Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sharing Time - November Week 4

After spending three weeks focusing on expressing thanks for specific blessings that fall into specific categories (body, temporal and spiritual), this week we're wrapping up by learning that we should offer thanks for every single blessing.  All of them. 

I love what President J. Reuben Clark said about our blessings, "Hold fast to the blessings which God has provided for you.  Yours is not the task to gain them, they are here; yours is the part of cherishing them."

Our job isn't JUST to offer thanks, it is to CHERISH them.  To hold dear, to care for tenderly or to cling fondly (according to  The word cherish makes me think of my daughter when she was a toddler squeezing her stuffed animals so tightly against her cheek.  She loved them with all her heart and just couldn't quite get enough.

I'm not sure about you, but I don't often have feelings that strong when it comes to my blessings.  How can we truly cherish all that we are blessed with?

This week we get to brainstorm ways to show how much we cherish our blessings.  First, talk about how you have shown thanks for a gift you've received. 

It might be a little fun here to be a little funny.  Talk in all seriousness about how you showed thanks, then, perhaps, you can say that after a while though, the gift became normal.  Not something you really thought about anymore or took care of very well.  As you're talking, drop the gift, step on it or do something else to show a lack of caring.  You can then teach about how it is always important to be thankful, not just when we first receive a gift or blessing.

Brainstorm with the kids different ways we can show thanks.  Say thank you, give a hug, be kind, do an act of kindness, and continue to be thankful.  You could get them to list even more things if you ask for specific acts they could do to show their thanks.  Perhaps contrasting what you could do for a person in their life (a parent) to what we can do for Heavenly Father.

Now that their juices are flowing (and they've got some ideas to get started), set them up into groups and pass around the bags described in the outline.  Challenge them to be specific in their ideas.  How will they show Heavenly Father that they are cherishing His blessings? 

You can download this paper to stick in with your items (even though I know a plain piece of paper works just as good here, I love cute things).  I couldn't decide if I liked having one whole sheet or if a half sheet worked better, so I put both in the download.

After you've read through their ideas, ask the kids for one thing they've learned that they WILL DO. 

Ask them how (or if) they think being thankful will affect their lives.  We learn through modern science that those who cherish what they have been given are happier, but we learn even greater truths from the scriptures.

Doctrine and Covenants teaches, "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of the earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

Isn't it great that being thankful for what we are blessed with only leads to more blessings!? 

Have a wonderful (and blessed!) week.


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