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.