Saturday, June 23, 2012

July 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Monthly Theme: I Choose the Right by Living Gospel Principles
Monthly Scripture: "Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord" 1 Nephi 3:16

Week 1 Fasting and prayer can strengthen my testimony

*4th of July Twist on this weeks theme:
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress proclaimed July 20, 1775 as a national day of fasting and prayer in preparation for the war on independence.

Why would they need to fast and pray to get ready for war?
Ether 2:12Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.”
What happened in response to their prayers and fasting?
Have about 15 different pictures having to do with America- bald eagle, flag, George Washington, Declaration of Independence…etc. Have some basic questions on fasting and prayer (about 6) intermingled with some NEAT American President spiritual quotes, scriptures and patriotic songs . Let the children come up and choose pictures and then do what it says! (I will always make a numbered list of my questions, songs, quotes and scriptures to correspond to what picture/number the children pick... it makes life very simple)

American Presidential Spiritual Quotes: (Be sure the kiddos don't confuse the American Presidents with our Prophet/President of the Church!)
"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."
-President Abraham Lincoln, December 1862

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under. We are all God's handiwork, and it is appropriate for us as individuals and as a nation to call on Him in prayer.""
-President Ronald Reagan August 23, 1984
"The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded."
-President James Madison
"At this moment, I have in my heart a prayer. As I have assumed my heavy duties, I humbly pray, Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon: 'Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this thy so great people?' I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my LORD and my people."
-President Harry S. Truman
"Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic expression of Americanism."
-President Dwight D. Einsenhower
Bear testimony that we live in a choice land, a land that will stay choice if we fast and pray often to Heavenly Father!

*D&C 59:14 "Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer." The tip in the Sharing Time Outline says to "remember that younger children do NOT need to fast". However, they sure can rejoice! Interestingly enough, REJOICE has 2 definitions: to feel joy and to give joy to.

Pass out some paper. Have the children fold it in half. On one side let them draw things that help them feel joy. On the other side how they can give joy! Bear testimony that sometimes fasting and going without food can be a little hard, but it is a principle we should rejoice about!

* THIS is SUCH A GREAT STORY!!!!!!! I would definitely read the story and have children act it out while you are reading. You can have simple props like a handkerchief, grasshoppers on a popsicle stick, seagulls on a popsicle stick.

* This would be an AWESOME visual if you could bring in some pictures of redwoods and a small sapling tree.
From The Friend Dec. 2008 :
" Sometimes young people tell me, “I don’t really know if I have a testimony.” They are looking for a great, grand, glorious experience that’s like a lightning bolt. I ask them, “Have you ever seen a giant redwood tree?” It’s a magnificent tree. Redwoods are thousands of years old. They are gigantic. They are large enough that someone could carve a tunnel in one and drive a car through it. Some young people believe that their testimony is not a testimony at all if it isn’t like that giant redwood tree.
     On the other hand, I also ask them, “Have you seen a baby tree, a little sapling, only five inches tall?” It’s a tree too. Some testimonies are big like a giant redwood; some are small like a sapling. But big or small, they are both testimonies. If you are wondering if you have a testimony, I would ask you—Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet? Do you pray? Do you feel peace when you do? Do you believe the Book of Mormon is true? Do you believe you have a Father in Heaven? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? If you say yes to any of these questions, then you have received a witness of the truth. You have a testimony. Just nurture it!
      Our testimonies are nurtured and grown in simple ways. When you get out of bed in the morning, pray on your knees to your Father in Heaven, and listen. When you get up off your knees, go about the events of the day trying to live the gospel and be good to others. When the day ends, have another word of prayer, express love to Heavenly Father, thank Him, and ask for His help. Sometime between those two prayers, take time each day to read and think about the scriptures. Be sure to fast on fast Sunday and attend church every week.
      If you’ll just live like that, in time your testimony will grow from a little sapling to an eight-foot-tall tree to a giant redwood. That is how a testimony is nurtured and grown."

Week 2 Being kind is doing and saying nice things to others.

* KIND-DO! Just fancy for Kindness Jeopardy. It's easiest if you just use the chalkboard and chalk. I made a visual because we'll play it at home for a FHE. A lot of the squares you can use to fill in with SHORT personal stories of the children being kind! You can call up parents the week before to get the stories! (For example: This primary friend always helps clean up the playroom without being asked.... Who is it? Suzie!!) I never turn games into competitions, because I'm weird like that. Instead I'd tell the kiddos that we're working together as a Primary and let's see how many points we can earn together! Children can cross off the square they choose. HERE is the fantastic talk I quoted Elder Wirthlin. It's a must read! It is honestly one of the very BEST talks I've ever read in my life.

100 Personal Primary Friend Story
200 Personal Primary Friend Story
300 Personal Primary Friend Story
400 Sing I Want To Be Kind To Everyone (CS #145b)
500 How can we be kind to mother earth?
100 How can you show kindness to elderly people?
200 Personal Primary Friend Story
300 Personal Primary Friend Story
400 Name 2 kind people from the scriptures and what they did to be kind.
500 Please say something nice about someone in the room.
100 Personal Primary Friend Story
200 How can we show kindness to animals?
300 Please DO something kind for someone in the room. (Stumped?? How about a high five or a smile!)
400 Personal Primary Friend Story
500 Personal Primary Friend Story
100 Name 2 kind people from the scriptures and what they did to be kind.
200 How can we show kindness to teachers?
300 Please say something kind about someone in the room.
400 Name 2 kind people from the scriptures and what they did to be kind.
500 Please read this quotes, "Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given, but they can linger with us over the years." Elder Wirthlin (Ensign April 2005)
100 Sing I Want To Be Kind To Everyone (CS #145b) Repetition is a good thing!!!
200 Please say something kind about someone in the room.
300 Please read 3 Nephi 22:10 " For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
400 Personal Primary Friend Story
500 Please read this quotes, "Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes." Elder Wirthlin (Ensign April 2005)

Week 3 Reverence is deep respect and love toward God
* What is the key to reverence?
Have about 6 different keys hidden throughout the room. Attach the following to the keys. After we gather all the keys together perhaps we can figure out what the key to reverence is! Let one child at a time find a key and answer the question. If they need help, let them call on another primary friend.
1. How can I show reverence at Family Home Evening?
2. When I read my scriptures with my family, how am I showing reverence?
3. Why should I bear testimony at Family Home Evening?
4. How can I help the Holy Ghost be a constant companion of my family?
5. What do I do at home to show love to Heavenly Father?
6. Sing Love at Home (Hymn #294)
7. Why should I be reverent? What will I get in return to being obedient to this commandment?

"The home is the key to reverence, as it is to every other godlike virtue." Spencer W. Kimball, We Should Be a Reverent People, 4–5 When we are reverent, we turn the key to happiness!

Ideas are recycled from a previous post:
* Make a giant Venn diagram (2 circles overlapping in the middle) On one side brainstorm all the different ways to show love and on the other side ways to show respect. Ideas that are the same for both go in the middle!

* Million Dollar Question Minus the Million Dollars.... When was the only time we see Jesus get really upset in the scriptures? When people weren't showing REVERENCE for His Father's house, the temple! Have 6 children come to the front. Ask the children questions having to do with the story, when they answer correctly hand them a fake million dollar bill. BUT... is money everything? What do we learn from the story?!?! Let them crumple up their bill and try to toss it in the garbage can naming a blessing that comes from being reverent. (E.g. Peace, Happiness, Eternal Life, Holy Ghost will be close...)

* Have a mother bring in a young baby if possible. When we see a beautiful baby who is sleeping, how should we act around it? Are we loud? Do we jump up and down and poke the baby? Ask the children what we do with young babies and how do we show them love? There are some things in life where we just slow down, are a little more soft, a little more quiet and little more peaceful. Just like we show love and respect for a young baby with gentleness we can do so with Heavenly Father. Have 6 different items for the children to choose and show how we treat that item with respect and love. For example, you could have scriptures. We don't throw them or rip the pages. When we treat our scriptures right are we showing reverence for Heavenly Father? Another example could be a picture of the temple. Have the primary child show whether we walk or run around the temple grounds. More items could include: hymn books, a paper doll with modest clothes on, sacrament cup, a primary chair, a Family Home Evening packet, a country's flag.

* Reverence races!! Invite 4 children to come up front. Who can be the most reverent? Invite them to go to the other side of the room... Speed is not the key to winning the race! Once they cross the finish line, invite them to share a reason why they love their Heavenly Father. Invite a couple teachers to race too!

Week 4 Honesty is telling the truth regardless of the consequences

All quotes following come from the 2nd chapter of President Gordon B. Hinkley's Standing For Something. If you haven't read it, it's quite an amazing and inspiring book!

*What is the very first principle mentioned in the 13th article of faith? Being HONEST!!!
File:Im Salar de Uyuni.jpg
This is a rock formation in Bolivia that has been eroded by wind through time.
President Gordon B. Hinkley has said, "Leadership- of the family, an organization, our society, or even the nation- ERODES AND EVENTUALLY FALLS APART WITHOUT HONESTY & INTEGRITY."
Could you imagine this rock being your family? Lies chip away at it until eventually it will crumble and be nothing.

* Do you have a set of trains? We have a small set that attach by magnets. If you have about 7-8 trains this would be the time to use it and bring to primary.
" Why is honesty so vital? Because where honesty and integrity are present, other virtues follow."
(President Hinckley)

Have the children talk about being honest. What are some experiences they've had about telling the truth. How did it feel? The first train, our engine will be honesty. What will follow when we're honest? Let children label the following trains (a simple post it note would do) and attach them to the honest engine.
Gratitude. Will mom be happy when she can trust you'll do what you say?
Happiness. Is life easy when everyone tells the truth? How would you like it if your Grandparents said Hey! We're going to Disneyland! and then took you to Battle Mountain, Nevada. Not that there is anything wrong with Battle Mountain. I know I've referred to it as BM before but that's just because I'm a snot. And I need to repent. Have I missed the point because of my snootiness in preference of Disneyland over other I-80 gas stops?
Obedience. Do honest people do what the scriptures say?
Love. Would you rather be friends with a person who is up front or someone who talks behind your back and gossips?
Pray and figure out other virtues that follow! At the conclusion of the lesson, sing I Believe in Being Honest (CS #149) and let the children reverently drive the train to the person sitting next to them as you sing. Make sure everyone gets a chance to drive the train just a little bit, so if you need to sing the song a few times, all the better!

* Have a bag of oreos on a small table in front. Make sure you have the children's attention and carefully take a couple out and put them on a small plate. Invite a small child to come up front. You need to go outside the door for a second, will the child watch the oreos and not eat them please? Leave briefly. Come back. Did the child eat the oreos with everyone watching? What do you think would happen if you left for a longer time? Thank the child. Tell them the following story. It's not exactly a plate of oreos, but about the importance of doing what we say. Having honor in our words.

"Karl G. Maeser, an educator from Germany, served as the first president of Brigham Young University (gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cougars!!! personal insert,not part of the quote....), now the largest private church owned university in the United States. More than a century ago, he said this to his students: "I have been asked what I mean by 'word of honor'. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls- walls of stone ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground- there is a possibility that in some way or another I might be able to escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of that circle? No, never! I'd die first." And of course, pass out the oreos to all our honest primary friends.... which is everyone!

*Have a couple children act out this brief story as you read. (bring in a couple simple props) Honesty will not only bless your life but others too.

"   An older boy and his young companion were walking along a road that led through a field. They saw an old coat and a badly worn pair of men's shoes by the roadside, and, in the distance, they saw the owner working in the field. The younger boy suggested that they hide the shoes, conceal themselves, and watch the perplexity on the owner's face when he returned. The older boy, a benevolent lad, thought that would not be so good. he said the owner must be a very poor man. After discussing the matter, they concluded to try another experiment. Instead of hiding the shoes, they would put a silver dollar in each one and, concealing themselves, see what the owner did when he discovered the money.
     Soon the man returned from the field, put on his coat, slipped one foot into a shoe, felt something hard, took it out, and found a silver dollar. Wonder and surprise showed in his face. He looked at the dollar again and again, turned around and could see nobody, then proceeded to put on the other shoe where, to his great surprise, he found another dollar. his feelings overcame him and he knelt down and offered aloud a prater of thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife being sick and helpless and his children without bread. Then he fervently thanked the Lord for this bounty from unknown hands and evoked the blessing of heaven upon those who had given him this needed help. The boys remained concealed until he had gone. Then they quietly walked along the lane and one said to the other, "Don't you have a good feeling? Aren't you glad we didn't try to deceive him?"