Monday, October 28, 2013

November 2013 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Artwork Brian Kershisnik - Ten Lepers Healed

Monthly Theme: We Are To Thank God In All Things
Monthly Scripture: "He commanded them that... every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God" Mosiah 18:23

Week 1 I am thankful for my body, and I know that it is a temple.

* Invite an adult to come up front. Have a large stack of post it notes and invite children to talk about why they are thankful for their bodies. Using good judgement, select body parts like eyes, ears, mouth, elbows, knees, hair on head, heart, stomach, feet, fingers... and have the children say a reason how that part of the body helps us. Write it down on the post it and  YOU stick it to the adult. Our bodies are covered head to toes in blessings. Now take the post it's and make a temple on the chalkboard. (4 on bottom, 3 on next level centered, 1 on next in middle, 1 on next in middle, 1 on next in middle) I am thankful for the blessings of my body and I know that it is a temple!!

* Have some pictures of temples, children, church houses, malls... invite children to come up front and hold the pictures. Those with pictures of temples need to stand by the piano. Did the pictures of the children move over there too? “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)
Have a basket of good things for your body: fruit, clothes, medicine, scriptures, good book, little weight... Have children come up front and choose things that are good for our temples out of the basket. Have them tell why they are good for our bodies and a reason that they are thankful for their body.

* Bring in a mirror and invite a child to come up front and fill in the blank of this sentence from the last General Conference, "Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as _________________".
The answer is A TEMPLE!!! (From Decisions for Eternity by Elder Nelson Oct. 2013)

Have about 8 different paper mirrors with tinfoil, numbered. Let children find them throughout the room and then read corresponding quotes from Elder Nelson's mentioned talk and questions.
    1. "My professional years as a medical doctor gave me a profound respect for the human body. Created by God as a gift to you, it is absolutely amazing! Think of your eyes that see, ears that hear, and fingers that feel all the wondrous things around you." What is one of your favorite things to see?
    2. "Your brain lets you learn, think, and reason." What is something you enjoy learning about?
    3. "Your heart pumps tirelessly day and night, almost without your awareness." Can you put your hand over your heart and feel it beat?
    4. "Your body protects itself. Pain comes as a warning that something is wrong and needs attention. Infectious illnesses strike from time to time, and when they do, antibodies are formed that increase your resistance to subsequent infection." Why should we be grateful for pain and sickness?
    5. "Your body repairs itself. Cuts and bruises heal. Broken bones can become strong once again. I have cited but a tiny sample of the many amazing God-given qualities of your body." When is a time you were hurt and healed?
    6. "Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies.11 The gift of such a body can actually strengthen a family as parents and siblings willingly build their lives around that child born with special needs." How can we show others love who don't have bodies that are like ours?
    7. "Because your body is the temple for your spirit. And how you use your body affects your spirit." How does the word of wisdom help or hurt our spirits?
    8. "The aging process is also a gift from God, as is death. The eventual death of your mortal body is essential to God’s great plan of happiness.12 Why? Because death will allow your spirit to return home to Him." If we treat our bodies like temples, make good choices and repent... will we be prepared to meet Heavenly Father?
Challenge the children each time they look in the mirror to remember their body is a temple!!

* HERE is a fun little muscle man for children to put together from The Friend.

* HERE is a great article from The Friend. It has a story of how President Kimball kept his inner temple bright! If you had a stuffed cow, you could pass it around while you sing My Body is a Temple (CS 153). When the music stops children can say a way to keep their temple bright or a reason why they are thankful for their body/temple.

Week 2 I am thankful for temporal blessings.

* The dictionary defines temporal as "relating to earthly life". Separate into groups and give each group a picture of the earth. Let them brainstorm blessings they are thankful for that are temporal, having to do with earthly life! After about 5 minutes, have each group share one blessing at a time. Count the blessings!! Tally them one by one!! If other groups got the same answer, then give additional tallies for that answer. See how many tallies you can get as a primary. End your sharing time by singing Count Your Many Blessings (Hymns 241).

* Have some stapled paper and make booklets for the children. These can be "Gratitude Journals" for the upcoming month. They can start today by listing (or drawing) things that they are thankful for in the pages.
"There are two little words in the English language that perhaps mean more than all others, they are thank you." President Hinckley Ensign Jan. 2001
This will be our Thank You book to Heavenly Father as we think about and are grateful for all that He has given us!

* A lot of children do this at home, but a lot don't. You can have a turkey and a bunch of blank feathers. The children add things they are thankful for to the feathers, then add to the turkey. You could give to the Bishop to hang in his office for the month.
   November is a month we think about Thanksgiving feasts and turkeys.... but gratitude is something we should keep in our hearts always!
Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"

* If you take an egg carton, cut, paint blue and green... you have little earth halves. Make about 5.
Like so. Have the children name a temporal blessing they are thankful for. Write it down on a tiny piece of paper. Then have them put it under one of the earths. Switch them around and invite another friend to come find the blessing. If they can find it, have them share another temporal blessing they are thankful for and then hide it. Repeat and try to get as many children up as possible! Invite the children to do the activity at home with families!

Week 3 I am thankful for spiritual blessings.

* Gifts of the spirit can be a little confusing. Make sure you know what you are talking about by reading THIS!!! Gospel Principles Chapter 22!!

* Have your primary pianist come up and wear a sign that says, "Great Apostasy". What does apostasy mean? Have her also hold an envelope and take it away from her. What was taken away from the earth during the apostasy? Thank her for her help and for the wonderful job she does playing the piano every week. We know that truth was taken away from the earth... and so was something else! Gifts of the spirit! See HERE for more information.
     We have some tricky questions that our wonderful primary pianist has at the piano. Have a child come up to the piano and choose a question about spiritual blessings.
Some questions could include:
  If you are a faithful member of the church, at least how many spiritual gifts does Heavenly Father give you? (at least 1, but often times more)
  What are some gifts of the spirit? Have friends with scriptures look up 1 Corinthians 12:1–12, or Moroni 10:8–18.
  How does our Patriarchal blessing help us understand spiritual blessings?
  What can you do to seek spiritual blessings? D&C 46:7, 9, 30–33
  How many spiritual blessings does Article of Faith #7 talk about?

* Do the classic demonstration of the glove and hand. The glove is our body. The spirit is our hand. Does the glove move without the hand? Our bodies live because of our spirits! Last week we talked about temporal blessings, these often have to do with our bodies and earthly life. Hold up the glove and have the children come up with 5 blessings, one for each finger.
   This week, we'll talk about spiritual blessings. After a short lesson, have the children trace their hands on paper and write or draw some spiritual blessings on their paper.

* THIS TALK is a must read for the week. It is explicitly clear on what Spiritual Gifts are. It is entitled "Spiritual Gifts" by Elder Oaks (Ensign Sept. 1986)
    I like the fact that he mentioned, not everyone gets the same gifts. You could have children with brown hair stand up. Now children with blue eyes stand up. All girls please stand up. We're all different and have been given different bodies! It's the same with our spirits. Our spirits are different from each other and we all have different spiritual gifts! (D&C 46:11)
   For Senior Primary, you could even give each child copies of the talk and highlighters, then have them highlight all the spiritual blessings they can find!

* HERE is a spiritual gift chain that children can make from The Friend.

* Invite a child to come up to the front. Ask them if they have ever seen their own heart? How do they know their heart is there if they've never seen it? We don't see our spirits, but we know our spirits are real. It's the same with spiritual blessings. We often don't see them, but we feel them and have a sure knowledge of them.
    Have about 3-4 different stories, all about different spiritual gifts for the children to rotate and hear. Divide into 3-4 groups. Have the person tell/share the story, not necessarily read it. They could even dress up to act out a part in the story. Each story should be about 2-3 minutes.
     Some great stories:
     The gift of tongues- The Lord Took Over (A Missionary is able to teach the gospel, even though he didn't know the language)
     The gift of Translation- Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon
     The gift of Wisdom- Solomon and the story of the 2 woman who claimed to be mother of a baby
     The gift of believing the testimony of others- Nephi believed his father Lehi and prayed to know the truth, he ended up having his own vision of the Tree of Life
     The gift of faith - The Miracle of the Brick Kiln
  We feel gifts of the spirit and get them by the gift of The Holy Ghost. We are thankful for spiritual blessings!

Week 4 We should thank Heavenly Father for all our blessings.

* Have 10 children come up to act out the story of the 10 lepers, give them each a Band-Aid to put on their face. Have a picture of Jesus. When they are healed they can take off their band aid and reverently shout yeah!! Designate 1 of the 10 children to be the one who comes back and says Thank You.
Read Luke 17:11-19
President Monson has said, "Through divine intervention those who were lepers were spared from a cruel, lingering death and given a new lease on life. The expressed gratitude by one merited the Master’s blessing; the ingratitude shown by the nine, His disappointment.
    My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love."  (Ensign Nov. 2010 Best talk ever a must read HERE!!)
   Have little paper band aids (they could be just strips of paper) for children to write/draw things they are thankful for on. Have 9 cups to represent the 9 lepers who didn't say thank you! We can be more grateful than they were and show Heavenly Father how thankful we are for all of His blessings He has given us. See if we can fill up those 9 cups!!
* When it's time for sharing time, leave the room and tell the children to watch how you come back in. Strut yo' stuff!!!!! Walk really exaggerated like you are the most special thing on earth, perhaps even doing a beauty wave or two.
    How would you describe that walk? A little prideful maybe??
    President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.”
    How do we "walk with a spirit of thanksgiving"? We give thanks to Heavenly Father for all our blessings and do so often!! Have 12 different footprints on the ground labeled with places we can walk with thanksgiving. (Home, School, Grocery Store, Church, Park, Vacation, Garden, Temple, Family Home Evening, Friend's house, Library, etc.) Bring in 2 dice and let the children roll, to walk that many footprints. Once they land on one, they can name a blessing they are thankful for there from Heavenly Father... for example if they land on School, "I am grateful for safety and good teachers." or Family Home Evening, "I am grateful to be able to share testimonies as a family together."
* President Joseph F. Smith has said, “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!” 
Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 263.
   Bring in a super big pair of glasses, they sell them at the Dollar store. Have children come up front and wear the glasses to look for things that they can be grateful for. Hide items throughout the room that represent blessings Heavenly Father has given us.
   We don't need really big glasses to see our blessings do we? We just need to have grateful hearts and let Heavenly Father know how much we appreciate all He does for us!

* Have the children look up some scriptures on how Jesus showed gratitude to Heavenly Father.
(All examples taken from an awesome talk by Elder Hales... love you Bob... found HERE)
Giving thanks before Sacrament 1 Cor. 11:23–24 and Mark 14:23
The story of Lazarus, giving thanks for Heavenly Father hearing prayers John 11:33-41
The Loaves and the fishes, thanks for miracles John 6:5–14
Thanks for The Holy Ghost 3 Ne. 19:20–21
Have pictures to go along with each story. Was Jesus a grateful person? Should we be?
Read Alma 34:38. We are commanded to live in thanksgiving daily!!
If possible, give the children a plastic cup and Ziploc bag of small pom poms. Invite them to fill up their cups every night with pom poms. To do so, they must name something Heavenly Father blessed them with that day!

*President Benson said, “The Prophet Joseph said at one time that one of the greatest sins of which the Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us have not thought of that as a great sin. There is a great tendency for us in our prayers and in our pleadings with the Lord to ask for additional blessings. But sometimes I feel we need to devote more of our prayers to expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for blessings already received. We enjoy so much.” (God, Family, Country, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 199.)
     Have about 25 frowny faces drawn on a chalk board. We need to erase the sin of ingratitude from our lives!! We can do so, starting today, by coming up with things we are thankful for from Heavenly Father. Once we share how thankful we are, we can come up and erase and draw a smiley face instead!


Monday, October 21, 2013

The Prophet Joshua - A FHE

Image from

Have children dress up and act out of the stories of Joshua while you read. Another option is to "sketch what you hear"- children draw pictures of the story you read, they have about 2-3 minutes to sketch. Often, the story of Moses outshines that of Joshua when it comes to teaching children. Moses was great. Joshua was great. There is no reason for our children to not know about Joshua. Granted, the book of Joshua has more battles and violence-maybe... there might be another family home evening!! Comparison between the 2 stories of Moses and Joshua.... but the miracles seen in these battles can strengthen testimony. We must remember we are in a great battle ourselves and the Lord will help us to fight also.

Tips for when children are reading scriptures:
Encourage fluency- remember to read smooth. Not. Like. A. Ro. Bot.

Encourage energy! We get more out of the scriptures when we read with enthusiasm
It's Ok to interrupt if there are questions!!

If you have younger children, good ways to learn this story are also scripture stories from found HERE.

Where is the Book of Joshua? Have children find it in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible. Does this mean Joshua was before or after Christ was born?

Joshua 3:5-17
Things to identify from the story:
The River Jordan
Ark of the Covenant (held the stone tablets given to Moses with the 10 commandments)
What other miracle was this like?

Joshua 6:6-16, 20
Things to identify from the story:
Ark of The Lord (the same as the Ark of the Covenant)
The Number 7 (In Hebrew the number 7 represents being "whole")
Why does the Lord help His children and perform so great of miracles for them?

Miracles in Battle:
First off, what were these battles for? (Land to live on)
What were the miracles?
Joshua 10:11
Joshua 10:12-14
Scripture Heading Joshua 12

Are promises of The Lord always fulfilled?
Joshua 21:43-45

Final advice in the story of Joshua:
Joshua 23:11
Joshua 24:15

Joshua we learn dies at age 110.

Themes repeated through the old testament story of Joshua:
Sanctify yourselves (What does Sanctify mean?)
"I the Lord am with you, be not afraid" (When have we felt The Lord in our lives give us courage?)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Missionary Work Family Home Evening Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!

This family home evening idea is based off the October 2013 Conference Talk "Hastening the Lord's Game Plan" by Elder S. Gifford Neilsen found HERE


Missionary Song

Story from talk: "Several years ago I needed to speak to the wife of one of the bishops in our stake, so I called their home. A young son answered the phone. I said, “Hello. Is your mother there?”
His reply: “Yes, she is. I’ll get her. Who is this?”
My response: “Tell her it’s President Nielsen.”
There was a short pause, and then, in a very animated voice, I heard, “Hey, Mom, President Hinckley’s on the phone!”
I can’t imagine what she must have been thinking. It had to be the longest walk to the phone she ever had. The thought did cross my mind: “Should I?” I didn’t, but we had quite a laugh. Now that I think about it, she must have been so disappointed just talking to me."

Question: What would you do if the prophet of the Lord really called you?
Quote from talk for family member to read: "Well, he has! President Thomas S. Monson, as he did once again this morning, has called each one of us to a very important work. He said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him”
Activity: Have about 10 exclamations points on pieces of paper fanned out like cards for family members to choose. On 3 of the points (on the back) write down what Elder Neilsen suggests about having a family missionary game plan:
1. Specifically pray to bring someone closer to the Savior and His gospel every day.
2. Pray for the missionaries serving in your area and their investigators by name every day.
3. Invite a friend to an activity in or out of your home.
Blank exclamation points need to be saved. Whoever chooses the points with words reads out loud. Once you've gone over all his suggestions, take the remaining exclamation points to write down missionary goals for your family!
Question: What does an exclamation point mean? Why do we need an exclamation point after missionary work?
Ending Story (have a couple family members act it out as your read):
" As I walked into the stake president’s office for the initial meeting that weekend, I noticed a pair of tattered-looking, bronzed shoes on the credenza behind his desk, accompanied by a scripture ending in an exclamation point. As I read it, I felt the Lord was aware of my study, had answered my prayers, and that He knew exactly what I needed to soothe my anxious heart.
I asked the stake president to tell me the story of the shoes.
He said:
“These are shoes of a young convert to the Church whose family situation was strained, yet he was determined to serve a successful mission and did so in Guatemala. Upon his return I met with him to extend an honorable release and saw his shoes were worn out. This young man had given his all to the Lord without much, if any, family support.
“He noticed I was staring at his shoes and asked me, ‘President, is anything wrong?’
“I responded, ‘No, Elder, everything is right! Can I have those shoes?’”
The stake president continued: “My respect and love for this returning missionary was overwhelming! I wanted to memorialize the experience, so I had his shoes bronzed. It is a reminder to me when I walk into this office of the effort we all must give regardless of our circumstances. The verse was from Isaiah: ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!’ (Isaiah 52:7).”
Bear Testimony
Missionary Song

Throughout the week, surprise family members with exclamation points in their pockets, lunches, shoes.... wherever- to remind them of Family Home Evening and the importance of following through on their goals!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How on earth do I write a Primary Sacrament Meeting Program/Presentation?

** UPDATE 10/14- It's been brought to my attention that possibly using the term "program" instead of "presentation" can cause contention and that there are some who want me to quote "be aware that some of us want to us terminology that reflects that." I'm assuming the 2nd us is a typo for use.
I'd like to apologize if I offended anyone. If you read through this article and find the word "program" offensive, please... just substitute. I'm in no way suggesting that the primary sacrament meeting presentation is an entertainment event.**

Hello beautiful friends.
I can't believe it's been 6 years of doing this blog. Time flies when you're having fun!! I wanted to thank you for reading. I'm just a random weirdo, but the fact that this blog has received over 3 million hits is impressive. It goes to show you that the Lord works in mysterious ways!!

And it's that time of year again....

I don't know why, but sisters need to chill out. Every year, around the time to write the Primary Sacrament Meeting program aspirin sales go through the roof and nervous ticks develop at an alarming rate. The primary program is not a production. It's not something that needs to be cutesy fartsy perfect.

But in all honesty, I don't think that's the main reason people stress out. I think/hope it's because we love Heavenly Father. We want the spirit to be felt. We want the children to have a good experience.

With that said... now what?

1. Well, you need to decide. Is one person going to write it or are you going to divide it up?

2. PRAY. Not a flimsy prayer either.

3. Base everything off what the children have learned.... Sharing Time Outline to the rescue!!! Use the scriptures, the themes!!

4. PRAY some more.

5. Depending on your numbers, have classes do monthly themes. For example, the Sunbeams can do January's theme, CTR 4 can do February's theme. Include parts of children's talks they gave throughout the year if you happened to write things down. Monthly songs can go before or after the monthly theme is presented by the children.

Older children can be given (ahead of time) their parts with fill in the blanks or topics.
For example:

I am a child of God who will be an author one day! I love to write. The scriptures are full of stories about families, written by Heavenly Father’s prophets. One of my favorite scripture stories about families is __________________________. I love that story because __________________
________________________________________________________________________________.  I know that families can be together forever through Jesus Christ.

Please prepare/write a 1-2 minute talk based on family prayer, family scripture study and family home evening can strengthen my family.

6. Did you stop praying? Tsk Tsk. Take a moment to say a PRAYER.

7. The length of what the children say is dependent on how many children you have in primary and also what they are capable of. Some sunbeams could preach sermons that would make you cry... however most would do best with 1-2 simple sentences. CTR 4, 1-2 simple sentences. CTR 5, CTR 6, CTR 7, depending on the child 2-6 sentences. With Senior Primary, just think about time.... and don't stress out. If there are 70+ in your primary, children can also have group recitations or group singing parts. Ask the Bishop or former primary president what's been done in the past and get some ideas!

The thing about the program is no matter what you do, the spirit will be felt. If you think you are not adequate or can't write, you're wrong. Humble prayer goes a long way.

I've written 3 programs and know that it wasn't the words necessarily. It's the spirit the children bring with their innocence and joy... it is tangibly felt. Their goodness radiates and all are uplifted. When we look at our children, we see heaven. We feel what the kingdom of heaven is like.

8. Make sure children have their parts 2 weeks before you do your practice. Have a copy up front and sit low by the pulpit to help out as needed.

9. But the children don't know the songs that well... they aren't singing very loud!!!!!!!!!

Woah. Slow ya' roll sista. 5 minutes every other Sunday on a song isn't necessarily going to make a child remember the words. They need to practice at home and sometimes they don't. It's Ok. Just have them SMILE or hum if they don't know the words!!! This is supposed to be a positive experience so be careful in your choices to judge the quality or volume of their singing. Of course we want to encourage children to do the best we can, but at the same time this isn't MoTab auditions.

10. PRAY. Look at what you've written. PRAY again. And PRAY one more time for good measure. If you feel happy, that's the spirit saying rock on with yo' bad self. If you feel unsure- re-read, PRAY, edit if needed/just go with it. The spirit might be waiting until after to give you that awesome feeling that all is well.

Check things with the bishopric like the outline says to and then FINALLY turn on that William Levy telanovela for a few minutes to enjoy. Only a few minutes, because as handsome as he is, your husband is way hotter. It's not actually William...maybe... it's more the language of love and how they can talk about love for episodes on end, while if you try talking to your husband about your endless love, staring in each other's eyes of course, you burst out laughing because you only made it 2 sentences. For the record, I do not speak Spanish but I really enjoy over acting and insane plot lines dictated by intense music.

With that not being the best way to end this post, I suppose I should mention that God is good. He loves us so much. This is an opportunity to really feel of His love for you and the primary children. Don't worry about what other people "might think"... this isn't about them. It's about having a spiritual experience and doing service. It's about guiding and helping children. it's about being close to our Savior. I know that Jesus is our best friend. He won't fail us ever. So trust in Him. You can do it with His help!!!

LDS Stake Activity Day Girls/Especially for Girls Idea

The other night I couldn't sleep. It was a first in that the reason I couldn't sleep was because my brain was racing with this idea and I had the strong impression I had to post by Sunday.
T minus 3 hours.
I know Stakes usually have a yearly activity where they get all the Activity Day girls together and have a great time doing crafts and workshops.
So, the theme of this day would be "Sweetness" with a quote from President Uchtdorf,
"The happiest people I know… are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments." (From his talk Forget Me Not)
Possible names of groups to divide the girls and have them rotate workshops in:
Cutie Cupcakes
Positive Pies
Caring Candies
Lovely Lollipops
Brilliant Brownies
Confident Cookies
Super Sundaes
Each group could have a bag with their treat on it to collect and carry things from workshops.
To start the day you could have some fun workshops:
M&M Time!
Make marvelous muffin mix in a jar (with plenty of time you can collect pasta sauce jars from women in the stake... that are clean for all the girls to save on costs), have a cooking demonstration and/or have girls make their own recipe books to add recipes to.
Candy Grams
Have girls divide into groups (within their group) and make candy gram cards for missionaries, bishops, or whoever needs a lift!!
Fudge Center
Getting to know you games with a sweet twist- such as picking up marshmallows with chopsticks, pudding Pictionary, skittles up front (a bowl of skittles, 1 girl at a time chooses a color, have getting to know you questions based on colors)
Of course, a wonderful healthy lunch would follow with some crazy overachieving lady to make it all beautiful with d├ęcor. Oh how I wish I were you crazy overachiever. I try to craft and it ends up like those Pinterest FAILS.
One day.
I might be dead.
But one day!
And to end the day, of course we need to get to the nitty gritty, what it's really about!
Spiritual workshops:
"Sweet was my joy" Alma 36:21
A priesthood leader can come in and talk about repentance.
Repentance is not a punishment!! But it's something we all need to learn and do!
"Sweet is the peace the Gospel brings" Hymn 14
Using the gospel to help us set worthy goals
"I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives." Hymn 136
What is a true testimony and how can we gain one of The Savior? Encourage girls to write down testimonies too!
"Those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them." D&C 42:46
What is the resurrection? Preparing to help our ancestors in the temple. How to do online temple indexing!
You'd need to choose different leaders for all the workshops and have helpers depending on the number of girls you have. Give the leaders the theme for each workshop and have them run with the spirit for inspiration.
I hope this can help whoever needed it!! All my love to you!!!
Also for the invitation (as pictured above), the cupcake background is a free image from, baker's bliss.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

House of Hades Review.... An LDS perspective and some personal ramblings

My 9 year old and 6 year old daughter LOVE the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series!
It's funny, witty, engaging, suspenseful. It teaches you everything you ever needed to know about Greek Mythology. It has good themes of perseverance, loyalty, sacrifice and love.

Some hiccups I've run into with the books is that I personally feel uncomfortable saying certain phrases including fake Greek gods. It's too close to taking the Lord's name in vain, even though it has nothing to do with Him. So, I skip those few lines.

When House of Hades came out on Tuesday, we took time off from school to read... because I knew we wouldn't be able to put it down. Everything was going great surprisingly, seeing as it's a book based in Greek Mythology hell's hell. You'd think it'd be too dark and depressing, but you meet 2 wonderful characters that ultimately sacrifice everything for goodness and peace. We were emotional wrecks on those pages. We love you Bob and Damasen.

One thing that completely took me off guard was a major character being gay. I'll give you a little bit of background. Nico (the character who has a crush on another boy) has to confront Eros, the mean and cruel version of love. Eros makes him confess to be able to get something they need on their quest.

My prom date was gay, I did theater in high school, we have multiple relatives who are gay... I very easily recognize the fact that God is our only judge. God has made us all different and that's a good thing. There are some individuals who are born gay, who are born with temptations that attract them to the same gender. What's my responsibility to them? The same as it is to everyone else! TO LOVE. TO LOVE. TO LOVE. I know that we have commandments, I know that we have choice, I know that marriage is between a man and a woman. I also know that sometimes life is hard.

One of my best friends (we actually dated for a while) in life moved all over the world opening safe orphanages for children. He threw himself into a work he thought would help others, and it did. It helped hundreds of children escape a life of cruelty and deprivation. While in Africa, he came to terms that He was gay. He was a return missionary and he was struggling. He ended up trying to take his life a couple times.

I realize that I don't have all the answers. I do know that God is merciful though and loves all His children.

While this first took me off guard, I was grateful for the opportunity to pray and then have a discussion with my girls. We went by the spirit. They are young. They've been around people who are gay and we've talked about it many times. But I was grateful for another opportunity to communicate the message that we should trust God always, make good choices, and love as Christ loves.

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