Monday, March 17, 2014

March Sharing Time - I Can Show Respect for the Savior by Being Reverent

Every month I try to find a few General Conference talks that go along with the different topics we get to teach.  Every month I find good quotes, great articles and I get to learn more about the gospel I love.

This is the first week, the first topic where I'm pretty sure the talk I read came before the topic.  I picture someone putting together the different topics for the 2014 Sharing Time Outline, praying about what the primary children (and we as their leaders and teachers) need to hear and remembering this specific talk (disclaimer: this is pure conjecture on my part).

In 2009 Margaret S. Lifferth gave a talk titled "Respect and Reverence."  It's awesome and perfectly, well, perfect.  Especially for this week.

"Respect for others and reverence for God are close cousins.  They are rooted in humility and love.  President David O. McKay said that "reverence is profound respect mingled with love," and Elder L. Tom Perry taught that "reverence flows from our admiration and respect for Deity."

She also teaches that we need to set a good example of reverence to be able to teach it well.  We all know that the children are watching.  Always watching (I keep hearing Roz from Monsters, Inc say this to Mike in my head).  They hear us (somewhere between most of and some of the time), but they will remember the things we do.

I love it when we are given exact examples of how we can DO and this talk does that for both parents and leaders.

I also love giving the children an opportunity to teach me and each other.  Before you start your sharing time, choose different pictures of sacred places to show the children.  Ask the children to tell you three things (I got these questions from a Sharing Time on lds dot org) as you make your way through them:

1. What happened here?
2. How would you feel if you were in this place right now?
3. How would you act in this place?

Make sure that you end with a picture of a meetinghouse (even your own if you already have a picture of it...or want to take one) so you can expand on how we act there in the next part.

Ask the kids if they know what it means to be reverent.  I'm sure most of them have been told to be reverent on several (maybe times several) occasions.  It would be interesting (especially in junior primary) to ask them what they're bodies should be doing when they're reverent.

Then, maybe the most important question, ask them WHY they need to be reverent?  Why in the world do we talk about it so much?  What's the big deal?

This question leads to another, how do our testimonies grow?  We have been taught that we can only learn spiritual things through the Holy Spirit.  Boyd K. Packer said, "Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings.  Such words as quiet, still, peaceable, Comforter abound in the scriptures; "Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10).

That is one of my very favorite scriptures.  I was jogging one day, lost in my thoughts, and not listening at all to the conference talk I had playing on my ipod, when I heard a speaker quote that scripture.  Heard isn't a good enough word, it was like the volume was turned up all of a sudden and those words vibrated through me.

We have to "be still" to hear the quiet whisperings of the Holy Ghost.  We also have to "be still" so that those around us can have the opportunity to feel that inspiration.

For the second section, instead of having the kids write down different ideas (which I think is a great idea, it would just take too long to pass out paper, pencil, get them to write them and then collect it all), have a basket-full of ideas the kids can come up and draw from.  As they draw one out, they can decide whether it's something that shows reverence at church or if it's something we should wait to do at home.

I'd like to take a minute and say I think it's important that we aren't saying the two groups are "good" and "bad" things, because they really aren't.  They are activities that show reverence at church on Sunday verses activities that we can do another day of the week (or even later in the day at home).

I'm a very visual person and so I'd use a board to put up a picture of a church building and a picture of a house.  Then as they draw out each activity, they can decide which place it would best fit.  Throughout the activity, the kids will have a visual representation of all the different ways they can (and can't) be reverent.

Here are some ideas (you could copy and paste these into your word program, adjust the sizing, and print):
1. Sit quietly in your chair
2. Fold arms and close eyes for prayer
3. Thoughtfully answer a question
4. Ask a question about the lesson you're being taught
5. Ask your neighbor politely to let you listen
6. Sing during singing time
7. Jump up and down to get your teacher to call on you
8. Raise your hand when you have a question
9. Talk with your friends about what you're going to be doing during the next week
10. Check your phone to see if you have messages
11. Volunteer to read a scripture
12. Whisper a funny joke you just remembered to the person next to you
13. Scream the words during singing time
14. Poke the person next to you and then pretend you don't know what happened
15. Look around to check and make sure everyone has their eyes closed during prayer
16. Raise your hand to tell your everyone about your fun Saturday in the middle of a lesson
17. Ask a question about what everyone thinks your crazy dream meant in the middle of a lesson

If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment.  We'd all love to hear them!

I also love the idea of having the kids come to a consensus by either folding their arms for a Sunday reverent activity and wiggling their fingers if it's not.  It'll keep them all listening and actively involved.

The more I learn about the gospel and try to follow Heavenly Father's direction, the more I realize that this is a SLOW process.  I can look back and see change, but I almost never do from day to day.  Sometimes it can get a little hard to keep trying when it feels that we aren't making much of a difference (both in our own lives and in primary), which is why I LOVE this quote from Elder Packer speaking about Reverence,

"While we may not see an immediate, miraculous transformation, as surely as the Lord lives, a quiet one will take place.  The spiritual power in the lives of each member and in the Church will increase.  The Lord will pour out his Spirit upon us more abundantly.  We will be less troubled, less confused."

That sounds pretty good to me!!



  1. I really enjoy your thoughts and all your preparation each week. I love how you stick closely to the outline. I read and ponder how to present each sharing time and then I come to your site and it's absolutely perfect. I don't know how you find time to blog, but I am so grateful you do. Thanks!

  2. Ditto the above comment! :) THank you so much for your spiritual preparation and your wonderful sharing times! They are always exactly what I want to do and say but can't quite put it together myself! Thank you so much!

  3. I agree, your preparation and thoughts make wonderful sharing times. Thank you so very much for all you do for us teachers and presidencies that help up try to present wonderful inspirational sharing times. Thank you so very much!!


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