After initially being discouraged that I had to pull two weeks out of one topic, I'm now changing my tune. I've found so many fantastic ideas about this very integral topic. The fact that we believe in a modern day prophet who receives modern day revelation sets us apart from most religions. I can't wait to teach my kids and hopefully trickle a little of my excitement into them!
I usually do one week at a time when it comes to sharing time, I really like to spend my time doing research and focus on one topic before moving onto the next. But seeing as it's the same topic and I really want the learning to build from one week to the next, I decided to talk about both weeks in one post.
(I love this picture, I can't help but smile when I look at it.)
Attention Getter (for either week)
I saw a cute idea on lds dot org (scroll down to #2) that illustrates how necessary it is to follow the light. While one child leaves the room, hide a picture of a home in the primary room. When they come back, have another child (or children) lead them to the picture with the light from flashlight beams. Physical light helps to show us how to get around, but spiritual light is even more important and our prophets teach us how to walk in the light!
This Sunday I'm going to partly follow a fantastic family home evening lesson I found on Sophia's Primary Ideas. She uses 14 fundamentals for following the prophet as the spine for her lesson (they are found in President Benson's talk here). I'm going to either grab pictures of each of the apostles from the library (well, 14 of them, that leaves one off) or print them off 4 to a page from lds dot org. On the back of each picture I'm going to put one of the fundamentals AND one thing that apostle taught in the last conference.
I was originally thinking of getting pictures of 14 of the 16 modern day prophets, but as I read through the ideas in the Sharing Time Outline, I decided I wanted to focus more on the teachings from our current apostles. You could still choose to use previous prophets (from any dispensation) if you would like.
The main purpose in having one item or topic each apostle spoke on is because I'm going to use that for a game during Week 2. They are going to need to know which apostle talked about which things so they can complete the game (or at least be able to guess a little more closely than a random guess).
I also want to teach them to follow those teachings in their daily lives and I found the perfect idea on lds dot org (scroll down to #5). We are always saying, "Follow the prophet," but what does that mean everyday? We'll start talking about it this week by having a large piece of paper up front with a picture of all the apostles (like this one or one from the library) in the center. Each time we talk about a teaching, I'll write it around the picture (or have the kids write it for me) so by the end, our paper will be full of the teachings of our living apostles (I'm going to use this in the testimony challenge today also).
Another fun idea that goes right along with our search for the apostles is a song the kids can sing as we're looking for pictures (I'm leaning towards only doing it for junior primary, but I haven't decided yet). To the tune of "Are You Sleeping" sing:
Where's the prophet? Where's the prophet?
Here he is. Here he is.
His name is President Monson. His name is President Monson.
We love him. We love him.
I found these adorable lyrics on Nurture Mama. I am thinking of changing the second line to say, Where is he? Where is he? instead, to go along with the search. And I might just hide President Monson's picture the best so the kids don't find it until the very end.
Once you've found a picture, Sophia's Primary Ideas has some tips for how to talk about each of the fundamentals, quotes to read and games to play. You won't have time during sharing time to get to all of it, so pray about what your primary (kids and teachers) need to hear and learn a little more about.
This weeks challenge is to pick one of the teachings to work on. Encourage them to set a small, specific goal they can do everyday. If you're doing the Armor of God theme in your primary, you could also bare your testimony about how when we study and learn the gospel, we are prepared to walk where the prophets ask us.
I have a few different ideas for this week, each accomplishing the same goal of testing the kids knowledge of which apostle taught which truths (or said which quote) while re-teaching the truths at the very same time.
You're going to need the paper with the apostles in the center you started filling out last week. This week, as the kids guess who said which quote or talked about which topic, ask them how they could live the principle and write that on the paper next to the teaching. By the end, you should have a very full paper with TONS of great ideas for living what our prophets are teaching us.
I think this is my favorite, but it's also the most complicated and I haven't decided if I'm going to opt for one of the simpler choices yet. This option is a board game, a game of life (which is one of my very favorite board games, by the way) that resembles our life here. You'll want a nice straight path with birth on one side and Heavenly Father on the other. Along the nice straight path there will be other paths that detour off leading to no where. Each of these no where paths begin with a problem that can be solved by following counsel given in the last general conference. As they correctly guess who taught them the principle, we'll talk about living the teachings in everyday life and add ideas (from the board game and from them) to our apostle paper.
For the older kids I'll have the pictures of the apostles to choose from (with the quote or topic on the back to double check their guesses), for the younger kids, I'll have the topics to pick from and then we'll turn it over to see who said it. I'm toying with the idea of finding pictures to go along with each topic for junior primary, but I haven't decided if I want to spend the extra time yet.
For this idea we'll act out the different counsel given during conference and the kids will have to guess both what's being acted out and who said it. After they guess correctly, we'll talk about how to apply the counsel to us and add their ideas to the apostle paper.
I'm not sure how well this idea would work in junior primary (although the kids often surprise me), but I might only do this in senior primary and do the next idea for junior.
This time there won't be any guessing, but we'll still be acting out each principle taught. I'll call up a child who'll draw a principle out of a bowl and instead of trying to get everyone to guess, we'll tell them what it is and then act it out while singing the chorus to "Follow the Prophet" AND holding the picture of the apostle who taught us the principle. As we figure out which action to do, we'll talk about how to apply the teachings to us and add to our apostle paper.
This week, we'll look at all the additional ideas on our apostle paper and talk about how simple (and sometimes still hard) it is to live the gospel. I'll encourage the kids to either choose a new goal or continue to work on the goal they set the last week.
Don't forget to talk about the armor piece we added this month! As we walk where the prophets ask, we are protected and kept safe. That doesn't mean that bad things won't happen, but it means that the Holy Ghost will always be able to comfort us and help us along the way.
Good luck with your weeks!!
PS. I've written more generally about this month's topic here. You'll also find some ideas on how to learn and teach about our prophets.
PPS (5/3/13). I went ahead and made up the quotes with a picture. I think it will help the Senior primary to remember who is who along with Junior.
You can save the pictures from my blog but if you'd like a pdf (which has a higher resolution) of the pictures and my master (cheater) list, leave a comment or send me an email!
5/21/2014 - I've made a new set of quotes and pictures to go along with the April 2014 General Conference. If you'd like to check them out (and download them), click over to the post where I talk about how I best like to use them!