(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 Café! 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.
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 , 30)." , "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?
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!
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 , 88.)
That same Spirit can prompt you and protect you." , "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)." , "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.