Let me preface, I drive a Granny Car, and am proud of it. My car is a little more dilapidated than this one I found on a google search. Mine has 2 broken windows that can't roll down... because well, they won't roll back up. The air conditioning is broke and I think I'm missing a couple hubcaps. Plus some paint is coming off in the back. Really? You might be thinking... you're proud to drive your Buick Roadmaster?? Yes. Yes I am. Because I don't have a car payment, so all the money that would go to a car payment can be spent on gas.
I'm glad our bodies aren't cars. Sure, cars are a lot like our bodies- but in the grand scheme of things, God is and always will be smarter than Ford. Or Buick. Take your pick.
Monthly Theme: My body is a temple of God.
Monthly Scripture: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? ...The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” 1 Corinthians 3:16–17
Week 1 My body is a temple.
* Personal reading for you about this week's theme... yes you. I'm talking to you. Not your dad. Click HERE. See. Aren't you glad you read that?
* Pres. Boyd K. Packer (I heart Boyd) says, “Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit” (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled , 211). Bring in a variety of different instruments. Divide into groups and let the children come up with a song or a chant. You can give groups topics like, "How do I treat my body like a temple." or "I love my body because...." or "Bodies are like temples because...." Let them play instruments during their songs.
This would be a good time to reinforce the concept that our bodies are merely tools and only work because of our spirits. Would an instrument work on the ground all by itself? No! It needs someone to play it!!
Just like instruments can play beautiful music, our bodies can be beautiful too if we treat them as the temple they are!!
* LOVE LOVE LOVE this sharing time by Sister Matsumori found HERE in the Friend.
* Time to whip out some old Ensign magazines and scour for temple pictures. Have the children draw pictures of themselves and then use the pictures of temples to cut out clothing for their bodies. Or you could just have the temple and they draw arms, legs and a head coming out from it. Obviously, this is not how we look!! But our bodies are just as sacred as the Holy Temple we do ordinance work in. Have the children write a few words down on why they love their bodies/temples.
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
* Have a bunch of different pictures of temples and people on the black board. Ask the children how all the pictures on the board are the same? They are all temples of God!! Attach scriptures, songs and questions having to do with the week's theme: My Body is a Temple, on the backs of the pictures. Let the children come up and choose a picture and then do what it says on back one at a time.
Week 2 Dressing modestly shows respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
* Word of caution. If you choose to bring in barbie dolls to teach this, it's your choice. But I'm willing to bet (It's the Nevadan in me) that at least 50% of LDS parents will not be comfortable with their lil' boys dressing a naked barbie. I would never bring in barbies personally because I just think it's odd, but to each his own. If you've prayed about it and feel good then do your thang... but be prepared, you might get a nasty talking to from some parents. I also WOULDN'T show examples of immodest clothing because I like to keep things positive. Let parents point out the saucy things in life, and teachers focus and emphasize the good. Again, this is just a word of caution.... personal ditty and opinion.
* Bring in a large laundry hamper full of modest clothes. Divide into groups and give each group a suitcase and an airplane ticket to one of the following: Canada, Hawaii, China, Russia/Siberia, etc. Write in large words on the chalkboard, "WHERE IN THE WORLD CAN WE BE MODEST?" Perhaps you can even have a map displayed. Have the children reverently choose one piece of clothing to pack in their group suitcase from the laundry hamper. No fighting over any clothes, or you won't be able to pack because then the clothes would be ripped and immodest!!! While in their groups have them come up with 3 ways to share with the Primary on how to be modest. Then have them share what they packed and why. Is it easier to be modest in a colder place than a hotter place? Have them answer the question on the board.... the answer should be EVERYWHERE in the world we can be modest!!!
* Have children make modest paper doll clothing!! For older children, they might be more into "Fashion Sketches". Have the children share their work with each other and invite the Bishop in to choose a design he really likes. Perhaps if there is someone in the ward who sews, they can turn that design into reality and give the finished product to the missionaries to give to an investigator.
* Put on a modesty Primary show! Invite reverent children (Or perhaps even a couple teachers!) to come up front and work it down a red carpet, do a turn and walk back to the front. Ham it up, have a toilet paper roll with foil balled on the end as a microphone. Wear a large hat and feather boa. Ask the children how each model is dressed modestly? You can have the pianist playing Dare to Do Right or Stand For the Right in the background as they walk. You can ask them questions like, How do you feel when you are obedient and dress modestly? Why is it important to dress modestly? How does dressing modestly show respect for Heavenly Father? Do you have to have fancy clothes to be modest? How important is cleanliness when it comes to modesty?
Question for YOU, yes you... not Rod Stewart: What if a child isn't dressed modestly? DON'T MAKE THEM FEEL BAD. Plain and simple.
* Again, bring in a bunch of old CHURCH magazines. Let the children cut and paste a "Modesty" collage on a 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper. Have them label it with the week's theme. They can choose pictures of clothes or people who are modest and make some beautiful art for the kitchen refrigerator. It will be an excellent reminder to our family about this important gospel principle!!
* Have each letter of RESPECT on a piece of paper. On the back of each letter's paper, have a picture of a modest person. Invite the children to talk about why the person is modest and how it is respectful.
Psalms 119:6 "Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments."
Week 3 Living the Word of Wisdom shows respect for my body.
* Explain that we are going to have a cooking demonstration. Invite a child to come up front and cut bananas, another one do strawberries... have another child add some yogurt and yet another child add in some grapes. (Please no sharp knives and be mindful of food allergies) Have small cups for the children to sample. Was the fruit salad cooking demonstration something that is good for our bodies?
Have the children play win-win-draw with foods and other things having to do with the Word of Wisdom that are good for our bodies. (They come up to the blackboard and draw, for example, an apple... then someone from the Primary guesses what they have drawn)
* Sister Judy Edwards wrote a simple and great sharing time found HERE. I find that the more simple, the better!! So rock on Sister Edwards and thank you.
* Have the children act out the story of Daniel refusing the King's meat. HERE are details from the story.
* Break into groups and have them pass a healthy food around as you sing The Word of Wisdom. (CS #154) When the music stops, the person holding the healthy food has to name something that is good for our bodies. For older children you can make it a little more challenging by giving them a certain letter that the healthy food has to start with.
* Have a bunch of healthy recipes and let the children make a recipe book for their family!! Make copies of the recipes and let the children draw pictures of how they think the finished food will look like.... Always make a copy or example to show them/give them some starting ideas. Display a bunch of different cook books and let the children end Primary by sharing some recipes they think would be healthy for our bodies in those books. On the chalk board you can have the words written- A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS- THE WORD OF WISDOM!!!
Week 4 Reading, watching, and listening to wholesome things keeps my mind clean.
* Break into different stations: One with books, DVD's and CD's. Have a person at each station prepare a 4 minute ditty on some of their favorites having to do with that station. Invite the children to share some of their favorites.
"Two obligations face the saints where the matter of environment is concerned: 1. To create for themselves and their families the most wholesome and edifying environment possible, so there will be less chance of any member of the family circle being lost through transgression; and 2. To rise above every unwholesome environmental situation that may be encountered during the course of this mortal probation. …"Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 229).
When we fill our minds with the good, we'll be able to do what Elder McConkie says and rise above the unwholesome!!
* Put A B C D F on the board. Why do we get grades? Elder Marvin J. Ashton has said, "We have a tendency to rate or grade others, and they do the same to us. If our perspective is proper, we use these ratings or gradings to motivate us to reach high levels of achievement and self-discipline. The whole concept of ratings enables us to set high goals and provides the challenge to us to achieve them. In spite of this inborn desire to achieve, there remains an area where the attainment of high or good ratings seems to be ignored. I speak of the growing numbers of movies, books, magazines, theatrical productions, and television programs where efforts to glorify immorality or violence have become predominant. “Rated R”...has replaced the idealism of being “Rated A.” (Ensign Nov. 1977)
Come up with different case scenarios having to do with good or bad books, movies, and music. Have children rate whether it's an A or an F. We need to be good judges of the different positions we're put into and grade wisely!!
An example of a case scenario could be: Helen is at school and is looking through the library. She notices 2 boys reading a book with a scary skull on the front. Is it a pirate book? She's asks. The boys tell her it's a book that is so scary it will give her nightmares at night.... it's not about pirates, it's just about tons of different scary things.
Another example: Perry is walking home with some friends. They are listening to some popular music from the radio on their headphones. One of the songs talks about girls in immodest swimwear. Perry feels uncomfortable, even though he's not listening to the music. What should he do?
Or: Belinda and Tim can't wait to read the magic tree house #38!! They have read #'s 1 through 37 and have learned so much. From Mummies to Dolphins, this next one promises to teach them something new!
* This is a great lesson that can be adapted from the Aaronic Priesthood manual.
* This idea is from the Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine Manual:
"Have a volunteer stand at the front of the class with his or her hands held forward. Tie a strand of thread loosely around both of the class member’s wrists. Explain that this one thread represents an unclean thought. Then have the class member break the thread by pulling his or her hands sharply outward.
• What should we do when an unclean thought enters our mind? (We should dismiss it immediately.)
Ask the class member to hold out his or her hands again. Wrap the class member’s wrists with a few strands of thread—enough to make it more difficult to break them. Then ask the class member to try to break the strands of thread. Repeat this process using enough strands of thread to make it impossible to break free.
• What happens when we allow unclean thoughts to stay in our minds?
Free the class member’s hands by cutting the thread with the scissors. Explain that part of this lesson deals with the consequences of dwelling on unclean thoughts. The lesson also discusses ways to free ourselves from unclean thoughts."
*3 Nephi 12:8 "And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Would it make sense to say if you had a clean mind, you'd have a pure heart? Perhaps even clean hands? Have a table full of eye glasses with songs, scriptures and questions having to do with the week's theme. If we keep ourselves busy with wholesome things and do what is right, we'll one day see God like the scripture says... Joseph Smith sure did!!