Thursday, January 26, 2012

February 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Ideas and Helps

I'm sorry if the previous picture posted offended anyone.

Monthly Theme: When We Choose the Right, We Are Blessed

Monthly Scripture: "If ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you"
Mosiah 2:22

Did you notice this quote for the month in the sharing time outline from Elder Boyd K. Packer: Children can learn through fun activities and movement and still maintain an attitude of reverence. "Reverence . . . does not equate with absolute silence" (Boyd K. Packer, "Reverence Invites Revelation," Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22).  Fabulous!

Week 1 Noah was blessed for choosing the right.

*Animal Charades!! In a brown paper sack have little pieces of paper with different animals for the children to come and act out. Also, you can have questions or scriptures having to do with the story of Noah on the pieces too. Call on someone who is raising their hand to guess what the animal is and answer that question or read that scripture.

* To introduce who you are talking about, lay on the ground and have the primary children guess what you are doing. You are "resting". Did they know that the name NOAH means rest?? Do you think that Noah actually got a lot of rest taking care of the animals and building the ark? Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor!!

* A random poem, by yours truly, feel free to use not sell- I'd give it as a handout with some cool rainbow cupcakes!
 Good or bad, we have the choice-
like Noah, long ago...
We can listen and obey,
quick to do, not slow!
Before the rain, his faith was strong-
He built the ship, like told.
He was blessed,
he chose the right!
We too can be so bold!

* 5 clues! Have a primary friend come up front and give "up to" 5 clues about their favorite animal. Once the animal is guessed, ask a question or read a scripture about the story of Noah. At the end of the lesson have these 5 clues:
1. It's something you do.
2. You can do this like Noah.
3. Heavenly Father knew we might not do this, so Jesus was sent to make an atonement.
4. If you do this you will be blessed.
5. It rhymes with moose da night.
Week 2 Jesus's disciples were blessed by choosing the right.

*  “It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessings of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. . . . Ours is not a secondhand religion. We cannot receive the blessings of the gospel merely by observing the good that others do.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Way of the Disciple,” Ensign, May 2009, 76–77

Have a basket of different sports items: baseball, basketball, tennis racket, swimming goggles... etc. Have an example of disciples from the scriptures attached to the items. Let 1 member of each class, come up and choose a sports item. Let them discuss in their groups that story and then take turns up front saying how the disciples were blessed.
We also are Christ's disciples. We have the choice! End by singing a song about choices and on the chorus doing an action of their favorite sport!

* HERE is a link to the Friend with a Nephite Disciple quiz. It'd be great for Senior Primary. Make sure to scroll down!!

* "My advice to you is that we must create ways of living that help us with our spiritual housecleaning—ongoing and continual processes that draw us closer to the Lord our Savior so that we can be numbered among His disciples." Elder L. Tom Perry, The Friend Sept. 2003

Have a mop, gloves, an empty spray bottle and roll of paper towels. Let the children pass these like "hot potatoes" REVERENTLY to the person next to them while you sing songs about choices. When the piano stops, those friends holding cleaning items need to stand. Have about 6-8 names of different disciples of Christ. For each round, name a disciple and the friends standing can say something they know about that disciple... if they need help, they can call on another friend of course! Always ask how that disciple was blessed by choosing the right.
And another simple piece of advice... mean business too! If there are friends goofing off, give a warning and then if they still make a bad choice, they need to sit with another leader somewhere else in the room. We all have choices and our choices have consequences!! Go by the spirit!!

* HERE is a link to The Friend with a disciples crossword puzzle. Again, scroll down!

* Name that disciple!! Dress up (simply!) a few friends as different disciples of Christ. You could have little paragraphs for the disciples to read or you could just read. Once the primary has guessed who the disciple is, ask that disciple how they were blessed by choosing the right.

Week 3 Nephi was blessed for choosing the right.

* I forgot!! Have little brown bags with strips of paper with fill in the blank sentences. I am so forgetful I even forgot where I put the bags!!! Have the children look around the room and find the bags then fill in the blanks.....
1. Nephi was commanded to go and get the _______________ from Laban. (plates of brass)
2. Laban was a very _______________ man who didn't mind killing or stealing. (wicked, horrible, evil!!)
3. The first time Nephi and his brothers went to get the plates ____________________________ happened. (they cast lots, Laman went and asked and was almost killed by Laban)
4. The second time Nephi and his brothers went to get the plates ___________________________
happened. (they offered up all their possessions, Laban stole from them and then tried to kill them)
5. Even after Nephi's brothers ______________ him (beat), he returned and said _________________________ (I will go, I will do!!). He found Laban drunk on the ground and cut off his _____________, went to get the plates and chose the right!!

You come up with the rest!! I would do at least 4 different stories from the life of Nephi, with 5 things you forgot for each story. At the end of each story ask how Nephi was blessed because of his obedience.

* HERE is a link to a fun idea from The Friend. You take the cardboard cutouts, add some seashells and make a diorama of when Nephi builds the ship.

* HERE is a link to The Friend where there are finger puppets of Nephi's family and a liahona dot to dot! You could even make the dot to dot as large as possible and say you have a mystery item that could help a person choose the right. To find out what it is, we'll earn points for questions you answer and scriptures you read about how Nephi chose the right. When the children do so, they can earn 5 or 10 points and then connect that many dots on the drawing.

* Put 40 pieces of masking tape on the ground from one wall to another. Space them because you can dress up a primary friend as Nephi, have questions about his life and how he chose the right, then move him along the path (each piece of masking tape being a space) to the promised land. Have a picture of North and South America as the promised land with a sign at the end of the path. Let other primary children roll a dice and move Nephi that many masking tapes/spaces as they answer questions correctly.
Week 4 Church members today are blessed for choosing the right. 

* Primary Friend Interviews! Let the children choose a friend and interview them. Have a white piece of paper where they can draw a picture of the person they are interviewing. Then they write down the person's answers to the following questions-
What is a time in your life you chose the right?
How were you blessed?
Younger children of course will need help!! Have teachers close by!! And enlist your primary pianist to help too!! She doesn't always have to sit behind the piano!At the end, have a couple friends share with the entire primary what they learned about another!

* Invite a couple guests from your ward to share special/interesting experiences where they made a good choice and were blessed!

* Have children self reflect and make an acrostic poem (use the letters in TODAY to name blessings- for example T for teachers who love me) like the one below and draw a picture of one of their blessings or doing something to choose the right in the box! Little ones of course will need help writing and you might want to have them think of names of people they love to try to match the TODAY letters.

* HERE is a great story from The Friend about a little boy who made a good choice and bought an ice cream for his teacher. He was blessed with happiness for his act of charity. After you briefly retell or read the story to the primary, have a large paper ice cream cone on the board with about 10 scoops. On each scoop come up with a different scenario for the children to come up front and choose.
For example- Timmy loves family home evening, but his little brother always squirms around and has a hard time listening. What could Timmy do to make a good choice and help his brother at FHE? How will Timmy be blessed?
When the Primary children answer put the scoop on the cone and build a super tall treat!
At the end, remind the children that Wade made a good choice and blessed Mr. Nolan's life, but his own life too! Challenge the children to make a choice this week where blessings will follow!

Monday, January 16, 2012

FHE: Name Written Always on Your Hearts

Image courtesy creative commons license by Le Petit Poulailler Jan. 2009

Mosiah 5:12 " I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you."
Activity: Should we have the name Gonzo written on our hearts always? What about Pete or Myrtle or Beth or Anna or Shakira?

Who's name should we always have written in our hearts?
What does it mean to "have name written in our hearts"??
What did Abinadi teach about the "commandments being written on your hearts" to the wicked priests in Mosiah 13??
Or how about 2 Corinthians 3:3 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in table of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."
Here is another scripture Hebrews 8:10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people"

Have 10 plain hearts and let family members decorate them. Now comes the fun part. Have you ever wondered and thought to yourself all the different names for Christ? How many do you think there are??

Click HERE, the bible dictionary, it's a lot!! Explain to your children what the Bible Dictionary is used for and how helpful it can be in studying the scriptures. Let family members choose 1 scripture per heart to write on from "Christ, Names of" in the bible dictionary. Mix up the hearts and then look them up to see the different names chosen... try to guess who chose what.

Final question: Can "take upon us the name of Christ" and "name written on your hearts" be used together to describe what we need to do to show our love for The Savior??

End with this quote and the bearing of testimonies, " We see that we take upon us the name of Christ when we are baptized in his name, when we belong to his Church and profess our belief in him, and when we do the work of his kingdom." Elder Dallin H. Oaks May 1985 Taking upon Us the Name of Jesus Christ Highly recommend reading this talk for personal study!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year's Goals - LDS Family Home Evening Idea

I probably should have posted this before January, but this handsome little fellow happily distracts me from things that aren't quite as important, but are still important enough where I feel like I should kindly apologize. So... sorry mang, yes mang. Better late than never.

New Year Goals: A FHE
Opening Prayer
Opening Quote: "I have said often, you may write blessings for yourselves, and insert every good thing you can think of, and it will all come to pass on your heads, if you do right" (Heber C. Kimball, from an address given in the Old Tabernacle, August 1853)

Question: How do we get our FHE treat? Does it just magically appear out of thin air? Does it just fly through the door in a shower of sparkles and voila! we can eat?
Somewhere, steps were taken to get that treat!

Move to the stairs in your home. If you don't have stairs, adapt to your liking.

Activity: Have some goals and write them on a strip of paper. Have children put them at the top of the stairs. To get to the top, you have to take it step by step! On seperate strips of paper, write the steps it takes to get to the goal and have children place them on the stairs one at a time.
Yes, the hubby finally cut his dreadlocks....

For example: Goal- Run a Marathon
Steps- walk, stretch, eat right, run 1 mile, run 5 miles, run 10 miles
We did 3 goals which took about 10 minutes. And of course, be careful on the stairs!!

Activity: On a sheet of paper write some family goals for the New Years and talk about the steps you might have to take to reach them.

Scripture: Mosiah 4:27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Closing Prayer and Treat

** We have lots of songs we sing throughout FHE. If there is a principle we are talking about, then we sing a song to reinforce that principle and take it as it comes.**

Other resources from LDS.Org include
* Goal capsules from the Liahona
*Here is a lesson from Duties and Blessings of Priesthood manual with good stories and questions
* Fill in the Blank sentences to reach your goal from The Friend
* HERE is a great visual story about graham crackers as steps, and a grape as a goal for young children from The Friend

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 2012 Week 4 LDS Primary Sharing Time Reader's Theater: Jesus Christ created the earth as a place where I can learn to choose the right.

A World of Choice to Gladden the Heart
A Reader’s Theater by Sofia Lykes
Please feel free to use this in a home or church setting. Not intended for commercial use and if you do, to quote Blondie, "One way or another, I'm gonna find ya... I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha, one way or another..."

Speaking Parts:
Narrator 1, 2, 3     Angel #1,2, 3    Joseph Smith
  Non speaking parts:
Sign holder   Sun, Moon, Stars   2 helpers to make “waves”
A child to plant seeds and a child to be a plant and grow
* Click HERE to see tips on how to do a Reader's Theater... be confident, it will be fun! 
And seriously, choose your reader's wisely! Make sure the readers don't hold the papers up in front of their face, no one will be able to hear them or see their beautiful faces!
* When the sign holder holds up signs, the primary children in the audience can read what it says out loud together- you'll have to make the 6 signs for the sign holder to hold up.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

(Sign holder holds up sign WELCOME TO OUR READER’S THEATRE)
Narrator 1: God the Father once said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the eternal life of man.”
Narrator 2: That’s a lot of work!!
Narrator 1: It sure is! There are gazillions of people that have lived on the earth. I don’t know how He does it!
Narrator 3: It’s not that important for us to know how He does it, but WHY He does it… because He loves us!!
Narrator 2: Yes. Because Jesus loves us, He created the earth as a place where we can choose the right.
(Sign holder holds up sign PRE-MORTAL WORLD)
Angel #1: Hey man, did you just hear that!!
Angel #2: What?
Angel #1: Heavenly Father has a great plan. In fact, it’s not great… it’s awesomely perfect! He needs someone to help Him with His plan and has asked, “Whom will I send?”[1]
Angel #2: Oh yeah! And our elder brother Jesus said, “Here I am, send me.”[2]
Angel #3: I know who I’m choosing to follow! Lucifer also said he’d do  the job but his plan didn’t sound too great.
Angel #1: No it didn’t! No one should have to be forced to do anything! Agency is such a blessing.
Angel #3: What is agency?
Angel #2: Agency is the gift to choose!!
(Sign holder holds up sign Hip! Hip! Hooray!!)
Narrator 1: We all shouted for joy because we had choices and a plan where we could be saved.
Narrator 2: We were excited for new experiences and for everything to happen, we’d have to leave the pre-mortal world and get bodies.
Narrator 3: But where would everyone go??
(Sign holder holds up sign WELCOME TO EARTH!)[3]
Narrator 1: Under Heavenly Father’s direction, Jesus organized like crazy!
Narrator 2: I wish He’d come help me with my toy closet.
Narrator 3: Jesus divided light from darkness to create day and night. He formed the sun, moon, and stars.
(Sun, Moon and Star friends wave to audience)
Narrator 3: He divided the waters from the dry land to make seas, rivers, and lakes.
(2 primary children can hold a blue sheet and shake it like waves)
Narrator 2: He made the earth beautiful and productive. He made grass, trees, flowers, and other plants of all kinds. These plants contained seeds from which new plants could grow.
(A primary child pretends like they are planting seeds and another primary child pretends to be a plant and grows)
Narrator 1: Then He created the animals—fish, cattle, insects, and birds of all kinds. Hey primary friends! Raise your hand and I’ll call on you. You can share what your very favorite animal is!!
(Sign holder holds up sign ALMOST TO THE END)
Joseph Smith: When I was writing one day, the Lord gave me this revelation which I wrote down in D&C 59:18-19 “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.”
Narrator 2: Wow Joseph! We know that Jesus has given us everything!! Not only His life, but this beautiful world to gladden our hearts.
Joseph Smith: “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom.”[4]
Narrator 3: I guess it means we better choose the right and use our agency wisely!!
(Sign holder holds up sign WE CAN CHOOSE THE RIGHT)
(Sign holder holds up sign THE END)

[1] Abraham 3:27
[2] Abraham 3:27
[3]Most of  the following parts spoken by narrators come from the Gospel Principles Manual
[4] From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 211, 213–14.