Sunday, December 20, 2009

My First Giveaway!

I love getting free things! And I realize I've been stingy, I mean really... it's Christmas!

So I'm not really going all out.
Forgive me.
I drive a 95' Buick and 2 of the windows don't roll down. Or up for that matter.
If I had more I'd giveaway a $1,000 shopping spree to Barnes and Noble.
Please re-read that sentence, key word if.
But the giveaway is for one of my ALL TIME favorite books!

What does this book have to do with primary?
Absolutely nothing!

However, the main character in this book reminds me of all the many wonderful and kind souls who leave such beautiful messages and thoughtful words! You are all Stargirls to me! Except the men, obviously. I will try to figure out the whole random number generator thingy, but if not, I'll be honest and just choose a number from a hat. I'll choose a winner on January 1, 2010!

So just leave a comment on what you're looking forward to in primary for the upcoming year and a way for me to get a hold of you when you win!

And I just thought I'd mention, I'm actually no longer in Primary. I'm the Relief Society Meeting Coordinator... I know, mouthful right? But I still plan on doing monthly ideas, so yeah. That's it. Thanks!

Update Jan 1. 2009 10:10 PM:


I went to and used their number generator thingy...

the winner is (poms poms up!)

Katie !!

" What I am looking forward to this year in Primary is everything being new and exciting. I was just called to be the Primary President (I have never served in Primary and was the RS President right up until I was called to Primary) and I have great counselors. Our Branch just split and we are part of the new Branch that was just organized in our home town...we're so excited not to have to make the two hour round trip to church every Sunday. We've had one Sunday in our new callings and two weeks to think, read, plan, study and pray about things and I am so happily overwhelmed at where to start. I had no idea how much work goes into Primary- it is unfathomable. What a blessing Primary workers can be in the lives of children. I am so grateful and humbled to be a part of this work. This is going to be an amazing year."
December 26, 2009 9:11 PM

And can I just say I love your phrase "happily overwhelmed"! It's vocab fresh!

but because I just happen to have a extra, I again punched into the number generator thingy and....

Michelle !!

"I am truly looking forward to teaching sharing times focused around Christ and his love for us. I love the gospel and desire to share it with the children in our ward. We have such wonderful, precocious children in our primary that every week is a new adventure to find."

Thanks everyone for participating! We'll have to do this again soon! God be with you the upcoming year as you teach and inspire by the spirit!

"I Know That My Savior Loves Me" Primary Song Helps and Ideas

Jesus Loves Me image courtesy creative commons license by Gtol Aug. 13, 2009

Words and Music by Tami Jeppson Creamer and Derena Bell

First off, do you not love ALL the tips given in the sharing time outline for how to use music in primary!! (Found on page 26-27)

Did you notice my personal favorite sentence of all times, "ALWAYS SING THE WORDS OF A NEW SONG TO THE CHILDREN - DON'T JUST READ OR RECITE THEM." (pg. 27) Thank you!! Amen!! Pet peeve addressed and made clear. Phew! But I admit, this sentence also fills my soul, "To teach a song effectively, you must know the song yourself." (pg. 27) Preach on!! It's been said, so either we'll follow or be mediocre. Boo mediocrity! We will do great!

To learn a song, visuals always help! Let your artistic side go wild! These are ideas more for once the song is learned.

* I Know that My Savior Loves Me - spinner! Have a large poster board with a circle divided into 8 sections. Attach an arrow that can spin. In each section write a word that shows how the Savior loves us and that can be doubled as a way to sing the song. For example "Rain. Sing Staccato/short and choppy." or "Mountains. Sing big and grand!" or "Small kittens. Sing soft and gentle." or "Missionaries with Books of Mormon. Sing valiantly while marching." Invite children who sing to come up and spin!

* Have a picture of the Savior. Tell the children that as you hear them singing you are going to put up some pictures of friends who know that the Savior loves them. They might know a few of these friends!! Close your eyes and reach into a can and draw out a few pictures of children from the primary! Wow! The primary sang so well you'll draw out another 5 pictures!! Have a child come up, close their eyes and draw out some pictures! Keep it positive! See if you can get all the primary children pictures up!

* Invite 2 children to come to front while everyone is singing this song. Give them white boards/ dry erase boards (you can get at target for $1 or the dollar store) to draw on. They will draw something that helps them know that the Savior loves them. They can call on a few children to guess what they have drawn. Then they show their pictures! Sing again and invite a couple more children up!

* While singing the song have a large letter L , R, and B. When you hold up the L, R, or B they will either have to stand on their left, right, or both feet.

* Invite 2 children up. One boy can wear a stone necklace and a girl can wear a flower headband for verse one. For verse 2 have them switch to him wearing a tie and ribbon in her hair. The song has different times, places, and children - but the same love from our Savior! Sing the song and have the children listen for the different times (a long time ago - now), places (beautiful place gathered round' Jesus - here in a beautiful place) and children (each saw the tears on His face - lighting my path)

Monday, December 14, 2009

January 2010 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

(One of the greatest "proofs" that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me is this good looking(understatement) guy pictured above. And yes. That is MC Hammer's original Can't Touch This outfit circa 1990. Long story, friend of a friend, yada yada. The day before we were to be married, I lost my purse at a casino buffet. This purse had my temple recommend and I was going to get my endowments out within the next 5 hours. I thought it was a sign from above that we were just not meant to be. I was heart broken, devastated and confined to utter agony as I sat crying in the car. We had searched all over, my bishop was gone... it had all just stacked up. But not to what I thought, to a miracle! Something sweet to remind me that God had a big hand in our being together. For you see, my sweetheart didn't panic or give up. He went back to the casino, checked the buffet who didn't have the purse, checked the lost and found who DID happen to have the purse - which is absolutely nothing but a miracle, because if you lose something in a casino, it's gone, hasta luego man - and voila, there was my temple recommend with 1 hour to spare. Does God love me? I know so. Does He live? Absolutely. Can you see His miracles in your life?)

Monthly Theme: We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Monthly Scripture: "We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ." (Articles of Faith 1:1)

* Before you teach anything this month, I HIGHLY recommend you read THIS!! It is modern day revelation having to do with this month's theme.

* Here is a simple experiment/demonstration. I think it can easily show that when we fill our jars with faith and knowledge that Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are there, then do our very best to live how they have shown us.... we won't fall down!

Week 1 God is the Father of my spirit.

* Pass out a piece of white paper and have the children fold it into fourths. Give them each a pencil. Sing O My Father (Hymns pg. 292) and have them draw what they hear for each verse in each section of the paper. Older children can write down words that stick out to them as they listen. Have the children share what they heard or felt.

* Is it a good idea to listen to your father? What are some things your fathers ask you to do?
Did Laman and Lemuel obey their father Lehi? What about the Father of their spirits?

Hebrews 12:9 "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?"

* Ask the children to turn to the topical guide in the Bible and look under "Man, A Spirit Child of Heavenly Father" Count as a primary how many different scriptures tell about this truth. Have a couple children volunteer to look up whatever scripture they like from this list in the topical guide and read to the primary.

* Brigham Young said, "I want to tell you, each and every one of you, that you are well acquainted with God our Heavenly Father, or the great Elohim. You are all well acquainted with him, for there is not a soul of you but what has lived in his house and dwelt with him year after year; and yet you are seeking to become acquainted with him, when the fact is, you have merely forgotten what you did know. There is not a person here today but what is a son or a daughter of that Being. In the spirit world their spirits were first begotten and brought forth, and they lived there with their parents for ages before they came here."(Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 50)

Have a large poster board of an outline of a house. Have cut outs of things like stairs, chairs, furniture, family members for the children to tape on the house. Have questions, songs and scriptures that have to do with God as the father of our spirits attached to the back of the cut outs for the children to answer before they put them on.

Repeat the emphasized part of the Brigham Young quote and bear testimony that you shall return one day again to the home of our Father who so lovingly created our spirits!

* "All of you are children of the most High." Psalm 82:6

Pass out little paper crowns. Have the children write down a name of a primary friend and what makes that friend so special. (A faith in God requirement under service could be filled by doing this • "Make a list of the qualities you like in a person. Choose one quality to develop in yourself. Discuss how showing respect and kindness strengthens you, your family, and others") Teachers will have to help little ones. Let them bring it up and put in a jar. Throughout your lesson pull out crowns and read what was written. This would be a great way to help encourage reverence... for example you could say, "Everyone is singing so nicely, I'm going to pull out 2 crowns to read!" or " This little sunbeam has kept his legs so still, I'm so proud of him I'm going to read another crown!" Also, repeat the scripture frequently and see if they can learn it by heart! Leave out certain words and motion for them to fill in the blank.

* Very similar is this wonderful idea by Margaret Lifferth, “Sharing Time: I Am a Child of God,” Friend, Feb 2005, 16

Week 2 Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

* Here is a resource for this week from the Primary 1 manual.

* Pass out envelopes to the children. Have them think about one of the most precious things they have in life and write it on the envelope. Have a mailbox in front. Tell the children you are going to tap the shoulders of those singing nicely to come up and deliver their envelope while singing He Sent His Son (Children's Songbook pg.34). Would it be hard to send away one of the things you love most in life? Yet that is what Heavenly Father did, He sent His Son. And He did this because he loves us. We must love Him too.

* Ask the children this simple question: Who is Jesus Christ?

Show a picture of Peter and share his response to that same question, found in Matthew 16:13-16, "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Hand out paper (BLANK!!!) for the children to make a picture of their Savior . Help them write down their testimony of who Christ is.

* Hand out pass along cards to the children and encourage them to give these to friends. Have a computer set up and show them THIS video off of . Many friends do not know who Jesus Christ is. We can help by testifying and giving out pass along cards so they can go to that website and find out! Invite the missionaries in to bear their testimony's of who Christ is.

* Shrink a bunch of GAK pictures from the life of Christ to the size of an index card. Print out and tape on the children's back. Have them go around and ask questions to other Primary children to find out what picture they have. The life of Jesus is amazing and perfect - and that's because He is the Son of God!

Weeks 3 and 4 Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me.

* Have the children divide into small groups. Give them each a small bag with simple objects in them. Have them create a skit using those objects to teach how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me.

* “The eternal truth that our Heavenly Father loves all his children is an immensely powerful idea... Love is the most powerful force in the world. (Dallin H. Oaks,"Powerful Ideas," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 25)

Bring in 2 really strong magnets. Show how hard it is to pull apart. What happens if you put them close together again? Just like the magnets, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and when we love them too, few things can separate us!!!

* John 15:
9 "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."

Make a circle and pass around 2 bean bags (let's say they are green and blue). Ask, does a circle have an end? No! And neither should love! Have the pianist play songs that have to do with love. When she stops the music whoever is holding the blue bean bag answers How do I know Heavenly Father and Jesus love me? and the child holding the green bean bag must answer How can I show love for my Heavenly Father and Jesus? Continue playing on!

* Pass out some small paper hearts. Read 1 John 4:7-12, 16-21 and ask them to hold up their heart every time they hear the word love.

Ask the children to write or draw on their hearts how they know Heavenly Father and Jesus love us. Have them make as many as they like! Give the hearts to the activity day girls, or a couple volunteers, to go heart attack (tape hearts all over their house door) the Bishop or an Elderly Friend in the ward!

* Have a few adults come dressed up as Alma, Ammon and the sons of Mosiah. Have them talk about their life story and how through the Love of God and Jesus, they were able to turn their lives around and help convert thousands! Perhaps they can even quote Alma 26:15 emphasizing "the matchless bounty of His love".

* Here is a lesson from Primary 1: I Am a Child of God, Here is a lesson from Primary 2: Choose the Right A, Here is a lesson from Primary 3: Choose the Right B, (1994), all having to do with this week's theme.

* Have a stick figure drawn on the board... Sad Sammy. Explain that Sad Sammy is a great friend of yours, but he is utterly sad. He has asked you a question and you were hoping the Primary could help him by answering. Write this statement and question on the board, "Heavenly Father and Jesus love me. Why do bad things still happen though to make me so sad?" Let the primary children SHARE their thoughts.

Invite one child up to be Job. Here is a very readable narrative of the story of Job. Have simple props and a costume for Job. I love putting fruit-by-the-foot (the chewy fruit rolls) on Job "making boils" and then nibbling a little.

Did Heavenly Father and Jesus love Job? How do you know this? How do you know that they love you too? Make sure to tell the primary children thanks, they have really helped out Sad Sammy. Now that they've answered his question and he knows that Heavenly Father and Jesus love him - he's Satisfied Sammy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

December 2009 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Gospel Art Book Joseph and Mary Travel to Bethlehem

Monthly Theme: My family is blessed when we remember Jesus
Monthly Scripture: “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he
shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” ( Job 19:25).

Week 1 Jesus was born into a family.

* Get some baby pictures of different primary children. Gather information on how those children were born. Show the primary children these pictures and tell the stories. Let them guess who the baby is. Tell them you have one more story of another precious baby. This baby’s mommy had an angel visit her and the man she was going to marry. An evil king wanted this baby killed. This baby had 3 wonderful and powerful men travel from a long distance by camel to give him gifts. This baby had a cousin his same age. This baby had younger brothers once he was grown. Etc. (Have Christmas story clues as well as actual family clues of Jesus) Have pictures to describe the clues. Our Savior’s birth was quite different from ours, but we can follow His example and try to live our lives like His life and be great like He is.

* In the topical guide (p.246 & 247) are the categories “Jesus Christ, Family of” and “Jesus Christ, Firstborn”. We know the story of the nativity, but what do we really know about Jesus’ earthly and heavenly family? Have a drawing of a baby in a manger (to represent Jesus) on the blackboard. Divide into groups and have them look up this in the topical guide. Give them a few minutes and then invite each group to write by the manger things about Christ and His family. To give younger children an opportunity too, have them share things they know about the birth of Jesus to add to the board. (Drawing a picture of a sheep or Mary would be wonderful!) If any children feel the need to criticize art of younger children, it is your duty and responsibility to kindly remind them that primary is a place for all friends to feel safe and loved. The beauty of art is in the eye of the one looking at it!

* Sing Christmas Bells (CS pg. 54). What else would the bells tell the world about Jesus’ birth? Handout paper bells to the children and give them each something different to draw about the birth of the Savior. For example one child draws the angel speaking to Mary, another child draws the cow or sheep that were in the stable, another draws the star or shepherds. Have them all come up with their bell drawings and figure out the order they should be in. Gather up the bells to make a special Christmas book for a primary friend that hasn’t been there in awhile.

* Have 8x10 sheets of white cardstock for the children. Show them how to write large block letters for the word FAMILY. For younger children, just have it already on the paper for them. Sing The Nativity Song (CS pg. 52). Have children draw pictures of the story of Jesus’ birth to his family inside each of the letters. Have them share when finished! Make a sample for them to get ideas from.

Week 2 I remember Jesus when I partake of the sacrament.

* The link of all links for this week can be found here. Thanks Sister Spectacular… I mean Sister Ashton!

* Have a large paper sacrament trays. Have little paper pieces of bread and cups. Have the children come up with ways to remember Jesus or things they think about during the sacrament. Each idea they come up with, invite them up to put a piece of bread or cup in the tray.

* If possible, arrange some rectangular tables to make one big table for the primary children. Carefully place teachers by children who might easily become distracted by the different setup. Have some pictures of the last supper on the table for the children to look at. Have the children share what they think it might have been like during the last supper.

"At the Last Supper, the early Apostles joined the Savior in singing: “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matt. 26:30). And as we sang each sacrament hymn, the words would be impressed upon our hearts because we had actually sung them. Heavenly thoughts come to your soul when you sing the heavenly music of the Church.” (David B. Haight, “Sing!,” Friend, Jul 1994, inside front cover)

the children share favorite stories of Jesus or request reverent songs to sing. Encourage the children to ask questions they might have about the life of the Savior and then encourage other children to answer.

* For Senior Primary, have them look at the sacrament songs in the hymn book. Have them look up scriptures from the bottom right hand corner of the song. Have them look at the words on the upper left hand that describe how we should sing these songs. Then let the children teach you. Have them share anything that they feel impressed to share after reading and pondering these things. Remember, it’s called sharing time for a reason….

Week 3 Remembering Jesus helps me choose the right.

* Sing Every Star is Different (CS pg. 142). In verse 2 it says, “I can help another to learn to choose the right.” Have popsicle sticks with stars glued to the top. On the back of the stars have numbers. Let the children come up and choose a star. Have 10 different scenarios for the children that correspond to the numbers on the stars. After you tell them the situation they have to decide what they would do. Also ask if anyone can think of a similar experience from the Savior’s life.

For example, A close friend from school is having a birthday party. Not just any birthday party, but a space themed party and everyone who goes will get moon rocks. The party is on Sunday. Can anyone think of a story about Jesus and keeping the Sabbath day holy?

* Bring in a bean bag for the children to pass around like reverent hot potato. Have the pianist play Choose the Right Way (CS pg. 160). When the music stops, whoever is holding the bean bag will have to have to tell about a story of Jesus from the Gospel Art Kit picture you hold up. Have about 10 different pictures. Then they will have to tell a choice they will make this week that is a good one.

* "Remembering" is key to this activity! Make a memory matching game! The trick is to have a picture to represent a story of Christ, a scripture or quote to go along with the story and then an additional match with a phrase like “I choose…”.

For example have a picture of Jesus calming the storm, the scripture Psalms 107:29 “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”, I choose to fear not.

* Ask a child to come to the front and find a small hairpin that is in the room. After a minute or so have another child come up. It’s pretty impossible to do so without help! We need a map! Hand the child a map to find the hairpin. Remember Christ and His example is a map in our lives that helps us make good choices and find happiness!

Week 4 Jesus will come again.

* Have a child come up and hold a rock. Ask the primary what will happen if the child drops the rock? It falls. Have another child come up and demonstrate. There are things we know without any question that are going happen. Just like we are certain and know Jesus will come again.

* Learn the 10th Article of Faith song.
Give the children popsicle sticks to learn the melody and move it up or down as they sing. Challenge a child to come up and be a dictionary. Have them hold a dictionary. Ask them the meaning of words in this article of faith that are big. Display GAK 238 The 2nd Coming and have the children share what they think it will be like when Jesus comes again.

* Show the video segment of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from Special Witnesses of Christ. Have a nativity with scriptures, songs and questions attached about when Jesus will come again. The first time He came was amazing and so the second time will be!!

* Interesting Fact: “The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. The inhabitants of the earth are asleep; they know no the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail; but when it shall disappear, woe to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly.(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.305)

Friday, October 30, 2009

LDS Preach My Gospel Themed Family Home Evening Ideas

We've been encouraged to use this great manual on occasion in FHE.

Please feel free to tailor the following Family Home Evenings to your family's needs. I added a small section where I plan on just going around in a circle and each family member says "I can preach the gospel by..." and then sharing a way to do so based on the concept learned that night.

Also, I print these out and glue them to the front of file folders. I add anything I need to the inside of the folder and it makes it handy for a quick on the spot FHE or Sunday activity.

Fishers of Men

Purpose: Learning about the qualities of the Savior and finding them in my own life.

Display GAK 209 Calling of the Fisherman

Scripture: “At the beginning of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ walked along the shore of the sea of Galilee and called out to two fisherman, Peter and Andrew. “Follow me,” He said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17) “The Lord has also called you to His work, and He invites you to follow Him. The invitation to follow Christ is an invitation to follow His example and to become like Him.” (p. 115 PMG)

Song: Called to Serve (p.249 Hymns)

Have paper phones or a cell phone for the children to hold up on the word “Called”. Just like the phone, will we answer Heavenly Father’s call to us?

Scripture: 3 Nephi 27:27

Quote: “The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and He commands us to become as He is. Learn of Him and seek to incorporate His attributes into your life. Through the power of His Atonement, you can achieve this goal and lead others to achieve it also.” (p. 115 PMG)

Activity: Make 9 paper fish. Using the activity on p. 126 PMG label the 9 fish according to the attributes listed i.e. Faith, Hope, Charity and Love, Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Humility, Diligence, and Obedience. Put up a small sheet and using a fishing pole (stick with a string and clothespin attached) go fishing for Christ like qualities. When a fish is drawn, ask a question under that attribute found from p. 126. For example, Johnny got the faith fish. Ask, “Do you believe in Christ and accept Him as your Savior?”

Quote: The scriptures describe Christlike attributes that are essential for you to eventually develop as a missionary and throughout your life… Christlike attributes are gifts from God. They come as you use your agency righteously.” (p. 115 PMG)

Song: I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus (p.78 CS)

I can preach the gospel by… (review thoughts of FHE)

Bear Testimony

Hope is the Anchor of Our Souls

Purpose: Exploring the concept of Hope.

Song: Had I been a Child (p. 80 CS) Display GAK 322 Jesus Blesses the Nephite Children. Sing all 3 verses.

Demonstration: Have a child walk across the room. Now ask them to come back and hold on to their leg and don’t let go. Can they walk across the room? This is what an anchor does. It holds something down firmly and won’t let it move.

Quote: “President James E. Faust taught: “Hope is the anchor of our souls… Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future… The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death.” (“Hope, an Anchor of the Soul,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 59-60)

Demonstration: Go outside and try to pull a large tree out of place. Why can’t you move it? What is the anchor of the tree? The roots!!

Activity: Have a drawing of a large tree with 6-10 removable roots. Have children come up to the tree’s anchors/roots and answer questions about Hope. Possible questions could include:

  • What is the opposite of Hope?
  • When you feel sad or discouraged, what can you have hope in?
  • Who do we hope to live eternally with in the celestial kingdom ?
  • How does Jesus Christ give us hope?
  • Name 3 things you hope for another person in our family.

Possible super way awesome scriptures to look up and add to the roots:

  • Moroni 7:40-48
  • Ether 12:4
  • D&C 138:14
  • Alma 32: 37-38, 41-42

Concluding Scripture and Quote: Proverbs 12: 3 “A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.” When we are firm in hope, we can share that with others. “Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:23). Let us reach to lift hands which hand hopelessly down.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell (p. 117 PMG)

I can preach the gospel by… (review thoughts of FHE)

Bear Testimony

Possible Ending Song: Popcorn Popping (p. 242 CS)

Reading the Book of Mormon

Purpose: How to understand what we read in the Book of Mormon.

Song: Book of Mormon Stories (p. 118 CS)

Quote: “Please do not take the Book of Mormon for granted. Pray for a vision of how the Book of Mormon can be used more effectively in your mission. I promise that as you do so, your mind will be enlightened with the direction that you should take.” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (p. 110 PMG)

Our mission is life! “Those who do not read or understand the Book of Mormon will have difficulty receiving a witness that it is true.” (p.110 PMG)

Activity: Spray paint some small round cardboard circles. These will be our golden plates. On the golden plates have one of the following attached to each plate:

  • Pick a page! Any page! Point to a scripture and read together! “As you read together, pray that the Holy Ghost will testify to the investigators (or our family J) that the Book of Mormon is true.” (p. 110 PMG)
  • Find the title page. What is this?
  • Find the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction. What do these words say?
  • How does Moroni 10:3-5 help me understand how to gain a testimony?
  • Find a chapter heading.
  • Find a foot note.
  • How do we look up a scripture?
  • Can you think of a principle or doctrine using words or phrases from a Book of Mormon prophet?
  • If we don’t know the meaning of a certain word, what can we do?
  • What does it mean to “liken the scriptures”? (“To ‘liken’ is to create a mental bridge between understanding the doctrine and living the doctrine.” p.110 PMG)

Have the golden plates hidden throughout the room, let the children find them and answer questions.

Song: The Golden Plates (p. 86b CS)

Ending Quote: “The Book of Mormon is a powerful resource in conversion. Use it as your main source for teaching restored truth.” (p. 111 PMG)

I can preach the gospel by… (review thoughts of FHE)

Bear Testimony

As a side note: PMG stands for Preach My Gospel

CS stands for Children's Songbook

I will make sure that Preach My Gospel is used to read quotes from. I want my children to see that this book is important in our home.

A great read: The Power of Preach My Gospel by Elder Richard G. Scott

Another great read: Erich W. Kopischke, “Preach My Gospel—the Unifying Tool between Members and Missionaries,”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scatter Sunshine Hymns pg. 230 Song Helps

Hello Sunshine courtesy creative commons license by Brandon Christopher Warren July 25, 2009

* Make paper sun finger puppets and wiggle on the words “scatter sunshine” or any other word that has to do with happiness!

* Have a bunch of children come up to the front in a line. Have another child with pass along cards. At the chorus, have that child skip to each person to hand out a pass along card. Or for a FHE line up a bunch of stuffed animals for your child to pass out the pass along cards to! How is missionary work like sunshine? Is sharing the gospel service?

* Have some gray clouds throughout the room. Sing the 3rd verse and have a child take down the clouds and put a sun in it’s place. On the clouds you can have the words to the verse -When the days are gloomy, Meet the world’s repining, Thru the ills of life, O’er it’s toils and strife. And then on the suns the positive words- sing some happy song, with a courage strong, go with faith undaunted, scatter smiles and sunshine.

* Make sunshine wands for the children to use to conduct the song. (This would be especially fun teaching the meter of 6/8… see page 384 in the Hymn Book)

* Have a large paper sun with removable rays! On the rays have different ways to sing the song… girls only, teachers only,sing with eyes closed, sing boldly, etc….

* Have an erasable white board. Invite a child to come to the front and write down words they hear that stick out to them in the song. (Or for younger they can draw a picture of a word they hear) Ask them after you are done singing to share what that word means to them or anyone else who has special thoughts about that word or phrase.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

November 2009 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

The young man in the white shirt made my baby a blanket- blue with yellow ducks on it. He spent a lot of time making it. It was crafted with hard work and love. I, as a mother, was beyond grateful to be able to bury my child's body wrapped in the warmth of the Christ-like service of that young man. It wasn't just a blanket... it was safety, it was everything good in this world wrapped around my sweetheart Joe. This young man exemplified walking after the Messiah in true service. You never know how much the things you do will mean to another. And then, as if that wasn't enough, he came with the entire young men's and young women's to clean our backyard even though we weren't in that ward anymore. I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to again thank all my brothers and sisters who have taken the time to serve my family by offering good deeds, words of sincerity, prayers and fasting. I pray every night that God will bless you for the loving kindness you've offered me in my hour of need.

Monthly Theme: My family and I can serve others.
Monthly Scripture: "By love serve one another" Galatians 5:13

Week 1 I am thankful for my family. I will serve them.

* The ward is our family too! Go to the Young Women or Young Men (or whatever auxillary you choose) and as a primary serenade them with beautiful songs. Singing and uplifting the soul is service. Designate one child to ask the young women if there is anything the primary can do to help serve them. If not, then tell them you love them and be on your way to spread more good cheer! Is that someone sitting on the couch in the hallway? Sing on Primary friends! When you get back, ask the children to describe how they felt singing and serving others.

*Teach the children "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" (Hymns 252). Verse 2 says, "The Church has need of helping hands, And hearts that know and feel. The work to do is here for you;
Put your shoulder to the wheel." Have a string stretching tight across the primary room. Have 10 clothes pins attached to it with pictures of different wheels. Have questions, scriptures and songs pertaining to service on the backs. Let the children come up and pick the wheels.

If possible demonstrate the difference of something on wheels verses something without. For example a toy car with wheels will roll farther than a toy car that is missing wheels. Service is like a wheel because it makes the world go round! Service makes living easier and happier for people and just like the car with no wheels, without service you won't get anywhere in life!

* "We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves--giving of the riches of the heart and mind--and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store." (President James E. Faust, "A Christmas with No Presents," Ensign, Dec.2001, 4) Bring in the wrapping paper, after Christmas clearance bows, tape and scissors. Have children write down some things they can do for their family to serve them. Put the ideas down in an envelope and LET THE CHILDREN wrap the envelope... be sure to have plenty of tape.

* Project WAVE. If you have a smaller primary take a walk outside and every person you see smile and WAVE to! (Set your expectations clearly before you leave- walking slowly, soft voices... etc) Mahtma Gandi said, "You must BE the change you wish to see in the world." (A personal all time favorite quote) Really the whole world is our family, we are all brothers and sisters. What are the small and simple things we can do to make a difference and serve them? Challenge the children when they are in the car running errands with mom or whoever... to try to smile and wave to other people driving! Thich Nhat Hanh once said, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile and sometimes your smile is the source of your joy."

Week 2 My family will serve others.

* Bring in a small lunch size milk carton, frosting, graham crackers, small candies to decorate... etc. Have little strips of paper with questions, scriptures and songs on service. As the children choose and do the things on the paper invite them to help build a home! Service makes life a little sweeter and my family will serve others!! Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

* You be the Judge! Have a black sheet and little gavel for a primary child to dress up as a judge. Give different scenarios for the child to judge if that family (scripture or church history) did a good job serving. For example Nephi had to build a boat... what did his brothers do? Was that a good example of service? Why or Why not? Another example could include the people in the city of Enoch were so righteous they were taken to heaven. How were they a family and what do you think they did to serve each other? You'll need to prepare plenty of questions for the judge and the judge of course can get as much help as he needs from the jury (his primary friends!).

3 Nephi 27:13-15 "I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given you- that I came into the world to do the will of my Gather, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be JUDGED OF THEIR WORKS, whether they be food or whether they be evil- And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS." Judged of what? Our works! So my family WILL serve others!!

* You are loved! Help the children color and cut out a bunch of hearts and write the words, "You are loved" on them. Have them put into envelopes to give out to random people WITH their family throughout the next week.

* Elder Russel M. Nelson said, "Joy is a journey, not a destination...Today while we are able, we may turn our hearts to parents and predecessors and bless them with our love- AND LABOR."
(The Gateway We Call Death,1995, pg. 106)

Temple work is extremely important and while we as primary children aren't old enough to go inside we can help our parents or older siblings to prepare to attend. We serve our family and our family will serve others! Make little booklets for the children to draw spiritual pictures on. Type out some scriptures for them to cut and paste (or for the senior primary, encourage them to look up and copy scriptures that are meaningful to them) These booklets are for their family members to take to the temple and look at before they enter to help them feel the spirit

Week 3 I can be a good example for my family.

* "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (from Matthew 5:14-16) I was somewhere (of course I can't remember where) but I saw little tea light candles that were flameless. You could turn these little candles on and then hide them throughout the room with questions, songs or scriptures attatched about being good examples. Turn off the lights and let a child go find a candle.

* "Be thou an example of the believers" (1 Tim. 4:12) Have a piece of paper for the children to make poems (this fills a Faith in God requirement) Have them write the letters BELIEVER and incorporate the letters into phrases of HOW or WHY we should be good examples to our family. For example

Baking cookies for my father
Reading scripturEs every night
A good example Loves others
In Every day of their life
Obedience and Virtue
I will always try to show
To my family I love dearly
EteRnally we will grow.
(Sofia Lykes October 2009 Feel free to use this example ONLY after you've tried writing your own poem! :) Who knows, maybe you're the next Frost!! )

* Who are some great super heroes and what makes them great? I've always thought Superman was pretty fly for a guy wearing blue spandex and red underwear over it. I mean really, I wish my thighs looked that good. Super Heroes do good, setting an example for all to follow. Some Super Heroes are fake, but there are some that are very very real! Bring in a "Good Example" cape and gloves for children to wear during a role play situation. Make up different family situations where you can help "save the day" by being a good example. For example, you are at the store with your mother and little brother. You are bored and really want some gum but mother is saying no. What do you do good example you! (Have them pretend like they are pushing a shopping cart and invite another child to play the silent mother who will listen to what the good example has to say)

The greatest Hero of all times and the greatest example of all times is Jesus Christ. Invite a special guest to come to primary and sing "Never a Better Hero" (by Kenneth Cope)

* Make 3 dioramas out of shoe boxes. (Teaching No Greater Call pg. 165) Choose 3 stories from the life of Christ where He showed us His divine example. For example, you could depict the story of when Satan tempted Him after fasting for 40 days. However, leave little things out of the diorama for the children to find and put in and complete the story.

Unless you have a primary with 5 children, you can't bring in shoe boxes for every child to make dioramas of how they can be good examples to their family. However, the primary can make 3-d pop up scenes. Here is a link on how to make the pop-up paper, then just let them create an artwork of how they could be a good example to their family! Just as Jesus is an example to us, we can be examples to our family!

Week 4 I will prepare now to become a mother or father.

* Invite 3 mothers and fathers in from the ward. Divide up into groups and have the children be news reporters! They will interview those people on how and what it takes to be a good mother or father. Have paper microphones (toilet paper roll with a scrunched up paper balled taped on top) for each group to conduct the interview. Have them report their findings with the primary on what they learned. Then switch the tables, have the guest mothers and fathers ask the children on how they will prepare to become great mothers and fathers!

* Make a fake time capsule box. On the box have the quote by President Monson, "Parents, live your lives in such a way that your children will find you an example worthy of emulation."
( Constant Truths for Changing Times, Liahona, May 2005, 21)
Talk about the quote and what it means. I'd be sure to bring up the point not everyone has the greatest parents "worthy of emulation", but YOU CAN BE!!! That's what really matters! What are things the children would put in the time capsule to help them be great parents in the future? Have a large pile of stuff for them to choose from.

With time capsules, you seal it up and bury it, then open in the future. But we're not going to do that today, we'll use the things we put in the capsule NOW to help us prepare to be great mothers and fathers!

* Prepare means to "plan in advance" according to Merriam-Websters Dictionary. Make a giant road map on the blackboard together as a primary. Start with a primary child stick figure at the beginning and have a "great" mother/father stick figure at the end. Have the children come up and draw simple things along the path they need to do to become that in the end.

Alma 7:19 "For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness; I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God; yea, I perceive that ye are making his paths straight."

* Have a bowl with all of the children's names folded on pieces of small paper. Tell them in the bowl are some of the names of the greatest mothers and fathers that will ever be!! Sing The Dearest Names (Children's Songbook pg. 208) Invite the children to come to the bowl and draw a name. Then have those 2 children play Name that mother! Name that Father! For example: What were the names of Nephi's parents? What can you learn from Lehi/Sariah to help you prepare to be a mother/father? And of course, have plenty of GAK pictures. I also think it would be appropriate to have the children name other primary friends who'd be good parents and why. Let's build each other up!!

Just as a side note, don't be afraid to ask children hard questions. For example, some parents can't have children... how can they be good mothers/fathers? Some people don't end up married, is that OK? Let them answer and think about these things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nursery 101 - How to Play With a Child

Image courtesy the Smithsonian American Art Museum Child Playing by Frances Foy 1964 Oil on Fiberboard Chicago, IL

Children can seem overwhelming to adults, which is funny because well... we used to be children. We need to get back to our roots. Back to the fun. Back to really living life and Nursery is just the place!

2 year olds are NOT alien life forms from Mars. Unless they are dripping green snot. Then you can promptly remind mom or dad of planet reality where Swine Flu is an epidemic. See ya'll next week and God bless Texas. 2 year olds can not be expected to play nicely by themselves for 2 hours while adults just sit around, chat and ignore them. Adults need to learn how to play with children. It's not too hard. It might feel unnatural at first, but practice makes perfect!! And your Sunday (and life) will be awesome if you choose to fully commit yourself to your calling.

How to Play with a Child

1. Sit on the ground not on chairs. I know some people have back problems, if this is the case fully ignore me and do yo' thang. Sitting on the ground makes it easier for them to climb/pounce on you. You will be at their level and they'll be more comfortable.

2. Ask silly questions. Are you wearing yellow socks? Let's see. Oh wow, they're black. If I had a real live horse, I'd get really big yellow socks and put it on him. If you had a horse what color socks would you give him? Have you ever had purple hair? I wonder if ducks ever wish their feathers were purple... what do you think?

3. Toy cars make great babies. You can put cars down for nap or burp them. You can sing to the cars if they happen to start crying or rock them until they calm down. Cars don't have to be cars. Cars can talk and dance and pretend they are elephants. Pretty cool, huh?

4. Books are fantastic. I repeat - books are fantastic. You don't have to read books word for word. You don't even really have to tell the same story, just look at the pictures and make it up as you go along. There is a catch to books though... if you read like a zombie no one will pay attention. Be peppy.

5. Burst into song. Yes. This is Ok. It is Ok to sing other than when the music leader comes in. If you can't sing on pitch, that's OK too. You can make up fake songs. The children won't judge you. And who cares what the adults think! You are the next American Idol, so sing it girl. My favorite is if a toy gets an ouchie singing Jacko's Heal the World. Rest in peace dear King of Pop.

6. Nothing is something. Air is magical. It can be transformed into a vacuum or a set of drums. It's crazy but true! Is someone shouting "MINE!!", flip through your air magazine and say "Can you keep it down... I'm reading a magazine that says children who use the word "mine" too much end up on the FOX TV show Cops. (Referring to tip 5... Whatcha gonna do when they come for you!!! You chuck it down yo' mother, you chuck it down yo' father... etc.)"

7. Match, sort, group different toys. The cars are getting in a line to go to Disneyland and the dolls are going to get in a circle to play ring around the rosies. All the toys with green need to get behind Juanito because he's wearing a green tie! Juanito's the leader, let's do the bunny hop little green toys!!

8. Mitchell the Rainbow fish has awesome manners. Sometimes Mitchell farts glitter but he ALWAYS says excuse me. Can you say excuse me little nursery child? Oh, it's snack time? Mitchell the Rainbow fish always says please and thank you... can you use your best manners too? Why are we arguing over this stuffed shark... Mitchell the Rainbow fish never argues and always tries to make others happy. There are lots of stories about good ol' Mitch that only take about 30 seconds to tell and it's amazing how the children will listen. He's just glitterific.

9. Praise the art! Praise the play! Praise the child! Praise the Lord! NOTICE. PAY ATTENTION. Look for every opportunity you can to tell the children how wonderful they are. It's their job to play and your job to notice how wonderful they are doing and SAY SO. Give high fives or one of my personal favorites (using a fist... gently) pound it!

10. Bring on the doctrine. Make at least 5 attempts to bring in Christ centered doctrine while you play. Playing puppets who are going to get baptized when they are 8. Trains that encounter a mountain and say I think I can!! Endure to the end... Persevere little trains!! Little people who are having Family Home Evening. How should dolly pray? Little bear, it's time to read scriptures and then go to the temple. Hi, meet Moses the mouse... he was named after the great prophet who parted the red sea. You can do it! The Lord will help you!!

If this seems overwhelming, just breathe. Breath again. Life is good. Choose one or two things to work on each week and you'll be pleasantly surprised how much fun this calling can be! Remember, children need fun but they also need structure. Once you've learned how to play, you'll need to work on setting up some sort of routine to follow. Check the manual and pray!! God will help.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Isaiah 55:8-9 The Miracle of Life

My little man, Joe, 7/15/09- 9/11/09

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"

I loved seminary. It was early though and I was a spastic teenager so I don't remember much of what I learned. It was only after I had my first daughter Christina that I decided to start learning my scriptures better. The above scripture was on our wall for the past month and we practiced it almost every night. That's not a coincidence.

I have always known my Heavenly Father. My testimony has not changed and is not stronger or weaker. My faith is the same. I have always known that Jesus Christ lives and that my family will be eternal. But now I do know 2 very important things.
1. God comforts his children
and 2. The importance of the gathering of Israel.

You have no idea what you have done. Thank-you is feeble. Thank-you is meager. The gratitude and love I feel in my heart can not possibly be expressed. I wish I could fly out and visit every single person who prayed, wrote, fasted for and thought about us - and bring some Costco chocolate cake and chill on your patio watching the sunset together. Then I would hug you and kiss you and get up in your personal space, holding your face and tell you I love you. I love you so very much. Every single word written by you has given me peace. I pray nightly that you will be blessed for the love you have shown us in our hour of need. It is truly overwhelming.

I have tasted of loss now. It is truly hard. It is unbearable. That's where Christ has come in. He has saved my soul. I have just the tiniest glimpse of the sorrow Heavenly Father feels when His children are lost. We need to help gather them. We need to ease our Father's sadness by living our lives in accordance to His will and doing our best to lift others, bringing them back to His fold.
Death is not the end. You know this. I know this.
We are broken, but we will be healed.
So let's just rock on 'til the resurrection.
Again. Thank-you. Thank-you so much for everything.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Please Pray for me My Brothers and Sisters

Hello my dearest dearest brothers and sisters. I know this is selfish but I utterly and desperately need your prayers for me and my family. My 2 month old child, my firstborn son, died yesterday. He is with Christ. I know this. But I need you to tell me you love me. That we can be one with Christ. Please mourn with me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

October 2009 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Week 1 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is a modern day revelation.

* Have a small megaphone (you can make a simple one out of paper). Ask a child to come up and say "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is a modern day revelation." in the megaphone. Did everyone hear? Now ask someone to go in the hall by the drinking fountain. Ask the child again to say "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is a modern day revelation." Did that child hear that was out by the drinking fountain? Could a person in Egypt hear what they said? What about my Yaya in Greece? There are many different ways to talk to each other, but the only perfect way of communication is the form our Father in Heaven uses.... REVELATION. He can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

* Ask for a volunteer. Have about 20 blocks in front and a Family Proclamation. Tell the child, "Ok. Go ahead. Just go and do." The child will be confused. Repeat yourself, "Just go ahead and do it." When the child starts building something, say, "No. No. That's not it. Try again." Ask them if they know what they are supposed to do? Of course NOT! You haven't told them! In the Bible Dictionary it says, "Without revelation, all would be guesswork, darkness, and confusion." Then ask them to build a frame out of the blocks to put the Proclamation in.

* Write Old VS. Modern Revelation on the Family. Have 2 children come up at a time and a red paper circle for them to tap. Give a clue and have the children guess which category (old or modern) the revelation on the family comes under. Some clues could include:
- picture of Nephi and the words, "Having been born of goodly parents." (or for older children to be able to answer the category they first must say what scripture this refers to)
- picture of Gordon B. Hinkley and the words "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
- this family loved each other and traveled over the sea in very small boats lighted by stones
- "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness"
- “Children are an heritage of the Lord" Psalm 127:3 (This one is a trick one! It's BOTH ancient and modern revelation!!)

For younger children, time can be a hard concept. This topic can help to clarify the difference between old and now. Make sure to use the scriptures so they can physically see the scriptures mean OLD and display a picture of the apostles so they can visualize NOW/modern.

* Choose 10 items to represent 10 parts/quotes of the Family Proclamation. Put them under 10 different blankets. What was once hidden can be revealed! Have them choose a blanket and then try to guess what part of the Proclamation it represents. Have the quotes displayed for them to choose from. (Since not all younger children can read, read to them 2 quotes and have them choose the right quote from the one you read.) For example have a picture frame of your family, "The family is ordained of God." or a wedding veil "Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan."

********************** I wanted to include this quote (I know it's a little long, but well worth the read) from President Hinckley( “We Look to Christ,” Liahona, Jul 2002, 101–2) to inspire and uplift you. It is a beautiful quote and it ends with the importance of modern day revelation. ****** *********************************

" Like the polar star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives. He is the rock of our salvation, our strength, our comfort, the very focus of our faith.
In sunshine and in shadow we look to Him, and He is there to assure and smile upon us.
He is the central focus of our worship. He is the Son of the living God, the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten in the flesh, who left the royal courts on high to be born as a mortal in the most humble of circumstances. Of the loneliness of His living He said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
He was a man of miracles. He reached out to those in distress. He healed the sick and raised the dead. Yet for all of the love He brought into the world, He was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: … he was despised,” and was esteemed not (Isa. 53:3).
We look upon His matchless life and say with the prophet Isaiah:
He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. …
“… He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4–5).
When the great War in Heaven was fought, Lucifer, the son of the morning, came forth with a plan that was rejected. The Father of us all, with love for us, His children, offered a better plan under which we would have freedom to choose the course of our lives. His Firstborn Son, our Elder Brother, was the key to that plan. Man would have his agency, and with that agency would go accountability. Man would walk the ways of the world and sin and stumble. But the Son of God would take upon Himself flesh and offer Himself a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all men. Through unspeakable suffering He would become the great Redeemer, the Savior of all mankind.

With some small understanding of that incomparable gift, that marvelous gift of redemption, we bow in reverent love before Him.
As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, “talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins” (2 Ne. 25:26)."

Week 2 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" teaches me the importance of marriage.

* Bring in some peanut butter and jelly and bread. (PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY ALLERGIES!) Some things in life just go together really well. Perfect together! Just like daddies and mommies! "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God" ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World")

Another great quote to include, "One individual is complementary to the other. As Paul stated, ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 11:11). Man and woman are His creations. Their duality is His design. Their complementary relationships and functions are fundamental to His purposes. One is incomplete without the other.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Women in Our Lives,” Ensign, Nov. 2004,84)

* Bring in a puzzle. To complete the puzzle you have to match the pieces up. If 2 pieces don't match, then you can't complete the puzzle. Those pieces just don't fit together. Marriage is between a man and a woman, that is how God planned it. "The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife." ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World") If it hadn't been that way, you or I probably wouldn't be here today!

* "Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan."("The Family: A Proclamation to the World") Put 4 chairs in the front of the room. Ask 4 children to come up and join you in your "car". Ask them what you need to do to drive to church. After you buckle, adjust your mirrors... what comes next? How do you turn on the car? Can you do it without a key? No!! It's essential to have that key!! Just like marriage is essential to Heavenly Father's plan!!

* Have 3 couples come in. Couples who can share pictures from their temple weddings and talk about what they do to have happy marriages. Ask them if they have a copy of the proclamation hanging in their home?

* An idea from Sheila Wilson ("Sharing Time: My Family,” Friend, Feb 2004, 20):

"Briefly tell the children about Heavenly Father’s plan for us. Heavenly Father blessed us with families to help us return to live with Him. Give the children a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Tell the children that it contains the Lord’s teachings regarding the family. By following these teachings, we can strengthen and unify our families now and prepare to live as eternal families. As you read the first paragraph of the proclamation, have the children listen for what is at the center of His plan for His children (“The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children”). Read together the first two lines of paragraph 7 (“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan”). Help the children understand that “ordained of God” means Heavenly Father designed marriage and family not just as an earthly union, but one that will endure forever. Write the words from these sentences on pieces of paper, and cut out each word. On one side of the board, rearrange the words from paragraph 1. On the other side, rearrange the words from paragraph 7. Divide the children into two groups. Choose children to arrange the words in their correct order as their group repeats the sentences out loud. Scramble the words again, and see if they can do it without the groups repeating it. Encourage the children to keep their copies of the proclamation in their scriptures to use throughout the year. Suggest that they read the proclamation with their families in family home evening."

Week 3 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" teaches my family how to be happy.

* Sing "A Happy Family" (CS pg.198a). What makes a happy family? LOVE!! An activity to follow is the ABC's of Love. Write A through Z on the blackboard and then have the children come up with ways/ideas to show love to your family starting with that letter of the alphabet. Check the proclamation too to see what fits where! (For example: Provide for family for P. Zip up little sister's coat for Z. Wash the dog for W! Don't forget pets are part of the family too!)

* "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World") Make the hymn "Love at Home" (pg. 294) into a book (Take a plain piece of paper, type the first line of the song on the bottom, etc. Have a picture of Christ for the last page for them to glue in on "Oh there's one who smiles on high, when there's love at home") where children can draw pictures to illustrate the words. For older children, they can write down times or examples from their own life that remind them of the words. (For example, "there is joy in every sound, when there's love at home... reminds me of rocking my children in the middle of the night. Their cries humbled me and even though I was tired, I never felt anything other than the privilege of being their mother and rocking them) Encourage the children to save their thoughts and put the book in their journals.

* D&C 6:32-37 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you. Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward. Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."

The proclamation states, "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities." Divide into groups and give them one of these principles to act out. They are acting as a family and can choose whatever situation they like to demonstrate their principle. When we do these good things, Christ is in our midst... what greater happiness can we have than that?

* Moroni 9: 6 "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."

Divide into groups or pairs and fill out job applications! (Little children can draw a picture of the family member while older children write down thoughts)

Job Description: Be a productive member of a happy family! Conquer the enemy of all righteousness through happy homes!
Job Title: Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Aunt... etc. (Have one member of family written for each group or pair of children)
Job requirements: What does this person need to do to help the family be happy?
Job pay: (What blessings will the person receive?)
According to the Family Proclamation: (Have the children write anything they can find in the proclamation that applies to this family member)

* "The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave." ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World") Draw a road on the board with lane markers. Have a car with a family inside. After about 10 lane markers have a sign that says end of the road (have a little grave marker), but have the road continue to the celestial kingdom. Have the children answer questions, sing songs or read scriptures having to do with eternal life and families to move the car one lane marker at a time to the goal. Death is not the end! Have a picture of the resurrected Savior displayed.

Week 4 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" teaches my family the importance of work.

* Lazy Lawanda: Have a drawing of a child (Lazy Lawanda) on posterboard. Have removable pictures of items like a TV remote control, a bag of popcorn, headphones, slippers... etc. Then have some pictures of more "work" friendly items like a mop, plate of cookies (service by baking), gardening hat...etc. Have them questions, read scriptures and songs about work attached to these. Let the children choose the work picture they like, do what it says on back and switch it out for one of the lazy items. Remind them things are fine in moderation but what will really count in the end? The 2 hours we spent watching a movie or the 5 minutes we spent helping/serving by sweeping?

* Service Crowns: King Mosiah says in Mosiah 2:14, 16-19
" And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day. Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God. 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. Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another? 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!

Divide into groups or pairs (teachers will need to help and possibly write for the younger children!). Make a list of 50 things you can do to "labor and serve" your fellow beings! It can be things to do for your family or for the world- after all, we are all brothers and sisters! Turn in your list to get crowns to decorate. End with the following:

"When all is said and done, when all of history is examined, when the deepest depths of the human mind have been explored, nothing is so wonderful, so majestic, so tremendous as this act of grace when the Son of the Almighty, the Prince of His Father’s royal household, He who had once spoken as Jehovah, He who had condescended to come to earth as a babe born in Bethlehem, gave His life in ignominy and pain so that all of the sons and daughters of God of all generations of time, every one of whom must die, might walk again and live eternally. He did for us what none of us could do for ourselves. " (President Hinkley “The Atoning Sacrifice: Latter-day Prophets Testify,” Liahona, Dec 2001, 8)

* Role Reversals: "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness... to teach them to love and serve one another..." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World) Bring simple dress up clothes. Have different situations for children to act out as parents. Have adults as the children. Examples of situations could be: Your child Brenda is not cleaning her room, what can you teach her? or Timmy is 15 and old enough for a job, what can you teach him about saving for a mission or about tithing?

* "Art-WORK gallery" Display pictures of the creation. Pictures of space, the earth, bodies, animals... have the children walk through like they would in a museum. Have them talk about the pictures or share thoughts. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our brother went to a lot of WORK for us to create such beautiful things. Now have the children make a piece of art-WORK to show something they can do to follow our Perfect Family's example! And please, don't just throw them some crayons and a piece of paper. Have a variety of art tools for them to use. Have cut out frames to glue to their picture... make it special!