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."