Gethsemane by Carl Bloch
Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Monthly Scripture: "Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world" D&C 43:34
Week 1 Jesus Christ taught the gospel and set an example for us.
* If Jesus had a job/occupation, what would you say His job was? President Packer has said, "‘What did Jesus have as an occupation?’ There is only one answer: He was a teacher. It is He who should be our ideal. It is He who is the master teacher.” (Mine Errand from the Lord (2008), 336)
We know Jesus is our master teacher, but what did He teach? Have a backpack filled with school supplies. If we were to go to school and were lucky enough to see our Savior up front by the blackboard, what do you think He'd say to us!! Fortunately, we have His teachings throughout the scriptures. Let children choose school supplies from the backpack with questions, scriptures and songs having to do with Jesus teaching the gospel.
* At 12 years old, what do the primary friends see themselves doing? Some will be in Young Womens and Young Mens. Boys will have the Aaronic Priesthood and be able to pass sacrament. You might be in 6th or 7th grade. You'll probably be a little taller.
The earliest story we have of Jesus is when He was 12 years old. Have a few primary children act out what happened when Mary & Joseph lost Jesus and found Him teaching in the temple. Even at such a young age, the Savior "...garnered knowledge by study, and gained wisdom by prayer, thought, and effort." (Elder James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. (1916), 112) He was just a little bit older than us and was teaching wise men and women triple His age!!
While we wont be called to teach in the temple at 12, where are other places we can teach... and do we know enough about the gospel to make a good lesson? Have a paper bag with gospel principle words in it. Let children draw out words and tell/teach the primary about that principle. Have a Gospel Art Book handy to show any pictures of stories that might come up.
Words might include faith, prayer, baptism, fasting, charity, honesty, obedience, service.... etc.
* Have a basket with seeds, weeds, a bottle of mustard, coin, oil lamp, a stuffed sheep toy, a first aid kit- anything to represent the many parables Christ taught. Ask the children what all these items have to do with each other? Ask the children- what is a parable? Divide into groups and give the children items from the basket with scriptures about that parable. Invite them to come up front afterwards and share what parable they had. If there is time left, let the children write their own modern day parable!!
HERE and HERE is some background reading on parables as you prepare your lesson.
* Bring in some pictures of people you admire and are examples to you. Briefly share why. Ask the children to share some people in their lives who are good examples. Who is the greatest example? Jesus. Just like we follow His example, we're going to play a follow the directions game!! What is important when you are following? Good listening and actually doing what is said! Start at the back of the room and come up with directions for a primary child to follow to find a picture of a story from the life of Christ.
For example, "Take 10 steps forward, jump twice and look under the front table. What is this a picture of? Jesus getting baptized! Great!! Why should we follow that example?"
For Senior Primary, invite them to find an example from the scriptures that we should follow in Christ's life, write down the scripture and put it somewhere in the room. Then they will have to come up with their own directions for another person to find it.
2 Nephi 31:10 "And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?"
Recycled Ideas from Previous Posts
* FOR SENIOR PRIMARY! In the topical guide are 19 scripture references to Jesus Christ as our Exemplar. Hide the references and scriptures throughout the room and have the children work together to make matches!
* Bring in a lantern. 3 Nephi 18:16 "And as I have prayed among you even so shall ye pray in my church, among my people who do repent and are baptized in my name. Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you."Who would really want to go into a dark forest without a lantern? Not me! I still sleep with a night light! Break into groups and give the children strips of yellow paper. Have them come up with different rays/ways that Jesus taught us how to live by example. (For example- Be forgiving. Jesus forgave those that crucified Him. or Be bold. Jesus cleansed the temple.) Have a picture of Jesus on the black board and attach the rays.
Week 2 Because of Christ’s Atonement, I can repent and live with God again.
* Have a simple math problem on the board. 3+3= 9 9+1=10 10-5=5 Is this right? When we didn't fix the mistake, it threw the whole problem off and in the end we got the wrong answer!! Repentance is our eraser. It erases the mistake and helps us to fix the problem. It might seem easier to just ignore and keep on going, but in the end it wont be right. Have a mixture of math problems gone wrong and case studies where the children can fix the mistake.
For example 1+4=9, they erase and fix 1+4=5... now please help me. Casey went on a walk. He was eating a granola bar and didn't have pockets to put his trash in. He didn't see any garbage cans and decided to throw the wrapper on the ground. First, what was his mistake? How can he repent? Yes! He needs to say a prayer to ask forgiveness, probably go outside and pick up trash to make recompense and then never do it again!!
In the end show a picture of Jesus + Repentance = ?? Because of Christ's Atonement I can repent and live with God again!!
* "Repentance is the turning away from that which is low and the striving for that which is higher."
(David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, 12–13) Do we shoot a basketball towards the ground? No!! We have to aim it high for the net. Invite the children to grab 2 pieces of paper and write on it mistakes people might make. Invite them to share it, crumple it up and throw it into a garbage can on a chair. We are never going to make all our shots, but because of the Atonement of Christ and repentance hopefully in the end we can get a slam dunk of eternal life!!
* Bring in a plant. Would this plant be OK if we watered it once today and that's it? What does a plant need? Constant nourishment!!! Just like water and soil to a plant, repentance is essential to our spirit's growth!! However, there is one other very important part... the sunlight!! The light in our lives is The Savior. Without His atonement we could never even hope to grow!
“Repentance is indispensable to the growing life, since in all growth there is constant adjustment, taking on and sloughing off. We cannot replace a bad life with a good one by any single word or act; there must be a continuing process of replacing error and wrong-doing with truth and right-doing; of going from bad to good and from good to better.…" (Hugh B. Brown, Eternal Quest, 99, 102).
Bring in some cups, dirt and seeds. Let the children plant their own seed to help them to remember the importance of repenting often!!
* HERE is a wonderful talk in The Friend by President Uchtdorf. Have a toy airplane and let a child hold it while you read what President Uchtdorf says. What is the point of safe return? What does the point of no return mean?
"You are the captain of your life, and God has prepared a plan to bring you safely back to Him, to your divine destination. The gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides us at all times and at all places with the blessings of repentance and forgiveness."
Have paper airplanes up front with questions, scriptures & songs about repentance and The Atonement for the children to come up and choose.
Recycled Idea from Previous Post
* Pass out a sheet of blank paper and some crayons. Invite the children to draw or write whatever they feel as you sing them a song. Sing Hymn #193 I Stand All Amazed. (Or have a special guest come in and sing) Invite children to finish and share their work while the piano player quietly plays the song. In between children coming up to the front and sharing, read scriptures having to do with the Atonement like 2 Nephi 9:21, Mosiah 3:7, Matthew 26:39, etc.* Have a few items on a table for a child to buy. Give them 5 tickets. All items for sale cost 100 tickets. Can they buy the items with 5? Lo siento cuate... it's a no go! This is called falling short. And likewise we, by ourselves, will never do or have enough tickets to get into heaven.
"Each of us lives on a kind of spiritual credit. One day the account will be closed, a settlement demanded. However casually we may view it now, when that day comes and the foreclosure is imminent, we will look around in restless agony for someone, anyone, to help us. And by eternal law, mercy cannot be extended save there be one who is both willing and able to assume our debt and pay the price and arrange the terms for our redemption... But know this: Truth, glorious truth, proclaims there is such a Mediator. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and me, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5)" (President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1977, 55-56)
Week 3 Because Jesus Christ was resurrected, I will be too.* He is Risen Trivia/Jeopardy Type Game by yours truly... can be easily used for Family Home Evening too!
Recylced Ideas From Previous Posts
* Have a picture of a sign "Dead End". What does this mean? Have a plastic toy bulldozer. How is Jesus Christ like a bulldozer? To some it may seem like when we die, there is no where else to go. But we know that there is more beyond the grave and Jesus has cleared the way because of His atonement and resurrection! Have the bulldozer run over the dead end sign!
* Have a teacher or another adult come to the front to help. Tie their hands together. What does that feel like? Can they do as many things with their hands tied? Mosiah 15:20 "But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead." Cut the string. The teacher's hand is free now. How does that feel? The resurrection gives us hope, happy feelings and freedom!!
* Have something simple broken. Fix it with superglue. The resurrection will put the body and the spirit back together. Except it's something much stronger and more powerful than superglue because of who made it possible, Jesus Christ.
* A WONDERFUL short video to show "Sunday will Come", click HERE!!
Week 4 Jesus Christ is our Savior.
* Have a bunch of pictures of Jesus displayed throughout the room. Invite the pianist to play reverent music (Maybe I feel My Savior's Love CS#74) and let the children walk very quietly around to look at the pictures. Afterwards, have them sit and share some things they noticed and felt. Invite them to do that activity for their families and share testimonies at home about how they know Jesus is our Savior.
* Have older children write down their testimonies. This fills a Faith in God requirement.
* Invite the Bishop in to talk about how he gained his testimony of The Savior.
Recycled from Previous Posts
* Flip through a magazine. Let a couple children rip out a picture of a random person and stand in front holding the picture. Can these strangers and random people be saved? HOW? Invite a child to recite the 3rd article of faith, emphasize ALL MANKIND.
* Foam Finger Pointer. ($1 at the Dollar Store or you can make a large one out of a grocery paper bag) Invite a child to come to the front and wear the foam finger. Sing -you can do it by yourself, invite the other adults or have the children open up page # 103 in the Hymn book and sing too! In Hymn # 103 Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, there are some words that are repeated. Have the child wearing the foam finger point to a picture anywhere in the room that these repeated words describe. Children sitting down can also use their pointer finger when the repeated word is sung.
What were the repeated words?
* Have __________is my Savior and Redeemer. written on the chalk board. As children come in write their names all over the chalk board. When it's time to start, talk about some of the beautiful names on the board. Add a few more names to the list that they can think of. But what is the name that fills in the blank of our sentence?
Read Mosiah 5:8 " ....There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives."
* Have a few children come up to the front. Have a blue towel, an airplane, a large rock... Sing Hymn # 104, Jesus, Savior, Pilot me. Have a child fly the airplane through the stormy waters (children waving towel) while holding the hand of another child who is holding a picture of Christ.
Talk about THIS story (Captain Sullenberger and US Airways Flight 1549) with the children. It even has pictures! Was he a pretty awesome Pilot? Just as that pilot saved the lives of so many people, Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer ready to lead us and pilot us to safety.
* Turn off the lights. Is anyone afraid of the dark? Has anyone had a scary experience in the dark? Joseph Smith sure did! Yet we know Jesus Christ saved Joseph Smith from the dark and that "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1) Turn on the lights.
* What does Savior and Redeemer mean? Those are big words!