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)