Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

(Image from The Friend Oct. 2002... It is a matching game for General Conference. Unfortunately, some apostles have since passed away. However, it is still fun to see what our dear prophets looked like as children!!)

Monthly Theme: Living Prophets Teach Me To Choose The Right.
Monthly Scripture: "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God" Alma 37:35

Week 1 God speaks through living prophets.
(Recylcing some old ideas, some new)

* Have a list of cleaning chores around the home. Dusting, washing dishes, vacuuming, laundry, etc. Can mom do these all by herself? Sure! Would it be better if she had helpers? Heavenly Father could clean the world all by Himself, but He has prophets as His special helpers.

Have a bucket full of cleaning supplies. Invite children to come up and choose items. On the cleaning items have questions, scriptures and songs having to do with Prophets speak for Heavenly Father.
D&C 88:74 "...Yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean"

* Bring in 4 pictures, 2 copies of each picture. Have the children match the pictures. Are the matches the same? Read D&C 1:38, “What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, IT IS THE SAME.” Now have a sign “voice of the Lord” and “voice of my servants”… according to the scripture are these 2 a match and the same?

* Name that prophet!! Have a large picture of the First Presidency and Quorom of the Twelve. Write their names so children will know who is who. You could even send the children home with a picture of these good men and all the interesting facts so they could quiz their family!!

Interesting Facts (prophet the fact is about)
- This prophet visited the islands of the southeast and met a little boy. He visited with the boy's dad and one day glanced over to see the boy looking through his stamp collection. When the prophet returned to UT he sent the boy some stamps to add to his collection. He loved little children and took time to remember them even with his busy schedule!! (President Monson)
- This prophet would interview up to 70 missionaries a day, one at a time! In one month he had talked personally with over 1,000 misionaries!! (President Monson)
- Many times this prophet was traveling and on an airplane and the weather was horrible! The pilot would come on the loudspeaker and say they would have to re-route the plane and go somewhere else.... however, this prophet would say a humble prayer and often a miraculous break in the clouds would make it so the plane could land where it was supposed to! (President Monson)

HERE is where YOU, yes, beautiful you can find other interesting facts for the other prophets and apostles. Just click on their pictures and read away and be directed by the spirit. All the facts about President Monson are paraphrased from his biography by Heidi Swinton. I rarely will do everything because there is no room for growth in that. You are amazing, you can do it... put your back into it.

* Debate time! Have 2 children come up front and explain what a debate is. They have 30 seconds each to tell their side... what is the best flavor of ice cream and why? Who in the primary agrees and why? What about when it comes to Gospel topics? Is there a debate over those?

Sister Elaine A. Cannon, who has devoted much of her life to guiding and teaching young people, bore this witness of the living prophet: “Now, as he speaks to us … it is as if the Lord Jesus Christ himself were addressing us. … Christ made this very clear when he said to others of his children a time ago, ‘Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these … whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you’ (3 Nephi 12:1). … Your course should become clear, your priorities ought to be known to you. … Personal opinions vary. Eternal principles never do. When the prophet speaks … the debate is over(“If We Want to Go Up, We Have to Go On,” New Era, Jan.–Feb. 1979, pp. 40–41).

* Do any of the teachers in the room have children? Do they love one more than another? If anyone is pyscho, don't ask them... Do you think Heavenly Father loves his children more from the time of Adam of Eve or His children from Joseph Smith's time? What about His children now?

Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:45, "...for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Heavenly Father always has a prophet on the earth until "people choose to disregard, disobey, or distort any gospel ordinance, whenever they reject the Lord's prophets.... and begin to live in spiritual darkness." An apostacy happens!! However, time passes and "God has shown His love for His children by calling another prophet and giving him priesthood authority to restore and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Quotes from Preach My Gospel pg. 33)

Heavenly Father loves us all, as much now as in the time of ancient scripture! We have LIVING prophets who will speak to anyone who will listen! Just or unjust! Make little suns and raindrops (number 1-10) and hide around the room. Have a child find one and bring to front. Have questions or quotes or songs having to do with God speaks through living prophets.

As a handout for home:

I don't want to put a formal copyright on any work I do, so please just don't sell anything! Think Meatloaf's song if you do... Feel free to use with families and primary!

* President John Taylor said in regards to living prophets, “We require a living tree—a living fountain—living intelligence, proceeding from the living priesthood in heaven, through the living priesthood on earth..." (The Gospel Kingdom, [Deseret Book Co., 1944], p. 34)

Have a large paper tree with about 10-11 leaves. Have questions, scriptures and songs having to do with "living prophets" for the children to come up and choose one at a time.

* Here is a story about the first convert in the Phillipines that would be easy to for a child to act out while you read,

"When he was a boy he found in a garbage can an old tattered copy of the Reader’s Digest. It contained a condensation of a book giving the story of the Mormon people. It spoke of Joseph Smith and described him as a prophet. The word prophet did something to that boy. Could there actually be a prophet upon the earth? he wondered. The magazine was lost, but concern over the presence of a living prophet never left him during the long, dark years of war and oppression when the Philippines were occupied. Finally the forces of liberation came, and with them the reopening of Clark Air Base. David Lagman found employment there. His supervisor, he learned, was a Mormon, an Air Force officer. He wanted to ask him if he believed in a prophet, but was afraid to do so. Finally, after much inner turmoil, he mustered the courage to inquire.

“Are you a Mormon, sir?” the young man asked.
“Yes, I am,” was the forthright reply.
“Do you believe in a prophet? Do you have a prophet in your church?” came the anxious question.
“We do have a prophet, a living prophet, who presides in this church and who teaches the will of the Lord.”

David asked the officer to tell him more, and out of that teaching came his baptism. He was the first native elder ordained in the Philippines..... Could any people have a greater blessing than to have standing at their head one who receives and teaches the will of God concerning them?"
(Ensign Sept. 1991 "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” President Gordon B. Hinkley)

Week 2 The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are prophets.

* Let the Senior Primary teach! The week before give individual kids an assignment (call so you make sure mom knows) to prepare a 1-2 minute presentaion on a certain member of The First Presidency or 12. Tell them they need to have a visual and a fun story about that prophet- perhaps a couple interesting facts. In Junior Primary, the CTR 6 and CTR 7 classes would be able to do this too. Be mindful who is shy though and don't try to force them. Choose your children wisely.

* This might take a lot of work, but it'd be fun to look at. Make a few "maps" of where the prophets have been recently.
Take a black and white image, then a certain color marker and dot and dash away!
For example Elder Nelson has recently been to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Russia, LDS Business College SLC, UT, BYU Hawaii.
Let the children choose a map, then show them a picture of the prophet that it matches! Read a quote that was said in one of the places visited, for example, Elder Nelson said, "This is a perfect time to set your priorities and make certain that you move in the right direction. You do not want to be like the man who climbed the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall!” in SLC!
Talk about how many hours you think the prophets spend on airplanes!! Do they love the people of the world and Heavenly Father or what!

Now, where Sofia, might I find travel information? Click around HERE on Prophets and Apostles in the News. Still can't find anything? Pray. Pray a little more.... Click around some more. After that, I don't know the answer.

* Pass the Prophets. Have popsicle sticks with the pictures of The First Presidency and the Quorom of the 12. Sing We Thank Thee of God for a Prophet and pass the sticks around (sitting in a circle would work best)... randomly have the pianist stop the music. When the music stops have the children try to name that apostle they are holding and something prophets have taught us.

Week 3 God's prophets and apostles speak to us in General Conference.

*In general conference in October 1994, Elder David B. Haight said: “When we sustain the President of the Church by our uplifted hand, it not only signifies that we acknowledge before God that he is the rightful possessor of all the priesthood keys; it means that we covenant with God that we will abide by the direction and the counsel that comes through His prophet. It is a solemn covenant” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 14–15). Make sure to emphasize the underlined parts!

When we sustain the prophet at General Conference it means we covenant to do what he says!

A story illustrates why we should pay attention at General Conference:

"When I was a young wife and mother, my husband spent two years in the air force. We lived in military housing on Long Island, New York. While tending our young children, I often visited with neighbors who had come from all over the country. One day as a neighbor and I were talking about our beliefs, she became curious about what was different about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I told her briefly about the Restoration, and I explained that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has a living prophet today. This really seemed to pique her interest, and she wanted to know what the prophet had said. As I started to tell her about the Doctrine and Covenants and modern revelation, she said, “But what has he said lately?” I told her about general conference and that the Church had a monthly publication with a message from the prophet. Then she got really interested. I was so embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read the current message. She concluded our conversation by saying, “You mean you have a living prophet and you don’t know what he said?” In that situation I hadn’t shown what it meant to sustain." (Ensign May 1996, Sister Janette Hales Beckham, Young Women's President)

* Have the children write down a list of questions they have and after General Conference ask if anyone is willing to share if they recieved an answer to their question. Remind the children that prayer will go a long way too!

* A nice family home evening could include different family members interviewing each other after conference and sharing what they found. When "reporting findings" we always like to jazz it up with a tinfoil microphone and VIP seat.

Week 4 I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet.

* “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chr. 20:20

Blessing Jar!! Have a picture of President Monson and an empty jar next to it. Invite children to write or draw pictures of different ways they have been blessed and "prospered" by following his words on index cards. Fill up the jar and then have children come and draw some out to share with the primary.

* If we throw an apple up in the air, what will happen? What about if we throw a pencil in the air?
Certains things will always happen. Gravity is one of them, what goes up- must come down!! So it is with the principle of obedience and blessings....
D&C 130:20-21 "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

* HERE is a great sharing time from The Friend with a neat tube craft to put together. Thanks Sister Matsumori!!

* HERE are some really nice prophet figures (from The Friend) that you can mount on popsicle sticks and have children come choose. They can also briefly tell the story of that prophet and how we are blessed if we follow their words. Thanks Sister Magleby!

* HERE is a sharing time from The Friend entitled "I can follow the prophet today!"

* HERE is another super super sharing time from The Friend on obedience to the prophets brings blessings. Thanks Sister Nichols!!

Stand for the Right (CS pg. 159) Primary Song Helps and Ideas

Standing Figures Image courtesy creative commons license by ChrisM70
(Recycled from Feb.2011)
My favorite songs in the Children's Songbook happen to be the short ones. I just love that they are easy to remember and the message is solid!!

* Put a picture of President Monson on the chalkboard with a speech bubble. What are 2 words that the prophet might say to us?? Let the children brainstorm. How about Be True!!

* Have a stuffed animal bee or puppet. Invite a child to the front, when the bee is high the children sing bold, when the bee is low the children sing soft. Give paper Bees with the word true on it to each of the children to take home. They can hold it high and low and teach their family the song like we did in Primary.

* Have about 30 little toys. Have them all laying down on a table. Invite a child to the front to see if they can stand up all the toys before the Primary finishes the song.

* Have a leg dice. On each side of the dice is a leg with a different way to stand throughout the song. For example:
1. Stand on left leg    2. Stand on right leg   3. Stand with foot on left knee  4. Sit on ground and very slowly stand up by the end of song     5. Stand on tippy toes    6. Stand with legs apart, one hand on hip, other hand in air

* Check with your bishop and see if you can record the primary singing this song to send to a missionary serving from your ward. Grab a sheet of paper and have the primary write them a letter about what it means to be true and how proud they are of their missionary willing to stand for what's right!! (Yes, I'm a child of the 80's and still use cassette tapes. Don't laugh. Ok. You can laugh. If anyone has another idea that's more up to date, feel free to share)

*** PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be sensitive if there are any children in your primary who can't stand. Who are in a wheelchair. Speak with parents on how you can effectively teach this song to their child.
HERE is a youtube Mormon Message about a differently abled man who cannot stand physically, but proves you don't always need physical legs to stand tall. Being a witness of Christ and doing the best you personally can is Standing for the Right ***

Monday, February 6, 2012

Choose The Right Song Helps and Ideas

I know what you are thinking:

1. These look a little like toilet seats.
2. That's some pretty awesome photography... not.
3. You should add a hot guy in the picture with the caption, "Hey girl... these plate rings make me want to choose the right."

In The Friend they have a feature with a hidden CTR ring. I decided to make rings for the song, with images to help us remember the words and then we can hide them and search for them while we sing... once the song is learned. And when I say we, I mean my kiddos... did you know I'm not in primary? I'm a Relief Society chorister, and I missed my first week and didn't remember to call a substitute.
Fun times slacker.

* Broken Record: You can't do this with a piano, or perhaps you can if you let the pianist take the lead. Basically, you sing and then on certain phrases you just repeat over and over and over and over again and then continue singing. It's really fun. So it'd go something like this
Choose the right, when a choice is placed before you,
In the right, In the right, In the right, In the right the Holy Spirit guides....
It's a great way to teach the melody through repetition.

* Stand up and turn to the right!!! facing that wall- while you sing. After singing each phrase of the song, turn to the right and face that side of the room. Some other possibilities could include turning on the word "right" or facing children different directions to make it more complicated.