Friday, December 16, 2016

Primary Christmas Sharing Time

Sunday is our last Primary Sharing Time together before the new year, because we will only meet for Sacrament on Christmas Sunday. That means we had only three weeks this month to teach the four lessons in the Sharing Time lesson manual. On top of that, we felt inspired to focus on the #lighttheworld initiative to "Follow our Savior Jesus Christ. In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days" in our Primary sharing time lessons for the last couple of weeks. This initiative goes very well with the lessons for December so it is not a complete departure, but I want to make sure to wrap up this Sunday by bringing all of the lessons for December together.

December Lessons:

Week 1: Prophets prophesied about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Week 2: Jesus Christ was born.
Week 3: Jesus Christ will someday return to the earth.
Week 4: To prepare for the Second Coming, I will follow Jesus Christ.

To help prepare me spiritually for planning, I watched the 2016 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which I had not watched yet. As I prepare this lesson, it has been quite inspiring to be reminded from watching the devotional that the lessons we are teaching our children, which seem so basic, are the exact lessons that were being taught in this devotional to adult men and women, teenagers, and children, around the world. We learn about the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ, the miracles and prophecies that told of his coming, and how Jesus Christ taught while he was on this earth to prepare us to return to Him someday, and to give us peace and hope in our times of trial.

My lesson will go something like this:

I'll start with the "Encourage understanding" idea on Week 3 of the lesson manual, and have four children come to the front of the room to hold up four pictures that I've laminated (just to mix it up for the kids). We'll talk about each of the four pictures for a bit, then I'll have the class help me to put these pictures into the right order.

I'll then put them up on the chalkboard under the following signs and then give the children an opportunity to talk about each section for a little bit.

1. Prophets prophesied about the birth of Jesus Christ
What did Samuel tell in prophecy? (Hint: "Samuel Tells the Story of Baby Jesus" song.)

2. The Savior was born.

3. Jesus taught the people.

4. Jesus will someday return to the earth.
Matthew 16:27 - "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."

From the lesson manual for Week 3, as well:

1. What are some wonders that will take place when Christ comes again?
Joseph Smith - Matthew 1:33, 36-37
A: sun shall be darkened, moon shall not give light, stars shall fall from heaven, a sign will appear of the Son of Man in heaven, Son of Man will come and send angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet

2. When will the Savior come again?
Joseph Smith - Matthew 1:38-40
A: only the angels of God in heaven know

3. Why should we prepare for the Second Coming?
D&C 38:30
A: If ye are prepared ye shall not fear

4. How long will the Savior dwell on the earth?
D&C 29:11
A: A thousand years.

Talk about Light the World.

We can prepare for the second coming by following Jesus Christ and by doing good things each day. We have been encouraging you children to participate in the Light the World initiative this entire month. All of those things you have done to Light the World, such as serving others and praying, help us prepare for the second coming. These are things that you can't have others do for you, that you need to do yourself.

Encourage children to raise their hands and share things they have done to Light the World. Or if they brought their strips of paper, because we've been building a paper chain for Light the World in our Primary, then we'll keep doing that. We've done this twice now though so I'm tempted, at least with Senior Primary, to ask them questions about specific Light the World topics.

I thought about even attaching the topics to a nativity so that the child would choose a nativity item and then it would have a specific day from Light the World that we would talk about. I don't think I have time for that in the format I am doing so I might need to try a condensed version. I'm thinking of focusing on, time pending:

1. Dec 12 - Jesus Taught Others and So Can You
a. Give an example - I talked to someone about the Book of Mormon last who, who is not a member of the church and did not know many of the stories.
b. Ask if anyone invited a friend to FHE, or taught someone how to do something, maybe someone that was struggling in class or a younger brother or sister.

2. Dec 13 - Jesus Showed Humility and So Can You
a. Give an example - Jesus showed humility when he washed the feet of his Apostles.
b. Ask if anyone asked their parents for help with something this week, or asked for advice for a person problem they are facing, are were willing to admit they were wrong about something.

3. Dec 14 - Jesus Taught Us to Clothe the Naked and You Can Help
a. I donated a bunch of clothes this week. My friend that used to live in this ward would crochet baby hats and donate them to the hospital.
b. Has anyone been able to donate clothes, help knit a hat, or anything else?

4. Dec 15 - Jesus Worshipped through Son and So Can You
a. Ask - how many participated in the stake Carol to Our King last Sunday? (We have a stake sing-along where every choir in the stake sings one song.)
b. Did anyone invite a friend to hear the choir sing today?

5. Dec 16 - Jesus Showed Compassion and So Can You
a. Jesus felt for others. What have you done this week to show and feel love and concern for those who are suffering?
b. Have you prayed for anyone? Said something positive to someone? Opened the door for someone that had their hands full?

6. Dec 17 - Jesus Cared for His Mother and So Can You
a. Did you write your mom a letter telling her all the things that you love about her?
b. Did you maybe do something nice for another person in your life who is like a mother to you?
c. Did you ask your mom questions about her life history?

7. Dec 18 - Jesus Honored the Sabbath and So Can You
a. You can visit a family member
b. Memorize a favorite scripture or a religious quote
c. Do some family history work
d. Write in your journal. Maybe write about special things you can do to draw closer to God.

Also, if time: The Parable of the Ten Virgins - Matthew 25:1-13. Also a great discussion on this parable here:

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