Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Highlight: The Children Sing

I know there are a lot of talented people out there. You'll notice I don't link. It's rather complicated and involves meeting my husband who at the time had all the possessions he owned from his entire life in one suitcase. Well the better half taught me about the freedom of decluttering and actually instilled a little phobia about too much junk. So as neurotic as it is, I don't link because I don't want to clutter up my blog. Not suggesting talented people are clutter, because they aren't. I wish I could blame my freaky notions on not having an apendex, but I do have an apendex so there is no reasonable explanation. Please forgive me if I've never linked your awesome and super website.

With that said, I did want to feature one blog that has really helped me. I love all the ideas, I love how she presents them and I love that her blog is Christ centered. It's simple and easy and well presented. If you are a Primary Chorister or just love to sing or want to learn how to make singing more of a blessing to children.... check her out.

October 2010 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

  Fancy Invite Image courtesy Lovelymorning Kristina

Monthly Theme: The Mission of the Church Is to Invite All to Come unto Christ.
Monthly Scripture: "Yea, come unto Christ, and be ye perfected in him" Moroni 10:32 

Week 1 Following the prophet will help us come unto Christ.

* Make 14 paper keys and 14 locks. Have a small picture on the key and lock to match of different prophets. HERE is a wonderful talk given by President Ezra Taft Benson. Each time a child makes a match, have them read one of the 14 fundamentals. Have pictures and songs to go along with different fundamentals. For example, you can have 2 children hold up a picture of President Monson and the Book of Mormon. Both are important but which is more vital (remember to define vital!)? Have the primary children vote by touching their noses for President Monson or their head for the Book of Mormon. According to President Benson "Our living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works."

* "Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” 2 Chr. 20:20 Have a picture of a little miner on a popsicle stick. We're going to pass the miner and dig in the mine to see if we can prosper! On the board have a cave with 10 different jewels. Would a miner go to the ocean to dig for jewels? Where would he prosper the most? In a cave! Just like we prosper the most when we believe in His prophets! Have scriptures, questions, and songs on the jewels having to do with following the prophet. Give bonus jewels for people that can name things they learned at conference. Let the children pass the miner after they have come to the front to pick a jewel and answer, to another child.

* Break out the hymn books! Divide into groups and let them choose a song having to do with prophets from the hymn book. (They can look it up in the back!) Have the pianist play the hymn while they hold up their pictures and say the line they illustrated... or they can sing it as a group if they like too!

* Make a rice crispy foundation type building. Use each treat as a foundation block. Let the children place blocks as they name different principles or stories they learned from conference. The treats should be fairly sticky so that the foundation won't fall apart. " Ephesians 2:20 " And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Of course, it's up to you if you let the children eat them.... follow the spirit! Following the prophets is a treat especially because their words lead us to Christ!!

* Have 3 children come to the front. Ask the primary if the children's mouths are the same. Show some teeth, perhaps stick out a tongue. Look at your neighbor, do your mouths look alike. Does anyone have the exact same mouth as Heavenly Father? I don't know, but let's put one finger on your lips and listen to this scripture: “Thou shalt give heed unto all his [the prophet’s] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith” D&C 21:4–5

Does this mean the prophet has the same mouth? Not exactly, but what he says we need to listen to! Break into groups and have them come up with as many things possible they learned about conference on a piece of paper. Let a group spokesperson come up and share with the whole primary. Have a piece of paper on the blackboard, let them put on some tinted lip gloss and kiss the paper. Then next to that the number of how many things they learned. Add up all the numbers! Spectacular!

* HERE are some great ideas from the Friend by Linda Magleby, “Sharing Time: Follow the Prophet,” Friend, Mar 2006, 18–20

*HERE are more ideas from the Friend by Judy Edwards, “Sharing Time: Follow the Prophets,” Friend, Aug 1993, 36

*HERE is a fun tube idea. Kind of out of the regular type activity! From the Friend by Vicki F. Matsumori, “Sharing Time: Follow the Prophet,” Friend, Nov 2003, 15 There is also a good little necklace idea when you scroll down!

Week 2 Sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ.

* Have the children guess where your favorite place to vacation is. Would they know unless you told them? Ask another child to come to the front. Have the primary guess who is their favorite prophet. Would they know unless the primary friend shared their answer? We have to talk. We have to share for others to know!!!

* Have 2 cell phones and 2 children come up front. Have one call the other. Is this how Heavenly Father calls us? Not quite! Write on the board, HOW, WHY, WHAT. Brainstorm ideas on how Heavenly Father calls us, why and what He calls us to.
"You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father's spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives. Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. . .You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord."
Henry B. Eyring, "Rise to Your Call," Ensign, Nov. 2002, 76
Have a cell phone up front. Have 10 different questions, scriptures and songs on missionary work. Here's the fun part- Leave the door open and send a member of the presidency outside. Invite a child up to the front, then have the presidency member call the phone for the child to answer. Have the presidency member give them the question, scripture or song over the phone. (Which means you'll have to give them a list in advance!) Let the child share what they heard and then answer with the whole primary.
Heavenly Father calls us to the work! We must share the gospel so others can come to Christ!!

* Do you have a boomerang or a picture of one? Show the children and ask what this is and what it does.
What is another word for share? How about give? Look up Luke 6:38 "Give and it shall be given unto you."
If we share the gospel and help others come to Christ, what will be given to us in return? Since I don't live in beautiful Australia (sigh... don't get me wrong, I heart the Biggest Little City in the World aka Reno, it's just I can't randomly sing Men at Work's 1981-ish pop hit I Come from a Land Down Under when people ask me where I from, sigh again)... I would take a frisbee and put a picture of a boomerang on it. Then invite 2 children up front to help. Invite them to toss it back and forth (to demonstrate giving and returning) and see how many times they can do it before it drops. (Choose your children wisely and remind them we can have fun learning while showing respect in Heavenly Father's house) Now divide into groups and have frisbees (Our pretend boomerangs) for everyone to pass around. To do so though, they must first share a way on how to share the gospel and be a good missionary. When finished have them do it again, this time sharing something they can testify to be true.
Yes, it's important to share about Christ. But lets not forget in sharing we receive quite a bit in return also!
* D&C 65: 2 - "The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth." Have the children decorate rocks to give to your ward/branch missionaries or friends. These rocks should be decorated with gospel principles or ideas. Write letters to the missionaries serving from your ward as a primary and have the kids share some thoughts on how they can be good missionaries!
Week 3 We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake.

We have a solemn responsibility this week and always as teachers. Moses 6:57 "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."

Please pardon, some of these ideas are recycled from previous posts.
*Take a white piece of cloth. Have a child help by gently squeezing ketchup, mustard or whatever else on the cloth. Ask the children if they would ever wear something this dirty? So it is with Heavenly Father, sin makes us dirty and we need to repent to return to him clean. If you have a bleach pen, now would be the time to use it to show how repentance works. (Make sure to try it at home first!! So you know what to use to stain the cloth and remove it completely!!!)

* Ask a primary friend to tell you exactly what they were doing 3 years and 4 days ago at exactly 12:56PM. Ok, try another friend. What were they doing 3 weeks ago on Tuesday? Did they forget? Sometimes it's easy to forget things! Sometimes it's not. When it comes to sincere repentance though the Lord has said, "he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven and I the Lord, remember them no more." D&C 58:42

* Have a dark black painted piece of wood. Invite a child to come up and paint over it white. One coat of paint isn't going to work to turn it white. We make mistakes often and need to repent often to return to Heavenly Father.

* Do you have a tarnished piece of silver? Bring it in with some silver cleaner and basin of water. Repentance makes us clean to return to our Heavenly Father. Demonstrate this with the silver.

* In Elder Robert D. Hales new book Return, (So awesome, so far one of my top 10 favorites!which I wish I could quote verbatim but copyrights prevent so pardon my paraphrasing) This would make a good visual diorama! He tells the story of the first time he went for flying lessons. He had always wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. When he got in the plane, he was somewhat prepared, but his instructor forgot to tell him where and how to use the brakes!! He started speeding down the runway before he realized this fact and crashed into a hanger! It was very scary for him and he had a lot of fear afterwards, but even though this had happened, he kept his goal in sight. He wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. He was very embarrassed, but he didn't let the mistake keep him from his goal. He compares this to repentance in that we will make mistakes and it's hard, but repentance makes it possible to reach our ultimate goal of Christ. Don't let mistakes keep you from Christ.

*Karen Ashton brilliantly writes “Sharing Time: Repentance—Turning from Wrong to Right,” Friend, Apr 1997, 36

"Discuss with the older children what the word poison means. Tell them that it is like sin. Just as poison destroys the body, sin destroys the spirit. Explain that if you were to take poison, you might immediately realize what you had done, be sorry, tell someone, and not take any more. But that would not save you from the effects of the poison already in your body. Help the children understand that when you have sinned, or taken spiritual poison, Jesus has commanded you to repent. You must feel sorry for the sin, confess it to Heavenly Father, try to pay for what you have done, and try to not do it again. Jesus Christ suffered and paid for all our sins so that we can repent. This is called the Atonement. Just as taking an antidote (medicine that works against poison) can eliminate the bad effects of poison in our system, repentance and the Atonement together can eliminate sin from our lives.

Have the children look up the scriptures, then verbally fill in the blanks in the following sentences with repent, repentance, atone, or atonement. Discuss each scripture as you fill in the blank. Give each child a copy of the activity; suggest that he/she share it with his/her family. Sentences: And he commandeth all men that they must ________________ (2 Ne. 9:23). For the ____________ satisfieth the demands of … justice (2 Ne. 9:26). For according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an ____________ made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish (Alma 34:9). We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, ____________ (A of F 1:4). Now this is the commandment: ____________, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name (3 Ne. 27:20). For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would ____________ (D&C 19:16). For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might ____________ and come unto him (D&C 18:11)."

* Great-Wonderful-Fantastic-Superb repentance sharing time ideas from the friend magazine HERE.

Week 4 Temple work helps me and my family come unto Christ.

* Have you had a primary activity day at the temple where you took pictures of the children? Time to whip them out!! Have about 12 different pictures from that day and have the children pass them around as you sing I love to See the Temple (CS 95). If there are any temple workers in your branch or ward, invite them in to BRIEFLY SHARE why temple work helps us and our families come unto Christ. It's NOT RUDE to tell guests they have a 1 1/2 minute time limit. Sometimes people forget that learning isn't "talking at" it's sharing and letting them absorb and respond.

* Handout Idea: I know, it's a simple one- a picture of the temple!!
 President Howard W. Hunter has said "A Temple Motivated People, "Ensign, February 1995,5 ,"Let us share with our children the spiritual feelings we have in the temple. And let us teach them more earnestly and more comfortably the things we can appropriately say about the purposes of the house of the Lord. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the house of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing."

* Bring in a bunch of wedding magazines. Sometimes girls love to pour over these to get ideas for that perfect wedding! Show some pictures of flowers and cakes. Now show the OCTOBER 2010 Ensign - it's a special edition of the temple. Which magazine is more important in planning your wedding? Make a primary Temple Magazine to give to your Bishop. Divide into groups and have each group in charge of different articles and illustrations. Article topics could include "Baptism for the Dead- Questions answered" "Temples, Are they important? The scriptures say so!" (then have the children give lots of references from the topical guide- look up house of the Lord) "My Family is Eternal" (thoughts children have about being together forever and how it makes them feel), etc.

* IF it's possible (if there is internet in your building whatnot), bring in a lap top and screen and show the Temples Around the World site HERE. Invite a couple children to come up and choose a place, any place, to see a temple. Talk about how some look the same, others different. (If not, head to the building library and get all sorts of different pictures of world wide temples. Let the children guess where these temples are. Have a map to show them.) Have a large shoe box, wrapped and with the words, "I HAVE A QUESTION??" on it. Invite children to write down questions (no names on the papers) they have about the temple and put it in the box (Little children can have teachers or other children help them write) Shake up the box and do it! Encourage all the children to help answer each other's questions.

* D&C 2:2 "And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers." Make a posterboard of a plant with no petals, growing out of a pot. Have A LOT of paper hearts for the children to write thoughts and scriptures or songs about the temple on them. Gather the hearts with ideas and share them with the primary as you glue/put them as petals on the plant. If there are scriptures or songs on the hearts read and sing! If there are pictures make sure to hold up so all can see!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Honor Our Covenants

Many of you, I'm sure, have heard about a tragedy that has struck in Visilia, CA. It is heartbreaking.

Sometimes we wonder, what can I do? May I encourage you to mourn, to pray, to fast, to send a card or to donate (only if you can).

The Sannar Family Trust Fund, PO Box 3328, Visalia, CA 93278 is where cards can be mailed. Let's overflow that mailbox with our love and support.

This is a site where you can get more information.

Never underestimate your power to do good. You have the opportunity to give comfort. Words don't have to be grand or prophetic, just a simple "You are loved. You are prayed for."

Our world is filled with turbulence. (Understatement)
 6 boys are now without a father.
 A mother is without the love of her life.
What will you do to help your sister and her children?