Monday, April 22, 2013

Sharing Time - April Week 4

I spent a few hours yesterday looking through various blogs and websites about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and found some fun things. 

But, before I tell you about them, I have to say that I really like the ideas that are already on Sugardoodle

I love Sofia's Primary Ideas from the research and learning perspective.  She's got some really good looking talks to read about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, so check that out regardless of what idea you choose to use for your sharing time!

I also love the idea on Little LDS Ideas.  It's cute and simple and I don't know about your kids, but mine LOVE to find anything.  We hid a CTR detective last year for the kids to find every Sunday and I think they're going through withdrawals this year not having something to look for every week.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, the idea is to look for stones (representing the stone Joseph found the plates under) and under or in each stone is someone or something related to the translation.  Easy Peasy.

Bean Bags
Chocolate on my Cranium has a fantastically fun and informative family home evening (the best kind).  It's all about the Book of Mormon and parts of it can either be adapted to fit teaching about things related to the translation, or it could be used as a part two to delve into the teachings of the Book or Mormon.  I would use the bean bag toss game and the super cute Book of Mormon reading chart (although if you don't like her chart, but want to do one there are TONS out there, here's a link to a search I did on Pinterest to get you started). 

Just as a quick aside, I know that most kids would throw away or lose the chart, but there might be one that wouldn't.  My daughter read the Book of Mormon for the first time because she was challenged to by her Activity Days leader.  While we can't be sure what we are teaching or encouraging our kids to do sinks in, I don't feel that's our job.  Our job is to offer (with love) and theirs is to do or not.  This is one of the hardest, but at the same time, liberating concepts for me both as a parent and as a leader at church.  If the whole year chart approach still isn't appealing, you can go here to download a certificate encouraging the kids to read with their families for one whole week.

She has several great cards for the bean bag toss game that cover many aspects of Book of Mormon information and you could do those (I'm thinking this would be a fantastic FHE for us next month) or you can substitute clues about the Book of Mormon translation.  For example:

1. He translated the Book or Mormon
2. This was used to help with the translation of the Book or Mormon
3. He was a scribe (someone who writes what you're saying) for a lot of the Book of Mormon translation
4. The power used to translate the Book of Mormon
5. He showed Joseph where to find the plates
6. What Joseph translated the Book of Mormon from
7. June 1829 (translation completed)
8. This is one of the 3 witnesses who saw the Book of Mormon, heard the voice of God and saw and angel
9. This is one of the 8 witnesses who saw the Book of Mormon
10. 4 (number of years of preparation before Joseph received the plates)

If you need a few more ideas (or just want some), you can check out this Friend article from January 1973.

Another thing you can talk about is the translation.  The actual act of translation, how it was and whether or not the kids think it would be difficult.  There are some really fun ideas on Sugardoodle including a code you can use to write them a message that they then get to "translate" into English.  You could work this into either the bean bag toss or the searching game above by having them find part of your coded message with each stone or toss of the bean bag and then the message could be a wrap up.  For example, you could use (or paraphrase) Joseph Smith when he said that a man can get nearer to God by abiding by the precepts in the Book of Mormon than any other book.

If you'd like something more than just a simple number code, I've found another fun one here that uses shapes and symbols.  It even has a code you can use that translates as "Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration.  He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God."  It's a little long for a sharing time, but you could use one symbol per word to make it go a little faster.  Or send it home for the kids to work on and bring back.

If that wasn't enough options, I found another code using simple drawings on Sugardoodle.  Yes, I know, I have a problem with going overboard occasionally, that's why my motto is to keep is simple (and it even sometimes works).

Testimony Challenge
If you choose to send the kids home with a coded message, this would be a great tie in to the testimony challenge.  You could tell them that you want them to pray about (and for the older kids maybe study about) what the message says.  I would probably tell them if they brought it back to primary next week, decoded, they could get a treat or a small prize of some sort to encourage finishing it.

Good luck with your planning and have a great week!

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