Monday, October 20, 2014

November 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Odilon Redon, Christ in Silence, 1897

Monthly Theme: Living the Teachings of Jesus Christ Strengthens Me and My Family.
Monthly Scripture: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Week 1: “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” Alma 32:21
 
* A fun way to memorize this verse is with a game called sparkle (Senior Primary would work best for this). First you'll need to say the verse about 5 times together. Then each child says a word in the verse, after the last word in the verse the next child would say sparkle and be out (sit down). It helps if you are in a circle. If someone doesn't know the word, then they are out. Also, someone who is out can raise their hand and try to get back in. Whoever is the last person standing is the winner!

* Another way to memorize from The Friend, Jan. 2008, " Help the children memorize Alma 32:21. All of the children will memorize the second part, beginning with the word if, by setting the phrases to music. Sing the words of the scripture to “Have a Very Happy Birthday!” (pp. 284–85). Fit one word to each note; you will sing the scripture through twice. Sing the song through several times until the children memorize it." The article has more wonderful ideas, HERE.

* From Oct. 2014 General Conference, Elder Richard G. Scott said, " We must take time to actively exercise our faith... Our Father in Heaven has given us tools to help us come unto Christ and exercise faith in His Atonement. When these tools become fundamental habits, they provide the easiest way to find peace in the challenges of mortality. Today I have chosen to discuss four of these tools. As I speak, consider evaluating your personal use of each tool; then seek the guidance of the Lord to determine how you could make better use of each one of them."
     He then goes on to mention the 4 tools- prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance.
     Can we build anything without tools? Can we have a true strong faith without prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance?
     Make a tool belt for the children. It can be as simple as a string or a paper envelope. Divide the room into 4 groups. Have 4 different stations with an adult who can give a personal experience (or one from the scriptures) about how the tool Elder Scott mentioned helped strengthen their faith. So for example, one station will be prayer. At that station I could talk about the story of Enos. I could show a picture and ask some questions. The other stations would be scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance.
     At each station have a paper/cardstock tool for the children to attach to their belt. Each station should last about 2-3 minutes. On the tools, you should have the corresponding prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance. If you need a PDF, you can email me.... but please say, "Hello Sofia." I know we live in a time with smart phones and texting this and that. But it makes me feel like a piece of meat when people don't address me as a person. :) I'll say your name too. Let's connect!!

HERE is the talk. It's wonderful, like all of Elder Scott's talks. I especially like his challenge, "Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"

Also, please notice his challenge from the first quote, "As I speak, consider evaluating your personal use of each tool; then seek the guidance of the Lord to determine how you could make better use of each one of them."
You could encourage the children to go home and talk with their families about how they can improve! They can even write how they want to improve/goals on the back of each tool.



Upon more thinking, we could even play 4 corners instead of the stations idea. Label 4 corners of the room as Prayer, Scripture Study, Temple Attendance, and Family Home Evening. On the chalkboard write, "Helps build my faith." All these tools are to help us exercise our faith. You'll need to write the 4 things again on small pieces of paper to draw out of a bag from. Invite 5-6 children to play. They choose a corner to stand in. Ask a question about faith or have someone read a scripture, then have a primary friend draw out "the corner" from the bag and after put it back in. Whoever is in that corner is out. Those remaining children choose another corner. Repeat with another question. Have another child come up and choose a corner. Play until there is only 1 person left!! If it happens quickly, play another round!! Make sure to have plenty (about 10-12) of questions/scriptures/songs about faith ready!!
Some questions could include:
1. How is faith like a little seed?
2. What is faith?
3. What is a story from the scriptures that talks about faith?
4. As a Primary, sing I pray in Faith (CS #14)
5. What can we do in Family Home Evening to help strengthen the faith of other family members? (help give/plan lessons, be reverent, answer & ask questions, be helpful)

* Bring in a large box with a hole in it. Have some different items for children to "feel" and guess what they are.
Can they see what's inside? No!! But there are things there!!!
      We don't have to see to know!
Have about 10 (total) different questions, songs, and scriptures about faith. Invite children up front to answer a question or read a scripture, then have them feel inside the box and guess. If they are right, have them take it out and show everyone!
 
Week 2: Prayer is reverent communication with Heavenly Father.

* HERE is an excellent little matching game and article in The Friend entitled, "Prayer is reverent communication between God and Me" by Jennifer Maddy.

* HERE is the ULTIMATE talk for this week's lesson. I especially liked, from Elder Oaks,
     "When one of our daughters was about three years old, she did something that always delighted her parents. When we called her name, she would usually answer by saying, “Here me is.” This childish reply was among the sweetest things her parents heard. But when she was grown, we expected her to use appropriate language when she spoke, and of course she did. As the Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
      The same is true of prayer. Our earliest efforts will be heard with joy by our Heavenly Father, however they are phrased. They will be heard in the same way by loving members of our Church. But as we gain experience as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we need to become more mature in all of our efforts, including our prayers."
     For Senior primary, you could even give the children copies in pairs and have them read it. After they can make up 2 questions to quiz the rest of the primary.

* An analogy:
       "Reverence is the atmosphere of heaven." President Howard W. Hunter (another wonderful talk found HERE)
     Bring in a couple pictures of the earth. What is the sky? What is air? The earth's atmosphere is a thin layer of gases that surrounds the planet. The atmosphere is what keeps us alive! It holds the oxygen we breath and it protects us from the harmful radiation of the sun.
     Without the atmosphere, our earth would be like other planets. Barren and with no life.
     "Reverence is the atmosphere of heaven." How important then is reverence!! In comparison, reverence is what keeps our spirits alive. It should be as important to us as our breathing. It protects us from the ways of the world. It should surround us as we pray!

* Sister Laurel Rohlfing shares some great insight in a Friend article HERE. You could definitely make a good point by having a children come up front and try to get you to talk about your day, but you respond only with the words, "Thanks for asking, it was nice, ok the end" over and over again!

Week 3: Repentance is a change of mind and heart.

* You could have a couple child act out the story of Alma and Abinadi, dress them in simple costumes. Alma didn't make the best of choices but he changed his ways and repented! What about Alma the Younger too??
Alma 5:11-12, "Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them?
    And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true."

* HERE is a very straight forward explanation of what we need to do to repent from Elder Russell M. Nelson.

A couple recycled ideas from previous posts:

*Bring in the movie Cinderella. Who has seen this movie? Have a primary princess or prince BRIEFLY tell the story!! A minute or less!! Well, it's an important story because it was even brought up in this last April General Conference !!
"Every Cinderella has her midnight—if not in this life, then in the next. Judgment Day will come for all. Are you prepared? Are you pleased with your own performance?
     If any has stumbled in her journey, I promise you that there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real. Said the Lord: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow....And I will remember [them] no more.” (Believe,Obey,Endure by President Monson)

Have 10 paper glass slippers with scriptures, stories, songs or questions having to do with repentance on the back. Let primary children come and choose a glass slipper and do what it says. (Of course, songs should be sung by the whole primary!) At the end of the lesson, you can show a picture of Cinderella in rags and then in her beautiful ball gown. Bear testimony that repentance changes our rags into beauty!!    

* Have a member of the bishopric come in to help you with your lesson if possible. You'll need a running headband, a racing number to pin on him and a pair of running shoes for him to change into. He might look a little silly wearing these things and his suit! However, he's going to be our special runner today! He's going to reverently run (perhaps even just jog) from one side of the room to the other. After he finishes, ask him, if he were in the middle of a race and realized he was going the wrong way, what would he do?? Share this quote,
       " If I were going the wrong way in the middle of a marathon, and I realized my mistake, would I keep going? I would immediately turn around! . . . I wouldn't stay on the wrong course because no matter how long I ran there, I would never reach the finish line. And yet for many who have made a moral mistake, a little voice keeps saying: 'You blew it. You can't change. No one will ever know anyway.' To you I would say, Don't believe it. 'Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true' (For the Strength of Youth [2001], 30)." Elaine S. Dalton, "You Can Return," New Era, Mar. 2010, 11
      Have the children jog reverently (demonstrate for them first!) in place with their thumbs out. Invite one child up front to answer a question on repentance. Then they can reverently jog to another primary friend and tag their thumb. That friend comes up front to answer another question on repentance. While children answer questions, the primary children can sit down. We need to run and finish the race, repentance and forgiveness from our Savior and Heavenly Father helps us do so!!
Week 4: Forgiveness brings peace.

* HERE is a video from lds.org on the prodigal son. It is 5 1/2 minutes. After showing the children, ask them if the story would be different if the Father didn't forgive the son? Absolutely! But The Father does forgive!
Have the children illustrate the story of The Prodigal Son. Have them divide a piece of paper into 6 sections. For younger children, just have them 1 picture using the entire sheet.

* Bring in a frozen turkey. See if a small child can lift it up. It's pretty heavy. How would it feel if you dropped it on your foot? How would it feel if someone threw it at you?
HERE is a wonderful talk by President Hinckley. I actually remember hearing him give it. I'm sure you do too! He shares a true story that you could tell the children. HERE is The Friend version.
I like the ending quote,
      “According to an account in the New York Post, Cushing carefully and tentatively made his way to where Ruvolo sat in the courtroom and tearfully whispered an apology. ‘I’m so sorry for what I did to you.’
        Ruvolo then stood, and the victim and her assailant embraced, weeping. She stroked his head and patted his back as he sobbed, and witnesses, including a Times reporter, heard her say, ‘It’s OK. I just want you to make your life the best it can be.’ According to accounts, hardened prosecutors, and even reporters, were choking back tears”
 
* HERE is a great story about some girls who need to learn how to be nice and also show forgiveness. After reading the story, have the children make some friendship bracelets to remember that forgiveness brings peace.
 
* HERE is another great story about letting go of bitter feelings. Go ahead. Take a minute to sing it to yourself. I'm one with the wind and snoooo---oh-ow. I liked how at the end of the story they wrote on some balloons and let it go. Have some balloons up front for the children to choose. On the balloons have questions/scriptures about forgiveness for them to answer or read.
 
* I love Boyd. HERE is an article entitled Peace in Forgiving. Have a bunch of broken paper hearts. (Almost like puzzles, you can have different zig zags to match the hearts broken in half) Invite children to match the different sides of the hearts and heal them with a band aid. While doing so, they can talk about something that comes to their mind about forgiveness. Perhaps a scripture story, a personal experience, or ways to forgive.
 
* SUCH A GREAT OBJECT LESSON!!!! Bring some pebbles to have the primary children try. HERE is the whole story in The Friend. I also really liked how the story of Joseph Smith and Brother Phelps is mentioned!
 
THIS is one of my favorite talks. I love President Uchtdorf's analogy of the point of no return. God loves us. He wants us to repent and He will forgive us. We must make sure that we don't have "points of no return" with other people... "I'll never forgive...." cannot be part of our lives.
     "For our own good, we need the moral courage to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Never is the soul nobler and more courageous than when we forgive. This includes forgiving ourselves.
      We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience (see Mosiah 4:2–3).
        My dear brothers and sisters, my dear young friends, when the captain of a long-range jet passes the point of safe return, and the headwinds are too strong or the cruising altitudes too low, he might be forced to divert to an airport other than his planned destination. This is not so in our journey through life back to our heavenly home. Wherever you find yourselves on this journey through life, whatever trials you may face, there is always a point of safe return; there is always hope. You are the captain of your life, and God has prepared a plan to bring you safely back to Him, to your divine destination."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Joseph Smith - A FHE based on Elder Neil A. Anderson's Oct. 2014 General Conference Talk

 
All quotes are from the talk Joseph Smith by Elder Neil A. Anderson.
October 2014 General Conference

Attention Activity:
HERE is a website that can generate false newspaper clipping images.
Make some semi-true stories about members of your family. Share them. What was right, what was wrong about the stories?

"We might remind the sincere inquirer that Internet information does not have a “truth” filter. Some information, no matter how convincing, is simply not true."

If we want to know the truth, where is the best place to seek answers?
What did the Savior say? Read 3 Nephi 14:16-20
 
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. How can we know the truth of this?
Elder Anderson says, "Each believer needs a spiritual confirmation of the divine mission and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is true for every generation. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God."
 
 
Lesson:
Have the following quotes from Elder Anderson in places that you might go to find out answers- scriptures, computer, books, TV, the bed where you pray, the front porch where a newspaper is.... As a family go to each place and read the quotes.

1. " Many of those who dismiss the work of the Restoration simply do not believe that heavenly beings speak to men on earth. Impossible, they say, that golden plates were delivered by an angel and translated by the power of God. From that disbelief, they quickly reject Joseph’s testimony, and a few unfortunately sink to discrediting the Prophet’s life and slandering his character.
     We are especially saddened when someone who once revered Joseph retreats from his or her conviction and then maligns the Prophet.10
     “Studying the Church … through the eyes of its defectors,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, is “like interviewing Judas to understand Jesus. Defectors always tell us more about themselves than about that from which they have departed."
 
2. " To questions about Joseph’s character, we might share the words of thousands who knew him personally and who gave their lives for the work he helped establish. John Taylor, who was shot four times by the mob that killed Joseph, would later declare: “I testify before God, angels, and men, that [Joseph] was a good, honorable, [and] virtuous man— … [and] that his private and public character was unimpeachable—and that he lived and died as a man of God."
 
3. "Years ago I read a Time magazine article that reported the discovery of a letter, supposedly written by Martin Harris, that conflicted with Joseph Smith’s account of finding the Book of Mormon plates.
A few members left the Church because of the document.
     Sadly, they left too quickly. Months later experts discovered (and the forger confessed) that the letter was a complete deception.
     You may understandably question what you hear on the news, but you need never doubt the testimony of God’s prophets."
 
4. "... Some information about Joseph, while true, may be presented completely out of context to his own day and situation.
       Elder Russell M. Nelson illustrated this point. He said: “I was serving as a consultant to the United States government at its National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Once while awaiting a taxi to take me to the airport after our meetings were over, I stretched out on the lawn to soak in a few welcome rays of sunshine before returning to the winter weather of Utah. … Later I received a photograph in the mail taken by a photographer with a telephoto lens, capturing my moment of relaxation on the lawn. Under it was a caption, ‘Governmental consultant at the National Center.’ The picture was true, the caption was true, but the truth was used to promote a false impression.”
     We do not discard something we know to be true because of something we do not yet understand."
 
5. " Brothers and sisters, let me give you a caution: you won’t be of much help to others if your own faith is not securely in place.
     A few weeks ago I boarded a plane for South America. The flight attendant directed our attention to a safety video. “It is unlikely,” we were warned, “but if cabin pressure changes, the panels above your seat will open, revealing oxygen masks. If this happens, reach up and pull a mask toward you. Place the mask over your nose and mouth. Slip the elastic strap over your head and adjust the mask if necessary.” Then this caution: “Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others...Now is the time to adjust your own spiritual oxygen mask so that you are prepared to help others who are seeking the truth.
 
6. "To the youth listening today or reading these words in the days ahead, I give a specific challenge: Gain a personal witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith."
Challenges for the upcoming week:
"First, find scriptures in the Book of Mormon that you feel and know are absolutely true. Then share them."
 
Next, read the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith.... Read it often. Consider recording the testimony of Joseph Smith in your own voice, listening to it regularly, and sharing it with friends. Listening to the Prophet’s testimony in your own voice will help bring the witness you seek."
 
Bear Testimony of Joseph Smith. Follow up with family members for the challenges that Elder Anderson instructed us to do during the upcoming week. At the next family home evening, or on Sunday, gather together and share!
 
Possible songs to sing:
Praise to the Man Hymns #27
Joseph Smith's First Prayer Hymns #26
We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet Hymns #19
An Angel Came to Joseph Smith CS #86
The Golden Plates CS #86
The Sacred Grove CS #87

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Parents: The Primary Gospel Teachers of Their Children, By Elder Tad R. Callister FHE idea

I really loved THIS talk. I could just picture a little Granny walking out ready to serve "the elderly".

For family home evening, have 4 (or more depending on your family size) plastic cups and a small paper granny. Read the quote about what an example his mother was as a great gospel teacher/parent... even at age 90!

What does it take to be a good parent who teaches the gospel in the home?
Elder Callister gives some great ideas.

After you go over a question or quote on the sheet, take turns putting the granny under a cup and mixing up the cups. Each family member gets a turn trying to find which cup the good example granny is under!

The example he gave of the mother who helped her boy achieve success was very powerful (#3). Let family members talk about how they feel after reading this. Be open to see how the spirit directs the conversation.

Some possible songs to include:
Love is Spoken Here (CS #190)
Families Can Be Together Forever ( CS #188)

Bear testimony that parents have a sacred responsibility to their children. We have the ultimate example of a loving Heavenly Father who has given us so much. He provided a perfect plan and sacrificed so much for us to return to Him. We need to strive for that unconditional patience, love, and diligence as a parent.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

General Women's Conference Oct. 2014 FHE Idea

 
I'm hoping to do some art projects with my girls based off some of the wonderful Conference messages. I have them read the talks for scripture study and am looking forward to their written responses on the question sheet I made. I save their work in a little box and look forward to looking back on these treasured moments. I also try to have them review quotes and pick one or two to memorize!
 
Also, I never ever ever use anything but watercolor paper for watercolor projects!!
You can't beat the quality.
 
 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Sing or Dare- Singing Time Idea

She's got some great ideas!!

I needed a last minute singing time idea and found THIS. I loved it!!!

But more importantly the children loved it. In fact, one child loved it so much, he took both my SING and DARE bag. I couldn't find it anywhere for Senior Singing Time!!! I had to do the DARE or SING off the top of my head!!

I didn't make a fancy poster. Because I'll be honest... paper bags are easier. Then you cut the following into strips and have them choose.

Ashley's DARE:
For Junior Primary
Stand on your chair and shout "I love primary!"
Name your favorite thing about Primary
Name 2 latter day prophets
Switch seats with someone else
Give your teacher a hug
Give the primary presidency (I changed to Pianist) a high five

For Senior Primary
Tell the names of everyone in your class
Stand on your chair and shout "I love Primary!"
Give everyone a high-five
Name 3 latter day prophets
Hop on one foot around the podium 3 times
Draw a picture of your favorite food

I added some dares:
Open the primary door and loudly say in the hallway, "I need a snacky!!!"
(That was awesome!)
Act like a fish for 20 seconds
In a sing-song voice give 3 people in primary a compliment

For singing, I chose different songs and used Ashley's ways to SING:
Clap the rhythm while you sing
March in place while you sing
Play Stop/Go while you sing
Stand on one foot and sing
Tiptoe in a circle while you sing
Whisper sing

October 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Yaiya Sofia and the kiddos on Ella's blessing day. I'm so grateful for my grandmother and the example she sets for me. She came from Greece, the oldest of 8 children, and worked hard to get everyone to America to avoid the devastation of WWII. She gave and continues to give everything to her family. There is not a single trip to her house that I don't leave with dish soap, toilet paper, or farfalle pasta. Spoiled!!!! But most importantly, my Yaya taught me about Heavenly Father. I've never seen or heard more sincere prayers. When my mother wanted to join the LDS church, Yaya supported her and has done so ever since. Family, our greatest blessing and joy.

Monthly Theme: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” Came from God to Help My Family.

Monthly Scripture: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11

Week 1 "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" came from God to help my family.

* Make a primary scrapbook of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."
     Take quotes from it and type it on the bottom of a piece of paper. Have many different quotes! Give the papers to the children to illustrate that quote. At the end of sharing time, bind the papers together and read to the children, showing all the beautiful art of the children.
     Let the children know that you will keep the book and use when we can during songs about families! For example, Families can be Together Forever... while the children sing, you show pages from the scrapbook! Use it often to show the children you value their work!

* "What are some things that will help families?...No better advice can be found than that given in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Read it. Study it. Adopt it as your family standard. Make it the topic in several family home evening lessons so no one in the family has any misunderstanding about how your family operates." Sister Barbara Thompson I Will Strengthen Thee; I Will Help Thee Oct. 2007 (It is a wonderful talk and I highly recommend reading it!!)
   Have some "good advice" from The Family Proclamation printed out on different pieces of paper. I would do about 7-10. For example:
1. "The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave."
2. "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."
3. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.
4. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
   Have corresponding case scenarios to the advice. Have a child come up front and read the case scenario. Then have them choose what advice from The Family Proclamation would help.
Case Scenarios (to match the above advice)
1. Sally was really sad because Grandma was sick. Grandma had cancer and it didn't look like she would live very much longer. What happens after we die, Sally wondered?
2. Alex was fighting with his brother... again. His brother was always messing up his legos and so Alex shoved him a lot. He and his brother got in trouble. They were sent to time out and then asked to apologize to each other by their mom. Why do parents have to give us time outs?
3. Elizabeth was so excited to look through her sister's bridal magazine. The dresses were exquisite! She especially liked the poofy princess like dresses! However, most of the dresses were sleeveless. Why would a modest wedding gown be so important?
4. Kenny had a beat up station wagon. In fact, there was a big dent in the side of one of the doors. Many of his friends had brand new cars that sparkled, but they also had both parents who worked outside the home. Why would Kenny's mom choose to stay at home over not having a fancy car?
(And yes, I know that not everyone has the option of staying home!! So my thoughts are this, no children should be made to feel guilty for having a mother that works outside the home- whether by choice or because of need!! Go by the spirit and make up your own case scenarios.)

* HERE is The Proclamation itself. Play Proclamation Pictionary!!!! Use words from it and have a child come and draw! After they draw, quote the entire sentence using that word.
Words could include: The First Presidency, All Human Beings, Premortal Realm, Adam and Eve, Husband and Wife, Declare (This would be harder for young children), Family, God's Eternal Plan, Recreational Activities, Repentance, Work, Love, Law Abiding Citizens...
   Challenge the children to go home and play this game with their families!!

* Have about 6 children come up front. One child will stand with their back to the other children. Sing a song about families and have the other 5 children pass a copy of The Family Proclamation between each other. Have them all put their hands behind their backs. When the song is over, invite the one child to guess who is holding it now!
     Read parts of The Proclamation and invite children to share how this knowledge can help their families.

Week 2 Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to God's plan.

* Guess the Love Story!! You definitely have to plan ahead! Call 5 different ward members who were married in the temple. Have them tell you their love story, how they met, etc. Also get a picture of their wedding day.
     For sharing time, share their story and have the children guess who it might be! Share the couple's picture.
As a tip- when you are telling the story, don't stand in one place. Move around the room and be excited!
    True love is eternal love! True love is the love that is shared in the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman. It is essential to God's plan!!
(I did this as a Valentine's singing time idea and it was a huge hit! The children loved it!)

* What was Jesus' first miracle? Where did it take place?
Our Savior's first miracle was at a marriage feast and turned water into wine! Do you think it means anything that His first miracle was at a marriage?
    Bring in a basin of water and several items that will sink or float. Today, we'll pretend this basin of the water is one of the water pots from the marriage feast miracle. What are some things that will sink a marriage? What are some things that will help a marriage stay afloat (try to have more of these items to keep it positive)?
     Let the children put things in the water and then depending if it sinks or floats, share their ideas.
Possible ideas for sinking: arguing, not saying sorry, not helping each other, not putting Heavenly Father first
Possible ideas for staying afloat: saying prayer together, going on dates, going to the temple together, being loyal, helping with household chores
    Marriage can be a miracle! And it is essential to God's plan.

* Bring in a board game. Have 1 child come up front. Ask them to play the game. It's kind of hard to play monopoly when there is only one person!!
   Have a tennis racquet. Invite 1 child to come up front and play a game of tennis. It's kind of hard to play tennis by yourself and run back and forth across the court.
   Bring in a phone. Ask 1 child to make a phone call. You kind of need someone on the other end!!!
Genesis 2: 18 "And the Lord‍ God said, It is‍ not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an‍ help meet for him."
   Marriage between a man and woman is essential to God's plan! Break into pairs (it doesn't have to be boy and girl... just pairs!) to come up with a drawing of a man and a woman who were married in the scriptures!


* Share the following story about President Monson and how he met his wife. (From The Biography of Thomas S. Monson by Heidi S. Swinton pgs. 89-90) You could even print out a couple of pictures of them and pass around while you read, it's pretty long, but very much worth the read:
" At The University of Utah Hello Day Dance in 1944, he had a friend from West High on his arm when he first caught sight of fellow freshman Frances Johnson dancing with another student to the popular tune "Kentucky." He resolved to meet her but didn't catch her eye again that evening.
     It was a month before he happened to see her a second time. One afternoon, while waiting for the streetcar near campus, he saw her chatting with a few friends at the bus stop. Tom recognized one of them from Grant Elementary but could not remember his name. Not sure how to approach the situation, he hesitated - just briefly- when into his mind came a phrase he had committed to memory, "When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past." He squared his shoulders and stepped forward to greet his former grade-school acquaintance. "Hello, old friend," Tom said. "How are you?"
     The young man politely introduced Tom to the two young ladies with him, and they all rode the streetcar to town. As Tom bid the three good-bye, he quickly took out his student directory and underlined the name Frances Beverly Johnson. Ever the consummate proofreader, he noted a typographical error in her middle name- "Berverly."
     Tom wasted no time. That night he called to ask Frances to the dance at the Pioneer Stake gym that weekend. H has said that he will always remember his first visit to her home to pick her up for that date.
      Tom's home environment was noisy, his siblings gregarious; everyone was "part of the action." Whenever his older and "very beautiful" sister, Marjorie, brought to the house a beau- and there were many- Tommy and his younger brother took turns standing on a chair in the kitchen peering through the window in the door to the front room to check him out.
      There were no such antics at the home of Franz and Hildur Johnson on Yale Avenue on the east side of town. Frances, named after her father, Franz, was the only daughter. Her home environment was proper and dignified. On Tom's first visit, her father and mother both welcomed him; they were dressed up as if they were going out, but that formality was just to meet him. His nervousness increased.
     Franz Johnson asked, "Your name is Monson?"
     Tom replied, "Yes, sir."
     He said, "I think that is a Swedish name."
     Tom said, "Yes, sir."
      Then Franz walked over to a cabinet drawer and brought out an old picture of two missionaries with top hats and canes. He turned to the young suitor and asked if her were related to one of the missionaries in the photo, an elder by the name of Elias Monson.
     "Yes, sir," Tom said, then added, "that is my father's uncle. Elias Monson was a missionary in Sweden."
     Immediately, Frances's father began to weep as he described the visits his family had enjoyed with Elias and his companions in their home in Sweden. He threw his arms around Tom's neck and embraced him. then Frances's mother embraced him. Frances looked at Tom and said, "I'll go get my coat....
     Tom and Frances often double dated with friends from the Sixth-Seventh Ward, ending the evening at Don Carlos's drive-in having a barbecued beef sandwich and a pineapple malt. They dated often but did not "go steady"- at least, not at first...."
    President Monson was enlisted in the naval reserve during WWII, when he returned he graduated with honors and started dating Frances again.
     (pg. 107) " Tom took his mother with him to Davis Jewelry to pick out an engagement ring. He brought it home, showed it to his family, and then tucked it in his pocket for later. On the night he planned to ask Frances to marry him, he picked her up and they stopped off at his home. Seeing the two of them together, his four year old brother, Scott, announced with great glee, "Tommy has a ring for you, Frances." The story is legend in the family."
    President Monson and Frances were married Oct. 7, 1966 in the Salt Lake City Temple.
   We know that Sister Monson passed away. Her birthday was October 27th. Sometimes people are sad on days that remind them of their loved ones who passed. Invite the children to write notes or draw pictures for President Monson of him and his wife. You can mail them to him-
President Monson
50 E North Temple St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
 
Week 3 When family life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can be happy.

* Set up a small SIMPLE obstacle course. Blindfold one of the children and see if they can make it through the obstacle course? (Watch, so they don't trip!) Have another child come up front and do it without the blindfold.
     John 9:10-11 "Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight."
      When family life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can be happy! We can make it through the obstacles of life easier!!
Have a bucket of hints (based on the teachings of Jesus) at the beginning of the obstacle course. Invite a child to choose one. If they can figure out what the teaching is, they can go through the obstacle course. If they can't figure it out, they have to be blindfolded!!
      A few examples of hints:
 Fold your arms, bow your head-
 You can do this by your bed! (Prayer)

Wrong choices need to be made right-
or else your smiles will not be bright! (Repent, Say Sorry)

Your heart should always have this near-
a feeling for others to make them dear! (Love)
 
* "Several years ago a severe storm hit the area in which we were living. It began with a torrential downpour, followed by a devastating easterly wind. When the storm was over, damages were assessed—power lines were down, property had been damaged, and many of the beautiful trees that grew in the area had been uprooted. A few days later I was talking to a friend who had lost several of the trees in his yard. The trees on one side of his home were standing straight and tall. They had weathered the storm well, while the trees that were in what I considered the prime spot on his property had not been able to withstand the heavy winds. He pointed out to me that the trees that survived the storm were planted on firm ground; their roots had to sink deep into the soil to receive nourishment. The trees he had lost were planted near a small stream, where nourishment was readily available. The roots were shallow. They were not anchored deeply enough to protect them from the storm.
      Our testimonies, like those trees, must be built on a sure foundation, deeply rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that when the winds and rains come into our lives, as they surely will, we will be strong enough to weather the storms that rage about us." A Sure Foundation Sheldon F. Child General Conference Oct. 2003
     
 
Have children write down some of the teachings of The Savior they know to be true. Have them draw a picture of a tree. Just like the trees that were rooted deep, families that have foundations based on the teachings of Jesus can be strong and happy!
     I have a PDF file of the above images. If you would like them, just please email me. I love watching children do art!!! Please show the older children especially, that they don't just draw a stick with a poof on top to make a tree! Create and enjoy!!
 
* In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles state: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ”
       Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. Make your Eternal Father and His Beloved Son the most important priority in your life...Then all that you need for happiness will come to you” (The Power of Correct Principles Ensign May 1993 Really great talk!!A must read, especially for stay at home mothers! Know that you are doing good!)
     Have a poster board with a drawing of a boat at the top. Use string to create a pulley for an anchor on that string. The children pull the string in the back and can move the anchor up or down. Invite the children forward if they have a happy/positive story about how their family has followed a teaching of Jesus. They tell the story, then can drop the anchor.
     You can share 2 stories of your family (Not the children!! You don't want anyone to feel bad) at times that maybe you haven't made the best choices. Show that the anchor doesn't go anywhere on those times.
     For example, One time I was tired and grumpy. I raised my voice at my children. Did Jesus teach us to yell?? No He didn't!! Jesus spoke kindly. (Anchor Up)
Or, Our family loves to go hiking and walking. Whenever we are in nature we like to give thanks to Heavenly Father and Jesus for organizing this beautiful world!
(Anchor down)
    
Week 4 Successful families work together.

* HERE is a page full of quotes about work and the importance it is to families!

* HERE is a really nice Family Duty wheel children can make from The Friend.

*HERE is a video that is pretty cute!! It is not lds.org affiliated, but would be great to show for Family Home Evening on the importance of working together and being unified!!!

* You can play roll the marble!! Choose about 5-6 children. Cut paper towel rolls in half so they form an open toped chute. Take a marble and try to have the children work together to get the marble to the end, by passing with their paper towel tube. After they try, brainstorm ideas and write them on the board of things the children can do this week to work at home and help out with their family. Keep on doing this with other children as time permits. Challenge the children to choose 2 things and do them!!
Roll the marble game image courtesy spoonful.com

* Have children act out the story of Nephi (1 Nephi 17) and his brothers building the ship. Bring in simple costumes for children to wear.
Nephi had a good attitude!! He always said, "I will go, I will do!" Are we like that when it comes to working and helping our family?
I made a handout for children to take home. It's a blank bingo sheet. Family members fill out things they need help with for the week. Work together to X out boxes and help others in your family!! See if you can get a Bingo or even a black out!! (X-ing out all the squares!) If you'd like a copy of the handout, feel free to email me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A good reminder....

Gustav Klimt Three Ages of Woman Mother and Child (detail)

"We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself.

But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God.

Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive.

And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it.

You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty.

Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are “enough.”"

President Jeffrey R. Holland The Tongue of Angels April 2007 General Conference

Friday, August 15, 2014

September 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

I know this is going to sound odd, but I really couldn't find a picture for this month's post. So, I decided to post this random good looking man's picture and tell him how grateful I am that he goes into Nursery every single Sunday to help out. How he gives the most wonderful father's blessings. How I'm grateful that he is the only LDS volunteer who makes gyros at Greek Fest... 9 years now? He is pretty awesome and his only flaw is that he is not an organ donor. He is desperately attached to his organs for some reason. ??  However, he lives the gospel and it definitely blesses our family!!

Monthly Theme: Living the Gospel Blesses My Family

Monthly Scripture: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is
anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” Articles of Faith 1:13
 

Week 1 I show my gratitude by offering thanks for all my blessings.

*  "But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding. As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,” to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,” and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”
Grateful in Any Circumstances President Uchtdorf April 2014 General Conference
   Have a fancy decorated goblet. Pass around the "gratitude goblet" and have children say things they are thankful for. You could even make paper (I'd use cardstock) goblets and have children color/decorate with sequins. The children could be encouraged to pass them around at dinner time with their families and share things they are thankful for.

* HERE is a wonderful sharing time idea from The Friend. I really love
" Draw large palette on piece of poster board. Divide children into six groups, and assign a different color to each group. Have each group draw pictures of blessings associated with assigned color; cut out and attach to poster."
     as well as-
" Play (a) game using poster. While childrens’ eyes are closed, remove one blessing, then have children open eyes and guess what’s missing. Discuss what it would be like without that blessing. Continue removing and guessing blessings as time permits."

* You really just can't beat The Friend. They are so inspired!
HERE is another great sharing time idea. I really like the one idea where children play a game of saying what they are thankful for, then the next child repeats what the previous friend said and adds what they are thankful for. By the last child, they will have to remember a lot!!

* Have the children act out the story of the 10 lepers. According to the handbook children do not portray deity, so just have one child hold a picture of Jesus and answer questions about what The Savior did.
Luke 17:11-18 Afterwards, you can have the children make thank you notes for someone who has done something they are thankful for!
 
Week 2 By giving service to others, I give service to God.

* Make some notes for older friends in a Senior Citizen Home!!

* Have the primary children make coupon booklets for their family of things they are willing to do this week to serve them!

* Have the children write thank you notes to local fireman!

* Make a candy bar card for The Bishop.

* I made a game entitled Primary Service Bingo. A child will come up and choose a square, do the service act, then get to X it out. See how many bingos you can get!! If you'd like the PDF file, feel free to email me. You could also divide the room in half and put up two sheets if you like a little competition!



Week 3 We believe in being honest.

* I love President Hinckley. I just love love love him!!!! His words are always so straight forward. HERE is a talk he gave that really drives home the point of what it means to be honest. It would be a good read to prepare for your lesson.

* “A man … went one evening to steal corn from a neighbor’s field. He took his little boy with him to sit on the fence and keep a look-out, so as to give warning in case any one should come along. The man jumped over the fence with a large bag on his arm, and before commencing to take the corn he looked all around, first one way and then the other, and not seeing any person, he was just about to fill his bag. … [The boy then called out]:
     “‘Father, there is one way you haven’t looked yet! … You forgot to look up.’” (I Believe in Being Honest and True by Ann Dibb April 2011 General Conference)
    
Cornhole is basically the same as a bean bag toss! Have some questions, scriptures and songs about honesty on pictures of corn all over the room. Once they choose one and answer, let them toss a few bean bags into the corn hole (you could use an upside down box with a  hole) that you've brought in. 1 point if they can land it on the board, 3 points for in the hole. How many points can you earn as a primary??
 
* "I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest." (The Priesthood Man Elder Eyring April 2014 General Conference)
   Bring in a rock collection!! Let the children observe the rocks and pass them around. What does it mean to have "a rock hard decision to be honest"? Have 3-4 cups. Place a rock under one cup and shuffle around. Let the child choose a cup and see if the rock is under that cup!! Have different case scenarios about honesty for the child to answer after!
For example:
    Brenda went to the movies with friends. After they wanted to see another movie and sneak into the next theater. How can Brenda be honest?
    Marty broke his mom's favorite lamp after she told him not to play soccer in the house. No one saw what he did. How can Marty be honest?
    Sally studied hard for her spelling test, but it was the wrong list! She didn't know any words, but it looked like the person sitting next to her did. How could Sally be honest?
    End by talking about what it would be like to be an apostle's hero! We can do that if we make the firm, rock hard decision, to be honest!!
 
*All aboard!!!  HERE is a really cool honesty train the children can make from The Friend. I can choo-choo-choose to be honest!!!

Week 4 By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow.

* A good read HERE to prepare for the week's lesson. I especially like picturing the grandma bent in a V shape!! Sweet patient woman!

* 1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
    Divide the primary into 6(ish- depending on how many children you have in primary) groups. Prepare in ADVANCE!!! Call parents and get some stories of children from your primary who have set good examples. Give a story to each group and have them try to guess who it might be from your primary.

* "We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them. The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving, and loving others. He sat down with individuals who were judged to be unworthy of His companionship. He loved each of them. He discerned their needs and taught them His gospel. He invites us to follow His perfect example." ("I Have Given You an Example" Elder Richard G. Scott April 2014 General Conference... great read!!)
     Invite 5 children up front. Have them share a way they can be a good example. Then have each child choose a motion to do. Have the primary watch carefully, then when all the 5 children have spoken and done their motion, the primary tries to remember all 5 motions and follow/do them.

* "I am inspired by the examples being set by the righteous members of the Church, including the noble youth. You courageously look to the Savior. You are faithful, obedient, and pure. The blessings you receive because of your goodness affect not only your lives but also my life and the lives of countless others in profound but often unknown ways.
     A few years ago, I was in line to make a purchase at my local grocery store. Ahead of me stood a young woman, about 15 years old. She appeared confident and happy. I noticed her T-shirt and couldn’t resist talking to her. I began, “You’re from out of state, aren’t you?”
She was surprised by my question and replied, “Yes, I am. I’m from Colorado. How did you know?”
I explained, “Because of your T-shirt.” I made my accurate supposition after reading the words on her shirt, “I’m a Mormon. Are you?”
I continued, “I must tell you that I’m impressed by your confidence to stand out and wear such a bold declaration. I see a difference in you, and I wish every young woman and every member of the Church could have your same conviction and confidence.” Our purchases completed, we said good-bye and parted.
       Yet for days and weeks after this random everyday moment, I found myself seriously reflecting upon this encounter. I wondered how this young girl from Colorado came to possess such confidence in her identity as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I couldn’t help but wonder what meaningful phrase I would figuratively choose to have printed on my T-shirt reflecting my belief and testimony. In my mind, I considered many possible sayings. Eventually, I came upon an ideal statement I would proudly wear: “I’m a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.” (Sister Ann Dibb October 2013 General Conference I know it. I live it. I love it.)
     Make copies of a blank T-shirt on a piece of paper for the primary children. After reading the above mentioned story, invite the children to design their own T-shirt. What would they put on it to show that they can be a good example?? Maybe you could even make a real t-shirt and give it to the Bishop to wear with a slogan the primary children come up with!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

August 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

 
We love spending time together as a family!! This is my Maria at an Artown face painting event.

Monthly Theme: Participating in wholesome family activities will strengthen my family.
Monthly Scripture: "Successful... families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Week 1 Pray in your families unto the Father... that your families may be blessed 3 Nephi 18:21

* "But remember, the greatest schools on earth are individual homes. Yet how many homes voluntarily give up family prayer by allowing other less important things to take priority."
(John Groberg April Ensign 1982 The Power of Prayer)
Read this quote out loud to the children!
     Do you have a little people school?
I AM NOT SAYING GO OUT AND BUY ONE!!! I've had comments before saying we shouldn't bring in toys or that it can detract from the spirit. So here's my 2 cents, I promise I'm not trying to force you to do anything.
   If you do have one and you pray about it and feel good.... bring in the school and set it up in a fun way on the table. Attach numbers (1-10) to different pieces of your "school" set up. A reverent child can come up front to choose something to learn about family prayer.
   Van Gorder Elementary school (or one of your local schools) is one great school, but it's nothing compared to what we can learn at home!! When the child comes up front ask them something they could do without in order to have family prayer... perhaps a little less video games? Computer time? I phone time?? Then whatever # they choose, the following can correspond, or you can make up your own.
1. Can you think of a family in the scriptures that prayed together or for each other?
2. Sing Family Prayer CS 189
3. How do you feel when you kneel together as a family to pray?
4. Please read 3 Nephi 18:21
5. Why do you think it's important to pray together as a family?
6. Please share a time one of your prayers has been answered. (If they can't think of one that's OK. Is there another primary friend who has had a prayer answered??)
7. Sing Families Can Be Together Forever Hymns #300 Do you think prayer can help us have forever families... show me with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
8. Where are different places we can pray together as families?
9. Demonstrate with 3 other primary friends the proper way to kneel for family prayer.
(Point out the bowing of heads, closing of eyes.... or do we peek???, are we still or do we fidget fidget??)
10. Please read this quote by President Kimball, "No mother would carelessly send her little children forth to school on a wintry morning without warm clothes to protect against the snow and rain and cold. But there are numerous fathers and mothers who send their children to school without the protective covering available to them through prayer—a protection against exposure to unknown hazards, evil people, and base temptations. " (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 117-118)
What does this quote teach us about family prayer??

* "A return to the old pattern of prayer, family prayer‍ in the homes of the people, is one of the basic medications that would check the dread disease that is eroding the character of our society.” President Hinckley “The Blessings of Family Prayer,” Ensign, Feb. 1991 Highly recommend reading it!!!
     Have a large posterboard of a drawing of a person. Divide the primary into groups and give them scripture stories/and or from The Friend of prayer. After a few minutes of reading and discussion, have a representative come up front to share what they learned in their group. Give them a Band-Aid to put on one of the red dots.
Family prayer is the medicine that heals!!

* HERE is a great story from The Friend, Mac the Prayer Cat. Tell the story in your own words (or read animated) to the primary children. If your numbers are small enough, have them gather on a blanket as you tell the story. Have a stuffed kitty cat in your lap too! Did the children like that story? We'll pass our stuffed kitty cat to a friend who is sitting reverently who would like to share something they know to be true about family prayer. Does anyone have a time their family prayer was answered? Pass the cat each time to someone who wants to add something to the discussion!!
     Be sure to remind the children that sometimes just because we don't get what we want, doesn't mean our prayer hasn't been answered!!
     If you still have time, sing songs about prayer and invite one child to hide the cat, while another one finds it based on how loud or soft the primary is singing!!

* HERE is another great great great story from The Friend that is sure to capture everyone's attention.
If you have a fireman in the ward, perhaps you could ask them to bring in their uniform for the children to try on!! Have that person talk about the dangers of fire and to remember that prayer is a protection.

* HERE is a great song to learn this week!!! Nice and short and to the point!!

Week 2 Family home evening strengthens my family.

* Make family home evening suggestion boxes!! Call around your ward and ask for as many empty Kleenex boxes as you can ahead of time. Bring in construction paper, stickers, glue sticks, gospel magazines that are OK to cut for pictures.Once the children are finished they can write ideas for family home evening!!
     What will children do if they have siblings making boxes?? It's good to have plenty in case it gets
lost!!! Or... if someone is absent, perhaps they wouldn't mind making that box for our primary friend.
     From the Family Home Evening Resource Book, "Tell your family that you will leave it where they can put a question or suggestion in it whenever they get an idea. Tell them that they can suggest lessons they would like to hear, questions they want answered, and suggestions for improving family home evenings."

* Make a mock living room for primary children to pretend we're having a family home evening. Family home evening strengthens my family! But what are the best things we need to do during family home evening? Have case senarios for the children to act out in your living room, whisper in the ear of the children acting out and have the primary guess what they are doing right or wrong! Have a mother and a father and a couple children. You could even divide into groups so they could plan a couple ideas before they come up.
     For example, some things to act out:
- listening, answering, and asking questions
- helping with a baby who is crying
- praying to invite the spirit to Family Home Evening
- volunteering to help clean up
- really taking care of the scriptures
- singing nice and boldly!
- not keeping hands to self
- interrupting
- whining/complaining
At the end of the lesson, have the children choose something they can do better to help make sure Family Home Evenings have the spirit!
" We should not be discouraged if every family home evening is not ideal; it is important just to spend time together. The Lord promises that if we patiently continue to hold family home evening, He will strengthen our families." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)

* Have the children plan a family home evening!!! Email me for a PDF copy of the lesson plan outline (or make your own) for them to fill out. For really young children, have teachers or older children help fill out and then they can draw pictures to show during their lesson.
 
* "The family home evening program can build love and peace in our homes. As this feeling grows, our families will desire to live the gospel, and much of the quarreling and contention in our homes will be eliminated. As our families pray, sing, and discuss the gospel together, the Spirit of the Lord can come into our homes and replace any spirit of contention found there." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)
    Bring in some large building/lego type blocks. Invite primary children to build a strong home with the blocks!! Have questions, songs, scriptures, quotes from latter day prophets all about family home evening.... after a primary friend answers the question or reads the scripture... etc. have them add a few legos to build that strong home full of love and peace!!!

Week 3 Scripture study gives my family and I spiritual strength.

* "Unfortunately, most children do not generate the same enthusiasm for studying the scriptures as they do for watching a first-rate movie. But that can be changed."  (Sept. 1987 Ensign Family Scripture Study A MUST READ!!!)

Bring in the following popular movies. These are OK movies but when compared to scripture study, there is no comparison!! Have stories from the scriptures that have "words" having to do with the movie. Have the children try to figure out what scripture story matches the movie and will feed our spirits more than that movie!
     Scripture study is what gives our families spiritual strength!!
     I am in no way promoting DISNEY!! I am likening the scriptures. If you do not feel with prayer that this activity is appropriate for your primary, then DO NOT DO IT. Perhaps it'd be better used for a Family Home Evening!! However, the whole point of this activity is to show the children that movies are nice, but the scriptures are BETTER!!! ALWAYS!! Also, when they watch these movies, perhaps their minds can remember back to the story from the scriptures in which it was related!
Some examples movies/scripture story:

1. Disney's FROZEN / A Priceless Heritage Oct. 1992 " Also heroic were the rescuers who responded to President Brigham Young’s call in the October 1856 general conference. President Young called for forty young men, sixty to sixty-five teams of mules or horses, wagons loaded with twenty-four thousand pounds of flour to leave in the next day or two to “bring in those people now on the plains.” (LeRoy R. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, Glendale, Cal.: Arthur H. Clarke Co., 1960, p. 121.) The rescuers went swiftly to relieve the suffering travelers.
     When the rescued sufferers got close to the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young convened a meeting on this block. He directed the Saints in the valley to receive the sufferers into their homes, make them comfortable, and administer food and clothing to them. Said President Young: “Some you will find with their feet frozen to their ankles; some are frozen to their knees and some have their hands frosted. … We want you to receive them as your own children, and to have the same feeling for them.” (Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, p. 139.)
      When the rescuers brought the Willie handcart pioneers into this valley, it is recorded by Captain Willie: “On our arrival there the Bishops of the different Wards took every person, who was not provided with a home, to comfortable quarters. Some had their hands and feet badly frozen; but everything which could be done to alleviate their sufferings, was done. … Hundreds of the Citizens flocked round the wagons on our way through the City, cordially welcoming their Brethren and Sisters to their mountain home.” (James G. Willie, Journal History, 9 Nov. 1856, p. 15.)
     These excruciating experiences developed in these pioneers an unshakable faith in God."
How does this story make you feel?
 
2. Disney's Lion King / Daniel 6:16, 18-22 Have you witnessed miracles in your family?

3. Disney's Snow White / Isaiah 1:18 How does repentance help strengthen our families? Can you name a time when "I'm sorry" really helped out a family member?

4. Disney's Jungle Book / Living Water in the Rain Forest Feb. 2006 Ensign By Bruce C. Kusch "
     While I was on a trip to Brazil with two colleagues from Brigham Young University–Idaho, we had the opportunity to spend several days in the Amazon Jungle on the Rio Negro. The river is enormous beyond imagination, and the vegetation in the jungle is thick. One could easily lose his way if he were to venture into it without a guide. Our guide, Moreno, was a native of Italy. He knew the jungle and the river well. Now in his late 30s, he had realized his childhood dream of living in the Amazon Jungle.
     Our small group boarded a canoe docked at our floating hotel and departed for the starting point of our hike. We were fascinated by what we saw and impressed by Moreno’s deep knowledge and his ability to lead us through the thick and imposing jungle. As we walked he would explain the various plants, animals, insects, and vegetation that surrounded us. He taught us about plants and insects that could be harmful if we were not careful. He also pointed out various plants that Amazon Indians had used for medicinal or other useful purposes. Deeper into the jungle we went. We truly had no idea where we were going. We merely followed Moreno and trusted that he would get us safely back to our canoe and eventually our hotel.
      At one point, Moreno stopped the group, and we all gathered around him. “This jungle is hot and humid,” he said. “We are at least a mile from the river, and a person cannot live here without water. You would die quickly. There is water right here, right now, where we are. Can any of you see it?”
We could not. All we saw were trees, vines, and shrubs. The mosquitoes seemed to be everywhere. None of us had any idea where there might be water nearby.
With a smile on his face, Moreno said, “Let me show you.” He grabbed his machete and walked to a vine, lightly covered with green velvet moss. After two quick swings, he was holding a piece of the vine in his hand. We still didn’t understand.
     “Water is right here,” he said, “right in my hand.” Just then he lifted the vine vertically and clear, cool water came dripping out! We were all amazed. As we looked around, we could now see similar vines everywhere. Some were large, others small. But once we were taught by one who knew, we saw that in this jungle there was an abundance of water. We each took turns drinking from the vine. As we hiked back to our canoe, we continued to see that water was everywhere. Now we knew where to look.
     I have since thought about this experience in relationship to the true vine, living water, and following one who knows. In John 15:1, Jesus teaches us that He is the true vine and His Father is the husbandman."
Do we thirst for family scripture study EVERY day?? The scriptures are always around us, we just need to take the time to read them!
 
5. Disney's Sleeping Beauty / Mosiah 24:8, 16-22
Do we read our scriptures each day before we go to sleep? Why is scripture study so important?

6/7. Dinsey's Cinderella & Beauty and the Beast/ Your Happily Ever After President Uchtdorf April 2010
     " For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
     Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
     In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.
     In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.
     In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?
Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?
     The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter. 2 Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?
     In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy."
What are some hard things you have faced that have brought you closer to The Lord? During those times, did scripture study bring you peace?
 
8. Disney's The Sword in the Stone / 1 Samuel 17:4, 8-11, 32, 37, 40-50
Why do you think Heavenly Father blesses the faithful? Are children and youth important to Him?
 
9. Disney's Alice in WONDERland / Isaiah 29:14
What is The Lord's marvelous work and wonder?
 
10. Disney's The Fox and The HoundYour Personal Checklist for a Successful Eternal Flight
Elder Pinnock Oct. 1993 General Conference
      "Never feed the foxes! What does that mean? Breaking commandments is like feeding foxes. In England where we live, my wife and I had heard that foxes were right in town. We wanted to see a fox. A neighbor told us that if we left food for the foxes we probably would see one. Our butcher gave us some bones. Each night we would place some bones out in the backyard. Soon a fox came to eat. Then a few more. Now we have at least five foxes racing through our flower garden, digging up the lawn, and leaving a shamble every night, sort of like a furry Jurassic Park.
      What started out as a curiosity is now a problem, and sin is much the same. An indiscretion can begin a process that can make a mess of a whole life. Remember, if you don’t start feeding the foxes, they will never tear up your yard. If you avoid making the seemingly small and harmless mistakes, your life will be free of many larger problems later on. Be a courageous young man by living straight. Create happy memories for yourselves and those around you."
What are some things you can do to avoid sin?
 
11. Disney's Finding Nemo / Eduring Well Jan. Ensign 2014 By Elder J. Christopher Lansing
   " When our only daughter, Lindsay, was young, she and I enjoyed watching movies together. One that we enjoyed and watched together many times was an animated film called Finding Nemo. In the movie, Nemo is caught by a scuba diver and ends up in a fish tank in a dentist’s office. His father, Marlin, is determined to find Nemo. Marlin meets a fish named Dory during his journey. They face obstacle after obstacle as they try to find Nemo. Whether the obstacle is big or small, Dory’s message to Marlin is the same: “Just keep swimming.”
     Several years later Lindsay served a mission in Santiago, Chile. Missions are hard. Disappointments are many. Each week at the end of my email I wrote, “Just keep swimming. Love, Dad.”
     When Lindsay was expecting her second child, she found out that her unborn baby had a hole in his heart and that he had Down syndrome. As I wrote to her during this very difficult time, I closed my emails, “Just keep swimming.”
     Obstacles come into each of our lives, but to get through them and to get where we want to go, we must keep swimming."
How do the scriptures help us to keep swimming?
 
12. Disney's Monsters Inc. / Alma 19:16-31 (watch for the word in verse 26) 
Why would Ammon be called a monster? How will scripture study in families benefit you as a future missionary?
 
Week 4 The Sabbath is a day of rest and worship.
   
* D&C 59: 9-10 "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
   For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;"
    Have a posterboard picture/drawing of a person. Have removable spots (circles of paper) all over it's body. When we keep the Sabbath, we keep ourselves unspotted from the world!! Learn more about the Sabbath by inviting children to remove spots from the person! The dots could have scriptures, songs or questions pertaining to the Sabbath.
The Blessing of Keeping The Sabbath by Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie Oct. 2000 has some excellent ideas that would fit well the spots!!

* Exodus 31:16-17 " Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
This is just a sidenote, but I wonder if we polled a bunch of bishops if they would consider Sunday a "refreshing" day?
     Bring in a large pitcher of lemonade or water. On a hot summer day, nothing beats an ice cold drink!! It's so refreshing!! Have little mini paper cups to give anyone in primary who would like a drink. (Be aware of allergies!!) As they drink have them imagine they are in a dry, burning desert... what does this drink do for them?
    All through the week we go, go, go! Sunday is our day to stop and be refreshed! Divide into groups and have groups come up with 3 things you can do on Sunday to make it a day of rest and worship! Have groups share!

* HERE is an idea from The Friend (by the lovely Sheila Wilson) with a good story and craft to make. I would adapt by bringing in a SMALL soccer ball and laundry basket. So first, tell the story, then invite children to come up front and answer a question (or read a scripture) about the Sabbath Day, then get 2 tries to kick the ball into the basket!
DO NOT MAKE CHILDREN FEEL BAD if they play sports on SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a personal decision they make with parents (STATE THAT!!!) and primary isn't the place to make them feel ashamed or unworthy. Heavenly Father gives us commandments and we do the best we can!!
* HERE is a very simple and wonderful story about Elder Koichi Aoyagi's gospel conversion. In the story he works hard to help with his father's rice fields every single day so that Sunday he can go to church. Unfortunately all the work does not get done... but his father still tells him to go to church! I would also bring in an image of a Japanese rice field... they are beautiful!!
    Bring in a bowl of cooked rice, some chopsticks, and a large cup. Have questions, scriptures, and songs about the Sabbath prepared. Invite a primary friend up front to answer a question about the Sabbath (or read a scripture). Then they have 2 tries to use the chopsticks to get as much rice as they can in the cup! Work together as a primary to see if we can fill the whole cup and learn all about this Holy Day together!