Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: Using our hands for good activity

This image is by Kathy Barbaro of

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 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 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 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."