government job and helped the President of the United States, this job was Secretary of Agriculture. He helped missionary work expand in Eastern Europe.

2. President Gordon B.Hinkley, "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...regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."

Hints: He was the first Church President ever to travel to Spain, where in 1996 he broke ground for a temple in Madrid, and to Africa, where he met with thousands of Latter-day Saints in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. His wife's name was Marjorie and they had 5 children.

3. Joseph Smith: “ The Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

Hints: His first uttered prayer was answered by a visitation by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. He was tarred and feathered, even eventually murdered sealing his testimony with his blood.

4. Jesus Christ, "He [Joseph Smith] has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.” (D&C 17:6.)

Hint: He was God's only begotten. He atoned for our sins in Gethsemane. He was the first to be resurrected.

5. John Taylor, "“Do not trust in yourselves, but study the best books—the Bible and Book of Mormon—and get all the information you can, and then cleave to God and keep yourselves free from corruption and pollution of every kind, and the blessings of the Most High will be with you.”

Hint: Was born in England and late immigrated to Canada. Was wounded in Carthage, with Joseph Smith when he died. Was the third latter day prophet.

6. Joseph F.Smith, "“In relation to reading the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, … no man can be an efficient missionary of this church unless he is familiar with these books. And the more familiar he is with them, the more capable will he be to discharge the duties of his ministry.”

Hint: His father was Hyrum Smith. Helped to build many church historical sites.

7. George Albert Smith, "“It fills my heart with joy to know that every man who will read it [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, every man who will desire to know whether it be of God or not has the promise, not of Joseph Smith or any living being, but the promise of our Heavenly Father that they shall know of a surety that it is of God. … These two books [the Book of Mormon and the Bible] hand in hand teach us all where we came from, why we are here, where we may go, and they both contain the advice, the loving advice of our Heavenly Father intended to inspire us to do that which will enrich our lives here and prepare us for eternal happiness.”
Hint: Despite fragile health and impaired eyesight, he had a distinguished career as a Church leader. He organized the Church's massive welfare assistance to Europe following World War II. He also championed Scouting among Latter-day Saints

8. Spencer W. Kimball, "“May I tell you of a great adventure? As I traveled to a weekend assignment, I took with me an unusual book which was my constant companion. I could lay it down only to sleep, eat, and change trains. It fascinated me, captivated me, and held me spellbound with its irresistible charm and engaging interest. I have read it many times. As I finished it, I closed the book and sat back, absorbed as I relived its contents. Its pages held me, bound me, and my eyes were riveted to them. I knew the book was factual. … It is the word of God. It is a powerful second witness of Christ. … In the final chapter of the book is the never-failing promise that every person who will read the book with a sincere, prayerful desire to know of its divinity shall have the assurance. … My beloved friends, I give to you the Book of Mormon. May you read it prayerfully, study it carefully, and receive for yourselves the testimony of its divinity.”

Hint: He ran an insurance business.In the 12 years of his presidency, the number of operating temples doubled, the number of missionaries increased by 50 percent, and the priesthood was extended to all worthy male members.

9. Moroni, "And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day. "

Hint: Ether 5:4

10. Isaiah, " And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. "

Hint: Isaiah 29:4

11. Mormon, "For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them. "

Hint: Mormon 7:9

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 16, 2008 Sharing Time... I changed my mind

Change of plans! I felt like the other sharing time wasn't focused enough on the actual theme of the week, which is: Jesus Christ showed me how to do the will of Heavenly Father.

Opening Activity: Read John 13:15 "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done..." Introduce Forgetful Fred. He loves to go to Primary and learn about Jesus, but sometimes he has a hard time remembering things. We're going to help him answer 2 questions today. Do you think you can help him? The 2 questions are 1)What did Jesus do to show me the will of Heavenly Father? and 2) Can I do that?

Sharing Time: Using GAK pictures and scriptures, go over things that Jesus did in His life to show us how to do the will of the Father.

Matthew 4:2-4 Jesus fasted and endured temptations.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus was baptized.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 8: 1-4 Jesus Healed the sick.

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Matthew 12: 10-13 Jesus did well on the Sabbath Day.

And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

Matthew 12:36-37, 15:11 Jesus spoke kindness and perfection.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Matthew 14: 19-20 Jesus fed people.

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

Matthew 18:11 Jesus came to save those who were lost.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost .

Matthew 21: 12-13 Jesus treated the temple as the House of God.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Matthew 22: 19-21 Jesus payed His taxes.

Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 26: 36-39 Jesus atoned for our sins.

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Matthew 27: 46, 50 Jesus was crucified and died to fufill all righteousness.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, saying father, it is finished, thy will is done, yielded up the ghost.

Closing Activity: Bear testimony of the life of Christ and that it was lived in perfection. Everything He did was to show us the will of the Father and how to return to them. Then ask the children what they think is the most important thing Forgetful Fred should remember from our sharing time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

March Sharing Time Reinforcement Handout

I did things a little differently this month. I felt prompted to search you tube and find church songs mixed with church artwork. The following videos are absolutely beautiful and bear powerful testimony of the Savior. With the Ensign this month and the new church website, I thought it appropriate to add a new source of media to our Primary family's attention. (I.E. the internet, youtube... of course, always using precaution!)

March 16th, 2008 Sharing Time : What did I learn today?
Jesus Christ is my Savior. “And we have seen and do
testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of
the world” (1 John 4:14).

Activities (to do with the family) to reinforce what was taught today.

1) Finger painting! Use your hands to create a work of art. Then brainstorm as a family all the things Jesus did with His hands. This is an online music video of "His Hands", showing beautiful artwork to go along with the song. After watching the short video, share family testimonies of the obedience of the Savior and how we should be like Him.

2) Define the following words: extraordinary, awesome, powerful, kind, meek and perfect. Talk about people who can be described by some of these words. Look at pictures of these people. Then name the one person who can be described by all of those words. This is an online music video of "Jesus Was No Ordinary Man", showing beautiful artwork to go along with the song. After watching the short video, share family testimonies of Jesus Christ as the Supreme Exemplar.

3) Read the following scriptures.
* Matthew 6: 5-7, 9
* Matthew 26: 36, 39, 41-42, 44, 53
* 3 Nephi 17: 15, 17-18, 21
* Luke 22: 32, 40-41, 44
Jesus Christ showed us the importance of prayer. This is an online music video of "A Child's Prayer", showing beautiful artwork to go along with the song. After watching the short video, share family testimonies of prayer.

4) Put together an Easter basket with all the fixin's! Peeps, Candy, Colorful Eggs, stuffed Bunny, Jelly Beans... Then tape a letter (or word) of the following sentence to the back of each item (I know that my Redeemer Lives) Explain, that while Easter Egg hunts are fun and eating chocolate from our baskets is great... Easter is more. This is an online video of the hymn " I know that My Redeemer Lives", showing beautiful artwork to go along with the song. After watching the short video, share family testimonies of Jesus Christ, our Savior who is resurrected.