Friday, August 31, 2012

September 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Charlton Heston, The 10 Commandments. An awesome movie? Yes indeed. 
If they ever did a remake, 2 words....President Uchtdorf.
 Monthly Theme: The Ten Commandments Teach Me to Love God and His Children
Monthly Scripture: "If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments" D&C 42:29

Week 1 We are blessed when we keep the commandments.  
* " We live at a time when many in the world have slipped from the safety found in keeping the commandments. It is a time when many people are breaking the laws of God. I am reminded of the words of the Lord found in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Said the Lord, “Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come” (Ether 2:25). The Lord has prepared us. If we heed His words and live the commandments, we will survive this time of wickedness—a time which can be compared with the waves and the winds and the floods that can destroy. He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right." (President Monson Oct. 2009 General Conference/The Friend Oct. 2011)

Give the children some paper and help them make simple origami boats. Instructions with pictures can be found HERE. Have them write a couple commandments on their boats! For younger children, teachers can write for them. Remember, as we keep the commandments, Heavenly Father will keep us safe!!


"Many years ago I read a book titled The Way to the Western Sea by David S. Lavender. It provides a fascinating account of the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they led their expedition across the North American continent to discover an overland route to the Pacific Ocean.
      Their trek was a nightmare of backbreaking toil, deep gorges which had to be crossed, and extensive travel by foot, carrying with them their supply-laden boats to find the next stream on which to make their way.
      As I read of their experiences, I mused, “If only there were modern bridges to span the gorges or the raging waters.” There came to my mind thoughts of magnificent bridges of our time which accomplish this task with ease: beautiful Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco fame; sturdy Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge; and others in many lands.
     In reality, we are all travelers—even explorers of mortality. We do not have the benefit of previous personal experience. We must pass over steep cliffs and turbulent waters in our own journey here on earth.
     Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was the supreme builder of bridges for you, for me, for all humankind. He has built the bridges over which we must cross if we are to reach our heavenly home.
     Jesus provided the Bridge of Obedience. He was an unfailing example of personal obedience as He kept the commandments of His Father." (President Monson April 2008 Liahona Three Bridges)
Have a blue sheet, our stormy waters, on the ground. Make a bridge by using small primary chairs (10??)... get one chair when the children answer questions about keeping the commandments or sing a song about the topic. Place over the blue sheet in a way that a child could walk across. At the end of the discussion, repeat that Jesus has built the bridge for us to return back to Heavenly Father. To walk across that bridge, we must keep the commandments and be obedient!! Invite one friend to carefully cross the bridge we've made!!

* "Be faithful to the commandments of the Lord, and He will open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings upon you..." (Gordon B. Hinckley, "Closing Remarks," Ensign, May 2005, 103 )
Have little paper raindrops scattered all over the room. Write down questions, scriptures or songs about the commandments on these raindrops. Have an open umbrella. Invite a child to hold the umbrella and choose a raindrop, return to the front and answer the question. Write the quote LARGE on the blackboard... invite the children to repeat the quote a few times throughout the lesson.

* Fix that story!! Have a few children come up front and dress them as Nephi & his brothers getting the brass plates. Tell them to act out what you say, but say it wrong, "Then Nephi decided, you know what, Laman & Lemuel are right... keeping the commandments is hard. I won't go. I won't do this."
Can the primary children help fix that story!!?!?
You could also act out Nephi building a boat.... you could say, "Nephi thought about it a long time. Boy! A boat!! I don't even have power tools or duct tape!! Keeping this commandment is too hard. I won't go and build a boat. I won't do it."
Another story Abraham & Isaac.... you could say, "Abraham led Isaac up the mountain. It was a steep mountain. Abraham thought it was pretty hot outside and that mountain was pretty big. Plus, Isaac wasn't such a bad son. He didn't play video games or ask to watch TV constantly. He was actually pretty awesome. Abraham decided, you know what, I don't think I'll do what Heavenly Father commanded me. I think I'll pass and won't go. Hey Isaac! Let's go get some root beer floats instead!"
After the stories are fixed, make sure to ask the children how these examples in the scriptures were blessed for their obedience in keeping the commandments!!
* What exactly are we commanded to do? Is it just the 10 commandments? This would probably work best with Senior Primary... break into groups and hand out paper. See which groups can find the most commandments in the scriptures. Make sure they write down scripture references.
"Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel. ....Our code of conduct is definitive; it is not negotiable. It is found not only in the Ten Commandments but also in the Sermon on the Mount, given to us by the Savior when He walked upon the earth. It is found throughout His teachings. It is found in the words of modern revelation."
Week 2 I should respect and worship God.

* Another word for respect is value. In Senior Primary you can have the children write out on a piece of paper a daily routine. How much time is spent on spiritual things? How much do we value the Lord?
Encourage the children to add something to their daily routine, that will show we value the Lord more. Even if it's only adding 2 minutes to a prayer to make it more meaningful, every bit of time added to the worship of God is a good thing!

John 4:23 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

* What is worship? Click HERE for more thoughts. There is actually a great scripture story that you could have the children act out. It's the story of Alma and Amulek talking to a group of people who were cast out from the synagogue and didn't know what to do to worship. See Alma 32 & Alma 34. Tell the story in your own words and then quote the scriptures having to do with worship like Alma 34:38 “worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth”. (Or whoever is acting the part of Amulek could have that on a strip of paper to read)

* EVERY MUSIC LEADER'S DREAM TALK!!! Except it's not a dream!!! It's completely real!! For those children who sit staring into the wide abyss instead of singing... perhaps this is the key??

Favorite quotes (Emphasis added),
"When a congregation worships through singing, all present should participate."

"What are we saying, what are we thinking, when we fail to join in singing in our worship services?
I believe some of us in North America are getting neglectful in our worship, including the singing of hymns. I have observed that the Saints elsewhere are more diligent in doing this. We in the center stakes of Zion should renew our fervent participation in the singing of our hymns."
"We who have “felt to sing the song of redeeming love” (Alma 5:26) need to keep singing that we may draw ever closer to him who has inspired sacred music and commanded that it be used to worship him."
Have an all music Sunday! Worship through song!! Give each child a music note, invite them to write their favorite song on it and put in a box. Invite children to pull out the music notes, sing and even read a quote from this wonderful talk.
* Name that Idol charades! We live in a time where there are many things that people worship INSTEAD of the true of living God, Heavenly Father. Write down a bunch of things on small strips of paper and have a child pick one, then act it out. Let the primary guess. Let's say the child picked out "watching TV" follow up with the question- what can we do to worship Heavenly Father instead of watching TV? And don't forget to remind the children that watching appropriate TV isn't bad when we do so in moderation! Big word!
"To worship the Lord is to put first in our lives the things of his kingdom, to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, to center our whole hearts upon Christ and that salvation which comes because of him." (How To Worship Elder McConkie Dec. 1971 Ensign) Excellent talk that outlines what exactly worship is!
Week 3 I should honor my parents.

* Write a note to your parents or grandparents to tell them how much you love them and WHY!!

*Chapter 37 in Gospel Principles is Family Responsibilities. It outlines the responsibilities of children quite nicely:

"How do children help their parents build a happy home?
     Children share with their parents the responsibilities of building a happy home. They should obey the commandments and cooperate with other family members. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel (see Mosiah 4:14).
     The Lord has commanded children to honor their parents. He said, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land” (Exodus 20:12). To honor parents means to love and respect them. It also means to obey them. The scriptures tell children to “obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
      President Spencer W. Kimball said that children should learn to work and to share responsibilities in the home and yard. They should be given assignments to keep the house neat and clean. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 120.)"
Have a puzzle of a home. On the pieces have scriptures, songs, and questions having to do with honoring our parents. Let the children put together the puzzle and do what each piece says! Reiterate the quote "Children share with their parents the responsibilities of building a happy home."
* HERE is an awesome resource from the friend!! Great great ideas!!! You could also use the search and find by having a child say a way to honor their parents and then circle something that is hidden in the picture. For larger primaries, you'd have to do that in small groups or pairs. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the mother, may I? idea! We'll definitely be doing that for FHE!
* Um yes, please... more wonderfulness from The Friend HERE. A great take home activity to do with parents!! Love it!!
* HERE is a great article with fantastic quotes like President Thomas S. Monson “Be honest with your mother and your father. … Communicate with them. Avoid the silent treatment” (“Be Thou An Example,” Ensign, May 2005, 112).There is also a good story that you could illustrate and glue on popsicle sticks and let the children hold while you tell the story in your own words.
* Naughty Naughty Children. Have pictures of some of the naughtier children from the scriptures. Examples could include Laman & Lemuel, Alma the Younger & The Sons of Mosiah, Joseph of Egypt's brothers, the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses, Satan (you can just write his name). Cover each picture and give clues about these wayward children. What primary friend can guess who it is? Some of these examples changed, and that's a good thing! We should always honor and respect our parents!! We never want our pictures to be hidden for a game like this!!!!!!

Week 4 I should respect others.

* Cut out the pictures in THIS link. Pass them out to some children. Let the children come up front and stand on the left if their picture is not respectful, and stand on the right if their picture shows respect. Have them tell the primary what is going on in the picture.
What is respect? In the topical guide under respect, other words include- esteem, family (love within), honor, honoring mother & father, obedience, reverence….
Isaiah 17:7At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.”
Have the children take a piece of paper and fold it into 4ths. Let them draw pictures of ways they can show respect for Heavenly Father and others.
* “Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.” (Because He Came, President Monson Christmas Devotional)
Have a bowl with a wooden spoon to stir. On top of the spoon have a picture of Christ.  Have questions, scriptures and songs about respect on strips of folded paper. Let a primary friend come up and stir up some kindness and respect, then choose a paper and answer the question or read the scripture, etc.
Repeat often the phrase of the quote throughout the lesson, “His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.”
* “I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.” (April 2008 Ensign Looking Back and Moving Forward, President Monson)
No matter where we are from, no matter what our difference, we are all the same on the inside… we are all children of God. If possible, have some eggs… a brown and a white, perhaps a pink and a blue one dyed! Let a couple children come up and crack the eggs to see the same inside even with different colored shells.
As a primary, come up with 10 different ways to show respect for others!
*Ride The Respect Bus! Have a few chairs set up like a bus. Invite a few children to act out some things you might see on the bus:
a tired bus driver who drives around without any thanks, a mother and her fussy child, a man who is reading the newspaper, an old woman standing because there is no room to sit, a person in a wheelchair who is having a hard time getting through the door....
Now have friends from the primary ride the respect bus! Have one come up and choose what can be fixed on the bus and how we could show respect!
As President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Let us learn respect for others. … None of us lives alone—in our city, our nation, or our world.” (In Quest of the Abundant Life,” Ensign, Mar. 1988)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Reverence Idea for Pioneer Songs

I have a cricket and seagull puppet and briefly told THIS story from The Friend. An interesting tidbit (that isn't in the story) are that the seagulls would eat so many crickets that they would throw up and then keep on eating! (Church History in The Fullness of Times Manual)

My daughter came up with a list of 7 interesting facts about crickets.
1. Crickets eat their own dead.
2. In Brazil, singing crickets means rain!
3. Crickets star in a lot of Disney movies.
4. Only male crickets sing.
5. Crickets do bite.
What are the other facts? I can't remember. Thank you senile self.

I brought in about 10 of these little crickets to visit our friends in primary. I was hoping they would sing for us, but those sneaky lil' guys wouldn't make a single chirp!

However, it was great because if we were getting too rowdy I'd hold up the crickets and it was completely silent as we waited to hear something! After about 5-10 seconds of listening and quiet, I'd transition us into our next song.

The children loved it and I invited any friends to come after church and find me if they wanted to see the crickets up close and longer. It was suggested by the children that next time we cover them up and perhaps they'd sing in the dark for us!