Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ made it possible for me to live with my Heavenly Father again.
Monthly Scripture: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
Also the * indicates an idea. All the ideas aren't meant to be used in one sharing time necessarily. Pick and choose as you are inspired.
Week 1 In the premortal life, I chose to follow Jesus Christ.
* You can't get much better than this. The key is adapting for a 15 minute time period!
* Hold up a picture of a dark cave and a picture of a meadow of flowers. Where would you choose to go, in the darkness or light? Hold up a picture of some junk foods and then a picture of a nice pasta bowl and big salad. Which would you choose for dinner? Some choices are better than others no matter how tempting. Following Christ and not Lucifer is the best choice we made and can continue to make!
Have the children fold a piece of paper in half. Have them draw or write about the choice we made to follow Jesus on one side and what happened to those who didn't on the other side.
You can make an example picture yourself beforehand to give them a start. Then have them share!!
* Call up 5 children at a time to stand up in front of the primary. Have those sitting quietly look at the faces of the children standing for 10ish seconds. Have those standing return to their seats. Invite 5 more to come up. Repeat as much as you like. Did everyone see the faces of each other?
Read Abraham 3:22-23 "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. "
Bear testimony that the children whose beautiful faces we looked at, and all the faces in this room are those noble and great ones who stood for Christ in the premortal world.
*Read the following. “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” (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 107; or Ensign, May 2002, 90). Hide keys around the room. Attach questions or scriptures having to do with Christ or agency. We made a good choice in the premortal world and will continue to follow the key to Heavenly Father's plan...our Savior!
* These are ideas related to the premortal existence that might be of help. They are under Week 2 I lived with Heavenly Father before I came to earth in the post.
Week 2 I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior.* In Teaching No Greater Call pg. 161 it says, "Buzz sessions are activities in which learners are divided into small discussion groups. The groups talk about assigned topics and then share their ideas with the others. You can use buzz sessions to give a large number of people the opportunity to participate in a lesson..." The manual also talks about how to conduct one, so dust it off and take a look.
Questions for a buzz session for this week's topic could include: What are the things I need to do daily to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ? Where are places I can go to strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ? Who is a good example that helps me have a testimony of Jesus Christ and why? How can I help others strengthen their testimony of Jesus Christ? What is a testimony and how does it feel?
* Write down testimonies. Have them take it home to put in a journal or bind them together to make a book for your branch/ward missionaries to share with investigators. (This can also fill a faith in God requirement)
* Did anyone ever do the MTC training center where you volunteer to be investigators? Well why not bring it to primary! Have the branch/ward missionaries come in and briefly explain why a testimony of Christ is important on a mission and in life. Break up into small groups. Have some children be missionaries (no tags... that's in one of the handbooks) and the others investigators. Have a few questions for the investigators to ask and have the primary missionaries practice bearing testimony of our Savior. Then switch roles.D&C 84:61-62 "For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you. Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature."
* "Personal testimony is confirmed to us initially and is reaffirmed and enlarged thereafter through a harmonious combining of both the intellect and the spirit." (Boyd K. Packer "Reverence Invites Revelation" Ensign November 1991, p.21) This quote makes me think of the visual of a sunrise. At dawn the sun peeks through the sky, we know it's there. Then the morning breaks and our eyes and bodies/senses can again confirm the sun is up, until finally at midday the sun fills the sky and there can be no question that the sun has lit up our lives completely.
Week 3 My family and I will be resurrected.
* Have a teacher or another adult come to the front to help. Tie their hands together. What does that feel like? Can they do as many things with their hands tied? Mosiah 15:20 "But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead." Cut the string. The teacher's hand is free now. How does that feel? The resurrection gives our families hope and happy feelings.
* Ezekiel 37:1-14 is a very visual scriptural story/reference on the resurrection. It would take a lot of preparation but this would make for a great felt board.
* Have pictures of a few different families displayed. One family tries their very hardest to do things that are right. One family only has children that go to church and read the scriptures. One family yells at each other and sometimes even push each other. Which family will be resurrected? 2 Nephi 9:22 "And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day." ALL the families will be resurrected.
* If you have a smaller primary, you could pass out wooden picture frames for the children to write scripture references about the resurrection. They could go home and put pictures of their family to remember that they will all be resurrected.
Alma 11:43-44 "The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
* Have something simple broken. Fix it with superglue. The resurrection will put the body and the spirit back together. Except it's something much stronger and more powerful than superglue because of who made it possible, Jesus Christ.
Week 4 By following Jesus Christ, we will be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again.
* Have the children trace the outlines of their feet. On one foot they can draw and write ways in which they can follow Jesus Christ. On the second foot, give them a picture of Jesus to glue on. Have them glue both feet on a large piece of paper to take home with By following Jesus Christ, we will live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again.
1 Peter 2: 21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps
* What would it be like walking in the dark without a flash light all by yourself? Sing Teach Me to Walk in the Light (Hymns page 304). Have a large poster board with a picture of the Liahona and Alma 37:45 "And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise."
Cover the poster board with pieces of black paper. As the children answer questions based on following Jesus and sing songs that are related, etc.... turn off the lights, give them a flash light and let them remove a piece of black paper to discover the message.
* Pass out hymn books and turn to Lord, I Would Follow Thee (page 220) Have them come up with at least 8 different ways to follow the Lord listed in the song. As they find a way they earn a letter. Choose a smaller child who can't read to choose a letter so you can involve everyone. The letters will spell out DISCIPLE. Sing Love One Another (page 308) and listen for the word disciple.
Point out the scripture reference at the bottom of the Hymn 1 John 4:11 but continue to verse 12 also. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." We can get a little glimpse of what it would be like to live with Heavenly Father by following (being a disciple of) Christ and receiving His spirit.
* Bring in a basin, towel and soap. Have children come to the front to hold these items and a picture of Jesus washing His disciples feet. (GAK 226) Briefly tell this story and quote John 13: 13-17
"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
We might not be called to actually clean one another's feet, but we can serve humbly with love. Bear testimony that Jesus Christ set a perfect example for us to follow and in doing so we will be happy and live with Him again.
* For the Senior Primary, in the Topical Guide (In the Bible) are many references with the word "Follow". Direct them to this section and give them 5 minutes to find something they'd like to share on the word follow. Then have them share.