Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Minerva Teichert
Monthly Theme: The Mission of the Church is to Invite All to Come unto Christ.
Monthly Scripture: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” Moroni 10:32
Week 1 Following the prophet will help us come unto Christ.
* HERE is a good video (from lds.org) for OLDER kids. I think it would be a little too scary for younger children. It's based off THIS talk, which is excellent!!!
* "Have you ever had the experience of driving around and around the streets of a city with the driver saying, “I know where it is; I’m sure I can find it”? Finally, in frustration, he stops and asks someone for directions. How much easier it is to find our way when we follow the directions of someone who knows how to locate our destination... Is there a voice that will always give us clear directions to find our way in today’s troubled world? The answer is yes. That voice is the voice of the living prophet and apostles." Follow the Prophet New Era Sept. 2001 Elder M. Russell Ballard
Arrange 4 chairs (That's all you need, unless you want to add 2 more and make a van.) and make a pretend car! Have a few simple dress up items as primary friends go for their ride. Have a question that children will need to answer once they are in the car. Then have a simple set of directions for them to follow afterwards. For example, What have the prophets told us to do when it comes to scriptures? (Answers: Read them often, study them, read them as families, memorize them) Then the directions could be: Pat your head 5 times, wiggle your elbows like a chicken and make a fake sneeze. Great!! You are so good at following directions!!! When we follow the direction of the prophets it will help us be closer to Christ! I would make about 10-12 questions and sets of directions. You could even have some short quotes for the children to read while they are driving from latter day prophets.
More examples of questions could include:
What do the prophets say about commandments? (Who are some prophets that gave us commandments from God?)
Where do prophets go and who is their message for?
What are some feelings you have had when you've listened to a prophet speak?
Why do you choose to follow the words of the prophets?
What have the prophets told us about the word of wisdom?
Elder Ballard says, "I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray."
* HERE is a good matching activity from The Friend about the blessings that come from following the words of the prophet. You could find larger pictures at the library and put the "teachings" on papers hidden throughout the room. A child finds a "teaching", reads it, then puts it next to the picture that it matched.
* This idea is from Oct. 2004 The Friend by Sister Sheila E. Wilson,
" Post a picture of the prophet in the center of a large poster. Ask the children to name things the prophet has told us the Savior wants us to do; then write the answers on the poster (for example, pray, read scriptures, be kind). While you sing
* Here is a little mini-book based off what President Uchtdorf has said about following the prophet. HERE is the direct link to the message. Children can illustrate each page, cut, then staple on the left hand side. Pens are good for drawing, THEN children can color with crayons!! After children are done, share a few of their beautiful illustrations! For fast finishers (sunbeams) you can have 2 adults with Gospel Art Books. Have the adults go through pictures and see if the children can name the prophet and some things they taught us.
Week 2 Sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ.
* Have 5 stations in the room. At each station invite a return missionary to share some pictures from their mission and spend 2 minutes telling the children the best part of their mission and why they loved it. They could show the children on a map where they served and say something in a different language if they learned another language!
Have the children rotate in groups to all the stations. Bear your testimony at the end that sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ.
* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend! Great reminder of how Lehi wanted to share the fruit in his dream and how we can do the same!
* “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.” President Thomas S. Monson, “Welcome to Conference,” Ensign Nov. 2013
Bring in a large bunch of grapes. Invite your lovely piano player to come up front and sit in a chair. Have a vine drawn on the chalkboard with paper leaves attached to it. On the leaves have questions, scriptures or songs having to do with missionary work on it. Invite a primary friend to choose a leaf and answer the question. After they share their brilliant answer, have them toss 3 grapes and try to get it in the primary pianist mouth!
* I really liked this story and thought I'd share.
"While in Argentina recently, I encouraged members to invite someone to church before this general conference. An eight-year-old by the name of Joshua listened and invited his best friend and his friend’s family to an open house at their ward in Buenos Aires. Let me read from a letter I just received that explained Joshua’s invitation and his faithful follow-up:
“Every few minutes [Joshua] would run out to the gate to see if they were coming. He said that he knew they would [come].
“The evening wore on and Joshua’s friend did not come, but Joshua did not give up. He faithfully checked the front gate every few minutes. It was time to start putting things away when Joshua started to jump up and down announcing, ‘They are here! They are here!’ I looked up to see an entire family approaching the church. Joshua ran out to greet them and hugged his friend. They all came in and seemed to enjoy the open house very much. They took some pamphlets and spent lots of time getting acquainted with some new friends. It was great to see the faith of this little boy and to know that Primary children can be missionaries too.”It is my testimony that as we work together, seeking the one, inviting, and following up with trust and faith, the Lord will smile upon us and hundreds of thousands of God’s children will find purpose and peace in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Following Up by Elder M. Russell Ballard April 2014 General Conference)
* HERE is a great list of MANY things you can do to be a missionary. If you print them on a small strip of paper, each child can have a strip and go around the room and quietly share the way they can be a missionary.
* HERE is a great short video!!!
Week 3 We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake.
* Repentance Reporters!!! Extra!! Extra!!! Read all about it!!!
Today, our primary friends have become repentance reporters. All around the room have short quotes about repentance and pictures of examples from the scriptures who repented. Invite the reporters to walk quietly around the room for a couple minutes and then be ready to share some things they learned. We'll be working together to write our newspaper report.
Have a large poster board up front and invite an older primary friend to write down what our reporters learned about repentance. Have it titled, "We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake."
* Bring in some nice, soft salt dough for the children to play with and have.
"Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master. A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also preconditions to repentance." October 2007 A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit by Elder Bruce D. Porter
Play a game of "15 seconds". You will be asking a question about repentance (or having someone read a quote or scripture), then primary friends will have 15 seconds to make a work of art out of their salt dough. Invite a few children up front to share their creation. Would it work if the dough was hard and brittle? Have about 10-12 questions and play that many rounds.
* Divide into groups and give each group a small bag filled with items. Invite them to create a little skit to perform for the primary using the items in the bag. The message of their skit has to be about repentance!! Give the groups 1-2 minutes to figure out what they will do, then have them act it out for the rest of the primary.
Week 4 Temple work helps me and my family come unto Christ.
* “But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples … and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead … ; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah” Teachings: Joseph Smith, 472–73
Build a LONG primary chain. Have small strips of paper that you can tape to make links. Have questions about temple work and invite a child up front to answer the question by writing on a link (or you can write for them if needed). On one end of the chain you could have a picture of a family, on the end of the chain have a picture of Jesus. Not only does temple work bind families together, but it helps us to come closer to Christ.
* " I now invite the attention of the young women, young men, and children of the rising generation as I emphasize the importance of the Spirit of Elijah in your lives today. My message is intended for the entire Church in general—but for you in particular.
Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. You are sons and daughters of God, children of the covenant, and builders of the kingdom. You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family." The Hearts of the Children Elder Bednar Oct. 2011 General Conference
Invite your ward family history specialist in. Have them talk to the children about what a family tree is and how to help with indexing! It does NOT need to be anything in depth, but could be an excellent way to get children excited about helping out with the work! (Elder Bednar also says in his address,"Parents and leaders, please help your children and youth to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. But do not overly program this endeavor or provide too much detailed information or training. Invite young people to explore, to experiment, and to learn for themselves.")
* Invite a few adults who serve in the temple and a couple youth (if possible) to have a panel discussion. The week before, see if you can have the children put a question they might have about the temple on an index card. (The reason for the time is that sometimes it's hard to think of good questions right on the spot!) Go through the questions or add some that you know would start a good conversation. Have a primary friend read a question and let the panel share their answers.
* HERE is a beautiful Mormon Message on temples.