Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June Sharing Time - Family History Work Connects Me to My Ancestors

Okay, I know that technically, the 4th Sunday (and this lesson) have already passed, but I'm guessing there are a fair number of you who took the 2nd Sunday to talk about fathers (or do some kind of Father's Day activity).

So I thought I'd give a few ideas for the week.  The good news is, if you've already done the lesson in the Sharing Time Outline, maybe you can still use some of these ideas for your 5th Sunday Sharing Time.

In a fantastic talk, Elder David A. Bednar talks about how our children's hearts can be turned.  In it he quoted Russell M. Nelson when he said,

"Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is "a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family."  This distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members - both past and present."

Isn't that awesome?!!

I love that as we learn more about our families, we love them more.  We cherish them, and not just those from long ago, but our family today!

In the Sharing Time Outline it asks you to tell a story and sing "Family History - I Am Doing It."  I think I'd make up a sign the kids could do to stop me telling the story (instead of spurtily starting to sing), something like the sign language letter F, for both families and family history.

If your primary knows the song well, just have them sing it, adding one line at a time.  If they don't (or your not sure how well they remember it from the last time they learned it), I would write the lyrics on a board, poster board or print them out.

I adapted a flip chart by Delani Mason I found on sugardoodle dot net to have the right number of pages so you'd add one page each time they hear the word sing or singing (for the first verse).  If you write your own, cover up the lyrics and then slowly uncover the lines as you progress through the story.  You can download mine on a link just above a picture of the handout I made.

After you finish going through the song, ask the children if they've been passed down anything from their families (a love of reading, sports, church...).  Talk about all the different ways our family can influence us for good, and how we can in turn influence them.

Another fun activity centers around talk about the ancestors of members of your ward.  This can be done in a couple of different ways.

If there is someone in your ward who love family history, you could ask them to come in, bring some pictures and tell the kids some stories about their ancestors. 

Or, It would be even more wonderful if some of the primary children could share about some of their ancestors.

Or, you could tell about yours.  Experiences you've had doing family history, learning about or meeting your ancestors.

I also like the idea of getting pictures of various ancestors from different primary children and/or teachers, putting them up on the board and then having the children guess which ancestor belongs to which person.  This would require a little work, but would be a lot of fun. 

In that same talk, Elder Bednar speaks to the younger generation, "I invite the young people of the Church to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah.  I encourage you to study, to search out your ancestors, and to prepare yourselves to perform proxy baptisms in the house of the Lord for your kindred dead ... As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives."

There are even more blessings mentioned in the talk, it's a great read.  

I made up this simple handout based off the "Encourage Application" section in the Sharing Time Outline, you can download it and the lyrics from google docs.
We are so blessed to have knowledge of this great gospel filled with peace, hope and love.  I am so thankful.

Have a wonderful week!


ps. If none of those ideas work for you, you've already done the 4th week, or just want to branch out and do something different, last year I made up a jeopardy to do the 5th Sunday in June

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