(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)