Friday, December 31, 2010

If I Listen with My Heart LDS Primary Song Helps

Image courtesy creative commons license by Lel4nd Jan. 2010

* Have ear muffs with hearts on the ear part. (You can make these easily with a regular pair and paper and tape) Invite children who are singing nicely to come to front, wear the ear muffs and lead the next verse of the song. Yes, children can lead songs!!

* Have heart stickers and put them on the inside of the children's palms. When you sing the chorus have them put their sticker by their ear like they are listening.

* Invite one child to the front to be blindfolded. We're going to focus on listening! Silently choose 5-10 volunteers to stand and sing a verse of the song. Then have them sit and see if the primary friend blindfolded could name a person who had sang the verse. Sometimes listening is tricky, sometimes easy- when it comes to Heavenly Father though, we should always listen with our heart!

* What does it mean to listen with our heart? Have a very silly picture of a heart with giant ears and legs on it. As the children learn the words to the song, take off the silly parts and turn the heart over to reveal a picture of Jesus with a smiling child. When we listen with our hearts, we are feeling the spirit. Feelings of happiness and warmth!

* Sometimes all people can do is listen with their heart. Some people don't have the ability to hear with their ears and are deaf. Think about possibly learning a verse of the song in sign language and singing in sign language for someone who can't hear.

January 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Helps and Ideas

GAK 617

Monthly Theme: The Scriptures Are the Word of God
Monthly Scripture: "Feast upon the words of Christ, for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3

Week 1 The scriptures are the word of God.

* Mystery Scriptures! Have a large box with a question mark you can hide a book of scripture under. Have clues for which book is under the box. Invite children up to read a clue or hold a picture clues. Read all the clues before they can guess!!
For Example: (Hide a bible under the box) Clue #1 This book of scripture is the word of God.
Clue #2 This book of scripture takes place many years ago.
Clue #3 This book of scripture is divided into 2 parts, NEW and OLD.
Clue # 3 The first 3 books in this book of scripture is Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus.
Clue #4 Jesus is often referred to as Jehovah in this book of scripture.

Have children come up and hide a book and make up their own clues too!

* Have 5 different stations in the room. One for the Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price, and Ensign. Have a piece of posterboard at each station as well as pictures and an adult to guide the conversation (and of course the actual book of scripture). Divide into small groups. Have the children brainstorm as much as they know about each book of scripture and write on the poster board at each station!! Rotate quickly, about 3 minutes at each station.

Why do we include the Ensign? When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words “shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” D&C 68:4

* Have the children say the 8th article of faith. Have 1/2 of the room stand on the word "Bible" and the other half on "Book of Mormon". If they have their scriptures they can hold them up in the air too! Repeat a couple times, have boys stand on "Bible" and girls on "Book of Mormon". Have children with brown hair stand on "Bible" and children with all other color hair stand on "Book of Mormon" etc.

* Hold up a sword and the scriptures. How are they different? Which one is more powerful and why?
Alma 31:5 "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."

Week 2 We are to feast upon the words of Christ.

* This is one of my favorite FHE's that can easily be adapted to sharing time. Click HERE for it. It's especially rememberable when you start off by asking what feasting on the word is... do we actually rip out pages and eat them from the Bible? When we read the scriptures it feeds our soul!!

* Have the children decorate their own scripture reading chart.

* FEED FRED. Have a box with a picture of a boys face. Have the mouth with an opening into the box, so a child can put their hand in it to feed him. Have tons of pictures of different fruits, veggies, meat, etc. On the back have questions, songs and scriptures having to do with "feasting on the words of God". Let the children come up and pick the food, do what it says then feed it to Fred!! We're helping his body grow by giving it food and we're also helping his spirit grow as we talk about the Word of God.
For example, some things on the pictures of food could include:
How often should we study our scriptures?
Who can we study our scriptures with?
What is your favorite story from the scriptures that has nourished your soul?
How do you feel after you read your scriptures?
Please read 2 Nephi 9:51
Please read Jacob 3:2
(You can also use the topical guide to look up FILL)

* Just as we nourish our bodies, we must nourish our spirits!!! Invite the children up to build a sandwhich for the Bishop. Have REAL bread, turkey, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. For them to come up and help make the sandwhich they have to answer questions about different scripture stories and from what book of scripture they come from. The more we read our scriptures the more we feast for our spirits!!

Week 3 The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do.

* HERE is scripture study Sam. He's great. He uses the scriptures in case scenarios to decide what to do! You could have children come up and act out a scenario, then the primary looks up the scripture and everyone helps to decide what to do! (From Karen Ashton, "Sharing Time: The Words of Christ", Friend, Mar. 1996, 46)

* Matt. 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Have a list of 10-15 scriptures that tell us something we need to do. Give the children a paper with an outline of a house. Let them choose a scripture, then draw a picture to illustrate what that scripture says we should do. Challenge older children to find their own scripture not on the list that says what we should do.

Send the children home with small rocks and a note that says, "The words of Christ will tell us all we should do. And when we do, we're like the wise man who built his home upon the rock!"

* Play charades!! Find simple scriptures the children can act out and have others guess, then read that scripture!

* Bring in cookies where you didn't do as the instructions said. Ask for a volunteer to taste. If we don't do as the words of a recipe says it turns out babester. Yes, you heard me right. I'm a child of the 90's, babester! Hence, the words of Christ tell us all things we should do and if we don't we'll end up like an unfabulous cookie!!!

* Psalms 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
 Have a path through the room. Turn off a few lights, don't make it too dark!! (And of course if little children are scared, just leave the lights on and have everyone pretend it's dark) Invite children to come and walk along the path with a lantern. In order to walk a few steps on the path, they must answer questions, sing songs and read scriptures having to do with the words of Christ. See if as a Primary you can all work together to get to the end of the path!

We live in a world that is dark and full of sin, but the scriptures are a light and will lead us to the Savior!!

Week 4 I can know the scriptures are true.

* Invite a few members from the different auxillaries to briefly share HOW they know the scriptures are true. Ask them to share what they did to know or any personal experience that is brief. As in 2 minutes brief. Have the children point to all the adults. Are they the only ones in the room who can know the scriptures are true? Have the children point to who can know the scriptures are true. EVERYONE!!!

"What a glorious blessing! For when we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit." Holy Scriptures:The Power of God unto Our Salvation Robert D. Hales October 2006 General Conference

* Have the children act out the story of Nephi getting the brass plates. Why would Nephi risk his life? 1.Because God commanded him to and 2. Because the scriptures are important!!!

1 Nephi 5:21 "And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children."

* Ask the children to share experiences of things that have been too hard for them to do. Does reading the scriptures sometimes seem hard? What about knowing they are true? Sometimes things seem impossible... but the scriptures tell us over and over again the opposite.
Mark 10:27
Matt. 19:26
Mark 9:23
Mark 14:36
All things are possible with God!!! We can know the scriptures are true!

* Have 5 fascinating facts. Have the children give a thumbs up if the fact is true or a thumbs down if what you say is false. How do we know if something is right or wrong?

Moroni 7:15-16 "For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God"

Divide into pairs and have them come up with a true or false statement about a scripture story. Have them share with the primary and do thumbs up or down....

Challenge the children to go home and see if when they read the scriptures, do the scriptures invite them to do good? Pass out simple invitations with the children to write down at home what the scriptures invite them to do.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Primary Bulletin Board Ideas

Let me first preface this post with a motto I would have tattooed on my bicep/arm flab if tattoos weren't breaking commandment, if I didn't think tattoos were fabulously not fun and really... why am I talking. I would never have this tattooed on me, but it is a motto I live by when it comes to church- BAN THE FLUFF.

I like simple. I like effective. I like spending time with my hot husband even though his dreds smell rather than fretting over stuff that really doesn't make much difference. Which brings me to bulletin boards. Am I saying they are fluffy and not important? Absolutely not. Bulletin boards can definitely add to the spirit of the room. However, they can detract from a lesson the attention of a child if they are over the top. Find the balance. Don't stress over it, as with anything in life. A bulletin board doesn't make you or break you in your calling.

I like boards where there are spots to change the monthly theme and scripture. Some boards you can use to display reverence reminders. If you're stuck, pray over it.

* Have a large drawing of a jar you can add paper hearts to. Write down the childrens' favorite scriptures or scripture heroes on the hearts as well as their names. Have the Primary yearly theme and scripture posted above and below the jar "For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them." 2 Nephi 4:15

* Alma 32:33 "And now behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and it sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good."

Have a really large flower with this scripture. Or as time goes, you can start with a seed, then add a stem, then leaves, etc and by the end of the year have a flower.

* Have a really large iron rod. Take a picture of the primary that you can gradually move along the rod as the year goes on. Only move the picture though if the primary children are reading their scriptures!! At the end of course you can have a picture of the Savior.

The Iron Rod is "the word of God, and whoso would hearken to unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it they would never perish." 1 Nephi 15:24

* Let the Primary Chorister use it for songs!!

* Have large pictures of the different books of scripture. Have a Bible, a Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, JS History, Ensign. Space them around Moroni 10:4-5. You could even have a few GAK pictures having to do with the different books to help them identify what goes where.

* Have a large map with different pictures of the Book of Mormon in different languages by the places where that language is spoken. "The time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." Mosiah 3:20

You could also have pen pals with different primaries throughout the world and share testimonies of what the children have learned about the scriptures throughout the year.

* When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words “shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4).

In October or April you could have this quote and all the pictures of the current apostles and first presidency. You could also have a challenge for the children to learn all their names!!

* John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" Have a large magnifying glass with this scripture. On the other side of the board you could have the word "Findings!!" Throughout the year you can put up words the children have said they have found to be true in the scriptures.

* John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Again, have pictures of the different scripture books and then a picture of the Savior in the middle.

* Romans 15:4 "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

Divide the board into 2 sections. On one half have a bunch of different pictures of different ancient prophets. On the other side have all the pictures of the children in primary with the words "They wrote the scriptures for us!!!" and then the scripture on the bottom.

Hope these can help! I'd love to post pictures of anyone who wants to share!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prepare Yourself: Best Merry Christmas EVER

This is my sweet lil' Maria. She's 3.

I feel like there is no better way for me to wish you a Merry Christmas than to share this fantastically awesome home video with you. I hope your holiday season is filled with the love of Christ and the joy of the knowledge that we are so blessed to have. Thanks for reading this blog. I hope it can help you. God bless you always!!! Merry Merry Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

Success and Failure

Have I ever mentioned that Honest Abe is my favorite.
I mean really, he did it - He said, slavery is wrong, let's do this.
Let's end it and be a nation.

And yet, his courage and bravery and brilliance came in the face of much failure.
Our most successful president, faced defeat often. (Thank you google search)

•1831 - Lost his job
•1832 - Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
•1833 - Failed in business
•1834 - Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)
•1835 - Sweetheart died
•1836 - Had nervous breakdown
•1838 - Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
•1843 - Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
•1846 - Elected to Congress (success)
•1848 - Lost re-nomination
•1849 - Rejected for land officer position
•1854 - Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
•1856 - Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
•1858 - Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate
•1860 - Elected President (success)

And why would I bring this up. Especially right before Christmas, thank you happy happy joy joy. It's because on Sunday, I bit it hard. I had one of the worst sharing times ever.

Pause and rewind 8 years. BYU, I'm student teaching at a title one school with the urban education cohort.

Wait. I promise I'm not quite at dementia yet, rewind 20ish years ago when I'm in 6th grade. I have a reading buddy, Mary who is in 1st grade. She can't read. And yet with our time spent together she learns. Granted, was I the one who taught her, no. But I felt like I had. It was my first inkling that my purpose in life was to teach. I loved her joy as she learned a new word or could sound out a difficult word. It was so crystal clear to me, even then that teaching children would be for me.

OK. Back to the cougars. I'm student teaching and I have a boy who is bipolar, ADD, and prone to violence. And he disliked me. A couple lessons were rough and I always ended up in tears when I got home. It got to me and I vowed I would never have bad lessons again. I worked through it and ended up confident that one day I'd be a good teacher.

Fast forward to last Sunday. Chaos. 10 nursery kids coming in to see what primary is like, 1 eating the microphone on the pulpit. At least 3 children scattered throughout the room crying. 30 others were completely done with sitting. I have exactly 7 minutes to teach about the 2nd coming. We're doing pictures so children are in and out through the door.

Did I not pray? Did I not spend time preparing? What did I do wrong?

I tried to do too much with too little time. I tried to get too many children up and out of their seats. I was talking over the children/adults talking (who were only talking because they were trying to calm children) and trying to move on without everyone's attention. I was forgetting names.

I feel so peaceful about it, is that weird and strange?
I know I can do better, I know I can learn from my mistakes, I know I am far from perfect and most importantly... I know God loves me.

I've learned it's OK to laugh at yourself everyone once and awhile.

President Monson of course says it much better, "Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." (Thomas S. Monson, "Never Give Up", New Era, Sept. 1994)

Now is it OK to cry. Of course! Failure can be so annoying and frustrating!!!! Our prophet continues on and says, "We are success-oriented, striving to become “wonder women” and “super men.” Any hint of failure can cause panic, even despair."

But you know what, at least we're trying. At least we're there and doing our calling to the best of our ability.
"U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena” (The American Treasury: 1455–1955, ed. Clifton Fadiman, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955, p. 689). Unfortunately, too often we're our own worst critic.

The beautiful talk is ended with " Each of us is a runner in the race of life. Comforting is the fact that there are many runners. Reassuring is the knowledge that our eternal Scorekeeper is understanding. Challenging is the truth that each must run. But you and I do not run alone. That vast audience of family, friends, and leaders will cheer our courage, will applaud our determination as we rise from our stumblings and pursue our goal. Let us shed any thought of failure. Let us discard any habit that may hinder. Let us seek; let us obtain the prize prepared for all, even exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God."

So this post is for me and all my fellow sisters who have failed miserably. I'm cheering for us. We can do it, because God will help us! Next week will be awesome! Next week will be fabulouso!!!

We may not end up Presidents of a great nation, or freeing a noble people... but we are important. We are the instruments in the Lord's hands. We are His children who will help gather and usher in His glorious reign on earth. Life is good. Keep on truckin.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 3-Jesus Christ will return to the earth someday. LDS Primary Sharing Time Reader's Theater

Sun over Earth image courtesy creative commons license by NASA'S Marshall Flight Space Center Oct. 2003

Copyright: You may use this for private non-commercial purposes. If you try to sell this or say you wrote it, when I hit the lotto miraculously (seeing as I don't buy tickets) I will not take you to enjoy poy and pineapple turnovers in Hawaii. And they are the bomb. Yes. I said the bomb. Because there is more to the 90's than just Seattle Grunge. There has to be. There. Has. To. Be.

Tips for a successful reader's theater experience:
1. PRAY. PRAY every single day and ask for the Holy Ghost to be present.
2. Know your readers. A good rule of thumb is most children under 7 aren't fluent readers. Choose who you give certain parts to carefully!!! Readers come to the front of the Primary to read and simply act out the script.
3. ADAPT FOR JR. PRIMARY!!!! I would give little strips of paper to each child of what I wanted them to read. I would have a script for myself of course and be the narrator/director. I would have all characters sit in their chairs except for the one's needed at the moment and then switch out.
4. Make it a fun and positive experience. Don't go overboard and keep things simple, especially costumes!!! Use your manners and thank children for their help.
5. Involve as many children possible!!!
6. End with YOUR TESTIMONY. If there is time ask the children to share what they liked about the activity or what they've learned or to compliment someone they liked in the reader's theater.

When Will He Come Again?
A Reader's Theater
by Sofia Lykes

Speaking Parts
Peter                   Friend #1, 2, 3
Angel                  Samuel the Lamanite
Clock                 Calendar

Non-Speaking Parts
3 Apostles

** Italicized words ARE NOT TO BE READ. They are directions to do. Also, the pianist can reverently play I wonder when He comes again as actors move from their seats to the front.

Simple costumes :White sheets for the friends and angel, paper headbands with a picture of a D&C, clock and calendar, etc. You can always have bushes too!! Children make great bushes by holding leaves!! Also other children who can't read can hold up pictures of things being talked about like Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite, a picture of the Savior coming again....

Peter: (to apostles) That was amazing! It has been 40 days since Jesus was resurrected and here we are on the Mount of Olives being taught by Him. Him who once was dead and is alive again!!! And now He must leave us.

(Apostles and Peter look up into the sky and an angel comes)

Angel: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go” Acts 1:11

Clock: Hi. I'm a clock. I know about the time Peter and the apostles saw the resurrected Lord return to heaven... Because I'm a clock and I know my time. I can tell you lots of other times too where we learn Jesus Christ will return to the earth someday. Meet my friend Doctrine and Covenants.

D&C: Hello. Yes, you may think books of scripture can't talk, but you'd be absolutely WRONG!

Nephi: I'm Nephi and I wrote down in the Book of Mormon "Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3

D&C: So as you can see, the scriptures do talk to us and tell us all things what we should do. Now, onward ever onward. Our friend the clock knows all about time. I was written a little over 100 years ago. I am not in the Book of Mormon or in the Bible because I'm my very own book. I talk a lot about the time that Jesus will come to earth again. One of my favorite scriptures talks about how when Jesus comes to earth again, He will cleanse the earth. Nephi, would you be a dear and help me read.

Nephi: Why of course my friend! D&C 101:25 "And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth."

D&C: We know when Noah lived, Heavenly Father cleansed the earth by water. The 2nd time around it will be by fire.

Clock: That sounds pretty scary.

Nephi: Oh no no no! You don't need to be scared! (gives clock a hug) I wrote down what Jesus told me. Turning to 1 Nephi 22:22 , "And the righteous need not fear." Pretty simple and very much true!

Clock: I better do my best to make good choices then! Another time having to do with Jesus returning to the earth is called the Millennium. Let's say it together... Millennium. It will be 1,000 years long and comes after Jesus has judged everyone.

(Friends are pretending to be a part of the Millennium)

Friend #1: I'm so happy!

Friend #2: I am too! The Millennium is so peaceful and everyone is working together under the reign of our glorious King Jesus!

Friend #3: I'm so grateful He has come to earth again to rule and reign in righteousness. But speaking of work, let's get back to the temple!

Friend #2: You're right, we've only got 1,000 years to make sure everyone who is supposed to be sealed is sealed!!

Friend #3: Families are forever thanks to the life and mercy of our Savior. This millennium is the best!! It's like Disneyland but only a gazillion billion trillion times better!!!

Clock: It's kind of a hard word to say, Millennium. Can you say it for me? (The Primary says, Millennium)
Thanks! Millennium! Another time I know about is the First Resurrection. It started with Jesus as the very first person resurrected and will continue when He comes again. Some other people besides Jesus have been resurrected. Samuel the Lamanite told us so.

Samuel: I "testify that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many..." (3 Nephi 23:9)

Calendar: Clock, there is so much to know about the time that Jesus will return to earth. I am a calendar and also know a lot about time, but for some reason, I can't find the date our Savior will come.

Clock: My dear calendar.... I don't know the exact time the Savior will come. No one does, except for Heavenly Father and Jesus!!

Calendar: (sigh) I was hoping to mark it down so I could be prepared. I guess I'll just have to read my scriptures and watch for the signs the prophets have spoken about.

Nephi: Yes, search my words!

Samuel: And my words too!

D&C: Don't forget me and all Joseph Smith has written down! Heavenly Father will give us signs to help us know when Jesus comes again!!

Clock: Smart idea!! We all should read our scriptures and do the same. I know I will try my best to live righteously so that when the earth is cleansed, the Millennium begins and the time finally comes when I can be resurrected... that I can fall down at the feet of Jesus and say thank you. I know my Savior lives and that He will come again!!

All: We know that Jesus Christ will return to the earth someday!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn

Image courtesy Creative Commons License by gari baldi/ thomas mues May 2004

The other day I was at a Pack Meeting and I was talking to a cub scout and all of a sudden another adult came over and I did a horrible thing. I stopped listening to the child and listened to the adult. Usually if 2 children do this, it's not a problem... I can listen to 2 talk at the same time and carry out multiple conversations.
Of course, at times I do have to hold up the "one moment finger".
And really, I should have done that to the adult.
I have no explanation for what I was thinking.
No clue.
I did immediately recognize what I did as wrong and apologized within 1 minute. But I could tell our conversation was done.
Until I brought up a "skinning squirrel" story that I happened to have up my sleeve for exact moments like this.
Bless you Ryan Hansen and all Boy Scouts with possible hyperactivity issues.
A smile returned, but oh if I had just done what I was supposed to.
To what I'm committed to.

Listening to children.

I, of course, can not put it as well as the apostles. Hello, I have to add in bits of squirrel skinning to get a point across. But Elder Russel M. Nelson has said,

"Parents and teachers, learn to listen, then listen to learn from children. A wise father once said, "I do a greater amount of good when I listen to my children than when I talk to them... The time to listen is when someone needs to be heard.

Children are naturally eager to share their experiences, which range from triumphs of delight to trials of distress. Are we as eager to listen? If they try to express their anguish, is it possible to listen openly without going into a state of shock ourselves? Can we listen without interrupting and without making snap judgements that slam shut the door of dialogue?

Wise parents and teachers, listen to learn from children."
(From Perfection Pending and Other Favorite Discourses)

I have a Primary friend with ADD. Letting him draw star wars pictures really helps him relax and stay calm in Primary. But I've also found he likes to talk about them. Can it be a little distracting... you betcha. But I know that he needs a listening ear. He needs to educate me about Jango Fett? and I need to learn, because really I don't know a single thing about Star Wars. Barbie movies, covered. (Yes, I full on cried during Barbie Island Princess) Darth Maul, not so much.

I'm not doing the topic justice. So I'll just leave you with the profound words of the Savior Himself. Ponder this and understand what it truly means to listen,

"Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
Isaiah 65:24

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Primary Quarterly Activities: Still Confused?

Here's what I did. I talked to my Stake Primary President
who had counseled with our Stake President.
End of Question.

If you have questions you can talk to your leaders. If your PRIESTHOOD leaders are confused they can call Primary Church headquarters.

Office of the Primary General Presidency
76 North Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-6030
Direct Number: (801) 240-2391
Toll Free (takes you to an operator): (800) 453-3860

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If your PRIESTHOOD LEADER is confused, THEY can call. If they got 10 million calls, I'm sure it'd be wasting a bit of time and also when we have questions we need to go to our leaders!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

December 2010 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Song of the Angels by William Bouquereau 1881 Oil on Canvas

Monthly Theme: I Know That My Redeemer Lives
Monthly Scripture: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is  the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That He lives!" D&C 76:22

Week 1 Jesus Christ came to earth as promised by the prophets.

* Make a simple booklet for the whole Primary, not each child, entitled, "Promised by the Prophets Passport". Have a pilot's hat and inform the children you'll be taking a very important ride of learning today. You'll be working together as a primary to earn stamps in our passport. In order to earn the stamps, we'll need to answer questions, read scriptures and sing songs having to do with Jesus coming to earth just as the prophets promised! Invite one child up to put on the hat and fly (reverently walking!!!) back and forth across the room. Let them choose from a brown paper bag (perhaps with an airplane on it) the questions, song or scripture on small pieces of paper. Then as they answer, put a stamp in the booklet.

Conclude with the words from one of our very own pilots who is a prophet! Show a picture of President Uchtdorf, "With all my heart and soul I give thanks to our Heavenly Father for His love for us, for the gift of His Son, for the life and example of Jesus the Christ, and for His sinless and selfless sacrifice. I rejoice in the fact that Christ is not dead but risen from the grave! He lives and has returned to the earth to restore His authority and gospel to man. He has given us the perfect example of the kind of men and women we should be." (April 2010 Conference You are My Hands)

* Have a Bible and a Book of Mormon. Have different prophecies and scriptures (Or even verses of songs too!) with pictures. Invite a child up to hold the picture and read the prophecy. Have the child decide with the help of the primary whether that prophecy was found in the Bible or Book of Mormon and have them stand by the correct one. Throw in a trick one too like D&C 1:38 "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

* 3 Nephi 27:18 " And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words."
A lie is something that is false. Have a simple True/False worksheet for the children to fill out in small groups or pairs. The statements should be focused on different prophecies about how Jesus came to earth. Fix the false statements and make them true, just as our Heavenly Father is! (This activity geared more toward Senior Sharing Time)

*Have about 10 different pictures of Nativity sets. Have a box with the word INN on it. Invite the children to come to the front and choose a picture of a nativity from the INN box. There was no room at the Inn, so they can put the picture on the chalk board. Have questions, scriptures and songs attached to the pictures for the children to do focused on "Prophets promised Jesus Christ would come to earth"!

Quick Question for you! Yes you! Say a small child picks out a longer scripture you know they can't read. For example -Alma 7:10-12 "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
What do you do? Do you: a- read it and have them repeat after you b- read it for them c-have them ask another primary child for help d-shorten the scripture or e-Go by the spirit?

* A FANTASTIC IDEA from Elizabeth Ricks, “The Greatest Gift,” Friend, Dec 2007, 12–14 " Display a flag, a heart, and a smiley face. Ask the children what they may represent (country, love, happiness). Explain that each of these is a symbol—something that stands for something else. Ancient prophets told people that Jesus Christ would come to earth. Some, like Isaiah and Samuel the Lamanite, were specific, while others used symbols to teach of Christ. Display a picture of a lamb (see Primary 2 manual, 123) or a stuffed animal lamb. Explain that although you do not have a real lamb in Primary, your object is a symbol of a lamb, and a lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Discuss ways that Jesus Christ is like a lamb (see “Comparisons,”TNGC, 163–64).

For older children: Pass out the following scripture references: Genesis 22:3–8; Exodus 12:21–28; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Nephi 12:6. Read the scriptures, and discuss how each tells of Christ. Explain that when we understand symbols, we can see that the ancient prophets foretold Christ’s coming to the earth. Bear testimony that just as you know that Christmas is coming soon, the prophets knew that Christ would be born. Sing “Sing of Christmas” (Friend, Dec. 2003, 28).

For younger children: Tell the children that sometimes we have to look hard to understand what “the Lamb” means in the scriptures and that they will need to look hard to find their lamb in Primary. Using the same object as before, have one child leave the room and another child hide the object. Sing songs about the Savior from the Children’s Songbook while the child who left the room returns to find the object. Have the children sing louder the closer the child gets to the object. Repeat with different songs. Bear testimony of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ."

Week 2 Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

* Have a small picture of Jesus and a space for children to write down their testimony on a piece of paper. What do they know to be true about Jesus? (Fills a Faith in God requirement)

* Foam Finger Pointer. ($1 at the Dollar Store or you can make a large one out of a grocery paper bag) Invite a child to come to the front and wear the foam finger. Sing -you can do it by yourself, invite the other adults or have the children open up page # 103 in the Hymn book and sing too! In Hymn # 103 Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, there are some words that are repeated. Have the child wearing the foam finger point to a picture anywhere in the room that these repeated words describe. Children sitting down can also use their pointer finger when the repeated word is sung.

What were the repeated words?

* D&C 19:41 "Or canst thou be humble and meek, and conduct thyself wisely before me? Yea, come unto me thy Savior. Amen."
Make a very simple board game. You'll need a path with squares in 3 different colors. Humble Henry or Meek Maria can be your piece that you move along the path. At the end of the path have a picture of Jesus and the words "Savior of the World". The different colors represent different things to do, for example-
red- sing a song
blue- find a scripture
yellow- answer a question (A few examples- What does Savior mean? What did Jesus do to save the world? How does it feel to know you can live again? What can you do to help others learn about the Savior of the World?)
Have the children take turns rolling the dice and moving Humble Henry or Meek Maria

* Play a part of Handel's Messiah for the children. I would without hesitation go with about a minute of THIS if possible to show the children. A fun part of the song is that the music paints what the words say. If it talks about a high mountain, the music goes up or if it talks about a low valley it goes deeper. What does the music make them think of? 1 Ne. 10: 4 "Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world." Have music notes (about the size of your hand) for children to draw pictures of the Savior or write what they would like to about Him and make your own Primary Messiah Symphony! Give to the ward Choir Conductor to inspire the choir at practice!

* Mosiah 3: 20 "And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people."
HERE is a Friend Article that talks about different Christmas traditions from around the world. Have a large map with stars on the locations mentioned in the article or the different flags of the countries mentioned. Let children choose a location (or flag), learn how to say Merry Christmas in that language, and find out what they do to celebrate the Savior of the world. Be careful to focus the discussion on how we do all this celebrating because Jesus was born and is the Savior of the world. FYI - the Greek pronunciation is Kah-La Hree-Stoo-Nia :)

Week 3 Jesus Christ will return to earth someday.

* Honestly, I think this week's sharing time idea in the outline is my favorite ever. It's a recycled idea from the Dec. 1999 Friend by Sydney Reynolds. For all her ideas on the topic click HERE, there's even a little thingy to make.

* Again, thank you Sister Ricks!! The following is her idea, "For older children: Invite two children to hold GAK 238 (The Second Coming) and GAK 239 (The Resurrected Jesus Christ). Have the Primary children compare the two pictures, pointing out what is the same and what is different. Ask the children holding the pictures to read the title of the picture and the summary that appears on the back of the picture. Explain that one is a picture of what Jesus might look like when He comes again and the other is a picture of what He might have looked like when He was resurrected. Tell them that there is a reason for the similarity.

Help all the children look up Acts 1:11. Tell them to put their fingers on the scripture and look at you when they are ready. Display either a globe or GAK 600 (The World). Read the scripture, moving the picture of the resurrected Jesus away from the globe as you read, “… taken up from you into heaven.” Move the picture of the Second Coming toward the globe as you read, “… shall so come in like manner.” Repeat, allowing different children to move the pictures as the rest of the children read the scripture. (This is a good opportunity to involve a child who is disabled.)

Sing “When He Comes Again” (pp. 82–83). Tell the children that the song presents different details about how the Savior might come again and that the scripture they just learned also tells them how the Savior will come.

The week before Primary, invite several children to be prepared to share things they have learned in Primary this year that will help them prepare for the Second Coming. They might recount a favorite sharing time, a memorable Primary lesson, or something they learned from an activity day. Intersperse songs with the participants, singing songs that you learned this year and reviewing the principles that they teach. Bear testimony that Jesus will come again and that as we follow Him in faith, we can enjoy eternal life." Elizabeth Ricks, “The Greatest Gift,” Friend, Dec 2007, 12–14

* Divide into groups and make "Welcome Back" signs. Give each group a scripture about Jesus Christ returning to the earth and have them illustrate or write thoughts. Have them share their work with the Primary.

* Reader's Theatre of the Parable of the 10 Virgins to come shortly!!

Week 4 I can live with Jesus Christ again.

* Take the time to do the glove demonstration! It never gets old and is a perfect visualization. "Place a glove on the table. Explain that even though the glove is shaped like a hand, it cannot move like a hand because it is not alive. When a hand is placed in the glove, then the glove can move. Put your hand into the glove and wiggle your fingers. Explain that the glove is like a physical body, and the hand is like a spirit. Our bodies cannot move without our spirits inside them. Our spirits cannot be seen inside our bodies, just as the hand inside the glove cannot be seen." (See Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], pp. 231–33.) After we die, our spirits will again return to our bodies and we can live with Jesus Christ again!!

* Draw a large house on the black board. Where are some places our Primary friends have lived? How many friends have lived in more than one place?  Our topic for the week is I can live with Jesus Christ AGAIN (stress again). What does that mean, again? Aha! (Hopefully a primary friend will bring up the premortal world) Sing I lived in Heaven (CS 4) Bring in 10 different pictures of places you've lived (or perhaps you can call a couple parents and see if the children have lived anywhere exotic like Tahiti or something, then get a picture off the Internet or from the parents) Let the children come to the front and choose a picture to put on the black board by the home, attached to the pictures can be questions, songs and scriptures having to do with living with our Savior again. At the end, put a picture of Jesus in the house on the black board. 

"Jesus was chosen and as the Messiah He came, conquering evil and death through His glorious name. Giving us hope of a wonderful life yet to be, Home in that Heaven where Father is waiting for me" (verse 3 I Lived in Heaven)

* Do you have a paddle ball toy? Wooden <em>Paddle Ball Toy</em> Have a child come up to the front and show everyone how to play this game. The ball starts on the paddle, then returns because of the string. Ask a couple more children to try. Would the ball come back if the string wasn't there? We lived and started off with Heavenly Father and Jesus, we can live/return again to them too! But we need the string, we need to be obedient!!

* Learn the 3rd Verse of I am a Child of God (CS pg. 1)
I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I’ll live with him once more.
Make a small treasure chest. Have a bag of gems (the glass beads at the dollar store would work great) Invite the children to come to the front and act out something that shows obedience. Then they can add a jewel to the chest. See how many you can get working together as a primary!

Matthew 13:44 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Family Devotionals

( Salt Lake Nativity Image courtesy creative commons license by sociotard Dec. 2008)

Yes. It's Thanksgiving and I'm posting ideas for Christmas. It's not that I'm all about turning on the holiday music and getting out the tree... thank you, I completely value Squanto.
I just like to be prepared when it comes to teaching.

This year an article from the May 2010 has been tugging at me. Elder Neil A. Andersen's Tell Me the Stories of Jesus has a rather lengthy list of questions to self reflect on when it comes to teaching our children. So in response, I decided to do 10 devotionals centered on this wonderful talk.

I met Elder Andersen once, so he has a special place in my heart. I'm very excited for the upcoming month and the learning opportunities!

Click HERE for the devotionals.

Click HERE for devotionals matching the letters C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, centered on Christ-like qualities.

Click HERE for devotionals based on the theme, "Christmas is a time...."

And have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Food in Primary....

Did you notice how they didn't mention food in primary in the new church handbook?

What am I thinking!
I should have started this off more properly, but I was just way too excited to delete a posting off my sidebar. Less "stuff" on the blog taking up room. I feel like I'm so wordy anyways, the less words the better.

Worldwide Training. Fan-tastic. The whole Ward Council dramatization could have used some pep or background music, or possibly been entirely sung... I admit... I'm horrible. I wish life was more Broadway like and that Dick Van Dyke was still young. Plus I have a hard time sitting in hard chairs for 2 hours on a Saturday morning with glorious sunshine seemingly whispering my name. Please don't get me wrong! I loved the training and it was a very spiritual experience for me, I just waned a little during that part. Anyways, new manuals nothing short of WOW. But that's what you get with Heavenly Father. Nothing short of perfection. I read the first 3 chapters like the brethren asked repeatedly and love the organization of it all. Love the words. Just love love love it. So clear. So concise.

Favorite thoughts: "People not programs"-Elder Bednar- as well as when he said something to the effect of he wishes the word "meeting" would be banished from our LDS vocabulary and changed to "revelatory experiences". Profound!

Also loved how Elder Holland kept patting his fellow Apostles hands, such loving small gestures. Truly he cherishes those he serves with.

President Packer said, "Many years ago, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., speaking for the First Presidency, made an inspired statement warning that too much regimentation in the Church would have the effect of nullifying revelation: “The work of the Church, in all fields, is standing in grave danger of being regimented down to the minutest detail. The result of that will be that not only will all initiative be crushed out but that all opportunity for the working of the spirit will be eliminated. The Church has not been built on that principle” (“Memorandum of Suggestions,” Mar. 29, 1940, 4)."

And lastly, I was sitting on the couch in the lobby listening to the broadcast (because there weren't enough chairs) and a male scout leader went with a boy into a room across from us to conduct an interview. He made sure to leave the door wide and completely open. Then, a lady in the vicinity got up to close the door because she could slightly hear them talking. Irony, anyone? Anyone? Fortunately he told her it was against church policy to do so and she politely apologized and sat down... to listen to the broadcast about following policy...

Click Here to read the revised Handbook. Click Here to watch the whole meeting, and be honest... do you wish just a little bit that the Elders Quorum Pres. would have burst into song during the mock council? Also, any insiders know who were the people in the audience of it?

** UPDATE: A WONDERFUL BLOG friend just opened my eyes... there are no more Primary Quarterly Activities!!!!!!!!! Click HERE to see for yourself. Thanks for the link Hifam!!! If you have questions, check with your Stake Primary leaders!
A little sad though, we were going to have an awesome "Cooking in the Christmas Kitchen" activity.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feasting Upon the Word- Thanksgiving FHE

Image courtesy Creative Commons License by floodllama Nov. 2008

Purpose of this Family Home Evening: We are grateful for the words of Christ! We will feast upon them!

Opening Prayer

Song: A Song of Thanks (Children's Songbook pg. 20a)

Scripture: 2 Nephi 32: 3
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."

Gather some old food type magazines and as a family cut out as many foods as you can find. Have a long piece of paper that you can draw a table on. Each family member can take a turn gluing on a food for the feast, but in order to do so they must tell a story from the scriptures that they are grateful for and why. Some variations could include actual scriptures, personal experiences from studying the scriptures or how a family member reminds them of a scriptural hero/heroine.

Jacob 3: 2 "O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever."

Song: For Thy Bounteous Blessings (Children's Songbook pg.21b)

Closing Prayer

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the winner is....... drumroll.......

Jump for Joy Image courtesy Rzhou creative commons license

I went to and pressed the button......

(A couple people forgot emails, no worries! I counted both posts as one....) The winner is #21,

DORMOMMY who says, "I am still striving to learn the names of all the children I am called to love. I am trying to be better than my best by getting to know them as individuals, not just as classes, or as "the loud one", the "smart one." I am getting better. Thank you for your blog, it is an inspiration."

Thank you so much for your thoughts! I don't have your email though, so hit me up when you have a chance so I can send you your book! Woot Woot! Doesn't it feel fabulous to win something!! We'll have to do this again soon!

Thank you all for participating and sharing such wonderful ideas! You are amazing!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

November 2010 LDS Primary Sharing Time Ideas and Helps

Good Samaritan Image from Gospel Art Book

Monthly Theme: When we serve others, we serve God.
Monthly Scripture: "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17

Week 1 and 2: Jesus Christ taught us how to serve others.

* Get a spray bottle and lightly spray a couple children (Like misting the air above them) Who loves rain? What are some of the things you can do in the rain? How does the rain help the earth? Does anyone have a favorite story of themselves in rain they'd like to share? Invite a primary friend to the front and tell them you have a very hard question you're going to ask them, if they need help they can call on someone else too. The question is Christ taught us how to serve others, but what about people that make bad choices and are mean and cruel. Do we need to serve them?
Matthew 5:43-45 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Play spin the umbrella. (Have a child hold an umbrella pointing down and spin around with their eyes closed. On the ground have word strips with the categories) Different categories for the umbrella to point to could include- tell a story about how Jesus Christ served, Sing a song about Service, Share a way you can serve others, Give service right now! (have the child compliment someone in the room or give a high five to someone they think is an awesome helper and primary friend)

* Service in a snap! Divide into partners. Each person will have 2 minutes (Snap! Snap! Quickly think!) to come up with as many ideas on how to serve possible, the partner will count and keep track. After 4 minutes invite the children to get pony beads for each service idea given. They can string on a pipe cleaner and fashion into a bracelet or do-hinky of sorts as reverent music is playing. Our Savior has said, "I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works;" (Revelations 2:19) He know every little thing that we do to help and love others. Do we know all He has done to teach us about serving others? Take a pipe cleaner and invite the children to share ideas on how Christ has taught us about service. Let them come up to the front and add a bead for each idea.

* Bring in the story of the 3 little pigs. Is this a good story? Why does it teach us? Let's take a vote, would you rather hear the story of the 3 little pigs or have someone tell you stop being lazy! Work! Brainstorm some different ideas on how Jesus taught us. (Sermons, by example, at the temple, through miracles and healings, overturning tables at the temple, parables)

Divide into groups and give each group a different parable Christ taught. Give them a large sheet of paper to draw pictures from the parable and share with the primary how that parable taught us to serve others. (Different parables could include The Lost Sheep (Luke 15), the Lost Coin (Luke 15), the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), The Parable of the laborers in the Vineyard (Matt.20:1-16- we are all equal and do each other service when we don't judge each other), the talents (Matt. 25), the sheep and the goats (End of Matt. 25, focus on especially what the King says!)

* Sing Our Primary Colors (CS pg. 258) What does each color stand for? Bring in a clear plastic container with scraps of red, yellow and blue paper. (Have the yellow paper in pieces of a puzzle of a heart) Invite volunteers to come to the front and share a way to serve others or a favorite story of how Jesus served. Have them close their eyes and draw a paper from the container. If it's yellow, they can put it on the board. After every 3 or 4 different children, sing a song about service- there are 20 listed in the topical guide of the Children's Songbook!

*Here is a great idea by Elizabeth Ricks, “The Master Served,” Friend, Sep 2007, 12–14

Week 3: When I serve my family, I serve God.

* Here are a bunch of fantastic ideas by Cheryl Esplin, “When We’re Helping, We’re Happy,” Friend, Nov 2009, 12–14 (Especially liked this one- "Memorize “By love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Teach that when we serve our family members, it shows we love them and are thankful for them. Have the children listen for another word that means the same thing as serving while they sing the first verse of “When We’re Helping” (p. 198). Tell the children you want them to try smiling with their lips closed, then with their teeth showing, and then with their mouth open. Have them try smiling with only their eyes. Explain that smiling is one of the easiest ways we can serve our family. Help the children suggest other ways they can serve family members. (Examples: help cook, help mow the lawn, help a younger brother pick up toys, write a letter to grandparents, etc.) Write responses on the board. Ask a child to choose an idea from the board and act it out. Let the other children guess what it is. Choose children to act out some of the other ideas."

* Here is a great puzzle for Jr. Primary to make.

*Here are more great ideas from Karen Ashton, “Sharing Time: Love at Home,” Friend, Jun 1996, 44 (Especially liked this one "Ask an adult member of the ward to share with the children a note or letter they have received from a loved one and tell the children why it was important to them. Explain to the children how nice it is to receive a note of love and appreciation. Have the children create a card from construction paper to take home to someone in their family." This would also fulfill a Faith in God requirement under service)

* Joshua 24:15 "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Make an outline of a home and let the children draw pictures of things they can do in their home to serve their family and the Lord. Make sure to let them share with the Primary when finished.

* President Uchtdorf said in our last general conference, "It wasn’t long after astronauts and cosmonauts orbited the earth that they realized ballpoint pens would not work in space. And so some very smart people went to work solving the problem. It took thousands of hours and millions of dollars, but in the end, they developed a pen that could write anywhere, in any temperature, and on nearly any surface. But how did the astronauts and cosmonauts get along until the problem was solved? They simply used a pencil."

We don't have to do complicated acts of service for our families. What are simple things we can do to make family members happy? Make an Arty the Astronaut and a huge star that says "When I serve my family, I serve the Lord." Have little paper pencils and as the children brainstorm ideas, make a path of pencils to the star. Invite children to find scriptures having to do with service to get 2 pencils. Sing a song about service and get 2 more pencils!! (Etc.)

Week 4: When I serve my neighbors, I serve God.

* Have a neighborhood of paper homes. About 10 with flap doors that open to show a number (1-10) on the inside. Ask who is our neighbor? Have a volunteer read Matthew 22:36-40 "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Have questions, songs, and scriptures that have to do with how Jesus taught us how to serve others. Invite students to come to the front and choose a home and open the door. A couple examples could include-
Jesus healed the blind (show GAK picture 213). How can I help other people "see" truth?
Share some feelings or thoughts you have when you think about the greatest act of service ever given- the Atonement of Christ? What is something you know about the story of the Atonement
Please Read Leviticus 19:18

* Briefly summarize the following for the children. You can have a map to show them where Alaska is and Seattle. You can have a toy airplane for a child to hold.

 "The Savior’s entire ministry exemplified love of neighbor, the second part of that lesson given to the inquiring lawyer—spoken of as the “royal law.” A blind man healed, the daughter of Jairus raised, and the lepers cleansed—all were neighbors of Jesus. Neighbor also was the woman at the well. He, the perfect man, standing before a confessed sinner, extended a hand. She was the traveler; He was the good Samaritan. And so the caravan of His kindness continued.What about our time and place? Do neighbors await our love, our kindness, our help? A few years ago I read a Reuters news service account of an Alaska Airlines nonstop flight from Anchorage to Seattle, carrying 150 passengers, which was diverted to a remote town on a mercy mission to rescue a badly injured boy. Two-year-old Elton Williams III had severed an artery in his arm when he fell on a piece of glass while playing near his home in Yakutat, 450 miles (725 kilometers) south of Anchorage. Medics at the scene asked the airline to evacuate the boy. As a result, the Anchorage-to-Seattle flight was diverted to Yakutat. The medics said the boy was bleeding badly and probably would not live through the flight to Seattle, so the plane flew 200 miles (320 kilometers) to Juneau, the nearest city with a hospital. The flight then went on to Seattle, with the passengers arriving two hours late, most missing their connections. But none complained. In fact, they dug into their pocketbooks and took up a collection for the boy and his family. Later, as the flight was about to land in Seattle, the passengers broke into a cheer when the pilot said he had received word by radio that Elton was going to be all right. Surely love of neighbor was in evidence." From Thomas S. Monson, “The Way of the Master,” Ensign, Jan 2003, 2–7
Have the children make paper airplanes and write (or draw) ways to help serve neighbors, and thus serve God. (Beware, and just be prepared, children will want to fly their paper airplanes!)

* "Most of us profess to love God. The challenge, I have observed, is loving our neighbor. The term neighbor includes family, people with whom we work, those whom we see in geographical proximity to our home and at church, and even the enemy, though we do not condone what the latter does. If we do not love all of these, our brothers and sisters, can we truly say that we love God? The Apostle John declared “that he who loveth God love his brother also,” and added, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar” (1 Jn. 4:21, 20). Love of God and neighbor must therefore be inseparably connected." Robert F. Orton, “‘The First and Great Commandment’,” Liahona, Jan 2002, 94–95 Have 3 large ropes. Give one end to 3 different children while you hold the other ends. Have them twist over and under each other to braid the ropes, as they do so have them give a way to serve their neighbors.  Sing Where Love Is (CS pg. 138)
Elder Orton then says, "I conclude that, given the purpose of our existence, if we do not love God and neighbor, whatever else we do will be of little eternal consequence.

* Have a large map. Have pictures from the church news of different areas where the church has given humanitarian aide to our neighboring countries. Do we know the names of our neighbors? Challenge primary friends to go with their parents and find out who lives by them and what they can do to help!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Better Than Our Best

(Michael Phelps image courtesy google search... source not found to accredit to)

A couple weeks ago I was called to be 2nd counselor in our Primary. I had the privilege of doing a couple fun months as Relief Society Meeting Coordinator (whew... mouthful) where we sang karaoke at a rest home, did a taste of world cuisine progressive activity (instead of dinner, tasters... bless you Costco) and I was hoping to get a star gazing/ astronomy class in there- but I was then called to teach the Valiant 8 and 9 year olds. Talk about exceptional children, even though we only had 2 months together!! (We're having a Old Testament party that I'll post details on later.)

Babble some more Sofia. Long winded, anyone.. anyone?

Point: I am the first to admit I have so much to learn. I have to do so much better than my best.

I was reading and came across a couple quotes I wanted to share in regards to learning and life:

"Thomas Edison was a lifelong learner. He is reported to have said, "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeed in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."

"We spend our lives doing better than our best! Our best today is not our best tomorrow. Our best today is never our best tomorrow, for what we learn and do today changes our capacity. Our progress depends upon doing better today, even though yeterday's "better" seemed all that was possible at that time." (quoted from Return by Elder Robert D. Hales)

He then goes on (of course more eloquently) to talk about Michael Phelps and how he set records one year and then broke them the next. How his records shattered those who had swam multiple years before him. We get to this point where we do our best and then ask, what now?

"As we stand atop any peak, let us enjoy the moment of satisfaction in the present. Look at the remarkable view and the progress we have made. Then turn around to see what new peaks are now in sight and set a course to climb higher in the future. When we do this, we see clearly how the achievement of one goal paves the way to higher achievement in the future. Looking back and contemplating the sacrifice and hard work that were required to achieve past goals, we gain confidence and determination that we can do more and climb even higher. The real meaning of lifelong learning takes shape in the cycle of past, present, and future-with each old step becoming a foundation for the new." (again quoting from Return by Elder Robert D.Hales)

I'm excited to being going on my 8th year in primary. I know that I have sooooooo many things to do better and I'm just grateful that through Christ, anything is possible if I put my trust in Him. One thing I'm really going to be better at is consistently fellowshipping inactive primary children and eating less chocolate.

I gobbled up Return and feasted upon a true buffet of doctrine and soul satisfying goodness! Now it's time to cash in my points at Deseret Book and share the love with those I love most!!! YOU!!! (Well, first Heavenly Father and Jesus, then my family and then you... please don't be disgruntled, I don't downplay my love for you but feel I should clarify)

Post a comment with something you plan to do in your life to be better than your best and a way to contact you. I'll choose a winner November 1 through one of those random number generator thingies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Dear Readers....

Food Image Courtesy University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

First off, I love people who make comments. I appreciate you taking the time to share thoughts and wish we could get together and do brunch, because really eggs are a miracle food.

Recently I was left a comment "Anonymous said...Week one: Treats in Primary?? You might want to check the Handbook on treats in Primary.. Our kids are sweet enough..we don't need to sugar them to death
October 17, 2010 10:07 PM"

I try not to be defensive, but at the same time the world of communication without communication leaves me in an awkard position. Perhaps if we were face to face it would have been said different?

I know the Primary handbook inside out. I know the policy: "Food should only be provided when it is included as part of a lesson or as a snack for the children in the nursery class. Be sure to consult with the parents of each child about any dietary restrictions that may be caused by conditions such as diabetes or allergies (see Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, 239)."

Key words, emphasis given: when it is included as part of a lesson. I've never once suggested to use food in a different way.

Hear me out.... I have posted at least 4 different ideas for each week, each month for the past 2 years. I have also posted different ideas for at least 10 songs, 4 different ideas each. That's at least 424 different ideas. Out of 424 different ideas, roughly 5 ideas have INCORPORATED food into the lesson. For a grand total of (.....drumroll please......) .01% involving food.

Do I think food can be used to enhance a lesson?
You betcha! So often attention and interest can be lost when we do the same thing each week. Food often attracts interest and focus and when used properly can aide teaching using a different medium.

Should we "sugar" our kids "to death"?
 Thank you Food Network star Jamie Oliver, NO!

I've added a new "sidebar text" of the food in primary policy because I want it clear that I adhere to it. I'm not one to bring in candy as rewards! I know the true reward of all we do is the love and peace Heavenly Father gives us when we are obedient and I ALWAYS teach this to the children I am responsible to.

Isa. 55: 1 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

* Update 10/20/2010: I am such a whiner. Thank you everyone for your kindness and thoughtful words!!! I don't know why I had such a moment of "sensitivity". Actually, I do. I think I had just watched Remember the Titans and was horribly emotional -thank you Denzel and your stellar acting skills/stunning good looks.

I really love the spiritual connection I feel with the Lord as I pray and ask to be a help in any way I can. I'm the first to tell you, I'm a moron. I make so many mistakes it's not even funny. Again, my apologies for being such a whiner. I'm not planning on stopping blogging, although in all reality I truly believe if we were to just get on our knees- God would provide for us and lessons would be given where the Holy Ghost abounds and truth is poured into the little souls of those around us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Value of Scripture: A Reader’s Theatre of King Josiah’s Story (LDS Primary 6:Old Testament Lesson 37)

King Josiah King Josiah by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld This media file is in the public domain in the US.This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.

As a different way to teach this week's lesson, please feel free to use the following and make adjustments as needed to fit your individual primary classes' needs. Just don't sell this to a publishing company or say you wrote it because I will go postal on you and chop off fingers. Yes? No. But yes sort of. Or no. Yes, again, sort of.

The Value of Scripture: A Reader’s Theatre of King Josiah’s Story
By Sofia Lykes

Narrator 1       Josiah’s Mother       Achbor (S)
Narrator 2       Hilkiah (S)               Huldah the prophetess
Narrator 3       Shaphan (S)             Moses
King Josiah      Ahikam (S)

Simple costumes
Temple Background/Posterboard

Narrator 1: A long, long, long, long, long, long, long….

Narrator 2: We get the point. This story of ours takes place in ancient times!

Narrator 1: Yes, well I just want to make sure it’s nice and clear this story didn’t happen yesterday. It was a long, long, long…

Narrator 2: Long time ago!! Sheesh.

King Josiah: It started when I was 8 years old. Who here is 8 years old?

Josiah’s Mother: He was such a wonderful little boy and at 8 it was time to be king.

Narrator 1: Woah, King of Israel at 8 years old! That’s so much cooler than going to school.

Josiah’s Mother: Not quite! Stay in school and go to college!

King Josiah: It was a lot of work with little time to play. But I did the best I could and “that which was right in the sight of the Lord.”

Josiah’s Mother: My little king. (Sigh) I’m so proud!

Narrator 2: In the meantime, the high priest of the temple was digging around and found something interesting.

Hilkiah: Woah! Crazy! Insane!

Narrator 3: What? Is something on fire?

Hilkiah: Nothing is on fire but I do have a warm feeling that something important is about to happen. I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. (Hand book to Shaphan)

Shaphan: I the scribe shall read this. (Pause) Wow! Crazy! Insane!

Narrator 2: Is something on fire? What is Shapan running to King Josiah?

Shaphan: “Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book.” I must read it to you dear noble and righteous King!

Narrator 1: How do you think the King would feel after his scribe found scriptures?

Narrator 2: I bet he’d be pretty happy.

Narrator 3: Yeah, I bet he’d be jumping for joy.

Narrator 1: First off, betting is wrong. Gambling is a serious sin and you should never play slot machines. Seeing as we live in Nevada where casinos are standard and smoking and breaking the word of wisdom is common, we must be better than what surrounds us.

Narrator 2: You’re so wise.

Narrator 3: I had an uncle who used to play at the casinos all the time and then lost his job and family. Totally sad. Good point my friend.

King Josiah: Ahhhhhh!!!!! (Pretend to rip clothes)

Narrator 2: Woah, what’s going on?

Narrator 1: I know he doesn’t gamble, what’s the problem here?

King Josiah: “Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.”

Narrator 3: Is he talking to me?

Narrator 2: No he’s talking to Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah.

Ahikam: Hi, you haven’t met me yet.

Achbor: Or me.

Shaphan: But you have met me, remember I’m the scribe.

Hilkiah: We must go see the prophetess Huldah.

Achbor: Woah. A prophetess? Can a woman be a prophet?

Shapan: Good thing I’m a scribe. Revelation 19:10 says, “ For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Huldah: I know, totally deep right? “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.”

Narrator 1: Woah.

Ahikam: Wait! There’s more! Listen to the prophetess!

Huldah: “But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.”

Narrator 3: So they traveled back to the King and told him everything Huldah the prophetess had said.

King Josiah: We must gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.

Josiah’s Mother: Quickly!

Narrator 1: Well, what happened next was pretty simple but teaches great truth.

Narrator 2: King Josiah read to the people the scripture and book of law found in the temple. Then he covenanted with the Lord….

Achbor: Hold on. I forgot, what’s a covenant?

Narrator 2: Great question. It’s a sacred promise that you should never break.

Narrator 3: My mama always told me, never mess with the big man upstairs. If you promise and covenant with Him, that’s it. Keep that covenant.

Josiah’s Mother: That’s right. Mama’s know best. (Snap fingers in the shape of a Z)

Narrator 2: “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”

Hilkiah: Well, the king has given me a little to do list now. Let’s see. 1. I need go get vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven 2. I need to burn them.

Narrator 3: So cool, I love fire.

Narrator 1: OK, we don’t need details. It’s good enough to say that idolatry was done. And all because King Josiah and his people listened to the scriptures.

King Josiah: The scriptures will always bring joy because true joy is knowledge. Knowledge of Christ, that He and only He is our Saviour.

Narrator 2: We interrupt this reader’s theatre to bring you a scripture from Moses.

Moses: Thank you. As for scriptures, I’d just like to throw in a couple thoughts. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Scriptures are IMPORTANT!!!

King Josiah: Amen Moses. Amen my brother.

ALL: “Reading and following the counsel of the scriptures brings joy!!!”

As a handout for home, I'll make a set of index cards for them to match with families. The material for index cards comes from the Erinchment Ideas and Suggested Home reading from the lesson:Remind the children that in order to obey the commandments, they have to be able to remember them. To help them remember, play a memory game. Write the names of the following people from the Old Testament on separate 3″ x 5″ cards. On other cards write the phrases that describe each person. Have the children take turns matching the card with the name of the person on it with the card that says what he or she did. When the children have matched all the cards, discuss the spiritual qualities they remember about each person. After matching read with families 2 Kings 23:1–3, 25 and Isaiah 40:8 at home as a review of this lesson.Person-Action

Adam-Left the Garden of Eden
Enoch-His righteous city was translated
Noah-Built an ark
Abraham-Willing to sacrifice his son
Rebekah-Left her family to marry Isaac
Joseph-Forgave his brothers
Moses-Saved his people from bondage
Ruth-Accepted the gospel from her mother-in-law
David-With the strength of the Lord, killed a giant
Elijah-Fed by ravens during a drought