Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sharing Time Baptism Reader's Theatre - Jesus Christ was Baptized. (Week 2 May 2009)

Some tips on reader's theatre can be found here . PLEASE READ THE TIPS. A rule that I followed very carefully when writing was - "God the Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost should not be portrayed by children. The only exception would be for children to portray Jesus in a nativity scene." (See Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, 279.) I do not have anyone representing or playing the part of Christ. Our Savior is quoted though by narrators and scripture references are given as I find His words extremely important to share.
* See HERE for an adaptation of this for Junior Primary.
As Clear as Water, I know Jesus Christ was Baptized.
By Sofia Lykes
Speaking Parts:
Narrator 1
Narrator 2
Joseph Smith
John the Baptist
Narrator 3
Narrator 4

Non Speaking Parts:
Special Helpers #1, #2, #3, #4

(Have narrators roll up their pants and dip toes in the river, perhaps a blue sheet with a couple plants around. On the other side have the different prophets, etc. When the prophets speak, have them step forward or perhaps you can have chairs for them to sit in then stand when it's their turn. Have the special helpers sit back in the primary when done. If you find there are too many people up front, just have the narrators. Other parts can come up when it's their turn. Gage your primary! Direct as you see fit!)

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

Narrator 4: 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, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 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, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Narrator 1: We have all come to church today to learn about Jesus Christ and be closer to Him.

Narrator 2: If Jesus was standing right outside that door, that one right there, wouldn’t we want to open it and walk through! 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 3: Could Jesus really be outside that door? gestures to door

Narrator 2: 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 3: Woah. What is immersion? I thought we were talking about Baptism.

Narrator 2: Our prophet Joseph Smith can help us out with that one!

Joseph Smith: “The word baptize is derived from the Greek verb ‘baptiso’, and means to immerse or overwhelm.”[1] “Baptism cannot be by any other means than immersion of the entire body in water, for the following reason…It is in the similitude of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…”[2]

Narrator 3: 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: Just like Joseph Smith, the apostle Paul from New Testament times has said…

Paul: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

Narrator 3: Woah. That’s kind of deep. What do you think Paul means? I think the key words are newness of life! (See if anyone in the Primary can explain this scripture, Paul may need to repeat what he has said)

Narrator 4: 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….
Special Helper #2 holds a picture of Christ

Nicodemus: Standing by a picture of Christ but not speaking to it, speaking to the audience/primary "Rabbi"

Narrator 4: 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 4: 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

Nicodemus: “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 4: 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!

Missionary: As a missionary 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!

Missionary: I see a lot of people change when they learn about Jesus Christ and are baptized. Because Jesus Christ was baptized, we need to be baptized. Another powerful witness to add is that of John the Baptist. Listen to what he said before he was sent to prison and eventually beheaded.

Narrator 3: Woah. That’s really sad.

Missionary: I know. Jesus said in Matthew 11:11, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” We can see why. motions hands to John

John the Baptist: With passion and zeal “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.

He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” John 3:27-36

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
[2] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:323-24

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Primary Mother's Day Idea

Forever M&M's courtesy creative commons license by vernhart 10/2007

For Mother's Day this year I am gathering materials for a "Mother's Day Date Night Kit". I will have all the items ready for the children to put into their bag and take home. We have a few children whose mothers have died so I'm labeling the bag "Special Lady Date Night Kit".

The kit will include:
- A DO NOT disturb sign to hang on the door
- Bag of Popcorn
- M & M's
- Activity Description Sheet
- Fill in the blank on nice card stock You are one special lady because ________________!

The Activity Description Sheet says:

You're one special lady and I'm one special child!
Let's play a game with M&M's bright and wild!
Pick a candy, any color will do.
And answer the question through and through!

Then once you're done, toss in the air.
Can the other one catch? Or will it land in her hair?
Have fun and be silly - get to know each other well!
And to each other - I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, don't forget to tell!

Red- What is one of your favorite things to do with me?
Orange- Where would you want to go anywhere in the world with me and why?
Yellow- What do you see us doing together in 10 years?
Green- Name 3 reasons why you love me.
Blue- Ask me any question you like!
Brown- Hum a tune and see if I can guess it!

* Are you having fun and there's still more time? Pop some popcorn and whip out a board game!
This activity/poem is copywrited by me and only to be used by individuals who want to encourage unity, love, and a little more fun in the home.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Junior Primary Verses Senior Primary Tidbit

Image of "The Hoff" courtesy a google search. He sang in 1989 on the Berlin Wall. Was he instrumental in helping end the cold war? I don't know. Perhaps those from Germany who read this blog can tell us.

One day I'll die and my children will have this blog to teach their children. Am I morbid? Yes. But teaching is important to me. And so I share my thoughts.

Here is a tidbit. If you push down on a bug, even slightly (And I'm not talking about Texas sized bugs, just normal Nevadan bugs) you will kill it.

Question: Is it necessary to put down Junior Primary to Senior Primary? For example- Oh, you learned the song soooooo much faster than Junior Primary! Or Junior Primary doesn't listen as well as Senior Primary does!

Really. What is the point of that? The only good thing that we tore down was the Berlin Wall. We don't need to do that to our children.


Baptism Song Helps May 2009

Blue and White- the colors of Baptism Image courtesy creative commons license by Alaukika April 2006

"Baptism" page 100 Children's Songbook

* Fill an envelope with pictures having to do with Baptism. Have a paper little boy or girl who are going to be baptized earn items from the envelope as you sing this song and learn the words. Items in the envelope could include white clothes, water, font, towel, mirror for above the font, etc.

* Have pictures of different places having to do with the song like Judea, River Jordan, Father's Kingdom, Places where we are witnesses in faith (home and school), Modern Baptismal Font. Have a child walk from picture to picture corresponding to the verses. Jesus set the example for us and we will follow and be baptized.

* Fill The Font - A visual from the Friend magazine you can use as you learn the song, color up a water level.

* Have you ever seen those things at the dollar store you can put into water and they will grow into something? They look like little pills and then they turn into wash rags or large sponges when immersed in water?? You can demonstrate this for the children and make the point that baptism is a covenant that will help our souls grow bigger and we will be better because of it! Is this too off the wall? Maybe. You decide.

* This is a fun song to tap your leg or top of hand to. Divide the room in half, one side tapping to a triplet beat (3 taps for each beat) and the other side tapping the melody of the song. Then switch!

"I want to Be Baptized" Words by Gary Croxall
Music by Kathleen Holyoak
July Friend 2005

* "I want" is a phrase we hear a lot in life. Have different pictures of things "we want" mixed with pictures having to do with baptism. You could have chocolate cake, a nintendo, a doll, etc. Then you could have pictures like white clothes, 8, font (to represent gate), soap with fire on it... (These pictures can be the visuals you use for the song for the children to hold) It's Ok to want different items in life, but the most important want we have should be to return to Heavenly Father and Jesus. This want is done in part by baptism.

* After you are baptized, you are wet! Bring in a basket full of towels. As you learn the song, see how many towels the primary can earn! Make a large stack as they sing boldly and energetically!

* My little 2 year old beauty often says "I need" in the place of "I want". For example "I need candy please." or "I need a dog from Pet's Mart." From what I gather this is a common practice for sweet 2 year olds. (Yes! Sweet! You will NEVER EVER EVER hear me say terrible twos!! They are TERRIFIC twos!!! Sorry. Tangent.) You can explain this to the primary children and ask them to think about the word "need" when they sing "want". It is true we "need" to be baptized but we will always have the choice, so we sing the word "want" because we want exactly that! To be baptized!

* Ask the Ward Mission leader if you can sing this song for Gospel Essentials class one week once you've learned it for the people investigating the church!

Friday, April 24, 2009

May 2009 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

River Jordan image courtesy creative commons license by Cajie march 2006

May Theme: Baptism and confirmation are ordinances that bless my family.
May Scripture: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” ( John 3:5).

Week 1 Baptism is the first ordinance of the gospel.

* Call up a couple families before hand and write down some interesting "birth" stories of some of the children in primary. (You can also get pictures from the parents of the primary children's first picture when they were a newborn) Have children hold the baby pictures while you tell the stories. Can we come into this world any other way than being born? Can we fly a spaceship from the pre-existence down to earth? "Just as we cannot have mortal life without physical birth, so we cannot enter the kingdom of God except by being born of the water and of the Spirit. John 3:5" (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual p.42 Introduction) Being born is the first thing we do in life as Baptism is the first ordinance of the Gospel.

* Gather a bunch (or make out of paper) 1st place ribbons. (Scratch out the word place so it will just be a large 1st on the ribbons) Hide the ribbons throughout the room and attach questions, scriptures and songs to them. When the child finds one they can come to the front and answer/read on a special podium (Sturdy box). The first ordinance is Baptism and all who follow God's commandments are winners!
- Another adaption to this idea is having them do something physical to earn a ribbon, like 10 push ups or 5 jumping jacks. Then answer the question on the ribbon. How many ribbons can you earn as a primary? Baptism is the first ordinance of the Gospel and starts us out "strong" on our path back to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

* Hold up a piece of paper. Will this paper stay the same always? Have a child come up and crumple it. It's not the same anymore, it's wrinkled and you can't draw on it. Hold up a flower. Will this flower stay the same always? How will it change? Hold up a piece of fruit. How will it change? Is there anything in life that doesn't change?

Read 2 Nephi 27: 23, "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."
Baptism is the first ordinance of the gospel and has been taught since the days of Adam. Divide into groups and have them draw pictures of the following people who taught/practiced baptism. Have them hold up their pictures and read the scriptures. Helpful scriptures for groups include Moses 6:64-66, Moses 7:11 (Enoch was also commanded), Noah preached Moses 8:23-24, Ancient Israelites 1 Nephi 20:1, Nephites/Lamanites Alma 19:35-36, Jesus Matthew 3:13-17, Philip Acts 8:37-39, Joseph Smith D&C 13.
Give their pictures to the missionaries to help new investigators learn about baptism.

* Definition of Ordinance: "In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord." (From Gospel Library- Gospel Topics)

Have a children see how well they can listen and follow directions. Give each child a piece of paper (Or just have one come up to the front to demonstrate) and pencil. You say slowly, giving them time for each step: Draw a vertical line from the top of the page down to the bottom. Draw another vertical line 4 finger spaces to the side of that from the top of the page down to the bottom. You will have 2 lines on your paper now. Add 6 small horizontal, side to side lines in between the two large lines. Have them hold up their papers in the air and look around. Does everyone have ladders? Have them do one more thing, circle the bottom line- the first step on the ladder.

" The first saving ordinance is baptism. Thus, with baptism, to use the Prophet Joseph Smith’s metaphor, we step onto the ladder. Once on the ladder, there are more steps to take. Climbing the ladder requires many things: the saving grace of our Savior, our own faith and repentance and good works, and the assistance of the priesthood... Of course, this journey up the ladder was not destined to be traveled alone: we have others to assist us. The righteous family unit is destined to last forever." David E. Sorensen Member of the 2nd Quorum of the 70, “Why Baptism Is Not Enough,” Ensign, Apr 1999, 16

Week 2 Jesus Christ was baptized.

* See HERE for a reader's theatre.

Week 3 I will be baptized and confirmed.

* Invite 2 or 3 new converts to BRIEFLY (As in 2-3 minutes each) share their conversion story when they were baptized and confirmed - to the primary children.

* Have a glass of water half full. Explain that this is like baptism. We also need to be confirmed!! Pour in more water until the glass is full. "Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” Joseph Smith (History of the Church, 5:499)

* Make Family Home Evening Kits to take home. Have them choose from a couple different 8 X 10 baptism pictures; GAK 108, 208, 309, 601. (You can make $0.35 color copies or print off your computer) Another possibility is these pictures (Scroll down to baptism and click) from the friend (They are black and white and the children could color them, then cut them into 12 pieces) On the bottom of each picture have "I will be baptized and confirmed."

Have the children cut the pictures into 12 pieces, then on the back write the numbers 1-12. The FHE is putting together the puzzle and answering the questions. This article from the friend has 12 questions/answers you will have to number and then make copies to put in the kits. While the children are putting things together, discuss the questions and possible songs they could sing for the FHE.

For the kits you could put the pieces in Ziploc bags and have a manila envelope or file folder for them to contain everything.
* Plain Words About Baptism An excellent felt board presentation from the friend!!

* Vicki F. Matsumori is brilliant and writes, "Sharing Time: Example of the Believers,” Friend, Aug 2003, 47 "Display GAK 208 (“John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus”) and have the children help retell the events of the Savior’s baptism. Sing “Baptism” (pp. 100–101).


Divide the children into groups. Display one of the category papers and have a child in the first group give one example that fits the category. For example, for THINGS FOUND AT A BAPTISM, items might be an eight-year-old child, the parents, the missionaries, white clothing, water, a font, the bishop or branch president, witnesses, speakers, and music. Have each group suggest one thing for the category. If a group is unable to give an answer, it drops out of the game until the next category. Have the remaining groups continue until there is one group left. Repeat the process with the remaining categories.

Sing “When I Am Baptized” (p. 103). Bear testimony of the blessings received at baptism, and express gratitude for your membership in the Church."

Week 4 My family is blessed as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

* Come up with different case scenarios. As the children answer the scenarios have them come up and build a home out of legos or lincoln logs. We build our homes and our families are blessed when we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. A couple examples of case scenarios could include Matt and his brother are going camping. They get a feeling they shouldn't go into the woods alone. What should they do? Where does that warning feeling come from? How is their family blessed? Or Linda is out shopping with her mother. There is a really cute skirt she'd like to buy but it comes above the knees and is a little tight. What would the Holy Ghost probably tell the girl or mother? How would they be stronger as a family by following the promptings of modesty?

* Draw a maze on the chalkboard. Have a family on one end and on the other a picture of the temple. Blindfold a child and give them a piece of chalk, ask another child to quietly help them get the family to the temple. The Holy Ghost leads and guides us and when we follow it's promptings our families are blessed.

* 2 Nephi 32: 2 "Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? "

Ask the children to come up with as many kind words they can say to family members. Make a list on the chalk board. All these words come by the Holy Ghost and bless our families. Have the children make thank-you notes using words from the board for different family members

* Have a stick that a child can come up to break. Have a bunch of sticks, can a child break this? When we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost we add sticks to our family and make our family stronger.

"Nothing in this life is of greater worth than the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the source of joy, peace, knowledge, strength, love, and every other good thing. With the Atonement, it is the power by which we may be changed and made strong where we are weak. With the priesthood, it is the power by which marriages and families are sealed together eternally." Lawrence E. Corbridge, "The Way," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 35

* Ask the children how they are doing. Is today a special day or holiday? Do they have any reason to rejoice today?

"Through the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, every member of the Church can receive 'the words of Christ' directly (2 Nephi 32:3), at any time or place. This personal divine guidance helps us to remain valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ and endure to the end of our days. Isn't this wonderful! "Have we not reason to rejoice?" Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?" Ensign, Nov. 2007, 20

So today is a special day! Everyday that we follow the promptings of the spirit is a special day and our family will be blessed!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Praise the Lord! Praise the Children! Language and Vocabulary in Primary Part II

Applause Bus Image Courtesy Creative-Commens license by Laughing Squid March 8, 2009

On page 242 of the Hymn book is one of my favorite songs. It's short, simple and to the point.

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."

The song reminds me of the D6 bus in Washington DC. More than once someone would get on the bus and say, "Praise the Lord." and we'd all shout back, "Praise the Lord." and clap, shaking our heads with an "Amen Sister." It made me not want to leave the bus, a little community of believers of different races, backgrounds and religions with one moment shared in gratitude to our Supreme Creator.

We need to praise our Lord in Primary. This is done by:
1. Making sure all lessons focus on Him.
2. Bearing testimony of Him.
3. Making singing time happy, because Psalms 135:3 says,
"Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant."

Another great hymn is on page 232 "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words."

Verse 1 says "Let us oft speak kind words to each other At home or where’er we may be; Like the warblings of birds on the heather, The tones will be welcome and free. They’ll gladden the heart that’s repining, Give courage and hope from above, And where the dark clouds hide the shining, Let in the bright sunlight of love."

[Chorus] "Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live And sunshine forever impart.Let us oft speak kind words to each other;Kind words are sweet tones of the heart."

Verse 2 says, "Like the sunbeams of morn on the mountains, The soul they awake to good cheer; Like the murmur of cool, pleasant fountains, They fall in sweet cadences near. Let’s oft, then, in kindly toned voices, Our mutual friendship renew, Till heart meets with heart and rejoices In friendship that ever is true."

One of the accompanying scriptures for this song is Proverbs 16: 24, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

When we talk about praising God, it's more to the effect of glorifying. When we talk about praising children, it's to the effect of being positive and giving them merit and value.
"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain.

In my previous post there were some "do not's". Now I give you the "do's". Here is my challenge to you : Use 20 of these positive and kind phrases to children, teachers and whomever happens to be in your primary NEXT WEEK. Have someone tally for you and then ask yourself the questions Did primary go smoother? Was the spirit felt stronger? Do I feel closer to Christ because of this challenge?

The following are quoted/adapted from

" You are:
Great! Phenomenal! Superb! Cool! Out Of Sight! Excellent! Terrific! Wonderful! Special!

Unbelievable Answer! Two Thumbs Up! You've Got It! Way To Go! Outstanding Singing!
You've Outdone Yourself! Marvelous! Your Help Counts, thank you! Amazing Effort!

Bravo! Exceptional! Breathtaking! Keep Up The Good Work! First Rate Work! Fantastic Work!

You Should Be Proud! I Knew You Had It In You! Very Good! Stupendous! Sensational!
What a wonderful Imagination! Awesome! You're A Great Example For Others! You Made It Happen! You're A Real Trooper! It Couldn't Be Better! Good For You!

You're A Good Sport! You Made The Difference! Take A Bow! Super Job! How Thoughtful Of You! Nice Going! You're A Class Act! Well Done! You're Inspiring! How Artistic!

You Go The Extra Mile! Hooray For You! Great Answer! You Deserve A Hug!
High Five! Wow! You're Getting Better! You're Tops! You're Amazing! What A Great Idea!
You Figured It Out! You've Got What It Takes! You're Neat! You're A Joy! You're A Shining star! Spectacular!

You tried hard singing, thank you! The Time You Put In Really Shows! Remarkable! Far Out!
How Extraordinary! You're A Winner! You Came Through! That's Incredible! 5 Star Job!
You're Super! You Can Do It! You're The Greatest! Sweet! Great Effort! How Original!
What A Genius! You're A Natural! Very Brave! You're A Pleasure To Know! Way To Go!

You're Sharp! Congratulations, you got it! I'm Proud Of You! Thank You For Caring!
I'm Impressed! You're Very Talented! Great Discovery! You're A Champ! Right On!
You're So Kind! Thanks For Helping! You're A-OK! Magnificent! You've Earned My Respect!

You've Made Progress! Outstanding Effort! Neat job! I Love It! Beautiful! Clever! Brilliant!

That's Perfect! Right On! Your Best Singing ever! Expressive! You've Improved so much!
Keep It Up! Nice One! Incomparable! Incredible! I Appreciate Your Help! Good Leadership!
Great Job! Stunning! You Rule! That's Very Kind! You Make Me Smile! You Rock! You're An
Angel! That's The Way! Good For You!

A Job Well Done! You're A Good Friend! Way To Use Your Head! Radical! Alright! You're Very Patient! Wonderful! Way To Be Responsible! Getting Better All The Time! Worthy Of An Oscar!

Better Than Ever! Super Duper! Great Dedication! Top Notch! Hats Off To You! Spectacular!

Good Try! Very Courageous! I Like It! Great Enthusiasm! Lovely! Very Resourceful! You are a masterpiece!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Proper. Proper. Proper. Language and Vocabulary in Primary Part I.

I'm going to make a point. It will be a good point, hopefully. For this point to really come alive though and make sense I will need to refer to Cranford, a PBS Masterpiece Theatre program that aired in April 2008 and can be checked out at your local library.

Cranford is a small town in England and the time 1840. Women are proper. Women have manners. Women are dignified.

My husband who wears dreadlocks and thinks Vin Diesel is awesome... cough cough... watched this Cranford series with me and loved it. I loved it. It made me want to be more of a "lady".

I have had experiences in Primary and even Sacrament Meetings where language was used that didn't invite the spirit. I would like to throw out a couple of questions for you to ponder:

1. At the last General Conference did you hear an apostle or any other speaker use the word "crap"?

2. Have you ever read an Ensign article where someone said "shut up"?

3. When Alma refers to his persecuting the church or mistakes he has made does he ever use the phrase, "Man, I really screwed up"?

These words in quotation may seem like small words and perhaps they are, pray and judge for yourself. May I suggest that there is a problem though, when those words are used more often than words like "Jesus" or "Savior" or "I bear testimony" in a 2 hour time period.

John S. Gholdston, “Words of Darkness, Words of Light,” Ensign, Jan 1992, 57 says:

" What is it that we should be teaching our children to avoid?

Blasphemy is only one element of the profanity problem that President David O. McKay described as “all too prevalent” in society, and “though we say it with embarrassment, all too frequently used in the Church.” (Improvement Era, Nov. 1948, p. 686.)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that profanity “embraces any language that shows contempt for holy things, that breathes a spirit of irreverence or blasphemy, or that is vulgar in nature, thus leaving a mental impression of unclean and unwholesome things. Profanity,” he emphasized, “is an evidence of a diseased soul.” (“Profanity,” Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1966, p. 602.)

We know that the brain controls what words are spoken, but when we or our children allow a profanity to find a place in our vocabularies, the profanity, and not the brain, often seems to be in control. Profanity is a cyclic problem. The Spirit of the Lord withdraws from the presence of profanity, leaving the user with no spiritual guidance. Consequently the profanity may increase. (See Ensign, May 1986, p. 51.)

We must work closely and carefully with our children to help them choose to avoid that cycle or break the cycle if they have already begun. We cannot keep them from ever being exposed to bad language, but we can keep much of it at arm’s length. Our care in making the effort, if we do it in the right spirit, can have a positive effect as our children realize how important we consider the matter to be." End quote.

Now I'm not calling the people who use mildly crude language lepers. Elder McConkie is. So if you're offended, take it up with him in heaven. My point is WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE. It's simple.

We should be more like the ladies of Cranford. I leave you with their reaction to the word "suck" which I also believe should not be used at church.

[Mary has brought oranges as a present for Matty and Deborah]
Miss Deborah Jenkyns: I would prefer it if I did not enjoy oranges. Consuming them is a most incommodious business.
Miss Matty Jenkyns: There is not such a lot of juice, Deborah dear - only when they are sliced with a knife.
Mary Smith: At home we make a little hole in our oranges and we suck them. [Deborah looks horrified]
Miss Matty Jenkyns: That is the way I like to take them best, but Deborah says it is vulgar and altogether too redolent of a ritual undertaken by little babies. My sister does not care for the expression [whispers]
Miss Matty Jenkyns: "suck".
Miss Deborah Jenkyns: [primly] We will repair to our rooms... and consume our fruit in solitude. [embarrassed, Deborah gets up and leaves the table]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keeping Christ in Easter - Family Traditions

Image courtesy Creative Commons License on by kassandrapoised April 2007

I receive lots of friendly emails from people. What a ray of sunshine you all are!! You restore my faith in mankind and I hope that God will bless you forever for the kindness you've spoken to me. I really don't deserve it! After I pray God gives me ideas and I write it down. He does all the hard work!

Of recent, I received an uber polite email from Sister Frost. I'm not sure where she's from but if I had to guess I'd say the motherland, dear Great Britain. She was just so proper and well-spoken. She is looking for thoughts and ideas for new family traditions she can start to make Easter more meaningful.

Melanie, who runs has an exceptional page with different ideas for Easter. Click here to see. In fact, I saw one on having a candle lit dinner that I'm going to try this year! You really cannot get better than this assortment and gathering of ideas found on her site. Isn't she wonderful? She really reminds me of someone who emulates the Savior gathering resources so our homes can be happier places.

Additional Ideas

* In the April Ensign 2009 on page 40 starts an article called "He is Risen". Take a jar and cover it with gray clay, making it look like a rock tomb. Make the lid into a rock. Cut out the scriptures and pictures from this article and put them in a jar. There are 20 pictures/scriptures total. They are short scriptures, perfect for young children. Along with some of the pictures, add small service projects that can relate to that scripture or picture. A week or two before Easter have your child draw one or two out each morning. Display the pictures where they can be seen. Plan so that on Easter the jar will be empty (just like Jesus' tomb) but our hearts aren't because we served others and read our scriptures!

For example: The picture "He is not here" Scripture Matthew 28:6 - Make a loaf of bread to take to someone. The picture "Easter Morning" Scripture John 20:16 - gather some flowers or do a flower art project to give to someone (When I see the picture it just makes me think of beauty, beauty makes me think of flowers... could there have been a more beautiful moment in history?). The picture "The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre" Scripture John 20:3-4 - Run up and down your neighborhood block dropping off pass along cards of the Savior in mailboxes. The picture "Feed my Sheep" Scripture John 21:16 - make a pizza and salad to take to a family. Ask your children what does the picture or scripture make them want to do for someone?

* I made a chart for my little ladies with all the commercial aspects of Easter and how they relate to Christ. The pictures are simple and the words too. I titled it "When I think of Easter I think of My Savior". I have a picture of the Easter Bunny with the phrase, The Easter Bunny shares and gives just like Jesus shared and gave His life for me. Another picture is of an Easter basket with the words Easter baskets are open just like the open and empty tomb of Jesus. I have about 5 pictures and phrases total. My daughter's favorite is a picture of baby chicks with the words Baby chicks, baby bunnies and duckies... who gave us all our animals? Jesus! We go over this every other night and I have it posted next to the GAK picture 233 of Mary and the Resurrected Lord (Although He wasn't quite fully resurrected yet... the whole "touch me not" bit)

* Easter Caroling. I mean... why not? There are some great Easter songs and a lot of elderly people out there that need some happiness in life!!

* Our family is Greek. Out of the 8 brothers and sisters that came from Cephalonia, my Yaya was the eldest. My mother and father are the only LDS members. What is my point? Oh how I babble so. We have the tradition of dying some eggs deep red. To remember the blood of Christ. We then crack it against other people's eggs, which really doesn't have to do with Christ, but it's fun.

* Paper Palm Leaf and Clothes count down. Have a picture of Christ on the donkey your children can move each day towards the empty tomb. On the palm leaves and clothes have scriptures or small acts of service you can do as a family each day.

* I know that in the Jewish religion, for the celebration of Passover Seder Feast an empty chair is left for the prophet Elijah. Why not leave a chair empty for the Savior at your Easter dinner? Jesus and the Holy Ghost are always welcome in our homes and are very much needed so! At dinner you could talk about things you would ask the Savior, share favorite stories of Him and discuss what it will be like when we are all resurrected. You could even have a box with questions to draw from and answer as you eat, all of course relating to Jesus.

* I also think that visiting the grave of a loved one could not be more appropriate than doing so on Easter.

Soooooooooo Sister Frost, I hope this could be of some help. Really, the site to check though is! Happy Happy Easter!! You have one blessed little daughter to have a mother so caring and concerned for her spiritual well being. If only all the mothers in the world could be so impressed and motivated to teach their children of our Savior!!