Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jesus Christ is the Living Water Sharing time

Jesus Christ is the Living Water Sharing time
Family Prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening can strengthen my family
July 2013 Week 2 Theme
            Primary children, I’d like you to meet the Sponge Family.  Mommy Sponge, Daddy Sponge, Brother and Sister Sponge.  This family has a problem, they are dried up. (I cut a Sponge family from a package of inexpensive sponges. If doing this sharing time for Senior, you will need 2 sets of Sponge families) They aren’t really living life close to the Spirit.  “..as water is necessary to sustain physical life, so the Savior and His doctrines, principles, and ordinances are essential for eternal life.” (David A.  Bednar, “A Reservoir of Living Water, CES Fireside, 2007 http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,538-1-4040-1,00.html)  The Savior taught that “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give … shall never thirst; [for it] shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14).  Jesus taught that He is the living water.  “The living waters can bring peace and joy even when the wellspring within us seems to have dried.” (2003 April General Conference, Blessed by Living Water, Sat.  Morning Session - Kathleen H.  Hughes https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/blessed-by-living-water?lang=eng)  You and I need His living water daily and in ample supply to sustain our ongoing spiritual growth and development.” (David A.  Bednar http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,538-1-4040-1,00.html)  Now, we need to help the Sponge family be filled with the living water of Jesus Christ.

I am going to choose a Primary child to select a picture from around the room. 
Other option:
Have the children fish out the ideas by attaching magnets to the pictures and constructing "living waters" out of a blanket and construction paper rocks!
Sorry, I used slightly different pictures this teaching time around! The rocks are from Mary Ross and Jennette Guymon-King's lesson "Firm foundation of Faith" and have words printed on them like "Heavenly Father", "Holy Ghost", Priesthood", and others that work for helping the children discover ways to help the Sponge family fill themselves with the living water of Christ!
 Each picture represents something that the Sponge family can do to fill themselves with the living water of Jesus.  (Each picture is removed from a blue sleeve/sheet protector made from 2 sheets of Reynolds Crystal Blue plastic wrap wrapped around the picture to give essence that it is in water). 
 Listen carefully to the information of each living water because you will may get an opportunity to give the sponge family a drink of the living water of Christ and help nourish them, so they can find peace and joy in their family.  (Taken from https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/blessed-by-living-water?lang=eng)

Matching picture –“Jesus the Christ” from Primary picture packet 2-3
Do you wish to partake of this living water and experience that divine well springing up within you to everlasting life?  Then be not afraid.  Believe with all your hearts.  Develop an unshakable faith in the Son of God [Jesus Christ].” (Joseph B.  Wirthlin, The Abundant Life, ,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 100.  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/04/the-abundant-life?lang=eng#2-)  The Sponge family needs to have faith and believe in Jesus Christ.  What else can the Sponge family believe in that is true? (Have the children give the sponge family a drink using a dropper for each idea they list, example: Scriptures, Priesthood power, Holy Ghost, any other gospel doctrine – I used a clean nose suctioner for the water, so multiple children can give a drink without having to refill the dropper)


Matching picture – “Family Prayer” from Primary picture packet 1-10
Family prayer is another way that the Sponge family can fill themselves with the living water of Christ daily.  “We can access the living water through the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is our direct connection to personal revelation, comfort, and peace.  When we’re struggling with something in life, we can pray and ask the Holy Ghost for wisdom to know what to do.” (http://jesus.christ.org/questions-answers-about-jesus-christ/what-are-the-living-waters) What can the Sponge family pray for to help fill themselves with the living water of Jesus Christ? (Have children give the Sponge family a drink of the living water as they list ideas)


Matching picture – “Family Scripture Study” from Primary picture packet 1-6
“And so, I counsel you…, to make reading the Book of Mormon a few minutes each day a lifelong practice…Don’t be content with what someone else tells you about what is in it.  Drink deeply from the divine fountain itself … I plead with you to drink deeply and often from its pages.  …[There are] three basic ways or methods of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir: (1) reading the scriptures from beginning to end, (2) studying the scriptures by topic, and (3) searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes.”  (David A.  Bednar, “A Reservoir of Living Water, CES Fireside, 2007 http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,538-1-4040-1,00.html)  “In order to teach your family by the Spirit, you will want to drink deeply from them to see how they apply in your family’s life.  (June 1990 Ensign, Better Home Evenings, Wayne B.  Lynn)  “Each of these approaches can help satisfy our spiritual thirst if we invite the companionship and assistance of the Holy Ghost as we read, study, and search.  (Marion G.  Romney 1980 April General Conference, The Book of Mormon, Sun.  Morning Session http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/04/the-book-of-mormon?lang=eng)
So, how can the Sponge family use scripture study to help fill them with the living water of Jesus?  (Have children give the sponge family a drink of living water as they list ideas)


Matching picture – I used “Partaking of the Sacrament” from Primary picture packet  2-29 in the blog photo, then found better picture from GAK 604
Each week the Sponge family can attend church and partake of the sacrament and be filled with the living water of Jesus Christ.  As they take the cup of water, they can think of the water they entered (or will enter) to make promises to our Heavenly Father through the ordinance of baptism.  They can repent for their “dried up and hardened” moments and through Christ’s atonement can start again.  What can the Sponge family think about during the sacrament? (Have children give the sponge family a drink of living water as they list ideas, example, Jesus, their baptism, stories of Jesus, their wrongdoings, etc.)


Matching pictures – “Spencer W.  Kimball” from Primary picture packet 3-67 and “Family Home Evening” from Ensign, August 2010 p.13 or http://www.mormonchannel.org/sites/default/files/gospel-solutions-500x281-family-home-evening-1.jpg

The Prophet Spencer W.  Kimball was traveling in Mexico on a Monday night and decided to drop in on a family during Family Home Evening.  They had little time to prepare for his arrival and were instructed to do family home evening as they usually would.  The family was prepared and had each member help conduct an opening song, opening prayer, a scripture that was read, a lesson -- surprisingly about “The living water of Jesus Christ” and a closing song and prayer.  Then refreshments were served, the prophet brought a package of candy for the children.  (Taken from https://www.lds.org/ensign/1980/10/an-ordinary-monday-night-home-evening-in-mexico-with-president-kimball?lang=eng) What would happen if President Monson called up and dropped in your Family Home evening? What should Sponge family’s Family Home Evening look like? How can Family Home Evening help fill the Sponge family with the living water of Jesus Christ?  (Have children give the sponge family a drink of living water as they list ideas)

Matching Picture – “Blessed are the Peacemakers” from Friend, October 2010, p.27 or http://res.ldschurch.ch/magazines/thefriend/en/2010/thefriend_2010-10.pdf
Showing love to each other and following Christ’s teaching of “being a peacemaker” can help fill the hearts of the Sponge family with the living water of Jesus Christ.  (Joseph B.  Wirthlin, The Abundant Life  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/04/the-abundant-life?lang=eng)  What can the Sponge family do to show love and be peacemakers to each other? (Have several children give a drink of water to the Sponge Family’s hearts as they brainstorm ideas, example: sharing, being obedient to parents, service and kind acts, seek forgiveness, etc.)

The Sponge family is now filled with the living waters of Jesus Christ. 
But will they stay this way if they don’t keep reading the scriptures, praying, having family home evening, etc.?  No! they will become thirsty, dried out Sponges again!

Children, I urge you to “drink deeply of the living waters of the gospel.  These latter days are a time of great spiritual thirst.  Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives.” (Sept.  2001 Ensign, “Live in Thanksgiving Daily”, Joseph B.  Wirthlin) We are so lucky to have the truth and our families can share the living water of Christ with others.  In the name of Jesus Christ amen.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prophets’ Baptism Timeline Sharing time

June 2013 Week 5
Anyone seen a timeline before, maybe at school? A timeline is a diagram that shows when different events in history or someone’s life have taken place. There are dates or years on timelines, read from left to right (point to timeline) to show the amount of time passed between each of the events. We are going to explore a special timeline today and learn about some prophets, their baptisms long ago and how they had testimonies of the gospel, even as children. I have a scrapbook that has pictures of some prophets as children that need to be matched up with the correct prophet portrait on the timeline so we can read a journal entry about their baptism experience. We will draw a year out of the bag and identify the prophet that was baptized that year.

I made a timeline by covering two old trifold boards in butcher paper and creating the timeline. I used velcro dots for pictures to attach to the timeline because I wanted to remove them and reattach pictures to the timeline and quickly set up Senior sharing time.This timeline could be simplified by drawing the timeline on two rolling chalkboards often found in meetinghouses.

So, for example if you pulled out 1884 from this bag, you would find 1884 on the timeline and look at the picture of the adult prophet above who was baptized in 1884.  Then we will work together to figure out the name of that prophet.  Then in our teams (rows) we will look through the scrapbook of picture of the prophets as children that I’ve provided you and try to find the picture of that prophet as a child.  (each row has a scrapbook from the dollar store with identical pictures of the prophets as children and can take turns within the row holding the scrapbook for their team.)

We then will compare the pictures of the prophet (as a child and as an adult) and learn about their baptism and testimonies as children. Finally, we will take the picture of the child from my scrapbook and add it to the timeline.
(Read after each child picture is matched)

Joseph F. Smith-1852 - (Hint on the child picture- This prophet was a pioneer crossing the plains) Joseph F. Smith was baptized on 21 May 1852 in City Creek... in Salt Lake City. The ordinance was performed by President Heber C. Kimball, a member of the First Presidency and a close friend of Joseph’s martyred father, Hyrum Smith. Because his father had been killed when Joseph F. was 7, he was baptized at 13 after they had crossed the plains and settled into in the Salt Lake valley.  In describing that day, Joseph F. Smith said: “… I remember the testimony that filled my being when I was baptized. At that time City Creek flowed down through the heart of the city, and in that stream I was baptized when a boy, and when I came out of the water my whole being was filled with the testimony that my act was accepted of God.” http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=0756f48fa2d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD


George Albert Smith-1878 - “I grew up in Salt Lake City.  When eight years of age, I was baptized in City Creek. I was confirmed a member of the Church in fast meeting in the Seventeenth Ward, and I learned when I was a boy that this is the work of the Lord. I learned that there were prophets living upon the earth. I learned that the inspiration of the Almighty would influence those who lived to enjoy it. …” http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-george-albert-smith/chapter-22?lang=eng

David O. McKay-1881 -  As 8 years old, David O Mckay’s father was called on a church mission and the family supported the call. It was a McKay family tradition that the children were baptized on the day of their eighth birthday. When David reached his eighth birthday, September 8, 1881, he was baptized in Spring Creek in Huntsville, Utah by Peter Geertsen. http://www.ldsfacts.net/prophet9.htm His father returned from his mission in April, 1883. https://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=8313be335dc20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=88021b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
David O McKay said, “I say it has been easy for me to understand and believe the reality of the visions of the Prophet Joseph.  It was easy for me in youth to accept his vision, the appearance of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ to the boy praying.” https://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=8313be335dc20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=88021b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

Joseph Fielding Smith-1884 -“Joseph Fielding Smith was baptized by his father on 19 July 1884 in Salt Lake City, Utah, probably baptized outdoors in City Creek.” http://www.josephsmith.net/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=b7ab55c49e0eb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD  Joseph Fielding Smith stated: “I was born with a testimony of the gospel. . . . I do not remember a time when I did not have full confidence in the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and in the teachings and guidance of my parents” I learned at a very early day that God lives; he gave me a testimony when I was a child, and I have tried to be obedient always with some measure of success” http://ldsces.org/inst_manuals/ChurchPresStdnt32480000/Chapters/ChurchPresStdnt32480000_12.pdf


Spencer W. Kimball-1903 - “From childhood he has been most conscientious in his work—nothing short of the best was good enough. For years he had a record of perfect attendance at Sunday School and Primary.” http://ldsces.org/inst_manuals/ChurchPresStdnt32480000/Chapters/ChurchPresStdnt32480000_14.pdf   President Spencer W. Kimball was actually baptized twice.  His first baptism was on his 8th birthday, being baptized by his father in a hog-scalding tub.  "His father knelt outside the tub as he baptized his son. His father stood outside the tub, which some people felt was not a correct way to baptize. To be sure that Spencer was properly baptized, he was baptized again, when he was twelve years old, in the Union Canal just a block away from his home." https://www.lds.org/friend/1997/08/our-prophets-places-of-baptism?lang=eng  “If you are baptized when you are eight years old, of course you are a child, and there is much you would not be expected to know. But the Holy Ghost comes to you as you grow and learn and make yourselves worthy. It comes a little at a time as you merit it. And as your life is in harmony, you gradually receive the Holy Ghost in a great measure.” http://www.lds.org/ensign/1995/06/fire-and-the-holy-ghost?lang=eng


Harold B. Lee-1907 - Harold B. Lee's journal contains this brief recollection of his baptism: "I was baptized a member of the Church on June 9, 1907, at Clifton, Idaho by Lester Bybee. The place was known as 'Bybee Pond'... This was on a Sunday morning. I was confirmed the same day by Bishop E. G. Farmer."   http://www.cumorah.org/libros/english/Harold%20B.%20Lee/Harold_B_Lee_Prophet_and_Seer_-_Brent_L_Goates.html#25746  “When we went into the waters of baptism we entered into a covenant with the Lord that we would do all within our power to keep God’s commandments, with the understanding that the Lord’s promises would be given to us and His glory would be added forever and ever…” http://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-harold-b-lee/chapter-4?lang=eng

Gordon B. Hinckley-1919 -“ I went to Primary when I was a small boy. In those days we met on Tuesday afternoon after school. Here we learned about Jesus and His great love for us. We learned about God our Eternal Father, to whom we could go in prayer. We learned about the boy Joseph, who went into the woods to pray and whose prayer was answered with a visit of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.” http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/you-are-a-child-of-god?lang=eng  I was baptized by my father April 28, 1919, in a ward house baptismal font in Salt Lake City, Utah. https://www.lds.org/friend/1997/08/our-prophets-places-of-baptism?lang=eng  “Since then my faith has grown much further. I have become His Apostle, appointed to do His will and teach His word. I have become His witness to the world.” http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2000/04/my-testimony?lang=eng

Howard W. Hunter-1920 - Howard W. Hunter’s mother was a member of the church, but his father was not a member. When Howard turned eight-years-old, he wanted to be baptized, but his father explained that he wanted him to wait until he grew up to decide the right church for him. When Howard turned twelve, he begged his father to let him be baptized so he could become a deacon. Finally, a few months after Howard's twelfth birthday, his father agreed to let him be baptized. He was baptized on April 4, 1920 in a big public swimming pool since the church had no baptismal font in Boise at that time. (See Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Robinson.) taken from http://www.sugardoodle.net/Baptism/Our%20Prophets%20Place%20of%20Baptism.shtml  Howard W. Hunter said, “I think of this period of my life as the time the truths of the gospel commenced to unfold. I always had a testimony of the gospel, but suddenly I commenced to understand.” (President Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley are about 3 years apart in age, Pres. Hinckley was born in 1910 and Pres. Hunter was born in 1907, but President Hinckley was baptized first since he was baptized when he was 8)

Thomas S. Monson-1935 - “I recall the time I approached baptism, when I was eight years of age. My mother talked with me about repentance and about the meaning of baptism; and then, on a Saturday in September of 1935, she took me on a streetcar to the Tabernacle baptistery… At the time it was not as customary as it is now for fathers to baptize their children, since the ordinance was generally performed on a Saturday...and many fathers were working at their daily professions or trades. I dressed in white and was baptized. I remember that day as though it were yesterday and the happiness I felt at having had this ordinance performed.”  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/tabernacle-memories?lang=eng


I hope you will record details and feelings of your own baptism in a journal so that other generations can read how you became a member of God’s church and that you had a testimony of the gospel at a young age. Who knows, a boy sitting here today could someday be called as a prophet to lead this Church! I am grateful that I was baptized into this true church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Pictures of the prophets as children were taken from the following sources:

 You can find a copy of the file named "Sharing time- Prophets are baptized" at my Skydrive: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=976904c8bfc9a79e&sc=documents&id=976904C8BFC9A79E%21105