Sunday, January 5, 2014

January Sharing Time - Heavenly Father Provided a Savior and Makes it Possible For Me to Return to His Presence

This week we get to talk about the atonement.  I like the Sharing Time Outline's object lesson using a chalk path and bridge, so I'll be using it.  And a little more besides.

I'll open talking about last years theme just a little bit (remember, I skipped the first week's lesson because we have stake conference this month).  We'll talk about why Heavenly Father sent us to earth and what we're supposed to be doing while we're down here (I found some adorable primary children on Susan Fitch's blog to move along the path that I'm going to draw while we talk). 

If no one brings it up, after a minute or two, I'll bring up that we are working towards eternal life, living with our Father in Heaven forever.  Elder Russell M. Nelson said that eternal life is "the greatest gift of God to man" and "the object and end of our existence."  It is! 

As not all the children can read, I thought it would be nice to have a picture for the end of the path also.  This is a cropped First Vision picture and I love that it looks like they are motioning for us to come

I'm really excited to talk about how bridges are like the atonement.  After I erase a section of the path and ask how we can now get to Heavenly Father, I'm going to see if anyone can quote the 3rd Article of Faith.  We are blessed with the atonement, it is our bridge and we don't just get one bridge or 10 or 1,000,000...we get as many as we need.  He is ALWAYS THERE to help us. 

One of my favorite things about Jesus' sacrifice for us is that He did not only suffer for our sins, He felt our every disappointment, fear, loneliness, all of it.  When we pray for help, He knows exactly how we're feeling and EXACTLY how to help us.  What an astounding, amazing gift!!

Even with this greatest of all gifts, most of us will still need more help along the path.  I'll ask them if there are other things/parts/people in our lives that can also help us make our way over the bridges to eternal life.

I'm going to tie this in to this year's theme by talking about how our families can help us (and we can help them).  With all of us working together, we can truly be an eternal family.  I think I might share the quote I wrote about in last weeks post from Elder Robert D. Hales,

"To receive the blessings of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities."

Whether I do or not, I'll spend the rest of sharing time playing the game I also wrote about previously.  I found it in a family home evening on Chocolate on My Cranium, and involves rolling the family dice you can print out with her lesson.

I'll draw the children's names out of our jars, have them come up, roll and think of a way they can show their love for the family member that comes up (or help them in some way on the path to eternal life).

We'll play until our time runs out and then I'll share my testimony about the atonement.  About life here on earth and how we can all work together, love and serve each other, so we can all be ready to live with Heavenly Father again.

In that same talk by Elder Nelson, he said, "I weep for joy when I contemplate the significance of it all.  To be redeemed is to be atoned - received in the close embrace of God with an expression not only of His forgiveness, but of our oneness of heart and mind."

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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