Wednesday, December 28, 2011

As A Child of God - LDS Primary Song Helps and Ideas

Image found under Children/Micellaneous via LDS Media Library 

As a note, these are ideas once you've learned the basic song. You'll need some sort of visual to teach the words to the children... these are in addition to that visual.
* Power to Choose Stick- Make a little wooden stick the primary's power to choose stick. While singing the song a primary friend can hold the stick up front as long as they like, within reason, and then they can point it to another primary friend- they have the power to choose! That friend then comes to the front and you keep on pointing, choosing and singing. Remember, the person up front has to sing too!

* Children of God, finger puppets!! (HERE is a link for simple ones you can print off on heavy paper) You'll actually need puppets they can use their fingers as legs. The smaller movement helps them concentrate especially hard! Tell the primary children you have a bunch of little friends, children of God, that need help learning a new song! While you sing the song, children put the puppets on their fingers and listen closely for directions. For the first verse the puppets can step touch side to side while you sing. For the 2nd verse the puppets can kick. Ask the children if they can think of any movements for their puppets to do! The song is in a 3/4 time signature, which is what is used for waltzes, so the puppets could even waltz in a triangle.

* The chorus of the song talks about "special light". Bring in some "special lights"! Close the lights and turn on your "special lights" while you sing. Some "special lights" could include a Christmas star, lava lamp, flashlight, glow in the dark stars, light saber, fun night light, a chain of Christmas lights. Are those pretty cool? Wrap it up by singing the last time with the ultimate and most "special light"- a picture of Jesus Christ.

* Mystery Children of God- Get some video of friends in the ward singing this song. Each Sunday the children will hear a different person on the video singing and try to guess who that Child of God is. For example, you could get the missionaries, the bishop, the young women... etc. I have a digital camera and would just record on that, let the primary children hear and then after the guess, play it again and let them see who was singing and sing along too! They are hearing the song and learning the melody as they listen over and over.

Another simpler version of the one above is to have a child come to the front and turn with their backs facing the children. You tap 5-6 children on the shoulder who stand up and sing the song. Then they sit down. The person up front turns around and tries to guess what Child of God was singing!

* All over the world, children of God can choose the right! HERE is a wonderful link from The Friend with different CTR shields in different languages. There are 15 so you could invite 5 children up at a time per verse of this song and have them hold up the shield while you sing. After the verse you can have them guess what language it is. You could reuse these easily for the song Choose the Right.

Monday, December 26, 2011

January 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by PetitPlat Aug. 2011

Monthly Theme: Agency Is the Gift to Choose for Ourselves
Monthly Scripture: "Wherefore, men are free . . . to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men" (2 Nephi 2:27).

Week 1 and 2: Agency is the gift to choose for ourselves.

* God bless whoever invented ice cream! Who has ever enjoyed going into an ice cream shop and having a bunch of flavors to choose from? What are some favorites? Personally, it's Rocky Road or bust for me! Have an ice cream cone and different colored ice cream scoops made out of paper. Write scriptures, questions and songs having to do with agency on the back of the scoops. Invite a child to choose a scoop, then do what it says on back and build a tall cone on the black board! There are a lot of choices out there and it's God's gift of agency to us, to let us choose!!!

* Choices! Choices! Choices!! Have 20 envelopes in sets of 2. In each envelope have names of different scriptural characters and some sort of simple instruction like hop 5 times on one foot. Invite a primary friend to come up front and choose a set of envelopes, then choose another primary friend to choose one of the 2 envelopes! Have them talk about the scriptural character and choices they made. Then have the primary do the simple instruction.
Some examples could be:
Nephi - tug on left ear 3 times
King Noah- rub your elbows together while
It's always nice to get bodies moving!! It is possible to move and maintain reverence so don't be scared to try. Children (& most people) learn best when actively involved!

* Try to have the children learn the scripture "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 by you saying it and randomly leaving out words and having them fill in what word you left out. At the beginning of primary you could challenge the children and see if anyone can learn the scripture to recite by themselves by the end of primary. Have an outline of a house on a piece of paper for each child. Invite children to draw in their home or write about good choices we can make. Have them share with the whole primary or in groups. Our choices and the choices of our family decide whether we'll have a happy or not so happy home!

* Have 2 gift wrapped boxes up front. Invite a child to come up and choose a gift. In one gift have a bunch of demands like sweep the floor, do 50 push ups, eat 6 spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, walk 10 minutes to the store and buy milk only, sip 4 times a cup of that milk, wash your hair for 2 minutes in cold water, lie on the floor for 45 minutes to take a nap, read the dictionary for 6 pages and then freeze. Woah! Does that sound pleasant being told and forced to do certain things? In the other box have the simple phrase, "Choose for yourself". Which gift is better and why? Agency is God's gift to us, and what we do with that agency is our gift to God! Have the children write down a couple choices they can make this week that would make Heavenly Father and Jesus happy. Then give them a brown paper bag with a bow on it, have them put their choices in it and share with their family what they'll do this week with their agency!

* Bring in a checkers board. You, as the teacher, can be black and the children can be red. Invite 1 primary friend at a time to come up and answer a simple case scenario, then they can make a choice on the checkers board.
For example, a case scenario could be:
Maria is walking home from school and sees garbage on the ground. How could she use her gift of agency wisely?
Teddy is mad at his brother. How could he use his gift of agency wisely?
Nice and short! Try to get as many children involved, up and thinking as possible! At the end you can conclude with our life is like a game of checkers. Some choices are very important and can mean all the difference in winning our eternal exaltation!
(And as a fun fact, did you know President Monson loved to play checkers?? He even read a book on different checker strategies and memorized moves and game plans so he'd never lose!)

* Have 3 cups and plenty of chocolate kisses! Invite a primary friend to the front and have them turn around while you hide one chocolate under one upside down cup. Mix up the cups. Preface at the beginning you are going to play a game. You might win a chocolate, you might not. But don't worry at the end everyone will get a chocolate!! Have Gospel Art Pictures of different scripture stories. Invite the primary friend to tell a little about the story and how they used their gift of agency. Then let the friend choose a cup and see if they got a chocolate!! Have about 10-12 different scriptural pictures. Sing Choose the Right Way (CS pg. 160) and look for super singers. Invite a couple of those super singers up to try choosing a cup! Whenever we make a good choice in life, we'll get something better than a chocolate kiss... a blessing from above! We might not see it right away, but it will always be there.

* Life is full of good choices and sometimes we can even make those good choices better! Have a couple friends act out the story of Mary and Martha as you read Luke 10:38-42. Mary sits and listens while Martha cleans dishes, serves food and hustles and bustles about.... What did the Savior teach us about the gift of agency?
List a bunch of good choices on the board, and then have the primary children share ideas on how to make even better choices!! For example:
Pray at breakfast ( A better choice could be to pray always!)
Read Scriptures ( A better choice could be to ponder and study the scriptures!)
Go to Church (Participate and ask questions and share at church!)
etc.

* Have the children act out the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). Focus on each of the choices the servants made.

“Every one of us will have to give an account for the deeds we do in the flesh, and that every man will be rewarded according to his works, whether they be good or evil.” Joseph F. Smith (Principles of Government  in the Church, Improvement Era, Nov. 1917, 10-11)


Week 3: In the premortal life, I chose to follow God's plan.

* “No principle in time or eternity is so cherished as the right of agency. A war was waged in heaven over our agency- a war that was transferred to earth. Satan is determined to blind, bind and lead captive through ignorance and sin everyone he can. Understanding our agency is imperative for our spiritual survival and fulfillment in Christ.” Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual Rel 430 &431, pg.30
Have a backpack and name it our agency survival kit. In it have items with questions or scriptures attached. I’d have about 10 items inside. For example:
  Flashlight – Who helps us see through the darkness and make good choices?
(Jesus, the Holy Ghost, Parents, Teachers, Good friends)
Suncreen- How do good choices help us from being hurt?
Cell Phone- What can we choose to pray for?
Canned Food- Name some soul food, or scripture stories that teach us about good choices.
Water-  John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” What did the woman at the well choose? Show gospel art kit picture and briefly go over story.

* “Someone once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” But it doesn’t work that way. The Savior said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” President Faust, Ensign 1995, Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil
Draw on the board what a fork in the road is. Show one path leading to a picture of the Savior and the other a frowny face. We made the wonderful choice in the premortal world to follow the Savior. Now that we’re here on earth, let’s name some good and bad choices we make and the paths that follow. Bring in a toy car and let children come up to the board and name examples and drive their car on each path to show everyone.
* "Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation."David A. Bednar, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 90
Bring in a long coat, hat and magnifying glass. Super Secret Agent time! Have each primary child write down a choice they have made in their life that was a good one and their name! Put all the choices into a box and invite a primary friend to dress up as a super secret agent and as you read a choice from the box, they can guess who made it!
Re-read the words of President Bednar, “As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond….” In the premortal life we chose Christ, so let's make sure our choices here support all we did before!
Week 4: Jesus Christ created the earth as a place where I can learn to choose the right.

* Click HERE for a Reader's Theater. Happy acting!

Friday, December 23, 2011

If you need a last minute stocking stuffer idea....

My daughters gave this activity a 2 thumbs up. I adore The Friend and I adore my mini-laminator from Costco. Just cut out from HERE, laminate and use cheap magnets from mailings and hot glue.

And yes, I have the apostles up on our refrigerator too. It's a good reminder that we must feed both our bodies and spirits.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Jingo!!!

Hello! And Merry Christmas!! Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful time of year. I was super excited because we just got Microsoft Powerpoint!! Woot Woot!!! What does it boil down too?

JINGO!!!
 
Jingo is like bingo, but better because there are "clues" for the spaces.  J-I-N-G-O follows the same basic rules as bingo, except instead of playing with numbers you play with clue cards and pictures. A player chooses a clue card and reads the question. If the answer is pictured on your player card, cover it with a marker and choose a new clue card, and so on until someone completes 4 in a row. It's fabulous and we love it!

I made a Christmas Jingo (Christ Centered of course!) that we're going to be doing for FHE.You'll have to cut the call cards out and have a sack to draw them out of.

All pictures are from free clip art sites or lds.org.

***Also, if you are OCD, you'll notice it's not perfect. Sorry. The black lines aren't exact... just hum George Michael's Careless Whisper to yourself and everything will be alright. I promise.*** Christmas Jingo

Friday, November 25, 2011

December 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

(L'Innocence by William-Adolphe Bouguereau 1893)

Monthly Theme: The Scriptures Teach Me about the Savior’s Birth and Second Coming.
Monthly Scripture: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” Matthew 16:27.

Week 1 Prophets prophesied about the birth of Jesus Christ.

* HERE is an "Advent Calendar: Prophecies of Christ’s Coming,” NewEra, Dec 2008, 21–25. It'd be a great handout for the children to take home to families.

* Numbers 24:17 "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob..." Who was the prophet Balaam, from the Old Testament, prophesying would be born? Who was that Star?? Jesus!!
Have 10 different glow in the dark stars throughout the room. Turn off the lights and invite one Primary friend to choose one. Turn on the light. Have scriptures, songs and questions having to do with this week's theme attached to the stars. (OR you could just put up these STARS)

* HERE is a talk, This Shall Be a Sign unto You By Whitney Hinckley (Liahona Dec. 2011) that has prophecies and the fulfillment of it. You could easily make this into a matching game or you could give classes a prophecy or fulfillment and have them walk around the room to find the match. Then they come up front to share.
* I love love love.... love love love... love love love... love times infinity all the people that put together fun stuff on lds.org to help me teach my children. God bless you whoever you are. HERE is a link to Book of Mormon stories with visuals and audio. Chapter 40 & 41 show Samuel prophesying Christ's birth and the signs fulfilled about his birth. If you have internet or can download these, it'd be great to show the kids. Each segment is about 3 minutes. HERE is the Old Testament link, Chapter 47 is Prophets tell about Jesus.

* HERE is an excellent shadow box idea from The Friend.

* HERE is a mobile children can make from The Friend about different prophecies.

Week 2 Jesus Christ was born.

* When was Jesus born? December 25? Write down different dates... take a vote, then quote the following:

After summarizing the opinions of various scholars in the matter of Christ’s birthday, Elder James E. Talmage compares their conclusions with modern revelation and then affirms: “We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, B.C. 1.” ( Jesus the Christ, p. 104.) Of this President Harold B. Lee declared:  “This is the annual conference of the Church. April 6, 1973, is a particularly significant date because it commemorates not only the anniversary of the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this dispensation, but also the anniversary of the birth of the Savior, our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. [Quoted D&C 20:1 ]” ( CR, Apr. 1973, p. 4.)

Also, a more recent quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson, "We commemorate His humble birth at this time of year, even though we know it did not occur in December but in April." (Christ the Savior is Born, Ensign, Dec. 2006)

* Bring in simple costumes to act out the story of the nativity.

* Divide into groups and give each group a nativity. Let them tell the story of the nativity with the figurines in each group.

* Let the children make paper bag puppets to take home with different people from the nativity story to share at a Family Home Evening.

* Whisper in a child's ear to go to the corner and tap his nose 15 times, then sit down. Do it discreetly. Make small talk with the Primary and see how their week was. Did anyone notice what our primary friend did in the corner while we were talking? It's kind of hard to see things if it's in the corner!!

"“This thing was not done in a corner,” Paul said of Christ's ministry and the restoration of the gospel in the meridian of time. (Acts 26:26.) Indeed, the witnesses of the Savior’s birth were many and various."

Divide the primary into 12 groups. Give each group one of the witnesses found in THIS TALK, Twelve Witnesses of Christ’s Birth By Joseph Fielding McConkie (Ensign Dec.1990) Groups can make a picture of their person. After a few minutes have them share with the whole primary who their witness to Jesus' birth was and what they learned.

*“The Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay” (Mosiah 3:5). Using playdough, have children create the nativity in each of their classes.* HERE is a simple Christmas matching game from The Friend.

* HERE is an excellent idea from The Friend by Sister Elizabeth Ricks. It includes visuals and scriptures.

Week 3 Jesus Christ will someday return to the earth.

* HERE is a very cool sharing time from The Friend having to do with the parable of the 10 Virgins.

* HERE is a visual children can make of how they can be prepared when Jesus comes again.(The Friend Dec. 2001)

* Draw pictures of what the Millennium will be like!! I personally would draw myself and Jesus eating chocolate ice cream bars on the back of an elephant with rainbows and stars lighting up the sky!

* Awesome idea from Sister Sydney Reynolds:
"To learn more about what life will be like in the Millennium, when Christ returns to earth to reign for a thousand years, choose 2 children to role-play TV news anchor persons, and assign each class to choose a “field reporter” to report the class’s findings on the following subjects in the scriptures: • animals / Isa. 11:6–9; Hosea 2:18 • people / Isa. 54:heading, 3; Micah 4:4; D&C 63:50–51 • nations, government / Micah 4:1–3; Jer. 31:33; D&C 29:11 • miscellaneous—time of His coming / Matt. 24:36, 44; Zion and the return of the city of Enoch / D&C 45:66, 71; Moses 7:62–64. Have the anchor persons make up questions for each field reporter to tell what his/her class learned about their subject. Tell the children that we do not know exactly when the Savior will come, but we must be preparing to meet Him (see Matt. 25:1–13). Sing “When He Comes Again” (CS, pp. 82–83) and discuss what the things are that we need to do to “be ready there.” (Dec. 1999 Friend)

* Lesson 43: Jesus Christ Will Come Again Primary 2: Choose the Right A, (1995), 235–39 supposedly has a "Jesus Will Come Again" board game. The link, found HERE, doesn't have it, but I'd be interested in seeing that!!

* 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.

Week 4 To prepare for the 2nd Coming, I will follow Jesus Christ.

*For a FHE discussion: My girls love Disney's The Lion King. In the movie there is a song called "Be Prepared". Scar, the villain, is gathering an army of hyenas and telling them to "Be Prepared" to take over the kingdom. Scar repeatedly tries to get Simba to make bad choices (What are they?), choices specifically against what his father has told him. Like Scar, Satan and his fallen angels are always ready, always preparing to tempt us and try to get us to make bad choices. We know that they are nothing compared to our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. D&C 38:30-31 says, "But if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless"

What can we do to prepare? Discuss as a family!

* Play "Honey I love you". A friend stands up front and their job is to NOT SMILE for anything!! Another primary friend will come up to them and try to make them laugh by saying "Honey, I love you" in some sort of funny voice. The friend standing has to reply WITHOUT smiling, "Honey, I love you too... but I still won't smile." Is it hard to stand up here when someone is trying to get you to do something else?

We live in a world that is quick to get us to move from our values. We live in a world that is evil and full of bad things happening. The 2nd coming is close, however, our prophet has said, "be not troubled, but, “stand … in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come” (D&C 87:8). Holy men stand in holy places and these holy places include our temples, our chapels, our homes, and the stakes of Zion, which are, as the Lord declares, “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth” (D&C 115:6)." (Great Day of the Lord by President Ezra Taft Benson May Ensign 1982)

Our silly game is fun. When it comes to life however, we must never give in to those who would move us! Jesus Christ will come again and when He does, we will be standing in holy places!!

* What is “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (D&C 2:1)? What does great mean? What about dreadful? Write the 2 words on the chalkboard. In between have a picture of the Savior. Elder Spencer V. Jones, of the Seventy, said, "We may have a tendency to overlook the “great” and accentuate the “dreadful." We do, however, have control over whether we personally will be prepared for the day when the Savior comes again. Our daily decisions will determine whether that day is “great” or “dreadful.” (Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants: Finding Hope in the Second Coming June Ensign 2005) Brainstorm ideas of decisions people make and write them under great or dreadful, depending on their consequence... For example, reading scriptures would be written under great.

(RECYCLED IDEAS from previous posts)

* Have a child come up and hold a rock. Ask the primary what will happen if the child drops the rock? It falls. Have another child come up and demonstrate. There are things we know without any question that are going happen. Just like we are certain and know Jesus will come again.


* Learn the 10th Article of Faith song.Give the children popsicle sticks to learn the melody and move it up or down as they sing. Challenge a child to come up and be a dictionary. Have them hold a dictionary. Ask them the meaning of words in this article of faith that are big. Display GAK 238 The 2nd Coming and have the children share what they think it will be like when Jesus comes again.

* Show the video segment of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from Special Witnesses of Christ. Have a nativity with scriptures, songs and questions attached about when Jesus will come again. The first time He came was amazing and so the second time will be!!

* Interesting Fact: “The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. The inhabitants of the earth are asleep; they know no the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail; but when it shall disappear, woe to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.305)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Young Women in Excellence Talk: Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony

I was supposed to speak at Young Women in Excellence night... I was all prepared, however 15 minutes before I was supposed to be there, we had a family emergency and I ended up not being able to go because we were at Urgent Care. All is well now, but I feel really bad. Anyways, just thought I'd post what I wrote for the occasion... because Elder Wirthlin is awesome and has wonderful insight.


I wanted to start off by saying thank you for the honor of speaking tonight. I haven’t been in Young Women's or had a calling in it for 12 years, but my love for the program is strong. You are a rare group of girls, beautiful and radiant. While I don’t know you all on an individual basis, I look at you and see pure, virtuous young ladies making a huge impact in this world and am humbled to be before you. I’ve prayed every night to know what needs to be said and I pray right now that the spirit will guide us and edify us... and that I wont bore the snot out of you.

The theme for tonight is the "purse-suit of happiness". I love that because happiness isn’t just going to hit you on the head one day. It’s something you have to actively seek for. Happiness comes in many shapes and forms. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin wrote a book entitled Finding Peace in our Lives and I wanted to share with you thoughts from it, specifically the chapter Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony. Because I know that true happiness is having a testimony of God the Father and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Before I do so, I’ll give you a brief background of my experience from Young Women's. We had a small group of girls, so much so that there was usually me, maybe another girl and my best friend who wasn’t a member at mutual activities. I wish I could say I was mature enough to go to activities because I had a deep desire to learn and better myself, but in all honesty it was to watch the guys play basketball after. My leaders loved me but I’m pretty sure I was super annoying to them because I’d always try to ask them off the wall questions. For example, one leader worked at a mental institution and I remember trying to get her to talk about the people there and if she worried they’d ever break out and find her. We were in the car for 20 minutes together and by the end she put her hand on my shoulder, thoroughly patient yet glad to get rid of me and said, Goodnight Sofia. Goodnight. I’m sure you are all wiser than I was. All your leaders speak very very highly of you.

I loved Girl’s Camp. It was a time to learn, feel the spirit and just enjoy life. My best friend that I mentioned would come and I’m grateful because I’m hoping those were the seeds planted that will be sown later on in life. One year we were camp mail women and we wore pink kimonos everywhere walking with wooden canes from Tijuana. Young Women’s is an inspired organization that is there to help us have happy memories. Not only that, but it can be a safety for us to help us through the drama of middle school and highschool. I held on to Young Womens. I went to church, I went to mutual. I attended seminary. I made a lot of mistakes and was far from perfect but Young Women’s and Personal Progress helped me build upon my testimony. Others from my laurel class didn’t see the value in it and 3 chose alternate lifestyles, 1 went to BYU met a non-member and married him and fell away from the church and 1 other just went inactive. I don’t know all the details of the younger girls but out of a group of 20, me and a girl named Ronnie stayed active. It’s pretty sad statistics and I wonder what happened. But at the same time I don’t. In two words, wolves happened.

Elder Wirthlin tells of large packs of quote “wolves that roamed the countryside of Ukraine many years ago. It made travel very dangerous. The wolf packs were fearless. They were not intimidated by people or by any of the weapons available at that time. The only thing that seemed to frighten them was fire. Consequently, travelers who found themselves away from cities developed the practice of burning a large bonfire and keeping it burning through the night. As long as the fire burned brightly, the wolves stayed away. But if the fire burned out, the wolves would move in for an attack. Travelers understood that building and maintaining a bonfire was not just a matter of convenience or comfort; it was a matter of survival.”

We obviously don’t have to look far to see wolves all around us. They are on shirts, bumper stickers, hats, cups, license plates... you name it.
 
So what is the moral of the story and the point of my ramblings? Don’t go to UNR, go to BYU.... goooooooooooooo cougars!! UNR may pay our bills, but I’ll always prefer my alma mater. (**Sidenote dear readers, our local university has the mascot of wolf pack as pictured and my husband works there as an administrator)

All joking aside. Elder Wirthlin mentions some pretty vivid scriptures “1 Peter 5:8 describes our, “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, that walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb.” D&C 122:6.”

The name of the program tonight is Young Women in Excellence, and you can tell. Because you step outside of this room and you see females who parade their bodies as trash. We live in Nevada, so we get an extra dosage of visuals that are nothing short of horrific, yet so sad. You step outside this room and hear girls with mouths that need to be duck-taped for the good of society and decency of the human race. You step outside this room and there are girls having babies, unwed, unskilled, uneducated and unprepared for the consequence of their choice. You step outside this room and you take a big breath and thank the Lord that He is the Lord and that you don’t have His job. It seems overwhelming that there are so many willing to run with the pack and be led captive into misery. However, you take one step in this room and you can breath. You take one look around and here, here are Young Women in Excellence. Here are the Young Women, the leaders, the examples, the virtue and goodness that make the rest of us have hope. And why are you excellent? Because of your light.

Happiness is having the bonfire of a testimony. Perhaps it may be just a small one, perhaps it is a raging inferno ready to burn the desert we live in down... either way, we can always add fuel to our testimony and make it stronger.

Our dear apostle Elder Wirthlin suggests “3 ways that will fan the flame of personal testimony as a protection against the wolves of evil that are prowling all around us to threaten our spiritual security. First, our testimonies must be built upon a solid foundation of faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.” Can anyone recite from memory Helaman 5:12? “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

I was never a cheerleader, I was too self conscious of my thighs and not willing to work out. With that said, I still would rather watch cheerleaders than a football game. Something about guys in spandex who grunt and bash heads has no relevance to me. So back to cheerleaders.... when I think of cheerleaders making a pyramid formation, they always put the more robust girls on the bottom? Why? Obviously the waifs aren’t going to be able to support everyone. So it is with the Big Man upstairs, they don’t call Him the Big Man for nothing. He is all wise, all capable and ready to support us in all our righteous endeavors.

The second idea to fan the flame of personal testimony is, “We must repent humbly and sincerely.” I love the analogy Elder Wirthlin makes,“Anything that does not draw us closer to God takes us away from him.”

And the last idea he mentions is this, “Third, we must follow the example of the Savior.” How can we have a testimony of someone we don’t follow? We’re not asked to turn water into wine or atone for the sins of the world. 1 John 2: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” John continues on in Chapter 3 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

What is the day the widow’s husband died? Leave a plant on her doorstep with a card that says, today is a hard day, but know you are loved more than words can say. Smile and wave at the car next to you. Say hello to people you don’t know at church. Post Ghandi quotes on facebook about making the world a better place.

The pursuit of happiness is consistently striving to gain a testimony of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And today’s as good a day as any to decide what you know to be true. A testimony isn’t thanking people, a testimony is BAM... The Lord lives, I know this is true. We need to be ready to bear testimony at anytime. Be confident in the knowledge you’ve gained.

What is our happily ever after if we do so? Mosiah 2:41 “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.” Never ending happiness!! Cha Ching!!

I’d like to close with this Luis Vuiton purse. It’s worth I’m sure some money. My Aunt gave it to me when I was a young woman. I loved it because my Aunt gave it to me but I've never used it because I'm happy with my $3 clearance purse from Target. Recently we had a garage sale and I wanted to sell it because frankly, I never use it. I wanted $20 and this lady cruises up in her Landrover and says she’ll give me $5. This purse is worth so much more. Forget that. I want you all to know that your testimonies are worth more than you can ever ever ever possibly imagine! You are all precious daughters of God. Wolves will try to sell you short and undermine your worth... but you are so much more. You are God’s instruments to usher in the 2nd coming of the Lord. Know your Lord and be confident in your testimony.

I bear my personal witness the Jesus Christ lives. He is our very best friend. He is with us to support us and bear us up in our weakest moments. He will never fail us. He is our source of true joy. Heavenly Father is our Father. We are His children. He wants us to be like Him and has provided a perfect plan for this to happen. I love and worship the Father and the Son and testify that They are mighty to save and all powerful. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thanksgiving FHE's

Now that the month is almost over... maybe I should post some Thanksgiving FHE ideas.... ugh, real slick Sofia. Thanks.

This is one of my absolute favorites because I really get to see what my children have learned Gospel wise and what some of their favorite scripture stories of the moment are. Click HERE for the FHE.

This is a picture of our outcome this year. I just hot glued a scrap of fabric to the poster board to make a tablecloth. The girls also created a fancy centerpiece out of their magazine findings. I love that my 4 year old cut out corn and said, "This is the sheaves of corn that Pharaoh dreamed about and Joseph figured out what it meant."

Another fantastic one was counting our blessings. We filled up an entire poster board (Thank you 2 for $1 at the Dollar Store) with 104 different things we were thankful for. Star Wars, Snape and Nipple Latches were just a few of our many things we're thankful for.

For more gratitude ideas, just click on gratitude on my sidebar.

And if you're just looking for a fun Turkey Art Project here are a few:
The girls picked a few "feathers" from Wal-Mart paint section and cut slits on the sides to make them more textured.

This was crayon and watercolor. First they draw the shape of the turkey with a black sharpie.

Um, greatest wings ever. This makes me smile everyday. $1 store bandaids make feathers and of course, turkeys need long hair like Rapunzel. Third eyes? I don't know where that comes from.

Draw an outline of a turkey, let the kiddos cover with painters tape on the line, then marble roll!! It kind of looks like a sun, but if you look closely you'll see feet and a waddle.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

November 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Time Ideas and Activities

My sweet Elijah. I hold him and know reverence. Reverence for a loving Heavenly Father who is all powerful and wise and who blesses us with such joy.

Monthly Theme: Reverence Is Love and Respect for God.
Monthly Scripture:  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).

Week 1 Reverence is love and respect for God.

* Make a giant Venn diagram (2 circles overlapping in the middle) On one side brainstorm all the different ways to show love and on the other side ways to show respect. Ideas that are the same for both go in the middle!

* Million Dollar Question Minus the Million Dollars.... When was the only time we see Jesus get really upset in the scriptures? When people weren't showing REVERENCE for His Father's house, the temple! Have 6 children come to the front. Ask the children questions having to do with the story, when they answer correctly hand them a fake million dollar bill. BUT... is money everything? What do we learn from the story?!?! Let them crumple up their bill and try to toss it in the garbage can naming a blessing that comes from being reverent. (E.g. Peace, Happiness, Eternal Life, Holy Ghost will be close...)
* Have a mother bring in a young baby if possible. When we see a beautiful baby who is sleeping, how should we act around it? Are we loud? Do we jump up and down and poke the baby? Ask the children what we do with young babies and how do we show them love? There are some things in life where we just slow down, are a little more soft, a little more quiet and little more peaceful. Just like we show love and respect for a young baby with gentleness we can do so with Heavenly Father. Have 6 different items for the children to choose and show how we treat that item with respect and love. For example, you could have scriptures. We don't throw them or rip the pages. When we treat our scriptures right are we showing reverence for Heavenly Father? Another example could be a picture of the temple. Have the primary child show whether we walk or run around the temple grounds. More items could include: hymn books, a paper doll with modest clothes on, sacrament cup, a primary chair, a Family Home Evening packet, an American flag,

* Reverence races!! Invite 4 children to come up front. Who can be the most reverent? Invite them to go to the other side of the room... Speed is not the key to winning the race! Once they cross the finish line, invite them to share a reason why they love their Heavenly Father. Invite a couple teachers to race too!

Week 2 Reverence during the sacrament helps me to remember Jesus Christ.

* Does Mom and Dad make you sit during sacrament without going to the bathroom? Is that unfair? Food for thought... they are only following what the PROPHET has said... "Visits to the restroom and drinking fountain should take place before the meeting begins” (Spencer W. Kimball, We Should Be a Reverent People, 4–5). And of course, if it's an emergency there is no problem... better out than in!


* "Your focus needs more focus." Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. Learning how to focus for 6-8 minutes while the sacrament is being passed can be a lifelong challenge! Have about 10 different questions about reverence and the sacrament. For each question answered, then teach a karate move. (This can seem counter intuitive for the weeks theme, however... if you make your expectations clear- No talking while we practice our moves, focus on the movement not sound!- then it'll work!) Our focus always needs more focus!!  D&C 88:67 "And if your eye (or you could say focus!!) be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things."

* Make reverence books for sacrament! Invite the children to draw pictures of their favorite stories of the Savior to look at during next week's sacrament.

* Have a large plate drawn on the chalk board. Invite primary friends to come draw some of their very favorite foods. What do you think Jesus enjoyed food wise? We know that at the end of our Savior's earthly life He had a final meal, the last supper. Display GAK picture. What do you think He and His best friends felt as they knew this was the last time they would eat together? Jesus gave us the ordinance of the Sacrament at that last supper. What would be a "recipe for reverence" when we take the sacrament? Pass out some paper and let the children write down their ideas or write them on the chalk board.

Week 3 I can show reverence for sacred places and things.

* HERE is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful link to The Friend with a bunch of different ideas. I liked the tour of the building idea especially! Sister Pearce also has a wonderful chapel cut-out that would be fun to do!!

* Does anyone have a special spot? A tree house or a reading nook or a clubhouse?? Perhaps they could draw a quick picture of it on the chalkboard. I have a special rock ledge that overlooks the desert. It's my spot that I love. Even though there is lots of brown and yellow, the sky is always blue and bright and clear above me. How would you want someone to treat your special spot? Just like we want people to be respectful of our special spots, we need to be respectful of the Lord's special spots!

* President David O. McKay said, “I look upon reverence as one of the highest qualities of the soul” ("Lesson 7: Reverence," Gospel Principles and Doctrine) Have some pictures of things that are "high" in the sky... kites, airplanes, tall buildings, clouds, birds... etc. Attach questions, songs and scriptures having to do with reverence to the pictures and let the children come up, one at a time to choose a "high" picture. Repeat throughout the lesson the above quote... reverence is one of the highest qualities of the soul!!

* Sing I am A Child of God. What does the chorus say? Lead me, guide me. Have a mystery path with arrows around the room leading to a giant question mark. Invite children to walk along the path if they can answer a question or read a scripture about reverence. Where does reverence lead us? 

"As with the other principles of the gospel, reverence leads to increased joy. We must remember that reverence is not a somber, temporary behavior that we adopt on Sunday. True reverence involves happiness, as well as love, respect, gratitude, and godly fear. It is a virtue that should be part of our way of life. In fact, Latter-day Saints should be the most reverent people in all the earth." ("Lesson 7: Reverence," Gospel Principles and Doctrine)

* With the Senior Primary: Have them look in the hymn book all the songs that are listed under reverence. Have them work in partners and find something interesting to share with the entire primary about reverence. Sing a couple songs!


Week 4 Reverence for God helps me respect and love others.

* Give the children a signal. When you raise your hand in the air you'll need everyone to stop talking immediately. Tell the children to talk to a friend next to them and when you raise your hand, they need to stop right away. Does it get pretty loud? Do it again and this time you're going to teach the lesson while everyone is talking. Raise your hand. Did anyone hear what the lesson was about?

“The world grows increasingly noisy...When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence. …"

* HERE is a lesson I CAN BE REVERENT from the Primary 1 manual.
* Have a cookie with M&M's in it. If you eat the entire cookie, will you eat the M&M's?? Have a bar of soap. If you wash your arm, will your hand get clean? Sometimes, when you do one thing, another thing just happens! Having reverence for Heavenly Father creates something else.... it helps me love and respect others!
*Here's a thought for a FHE. My Yaya is Greek Orthodox which means her home is filled with lots of pictures of Saints!! I grew up looking at those pictures with respect because of the stories behind them. For me personally, I have no problem sharing with children respect for other religions. I would show a picture of a Greek Orthodox Saint and tell the beautiful story behind it. In our church, saints are a little different, but isn't it nice to know we all believe in saints! In our church, we are the saints! Hopefully we act so! And what is one quality that is Saint like??

"Perhaps above all, a saint is reverent. Reverence for the Lord, for the earth He created, for leaders, for the dignity of others, for the law, for the sanctity of life, and for chapels and other buildings are all evidences of saintly attitudes. …A reverent saint loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments"
(Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 236-240)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Almost Complete Bliss...

D&C 101:36
"Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full."

A few months ago I was having a panic attack. I was pregnant with our 4th child and was sure it was a girl, but the next day was the big ultrasound and I wanted a name for a boy just in case. My husband is pretty easy going but for some odd reason he "thought" that since he's a man, he should name the boys.
Do you hear my silent chuckle.
Well we narrowed it down and decided within 15 minutes. We're just cool like that.
Elijah Cedron.
First of all, Elijah is the Samuel L. Jackson of all the prophets. Mocking the priests of Baal? Calling fire down from heaven?
Awesome.
Then I was reading in the New Testament and came across Cedron which is a valley in Jerusalem where the Mount of Olives is.
Elijah Cedron. It was well.
And that's a good thing because I guess I wasn't so sure it was a girl and I was then prepared for the little boy to come to our home. I'm big on listening to the radio after finding out the gender of our children because call me crazy, but sometimes I find simple messages in them to me. This time 2 songs came on that stuck out to me... the first was "Girls" (All I really want is girls) by the Beastie Boys which I found totally entertaining. And the 2nd was "Come Together" by the Beatles.

To say that I live in fear wouldn't be exactly correct. I'm for the most part peaceful and calm. I live my life normally and healthy. I do the things I should do. I trust God because I know He knows better than I do. With that said, in all honesty, I still am anxious because I know pain. I know sorrow. I know what it's like to have to live without a child. But like I said, I trust Heavenly Father. I have faith and it's like this song was saying to me, it's OK. I just need to "come together, right now, over me (Elijah)".

Well, let me just add my testimony that our loving Father knows us individually. I was able to go to the temple a week before my sweetheart was due and I felt this overwhelming feeling that I am known. That my name is important and that my son's name is important. And what do you know... in General Conference there was a whole talk about Elijah!!

What is my point in posting about this? I have no clue. I just felt like after hearing THIS in conference I needed to add my witness that things happen in life for a reason. We may feel like all is lost, but our agency is never lost. We can choose to follow Christ always no matter what. We can choose to love our Heavenly Father and trust that our joy will be full again.

If you've lost a baby, I promise to be your breastfeeding buddy in the Resurrection and we'll nurse our little ones under the Tree of Life!

Hospitals are stressful and I was super nervous after Eli was born. However, after I received a priesthood blessing I felt much better and much more calm. I heard my angel baby (my sweet Joe) say very clearly, "Mommy, perfect love casteth out fear."
I have a new sweet perfect beautiful baby boy. He was 7 lbs 2 oz and 22" long. (The smallest of all my children) He will be 1 month on Oct. 15 and is up to 9 lbs. His sisters constantly want to hold him and touch and love him. They are the best big sisters ever. We are so blessed.
With that said, I'm sorry if I don't get ideas posted in a timely manner. Please rest assured, I'm still keeping up the blog. But yeah, if things aren't up it's because I'm cuddling my sweet Eli and smothering him with kisses or just being amazed by my sweetest blessings.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: Using our hands for good activity

This image is by Kathy Barbaro of Artprojectsforkids.org

9/11 is a sad day.
It's pretty overwhelming that evil can be so powerful and cause so much destruction. I was reading some numerical statistics about the deaths of that day and thought I'd share.

Out of 2,819 people that died 403 of those deaths were community helpers like firefighters, paramedics and cops who lost their lives trying to help.

Our hands have so much power. They have power to destroy or build. To put down or lift up.
Looking to the example of the Savior we see the following about His hands:

"For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."
Isaiah 9:12

"Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear" Isaiah 59:1

"O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."
Jeremiah 18:6

Matthew 12- The miracle and healing by Jesus on the Sabbath had to do with a man with a withered hand

"And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long"
Jacob 6:4

What are other examples of Christ using His hands for good?

HERE is a simple art project as pictured above. I did it with my children and we talked about 9/11. We talked about how things happen that are very bad and yet we still can help the cause of good by using our hands like the Savior did.

I'm so sorry if you've lost a loved one today. God bless you and God bless America.

Gospel Leaves : A Simple FHE Game or Sabbath Day Activity

Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by Andrea_44

1. Gather some leaves.
I used some paper ones I bought at World Market on clearance last year for 10 cents.
2. On the back of the leaves write 1, 2 or 3 in permanent marker.
3. Gather your supplies: A Gospel Art Book, Dry Erase Board/Marker.
4. Have your children scatter the numbered leaves all around your floor.
5. Choose a song to hum to while you pretend to rake up your leaves. Some excellent ones would include
 When Mom claps, pick up one leaf!
6. What's the number on back? If it's a:
1 - Tell a Gospel story using the Gospel Art Book
2 - Sing a favorite Gospel Song
3 - Draw a Gospel picture on the dry erase board and have others guess what it is!

Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Simple FHE: What do you want to share?

    +
= Wow! That was a great one!

1. Gather up at least 20 of your old friend magazines. Give each person 2-3 post it notes, depending on how many people are in your family and how long you want the Family Home Evening to last.
2. Take 5 minutes and let everyone browse the magazines and find 2-3 things they'd like to share. Whether it's pictures or stories, the Friend teaches us about Christ. What does the thing you've found teach us about Christ? Have them take their post it and mark their spots.
3. Share!! Go around and have each person share one of the things they've chosen. Repeat 2-3 times with the other things chosen.
4. Bear Testimony.
5. Sing songs! Are there any songs that come to mind with the things you've chosen??
6. Ask children how they feel....do you think the Holy Ghost is speaking to them and telling them of the truth they've shared?

Everyone is important in the family!! Make sure everyone is listening to each other!! Thank each other for what you've shared!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

October 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Prayer in Wat Pho Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by Bo47 July 2008

Monthly Theme: Prayer Is Reverent Communication Between God and Me
Monthly Scripture: "If any of you lack wisom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." James 1:5

A good tool to use as you prepare for this month is the Prayer Scale in Preach My Gospel (Page 95!!) Just take the quiz and see how you personally are doing when it comes to prayer.

Week 1 I can pray to Heavenly Father.

* Play a simple game of things you can do. Can you hop on one foot? Can you rub your belly and pat your head at the same time? Can you snap 5 times? Can you pray to Heavenly Father? You sure CAN!! Have 2 cans in front, one with simple things to do and be active. The other can has questions, songs and scriptures having to do with prayer. Have a child come to the front and choose one strip from each can. Let them choose which one they want to do/answer first.

* HERE is a great sharing time from The Friend by Sydney Reynolds. There are lots of different ideas to spark thought. Also there is a color by number handout.

* LOVE LOVE LOVE these prayer reminders and simple reader's theater on prayer found HERE in the Friend.

* Mac the Prayer Cat would make an excellent felt board story for the younger primary!

* HERE is a handout with a secret code to find out about 8 different prayers we say in church.

Week 2 The scriptures teach me how and when to pray.

* Wow. Can I just say how much I love the Friend. You just can't go wrong. HERE is another great sharing time on the language we use with prayer.

* The following is from Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, Chapter 12. It gives an outline and scriptures to support, that could be excellent in helping to prepare for this week's theme.
"C. The scriptures tell us what we should pray for.

1. We should pray for the companionship of the Holy Ghost (see 3 Nephi 19:9 ; Moroni 4:3 ).
2. We should pray for forgiveness of our sins (see Joseph Smith—History 1:28–29 ).
3. We should ask for strength to resist temptation and overcome opposition (see Alma 34:23 ; D&C 10:5 ; Matthew 26:41 ).
4. Husbands should pray for their wives and children (see 3 Nephi 18:21 ; Alma 34:21, 27 ).
5. We should pray for all people—both righteous and wicked, friend and enemy (see Numbers 21:7 ; Matthew 5:44 ; Enos 1:11–14 ).
6. We should petition the Lord concerning our crops, herds, fields, and flocks (see Alma 34:20, 24–25 ). "

* Tell the children you have a funny joke for them. It goes, "Knock Knock". They say, "Who's there?" You say "Banana." They say, "Banana who?" You say, "Banana." They say, "Banana, who?" (Do that about 5 more times....) Finally you say, "Orange." They say, "Orange, who?" and you end with "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"
Is this a repetitive joke or what! What does it mean to repeat? Can anyone think of what commandment has been most repeated from the dawn of time?

“No divine commandment has been more frequently repeated than the commandment to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 16).

* If you cut a piece of paper in half, hot dog wise, then fold it into fourths or fifths, you'll have an accordion style book:

You can make it as large or as small as you like. Have the children make a "How and When to Pray" book based on what different examples from the scriptures have taught us. Have 4 -5 different adults man a station with such an example and visual. Have crayons at each station and let the children draw/write what they have learned, one page of the book for each station.

* Write on the board some question words: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.... Have a simple prayer stick... a thin wooden pole/stick with a picture of 2 hands praying on the end of it. NOW SING!! Sing! Sing! Sing!! In the children's songbook there are 18 wonderful songs listed under prayer. Sing the songs and invite 2 or 3 children to come up after to use the prayer stick and point to a question word. What did the song teach us in answer to that question?

D&C 25:12 "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."


Week 3 and 4 Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.
 
* One time, we were in the car with my 2 aunts who aren't really religious. They asked my 6 and 4 year old to sing a song. Then my girls busted out at least 15 children's songbook songs.... with a Pink Floyd one in there too. Because I've taught them that if a teacher ever tries to squash their creativity they are to stand on their desk and sing "All in all you're just another... brick in the wall...." I look forward to the day.... But I digress. One of the songs they sung was "God is Watching Over All" CS pg. 229. It's not online because of copyright restrictions. However, my aunts were moved to tears by this song because even though it's short... it's fabulous and true. It was a tender missionary moment.
 
You can make stars, planets, sparrows out of paper and have questions, songs and scriptures on the back corresponding with the weeks theme. Put them on the board. Pass a bean bag reverently around while you sing that song (CS pg. 229) and who ever it lands on can come up front and choose one. God is watching over all and will always hear and answer our prayers.
 
* Have 2 children come up front. Invite one to say Hello to the other. Could they hear that? What if the child went to the back of the room and said hello? What if they left the room? Our ears are pretty good, but definitely not as good as Heavenly Father's!! Where and when can He hear us? Have about 5 different paper ears with scriptures having to do with "how" Heavenly Father answers our prayers. Divide into groups and read the scripture and share experiences. Then after 3 minutes invite a group leader to come up and share what they talked about.
 
* Write Matthew 7:7 incorrectly on the chalkboard. "Ask, and it shall not be given you; seek, and ye shall not find; knock, and it shall not be opened unto you" Invite children to come and erase what is wrong with the scripture. Is our Heavenly Father cruel and mean? Absolutely NOT!!!!! He wants to hear and answer our prayers, so it's up to us to pray!
 
Have 3 stories of different people in the scriptures who prayed. Tell the children you are going to briefly tell the story, but make a couple mistakes as you tell the story and hold up a visual for that story. See if the children can figure out what you said wrong! For example, the brother of Jared was a very faithful person. He loved God and trusted in Him completely. When He prayed to Heavenly Father, he was told that they must sail away to a promised land. The brother of Jared wanted to know how they would cross the great waters in darkness but the prayer wasn't heard and he had to use flashlights. They made it safely to the promised land.
 
For senior primary they can come up with their own examples and mistake for the Primary to figure out!
 
* Invite to children to come up front and have a conversation about how their day is going. Give them a secret instruction that you're going to try to get in the conversation too, but they are to IGNORE YOU!!
Has anyone in the room ever been ignored by raise of hands? How does it make you feel? Do you think Heavenly Father is pretty busy and maybe sometimes ignores us?
 
1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us"
 
Point out that God always will hear our prayers, but He might not answer the way we want. He's NOT ignoring us. He just knows more than we do, and that's a good thing!
 
* Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
 
Have a cell phone up front. Have an adult sitting by a cracked open Primary door. Prepare that adult before hand with some sort of signal that you're ready for them to call your cell phone... like you scratch your head or say loudly, "Thanks!! On to our next idea." They will call your phone and a primary child has to answer it and answer the question they ask over the phone. Give that person a list of 10 different questions. For example, How does Heavenly Father answer our prayers? Can you name a time Heavenly Father has answered one of your prayers? Please give an example from the scriptures of someone who prayed and was heard. Can you please tell the primary to sing A Child's Prayer (CS pg. 12)
 
* Have about 6 different small "situations" where Primary children could offer advice or counsel. For example, " Mary is going to a new school. She is scared. What could she do?" Have a primary child give her some advice. Another example could be, "Jared just found out his best friend stole $10 from the teacher's purse. What could he do?" Is it good to listen to our primary friends and teachers when we need help? Yes! Even better our family! Even better Heavenly Father!! But should we ever give Heavenly Father advice? If there was a flood should we maybe pray that He clean it up quickly so more people don't get hurt? When we pray, we need to be respectful and know that Heavenly Father knows best!!
 
Jacob 4:10 "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Profound Silence....

Image from Swamisportswear.com. I am in no way endorsing their site.
I just did a google search and was disturbed by the color and price of these sweats. $13 each.

I've had a couple times in life when I've had sharing time and wondered... what's up with the noise? I have eyeballs, so I put them to good use. When I've looked around, it's not the kids talking but ADULTS.

Why?

I've often wondered why it's acceptable to wear sweats in public. Perhaps it's a Reno, NV thing and perhaps I secretly wish I could wear sweats and be accepted by society, but then I stop.
I realize it's wrong. There are just some things we shouldn't do.

Sweats is numero uno. Talking while the leader up front is.... numero dos. Especially when that leader is bearing testimony.

A scripture, Alma 55:17 says, "Yea, even to their women, and all those of their children, as many as were able to use a weapon of war, when Moroni had armed all those prisoners; and all those things were done in a profound silence." Granted, we may not be trying to save our village while the Lamanites are passed out drunk... I'm not even saying Primary needs to be a place of profound silence. All I'm saying is how do we expect children to show reverence when we don't?

I'll get off the soapbox now. But think about the sweats thing.... really.

A Simple Equation for Fun Spiritual Learning

      +     =
Fun Family Home Evening

Play a round of the alphabet game by rolling the dice with the theme of "The Gospel".
The alphabet game is where you go around in the circle and each person has a letter from the alphabet and comes up with a word starting with that letter based on your theme. Roll the dice (from the game of scattegories) to see what letter you get.
If you can't think of anything, open up the Gospel Art Book and look around. Talk about the word you choose. I also used a dry erase board to write down all the words we came up with.

I was really proud of my 4 year old coming up with the word "Follow" for F. Some other examples were "Temple" for T, "Priesthood" for P, "Night time Prayers" for N.....They liked the activity so much that I'm leaving it out for them to do whenever they want. It'd also be a great game to play on Sunday.

**Also, if you don't have a dice, you could just draw letters written and cut out on paper, from a sack.

September 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

PlayMobils of the World Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by fdecomite 8/2007

Monthly Theme: The Gospel Will Be Preached in All the World
Monthly Scripture: "This gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." D&C 133:37

Week 1 The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world.

*President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 167).

Bring in a Jenga game. (A tower of blocks would work too!) Demonstrate with the children's help that the world is making mistake after mistake... take away some blocks. Sin and error make the world a shaky place and not very stable. However, if we are good missionaries and share the gospel, it's like putting the blocks back. We're helping others learn about truth, and like President Benson taught, only the gospel will save the world from it's own self destruction!!

* Have a picture of the tree of life displayed. Have the children tell you what they know about Lehi's and Nephi's Vision. Was the fruit of the tree only for people in Korea? Or perhaps only for people in Chile?

1 Nephi 8:30 "But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."

These multitudes were ALL the different people of the world! Have different cut outs of apples with different flags of the countries around the world on them. Attach songs, scriptures and questions having to do with missionary work on them and let the children come and choose one at a time. The love of God is for everyone, so we need make sure we do our part to help others to the iron rod and press forward!!

* Divide into small groups of about 4-5 children. Give each group a blue balloon that you've added some construction paper continents to. You could easily sew some world bean bags (blue felt with a green felt continent on it) instead- that would guarantee less rowdiness than balloons. Introduce and write the topic of this week's lesson on the board, "The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world." Have the children spend 3 minutes passing the balloon to each other and saying what the gospel is! What are different principles and things that have to do with our church? Have them freeze and start a new round. This time have them pass the balloon and share different ways we can share the gospel or personal experiences they've had being missionaries. Freeze again! Have them pass around and share different places they'd like to serve missions or where family members have served.

President Joseph F. Smith, “We have a mission in the world: each man, each woman, each child who has grown to understanding or to the years of accountability, ought . . . to be qualified to preach the truth, to bear testimony of the truth” (Gospel Doctrine, 13th ed. [1968], 251–52).

Bear your own testimony how it's important to preach the gospel, but we need to know what the gospel is!! You can send the children home with pages 5 &6 of Preach My Gospel. The section is entitled the Gospel of Christ and they can read it at home as families.

* Have a large jar filled with jelly beans. Let children write their names and guess how many jelly beans are in the jar on a small piece of paper. Collect their guesses. Would it be a good idea to go home and eat all the jelly beans in 30 seconds or less? What would happen to your teeth if you ate all the jelly beans? Would it be better to eat all the jelly beans by yourself or possibly share with someone?

What about with the gospel? Is it better to keep all the knowledge we have to ourselves or share? Continue on with your lesson about missionary work and end with giving the jelly beans to whoever got the closest guess. Have ziplock bags with 10 jelly beans for each child and the quote, "Sharing is caring!! President John Taylor has said, 'Our duty is to preach the gospel to all men. . . . This is what God expects of us" (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1943], 234–35).Tell the children they have the choice to go home and share their candy or eat it all by themselves, just like they have the choice to go and share the gospel or not!
Make sure to remind the winner of the jar of the special importance they've just received!! What a blessing to have so much and when you have so much you should.... GIVE!!! End with Because I Have Been Given Much (Hymn #219) 

* I just liked this quote and thought it was a great analogy found off of mormon.org, " Imagine you found a cure for cancer. How urgently would you spread the news of your discovery? Who would you tell? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for so many of life's ills that Mormons want to share the good news of eternal life with the same urgency.

The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)."


Week 2 Missionary work blesses everyone.

*" President Kimball has referred to missionary service as high adventure. He did so because the work is stirring and exciting. It is a bold undertaking, and it is one that requires the finest courage.

I once saw an advertisement of a movie that said, “Greatest adventure story of escape.” I thought to myself, “They don’t know what adventure is until they have tried to help someone escape from sin, or have pulled somebody back from the brink of a spiritual death, or have wrestled with evil forces, or have marched with the army of God.” There is no greater adventure, no more excitement, nothing more stirring than full-time service in the work of the Lord." Elder Carlos Asay (Ensign Oct. 1985) 

Have a large piece of paper with a book outline on it. Invite primary friends to create a book cover having to do with missionary work or what excites them about the gospel! What is the greatest adventure story? Certainly not the one that Elder Asay saw the movie preview for! The greatest story ever known is the life of Christ and when we know this story and share this story, all are blessed.

* From Preach My Gospel pg. 197 & 198 it says, "People need a reason to change their thoughts and actions. Promised blessings often provide powerful motivation to obey God. When the Lord gives a commandment, He often promises blessings for keeping that commandment (see D&C 130:20–21). As you prepare people to obey a specific commandment, teach them that:
• Living the commandments shows love for God and His Son.
• They demonstrate their trust in God as they obey His commandments.
• In return, they will receive blessings that He has promised.
As you testify of a commandment, talk about the blessings you have received from living that commandment. Promise those whom you teach that they can enjoy similar blessings. As people strive to keep a commitment, ask them to talk about the blessings that Heavenly Father has given them. Assure them that even though difficulties will enter their lives, His blessings will continue as they obey His will."

Have 2 children come to the front and be member missionaries. Have them draw out of a hat a gospel principle or commandment. Let them share what that principle means and how it's blessed their lives.
(For example, they draw out faith... Faith is believing in things you can't see. One time I was very sick but I had faith I could be healed. My dad gave me a blessing and I got better.)

*Bring in bowl of water. Have a child throw a small pebble into the bowl. What happens? What is a ripple? Is there any part of the water that doesn't move when the pebble is thrown in? Missionary Work is like a ripple. It spreads and touches all parts of the world and blesses everyone!! Or another analogy could be taking a glass and overfilling it with water... what just happened?? It spilled! It over-flowed!! President Kimball said that “the missionary work, like the tithing, will pour out blessings, as Malachi said, so many blessings that there’ll hardly be room enough to receive them. (See Mal. 3:10.)” (In Area Conference Report, Korea, Aug. 1975, p. 61.)

* Bring in a couple small costumes and act out the story of Alma and Abinadi. See Mosiah 17 and 18. All it took were the words of the prophet and one missionary willing to be an instrument of the Holy Ghost, and then  "... It came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." (Mosiah 18:30)

* Print pictures of people who you feel would edify your lesson and share their stories with the children. This is a good opportunity to show children that members of the gospel come in all sorts of different colors, looks and places... but our belief in Christ is the same! Click HERE or HERE to see what some members have to say about blessings and missionary work.....

Week 3 I can prepare now to serve a mission.

* HERE is a great sharing time from the Friend by Linda Christensen.

* HERE is a great sharing time and handout/search and find with things that will help prepare for missions.

* Captain Moroni was awesome! He had a tough job keeping the Lamanites from killing all the Nephites and keeping the Nephites from self-destruction! One of his jobs was to prepare cities for all the fighting. In Alma 50: 1-6 it talks about all he did. Put up a picture of Moroni and go over all his preparations. What might have happened if Moroni hadn't prepared? Would you rather live in one of his stronghold cities or one that wasn't prepared? Well, we have the choice to prepare ourselves nice and strong for missions or not. It's up to us to make that good choice!!

*Proverbs 30:25 "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer" Obviously ants are not people, so what is this scripture talking about?  Why do ants work so hard to gather food in the summer? Have some paper ants on the board that the children can choose songs, scriptures and questions having to do with missionary work. Perhaps you can have a picture of a picnic basket with the word mission on it... play around with the idea.... Our time is now and we need to prepare for our missions!

* Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
Having faith and preparing go hand in hand! Have the children come up to the front and pantomime an animal action. Let others try to guess what animal they are pretending to be. After they do so, have them fill in the blank... Just as Noah was prepared for the flood, I can prepare for my mission by.............

Week 4 I can be a missionary now.

* HERE is a great sharing time from the Friend where you can make a little box to take home. It's by Sister Margaret Lifferth.

* HERE is another good sharing time from Sister Sydney Reynolds in the Friend.

* HERE is a sharing time talking about missionary and harvest work from the Friend by Pat Graham.

* Have a piece of paper that says, "I can be a missionary NOW & I can be a missionary LATER." Have children draw pictures or write sentences under NOW & LATER on what they can do to be good missionaries. Get some NOW & LATER candy and make a card for the missionaries in your ward. Give the candy and card to the missionaries pledging the primary's support to spreading the gospel NOW & LATER!! There is even a poem HERE  (Scroll down a little) about it!!

* What does an Apostle say about being a missionary now? See HERE. This would be a great handout to take home and read with families!

* You could break into small groups and have a some different adults summarize some missionary stories from the friend or make felt board stories. The following are links from The Friend to some great missionary NOW stories:
Me? A Missionary Now?
A Missionary Now
Teaching Tanner's Teacher
What Can I Do to Be a Missionary?

* Does anyone have an old November 1994 Friend Magazine? Because in it is a board game called "I Can Be a Missionary Now"... I bet that would be fun!

* Have the children pretend they don't know anything about the church. What would they want to know? Have them write down their questions and put in a jar. Now let's be member missionaries and draw questions out of the jar and answer them!!