Monday, January 20, 2014

January Sharing Time - I Can Return to Heavenly Father by Following Jesus Christ

"Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou has shown,
Pause to help and life another,
Finding strength beyond my own,
Savior, may I learn to love thee -
Lord, I would follow thee."

I love this hymn and it's so very applicable this week (and month).  It makes me smile and gives me a greater desire to do good.  To be more like Jesus and return to our Father in Heaven definitely takes strength beyond what I possess and I'm grateful to have the knowledge that I don't have to do it alone.

I'm even more grateful that I get to share that knowledge with the children in my ward.  What a gift it is to teach, to inspire and to help them to feel their Heavenly Father's love.  That's my ultimate goal each and every week.

This week we open with a review of the goals set during the third Sunday.  Re-draw the line across the board (from the second week) and talk for a few minutes about our ultimate goal here on earth, eternal life with Heavenly Father.  The only way we can make it down the path, through the path and every experience we have here in mortality, is by following our Savior's example and taking advantage of the amazing gift of His atonement.

I love the story of Christ's apostles leaving everything behind to follow Him and all it teaches us.  I think many of the kids (especially junior primary) would love to do the actions that the Sharing Time Outline provide to go along with it...but I'm probably just going to tell the story as a lead in to the activity we're going to do.

After talking about about the story, I'll ask the kids (as instructed) what they would do if Jesus asked them to follow Him?  The thing is, HE HAS ASKED US!!  In John 21:22 He said, "...follow thou me."  Simple.  Direct.

Our activity will provide the children opportunities to see how Jesus has been followed and how they can follow Him throughout their lives.  We'll make sure and stop frequently to apply what we're learning to goals we can each set.

I've found a few different ideas for games.  Well, come across is probably a better description.  It amazes me how often I am doing something else and "happen" to find something that will work well for primary.  Amazed and blessed.

I love the idea of using the Bringing Primary Home section of this month's Friend.  Each of the cards are either an action we can take or an event in our lives (which are also actions, but they're singular events) where we can choose to follow Christ.  You could put them up on a board before Sharing Time and move a picture of primary children (like the ones I used a few weeks ago from Susan Fitch's blog) along the path as you talk about each one (or you could skip moving the kids and put them up one at a time as you talk about them).

Depending on which card it is, you could ask questions like:
How did you follow Jesus here? (pre-mortal life)
Give me an example of how you have followed Jesus by keeping the commandments.
What's one way your family follows Jesus?
How can the Book of Mormon help you follow Jesus?
How does the armor of God help you follow Jesus?
How does the temple help you to follow Jesus?
What things can you do in your future family to help all of you gain eternal life?
How have you stood for the right?  or How will you stand for the right this week?
Tell me one goal you can work on right now to help gain eternal life?

I also love the idea of encouraging them to go home and make their own personal pathway using the pictures (you could make copies of the cards for them to take home).  They can add their thoughts, goals, pictures from events that have already happened in their lives, drawings of what they think future events will be like or anything else you or they can think of.  The children could then put them up in their rooms to remind them of their goals. It would be a great family home evening for anyone who hasn't already had the opportunity to do it.

I did find a few other fun and similar ideas on the Family Home Evening ideas for 2014 I downloaded from The Idea Door.  I've only read through a few of the January ideas so far, but they're pretty great (taken from old Friend magazines).  The ideas for this week come from the July 2003 Friend.

I especially like main idea as it ties in so very well (even uses the same scripture story) with the Sharing Time Outline.  As you build the maze by looking up scriptures, stop and ask what exactly that story/scripture teaches us about following Jesus.

I also like numbers three and five in the additional ideas listed below.  Number three is similar in that you look up scriptures/stories that teach about following Christ, but different because instead of a path or maze, you put the pictures up in the form of a face clock (12 pictures in a circle) and you scripture chase your way around the clock learning about how we can each follow Christ.  Junior primary might struggle some with this one, but senior would LOVE it.

With number five, you teach the children the first verse of the song I quoted above, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee."  It instructs you to teach them the song backwards, line by line, pausing to talk about what it teaches us about following Christ and how we can USE what we've learned.

I sort of wish I had a few Sundays to share more than one of these awesome Sharing Time activities.  I know I don't normally share lots of ideas like this, but I love them all.  They are all fairly simple, give lots of opportunity for participation and testimony bearing.

Prayerfully choose what it is that your primary (and don't forget your teachers) needs to hear.  How can you best touch all those you have the opportunity to teach?

And have a wonderful Sunday!!


ps. If you've chosen to use the "Bringing Primary Home" from this month's Friend, I separated each of the pictures (so I could make them bigger and hang them on the board) and made a black and white version of the pictures (in a single sheet) to make copies for the children to take home.  You can download them (PICTURES and TAKE HOME) from my Google Drive!!


  1. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas x

  2. Leah, Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into finding ideas to share. I am going to use the idea of the Hymn Lord I will follow thee. Simple and Feel the spirit is how I feel Sharing Times should be.

  3. Thank you so much for posting your ideas each week, I love the inspiration they give me! I wanted to read more about the clock idea but couldn't find it, do you happen to still have a link?

    1. If you click on the link above where it says July 2003 Friend (it's highlighted in blue) and then scroll down the numbered ideas on the toward the bottom of the page it's number 3.


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