Wednesday, July 13, 2016

An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter Book Review

I love free things. And when I saw this in the mail I was pretty giddy because I knew I could relax poolside and soak in the sunshine while reading sunshine. Kristi's books are always clean, witty, funny, happy, light yet insightful and meaningful.
She brings religion into her books and it's nothing forceful or melodramatic. I feel like it's always just right to lighten the soul and make me reflect on my relationship with Heavenly Father.
This book is about a Lady Georgina Hawthorne who seems to be quite the snob. She is uppity and on the prowl for a husband, but not just any husband. Only the finest breeding and dollar of course. However, as we continue on, things aren't exactly as they seem. She has a secret and you can see the reasoning of why she is the way she is.
Colin McCrae, as the book says, "is the man who is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere." He is a very successful business man with no London family ties. Very crisp, smart, and down to earth.
Stop. I know you know where this is going. And that's the thing, there is enough of a surprise to make the book enjoyable, but it is pretty predictable. I enjoy that. I enjoy a nicely wrapped package, because we don't get that in real life.
So, pick it up at the library or buy it!! It is that good!!

Do you enjoy free things too but feel like couponing doesn't make sense? This is simple. I mean it. I had to drop out of Calculus at BYU, but this really is easy. See HERE for more information!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Reno Nevada Temple (from

Monthly Theme: The Temple is a House of God
Monthly Scripture: “Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally” “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” paragraph 3

Week 1 God has commanded His people to build temples.

* The temple is a place where Heavenly Father can teach, guide, and bless us. What else do we know about temples? See if you can brainstorm a list of 25 temple facts- write them on the chalkboard. Need help? Prepare scriptures, quotes to hand out to groups and give them a couple minutes to read. Come back to your brainstorm!
     Have the children use a piece of paper to brainstorm a design for the temple. Imagine they were in charge of the building plans, what would it look like? Have them share and end with your testimony of temples.

* Have 2 children come up front and shake hands. Have them introduce and MEET each other, "Hi, I'm Mary." or "Hello, I'm Jake." Have a few sets of children shake hands and do this. On the last set have them hold up their joined hands.
      "Temples are the most sacred place on earth-a place where earth and heaven meet." (Gospel Topics Temple, Temples are like the joined hands that connect heaven and earth. Just like you can feel the other persons hand right now, so when you go to the temple you can feel heaven- peace and happiness that is very deep.
      Have a  very small laminated picture of a temple that could fit in the palm of a child's hand. Invite 5 children up front to hold out their hands in a fist. Send one child out of the room. Put the picture in one of the 5 children's hand. Invite the primary friend back in the room to shake hands with the person they think has the picture. Have questions, scriptures, and songs prepared to ask/read/or sing in between each round of your heaven meets earth game! Yes, that means that the 5 friends up there are heavenly!!

* HERE is an excellent sharing time from The Friend, ready to go.

*  Have a large picture of a temple cut into squares. On the back of the squares have questions, scriptures, and songs about how God has commanded us to build temples. Invite a child to choose a square, answer the question, then build the temple on the chalkboard up front. (Like a puzzle activity)
     Bring in some play dough for each child to build a temple if there is time leftover.

Week 2 Families are blessed through sacred temple ordinances.

* "As I think of temples, my thoughts turn to the many blessings we receive therein. As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives." President Monson (April 2015 General Conference Blessings of the Temple)
     Have a picture of a temple with a cut by the door, so that it opens when bended. What are the words President Monson used to describe the blessings of the temple? (Beauty, Order, rest, respite, chance to not be distracted or confused) Write down the words on a popsicle stick and invite a child to come up front and read the words and place them through the temple door.
     Depending on the number of your primary, prepare about 5-10 popsicle sticks per primary friend. On the popsicle stick you will write 2 words to describe the blessings of temples, one on each end. (I would stick to about 8 words total- peace, happiness, beauty, order, rest, eternal life, knowledge, comfort) After you pass out the popsicle sticks, have them get in small groups and play dominoes with their popsicle sticks. They match words then build off the word that wasn't used on the popsicle stick and go in a circle taking turns. First person to run out of sticks get's the luck award! (What's the luck award? You saying they got the luck award. Everyone who plays and learns and has fun with good manners is a winner!)
       Families are blessed through sacred temple covenants!

* TEMPLE Showdown!!! Bring in a good 20-30 pictures of temples that children might recognize. Invite 2 children up front, standing facing each other, and have them tap (NOT BANG) the table when you show a picture of the temple IF THEY CAN NAME THAT TEMPLE!
    Assure the children that this is difficult seeing as there are over 140 temples on earth! You could even do a round with teachers, try to stump them! In between each round, have questions, songs, and scriptures to read about the temple for the children. (And when I say songs, the whole primary sings a song about temples)

* Invite a family who was sealed in the temple to share a little bit about how it has blessed their family. Have them show some pictures of their special day and bear testimony.

* In the October 2000 Friend (HERE is the link) Rachelle F.A. Dow writes a beautiful poem entitled What Lasts?:
"Ice cream melts,
Flowers wilt,
The leaves of autumn fall.
Sunsets fade,
Seasons change,
And children don’t stay small.
Balloons pop,
Snowfalls stop—
Do summers last? Never!
Weekends fly,
Today will die,
But …
I would gather pictures to illustrate this WONDERFUL poem (ice cream, flower, leaves, sunset... etc.) and then have a picture of a temple on the back. Let a child pick one picture from the poem, then turn over the picture and answer a question or read a scripture or have the primary sing a song- having to do with temples and forever families.
Some examples of questions might include:
Has The Lord commanded that temples be built always, or just in latter days? Can you name some people that built temples in ancient times? (Nephi, Solomon, Children of Israel)
What do we need to do in our families to be worthy to go to the temple?
How can we prepare now to go to the temple?
What are some feelings you have when you are at the temple grounds?
Why do you think people wear white inside the temple?
What is something you would like to do with your forever family in the resurrection?

Week 3 The pioneers worked hard and sacrificed to build temples.

* HERE is an excellent read from The Friend on modern day pioneers and how they sacrifice too to build temples! There is a temple matching to a map activity too.

* President Hinckley said, “Whether you are among the posterity of the pioneers or whether you were baptized only yesterday, each is the beneficiary of their great undertaking.” True to the Faith Ensign, May 1997
I took a little car and added some popsicle sticks, paper, and string to make a portable wagon. Have different stations for the children to drive the wagon to and learn about the pioneers and all they did to help us have temples!
* Railroad Spelling Bee- HERE is an article from The Friend with some games pioneer children played. Play a round of the game and then have the children gather around you on the floor while you tell a short pioneer story of sacrifice and faith (with a picture) in a pioneer bonnet.
* I once saw another ward do a really neat idea where they turned off the lights and had a paper campfire with paper wooden logs. They invited the children to sit round the fire and shared stories of the pioneers and sang pioneer songs. It was very reverent and looked like a wonderful learning opportunity! 
* HERE is a fun step by step instruction from The Friend on how to draw pioneer pictures. Pass out some paper to the children. Find 3 stories on pioneer sacrifice, (HERE, HERE this one is a little graphic for little children, HERE are a few GREAT VIDEOS from media library). Teach them how to draw 1 pioneer pictures (practice at home first if you think you need to!) and then share with them the story of sacrifice. If there is time leftover you can make these fun treats found HERE. (Marshmallow wagons!)
* For senior primary, handout THIS worksheet and see who can get the most right!! Just like the wagon got the pioneers to the west, the pioneers got us to the temple through their sacrifice to build them!!
Week 4 I can prepare to be worthy to go to the temple.

* Start off your lesson with the following quote, "Preparation also includes qualification for a temple recommend. Our Redeemer requires that His temples be protected from desecration. No unclean thing may enter His hallowed house.Yet anyone is welcome who prepares well. Each person applying for a recommend will be interviewed by a judge in Israel—the bishop—and by a stake president. They hold keys of priesthood authority and the responsibility to help us know when our preparation and timing are appropriate to enter the temple. Their interviews will assess several vital issues. They will ask if we obey the law of tithing, if we keep the Word of Wisdom, and if we sustain the authorities of the Church. They will ask if we are honest, if we are morally clean, and if we honor the power of procreation as a sacred trust from our Creator.
      Why are these issues so crucial? Because they are spiritual separators. They help to determine if we truly live as children of the covenant." Elder Russel M. Nelson Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings April 2001 General Conference
      Play a game of 2 choices. It's a walking game, so everyone will need to use quiet feet and silent mouths. It's pretty simple, you name 2 things and the primary friends move to the side of the room that they choose. For example blue on left, red on right. After about 10 choices, have the children sit down in their seats. Have the children talk about what are good choices to prepare for the temple with their primary friend seated next to them. After a minute, have a few children share what they talked about.
       Close with just having the children raise their hand on the choice they think is best as you go back to the quote you read. These are choices an apostle and prophet of God has told us to help us if we want to go to the temple.
Pay Tithing, Buy a Boat
Follow Word of Wisdom, Smoke Cigarettes
Tell stories that aren't true, Be Honest
Make fun of our leaders and teachers, Help and Support our Bishop
Choose Light, Choose Darkness

* "I pray that each of us will honor the Savior and make any necessary changes to see ourselves in His sacred temples." Elder Quentin L. Cook See Yourself in the Temple April 2016 General Conference
      Bring in 2 large mirrors if you can and a picture of the temple. Face the mirrors so that when a child looks in it they will see a going on forever image. Invite the wonderful primary pianist to play I love to see the temple as you quietly invite a primary friend to hold the temple picture and look in the mirror. Have a few children do this! After the music stops, ask the children how they felt. We will be resurrected and live forever, we are all guaranteed that when we came to earth to be tested and get a body. But eternal life with Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, Jesus & our loved ones is something we must work and prepare for!! As we prepare for the temple, we prepare for eternal life.
      Have slips of paper with things children can act out to prepare for the temple. Temple Prep Charades! Just remember, no shouting out answers, please raise hands if you know!!

* HERE is a beautiful visual of temple rooms (from The Friend) and what we do inside. Is the temple secret?? NO!! It's sacred. What do the children think this means?
     Play 4 corners, and in each corner have a different temple picture. As reverent music is played, children use their quiet feet to choose a temple/corner. When the music stops, they must be in a corner or they have to sit down. You can draw a name of the temple out of the bag, those primary friends in that corner must sit down. When you are down to about 10 children, ask them to name something they can do to prepare to go to the temple. Continue with the game and keep playing until only one person is left!