Tuesday, January 19, 2016

February 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

 
Monthly Theme: The scriptures teach of Heavenly Father's plan.
Monthly Scripture: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” Moses 1:39

Week 1 Heavenly Father has a plan for me.

* HERE is a great video ever to teach about Heavenly Father's plan!!

* Wrap 5 tissue boxes and put words or pictures to represent the following parts of Heavenly Father's plan:
Premortal World, Earth Life, Spirit Paradise/Prison, 2nd Coming & Resurrection, Final Judgement- Sun/Moon/Stars
Bring in a ball and set up the boxes on the other side of the room. Invite a primary friend to come up front and roll the ball to knock down the boxes. (If you do it in a tower formation, one on top of each other, you could really work on sequencing and  memorizing the different parts to the plan... have a different child fix it in the right order!) Before they get a chance to bowl, ask a question or have them read a scripture having to do with the plan of salvation.

* Pin the plan! Yes. Have an outline of the plan of salvation and cut outs/pictures of the different parts. Blind fold a child, spin them, and have them try to pin it on the right part! Have questions about each part:
What do you think it was like in the premortal world?
What happened in the premortal world?
Why is earth life important?
What happens at the end of earth life?
What is the difference between spirit paradise and the celestial kingdom?
How do it make you feel knowing Jesus will come to earth again?
What do you look forward to, if you should make it to the celestial kingdom?
Who made the plan of salvation possible?
What is another name for the plan of salvation?

* HERE is an excellent article from The Ensign. I really like the idea of teaching a "journey" through the plan. In different parts of the room you could have set up what it might be like at each part of the plan and invite a primary friend to come journey to each part.

* Bring in paper bags with 4-5 random items. Divide the primary into groups and give them a certain part of the plan of salvation. They have to use those items in the bag to teach the rest of the primary about that part of the plan. They can act out scenes or use the objects as demonstrations.... let's see what we can come up with!!

Week 2 Jesus Christ created the earth for me.

* Bring in some of your favorite pictures from when you've been camping or vacationing or of your backyard. Share them with the children. What are some things about the earth that you are grateful for? Bear testimony to the children you know that God and Jesus created and organized the earth for us!
   Bring in your camera (only if it's digital and you can show what picture was taken) and invite a primary friend (weather permitting) to go outside WITH a female teacher and take a picture of something outside they are grateful for. 1 picture and they have about 1 minute! They can come in and share with the primary after. In the meantime, primary children can color pictures of things they are grateful for about the earth- plants, flowers, animals, family, food, etc. Primary Photographers (the ones who go outside) will only be chosen if they are working reverently and doing their best work!!

* Create a "Nature Scavenger Hunt" together! Write down on a piece of paper things you might see outside in your area. Have the children raise their hands to share as you write neatly! Number each item and draw a little line after where the children can put an X if they find it. After you make it, send someone to the library to get copies. Have children take it home to do with their family!
    Do we give thanks every day for the beautiful earth Jesus Christ created/organized for us? What can we do to make the earth a better place?

* Make a simple bird feeder. You can bring in small apples wrapped in a string to hang from a tree, put peanut butter (watch our for allergies!), and bird seed. If you use a bin for the bird seed and plastic bags to put the feeder in, it shouldn't get too messy!

   While 1 or 2 primary friends are making a feeder with an adult leader, have the rest of the primary do a bird matching game. To be able to make a match they have to answer a question or read a scripture that you have prepared beforehand on the week's theme.
   Isaiah 31:5, "As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it."
     Jesus created/organized the earth and all the beautiful things in it. As you go home today, look for the birds in the sky and say a prayer of thanks!

* Break into groups and give each group a bag of legos. Have them create something that has to do with our earth and come up with clues to have the rest of the primary guess what it is! Does it take a while to create something? What is easier, creating or destroying? What are some things you've created with your hands? What about your minds?
John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

* Go over the creation by having the children hold up pictures of each day. Read some scriptures and ask the children why they are grateful for the earth. Then play an adaptation of 4 corners. You will need a blindfold. Invite 1 primary friend to the front to be blindfolded. Here is a sample question to ask:
What is your favorite animal of the 4- dolphin, lion, dog, or giraffe? You have to choose one and then go to the corner I point. Dolphins (point to a corner) Lion (point to a corner) Dog (point to a corner) Giraffe (point to a corner) Without a sound the rest of the primary chooses their corner. Using name sticks, draw a child's name out. The blindfolded child has 2 guesses to guess where that primary friend is and what animal they chose.
Some other questions could be (I'd have about 12 ready):
What insect do you think is the most interesting- butterfly, worm, spider, or centipede?
Where would you want to travel to most- the ocean, the forest, the desert, or the polar icecaps?
What is your favorite plant- apple tree, cactus, rose bush, or dandelion?

Week 3 Families are central to Heavenly Father's plan.

* If there is someone in the ward who has been blessed to be able to adopt, have them come in and share their testimony! If they have a family picture album, invite them to bring it in and share a little with the primary. Families can be made in different ways!! Not every family is the same and THAT IS OK!!!!! The most important thing about a family is that there is love.
   Invite the primary children to create a family picture album. They can draw a family member on each page and write something special about that person. Sunbeams might not be able to concentrate, so you can have cut outs of magazine people that they glue stick for dad, mom, grandpa, grandma, sister, brother... etc.

* How well do you know your family??? This will take some preparation. Call up 10-12 family members of children in primary. Have them tell you something interesting about them that others may not know.
     Read scriptures and have a couple questions prepared about families and their part in Heavenly Father's plan. After each question or scripture, have that interesting fact about a family member and see if they can figure out who it is!

* Have 6 chairs up front with pictures or signs for a dad, mom, pet cat, grandpa, sister, and brother. It's our happy family!!! Invite 6 children up front to walk around the chairs while the primary pianist plays a song about families. When the music stops, they have to quickly- and reverently- find a chair. Once they are seated, have some case scenarios that they have to answer what they would do as that member of that happy family.
For example:
It's family home evening and time for treat. What can you do to help?
Vacation time to Disneyland, 10 hour road trip- what do you do in the car?
Mornings can get busy- what do we do at breakfast time?
Watching the news, there was flooding in the town where Aunt Lupe lives- what will we do?
Time to get ready for the temple- what will everyone do to get ready?
Mom is busy running errands and we are going to the store with her- what will everyone do to help?
     If any of the kids get stumped, have them ask primary friends for ideas or suggestions!

* Not necessarily for primary, but as a family home evening idea, you could play a game of family history charades!! Like traditional charades but with only memories you have as a family or stories you could act out from your ancestors? Challenge the children to go home and play this with their families!

Week 4 I will follow God's plan.

* Do a demonstration. Invite 10 children up front. Each child chooses a simple dance move. But before they do their move, they must do the dance moves of the previous primary friends in line. The entire primary can do it as well by their chairs. By the end can anyone remember everything without any help?
     What does it take to follow someone? Good listening, careful watching, doing the action, thinking clearly, paying attention!!! Do we need to do all these things to follow God's plan? Yes!!
      Invite 6 more children up to play again. Ask each child to say 1 word that has to do with God's plan. We'll have to remember that word and action now!! Repeat as many times with more children as you have time. Make sure the entire primary is following along and repeating the words and actions too!

* Sing Come Follow Me, Hymns 116. Have pictures from the life of Christ and blank footprints on pieces of paper, already cut out. Heavenly Father's plan is a plan of happiness. We can follow that plan by following The Savior. Hold up a picture and ask the children what it is about. What is something that Christ did in this picture that we can follow?
(Even if it's a picture of the nativity, there is an answer!! We can be born and receive a body, right?? We can love our families!!)
Write down what we can do to follow on a foot print. Make a path leading to a picture of Jesus. At the end, invite a primary child to follow the plan and path, then share your testimony! (Not the child, you!!)
    "Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same. To Peter and Andrew by the shores of the beautiful Sea of Galilee, He said, “Follow me.”To Philip of old came the call, “Follow me.”To the Levite who sat at receipt of customs came the instruction, “Follow me.”And to you and to me, if we but listen, will come that same beckoning invitation, “Follow me.”" President Monson Models to Follow Oct. 2002

* Have a map to find something special in the primary room... was the map important?
      "Not all will follow the map [Heavenly Father has given us]. They may look at it. They may think it is reasonable, perhaps even true. But they do not follow the divine directions. Many believe that any road will take them to a 'happily ever after.' Some may even become angry when others who know the way try to help and tell them. They suppose that such advice is outdated, irrelevant, out of touch with modern life. Sisters, they suppose wrong." Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Your Happily Ever After," Ensign, May 2010, 127 
     Have the children make a map that leads to happiness! What can they draw or write on their map? How about going to church, reading scriptures, praying and preparing for the temple? What else can we think of??

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review & Give Away: Beyond the Silence

 
 
I was very ready for this to be a great book! But.... well... ugh.... 
 
The premise was a privileged girl going out west to be a nanny to a little boy who hasn't spoken in over a year. The setting is Angels Camp, California in a beautiful olive farm that is no longer safe. Can she help the little boy? Will she find love?
 
When I started doing these book reviews I was nervous, because I dreaded moments like these. Where I just can't recommend the book. I'd rather eat at Arby's (and I'm a vegetarian.... although I did have meat 2 times in the past year. Another post. Another time.) than have to read this book again.
 
I might be rambling, but I have to give a little background. One time when I was a teenager I went to a friend's new age Christian church with my best friend who was a Catholic and my other best friend who was Hindu. It was an interesting experience. I don't remember much of the preaching or message, but I do remember the electric guitar band and light show and Ashwini (the Hindu) just being really scared because people started throwing their hands in the air and swaying with their eyes closed, humming. It was just too much. Can there be such a thing? Too much noise, not enough God.
 
I felt like this book was too much noise, even though I believe the authors were very sincere. Am I making any sense? The main character has a grandfather who is angry and holds a grudge, there is a murderer who is evil, gossip is bad, you can forgive... the characters didn't seem very human or down to earth. They were able to bear everything with mildness and in the end, everything was happy happy happy. Key in the guitar solo and light a lighter. Yes, the religious messages were very good ones, but the depth wasn't there. It was a light touch on some very heavy things.
 
You guys, something is wrong with me. I also just couldn't take the main character's name very serious... Woody.
I don't, and just can't, swoon after a main literary male character who shares a name with a toy from Toy Story.
I. Just. Can't.
And honestly, I know that is shallow and wrong. So I admit my fault.
(Sidenote: It's kind of why I can't vote for Bernie Sanders. Bernie seems more friendly dinosaur than commander in chief. Sooooooo not trying to start a political rant!! Please, that's the purpose of facebook, right?)
 
The cover threw me off. "Lillian", who saves the day, is inquisitive, thoughtful, passionate, ready to defend, kind hearted, and oh so very loving- looks like she is ready to kill someone on the front cover. Or maybe that's the type of look she would give me for this book review. Or maybe she really just wants to go to Arby's with Woody. If anybody has any other thoughts on what she is thinking, please feel free to comment. I will make a meme of the most creative answer and send you this book for winning. I will pick a winner by February 1.
 
In conclusion. This book was just too much, not believable. And I could barely finish. On a more positive note, I did think the page margins were a good size.
 
Nope. I take that back. I feel like the page margins should have been bigger with less words.
 
Ok. Here we go.
 
In the book, I did like the shop keeper's name Mr. Stickle. It reminds me of my mother's cane we got from Tijuana. We never named my mom's cane, but if we did, that would have been a good one. I had wanted to get her a cane with a silver kraken on top, but alas, she is free and has no need of the cane anymore.

If this book review didn't depress you, perhaps my last paragraph will. True story, we used to have a book group in our ward... I joined and within 3 months we no longer had a book group. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but looking at my review... I'm starting to wonder.

Monday, December 28, 2015

From Teaching No Greater Call.... How do we use the scriptures to teach children?

Well, where do you start for the theme this year?
 
(image from lds.org media library)
 
How does one actually teach a child using the scriptures... especially if that child can't read? How do we help a child develop a love for the scriptures? How do we instill faith and diligence when it comes to scripture study?

I love Teaching, No Greater Call! Here is a great excerpt and I hope you don't mind if I added a few of my own thoughts in italics:

Suggestions for Using the Scriptures to Teach Children
 
You can bless the lives of children by helping them become comfortable with the language of the scriptures. When you teach children, you should use the scriptures frequently and find ways to have the children become comfortable using the scriptures. Following are examples of what you might do:
 
1. Help children become familiar with the names and order of the books in the scriptures. Use the songs “The Books in the Old Testament,” “The Books in the New Testament,” and “The Books in the Book of Mormon” from the Children’s Songbook, pages 114–17 and 119. (Which means that yes, you will need to learn these songs too!!)
 
2. Help children understand the language of the scriptures. When you read scriptures together, explain the meaning of important words. Help children pronounce difficult words and names. Have them listen for certain words, phrases, or ideas.
 
3. When you want children to find a certain scripture passage, give them the page number of the passage as well as the reference.
 
4. Share a scripture account in your own words. Help learners visualize the events and the people as you describe what happened (see “Stories,” pages 179–82). Then read key scripture passages aloud.
 
5. Have children read aloud from the scriptures. Be aware of each child’s abilities, and help each participate successfully. (I once taught a boy who had dyslexia. He really struggled while reading, but he was never embarrassed. I always gave him the opportunity and he smiled every time I told him what a fabulous job he did. It's good for other children to see that we are all different and perfect the way God has created us. But of course, another child with dyslexia might be terrified to read out loud. That's why I love this... be aware!!!)
 
6. If children are too young to read, invite them to watch as you read a scripture and point to the words. You could also have older children assist younger children in finding and reading scriptures.
(You could also help a younger child point with a ruler while you read, you can have them stand on a certain word, you can have them be the volume checker in the back of the room to make sure whoever is reading is bold and clear by giving a thumbs up)
 
7. Have children read scripture accounts from the illustrated books of scripture stories published by the Church, such as Book of Mormon Stories. (At home, you can work on a child's fluency - reading with a smoothness as opposed to choppy. robot. style. , by having them use a ruler to underline the whole sentence instead of pointing to each word.)

8. Help the children discuss scripture accounts. Teach them to ask questions when they read, such as, “What is happening? Why is this happening? Who is speaking? How does this apply to me?”

9. Use the methods described in part F of this book (pages 157–84). For example, in presenting a story from the scriptures, you could use a flannel board, simple chalkboard illustrations, or pictures drawn by the children. You could have children retell a scripture story or sing songs that relate to specific scriptures.

10. At the end of some Primary lessons, there is a section called “Suggested Home Reading.” Invite the children to read with their families the scriptures mentioned there. (Or for sharing time, send them home with a small index card with readings from your lesson they can do with families.)

January 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Image from lds.org media library

Monthly Theme: The Scriptures Are The Word of God.
Monthly Scripture: “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” 2 Nephi 32:3

Week 1 The scriptures are the word of God.

* Put the names of different books in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, #'s from D&C, and The Pearl of Great Price on index cards. Have about 15 (2 identical sets) and make a large circle on the ground with one set and the other in a can to draw from.
     Invite about 5-6 children to walk around the cards while you sing songs having to do with scriptures. When the music stops, so do they. Have another primary child draw cards from the can. If someone is on that card have them say where that book of scripture is found and briefly share one of their favorite scripture stories. Have a gospel art book nearby to show pictures of favorite stories.

* See if our primary can earn 3000 points together!! Do we know our scriptures? Can we always learn more?? If you click on the image, you should be able to print out. You can draw it on the chalkboard to make bigger or send home for families to use for Family Home Evening.



* Set up a train, 3 sets of chairs with 2 in each row. And of course, one chair in front for the conductor who will need to wear a special hat you've brought. This year we will "Choo-Choo-Choose to read our scriptures and learn all about The Word of God!!"
     Have a few children come sit in the train and chugga-chugga (in place with their arms) until you reach a stop. First stop, Bible. Have some pictures, questions, or scriptures for the passengers to answer or read. Have a few more stops (again with pictures, questions or scriptures) for The Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price, Ensign General Conference Editions.
    Here is a simple handout for them to take home and keep track of their reading this week. Again, if you mouse over the image, in the right hand corner there should be an option to pop out and print.



Week 2  We are to feast upon the words of Christ.

* Bring in some play/pretend food. Set a table up front with a table cloth and nice centerpiece. Today, we shall feast. To make our feast we will need to answer questions, read scriptures, and sing songs about the scriptures to earn the food to put on the table!! When asking questions, invite a child up front to answer and then choose the food item to put on the plates.
     "The scriptures are a veritable banquet of insights and divine counsel. Let us feast at the table often. If we do, the Holy Spirit will fill our lives, helping us to be “nourished by the good word of God” and to remain “in the right way.” From Sept. 2004 Ensign Feast Upon the Words of Christ By Elder Spencer J. Condie

* Break into small groups and give them a piece of paper (folded into 4ths), make sure someone can write well in each group!! Tell them that you are going to ask them a question, they will brainstorm and come up with ideas as a group, and then write down those ideas on their paper in each section.
      Questions: What are your favorite foods?
      Where is a place you like to eat at?
      What are your favorite scripture stories?
      Where are places you can read your scriptures?
Have a few people share some of their answers! What do food and scriptures have to do with each other?? We are to feast upon the words of Christ!! Just as physical nourishment is important for our bodies, reading the scriptures helps our spirits stay strong!
      If there is still time, come up with a menu on the blackboard all together. Write down appetizers, main course, dessert, and drinks. We can pretend when we sit down to read our scriptures that we are at a spiritual restaurant.
1. What are some of your favorite appetizers?
What would we do for an appetizer in our restaurant... before the meal starts? (Pray, think about what we read about yesterday, focus and find a good place to read)
2. For the main course, what are some books of scripture we could read?
(Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price, Church Magazines)
Do we rush through our meal or take our time?
3. What are some of your favorite desserts?
How can we end our scripture study? (Pray, gratitude in our hearts, pondering and writing down thoughts)
4. Do you ever have drinks with a meal, if so what?
What goes along with our scriptures to help us understand? (Topical guide, Bible Dictionary and maps, pronunciation guides, lds.org search tools, asking family questions)

* If we were on our way to an elegant feast with important people, how do you think you would act? How would your table manners be?
      Have 4 simple stations at each corner of the room. Divide the primary into 4 groups that will rotate. At each station, for 2-3 minutes, have an adult ready to teach the following physical and spiritual feasting ideas:
1. How to properly set a table and what each utensil is used for.
How do we treat our scriptures? Just like there are different utensils for eating, there are different situations in life... always, no matter what situation, our scriptures will be able to help us!! Can you think of any examples from the scriptures that help us deal with how to repent? How to be faithful? How to treat family?
2. Simple table manners- no elbows on table, don't slurp soup, how to dab with a napkin, chew with your mouth closed, sit up straight. Have the adult demonstrate the wrong way and then the children demonstrate the right way.
Are there rules for when we read the scriptures? Not too many, but there are definitely ways to have a better experience!! What are some of the things we need to do to have good experiences while reading the scriptures? (Pray, be thoughtful as you read, don't rush, take time to understand words that are hard, ask for help,)
3. How to fold a dinner napkin.
Napkins help to keep us clean. How do the scriptures help keep us clean? Share an example from your life when the scriptures inspired you to be a better person.
4. Proper table conversation.
“These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; …For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; … Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words” D&C 18:34–36
When we read our scriptures Heavenly Father is talking to us. What would be the best ways to respond? (Follow the spirit, pray and give thanks, follow the commandments, ponder and think of ways to improve, share the words of Christ.
    After all the groups have rotated, bear testimony that we need to eat to physically survive. It's not something we do just on Sundays, we do it often throughout the day. It should be the same with feasting upon the words of Christ. We should have the messages of the scriptures with us in our heart at all times. We need to read daily and with true intent to learn!
 
* "One of the best ways to draw near unto Him and to both learn about and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ is to consistently study the holy scriptures—to daily “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 32:3). Please notice that I used the word study and not the word read. Studying and feasting suggest a focus and an intensity that reach far beyond casual reading or quick perusing. Studying and feasting, followed by sincere prayer and steadfast application of the truths and principles we learn, yield personal resolve, spiritual commitment, and the bright light of testimony."
Liahona April 2006 Because We Have Them before Our Eyes by Elder David A. Bednar
   Invite a few young women or young men in to share some of the things they do to study scriptures- do they have a certain way of marking? Do they have scripture journals? How do they decide what to read?
   Would it be a good idea to just take a major test without spending time to study before hand? Life is our test! In order to pass it, we need to make sure we study the scriptures everyday like Elder Bednar says!!

Week 3 The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do.

* There is a sign prominently displayed in a shopping mall in Manila, the Philippines, that reads, “Your ‘I will’ is more important than your ‘IQ.’” As I ponder the meaning of that short phrase, there comes to mind the chorus of the great Primary song based on 1 Ne. 3:7: “I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey” (“Nephi’s Courage,” Children’s Songbook, pp. 120–121).
      Have I WILL written on the chalkboard and IQ (tell the children what IQ means) on the other side. Have a pile of random trivia questions for children to pick from on the IQ side. Have a pile of scriptures for the I WILL pile, after the child reads the scripture have them talk about something they can do that the scripture says. See how many points you can earn as a primary. They get 1 point for IQ questions and 4 points for I WILL questions.
      It's important to study and try the best we can to improve our minds, but it's even more important to study what The Lord wants us to do from the scriptures, and then do it!

* Alma 37: 44-45, "For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise."
     Bring in a compass and some directions, like 5 steps west, 10 steps north, 15 steps south... etc. with the end destination a picture of Christ. Have a child hold the compass and after each set of direction, have them answer a question about the scriptures. Have as many different children take turns as you can! At the end, bear testimony that you know the scriptures will guide us to Christ and to happiness when we do what they say!

* Bring in a red piece of material, enough to wrap around your shoulders.
HERE is a talk with a story about a family who lost their son and then found him by carefully searching. Briefly tell the story to the children
   Hide the red shawl in the room while one primary child is outside the door. Sing a song about the scriptures- when they are far away from the red scarf they sing quietly, when they are closer, more bold.... not shouting though! Once they find the shawl have them start a scripture story (like Nephi getting the brass plates, Christ's resurrection, The parable of the prodigal son, Alma the younger repents, or a story of the child's choice!), then pass the shawl to someone else to add to the story, and continue on until the scripture story is finished. Each person only gets about 20 seconds! What does this story inspire us to do??
      When we search the scriptures we will find that the words of Christ tell us all things we should do!

Week 4 I can know the scriptures are true.

* HERE is a story of a brother who helped his younger sister to know the scriptures were true. It's not always going to be some huge event, sometimes its just a bunch of small moments that make our testimony strong.
      Have some glow in the dark stars all over the room. Invite a primary friend to turn off the lights and another primary friend to go choose a star, then have them turn on the lights. On the stars have letters. Have the primary brainstorm words they can think of from the scriptures that start with that letter. Thinking about those things from the scriptures, have you ever felt peaceful when reading about it or happy? Sometimes not, and that's OK too! Sometimes the scriptures make us think or can be confusing because of big words, not every scripture is going to make sense... and that's normal. But as we continually search them, we will feel powerful in life because of the knowledge we have.
     For example, letter A- Adam, apostasy, angels, Ammon, Abish, apostles.... Have you ever cried like Abish did because there was so much contention around you? Yet, how did Heavenly Father help her? Can we know that God will help us when we need it if we are doing what's right?

* Scripture chase! Invite groups of 2-3 children get out their scriptures.... make sure at least 1 child can read. Call out the name of a book in the scriptures (Like Alma, 3 Nephi, Genesis, Luke, Moses). The first group to find it and hold it in the air gets to come up front and tell the next book to look up. Make sure to go over proper care for the pages, we don't want anything ripped even though we are quick!! (If a certain group seems to be getting it each time, just tell them great job!! Since you've gotten a turn lets see who else is as quick as you and give them a turn!)
     In between each round, ask if anyone knows any stories from the book of scripture you found. How have they felt when reading or hearing about that story? We can know the scriptures are true, every single book!!!

* "God will reveal truth to those who seek for it as prescribed in the scriptures." (April 2014 General Conference If Ye Lack Wisdom by Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis)       Have a first aid kit, or doctor's type bag with a picture of the scriptures taped on it! What does prescribed mean? If you have an infection and don't take medicine, what might happen? What do the scriptures prescribe for us- truth!!!!
       Invite a child to come up front and take something medical related out of the bag (e.g. stethoscope, tongue depressor, band aid, gauze, Neosporin, etc.) On each item have a question or scripture having to do with finding truth from the scriptures.
1. Please read Moroni 7:16
2. What does it mean to be diligent?
3. How is a seed like studying the scriptures? (Alma 32)
4. Please read D&C 8:2
5. Will fasting help us know the truth of the scriptures? What are some other things we can do to help us gain a testimony?
6. Who is someone you see studying or using their scriptures a lot?
7. What did the scriptures tell Joseph Smith to do when he needed truth?
8. What does "sincerely and honestly seeking" mean? Is a person going to learn how to be a heart surgeon by watching a TV show? No! They have to go to years and years of school and really try hard. It's the same with getting and keeping a testimony of the scriptures!
9. Where are places I can go to read my scriptures?
10. Why do I need to know the scriptures are true?

* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend. There are 6 quotes from Elder Russell M. Nelson. Cut out each quote and put in a numbered envelope. Tape them to 6 different primary friend's chairs underneath. Have about 8-12 pictures of different primary friends on the chalk board for the second part of the lesson.
    Tell the children that we can all know the scriptures are true!! Elder Russell M. Nelson shares how! Have the children check for an envelope under their chair and call each number up to read.
     After quote 6, "Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can receive a testimony of its divinity." ask if anyone recognizes some faces on the board?? Can all these children know the scriptures are true? YES!! And we can too!!! Anyone who, "prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can receive a testimony of its divinity"!!!
       Invite a primary friend to choose a picture up front, on the back have questions, scriptures or songs having to do with scriptures and truth. Afterwards have them high five the person who's picture they chose!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

At Love's Bidding Book Review

 

I sometimes review books on this site because I like to share clean literature! There was a period of time where it seemed like every book I picked up at the library had swearing or things that I just didn't want to read.
 
Thanks to Bethany House Publishing, I receive free books in exchange for my opinion. The program is open to anyone who has a blog or website! And let me tell you, receiving a book in the mail sure beats out bills. I don't do it every month, just when something catches my eye.
 
At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings was a sweet, easy read!! It made me smile and had a happy ending, which I thoroughly enjoy. I read while it snowed outside and felt absolutely cozy and content.
 
What is the book about?
"She sells priceless antiques. He sells livestock by the pound. Is he really the man to make a bid for her heart?"
 
"After helping her grandfather at the Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.
 
Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antique, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count - but no mysterious painting- Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse."
 
The characters were faithful people who believed in God and were willing to work hard to find happiness in life. The descriptions were simple and to the point.
 
There were really funny parts that made me smile, for example when the grandfather who is slowly suffering from dementia finds an "interesting" piece of artwork to auction at the sale barn... let's just say it was a bust. Yes, pun intended.
 
I would definitely recommend this book. It had a slow start for me, but after a few chapters I was ready to see what would happen!

Monday, December 21, 2015

"We're missing a few teachers."

Yesterday, my sweet Elijah was giving an article of faith in Primary. He rocked it. He just turned 4 and knows all his articles of faith because we sing them each morning on our way to school. I gave him the option between that or George Michael (Did you know he's Greek?) songs. Although, on some Fridays you can still hear him belting, "Should've know better than to cheat a friend, waste this chance that I've been given.... so I'm never gonna dance again, the way I've danced with yoo-oooo-ooou."

He also wants to be a "care-a-medic"/paramedic when he grows up. At first it was the actual ambulance truck he wanted to be, but then he changed his mind. I'm still hoping he'll be an artist. But I'll take a paramedic too, could save us on healthcare in the long run.

What is the point? The point is, I was sitting in Primary in THE BACK!!! Watching him and watching all the beautiful, "busy", children while I was completely relaxed and had not a worry or stress on my shoulder... because I wasn't in charge anymore!! "We're missing a few teachers." Yeah, I know man. I know. I know!!

I cannot even tell you how much I love/adore primary and primary children. However, I'm glad to not have the responsibilities of a president anymore. I'm currently playing piano in Relief Society and wandering the halls after a sass-ay toddler at times.

I'm hoping I'll get called as the Primary Chorister again or a teacher, but in the mean time I'm perfectly content and so grateful for the opportunity I had to have served and gotten to know so many wonderful souls in our ward.

Does that mean I'll stop blogging? No. I need family home ideas and love to have them in an easy access form. Plus, I hope they can help someone out there. I recently got a comment from someone in Brazil about communism... it could have been spam, but it brightened my day nonetheless. It's nice to feel a part of this world and enjoy other's testimonies out there. It gives me hope.

Sorry to ramble.

Monday, November 23, 2015

December 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Russian Modern Artist Andrey Shishkin
Luke 2: 28-32
"Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."


Monthly Theme: I Know That My Redeemer Lives.
Monthly Scripture: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!” D&C 76:22

Week 1 Jesus Christ came to earth as promised by the prophets.

* Make a simple advent calendar, or reuse an old one. In each slot have questions, songs or scriptures to go along with the week's lesson. Have about 9 small pictures of baby Jesus to go in different slots too! Have children come up to the front to choose a door on the advent calendar. If they get a picture of baby Jesus they can hold a small swaddled baby doll. Take turns answering the questions or singing together as a primary the songs chosen. If another baby Jesus is drawn, have the person pass the doll to them. At the end of the lesson, see who was the last person to get to hold the swaddled baby and give them a sticker.
Some questions could include:
    Nephi had a vision of Jesus being born of a beautiful virgin. What was the name of this woman and what do you think made her beautiful?
     Samuel the Lamanite stood on the wall and bravely testified that Jesus would come in how many years? (See Hel. 14:2)
     True or False: The prophet Abinadi said, "Even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things? Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?" (True, see Mosiah 13:33-34)
     The prophet Micah said that Jesus would be born where? (Micah 5:2)
      Isaiah gave us some names of Jesus- Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Choose a name and tell us why you think that is a good name for Jesus.

* Excellent reading for the week found HERE.

* Sing Book of Mormon Stories, verse 7 about Samuel the Lamanite (CS #118)
     A memorable sharing time was when I brought in a TOY bow and arrow set. Have different prophesies on the wall. Let the primary children take turns shooting the TOY arrows at the prophesies. You will only be calling on reverent primary friends who are listening and helping by raising their hands.The one they get closest to, have them read to the primary (or they can call on someone to help them). Have questions to go along with the lesson too.
     End with singing Samuel Tells of the baby Jesus (CS #36)

* Divide into small groups of about 3-4 children. Make sure at least 2 of the children can read. Give each group a copy of THIS Friend article and have them read together somewhere of their choosing in the room. Give each group a paper star. On the star have them write some of their favorite things about Christmas and why they are grateful for Jesus Christ. After 7-8 minutes, have them return to their seats and invite a few primary friends to share their stars.

* Jesus said, “I am he of whom it is written by the prophets” JST Matthew 4:18
     Go over some of the prophets and what they said about Christ. Make sure to have pictures if possible. Give each child a piece of paper or you could make some SIMPLE journals together, HERE is a link to some ideas. Younger children can draw, and for those who can write... have them write what they know to be true about Jesus. The prophets wrote down many things and promised Jesus would come. We too can share our testimonies and knowledge that Jesus came to earth!

Week 2 Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

* Mosiah 3:20, "And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people."
     Have about 10 different flags of countries from around the world on the chalkboard. Bring in a small globe for the children to spin. Have some interesting facts and maybe a phrase in that language to go along with your lesson about these countries.
    Today in primary we will go on a journey to spread the news, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!! Invite a friend to spin the globe and use their finger to slow it down. When the globe stops, see what country they are closest to in relation to the 10 countries on the chalkboard. Go over your facts and language phrase. Have a question, scripture, or song having to do with the lesson on the back of the flag. Invite the primary child who spun to choose another child to answer the question.
Some questions could include:
     What does the word Savior mean?
      Name 3 examples from the scriptures where Jesus saved someone's life.
     Why do you think Jesus would volunteer in the premortal world to be the Savior of the world?
     What made it possible for us to be saved, what did Jesus do?     
     Where did the atonement take place?
     What is the difference between immortality and eternal life?
     What did Jesus save us from?
      How does knowing Jesus is the Savior of the world make you want to live your life?

* D&C 43:34, "Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds."
   Have a box with shredded paper inside. Hide paper jewels. On the paper jewels put examples of healing & saving from The Savior's life. Invite a primary child to come up front and dig without looking in the box. Once they find a jewel, have them briefly share what that example/story is from His life.
     If there is time, let the children turn an index card into a pillow! To let the "solemnities of eternity rest upon" their minds! Have them write Jesus is The Savior of the World and illustrate it. Have them put it by their bed at night to remember how blessed they are to have this knowledge!

* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend. I would add making a simple origami boat with the children. For the younger children, have them already made and they can decorate with crayons.
     Another option is bringing in a little blow up raft if you have one. Let primary children take turns sitting in it while answering questions about Jesus as our Savior or making the match in the activity in The Friend. You could also have a life jacket and towel if they need to dry themselves off after. This would also be a good activity for Week 1!!

* Save the sheep! Bring in about 20 white sock balls (You know how you match socks and kind of roll them into a ball??) and a basket.
HERE is a great explanation of how Jesus is our good shepherd from The Friend. A shepherd loves his sheep and saves his sheep. Go over the article with the children.
     Have some questions, scriptures, or songs to sing together about The Savior. Invite a child to answer the question or read, then they get 30 seconds to toss the sheep into the basket and see how many they can save.
     At the end, carefully place all the sheep in the basket. Jesus Christ has the power to save His sheep. He laid down His life so we could return to Heavenly Father if we do what's right. Bear testimony of what you know to be true.

* HERE is another golden one from The Friend! You could easily read this linked article while having a few primary friends act out the parts of Jairus, his daughter and wife. (Remember no role playing Jesus, as stated in the handbook)
     Invite 6 children up front. You could have a heart shaped bean bag to reverently pass back and forth while the primary pianist plays I Stand All Amazed. When the music stops, the person holding the beanbag can share something they loved about The Savior or something they are grateful for that He has given us.

Week 3 Jesus Christ will return to the earth someday.

* “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:11
    Have a paper sun and  8-10 clouds (our heavens) to put on the chalkboard. On the back of the clouds have questions, scriptures, and songs having to do with Jesus Christ returning to earth again someday.
     Display the Gospel Art Picture of the angels reciting this scripture to the apostles. Bear testimony that you know Jesus will come again! End with the scripture Matthew 26:64, “...Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
     You can hand out small cotton balls as clouds to take home and share with their family about what they learned today!

* HERE is the lds.org video of the 10 Virgins (They That are Wise). It's pretty long (about 9 minutes) but AMAZING and so pertinent to the week's topic!!! If there is time leftover bring in a flashlight. It's our modern day lamp. If your flashlight takes 2 batteries, have the children come up with 5 things temporal and 5 things spiritual that they need to do to prepare for the 2nd coming of Jesus to earn the batteries. At the end turn on the flashlight! We can be wise and prepared for when Jesus comes to earth again.

* Divide into groups and make "Welcome Back" signs. Give each group a scripture about Jesus Christ returning to the earth (what the millennium will be like) and have them illustrate or write their thoughts. Have them share their work with the Primary.

* Have a picture of a rainbow. Invite a primary friend to leave the room while another friend hides the rainbow. Sing When I am Baptized (CS 103, Verse 1) softly or boldly whether or not the person who left the room and is now looking for the rainbow is close or not. Do this 3 times. On the 3rd time, have take the rainbow and put it outside the room where the primary friend can't get it at all.
     “The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. The inhabitants of the earth are asleep; they know not the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail; but when it shall disappear, woe to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.305)
      Divide into color groups, children going to the color that is their favorite! Give the reds, oranges, yellows... etc. a scripture (or question) pertaining to Jesus coming to earth again. Have an adult help them read it if necessary. Have a member of that group come up and explain what their scripture (or answer to their question) was about.

Week 4 I can live with Jesus Christ again.

* Draw a large house on the black board. Where are some places our Primary friends have lived? How many friends have lived in more than one place?  Our topic for the week is I can live with Jesus Christ AGAIN (stress again). What does that mean, again? Aha! (Hopefully a primary friend will bring up the premortal world) Sing I lived in Heaven (CS 4, verse 1) Bring in 10 different pictures of places you've or some primary friends have lived.  Let the children come to the front and choose a picture to put on the black board by the home, attached to the pictures can be questions, songs and scriptures having to do with living with our Savior again. At the end, put a picture of Jesus in the house on the black board.
      "Jesus was chosen and as the Messiah He came, conquering evil and death through His glorious name. Giving us hope of a wonderful life yet to be, Home in that Heaven where Father is waiting for me" (verse 3 I Lived in Heaven)
 
* Do you have a paddle ball toy? (A good yo-yo demonstration would work too!)  Have a child come up to the front and show everyone how to play this game, don't paddle too hard, sometimes they break easily! The ball starts on the paddle, then returns because of the string. Ask a couple more children to try. Would the ball come back if the string wasn't there? We lived and started off with Heavenly Father and Jesus, we can live/return again to them too! But we need the string, we need to be obedient!!
      Divide into groups and give each group some string. Have the child holding the string think of something we can do to return to Jesus and Heavenly Father. The other children have to guess what it is by asking yes or no questions. Take turns holding the string and guessing!
 
* Invite a return missionary to talk about their homecoming. How did it feel to return home? What was it like to see all their family again? Ask them to share their testimony of what it will be like to return home to Heavenly Father and Jesus.
       Bring in a few party goodies- like crepe paper, 2 balloons, a congratulations sign, a party hat, a blow out popper thing (really Sofia?). Have the children earn a happy homecoming party by brainstorming a list of 30 things we can do to help us to live with Jesus again. Let the children decorate the blackboard and invite a very reverent child to wear the party hat.
     Isaiah 51:11, "Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkey in the Bag FHE - Thanksgiving Game



Turkey in the Bag is a very simple and easy game!

Cut up all the squares and put into a paper sack. Have family members take turn drawing out the cards and doing what they say, or reading the scripture. If someone draws out a turkey you all have to get up and walk around the room like a turkey making "gobble gobble" sounds.

Have fun!!


Friday, November 13, 2015

My Mother

My Mom on her wedding day at the Oakland Temple 1977.

The month of October was a bit of a shock for me. My mom had been sick for the past 3 years, but was seeing doctors regularly. We didn't know what exactly was wrong with her. She felt tired, she had problems walking and would fall... the doctors were worried about her heart.

One Friday she hadn't called me in the morning and I got really worried. My dad found her in the bedroom and she couldn't get up. They rushed her to the hospital where she spent a few days in ICU and seemed to get better. When they transferred her to a different room she started bleeding and they couldn't tell from where.

I was used to these type of episodes where she would lose coherency. Her last words to me were, "Get the Bollywood off me." (Oh how magical this is, I can't even tell you.)

The doctors did an emergency procedure to stop an ulcer, which she survived, but had to be put on a breathing machine. It was all downhill from there. Come to find out, she had end stage liver disease. She was such a trooper. We had no clue. It was pretty traumatic trying to decide with my dad what to do. We prayed, went to the temple... so many things were wrong with her. Would I feel guilty for having to take her off life support? She never would want to live that way. Thankfully, I've felt nothing but peace.

I spent hours each night talking to her. Holding her hand and telling her the same things over and over. I love you. You are so beautiful. Thank you for everything. We had sacred moments together even though she was comatose.

The great thing is that she already knew that. She is my best friend. My number one fan. And I am hers. I am grateful in the knowledge that came through the death of my son- nothing separates a loving mother from their child, not even death. I have felt her close by. I know she is safe, free, and most importantly- I know that she lived a good life. She was an angel and is an angel.

My daughter Christina (age 11), who was named after my mother, came to see her one night. She threw her arms around her Yaya and cried. I thought I knew grief. But I was wrong. Seeing your child grieve gives new meaning to that type of pain.

And yet, through all that pain, it just means that the love was so very deep. It's that type of love and even more that The Savior and our Heavenly Father have for us. There is not a doubt in my mind that They are real. That They carry us. That They live up to Their promises and comfort us when we need comfort.

Words hold power. The spirit prompted for her headstone, "Always loving, always loved."

I hope you don't mind if I share a little bit about her. She taught me everything I knew.


 
My mom was crazy fun. She was such a party animal. She brought so much joy, happiness, and love to all those around her.


 
My mom always told me I was beautiful. Even stuffed in 80's frocks, I felt like a princess swaying to the beat of Phil Collins.
 
 
Oh mom. It's going to be a long haul. But I'm so grateful for the years I did get with you. And I look forward to having you be one of the first people to hug me when I pass through the veil.
 
Thanks to Heavenly Father for making this life a wonderful one, one where you are my mother.
 
Just so you know, we're Greek. And it really is like My Big Fat Greek wedding. There are 5 different Christina's in the eulogy. It's tradition to name after your mother or mother in law. Yaya means grandmother in Greek too.
 
 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Great Website!!!

I just wanted to share a website that has been really uplifting to me. I have learned so much about different women in the scriptures and have felt very inspired. I hope you'll like this beautiful site too!!

 

October 2015 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

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 “We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice” (Hymns, no. 22), allow the children to come up and write their initials next to things they will do during the week. Let them trace their shoes on a piece of paper and write or draw what they will do this week to follow the prophet. Younger children could sing “Quickly I’ll Obey” (p. 197) and adapt the first words to “When the prophet tells me.”

* 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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

11 Year Old LDS Temple Preparation Book

My beautiful daughter Christina is turning 11 at the end of the month. I wanted to organize something for her to have as she prepares for her first temple experience in a year. This is very simple and I plan on printing it on cardstock and binding it for her.

All information was found from lds.org and is quoted. All images were attributed except for the cover photo of the Reno, NV temple from lds.org.

It is a little lengthy (23 pages) but I'm hoping that it can be a keepsake for her. With the pdf format, you should be able to choose which pages you want to print!

Please do not use for commercial purposes!! Enjoy!!