Friday, April 27, 2012

May 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

(Image courtesy LDS MEDIA LIBRARY found under image search)

Monthly Theme: I Choose the Right When I Am Baptized and Confirmed a Member of the Church
Monthly Scripture: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" Acts 2:38

Week 1 As I repent, I can be forgiven.

* Bring in a piece of stale bread and a piece of fresh bread.  If there is mold, all the better! What would the primary friends rather eat? According to the Bible Dictionary, Repentance is a "fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world." Fresh, not stale!! A brand new, spic and span attitude, not crusty and old! Just like a fresh piece of bread is good to eat, repentance is good for our soul!

* Welcome to the Repentance CafĂ©! Have a nice little table with a chair, small vase of flowers, a plate and a very special menu. On the menu have words like : humility, prayer, forgiveness, changing one's actions, changing one's attitude, recompense, cleanliness...
Invite a primary friend to come sit at the table, you could even have an apron on and ask them what they would like from the menu. Once they order, have a serving tray with items/pictures/scriptures that go along with that word. You'll have to prepare 2-3 questions to go along with that item served and what it has to do with repentance.
For example:
The child orders prayer- you serve them from your tray and place on their plate a picture of Enos. Why did Enos pray? Who did he pray for? What happened after he repented? Can someone please read, Enos 1:6, "And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away."
The child orders cleanliness- you serve them from your tray and place on their plate a bar of soap. How does repentance make you clean? Do little children under the age of 8 need to repent? NO!! They are already clean, but is it a good idea to practice saying sorry and making good choices to prepare for when you are older?

* Bring in the movie Cinderella. Who has seen this movie? Have a primary princess or prince BRIEFLY tell the story!! A minute or less!! Well, it's an important story because it was even brought up in this last April General Conference !!
"Every Cinderella has her midnight—if not in this life, then in the next. Judgment Day will come for all. Are you prepared? Are you pleased with your own performance?
If any has stumbled in her journey, I promise you that there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real. Said the Lord: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow....And I will remember [them] no more.” (Believe,Obey,Endure by President Monson)
Have 10 paper glass slippers with scriptures, stories, songs or questions having to do with repentance on the back. Let primary children come and choose a glass slipper and do what it says. (Of course, songs should be sung by the whole primary!) At the end of the lesson, you can show a picture of Cinderella in rags and then in her beautiful ball gown. Bear testimony that repentance turns our rags into beauty!!

* Have a member of the bishopric come in to help you with your lesson if possible. You'll need a running headband, a racing number to pin on him and a pair of running shoes for him to change into. He might look a little silly wearing these things and his suit! However, he's going to be our special runner today! He's going to reverently run (perhaps even just jog) from one side of the room to the other. After he finishes, ask him, if he were in the middle of a race and realized he was going the wrong way, what would he do?? Share this quote,

" If I were going the wrong way in the middle of a marathon, and I realized my mistake, would I keep going? I would immediately turn around! . . . I wouldn't stay on the wrong course because no matter how long I ran there, I would never reach the finish line. And yet for many who have made a moral mistake, a little voice keeps saying: 'You blew it. You can't change. No one will ever know anyway.' To you I would say, Don't believe it. 'Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true' (For the Strength of Youth [2001], 30)." Elaine S. Dalton, "You Can Return," New Era, Mar. 2010, 11
Have the children jog reverently (demonstrate for them first!) in place with their thumbs out. Invite one child up front to answer a question on repentance. Then they can reverently jog to another primary friend and tag their thumb. That friend comes up front to answer another question on repentance. While children answer questions, the primary children can sit down. We need to run and finish the race, repentance and forgiveness from our Savior and Heavenly Father helps us do so!!

Week 2 When I am baptized and confirmed, I am following Jesus' example.

* HERE is a coloring page of Jesus getting baptized. You could have the children color a picture of themselves getting baptized on the back. Who will baptize them? What are some things they are looking forward to on their baptismal day? Teachers can help them write down 1-2 sentences on what they know about baptism.

* HERE is a great, great, great!! flannel board story about the baptism of Christ from The Friend.

* HERE is the story of Jesus getting baptized. It's divided into 6 pictures and paragraphs, cut each section accordingly and put into an envelope. Divide the primary into groups. Give each group an envelope with the 6 pictures/paragraphs. Have them figure out the correct order and review the story together.

* Ask some parents for pictures of children who were recently baptized in the ward. These are great primary friends who followed the example of the Savior! Invite a friend to choose a picture and have a couple questions for the primary to answer. Questions could include:
What does immersion mean?
Where was Jesus baptized - Where are places we can be baptized?
Will a dove descend when we are baptized, why or why not?
What does the priesthood have to do with baptism?
What feelings do you have when you think about baptism?
If Jesus was perfect, why was He baptized- children don't have sins, why are they baptized?
Don't be afraid to ask hard questions! Children are very insightful when given the opportunity to speak and express themselves!

* Sing to the tune of Follow the Prophet
"Follow the Savior, Follow the Savior, Follow the Savior... He was bap-tized! Follow the Savior, Follow the Savior, Follow the Savior, I'll be baptized!"
Invite 5 friends up front in a circle. Have 5 index cards with one of the following words on each card:
Who, What, Where, When, Why. Have the primary sing the song and while doing so, the children in the circle pass around the cards. Have 5 more index cards with the same exact words in a bag. Invite another primary friend to draw a card from the bag and whoever has that card in the circle will answer that question about the baptism of Christ and our baptism too!
For example: Someone draws Who. The child would then answer Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. I can be baptized by a worthy priesthood holder..
Have everyone sit down and invite 4 new children to come up front. Sing the song. Have another friend draw a card.
Get as many children up and learning as possible!

Week 3 The Holy Ghost can help me.

* Have a buddy chat. Primary friends will talk to the person next to them and tell them a time they felt like they needed help. After a minute or two, invite a friend to share what their buddy told them with the whole primary. Aren't we blessed to know that Heavenly Father will help us because He loves us!
President Uchtdorf said during our recent General Conference, (talk found HERE)
" Brethren, God is faithful. Through the Holy Spirit, He will speak to our minds and hearts concerning the path we should follow during each segment of our lives.
If our hearts are pure—if we seek not our own glory but the glory of Almighty God, if we seek to do His will, if we desire to bless the lives of our family and fellowman—we will not be left to walk alone. As President Monson has often reminded us, “When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”2
Your Heavenly Father “will go before your face. [He] will be on your right hand and on your left, and [His] Spirit shall be in your hearts, and [His] angels round about you, to bear you up.”
After you read the quote, invite the children to buddy chat again and find out if they were able to recieve an answer to the thing they needed help with.

* Invite a primary friend to the front of the room. Have signs to tape to their back. On the signs will be names or pictures of people in the scriptures who recieved help from the Holy Ghost. They will turn around and show the primary the sign, but won't know what name is on it. It's up to the primary to give them hints about that person who was helped by the spirit. This might be a little tricky for Junior Primary!!
For example: NEPHI
The primary children come up with the hints!! If they need a starting point you can give a couple...
The spirit didn't tell him exactly what to do at first, he had to make many tries before he was successful!
The spirit told him that it was better for one man to perish than a whole nation dwindle in unbelief!

* Have a few primary children act out the following story as you read it!
"   President Woodruff told of an experience of being prompted by the Spirit. He was sent by the First Presidency to 'gather all the Saints of God in New England and Canada and bring them to Zion.'
     He stopped at the home of one of the brethren in Indiana and put his carriage in the yard, where he and his wife and one child went to bed while the rest of the family slept in the house. Shortly after he had retired for the night, the Spirit whispered, warning him, 'Get up, and move your carriage.' He got up and moved the carriage a distance from where it had stood. As he was returning to bed, the Spirit spoke to him again: 'Go and move your mules away from that oak tree.' He did this and then retired once again to bed.
     Not more than 30 minutes later, a whirlwind caught the tree to which his mules had been tied and broke it off at the ground. It was carried 100 yards (90 m) through two fences. The enormous tree, which had a trunk five feet (1.5 m) in circumference, fell exactly upon the spot where his carriage had been parked. By listening to the promptings of the Spirit, Elder Woodruff had saved his life and the lives of his wife and child. (See Wilford Woodruff, Leaves from My Journal [1881], 88.)
    That same Spirit can prompt you and protect you." Boyd K. Packer, "Prayer and Promptings," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 44–45
* When we have a cut... what can help us? A band aid!! Band aids are wonderful, but not quite as wonderful as something else that can help us.

 "The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found. 'And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned' (Alma 32:23)." Boyd K. Packer, "Prayer and Promptings," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 45

Have a brown paper bag for each children with the words, "The Holy Ghost can help me!" and a first aid red cross sign on it. Have about 5 different adults come in to share a story where the Holy Ghost helped them. Divide the primary into groups and roate between all the people/stations. That means the adults will have to tell their story 5 times!! At each station, after the adult tells their story they can give the primary children different colored band aids.

Week 4 When I take the sacrament I renew my baptismal covenants.

* "A mighty change of heart is not something we experience only once. Rather, it is a process we repeat over and over throughout our mortal lives, and thus our light grows “brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24).... When we participate in the renewing ordinance of the sacrament, the power and influence of the Holy Ghost are renewed in our lives." (Receiving and Retaining a Mighty Change By Elder Wilford W. Andersen Of the Seventy, General Conference April 2012)

Bring in a camping lantern that has settings of low light, medium light and high light. Each time we take the sacrament we can help our lights get brighter and brighter by renewing our baptismal covenants!

Recycled from previous posts

* Bring in a license plate with your current car registration. Have a copy of The Friend magazine on the table or the Ensign or Liahona, etc. Have some expired Milk so the kids can smell. Tell the kids the importance of renewal. To renew means to make new (thank you merriam-webster dictionary). If you don't renew your car registration you can get fined or your car taken away. If you don't renew your magazine subscription you won't get them anymore. Things expire. And when they expire that stinks! Anyone want to smell the milk?? We never want the covenants and promises we made at Baptism to expire, so we renew them when we take the sacrament!!

* Bring in a runner's headband, wristbands, marathon T-shirt. Dress the child and tell them they are going to jog. Have them start to jog in place. Ask the primary members if they think the person could jog for 5 minutes without a drink of water or rest. What about all 3 hours of church? What about jogging for a whole day or week? It's impossible! Our bodies need to be refreshed by water, food, and sleep. Then it's jog on to Olympic glory we go! When we are baptized we make the promise to help others, keep the commandments, set a good example. Like the runner though, those promises need to be refreshed and sacrament is the time and ordinance to do so. Then it's on to Celestial glory we go!

I would bring in a little homemade torch and have one child come up at a time to jog next to you, pick a question about baptismal covenants and sacrament and then answer the question. Have them pass the torch on to another child (jogging). Again, there is a visual there of "renewal and starting anew, refreshing" like in a marathon. Questions could include:

1. Who will baptize us?
2. What are we baptized in?
3. What does it mean to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ?
4. How can you bear someone's burden, or help someone that's sad or in trouble?
5. What can I think about during the sacrament?
6. What can I do during the sacrament?
7. Have you ever felt the spirit during sacrament? What does it feel like? (I use this question OFTEN because it is sooooooooooo important for our children to be able to recognize WHAT and HOW the spirit feels like)

I would have about 15 questions and scriptures total prepared, it's always better to be over prepared than under prepared!!! Bring some GAK pictures (like 208, 309, 407, 601, 603, 604) too!! **

* Bring in about 7 to 10 Book of Mormon, Bibles, etc. and arrange them all over the room. If we read the Book of Mormon once, is that a good thing? You betcha! But are we done learning from the Book of Mormon because we've already read it. We know everything now and can just put in on a book shelf and be done?? NO! We have to reread it!! Many times!! President Hinckley has said, "". . . I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon. . . ." Explain that taking the sacrament is like rereading. We have to do it to learn and grow!

Have the children come up and pick a scripture book. On the backs of the books have pictures and stories that have to do with baptism and the sacrament. Personalize, perhaps you could even have pictures of some of the primary children who've been baptized and their feelings as they had on that special day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 LDS Primary Mother's Day Gift Idea

Do you ever surf the web (is that even what it's called anymore? I'm stuck in the 90's.) and see all the sites with the cute pictures and fancy backgrounds. Yeah. Sorry. I'm not willing to put in that much effort and time for what I deem "fluff". Not that "fluff" is bad, I actually really like fluff... however, it's just not my thang.

Take me as I am, thank you Brian Adams.

This is an activity for primary children to do with their "special lady". I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I don't think kids should ever feel bad on mother's day if they don't have a mother. BABESTER. Hence the "special lady" bit.

This is really easy and cheap to put together. For each child you'll need:
2 paper plates
2 popsicle sticks
1 poem/instruction sheet (print on cardstock preferably for durability)
1 balloon (not blown up!!)
1 small bag of Hershey Hugs (or kisses)
-Crayons and tape to decorate the paddles and a small clip to put everything together for the children to take home-

Explain to the children that this is an activity where they will hit the balloon with their special lady, and after 5 hits back and forth they'll ask a question to get to know each other better. Have the children decorate their paddles with their very best work! Put all the items together with a clip!! Hopefully this activity can bring some happiness to homes!

The poem is as follows:

My Special Lady-
You're so neat!
From you head
down to your feet!

Every part!
I love you so!
Thanks for helping
me to grow.

Back and forth,
ping then pong-
Let's play a game
it won't take long!

We'll share some laughs
We'll share some fun
We'll share some hugs
when we are done!
I did add a small attribution in the corner, hopefully it won't detract from the message. I just never want these things to be sold for money. God gives me ideas, I write them down, hooray for things that are free!

Hopefully you can just click on the image and print. If not, you can email me and I'll send you the file!
Happy Mother/ Special Lady's Day!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LDS Primary Child Going Away Gift

On a nice piece of cardstock you can print out this poem and give to the child (or teacher) who is leaving your ward. Add a picture to the cardstock of the primary blowing kisses to their friend they will miss!! (Sister K.Hansen, I'm not sure where she's from... maybe California?? came up with a good idea and adaptation if your primary is too big, just do a picture of that friend's class!) Have them sign their names and a small message if they'd like.

I DO NOT know the source of this poem:

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!

You can also attach a bag of chocolate kisses for them!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LDS Baptismal Covenant List

I love, love, love that my sweet Christina is 7 years old. We are preparing for her baptism and I wanted something she could look at each night to help her remember exactly what she is promising when she is baptized. Covenants were found in Mosiah 18:8-10 and D&C 20:37. Feel free to click on the image and print it out!! The rose image properly attributed in the bottom right hand corner.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

FHE: Preach My Gospel Questions of the Soul

Recently in conference, Sister Esplin taught about teaching our children to understand the gospel. See HERE for the excellent talk.

I love this quote from her, "Teaching our children to understand is more than just imparting information. It’s helping our children get the doctrine into their hearts in a way that it becomes part of their very being and is reflected in their attitudes and behavior throughout their lives."

This is a very simple Preach My Gospel (pg. 107) based Family Home Evening to check for our children's understanding.
Really take notice of family members' answers. As a parent, if you notice that children don't understand a question... then take the time sometime that week to go over the scriptures in the Book of Mormon that answer it with them!!!

Opening Prayer
Opening Attention Activity: What are some "Great questions of the soul"?? What are some really big or little questions that you might have?? Where might we find answers??

Activity: Get out the video camera! Ask the questions found on page 107 of Preach My Gospel and let family members answer while being recorded. Obviously some questions are more geared for mom and dad like "How can I balance my family and career?" but it's also easily adaptable- how can I balance my family and school? etc. Some questions starting with the word "Does" need to be expounded with a why or a how.
If there is time, watch some of your video!

In closing: There are a lot of questions in life. Fortunately, Heavenly Father has provided the scriptures, prayer and a living prophet to help us receive most answers!

Bear Testimonies
Closing Prayer

Make sure to add lots of praise to answers given!
*Wow! Thanks for sharing.
*Great ideas, thank you!
* You really know what you're talking about! Thanks for sharing.
*Woah. Brilliant thoughts! Thank you.

If you want children to talk to you, then encourage them to do so by sincerely validating what they say.

And just because I talk too much, I have to share my 5 year old daughter's answer to "How can I avoid sin?" First she asked what "avoid" was and I said it was like driving a car and steering clear of something. She replied, "If you want to steer clear of sin you need to WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!!!!" I'm so grateful I have their wise words on video!! It's going to be a special treasure of mine for years to come I'm sure.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

How does one bide their time if they cannot blog? 1 word. PBS. It was going fine, I was accepting my lot in life... AT&T was annoying and I was done with "dealing" with them. My folks don't have their internet working. It was a sign. Perhaps my days of blogging were done. I admit. I cried.

 But then my husband came home and told me he was going to hide in a garbage can and shoot someone with a water gun downtown because he's in the final 2 (out of 70ish people)  of a game called ASAssins at school. (Asian Student Alliance) He needed costume ideas and my 5 year old suggested he dress up with a long hair wig, a beard and a red and white robe like Jesus. So then I smiled.

But then I watched a NOVA special and a baby grey whale was killed by a pack of orcas. Really? Thank you Sea World for glamorizing the most cruel and demonic animals on earth. The grey whale mother had spent 3 months nursing and playing with her baby, however they needed to take a perilous journey up north because the mother didn't have enough food to survive. Yeah. Then the killer whales attack. 4 hours of relentless fighting. The mother did everything she could. They didn't even need dramatic music.

I called a local internet company right away and was barely emotionally competent to put together the kiddo's Easter baskets. Thank you NOVA. You drove me back into the throngs of technology.

I'm sorry I don't have more. Hopefully these can help someone. Thank you so much for those of you who sent me such nice messages. I was at a Sri Lankan party tonight with a gaggle of fun people and it was fabulous. I'd compare your messages to the party's awesomeness because words couldn't do your kindness or the Hall and Oates karaoke justice. God bless you for being such wonderful friends and taking the time to write me.

Week 4 I feel my Savior's love when I try to be like Jesus Christ.

* Take a medium sized box and make a hole for a primary friend to stick their hand inside. They won't be able to see the items inside, but they can feel it. Put items in the box that represent different things the Lord has blessed us with to show His love for us. (Like a stuffed animal for animals, an apple for food, scriptures, a flower for all the plants around us, etc.) Invite a primary friend to share a couple ways we can try to be like Jesus. Write it on the board so ideas won't be repeated! Then have the friend try to guess what one of the items in the box is that they feel. How does that item show Jesus' love for us? Have about 10-12 different items.

* Bring in some special blankets. Does anybody else in primary have a special blanket they love? How does it feel? Divide into groups and give each group a blanket. Have the lovely pianist play some music quietly. The children in each group can bundle themselves in the blanket and share a story of when they have tried to be like Jesus and how it felt, then pass the blanket to the next friend.
Review the story of the vision of the tree of life. There is nothing like a warm, special blanket that makes you feel safe and cozy! Just like there is nothing like the Savior's love!!!
1 Nephi 11:21-23"And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."

* Do it! There is nothing like teaching a lesson by doing. Have the children draw pictures and then go to Relief Society to give them to the women. Have the children also give a compliment to the person they give their picture to. (Preferably someone who isn't their mom!And of course, pre-arrange with Relief Society to make sure it's OK) Practice and go over some nice compliments they can give. Perhaps they can give the women some little chocolates too! Come back to the primary room and ask the children how it felt to make the women smile. Did they do something the Savior might do? Have the primary children describe their feelings.
Moroni 7:47 " But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."