Friday, May 29, 2009

July 2009 Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

This was a picture I took after visiting the Oakland CA visitors center. There was an art exhibit with pictures from the Gospel Art Kit. Out of 20 pictures, my 4 year old daughter could in detail tell me the stories of each picture. It was very humbling. My 2 year old could answer a variety of questions like Who did Jesus appear to after He was resurrected... she replied, "Mary Magdalene!" My children strengthen me. They strengthen our family.

Month Theme: I will strengthen my family.
Month Scripture: “And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably”
(Mosiah 4:13).

Week 1 Family prayer strengthens my family.

*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?

Week 2 Reading the scriptures strengthens my family.

* 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?

Week 3 Family home evening strengthens my family.

*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.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

LDS Primary Father's Day Gift

Bunched Crayons courtesy creative commons license by cavitt April 2009

I feel like sometimes I'm a little repetitive, but I can't say this enough. KNOW YOUR CHILDREN. BE SENSITIVE to their needs. If there is no father in the home, change the words to grandpa or uncle or brother!!

You will need:
2 large sheets of paper for the child to take home
1 copy of the poem/instructions
1 ziploc bag full of crayons
2 rubber bands
** Manilla Envelope to put everything in or stapled file folders.... you decide what's best so they don't loose anything!
**Another addition could be a couple of gummy fruit snack bags for them to munch on while they talk and draw.

Brief Explanation:

This is a gift designed for time with daddy. A special art activity that is simple and encourages more love in the home. When they get home they are to divvy up the color crayons between dad and child. For each crayon they pass out they have to tell one reason why they love the other person. After the crayons are divided, put a rubber band around the ones you've got and let the inner Van Gogh out! Trade crayons if you need different colors, just make sure to give more reasons why you love your dad!

Poem/Instructions (by Sofia Lykes May 2009):

One crayon can make a drawing,
simple, straight and nice...
But put a bunch together
and there's something to entice!!

My Father is real special,
a man of many gifts!
Capable and loving,
he inspires and uplifts.

I love my daddy dearest,
he's strong and full of fun...
His qualities are many
and he's second next to none!!

1. Go home and pass out one crayon at a time to each other. As you do so, say a reason why you love each other!
2. Put a rubber band around the group of crayons and let your inner Van Gogh go wild!
3. Display your art proudly! Express your love often!
4. Have a very Happy Father's Day!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Learning at the Feet of Apostles

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a fireside here in Reno, NV which was quite unusual. The featured speakers were 2 apostles and member of the seventy; Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson and Elder Zwick.
It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. They opened it up for questions. I was thinking to myself, here are men that have talked with or seen Christ and they are inviting me to ask a question. After careful consideration, I knew my question. I pass the thought along to you, what would you ask given the chance?

They shared many powerful words with us and while I've always known that these men were called of God as apostles and prophets, the confirmation again of the spirit cannot adequately be described. Afterwards we got to go up and shake their hands. There must have been hundreds of people there, yet they stood patiently while we each shook hands with those that may have touched Divinity. Elder Zwick told my husband that he was one handsome man. *Love you Elder Zwick, my sentiments exactly. Although if there is anyone out there who knows how to get purple chemical stains out from dredlocks, please... email me.*And I told Elder Bednar since He had given us so much this night that I wanted to give him something. He looked at me cautiously, but being a large pregnant woman perhaps he wasn't too threatened. I gave him a bottle of hand sanitizer and told him to share. So I pass the thought along to you, am I nuts or am I nuts?
But really, I don't want these good men to get the swine flu.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'll Seek the Lord Early p.108 CS Song Helps

GAK 215 Jairus sought the Lord and the Lord healed his daughter.

* Make toilet-paper roll binoculars for the children. Whenever they sing the word "seek" they can put their binoculars to their eyes.

* Have phrases of the song hidden throughout the room, have a child "seek" and find the phrases. When found, sing it!

* You can dress up one of the children as a hiker/seeker. Have the song divided into parts as signs along a trail. As they walk by the sign, sing. At the end of the trail have a picture of Christ. Once the song is learned, a good review technique would be to have the hiker choose to stand by different signs (that of course have pictures on them!) and you sing the part he's standing by.

* Look through a parenting magazine and find pictures of young children. Attach to popsicle sticks with different ways for the children to sing. (E.G. Bold Forte!, Softly, Clicking your tongue to the melody...) We seek the Lord when? Early! In our youth!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dirty Bare Feet - Gross, Symbolic, or Both?

Dirty Feet Image courtesy creative commons license by DazMSmith 1/2000

Milo Mills, “Barefoot Fun,” Friend, Jul 1974, 39
Walking barefoot!
Isn’t it fun
To feel with your feet
When you walk or run
The cool green fingers
Of tender grass
That bend to your feet
As you softly pass?

Isn’t it fun
To feel on your toes
A trickle of water
Straight from the hose
And to paddle in puddles
And stamp around
Till your toes go squish
In the muddy ground?
Isn’t it fun
To feel the air
Blow on your feet
That are wet and bare?
Isn’t it great
When a girl or boy
Can have the thrill
Of barefoot joy?

At church a leader was teaching, with their shoes off.
I completely understand there are cultural reasons one wouldn't wear shoes. Perhaps one even has a blister that just cannot be described and one must take off their shoe.

I searched. And searched. And searched some more. And cannot find any statements by the prophets that say specifically "Wear shoes at church. Especially in Primary." There are not even laws (from my meager google attempt) that prohibit walking barefoot in public - except OSHA regulations do state employees must wear shoes at place of employment. I digress.

But what I did notice was a lack of the spirit there. Can it be blamed on the random taking off of shoes? I think it shows an attitude of casualness and lack of care. And perhaps it's not even the shoes. Perhaps the shoes are symbolic of a casualness over teaching.

How do we prepare for lessons?
Do we follow the sharing time outline?
Do we blame children for irreverence when our lessons/singing times were poor and lacked activity or enthusiasm?

D&C 84:45-47 "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father."

We can have the light! If teaching seems "too hard" then that is the moment we need to get to our knees the most. Our Father loves us and will help us. If there is a child that every week seems harder and harder, that is the moment we fall to our knees again. It'd be so easy to just take off our shoes, kick them up and lay back. But the answer is leaving on our shoes, lacing them tight and digging in our heals ready to work. We go to church to be closer to Christ and our Heavenly Father. Most importantly, Primary needs to be a place where the Spirit is felt. Do whatever you need to do to ensure that. Time is too precious.

Monday, May 11, 2009

LDS Primary Sharing Time June 2009 Helps and Ideas

Pipe Cleaner Body Builder image courtesy creative commons license by bob.fornal January 2007

Monthly Theme: Faith, prayer, repentance, and forgiveness strengthen me and my family.

Monthly Scripture: “Successful . . . families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, [and] forgiveness” (“Proclamation,”paragraph 7).

Week 1 Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ strengthens me and my family.

* Have a shoe box and tape a picture of a mountain on it. Put about 12 pieces of tape evenly spaced on the floor. Ether 12:30 " For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith." Have a list of 12 questions, scriptures and songs based on faith in Jesus Christ for the children to answer. As they do so correctly they can move the mountain one tape space at a time. Would moving a mountain make you pretty strong? So it is with faith in Jesus Christ, our families and selves become stronger and stronger.

* Do you know a family with toddlers? Fisher Price makes a toy called Little People Noah's Ark that would be a great visual. Or you can use a picture of an ark and different animals. Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house." Divide the primary into groups. Have children come up and choose an animal from the ark that has different stories attached to it about faith in Christ. After they discuss with their group, have them come to the front and share with the whole primary.

* Have a bare tree. (It could be made out of paper or drawn on the chalkboard) Who has ever heard of a family tree? Pass out paper leaves and fruit for the children to write or draw on. What are things we can do to make our family stronger? Put all the leaves and fruit on the tree. Alma 32:41-42 "But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst."

* Place a child 3 feet away from the piano, tell them not to move but to play the piano. Impossible. Have a hair dryer, unplugged and tell a child to blow dry their hair. Impossible. James 2:17-18, 20 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" We can have faith in Jesus Christ and it is by doing the things He commands that makes us and our families stronger. (Put the child closer to the piano to play. Plug in the dryer. When you combine the two things it becomes possible) ** As a side note this idea is really similar to the one published in the friend. I promise I'm not trying to copy the idea off as my own. I really have better things to do with my time than plagiarize. Plus, I just don't like to mess around with Heavenly Father. (Thank-you Lev. 26:27-29) It just happened I wrote this and then the friend came out and it was similar. **

Week 2 Prayer strengthens me and my family.

* "It is precisely to address the struggle Paul identified that I return to a subject that I believe would do MORE THAN ANY OTHER SINGLE THING TO STRENGTHEN US for the inevitable challenges ahead. It is a time-honored and time-tested but increasingly neglected principle: the practice of prayer... Are we forgetting the Almighty, who in times of last resort is our greatest strength?" President Gordon B. Hinckley Standing for Something pg. 135 Find a bunch of other quotes/scriptures and pictures of the people quoted. Make a simple memory matching game for the children.

* Who are some people we listen to and do what they say? Would we listen to Jesus and do what He says? After He was resurrected and visited the Nephites He said in 3 Nephi 18:21 "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." Divide the black board into 3 sections. Have teachers there for younger children to write their ideas. One section can be How do we pray? What can we pray for? Prayer strengthens me and my family by... Brainstorm all the ideas you can. Also see if they can come up with families in the scriptures that were blessed by prayer or personal examples from their own home life (for the last section). For the Senior Primary you can make copies of Lessons from the Lord's Prayers by Elder Russell M. Nelson from the last General Conference and have them use that talk to fill in the sections.

* This idea IS NOT FOR CHURCH, more for a family home evening. Bring in a XXL pair of sweatpants and a bag of blown up balloons. Have questions, scriptures and songs on prayers prepared. As the children answer the questions and participate they earn a balloon to put in the sweatpants and make the person "buff". Prayer strengthens me and my family! Show off those muscles!

* Make some simple "privilege coupons". Privileges could include 5 minutes with the Bishop, a hug, a pat on the back, a muffin in the morning.... Sing some songs. Explain that as you sing you are going to watch for reverence and great singing effort and in turn pass out a privilege. Another word for privilege is an honor. Elder David Bednar said, "Prayer is a privilege and the soul's sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and 'checklist' prayers and engage in meaningful prayer..." Ask in Faith," Ensign, May 2008, 97 Prayer is a privilege and is something special. Have a long checklist on the board of standard things we say during prayer and invite the children to erase it as they come up with ideas to make prayer more special. If prayer strengthens us, then we should strengthen our prayers and make them meaningful.

Week 3 Repentance helps me return to Heavenly Father.

* Take a white piece of cloth. Have a child help by gently squeezing ketchup, mustard or whatever else on the cloth. Ask the children if they would ever wear something this dirty to the temple? So it is with Heavenly Father, sin makes us dirty and we need to repent to return to him clean.

* Have a dark black painted piece of wood. Invite a child to come up and paint over it white. One coat of paint isn't going to work to turn it white. We make mistakes often and need to repent often to return to Heavenly Father.

* Do you have a tarnished piece of silver? Bring it in with some silver cleaner and basin of water. Repentance makes us clean to return to our Heavenly Father.

* Karen Ashton brilliantly writes “Sharing Time: Repentance—Turning from Wrong to Right,” Friend, Apr 1997, 36

"Discuss with the older children what the word poison means. Tell them that it is like sin. Just as poison destroys the body, sin destroys the spirit. Explain that if you were to take poison, you might immediately realize what you had done, be sorry, tell someone, and not take any more. But that would not save you from the effects of the poison already in your body. Help the children understand that when you have sinned, or taken spiritual poison, Jesus has commanded you to repent. You must feel sorry for the sin, confess it to Heavenly Father, try to pay for what you have done, and try to not do it again. Jesus Christ suffered and paid for all our sins so that we can repent. This is called the Atonement. Just as taking an antidote (medicine that works against poison) can eliminate the bad effects of poison in our system, repentance and the Atonement together can eliminate sin from our lives.

Have the children look up the scriptures, then verbally fill in the blanks in the following sentences with repent, repentance, atone, or atonement. Discuss each scripture as you fill in the blank. Give each child a copy of the activity; suggest that he/she share it with his/her family. Sentences: And he commandeth all men that they must ________________ (2 Ne. 9:23). For the ____________ satisfieth the demands of … justice (2 Ne. 9:26). For according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an ____________ made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish (Alma 34:9). We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, ____________ (A of F 1:4). Now this is the commandment: ____________, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name (3 Ne. 27:20). For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would ____________ (D&C 19:16). For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might ____________ and come unto him (D&C 18:11)."

* Great-Wonderful-Fantastic-Superb repentance sharing time ideas from the friend magazine HERE

Week 4 As I forgive, I will be forgiven.

* Have a small child and a large sack of really heavy rocks. Have them try to get across the room pulling the rocks. Now have them let go of the rocks and see if they can get across the room. Sometimes we need to just let things go. As you forgive, God will forgive you.

* Have a bunch of scrambled names of people from the scriptures who were examples of forgiveness. Have GAK pictures and briefly discuss the stories with the children of these people. For younger children, they obviously won't be able to spell or figure out the proper letter order of the word. So I would ask them questions and as they answer correctly give them some letters from the word until it's correct then say, you spelled it right! Let's say the letters together! Now let's sound it out together!

* Make a list of different situations. Ask the children to give you a thumbs up or down on whether the person should be forgiven. For example: A boy stole an apple from you and then lied, should you forgive him? A little girl hit you really hard in the arm and said sorry, should you forgive her? At the end of all the situations ask everyone to hold up a thumbs up. This should have been our answer to EVERY single situation because D&C 64:10 says, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."

* To fulfill a requirement under the "developing talents" section of the Faith in God program, have the children write a poem about forgiveness. For different type of poem formats the children can use click HERE. (scroll down a tiny bit) I would of course write a couple of poems myself as examples for them. Have them share!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Image courtesy creative-commons license by Pierro Sierra April 2007

Some odd years ago, my mother was told she had polycystic ovaries. She struggled with the idea of never having a child of her own. 4 years later, after loads of medication, heartbreak and countless prayers, my parents were given one child and one child only. Me. I always grew up knowing motherhood was not a sacrifice but a privilege and honor.

But having just one child of her own didn't stop my mother from being a mother to others. She adopted countless angels that she would give everything she had to. She is a teacher, a feeder of missionaries, a listener for the discouraged girl in the single's ward, a constant care and support to the abandoned, a home to the homeless, a seeker to those lost... the list goes on and on.

There are so many good women out there. Mothers. Grandmothers. Women married who can't have children. Women not married wishing for the blessings of companionship and motherhood. Women who have lost children. Aunts. Sisters. And most important women who are mothers by adoption.

There are so many good children out there too. Children without mothers. Who need someone in their life to show the kindness and love of a mother. I feel like adoption could possibly save the world. When I read this blog I was truly inspired to do something more, so I started this blog. Perhaps adoption is for you. Perhaps this site can help you. Perhaps adoption of a child into your home isn't part of what you're meant to do in life. But we can all adopt children in our hearts and do everything in our power to show them a Christ-like example.

Everyone can be a mother. There are children who need women to stand up to the plate and be there for them. Whatever our circumstances in life, I pray that children in the world can be blessed to feel the love of God through our good works. I bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ. Our Heavenly Father knows us and watches over us. Happy Mother's Day to all!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jr. Primary Adaptation: Baptism Reader's Theatre

It’s as Clear as Water, I know Jesus Christ was Baptized.
By Sofia Lykes

Jr. Primary Adaptation
Think simple! Simple costumes!! Simple everything... you don't want to distract them from the meaning of this reader's theatre which is CHRIST. Know your readers! MOST SUNBEAMS CAN'T READ so DON'T give them Narrator 1. Encourage and direct, let them be creative! Have fun and still be able to feel the spirit strongly!!!

Speaking Parts:
Narrator 1 (Adult or Super Excellent Reader)
Narrator 2 (Good Reader)
Joseph Smith
John the Baptist

Non- Speaking Parts:
2 Trees
2 Jewish Followers (Come up with Nicodemus)
Special Helpers 1,2,3,4

Special Helper #1 holds up picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus.

Narrator 1: Reading from the Bible Matthew 3:13-17 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying,

John the Baptist: “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”

Narrator 1: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (2 trees stand by, have dove flap their wings and come very close to the picture), and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Narrator 2: If Jesus was standing right outside that door, that one right there, wouldn’t we want to open it and walk through!

Narrator 1: To see Him, to feel the prints of the nails in His hands! To hug Him! To ask Him our questions and thank Him for all He has given us?

Narrator 2: Could Jesus really be outside that door? gestures to door

Narrator 1: He could. Anything is possible with God. Nephi said there is another door, or rather a gate, that if we enter we will surely find Him.

Nephi: (Reading His scriptures) “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Nephi 31:17)

Narrator 1: Nephi was a witness and actually saw Jesus Christ baptized. I wonder what other prophets received visions and revelations about the immersion of Christ by John the Baptist.

Narrator 2: Woah. What is immersion? I thought we were talking about Baptism.

Narrator 1: Our prophet Joseph Smith can help us out with that one!

Joseph Smith: “The word baptize is derived...

Narrator 1: Which means comes from.

Joseph Smith: "from the Greek verb ‘baptiso’, and means to immerse or overwhelm.”[1]

Narrator 2: Let’s see what Baptism by immersion would look like.

Special Helper #1 and #2 hold up a blue sheet. Special Helper #3 goes completely down behind the blue sheet, stands up and rings out hair. Special Helper #4 (A boy) stands behind the blue sheet and pats the back of Special Helper #3 after he/she stands up.

Narrator 1
: I know a great story found in the Book of John, chapter 3. There once was a man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews. It was night time and Nicodemus came to Jesus and said….

Nicodemus: (Standing by a picture of Christ, Special Helper #2 can hold, 2 Jewish followers come up also) “Rabbi”

Narrator 1: Which meant Master or Teacher.

Nicodemus: “We know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2)

Narrator 1: Jesus answered and said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)

Narrator 2: Silly Nicodemus! He was supposed to be a teacher and ruler to the Jews and yet He had no clue what Jesus was talking about! (2 Jewish followers can giggle)

Narrator 1: One of my favorite scriptures is what Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)

Narrator 2: So when we follow the example of Jesus and are baptized it’s like we are starting a new life. A life where we try our hardest to keep the commandments, repent and endure to the end!

John the Baptist: ”The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36)

All: We know that Jesus Christ was baptized. We will follow His example always!!

Narrator 1:
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

[1] (Smith, Teachings, 262)