Wednesday, April 21, 2010

May 2010 Week 1 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas : Reader's Theatre

Hwy 52 Manchester, Michigan Strong Tree Image courtesy Creative Commons license by live w mcs July 23, 2009

Week 1 My faith in Jesus Christ is strengthened when I obey.

For TIPS on a successful experience read HERE. Seriously, read it!

You'll need to revamp for Junior Sharing Time!

A Faithful Exercise

By Sofia Lykes


Narrator 1

Narrator 2



Joseph Smith

Non Speaking Characters:

Towel carrier

Friend to hold up Picture of Christ

Friend who can do a push up

Friend who can do a pull up

Props (Keep it simple!)

2 little towels

headbands for the narrators and Mr.Obedience

Picture of Christ

Simple costumes

A couple hand weights

Narrator 1: Coming to the gym and doing work outs sure makes me feel good!

Narrator 2: (pretend lift a weight) Me too! I’m totally pumped up!

Narrator 1: Hey! Who’s that?

Mr. Obedience: Well hello there friends! I’m Mr.Obedience! I’m here to teach you about true strength!

Narrator 2: Huh? Mr. What?

Mr. Obedience: Obedience silly! (pretend lift a weight) And I’m here to teach you about true strength! Boy, I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot.

Narrator 1: Well, I already know all about being strong. I can lift a 200 lb weight, see! (pretend lift a weight)

Narrator 2: That’s nothing! I can do 500 jumping jacks! (starts doing jumping jacks)

Mr. Obedience: Friends. You are strong I can see, but I’m talking about strength that doesn’t fade with age or sickness. It doesn’t have to do with your body muscles! It has to do with your spiritual well being! I’m talking about having a strong faith!

Narrator 1: Spiritual well being? Is there a special gym I need to go to? Because I really like the swimming pool they have at our gym here.

Narrator 2: Ah gee. Switching gyms? I like the fresh towels they give us here.

(Friend comes by and hands them each a towel)

Narrator 2: See! Aren’t they soft!?!

Mr. Obedience: You guys, this is all great. But you’re not listening! I have something very special to share with you. Maybe it will help if I bring in a friend.

Helaman: “…For behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.” (Helaman 14:30)

Mr. Obedience: We all have choices! Everyday we choose to follow Christ or not. If we choose to follow Him we are being obedient!

Narrator 2: So being obedient is following Christ?

Mr. Obedience: Yes! Sometimes it can be hard. My friend Nephi was commanded to get the brass plates. He had no idea how he’d do it, but he wanted to be obedient.

Nephi: “I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7)

Narrator 1: Wow. It takes a lot of exercise of faith to be obedient. I don’t know if I could obey every single rule I was commanded to! That just doesn’t seem fun. Rules, rules, rules! Blah!

Mr. Obedience: That’s not the attitude our Prophet Joseph Smith had!

Joseph Smith: “To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded…. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.1

Narrator 1: He’s right! I need to obey always! After all, I want to be like my Savior. He was the greatest example of obedience. He got baptized even though He was perfect to show His willingness to do whatever Heavenly Father commanded.

(Friend holds up picture of Christ)

Narrator 2: D&C 93:1 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;”

(read darker words strong and a little louder)

Mr. Obedience: You’re getting it now! Push ups are great (point to a friend doing a push up) Pull ups make rock hard biceps (point to a friend doing a pull up motion) but it’s exercising obedience that makes our faith strong! And we all know a little faith is stronger than any muscle, after all it moves mountains... come on everybody! Follow me!

(doing simple actions)

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed (hold up fingers like pinching a seed), ye shall say unto this mountain (make mountains with hands), Remove (push away hand) hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (push away hand); and nothing shall be impossible unto you (point to friends).”[2]

I can be obedient! (pump up arms like lifting weight) I can be obedient! (pump up arms like lifting weight) I can be obedient! (pump up arms like lifting weight)

All: We can be obedient! (pump up arms like lifting weight)

Everyone makes their best muscle man pose!!!

[1] Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 332

[2] Matthew 17:20

May 2010 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin

May Theme: Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Lead Me to Jesus Christ.
May Scripture: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Articles of Faith 1:4)

Ways to help memorize the fourth article of faith:
* Sing the song!! CS page 124
* Divide the Article into 5 phrases. Hide those 5 phrases (add a little picture for those who can’t read) under 5 children’s chairs and let them come put on the chalkboard in order. Have the primary say the Article of Faith as they put in order.
* While saying the Article of Faith have the children draw a square with their fingers in the air- on the points of each square will be each principle or ordinance. You can have a child come up to front and point to a corner in their square and have another child say what principle or ordinance it is.
* Have a set of 3 sequencing pictures for 3 children to hold. (For example, I’ll have a picture of a girl planting a seed, a stem growing with leaves, a full flower) Let a child put them in the right order. Can you get the flower before you plant the seed? (Be prepared, you will have someone say, “Yes, just buy one at the store!” to which you can respond, “Good thought, but someone had to plant a seed before the store could get it!” This is like the Gospel, you have to do things in order before you can get the full result of returning to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! Have signs with pictures for faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands for children to hold. Invite a child to put them in the right order as you all say the Article of Faith out loud.
* Bring white out! Print out the Article of Faith on a 8X10 piece of paper. Let a child white out a few words (like 6 total), you say the Article of Faith but stop at white out words and let the primary fill in the blank!
* Have words from the Article of Faith cut out and attached to paper clips. Let a child come and fish 3 words out. (Using a small stick with a string and magnet on the end of the string) Repeat the Article as a primary but leave out those 3 words!

The key with helping to learn and commit to memory is this: keep it short and simple. LESS talk from YOU and MORE participation from the CHILDREN. And don’t spend more than a couple minutes doing these activities, just do them often with the children perhaps every week during opening exercises.

Week 1 My faith in Jesus Christ is strengthened when I obey.

* Reader’s Theatre! See Here.

Week 2 I can repent.

* The Lord told Adam, “Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence.” (Moses 6:57)
Have a dirty penny and a small cup of ketchup. Let’s see what will happen. Put the penny in the ketchup and go on with your lesson. At the end, take it out and wipe it with a wet wipe. Bear testimony that through repentance and the Atonement we are able to be clean!

Have a clothesline with dirty clothes clipped on. Divide into groups and give each group a question: How do we repent? What does it mean to forsake and confess? When do we repent? How does repentance help us? (All answers can be found in Gospel Principles pg.122-127-- highly recommend making little copies of sections that match questions to be read in groups, give 4 minutes time for the group to talk or just watch to see when most are done) Let a child from the group come up and share their answers and exchange a dirty piece of clothes for a clean one.

* Point to a child and ask them what is something they can do. Try to involve lots of children! I can jump. I can sing. I can name all my state capitals. Ask other friends to listen and if they can do that too, then stand up also! Say, I can repent. Can everyone else do that too?

* Again, the white out. Bring in a piece of paper and pen. Write down something like I love my primary friends a lot! Whoops! I made a mistake, I wanted to write I love my primary friends more than a 25 scoop ice cream sundae with whip cream and nuts and a cherry on top. How will I fix my mistake? White out! The atonement of Christ white’s out our sins when we repent. Isaiah 1: 18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Let the children write down words or small pictures of mistakes we might make. Invite them to come up and share their words, then let them white out the words. Ask questions like: How do we repent? Why should we repent? What do you think it feels like after you have repented? Can you think of anyone from the scriptures that repented or didn’t repent? After a child answers a question, invite them up to white out a mistake.

* What would you do if you had 20 minutes to spend at Disneyland? What about if you had 2 minutes to play at a park? What are you doing with the time you’ve been given to live this earthly life? Alma 42:4 “And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God.”

Have a large poster board clock with detachable numbers and hands for the children to turn. Let the children come and turn it to a certain hour and have corresponding (on the back of each number) scenarios for them to answer what they would do. For example, child turns it to 4, take off the number and read the scenario: You are at school and having an important test. You don’t know the answer to one of the questions but your friend does and you can see their test. Should you cheat? Now you find out that a person was looking off your test, what should they do?” You can also have the primary children point to their wrists (like a watch) if they think it’s time to repent!

* Have a picture of Christ. Would you rather be close or far away from Christ? Have a child come up and walk toward Him, what are some things that bring us closer to Christ? What are some things that turn us away from Him (have the child turn and walk away)? If we make mistakes, is that it? We’ll just be really far away from Him, end of story? Helaman 7:17 “O repent ye, repent ye! Why will ye die? Turn ye, turn ye unto the Lord your God…” Repentance can turn us back!

“The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to ‘re-turn’ toward God.” (Neil L. Andersen, Repent . . . That I May Heal You,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 40)
Re-Turn the child and have them walk to Christ’s picture!

*"We have felt [the Lord's] forgiveness, His love and comfort. [He] has said, 'I am he [who] comforteth you' (2 Nephi 8:12). The Lord's desire that we come unto Him and be wrapped in His arms is often an invitation to repent. 'Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you' (Alma 5:33)."(Neil L. Andersen,, "Repent . . . That I May Heal You," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 40)
Have little cards folded in half. Make invitations to repent! Have the children decorate the cards with pictures of Christ. Have them put on the envelope… If I’ve made a mistake, what can I do? (For children that can’t write, have this already written for them) On the inside you can have them write You’re invited to say sorry, pray for forgiveness and do better! The children can make as many invitations as they want! They can put these by their bed as a reminder what to do if they make a mistake. Encourage them to share with their families what they have learned about repentance!

Week 3 When I am baptized I make a covenant with God.
*What is a covenant? A binding agreement or promise between God and a person or group of people.

Play Wheel of Covenants! Bring in a spinner with different values and earn points as a primary! Phrases to be solved: (Take out 2-3 words or have them fill in the word or guess a letter….) Have pictures to accompany the phrases once solved!
Take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ
Stand as a witness for God
Keep the Commandments
The Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands
Enter into the Kingdom of God

Have children come up at the end and hold the pictures. Bear testimony if we do these things like take upon us the name of Jesus, keep the commandments and stand as a witness for God by being baptized then He will keep up His part of the covenant and bless us with the Holy Ghost and let us enter into His kingdom.

* Bring in a large blue shower curtain (Dollar store!) or large piece of blue butcher paper or old blue sheet. Have tape!!, glue sticks, coloring crayons and plenty of sheets of paper. Make a primary mural depicting the story of Alma and the Waters of Mormon! (Mosiah 18) Show GAK picture 309 and BRIEFLY tell the story of what happened there. Invite the children to share what they know about the story. Children can draw people being baptized, Alma, plants, flowers, clouds…. Invite older children to find out…. Things We Covenant: and Things Heavenly Father Covenants when We are Baptized: (Gospel Principles outlines these perfectly… have them write down and add to the mural!) And voila! You have a great visual to use for other lessons on baptism!!

*Here is a great resource with ideas from Cheryl Esplin! The kids could do the mazes together in partners for Senior Sharing time.

*Here is a flannel board baptism story from the friend magazine.

* Here is a wonderful roller box presentation on covenants with additional ideas from Ann Jamison from the friend magazine.

* Here is a super duper board game you can enlarge and play called “Keeping My Baptismal Covenants” by Jennifer Rose and Beth M. Whittaker.

Week 4 When I am confirmed I receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
* Have 5 different gifts that you’ve received. Let the children put them in order of what is the least to most worth. What is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given? "John the Baptist said that while he baptized with water, Jesus baptized 'with the Holy Ghost' (John 1:33). Nothing in this life is of greater worth than the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost." (Lawrence E. Corbridge, "The Way, Ensign," Nov. 2008, 35)
* Have different hand prints on the board for the children to come up and choose. On those hand prints have questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Remember, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the “laying on of hands”!

* Lesson 13: The Gift of the Holy Ghost Can Help Me,” Primary 2: Choose the Right A, 61 found HERE is an excellent resource with activities for the children. When I taught this I told the story of Sara Jane and hid different rocks throughout the room. I let a child search for a rock and then we whispered/directed where that person should look. We talked about how the spirit whispers to us, guiding us and directing us.

There is a story at the end about a girl’s confirmation that could be made into a flannel board! (Flannel Board Tip: Let the children come up and put the picture on the board!!) We’ve also used this lesson for FHE! It’s a good one!

* The outline said the “focus of the sharing time in week 4 should be on the children sharing how the Holy Ghost has helped them”. Sit in a circle (have the room set up BEFORE sharing time, as the come in the room DIRECT them where to sit) and have the children pass around a bear and small blanket. The Holy Ghost comforts us, guides us, helps us to be happy. Just like the warmth we feel when we’re in a blanket, the Holy Ghost fills our hearts with joy and peace. Let them pass around the bear and blanket. If they’d like to share something they know about the holy ghost, they can do so when they have the bear and blanket. If not, they can hug the bear and talk about anything that makes them feel happy or just pass! Give the children 15 second warnings if they are telling an overly long story…

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 6th: Restoration Party!!

(Joseph Smith Image- Gospel Art Book)
We love reasons to celebrate and party at our house... so tomorrow will be no exception! Here is what we plan to do:

1. I will take a few items away from my girls. Then I will bring back the items and "Restore" them to the girls. This may sound scary, seeing as they are 5 and 3, but really my girls are game for anything!
2. Taking a calendar and outlining the April 6th with a bright color, laying it on the floor, I will have the girls toss bean bags and see how close they can get to the date! April 6th is a wonderful day because it was the day the church was organized again in the latter days... Quote April 6th was, "The precise day upon which, according to (God's) will and commandment, we should proceed to organize his church once again, here upon the earth." (Joseph Smith, "History of Joseph Smith," Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1842, pp.928-29.)
3. We are going to gather small twigs and leaves and make "Sacred Grove" art by gluing them onto the paper with a small clip art image of Joseph Smith praying.
(Small hint: Let children glue, then when they are done placing, you add a bit of hot glue for the sticks to really stay in place)
4. Taking small milk cartons, white frosting and preztel sticks we'll make log cabins like Peter Whitmer Sr.'s home (pictured below in Fayette Township, NY) where the very first church meeting was held!

5. I'm going to take some paper plates, cut them in half and let the girls paint them gold. I'll have some short scriptures for them to glue on when dry, and then punch holes and add them to binder rings... hence making their own set of golden plates.

6. Yes/NO Hop: Have 2 papers on the ground, one YES one NO. I will hold up some GAK pictures and say all the things they did in their very first meeting as a Church. The girls then have to choose YES or NO and jump on the right one answering this question: Do we also do that today in our church meetings? "Elements present at that meeting in 1830: exercise the law of common consent, singing, praying, partaking of the sacrament, sharing of personal tesimonies, bestowal of he gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, ordinations, personal revelation, and revelation through priesthood officers." (Our Heritage A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, p.15)

7. We have old Joseph Smith calendars that I got for $1 at Deseret Book. I plan on making a word wall with pictures from the calendars. (A word wall is basically a bulletin board that is smack dab in the living room where the girls can see it often and familiarize themselves with the words,letters, gospel vocabulary) Words/phrases to include for my little readers: Joseph Smith, Restore, True Church, Apostacy, April 6, JSH 1:25 "I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it..." Emma Smith, Doctrine and Covenants.

8. All in Favor Listening Activity: I will review with the girls what we do when we sustain/ law of common consent. In the very first church meeting on April 6, 1830 the prophet recorded, "Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded, according to previous commandment, to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the Kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church according to said commandment which we had received. To these several propositions they consented by a unanimous vote."(Our Heritage A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, p.14) I will say some phrases and the girls have to listen to whether or not I say "All in favor." to then raise or not raise their hand. Questions to ponder:
What does it mean to be unified? How about seperate?
Why is it important to vote on things?
How can we show love and support for others?
When we sustain others, are we being one with Christ?

9. We'll eat some Johnny cakes, jerky and apples for lunch... similar to what they ate during that time!

10. The girls can play dolls with the wagon I found at Goodwill for $3 and dress up in pioneer clothes... also goodwill finds :)