Monday, August 29, 2011

Profound Silence....

Image from I am in no way endorsing their site.
I just did a google search and was disturbed by the color and price of these sweats. $13 each.

I've had a couple times in life when I've had sharing time and wondered... what's up with the noise? I have eyeballs, so I put them to good use. When I've looked around, it's not the kids talking but ADULTS.


I've often wondered why it's acceptable to wear sweats in public. Perhaps it's a Reno, NV thing and perhaps I secretly wish I could wear sweats and be accepted by society, but then I stop.
I realize it's wrong. There are just some things we shouldn't do.

Sweats is numero uno. Talking while the leader up front is.... numero dos. Especially when that leader is bearing testimony.

A scripture, Alma 55:17 says, "Yea, even to their women, and all those of their children, as many as were able to use a weapon of war, when Moroni had armed all those prisoners; and all those things were done in a profound silence." Granted, we may not be trying to save our village while the Lamanites are passed out drunk... I'm not even saying Primary needs to be a place of profound silence. All I'm saying is how do we expect children to show reverence when we don't?

I'll get off the soapbox now. But think about the sweats thing.... really.

A Simple Equation for Fun Spiritual Learning

      +     =
Fun Family Home Evening

Play a round of the alphabet game by rolling the dice with the theme of "The Gospel".
The alphabet game is where you go around in the circle and each person has a letter from the alphabet and comes up with a word starting with that letter based on your theme. Roll the dice (from the game of scattegories) to see what letter you get.
If you can't think of anything, open up the Gospel Art Book and look around. Talk about the word you choose. I also used a dry erase board to write down all the words we came up with.

I was really proud of my 4 year old coming up with the word "Follow" for F. Some other examples were "Temple" for T, "Priesthood" for P, "Night time Prayers" for N.....They liked the activity so much that I'm leaving it out for them to do whenever they want. It'd also be a great game to play on Sunday.

**Also, if you don't have a dice, you could just draw letters written and cut out on paper, from a sack.

September 2011 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

PlayMobils of the World Image courtesy creative commons license by fdecomite 8/2007

Monthly Theme: The Gospel Will Be Preached in All the World
Monthly Scripture: "This gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." D&C 133:37

Week 1 The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world.

*President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 167).

Bring in a Jenga game. (A tower of blocks would work too!) Demonstrate with the children's help that the world is making mistake after mistake... take away some blocks. Sin and error make the world a shaky place and not very stable. However, if we are good missionaries and share the gospel, it's like putting the blocks back. We're helping others learn about truth, and like President Benson taught, only the gospel will save the world from it's own self destruction!!

* Have a picture of the tree of life displayed. Have the children tell you what they know about Lehi's and Nephi's Vision. Was the fruit of the tree only for people in Korea? Or perhaps only for people in Chile?

1 Nephi 8:30 "But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."

These multitudes were ALL the different people of the world! Have different cut outs of apples with different flags of the countries around the world on them. Attach songs, scriptures and questions having to do with missionary work on them and let the children come and choose one at a time. The love of God is for everyone, so we need make sure we do our part to help others to the iron rod and press forward!!

* Divide into small groups of about 4-5 children. Give each group a blue balloon that you've added some construction paper continents to. You could easily sew some world bean bags (blue felt with a green felt continent on it) instead- that would guarantee less rowdiness than balloons. Introduce and write the topic of this week's lesson on the board, "The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world." Have the children spend 3 minutes passing the balloon to each other and saying what the gospel is! What are different principles and things that have to do with our church? Have them freeze and start a new round. This time have them pass the balloon and share different ways we can share the gospel or personal experiences they've had being missionaries. Freeze again! Have them pass around and share different places they'd like to serve missions or where family members have served.

President Joseph F. Smith, “We have a mission in the world: each man, each woman, each child who has grown to understanding or to the years of accountability, ought . . . to be qualified to preach the truth, to bear testimony of the truth” (Gospel Doctrine, 13th ed. [1968], 251–52).

Bear your own testimony how it's important to preach the gospel, but we need to know what the gospel is!! You can send the children home with pages 5 &6 of Preach My Gospel. The section is entitled the Gospel of Christ and they can read it at home as families.

* Have a large jar filled with jelly beans. Let children write their names and guess how many jelly beans are in the jar on a small piece of paper. Collect their guesses. Would it be a good idea to go home and eat all the jelly beans in 30 seconds or less? What would happen to your teeth if you ate all the jelly beans? Would it be better to eat all the jelly beans by yourself or possibly share with someone?

What about with the gospel? Is it better to keep all the knowledge we have to ourselves or share? Continue on with your lesson about missionary work and end with giving the jelly beans to whoever got the closest guess. Have ziplock bags with 10 jelly beans for each child and the quote, "Sharing is caring!! President John Taylor has said, 'Our duty is to preach the gospel to all men. . . . This is what God expects of us" (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1943], 234–35).Tell the children they have the choice to go home and share their candy or eat it all by themselves, just like they have the choice to go and share the gospel or not!
Make sure to remind the winner of the jar of the special importance they've just received!! What a blessing to have so much and when you have so much you should.... GIVE!!! End with Because I Have Been Given Much (Hymn #219) 

* I just liked this quote and thought it was a great analogy found off of, " Imagine you found a cure for cancer. How urgently would you spread the news of your discovery? Who would you tell? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for so many of life's ills that Mormons want to share the good news of eternal life with the same urgency.

The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)."

Week 2 Missionary work blesses everyone.

*" President Kimball has referred to missionary service as high adventure. He did so because the work is stirring and exciting. It is a bold undertaking, and it is one that requires the finest courage.

I once saw an advertisement of a movie that said, “Greatest adventure story of escape.” I thought to myself, “They don’t know what adventure is until they have tried to help someone escape from sin, or have pulled somebody back from the brink of a spiritual death, or have wrestled with evil forces, or have marched with the army of God.” There is no greater adventure, no more excitement, nothing more stirring than full-time service in the work of the Lord." Elder Carlos Asay (Ensign Oct. 1985) 

Have a large piece of paper with a book outline on it. Invite primary friends to create a book cover having to do with missionary work or what excites them about the gospel! What is the greatest adventure story? Certainly not the one that Elder Asay saw the movie preview for! The greatest story ever known is the life of Christ and when we know this story and share this story, all are blessed.

* From Preach My Gospel pg. 197 & 198 it says, "People need a reason to change their thoughts and actions. Promised blessings often provide powerful motivation to obey God. When the Lord gives a commandment, He often promises blessings for keeping that commandment (see D&C 130:20–21). As you prepare people to obey a specific commandment, teach them that:
• Living the commandments shows love for God and His Son.
• They demonstrate their trust in God as they obey His commandments.
• In return, they will receive blessings that He has promised.
As you testify of a commandment, talk about the blessings you have received from living that commandment. Promise those whom you teach that they can enjoy similar blessings. As people strive to keep a commitment, ask them to talk about the blessings that Heavenly Father has given them. Assure them that even though difficulties will enter their lives, His blessings will continue as they obey His will."

Have 2 children come to the front and be member missionaries. Have them draw out of a hat a gospel principle or commandment. Let them share what that principle means and how it's blessed their lives.
(For example, they draw out faith... Faith is believing in things you can't see. One time I was very sick but I had faith I could be healed. My dad gave me a blessing and I got better.)

*Bring in bowl of water. Have a child throw a small pebble into the bowl. What happens? What is a ripple? Is there any part of the water that doesn't move when the pebble is thrown in? Missionary Work is like a ripple. It spreads and touches all parts of the world and blesses everyone!! Or another analogy could be taking a glass and overfilling it with water... what just happened?? It spilled! It over-flowed!! President Kimball said that “the missionary work, like the tithing, will pour out blessings, as Malachi said, so many blessings that there’ll hardly be room enough to receive them. (See Mal. 3:10.)” (In Area Conference Report, Korea, Aug. 1975, p. 61.)

* Bring in a couple small costumes and act out the story of Alma and Abinadi. See Mosiah 17 and 18. All it took were the words of the prophet and one missionary willing to be an instrument of the Holy Ghost, and then  "... It came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." (Mosiah 18:30)

* Print pictures of people who you feel would edify your lesson and share their stories with the children. This is a good opportunity to show children that members of the gospel come in all sorts of different colors, looks and places... but our belief in Christ is the same! Click HERE or HERE to see what some members have to say about blessings and missionary work.....

Week 3 I can prepare now to serve a mission.

* HERE is a great sharing time from the Friend by Linda Christensen.

* HERE is a great sharing time and handout/search and find with things that will help prepare for missions.

* Captain Moroni was awesome! He had a tough job keeping the Lamanites from killing all the Nephites and keeping the Nephites from self-destruction! One of his jobs was to prepare cities for all the fighting. In Alma 50: 1-6 it talks about all he did. Put up a picture of Moroni and go over all his preparations. What might have happened if Moroni hadn't prepared? Would you rather live in one of his stronghold cities or one that wasn't prepared? Well, we have the choice to prepare ourselves nice and strong for missions or not. It's up to us to make that good choice!!

*Proverbs 30:25 "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer" Obviously ants are not people, so what is this scripture talking about?  Why do ants work so hard to gather food in the summer? Have some paper ants on the board that the children can choose songs, scriptures and questions having to do with missionary work. Perhaps you can have a picture of a picnic basket with the word mission on it... play around with the idea.... Our time is now and we need to prepare for our missions!

* Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
Having faith and preparing go hand in hand! Have the children come up to the front and pantomime an animal action. Let others try to guess what animal they are pretending to be. After they do so, have them fill in the blank... Just as Noah was prepared for the flood, I can prepare for my mission by.............

Week 4 I can be a missionary now.

* HERE is a great sharing time from the Friend where you can make a little box to take home. It's by Sister Margaret Lifferth.

* HERE is another good sharing time from Sister Sydney Reynolds in the Friend.

* HERE is a sharing time talking about missionary and harvest work from the Friend by Pat Graham.

* Have a piece of paper that says, "I can be a missionary NOW & I can be a missionary LATER." Have children draw pictures or write sentences under NOW & LATER on what they can do to be good missionaries. Get some NOW & LATER candy and make a card for the missionaries in your ward. Give the candy and card to the missionaries pledging the primary's support to spreading the gospel NOW & LATER!! There is even a poem HERE  (Scroll down a little) about it!!

* What does an Apostle say about being a missionary now? See HERE. This would be a great handout to take home and read with families!

* You could break into small groups and have a some different adults summarize some missionary stories from the friend or make felt board stories. The following are links from The Friend to some great missionary NOW stories:
Me? A Missionary Now?
A Missionary Now
Teaching Tanner's Teacher
What Can I Do to Be a Missionary?

* Does anyone have an old November 1994 Friend Magazine? Because in it is a board game called "I Can Be a Missionary Now"... I bet that would be fun!

* Have the children pretend they don't know anything about the church. What would they want to know? Have them write down their questions and put in a jar. Now let's be member missionaries and draw questions out of the jar and answer them!!