Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stick to the Basics

(Am I saying going out and buy this to use for primary? ABSOLUTELY not. Read on Brothers and Sisters. Read on.)

Recently I received a comment (in response to June sharing time helps week 1):

Anonymous said...
"be careful bringing something commercial, the Fisher Price Noah's Ark set into Primary...we need to use materials provided and approved by the Church...just something to consider, not reprimanding, just stick with the basics"
June 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Exactly! We need to stick to the basics. I think sometimes we can get "too into" the presentation and set-up of a lesson instead of sticking to the basics. So what are those basics?
These are 3 questions I ask myself when thinking up "starting points" for other people to expand upon. I want you to know that I pray... a lot. I have a simple prayer and that is to be able to make a difference in children's lives and help whoever I can, myself included, be closer to our Father and Jesus Christ.

1. Is the lesson Christ centered?
2. Will this lesson set up an atmosphere for the Holy Ghost to teach and testify?
3. Do these follow church rules and do I feel correct in posting them?

Again, I go to President Boyd K. Packer. "We all have the right to inspiration and revelation, and oh, how we need it in this world, especially in the great challenge of raising a family... I've always felt that the ultimate end of all of the activities and programs of the Church rests in a man and a woman and their family being happy at home." (Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting Building Up a Righteous Posterity 2/9/08 pages 4-9)

That is basic! And couldn't be more well put! But yet he continues so profoundly (emphasis added), "All of the activities of the Church are calculated to strengthen the family... Sometimes we may move a little away from our position of supporting families to having the families responsible to support the church."

Anonymous has a very good point about "being careful... using materials provided and approved by the church". Veggin' out to Veggie Tales during sharing time is not the best use of time. If there is any question about visual aids, GO TO YOUR PRIESTHOOD LEADER. That's what all the leadership manuals say.
At the same time the manuals also say use a VARIETY of teaching methods. A 3-D object that you have lying around the home or (know someone who does) is perfectly fine to use, in my opinion... as long as focus is kept on the weekly principle from the sharing time outline. In one manual (full link found here) it says, "What ordinary objects can you use to help class members better understand gospel principles?"

We will always have to work with people whose opinions differ. When we stick to the basic principle of what the organization of primary is for... to strengthen families (I heart Boyd) then these differences won't matter much. When we align our wills to that of the Father everything will turn out OK. He will inspire us. He will guide us. (Of course, we need to be doing all that He asks to be doing... REGULAR scriptures, prayer, temple attendance...) Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't nit pick... especially each other and the children. Love your God and love the children. That is sticking to the basics.
** Also, just as a personal philosophy in life. If you're going to say something (And I quote James Brown) "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud." Speak your mind, say who you are and let the record stand. Can I get an amen? Happy Juneteenth a little early everyone! **


Laurie said...

I am sorry to see someone leave a comment that is not willing to attach their name, but can easily try to say what you are suggesting is wrong.

I personally love to come to your blog as a resource of inspiration.

I see no problem with introducing an object into a lesson that the kids can easily relate too. What better way to teach the gospel at a child's level.

Thank you for ALL your hard work and time that you put into this blog. It really does make our lives easier, that is those of us that serve in the Primary now.

Simone said...

I totally agree with Laurie. It makes no sense "being not a reprimanding" but anonymous.

You're providing fabulous resources and people should learn to read and pray for inspiration.

Thanks for sharing your time and talent with us! I love this blog!

Evelyn and Art said...

I loved your idea, but didn't have the fisher price set. I just think what you do is great because at the very least it sparks my own creativity! I got my kids' beanie babies, made a make-shift ark and taped a cotton ball to a Ken-like doll and VOILA I had Noah and his ark!! The kids loved it and it worked great! Thanks for the ideas! Keep up the good work!

Amy Joy said...

I found your blog off of sugardoodle (I think). Thanks for taking the time to do this. As I sit and get great ideas from sisters online I often say thank you to myself, out loud:) I am not so creative and LOVE to get great ideas from others. It makes my job and calling SO MUCH easier. So, I just thought I would say thank you for sharing AND for being a sister, where ever you are, teaching the Gospel

East Meets West said...

Your thoughtfulness in response to that comment was wonderful. I used your lesson idea (Fisher Price toy included) and the children were so delighted to see a familiar toy in primary. Now when they see their toy at home, it will remind them of the lesson - that seems like a great teaching tool to me!

Jenni and fam said...

It truly makes me sad that someone felt the need to give you a suggestion like that one. I can clearly see that you are not trying to anything BUT help us teach the children we are stewards over. WE are responsible to pray over our own "flock" and we will know what we should and shouldn't do for sharing time. All other ideas are that..wonderful ideas to inspire and help!! THanks for the time and effort you put into this wonderful blog.

Breanne said...

As a primary chorister I always look forward to your ideas as well. How do you come up with so many? It is a talent for sure!
And one that helps many like me!

That individual obviously felt it was okay to leave that comment and didn't seem to want to offend, but I agree that the use is appropriate when put into the Gospel context in your lesson. Your response is refreshing and I especially loved those quotes selected about family.

THANK YOU for what you do! It is amazing to me that you and others take these things upon yourself.

Thank you!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Laurie- Thanks for your kindness! Can I tell you, I often wonder how many new converts who are called to primary come to this blog. I really just didn't want someone new coming and thinking they couldn't use props to help teach. If people have opinions, wonderful! But I had to comment back :)

Simone- Brazil beat the US today in soccer! We have so much to learn from you!!! My husband is quite upset... :)

Sister Evelyn- You have a beautiful name. Kudos for you for "making it your own". That's what it's all about.

Sister Amy Joy- We are sisters indeed! What a beautiful and kind comment you left. I'm so amazed at all the thoughtful and wonderful people out there. You all renew my hope in humanity.

Sister East Meets West- You have a great hair cut. I just chopped off 4 or 5 inches because I was starting to feel like I looked like one of those polygamist women from Texas. Anyways, I went to Fantastic Sams and the lady gave me a not so fantastic tail. Fortunately my husband cut it off and I feel normal again. Long story. Point: You have a great hair cut.

Sister Jenni- You are great. What a supportive and kind comment. Can I tell you, I really am open to suggestions and when I make mistakes I hope it's pointed out. Thank you for making the point of our responsibility to pray. Amen Sister.

Sister Breanne- Hoo-ray for your primary getting you as a chorister. How nice are you. I wasn't exactly sure how to respond because when I write it's not like how I talk and I don't want to come off as severe or insane. But after prayer I was directed to this little handbook of all things and I too loved the quotes on family!

Thanks again everyone. You are wonderful!

Di and Justin said...

I love the idea.....and can't wait for many more to come :)
thanks for all your hard work and for helping the "non creative" people like me out, especially since I have to do Sharing time every month

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thanks Sister Di! I bet you are more creative than you give yourself credit!

And sorry I forgot to type in "Sister" Simone!

{THE BOHANS} said...

I bought that set for the nursery in San Rafael when I was over nursery :)

I LOVE YOU said...


Moira said...

Hi Sofia from 'down under' your wbesite is such a wonderful source of information, sometimes people can get too caught up in the doctrine and rules of the church. I had a wonderful bishop who said once that it is not what you say but how you make people feel that really matters and he used to visit my elderly mother for many years, she loved him because he was so humble and was filled with the love of Christ. The Noah's ark I would have used in my primary, and I have used other material and props to teach a principle. The spirit should always guide you and though I am reluctant to say this, perhaps anonymous was not thinking with the spirit in mind when she wrote what she did. You have a wonder ful page and such great resources, this is a lot of hard work and I for one appreciate your diligence and efforts, I am very grateful that we have someone that is willing to share her thoughts and ideas on teaching our young children. Carry on the great work, and if you follow the spirit in all that you do, He will bear witness to you if something is not right or should not be used, He has always been my guide.
On another site sugardoodle, someone said not to use cartoon characters all dressed up, we used a picture of Millie the church mouse and the children just loved her, our Primary has never been more reverent, as a presidency we pray and fast about everything we do because we know of the great responsibility we have to teach these precious children of our Father in Heaven, we never do anything unless we all agree, if there is anything we are not sure about we always liaise with our bishopric adviser or our bishop.
The church teaches us to be resilient, self-sufficient, independent and to reach outside ourselves, whether we listen to classical music or read uplifting books, we will always know because the Holy Ghost will tell us, how important is it for us to live worthily of this wonderful gift?
Thank you for all you do, for your patience, diligence and faith. The church is true!