Friday, September 28, 2012

October 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Priesthood Image courtesy creative commons license by Photo Dean March 2012

Monthly Theme: Blessings of the Priesthood are available to all.
Monthly Scripture: "And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord" D&C 84:35

* Really great tip from the outline: Be sensitive to the family situations of the children. Emphasize that the priesthood blesses everyone, regardless of gender, and that children who do not have a priest-hood holder in their home can be blessed through home teachers, extended family, and Church leaders.

Week 1 Worthy young men receive the priesthood when they are 12.

* Have a small panel of some worthy priesthood holders for a question & answer session. Let the children ask them questions having to do with the priesthood. Have a small basket with questions and let children draw out questions to ask, in case they can't think of any on their own.
Questions could include:
What is the Priesthood?
What do you have to do to be worthy of the Priesthood?
How does the Priesthood make you feel?
Why do you need the Priesthood?
Who can hold the Priesthood?
Where can you use the Priesthood?
When has the Priesthood blessed your life?

* Briefly have the children act out the following stories about the Priesthood:

1. "As the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he found mention of baptism for the remission of sins. On May 15, 1829, he and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism. As they prayed, “a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light.” This messenger was John the Baptist, the prophet who had baptized Jesus Christ centuries earlier. John the Baptist, now a resurrected being, laid his hands on Joseph and on Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood, which had been taken from the earth during the Great Apostasy. With this authority, Joseph and Oliver were able to baptize one another. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:68-72.)"

2. Acts8:14-20

3. From General Conference (April 2012) President Monson told this story, " During World War II, in the early part of 1944, an experience involving the priesthood took place as United States marines were taking Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands and located in the Pacific Ocean about midway between Australia and Hawaii. What took place in this regard was related by a correspondent—not a member of the Church—who worked for a newspaper in Hawaii. In the 1944 newspaper article he wrote following the experience, he explained that he and other correspondents were in the second wave behind the marines at Kwajalein Atoll. As they advanced, they noticed a young marine floating face down in the water, obviously badly wounded. The shallow water around him was red with his blood. And then they noticed another marine moving toward his wounded comrade. The second marine was also wounded, with his left arm hanging helplessly by his side. He lifted up the head of the one who was floating in the water in order to keep him from drowning. In a panicky voice he called for help. The correspondents looked again at the boy he was supporting and called back, “Son, there is nothing we can do for this boy.”
“Then,” wrote the correspondent, “I saw something that I had never seen before.” This boy, badly wounded himself, made his way to the shore with the seemingly lifeless body of his fellow marine. He “put the head of his companion on his knee. … What a picture that was—these two mortally wounded boys—both … clean, wonderful-looking young men, even in their distressing situation. And the one boy bowed his head over the other and said, ‘I command you, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the priesthood, to remain alive until I can get medical help.’” The correspondent concluded his article: “The three of us [the two marines and I] are here in the hospital. The doctors don’t know [how they made it alive], but I know.” (From Willing and Worthy to Serve)

End with your testimony and this quote, again from President Monson from the above article, "Miracles are everywhere to be found when the priesthood is understood, its power is honored and used properly, and faith is exerted."

* Sister Esplin writes, "Have the children look up “Priesthood, Qualifying for” in the Topical Guide. Ask them to work in pairs to choose a scripture and find qualities that men need to qualify for the priesthood. Have them or their teachers write each quality on a piece of paper. Have the children choose a quality and tell what a Primary boy could do now to work on that quality." (Friend Feb. 2009)

Week 2 We receive the ordinances of salvation through the priesthood.

* Divide the primary into groups. Give each group 3 minutes to look up a scripture and come up with a way to act it out for the primary. Let them come up front, friends raising their hand can guess what ordinance they are acting out!
Ordinances include:
administration to the sick (James 5:14–15)
blessing the sacrament (D&C 20:77, 79)
baptism by immersion (Matt. 3:16; D&C 20:72–74)
blessing of children (D&C 20:70)
conferring the Holy Ghost (D&C 20:68; 33:15)
conferring the priesthood (D&C 84:6–16; 107:41–52)
temple ordinances (D&C 124:39)
marriage in the new and everlasting covenant (D&C 132:19–20).

* Have 8 numbered index cards on the ground in a circle. Have the wonderful primary pianist play A Young Man Prepared (pg. 166 of Children's Songbook) Invite 8 children to come up front and walk around the circle of cards while the music plays. When it stops, have them stop on the number they are closest to. Invite another primary friend to draw a number from a bag that has an ordinance (just look at the above idea for the 8 ordinances) on it. Whoever is on that number can talk about what that ordinance is or a special experience they have had with that ordinance. Have the children sit down, take out the number pulled and invite 7 more children to come up front. It will get a little funny by the time you are down to 2 numbers and then 1!

* “… He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 255–56).
Have the children draw a picture of a time an ordinance helped them to be happy or perhaps a picture of an ordinance in the future that might give them happiness! Have a few children come up afterwards and share!

Week 3 I can receive strengthening power through priesthood blessings.

* This is a great lesson on Elijah, found HERE. He was an excellent example of strength and power through the Priesthood.

* This is another GREAT lesson about Priesthood Blessings found HERE. (Primary 3: Choose the Right B)

* This is a great idea from the Primary 6 Manual:

Make the room as dark as possible. Then tell the children the story of a group of tourists who went into a deep, dark cave. Once inside the cave the guide turned off the lights, waited for a few minutes, and then asked each person to point in the direction of the exit. When the lights came back on, people were pointing in all different directions.
Make your classroom light again, and share the following quotation from Elder Robert D. Hales: “If the power of the priesthood were not upon the earth, the adversary would have freedom to roam and reign without restraint. There would be no gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and enlighten us; no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord; no temples where we could make sacred, eternal covenants; no authority to bless or baptize, to heal or comfort. … There would be no light, no hope—only darkness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, p. 40; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 32).

* "The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood He created and governs the heavens and the earth. By this power the universe is kept in perfect order."
Gospel Principles Manual Chapter 13

Have pictures of space and the universe. If Heavenly Father uses the Priesthood to keep the universe in perfect order, how important is the Priesthood? Have a small spaceship of 4 chairs up front. Invite 4 primary friends to fly through space with you as we learn about the Priesthood and how we can be strengthened by priesthood blessings. Come up with questions, stories, scriptures or short quotes about priesthood blessings. Rotate each group of space cadets after each thing you teach. Keep on referring back to the fact that through the Priesthood Heavenly Father keeps the universe in perfect order.

Week 4 I can go to the temple to receive ordinances for my ancestors when I am older.

* HERE is a great talk by President Uchtdorf. It talks about foundation stones of temples. There is a very nice handout. You could also have the children fold a piece of paper like a fan and attach a temple at the top. On the steps (folds) you can have them write things they can do to get to the temple when they are older.

* HERE is a great search and find on preparing to go to the temple. Have a list of about 15 (total) songs, scriptures and questions having to do with the temple. When a primary friend answers a question, they can come up front and find one hidden item in the picture. Let's see if we can find all the hidden items before sharing time is over!!

* HERE is a really nice video on temples. It has beautiful images on the inside of a temple and very straightforward information. It's a little long, so you might have to cut it short. It comes from THIS site which is really educational.

* Make up a news report for the children to fill out about one of their ancestors and send it home with them to interview their family. Questions on the report could be:
1. What is an ancestor?
2. Who is an ancestor that needs temple work done?
3. What do we know about that ancestor's life?
4. Draw a picture of a temple you would like to do work for ancestors in.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Matching Board

I made this board for a baby shower and find it quite useful. I hot glued wooden clothespins on a piece of dollar store corkboard and painted with some glitter nail polish... class-ay.
It's nice and easy for matching games. We used it for Family Home evening with scripture story names, then the person who finds the match tells the story of that scripture person.
The possibilities are many though. Hopefully it can help someone out there!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Primary Pianist... The Loniest Calling?

 Image courtesy creative commons license by Maltagirl May 2006
Recently a good friend of mine told me that being a primary pianist was her least favorite calling ever.
I was flabbergasted.
Because I loved, loved, loved being a primary pianist.
I enjoyed watching and learning. Seeing what worked. What didn't.
I loved the children and when I wasn't playing the piano, I was sitting with them.
In fact, there was one rowdy lil' guy that I took under my wing and we were buddies.
I asked my friend why she didn't enjoy it and she said quote,
"It's a lonely calling. You're in the corner all by yourself."
Well friends. This is not a Three Dog Night music video.
This is real.
Mother Theresa once said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” 
And this needs to be fixed.
Solutions on the part of Choristers & Primary Presidency:
1. Don't just acknowledge the pianist, make them a rock star.
We're grateful for Sister D our pianist.... verses....What would we ever do without Sister D? She is the very best pianist in the world! We are so lucky to sing alongside her magic fingers!!! Did you just hear how fast she played!! Her fingers move faster than a super sonic jet plane! And yet so delicate at other times that you feel like you're listening to flowers dance!!
2. Have brief conversations & ask questions with your pianist while you're teaching.
Nephi crossed the ocean... Hey, Sister D have you ever crossed the ocean before? You have? Where did you go to? Oh my! A cruise to Tahiti sounds like so much fun, but didn't you get seasick? Wow. I didn't even know they made patches you can put on the back of your neck to avoid that... I bet Nephi and his family would have appreciated some of those!!!
3.While doing activities with balls, DO NOT hit the pianist.
We're going to toss the ball lightly into the bucket. PLEASE. Whatever you do... DO NOT!!!! I repeat DO NOT hit Sister D. We can not have her passed out on the floor because someone whacked her with the ball. If we don't have Sister D, we don't have music we have the scary sing out of tune with Sister Lykes (enter chorister) show.
4. Whisper your answer to the pianist!!
We're going to be singing Primary Colors.... Our primary friend is going to choose a color- red, yellow or blue. You stand on the color you think they chose!! Primary friend, please go tell Sister D what color you choose!
I want to get to know our primary friend better! Can you whisper to Sister D what your favorite animal is? OK primary friends, let's see if you can guess what it is!
5.Ask the pianist their opinion.
Sister D, are our children the very best singers in the entire world? Do you think that Heavenly Father and the angels are smiling right now because of the lovely way our primary friends sang?
Who's your favorite scripture prophet Sister D?
6. Thank the pianist FOR SPECIFICS.
Generics stink. I mean it's nice and better than nothing, but what do we want to teach our children. Let's teach them that beauty can be in the detail.
Thank you Sister D for that beautiful prelude music. You help invite the spirit every week and we are so grateful for your service.
Thank you Sister D for always playing so peppy. If the songs were too slow we'd fall asleep, but your lovely playing makes us want to sing even more!!
7. Thumbs up & silent cheers for the pianist!
Wow great singing everyone! Please give yourself a pat on the back and a kiss on the brain. And while we're at it, let's give Sister D 2 big thumbs up and a silent cheer for just being awesome and wearing such a beautiful skirt today. There is one modest babe! (Last sentence only to be used if your pianist is over 70)
Solutions on the part of the pianist themselves:
1. Have a great attitude!
Whether you wanted this calling or not, you've accepted and will be blessed for it. You might not ever be acknowledged for your hard work, practice and dilligence... but you know what, Heavenly Father knows and one day before the throngs of eternity you will be praised for your smiling face and fingers that helped his little ones grow and prosper.
2. Get involved and don't wait to be invited.
If you aren't needed at the piano, see what you can do. Are some kids chit chatty? Go sit by them and smile. How is their week going? Great! Let's listen to the lesson and after you can tell me all about it!
Kiddos need lots of love and attention. You could be that special person that Heavenly Father wants in their life. Don't be just a wall flower.
3. After singing, throw in your two cents!
Wow! I just had to say, when you sweet primary children sang I got the chills!! That was so neat to feel the spirit that strongly! Thank you!!
4. If children come visit you at the piano, talk to them!
Show them things. Teach them things. Have they ever heard of a treble cleff? What if you are the person that inspires them to become a concert musician? To read music you have to memorize a short phrase- see if you can remember- every good boy does fine! In one ward, I remember having about 10 kids come and visit me at the piano... I had to make sure that they knew it was OK, but only after primary!
5. Be there for those children with special needs!
Sometimes music can be soothing to children with special needs. Let them sit by you and watch your fingers move. Let them turn pages for you. Let them double check that you're on the right page. Pray and talk with the primary presidency and parents to see if this would be a good option. I remember one ward with a little girl in a wheelchair... she loved the pianist because she could see the wonderful possibilities one can do with their hands!
6. Know that you are NEVER alone.
Thank you MJ. Rest in peace.
Even though I'm sure he wasn't writing about Heavenly Father, his lyrics still ring true.
You are not alone.
What is the only cure for loneliness?
A good dose of Jesus.
"I believe that for most of us the best medicine for loneliness is work, service in behalf of others. I do not minimize your problems, but I do not hesitate to say that there are many others whose problems are more serious than are yours. Reach out to serve them, to help them, to encourage them."