Monday, November 17, 2014

December 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

The Madonna of the Lilies
1899 William-Adolphe Bouguereau
(Image courtesy public domain laws)

Monthly Theme: We remember and worship our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Monthly Scripture: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6

Week 1 The sacrament is a time to remember Jesus Christ.

*HERE is a lesson from the Primary 2 manual. It's sure to spark some thoughts!

* HERE is a really cool little book for the children to make from The Friend (April 2000).

* HERE is a beautiful talk by Elder Holland. You could review the story of the Passover with the children by having one dress up as Moses. Have pictures or toys to represent the different plagues. The Passover was miraculous. It was a testimony of how much God loves His children. The sacred night where Jesus feasted with his apostles, he prepared and taught about the sacrament. President Joseph Fielding Smith said the sacrament is, "the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church”
       Elder Holland goes on to ask, "Perhaps we do not always attach that kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service. How “sacred” and how “holy” is it? Do we see it as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?"
      Play a game of "Passover" or heads-up-7-up. Children close their eyes, put their heads down, and thumbs up. 3 or 4 children will "pass over" to touch 1 person's thumb and then go to the front of the room. The people who had their thumbs touched put their thumbs down and then when you call time, they stand up. Those that stand, ask them to tell something you can do to remember Jesus during the sacrament. Then have them guess who touched their thumb. If they guess, they can switch places with the person who touched their thumb. Play a few rounds!!

*HERE are some more good ideas from The Friend. Throwback 1996, the year of the Macarena!!!!! I love the spin the bottle idea, but I don't think I'd actually use it.... ah, how times have changed. I also liked inviting a couple people in to share their favorite Sacrament Hymns... you could have the primary pianist play the tune quietly in the background as they talk.

Week 2 Remembering Jesus Christ helps me choose the right.

* Go through the Gospel Art Book and find 8-10 stories/pictures of things Jesus did that we can do too. Number the pictures. HERE are some CTR rings in a bunch of different languages.
    Number the back of the CTR rings and hide them throughout the room. Have a child find a ring, practice saying choose the right in a different language, and then show them the numbered Gospel Art Picture. Have them tell a little about the picture and how it helps us to remember to choose the right.
For example:
The picture of Jesus working with Joseph as a young child. He listened to his earthly Father and was helpful. I can do this too by helping around the house and having a good attitude.

* Sometimes, in a larger primary, children don't know each other! Start off with 3 children. Have them say their name and something interesting about themselves. We're working on our memory today by playing this game!! Remembering is important!! Have them sit down and invite a primary friend to say the 3 children that were up front and what was interesting about them.
     After each round share a story about Jesus, or read a scripture, or sing a song that they love. How does remembering The Savior help us to choose the right? For example, a child wants to sing I love to See The Temple, so sing it... then discuss, The temple is The Lord's house! We can make choices now like praying often to prepare us to go to His house.
      You can make the game harder by adding more children each round!

* I LOVE LOVE LOVE this conference talk, Choose Wisely, by Elder Cook.
    Bring in a little Peanut comic strip! Show the children and tell them that Elder Cook likes Charlie Brown! Who else here does too? Share the following quote- there will be some big words, so if you aren't sure of a word, wait until we're done and we'll discuss the meaning:
     "My beloved brethren, my desire this evening is to share some counsel about decisions and choices.
      When I was a young lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, our firm did some legal work for the company that produced the Charlie Brown holiday TV specials. I became a fan of Charles Schulz and his creation—Peanuts, with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and other wonderful characters.
      One of my favorite comic strips involved Lucy. As I remember it, Charlie Brown’s baseball team was in an important game—Lucy was playing right field, and a high fly ball was hit to her. The bases were loaded, and it was the last of the ninth inning. If Lucy caught the ball, her team would win. If Lucy dropped the ball, the other team would win.
       As could happen only in a comic strip, the entire team surrounded Lucy as the ball came down. Lucy was thinking, “If I catch the ball, I will be the hero; if I don’t, I will be the goat.”
       The ball came down, and as her teammates eagerly looked on, Lucy dropped the ball. Charlie Brown threw his glove to the ground in disgust. Lucy then looked at her teammates, put her hands on her hips, and said, “How do you expect me to catch the ball when I am worried about our country’s foreign policy?”
       This was one of many fly balls Lucy dropped through the years, and she had a new excuse each time. While always humorous, Lucy’s excuses were rationalizations; they were untrue reasons for her failure to catch the ball.
       During the ministry of President Thomas S. Monson, he has often taught that decisions determine destiny. In that spirit my counsel tonight is to rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, especially with respect to serving Jesus Christ. In Isaiah we are taught we must “refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
     Give the children a piece of paper and have them divide it into 4ths. Have the draw a cartoon strip where they remember a gospel principle and make a good choice! It doesn't have to be funny, it should just tell a good idea! Have them share!

Week 3 The Son of God was born on earth.

* Bring in some simple costumes and have the children act out the story of the nativity.

* Bring in a Nativity and have Christmas songs attached to the figurines. Invite a child to choose a figurine and then sing that song together.

* HERE is a fun and simple reader's theater from The Friend on a Nephite Christmas.

* Bring in some really pretty wrapped boxes. In the boxes have pictures to do with the Nativity and life of Jesus. Invite children to come unwrap a gift and then talk about what is inside.
    "I testify that Jesus Christ was the literal Son of God and the Savior of the world. He was the perfect gift from our loving Father. At this and every season, our Savior invites us to join with Him and others to offer the priceless gift of joy." Elder Henry B. Eyring, The Perfect Gift.

* HERE is a beautiful clip from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Video series. It's 5 minutes and would be great to show the children.

Week 4 Jesus Christ will come again.

HERE is a great idea from The Friend. It's especially a good activity for children who can write! Younger children would need to have help from adults. If you have a larger primary, you'd have to cut the slits for children ahead of time and the drops of oil.

* HERE is a really good coloring book for the children to color and learn the words of the primary song, When He Comes Again.

* Play stock the pantry!! Draw 3 shelves/lines on the chalkboard. Have a bunch of magnets and cut outs from magazines of food that you would put in the pantry.
    “Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 133:10). Remember, we prepare physically but most important is spiritually!!!! Try to say the scripture often, together as a primary, throughout your lesson to memorize it!
    Have children come up to put a can in the pantry. Have questions, scriptures, or songs on the backs of the cans having to do with the Second Coming of The Lord.
Another adaptation could be bringing in a bunch of CLEAN, empty food cans... see how many you can stack/stock up!!

* In our latest General Conference, Oct. 2014, there was a talk given which asked us to self evaluate!! Have we done that?? One day, Jesus will come to earth. One day, we'll stand before Him. What will come first? Only He knows. I don't think we need to ask the children these questions. They are pure! But it's good for us as leaders to reflect:
"On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your spiritual confidence before God?
Do you have a personal witness that your current offering as a Latter-day Saint is sufficient to inherit eternal life?
Can you say within yourself that Heavenly Father is pleased with you? What thoughts come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now?
Would sins, regrets, and shortcomings dominate your self-image, or would you simply experience joyful anticipation?
Would you meet or avoid His gaze?
Would you linger by the door or confidently walk up to Him?"
Approaching the Throne of God, Elder Jörg Klebingat
     Now, this isn't to depress anyone. Hello, that's the job of the news media. Set those goals though. What can we do!!! My goal is to really work on not letting things in my home that take The Lord's name in vain.

Thanksgiving Family Home Evening- Turkey Shoot!

I saw this picture on pinterest and knew it would be a hit!!
I don't have very good luck with sharpies and balloons, so I just taped some turkeys with points on them. Each family member got to answer a question about gratitude, then take a turn to shoot the turkeys with a nerf gun.
You are not trying to pop the balloons.
The goal is to see if you can get 100 points total as a family!
We also took some to friends with a treat to show our gratitude for them!
HERE are the questions (If you want to print out for friends)
If not, then feel free to use these:

1.What is gratitude?
2.Please read D&C 78:19
3.Tell the story of the 10 lepers in your own words.
4.Name 3 things you are thankful for.
5.Why do we need to give thanks in our prayers?
6.Sing For Health and Strength (CS#21)
7.Name 3 things you are thankful for that someone did for you today.
8.Sing My Heavenly Father Loves Me (CS#228)
9.Please read Alma 34:38
10.Where are some places that you should always remember to say thank you?
11. What are different things you can do to show you are thankful?
12. When should we have an attitude of gratitude?
13.Name 5 things you are thankful for in your own backyard.
14.Why are you grateful for the gospel in your life?
15. What feelings do you have when you show gratitude?
HERE are the turkeys to tape to the balloons.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Topical Guide Scripture References Jesus Christ

Christ Retreats to the Mountains at Night by James Tissot
Painted between 1886-1894
(Image courtesy public domain copyright laws)

In last month's General Conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer talked about the Topical Guide.

"Before handing the scriptures to the chaplain, I opened the Topical Guide and showed him one subject: 18 pages, very fine print, single-spaced, listing references to the subject of “Jesus Christ.” It is one of the most comprehensive compilations of scriptural references on the subject of the Savior that has ever been assembled in the history of the world—a testimony from the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
      “However you follow these references,” I told him, “side to side, up and down, book to book, subject after subject—you will find that they are a consistent, harmonious witness to the divinity of the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ—His birth, His life, His teachings, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection, and His Atonement.” (The Reason for Our Hope)
A while ago I finished Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage. I admit, it took me a lot of time to get past the first few chapters. The vocabulary, the tone... I mean no disrespect to the book, but the only thing that got me through the first bit was reading in an English accent. Because honestly, everything is better with an English accent. Once I established myself within the pages I grew to sincerely love the book and cherish the new information gleaned from it.
I realize I have a long way to go before I fully understand who Jesus Christ is. I do know that He lives and that I love Him.
After pondering the words of Elder Packer, I realized I've never taken the time to fully go through the Topical Guide in regards to references of Jesus Christ. A lot of that has to do with size!!! It's just so small!! Also, for me personally, I do best when I can check off what I've read so I don't lose track of where I am.
As I was making the Topical Guide References bigger and in a format where I could highlight the ones I've read, I had multiple impressions that what I was doing was dumb and pointless. It weighed me down heavily. After all, the PDF ends up being 18 pages!! I hate wasting paper. Even now typing, I have this sensation that I've wasted my time.
But I know very clearly that there are opposing forces out there.
There was one category "Jesus, the Anointed" that had no references, but since it was listed, I put it in. It says to reference Jesus Christ, Messiah in the topical guide... and all those scriptures are listed.
I want to know my Savior better, so I'm going to look up all the scripture references. I will print them and put them in a small folder. I know that my life will be blessed. Hopefully this can bless your life too!
HERE is the link for the PDF.