Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by angelofsweetbitter2009 March 2009
Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ Is My Savior and Redeemer.
Monthly Scripture: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved,by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” Articles of Faith 1:3
Week 1 Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior.
* Have a lock and at least 10 different keys, 1 of course being able to fit and open the lock. Have questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the premortal world corresponding to the keys. Invite a child to come up and choose a key and answer the question or read the scripture (if it's a song, sing it all together). Explain that the lock is our happiness... what is the key that will give us happiness?? Whip out of your pocket the key that fits the lock and point to a picture of the Savior, invite a child to open the lock.
"When the great War in Heaven was fought, Lucifer, the son of the morning, came forth with a plan that was rejected. The Father of us all, with love for us, His children, offered a better plan under which we would have freedom to choose the course of our lives. His Firstborn Son, our Elder Brother, was the KEY to that plan." (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 107)
* Which make better pets- cats or dogs? Write CATS vs. DOGS and list on the chalk board the different ideas children come up with. Is there really a right answer to which one makes a better pet? Not really. But there was an important choice in the premortal world that did have a right answer!!
"There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides wither with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there..." (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:65-66)
Break into small groups and have the children draw or write down something they know about the premortal world. Then gather back together and invite them up to share their thoughts one at a time.
* Have little lambs hidden throughout the room. Have questions about the Savior and the premortal world on them. Have the following scripture written on the chalk board-
1 Peter 1:19-20 "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you"
Invite children to find the lambs and answer the questions.
* Can anyone remember the first thing they ate as a baby besides milk? Can anyone remember the first night they came home from the hospital as a baby? Can anyone remember choosing Christ in the premortal world?
" Because we do not recall the first few years of early childhood does not mean that we didn't exist, that we didn't play, laugh, and interact with family and friends. So it is with our premortal estate!!" (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, pg. 13)
* Have 2 colors of straws-red and blue. Have about 12 children come up to choose a straw. (Let's see if I'm competent mathematically. I dropped out of Calculus and got a C in Stats.... so no guarantees) Have 4 straws blue. Have the children separate according to color. This is to demonstrate that 1/3 of the host of heaven chose to follow Satan and 2/3 chose to follow Christ in the premortal world. How sad for the 1/3 that didn't get bodies and exist unhappy and miserable!! And how sad for us too, because they were our brothers and sisters!!
Week 2 Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me.
(Recycled from a previous post)
* Have a thin piece of masking tape for a child to walk across without touching any other part of the floor and then have them squeeze in between two chairs to finish. 2 Nephi 31:9, 16 " And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them"
* FOR SENIOR PRIMARY! In the topical guide are 19 scripture references to Jesus Christ as our Exemplar. Hide the references and scriptures throughout the room and have the children work together to make matches!
* Have the children come up with different things they can do this week to be more like the Savior. Then have them go to Relief Society or Priesthood (or both) and sing I'm trying to be like Jesus (Children's Songbook p.78-79) and give their parents their papers.
* Bring in a mirror and a lipstick for a child to write with. Have them come up with words that have to do with how Jesus lived. (For example- love, kindness, charity, humble, helpful, nice, giving) Let them write a couple words on the mirror and then look at the reflection as you hold a picture of Christ behind them.
Alma 5:14 "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"
As we follow the example of our Savior, we will reflect His goodness.
* Bring in a lantern. 3 Nephi 18:16 "And as I have prayed among you even so shall ye pray in my church, among my people who do repent and are baptized in my name. Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you."
Who would really want to go into a dark forest without a lantern? Not me! I still sleep with a night light! Break into groups and give the children strips of yellow paper. Have them come up with different rays/ways that Jesus taught us how to live by example. (For example- Be forgiving. Jesus forgave those that crucified Him. or Be bold. Jesus cleansed the temple.)
*Bring in a sewing pattern and something you have created from the pattern. D&C 52:14 "I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived.” Create a pattern on the board with different colored paper. Children earn the paper by singing songs, reading scriptures and answering questions based on the week's theme.
Food for thought: "When I looked for a definition of pattern, I found it had a Latin origin derived from pater or father, one who served as a model or pattern to be emulated. Our Savior Jesus Christ set the pattern and asked us to follow him. Nephi asks, “Can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?” 2 Nephi 31:10" Janette C. Hales, “A Pattern of Righteousness,” Ensign, May 1991, 83
Recycled from a previous post)
Week 3 Through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved.
Week 3 Through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved.
* SING the 3rd Article of Faith song. Have the children use their arms to raise or lower as they sing the notes. Notice how the ending of the song they must raise their arms, just like the Atonement will raise and save us in the end after all we can do!* "No doctrine in the gospel is more important than the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If the gospel were compared to a wheel, the Atonement would be the hub and all other doctrines would be the spokes emanating from the hub." (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual , pg. 22) Draw a picture of this on the chalk board to illustrate.
* Pass out a sheet of blank paper and some crayons. Invite the children to draw or write whatever they feel as you sing them a song. Sing Hymn #193 I Stand All Amazed. (Or have a special guest come in and sing) Invite children to finish and share their work while the piano player quietly plays the song. In between children coming up to the front and sharing, read scriptures having to do with the Atonement like 2 Nephi 9:21, Mosiah 3:7, Matthew 26:39, etc.* Have a few items on a table for a child to buy. Give them 5 tickets. All items for sale cost 100 tickets. Can they buy the items with 5? Lo siento cuate... sorry man, it's a no go! This is called falling short. And likewise we, by ourselves, will never do or have enough tickets to get into heaven.
"Each of us lives on a kind of spiritual credit. One day the account will be closed, a settlement demanded. However casually we may view it now, when that day comes and the foreclosure is imminent, we will look around in restless agony for someone, anyone, to help us. And by eternal law, mercy cannot be extended save there be one who is both willing and able to assume our debt and pay the price and arrange the terms for our redemption... But know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is such a Mediator. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and me, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5)" (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1977, 55-56)
* Here is a lesson on the Atonement from the Primary 3: Choose the Right B manual.
* Here is a lesson on the Atonement from the Primary 7: New Testament manual.
* Flip through a magazine. Let children rip out a picture of a random person and stand in front holding the picture. Have them come up 2 at a time to do this. Can these strangers and random people be saved? HOW? Invite a child to recite the 3rd article of faith, emphasize ALL MANKIND.* 3 Nephi 27:19 "And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end."
Have a demonstration on how to get something clean... like having a white shirt and removing stains with a bleach pen. (Do it at home first to make sure it will work!!) Let the children use the pen to remove the stains as they answer questions, sing songs and read scriptures having to do with the atonement.
* Have the pianist play Hymn #339 My Country, 'Tis of Thee. What price was paid for our freedom here in this country? How many wars have we had? How much blood has been shed for us to live the way we do? Encourage children to look for special hats of Veterans and thank them for their service to our country. Invite some Young Men in to talk about the importance of showing respect for the flag.Even a greater blood was shed for our freedom. Display a picture of Christ in Gethsemane. Even greater reverence and respect should be shown for The Merciful One who has saved us.
Have an American flag. When we see our flag, we show reverence and think about what our great country means to us. Have popsicle sticks with white paper attached. Let the children create flags to help remember the Atonement of Christ. Have them share with their families and put in a spot where it will help them remember throughout the week of Jesus and His sacrifice to save us. As we sometimes stop and stand during the raising of the American flag... do so at home every time you walk by your flag and take the moment to thank Heavenly Father in silent prayer for our Redeemer. And for other countries, please tailor to your wonderful country's flag!
Week 4 Jesus Christ was resurrected and I will be too.
(Recycled from a previous post)
* Bring in a tank of helium and 10-12 balloons. Check with priesthood on this! We don't want to blow up any church buildings, so make sure to get pre-approval. Have a list of 10-12 total questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the Resurrection. Can a balloon rise without helium? So we can't rise without Jesus Christ!! As the children answer questions, sing or read scriptures, invite them to the front, blow up the balloon and let the child let go of it so all can see it rise.
Alma 11:41 "...For behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works."
* Click HERE and scroll down to the week 3 ideas.
* Divide into groups and give each group 10 verses each in Luke chapter 24. Have a picture of the resurrected Christ on the black board, draw lines from it as the children share what this chapter teaches us about the resurrection, and briefly summarize their thought and write it down. Ideas might include:
"Jesus Christ is a resurrected being who is able to vanish and reappear, walk, reason, stand, speak, ask questions, respond, read the mind of others, command and instruct from the scriptures.... Jesus also has a tangible body of flesh and bones that can be seen and felt by others and that can eat the food of mortals." (Jay Parry & Donald Parry, Understanding Death and the Resurrection, pg.243)
So out of all these ideas what do you look forward to most as a resurrected being?
* Have a picture of a sign "Dead End". What does this mean? Have a plastic toy bulldozer. How is Jesus Christ like a bulldozer? To some it may seem like when we die, there is no where else to go. But we know that there is more beyond the grave and Jesus has cleared the way because of His atonement and resurrection! Have the bulldozer run over the dead end sign!
* A WONDERFUL short video to show "Sunday will Come", click HERE!!
* A wonderful idea from Cheryl Esplin, Jesus Christ Is My Savior,” Friend, Apr 2009, 10–12 "Beforehand and with approval of the bishop or branch president, invite a member who has experienced the death of a loved one to bear testimony of what the Resurrection means to him or her.
Put the following GAK pictures in a pile in the following order with 227 on top: GAK 227 (Jesus Praying in Gethsemane), GAK 228 (The Betrayal of Jesus), GAK 230 (The Crucifixion), GAK 231 (Burial of Jesus), GAK 233 (Mary and the Resurrected Lord), GAK 234 (Jesus Shows His Wounds), and GAK 316 (Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere).
While the pianist plays “Beautiful Savior” (pp. 62–63), have the children pass around a small stone. Tell them it is symbolic of the stone rolled in front of the opening of Christ’s tomb. When the music stops, have the child holding the stone take the picture from the top of the pile and tell about it or choose someone to help. Continue for each picture, pausing after GAK 234 to sing the second verse of “On a Golden Springtime” (p. 88) and to read Luke 24:39 in unison.
Have the children feel their hands to help them understand that after Jesus was resurrected, the Apostles could feel His hands just as the children can feel their own hands. Continue with the rest of the pictures. Teach that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone who has ever lived on the earth will be resurrected. Have the invited guest bear testimony. Sing “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” (p. 64). At the end of the third verse, have the children stand when singing the words “Oh yes! And so shall I!”