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!