Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“When I Am Baptized” LDS Song Helps and Ideas

Image courtesy creative commons license flickr.com by Renate Dodell

*I originally published this post 4/19/2012. I'm re-posting this, even though it happened to be one of my most controversial posts. Each year I ask the primary children who are turning 8 why they are baptized and almost all will raise their hand that they are baptized to be forgiven of their sins they have. Hopefully we can teach our children a little better, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.*
Hey! So does anyone have a minor qualm with the 2nd verse? My 7 year old brought it up and I quite agree with her "I know when I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away...." Plain and simple, children are clean before the age of 8. The reason they are baptized is to show obedience like the Savior and enter in at the gate as commanded. We decided when we sing it at home we're changing the words to "After I am baptized, my wrongs are washed away (then add in super fast "when I repent!") And I can be forgiven and etc. I know "wrongs" is different from "sins" however Moroni makes it pretty clear "And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism." Yes, absolutely, children need to learn how to recognize mistakes and say I'm sorry... what on earth am I rambling about? Basically, I just like the way we sing it at home better.

Now that I added my 2 cents.....
* Assign different parts of the song to a piece of colored paper. You'll have to write the words on the paper and then put the paper on the blackboard.
Red- I like to look for Rainbows, whenever there is rain
Orange- And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again
Yellow- I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain
Green- I want to be the best I can
Blue- And live with God again!
The whole 2nd verse could be on white paper!
Have children stand up and sing on their favorite color!
Have children stand up when you sing that color if they are wearing that color!!
Have a primary friend come to the front to conduct the song, children stand up on the color they think is that primary friend's favorite! At the end of the song, make sure that primary friend shares what their favorite color is!
Take a poll, by raise of hands, and find out the primary's favorite colors. In order of favorite to least favorite, sing the song... ( For example, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, Orange... then you'd sing I want to be the best I can, and live with God again, I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain.... etc)

* You could make simple rainbow ribbon wands for children to conduct and wave with.

* Make a rain stick!! They are so fun!! Invite a primary child to turn on the rain (turn the stick), while it's raining children can gently snap their fingers to add to the rain sound... once the rain is over, we can start to gently sing our song. Easy instructions with nice pictures on how to make a rain stick found HERE.

* Bring in a basket of rainbow colored clothes. Red coat, orange scarf, yellow hat, green shirt... etc. When they learn parts of the song really well, they can dress up a primary friend (or a missionary!) in a rainbow!

In response to some comments, I wrote a follow up post HERE.

Monday, May 27, 2013

June 2013 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

I saw this beautiful image of The Savior (El Greco is NOT the artist) and have no clue who to give this work credit to... any pointers would be wonderful!!! Thanks!!

Monthly Theme: I will follow Heavenly Father's plan by being baptized and confirmed.
Monthly Scripture: "Come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost" 3 Nephi 30:2

Week 1
I will follow Jesus Christ by being baptized and confirmed and keeping my baptismal covenants.

* Who has heard of the fairy tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin? Have a picture of the pied piper, a rat and a child glued separately to some popsicle sticks. Invite 3 children to hold them as you briefly tell the story. He would play his flute and the rats would follow... even all the children of a town followed him. That is a made up, fictional story!! In real life, we have the example of Jesus. He doesn't play a magic tune that will lead us away. He invites us with simple words, "Come follow me." We always have the choice whether or not we will follow. Have 3 more pictures glued to popsicle sticks, one of John the Baptist, Jesus and a dove. Invite 3 children to come up and hold these while a child briefly tells the story of Jesus being baptized.

* Bring in some different pictures of babies from your family. Aren't they beautiful and tiny and cute!! Now show a couple pictures from a baptism day from your family. How are the pictures different or similar? We can't get a mortal life without being born. We also can't enter into the kingdom of God without being baptized. John 3:5 " Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Have a picture of Jesus as a baby and Jesus being baptized... did our Savior do all that Heavenly Father asked Him to do? Yes!!

* Invite a guest in to briefly share their baptism story and testimony. Tell the children beforehand that you are going to give them a sign. You are going to scratch your nose as the sign!! When you do so, the primary is going to blow a big kiss to the guest as a thank you for sharing their thoughts. After you do so, tell the children that the guest's story was wonderful. Baptism is wonderful! And did you know baptism is like the sign I gave you. No, baptism is not scratching your nose! But baptism is a sign or a signal even.
     "Baptism is a sign to God, to angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God, and there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for man to come to Him to be saved, and enter into the Kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins..." (Smith, Teachings, 198).
     Have some children come up front and give us a sign, then something for us to do when the sign is given. Have them answer some questions about baptism, confirmation and keeping baptismal covenants.

* What do you need for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? 3 things! Peanut butter, jelly and bread!
Today we're going to talk about 3 things we need to do to follow Jesus... be baptized, be confirmed and keep our baptismal covenants!
    Break into small groups and invite the children to answer the following questions. When they do, they will put their arm in the middle and build a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. First arm is the bread and so on!
1. Why is baptism important?
2. Briefly tell the story of when Jesus was baptized.
3. What do I covenant and promise at baptism?
4. What is confirmation?
Next sandwich!
1. What can I do to prepare for baptism and confirmation?
2. How have I felt at a baptism I've been to?
3. Where do I get baptized and what is immersion?
4. Name an example from the scriptures of someone who was baptized.

* Can you go to the movies without a movie ticket? The ticket is our admission into the theater. Pass out some popcorn and tell the children that you also need a very special admission into the kingdom of heaven.....
"The special purpose of baptism is to afford admission to the Church of Christ with remission of sins. What need of more words to prove the worth of this divinely appointed ordinance?" (James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, 122).
Watch a brief video on the baptism of Christ. Bear testimony of this divine ordinance.

Week 2
If I live worthily, the Holy Ghost will help me choose the right.

*What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful... wonderful wonderful... awesome times wonderful idea in the Sharing Time outline for this week!!! I love everything about the visual and can't wait to use it in a Family Home Evening!!

* Sing If The Savior Stood Beside Me. What word is repeated often in the song.... If!! If is a powerful word. Have a couple If/Then statements for children to fill in the blank. (E.G. If I play with matches, then.... I can get burned. or If I exercise and eat good foods, then my body can be healthy.) Have the children define the word "worthily". What's the "then" of If I live worthily? There are many answers but today we'll talk about "If I live worthily, THEN the Holy Ghost will help me choose the right."

* HERE is a great story about a group of young men that go out camping and fishing. It would surely capture the boy's attention! To back out the van safely, the boys had to hold up a light. When we live worthily, our light shines bright and the Holy Ghost will take us safely to where we need to go. If we don't live worthily, we have little light and will not be able to see where we are going. Turn off the lights in the primary (not too dark, you don't want to scare the sunbeams or teachers who are afraid of the dark!) and have a flashlight. Invite a child to take the flashlight and search around the room for little papers that have different ways we can live worthily.

* This idea was by Sister Karen Ashton in The Friend (July 1997) "For this Sharing Time, bring a small paper bag and several crayons for each child, and a flashlight. Draw and color a child’s face on a paper bag. Tell the children that because the Holy Ghost is a spirit, He can dwell inside of them. Demonstrate that the flashlight (the Holy Ghost) can fill the bag (our souls) with light and warmth. Say that sometimes it is possible to see the light through the bag. This is like the Holy Ghost brightening our souls and making us happy (see Alma 5:14). Read and discuss Gal. 5:22–23. Talk about the types of feelings the Spirit brings. Let each child draw and color on her/his paper bag a face showing one of these feelings; suggest that they share this activity in a family home evening."

Week 3
When I take the sacrament, I renew my baptismal covenants.

* Ask the primary who has ever hiked a mountain? Do you need a backpack filled with important things? Most importantly WATER AND FOOD!! Let's say you hiked the mountain and a week later it was time to hike the mountain again! Would you need some new food? What about new water? Or should you just use the old water bottle and crumbs of food in a Ziploc baggie? (Of course, feel free to bring in a back pack with visuals, especially of the old water and old food) To be ready to hike the mountain again you need to get fresh supplies!
When we are baptized and confirmed, it's like we're getting our backpack. We're ready to start hiking the journey of life with the companionship of the Holy Ghost. But of course, we'll always need fresh supplies... when we go to church each Sunday, we renew our covenants and get ready for the upcoming hills of life!
Have a drawing of a mountain with little numbered flags on it. A primary friend can come up front and choose a numbered flag, have corresponding questions, scriptures and songs based on sacrament and renewing our baptismal covenants.

* Before someone "fun" decides to call me a sacriledge, let me preface this idea. I know that we need to pray over everything we teach, so if this idea might sound like something that would catch the kids attention and something you might want to do- Pray about it!! If NOT, THEN DON'T USE THE IDEA. I know, it sounds kind of simple.....
.... .... It is! Pray.
     Hold up a picture of Darth Vader. What are some things that kept the Jedi Knights safe? Light sabers and a special something called "THE FORCE". Hold up a picture of Yoda... who here remembers when Yoda told Luke, "May the force be with you!" We know that Star Wars is made up and fictional. It's not real. But did you know there is a REAL force that can keep us safe?
      Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “Another important purpose of the sacrament is to renew and keep in force the covenants and obligations which we have entered into with our God.” What "keeps in force" our covenants? Coming to church and worthily partaking of the sacrament!
      Have 10 blank lines drawn on the chalkboard. Children will be able to guess a letter when they correctly answer a question or read a scripture about sacrament and baptismal covenants. The word to guess is PROTECTION. Just like the force helped to keep the Jedi Knights safe, the sacrament renews our baptismal covenants and gives us strength to do Heavenly Father's will and remember Jesus always!

* Has anyone had an experience they'd like to share where someone told them they'd do something and then DIDN'T? How would a missionary feel is someone committed to be baptized and then backed out? Would it be pretty awful if after Nephi said, "I will go, I will do!"- he went and sat on a wilderness log, stretched, started chewing his fingernails and then fell asleep watching deer frolic in the meadow? We need to do what we say!! We need to keep our commitments and promises we have made. And how do we do this?
     We need to, " ....Remember that we are renewing our baptismal covenants as we partake of the sacrament. Some of the promises that we make, as recorded in the scriptures, include:
     “Come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, … to bear one another’s burdens, … to mourn with those that mourn … , and to stand as witnesses of God.”
      “Come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, … willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end,” and to keep His commandments and always remember Him.
      The sacramental prayers are a reminder of these covenants. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew our commitment to live up to these covenants." (From General Conference Oct. 2012 Elder Don Clarke Blessings of the Sacrament)
     Break into groups and give each group a covenant we make at baptism. Have them discuss what that covenant means. What do certain words mean? Can they think of examples from the scriptures and from their own lives who demonstrated this covenant? For example "Come into the fold of God, and to be called his people" we see the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's who were willing to give up their homes and Lamanite people to come unto Christ's fold.
     After a couple minutes, invite the children to choose a person from their group to share with the entire primary about the covenant they talked about. We made those covenants and we need to keep our commitments, do what we promised! We do this taking the sacrament.
* Is the world sometimes a grimy, dirty place full of wickedness and sin?  Have a shirt with brown or black paper polka dots taped on it. How can we keep ourselves "unspotted from the world"?
The scriptures can always answer our questions!! Have a primary friend read D&C 59:9 "That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day".
   Have the children come up front and pick a spot to take off the clean shirt. Prepare questions for them to answer about baptismal covenants and sacrament. After they can crumple up the spots and toss into a garbage can!

Week 4
When I repent, I can be forgiven.

* When it's Christmas time, does anyone make a list of things they want as gifts? Has anyone heard of a bucket list? A bucket list is the things we WANT to do before we die. Put up a picture of the Savior... what do you think some of the things He wants? Write "The Savior Wants" .... then write the children's ideas on the board. These are all WONDERFUL ideas! Thank you for sharing!! Tell the children that today you are going to talk about something that The Savior wants.... it was talked about in the last general conference, just one month ago.... have a primary child who can read look at all the titles of the talks in the Ensign. See if they can find the talk that we'll use in Primary today... "The Savior Wants To Forgive" by Elder Craig Cardon.
     Have the children briefly act out the story of Jesus healing the man who was paralyzed and lowered from a roof by his friends. The Savior can heal our bodies AND heal our souls! But we must do our part and REPENT!! What does The Savior want? He WANTS to forgive!! At the end of the talk, Elder Cardon shares a verse from  “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain,” Hymns, no. 146. Sing that 4th verse for the children and bear testimony you know that when we repent we can be forgiven.

* Who has ever had to do something before a certain time? For example a book report due by the end of the month or homework by Friday? Would it be pretty hard if it were 20 minutes from the time we needed to get the thing done and we hadn't even started?
   What about repentance? Should we wait to say sorry a week later and maybe change our habit a few months later?
     "That temptation to delay comes from our enemy, Lucifer. He knows that we can never be truly happy unless we have hope in this life and then realization, in the next, of eternal life. It is the greatest of all the gifts of God. It is to live in families forever with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ and to have eternal increase. Satan wants us to be miserable as he is. And he knows that we can only have that true happiness if we are washed clean through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by deep and continuing repentance...." Elder Henry B. Eyring Do Not Delay October 1999 Ensign
     Play a game of "Now and Later" and have a few of the sweet "Now and Later" candies to pass out to the children. Have different scenarios and let the children decide if it's something they should do now or can wait until later.
For example, "You accidentally push your sister and she falls. Should you say sorry even though it was an accident?" Yes, I should say sorry now and see if I can help her up!
" You really want to go to the temple." I can't do that right now because I'm 9, I'll have to do it later. However, I can prepare now to go there by reading my scriptures daily.
     Come up with about 15 different scenarios and be ready to ask them questions to help them think about their answers. Now is the time to repent!! We can be forgiven.

* HERE is a talk by Elder Robert D. Hales. There is a letter from a girl that DOES NOT need to be shared with the children. However, towards the bottom of the talk he outlines 7 steps to repentance, with the 8th step being forgiveness from The Lord. It would make a good visual and is very clear cut on what we need to do to repent.

Recycled Ideas from previous posts:

* 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!!
*  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!
*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 [2001], 30)." Elaine S. Dalton, "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!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

LDS Baptism Gift Idea... SIMPLE


Safeway is happening to run a $5 special for a s'mores kit. You get 6 Hershey's bars, bag of jet puff marshmallows, and Honey Maid Graham crackers. Need a quick baptism gift because there is a new child in the ward and you want them to feel special and extra welcomed? Or just because you are so excited for your primary friend!!??!!