Month Theme: I will strengthen my family.
Month Scripture: “And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably”
*Have paper bag puppets to represent different members of the family.
What do I pray for?
When is my favorite time to pray?
I love to pray with my family because...
How does family prayer strengthen my family?
Pose one question at a time and invite a child to come up and pick a puppet to answer the question as that member of the family. (E.g. Child chooses father puppet and comes up with the answer "I love to pray with my family because after a hard days work it helps me relax.")
Here is a great link to prayer puppets (scroll down just a little) from the Friend with a short activity.
*How many of the primary children have family members that serve in the military? Would we ever want those family members to have to fight without armor?
Alma 43:19-21 "And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing— Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites; But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields—therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites."
Our families are at battle against evil in the world. We need armor to protect our family! Special armor like family prayer.
* The bible dictionary says, "Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
Make a felt board of this WONDERFUL friend story. (Alma J. Yates, “Grandma’s Garden,” Friend, Jun 1995, 27)
Bring in different garden tools. Attach questions, scriptures and songs about family prayer to them. A garden takes a lot of work, so does a family! But it's all worth it! Have flowers for the children to smell at the end.
* Just food for thought--- Would the brother of Jared have seen the Savior if not for his brother? Ether 1:33-40. Jared encourages his brother to pray. "Cry unto the Lord." Can we do this also in our families?
* This is a very comprehensive link to describe the golden plates. It's extremely interesting! You can discuss and show some pictures and quotes with the children on the size of the golden plates. Was Joseph Smith and even Emma! stronger for being able to physically lift these? When we read our scriptures as a family, our spirits are given a work-out and are stronger for it!
* Have different pictures drawn to sequence the events of Nephi obtaining the brass plates from Laban. Invite the children to come up and put them in the right order. 1 Nephi 4: 13 "Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief." How important were the scriptures to the family of Nephi?
* Have a large clock drawn on the blackboard. Come up with 12 different things to write for each hour of things that you can do during the day. Read D&C 26 (the heading and everything). What did the Lord say we should spend our time doing? Have little paper clocks hidden throughout the room with questions, scriptures and songs written on them having to do with scripture study. When we use our time wisely and study the scriptures it's strengthens our family.
* This is an idea based off Henry B. Eyring, “Special Witness: How Can My Scripture Study Be More Meaningful?,” Friend, Feb 2008, 39
He gives 5 tips. Divide the primary into small groups with a teacher to supervise and lead discussion. Each group will get 1 tip and a question with each tip. After a few minutes rotate the tip.The questions to go along with the tips are as follows: 1. When have you felt excited about reading the scriptures? 2. What can you do to make sure scriptures are read on a regular basis in your home? 3. Have you ever found an answer to a question you've had in the scriptures? Share. 4. What is your testimony of the Book of Mormon?5. What is your favorite scripture story and why?
*On a sheet of paper make an outline for a Family Home Evening. (For example have a spot for them to put who will say prayer, scripture story, song to sing... be creative!) Let the children fill out the outline and (especially for younger children) draw a picture/visual for the family home evening. This fulfills a Faith in God requirement under service (Plan and hold a parent-child activity, such as a dinner, picnic, hike, day trip, or service project.)Here is a really basic outline the church website offers.
* Here are the best quotes on Family Home Evening you'll ever need. My favorite being "Family home evenings should be scheduled once a week as a time for discussions of gospel principles, recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. Like iron links in a chain, this practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty."(Salvation; A Family Affair, Ensign, July 1992, p. 4 — President Ezra Taft Benson) To which you could have the children build paper links and write different ideas on each link for family home evenings! (Younger children can cut and glue, teachers/older children can help write for them)* Bring in 10 dishes. (Plastic preferably so we don't have any bloody accidents). Retell this story in your own words to the children. Invite the children to come up and choose a plate and tell something nice about another person in primary. Doing little things (activities) brings us closer together. The same is true in our families. When we do things together we are strengthened.
* Hallmarks of a Happy Home is an excellent article by President Monson. It would be appropriate for the senior primary to read in small groups/pairs. Divide the blackboard into 4 sections. A pattern of prayer. A library of learning. A legacy of love. A treasury of testimony.
What are things we can do during family home evenings to strengthen our families pertaining to each category? For example, who can we pray for at FHE? What books/materials can we use during FHE? What are things we can do to show love during FHE? How do we bear testimony at FHE? Have older children write ideas down on the board.
Week 4 Reverence and keeping the Sabbath day holy strengthen my family.* Have a picture of a boat on the board. Ask the children to come up with names for the boat.
Share the following with them, "An acquaintance of mine had purchased a lovely boat and had just finished varnishing it and painting it. When I stopped by, he was admiring it. I surmised that he was getting it ready to take it, with his family, to the reservoir the next Sunday. He said 'It is complete and in readiness except for one thing.' Then he asked me, 'Could you suggest an appropriate name for the boat?' I knew him very well. I thought for a moment, and then said, 'Well, perhaps you should name it 'The Sabbath Breaker.' He looked at me, and he understood." (ElRay L. Christiansen, in Conference Report, April 1962, 33)You could have a tub of water with little boats floating in it. Invite the children to come up and choose a boat and say something that is not the best to do on Sundays and something that is good to do on Sundays.
* Have about 6 blank stone tablet made out of construction paper and 6 blank hearts. Big enough to write a few sentences on and be seen by the back of the room." It would appear that the reason the Sabbath day is so hard to live for so many people is that it is still written on tablets of stone rather than being written in their hearts..." (Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 217-18)
Have the children use their topical guide to find scriptures to look up about the Sabbath Day. Read then write the reference on the paper tablets. On the hearts write different ways how we can show reverence and keep the sabbath day holy. Have a picture of a family and invite a child to draw lines from the tablets and hearts to the family. All these things strengthen our family.* Luke 13: 10-17 shows that Jesus himself kept the Sabbath day holy. Have a little donkey on a rope and a watering hole. Have the children answer questions, songs and read scriptures on reverence. As they do so, lead the donkey to the water little by little. Water gives our bodies strength, just as reverence and keeping the Sabbath day keep our families strong.
* God bless you Sheila Wilson!! Sheila E. Wilson, “Sharing Time: The Lord’s Day,” Friend, Nov 2004, 17 has wonderful ideas that could be easily used for this week's theme.