Author Archives: Marci

About Marci

Besides my twelve grandchildren and six grown children, I just keep loving every child that crosses my path.

Original song: “Repent and Forgive” audio, sheet music and backstory

Download the sheet music  and listen to a recording (with vocals or accompaniment only) of Catherine’s original song: “Repent and Forgive.” (Copyright © 2017 Catherine Doxey White. This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.)

Janie

Janie

 

Our remarkable guest author Catherine is back! Mother of five children ages 7-22, Catherine loves to sing (very loudly and occasionally off-tune), scrapbook, read, and write. She is the author of the LDS young adult novel, Cupcake Girl (Walnut Springs Press). She has written a few songs, from the silly to the sacred. Catherine writes:

Ever since she was a very young child, my daughter Janie has been very hard on herself when she makes mistakes.  If she accidentally hurts someone, Janie feels so bad that that she cries harder and longer than the person she hurt.  Though Janie is only seven years old, she already has a repertoire of self-criticism to beat herself up with when she makes mistakes.

One Sunday morning I was in the car and was thinking about how to help Janie better understand the repentance process, and more importantly, the deep love that our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for her. I was blessed with a gift of inspiration as this song began to take shape in my mind:  “When I make a mistake, I know just what to do—I will turn to the Lord to repent.”

I tried to include in the lyrics each step of the repentance process, from the ABCD’s (A—Admit; B—Be sorry; C—Confess; D—Don’t do it again) to the Repentance R’s (Recognize, Remorse, Repent, Right the Wrong, and Repeat the sin no more). When I shared the lyrics with my brother-in-law, he noted the irony that I’d written a song about repentance that was not about the Savior.  The original lyrics were too much about what WE do to repent and very little about the miracle of what actually happens:  the Savior extends His grace to change us and make us clean.

I stopped trying to cram each step of the repentance process into the song, and changed the lyrics to hopefully capture the humility and awe we feel when we repent.  I changed the last few lines of the song to a testimony of the Savior: “I know Jesus will help change my heart.  Through His mercy and grace, Christ will make my soul clean, when I turn to the Lord to repent.”

I was blessed with another gift when I started singing the words to the second verse:  “And when someone wrongs me, I know just what to do—I will turn to the Lord to forgive.”  This verse required additional thought and prayer, since to my knowledge, there isn’t a recognized process or series of steps for forgiveness like there is for repentance.  The strength to forgive and ability to find peace after pain always comes from the Savior.  His atonement helps us to heal as we exercise faith to forgive.

My inspired friend and co-author, Andrea Landaker, suggested that we repeat the phrase “I know Jesus will help change my heart” in both verses.  A change of heart is the essence of both repentance and forgiveness as we humble ourselves and turn to the Lord.

Though I originally thought that I was writing this song to help Janie, I quickly realized how much I need its inspiration and hope to both repent and forgive.  I pray that this song will help Janie and children everywhere to “know just what to do” as they humbly turn to the Lord in faith to both repent and forgive.

 

For sheet music, a recording of the song, acknowledgments, more resources, and more information about Catherine (author of the lyrics and melody) and Andrea (arranger of the music), click here.

See another powerful, relevant song by Catherine published on this blog: My Mind’s a Sacred Place: Arm Your Children with the Power of Music to Fend Off the Evils of Pornography!

For another memorable original song published first on this blog, see The Power of Music: NEW Samuel the Lamanite song (with sheet music)!

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Supporting refugees: Children are needed!

IWasAStranger.lds.org

IWasAStranger.lds.org

Click on the photo to watch the 1 minute video.

To all of our readers, throughout the USA and in the 168 countries who have visited this blog, we express our love and support for you and your neighbors, no matter what religion or none, no matter what skin color, no matter who you are or where you live — you are God’s child and we love you.

On Saturday, January 28, 2017, the following was published on Mormon Newsroom, the official LDS media source: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned about the temporal and spiritual welfare of all of God’s children across the earth, with special concern for those who are fleeing physical violence, war and religious persecution. The Church urges all people and governments to cooperate fully in seeking the best solutions to meet human needs and relieve suffering.”

Latter-day children of all faiths (or none) can join the effort! It can be as simple as befriending someone new, or as robust as these ideas:

Teach children these songs to help them internalize this message and apply it every, EVERY day:

  • “Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.” Children’s Songbook, 61
  • “If you don’t talk like most people do, some people talk and laugh at you, but I won’t! I won’t!” from “I’ll Walk with You,” CS, 140
  • “I’m trying to be like Jesus.” CS, 68

“For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked, and ye clothed me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”   Matthew 25:35-36 #IWasAStranger

God bless the refugees and those who seek to help them.

-Marci

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February Sharing Time idea: Noah’s Ark vs. The Brother of Jared’s Arks

latterdaythinking.org

latterdaythinking.org

doveandtheark

nothingwavering.org

 

Click here for a pdf of this ready-to-use lesson plan!

The February 2017 theme is “When We Choose the Right, We Are Blessed.” The Sharing Time manual has some wonderful stories of scriptural heroes (men and women) choosing the right –  including Noah.

Children love the story of Noah and the ark. If your children are ready for a scripture challenge, teach them the difference between Noah’s ark and the brother of Jared’s eight arks (an ark just means a ship or boat). Review each scripture story (Genesis chapters 6-8 and Ether chapters 1-3, 6). Then hand out these six questions to groups of children to find the answers in the scriptures. Click here for a pdf of the following questions, with and without answers:

  Noah Brother of Jared
How many boats? One (Genesis 6:14) Eight (Ether 3:1)
What did the boat(s) look like? Three-story ark with a window and door (Genesis 6:16)  

Closed small barges with a door and holes on top and bottom that could be stopped up (Ether 2:16-17, 20)

How did they gather animals? Animals came to Noah (Genesis 6:20,  7:8-9)  

Brother of Jared had to catch the animals (Ether 1:41, 2:2-3)

 

How many people were in the boat(s)?

 

8 people (Genesis 6:10, 7:7)

 

At least 32 people (Ether 6:14-16)

 

How many days on the water? about 378 (Genesis 7:11-13, 8:13-16) (also see Liahona Sept 1984)

 

344 days (Ether 6:11)
Where did they land? Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4) Seashore (Ether 6:12)

 

For extra drama, help the children visualize the size of Noah’s ark: Genesis 6:15 gives the dimensions in cubits. Each cubit was about one and a half feet (see “Cubit,” Bible Dictionary). Ask a few math whiz children to figure the dimensions in feet: about 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high. If your chapel has a cultural hall, the average basketball court is 94 feet long by 50 feet wide by 10 feet tall to the top of the basketball rim. That means Noah’s ark was about the length of 4 1/2 cultural halls put end to end, about 2/3 as wide as a cultural hall, and about as tall as 4 1/2 basketball poles. That is a big floating house for a year.

APPLICATION: There are many lessons embedded in these stories, such as obedience (build that boat when God tells you!), faith (really, God? I’m going to get into that thing and not steer?), and trusting in God no matter what storm is raging outside (don’t think about the rain or the winds, just stay in the boat). Help the children see the connection to situations in their own lives.

Interested in more challenging scripture activities like these?

Getting Children to Open – not just bring – Their Scriptures

Primary as Pre-Seminary: Raising the Bar and Addressing the Boredom Challenge.

-Marci

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FREE Giveaway of book about Girls’ Camp, by Primary in Zion contributors!

girls-camp-cover-200x300And now this public service announcement:

If you like this blog Primary in Zion, you’ll love the book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders” with contributions by Marci and Michelle (co-founders of this blog) along with some of your favorite Primary in Zion guest authors! Like the Primary in Zion blog, this Girls’ Camp book aims to connect the ideal world with real people’s lived experiences.

Relive your own Girls’ Camp memories, or give to a friend in Young Women leadership, or a parent of a Young Woman — we hope you love it!

Better still, your copy could be FREE! Walnut Springs Press is giving away 3 copies of our book. Enter by Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) for a chance to win! Anyone in one of 241 countries is eligible, from Australia to Zimbabwe. To enter, visit Goodreads here!

The book is endorsed by Hailey Smith, co-writer, co-producer, and actress in the movie Once I Was a Beehive (read her endorsement on the back cover of the book, or online here). Here’s the teaser for the book:

The power of girls’ camp is young women joining capable, positive leaders who are organized and who make things happen. Divine nature is strengthened by being in nature. But how do you translate Mormonspeak for nonmember friends at girls’ camp? How do you hold to modesty standards while making every girl feel accepted? What about campers with special needs or diet restrictions? How do you break up cliques at camp?

A spectrum of women and men from across the country have come together in this volume to talk about real-world situations faced at girls’ camp. You’ll find practical ideas and powerful stories, from the first day of camp, to lifetime lessons that continue to bless lives long after camp is over. Whether you’re a leader, lifeguard, nurse, craft-barn leader, or priesthood visitor, whether your camp is primitive or modern, there’s something in these pages for you.

#giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads

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More ideas: Choices and Agency

thelanguagetortoise.com

thelanguagetortoise.com

January’s Sharing Time theme about agency is a great way to start the year! I’ll confess — that idea we posted a few weeks ago is among my favorites about agency and choices: see “When Bad Choices Seem to Work Out Just Fine (at least temporarily).

And for more resources, check out these ideas:

CHOOSE the right!

-Marci

 

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Christmas news: Winners of giveaway of the book that was born on Primary in Zion!

SundayLessons_Front_RGB

Merry CHRIST-mas to you, our beloved blog readers! We hope it was full of joy and love.

And now this news: What do Serbia, Illinois and Kansas have in common? Those are the homes of the winners of our Goodreads Giveaway! We’re thrilled that there is interest in the book from all over the world. Read here to see how this book was born on this blog: Primary in Zion becomes a book! You can take some of the best of these blog ideas and other good suggestions for parents and Primary leaders along with you in book form. Thanks to you, our readers from 160 countries (see What’s Primary like in Nepal or Bahrain?) Watch for more Goodreads Giveaways in 2017!

And if you’re not already, don’t forget to follow this blog (click on the right sidebar here) and LIKE our page on Facebook!

#giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads

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When Bad Choices Seem to Work Out Just Fine (at least temporarily)

lds.org

lds.org

Here’s a January sharing time idea.

Choose the Right! It’s the 2017 theme and a timely message for children. As children are beginning to choose which voices to listen to and make their own decisions, being taught to Choose the Right is a strong message at any stage in a child’s development.

At the same time, a child may steal a cookie from the cookie jar and escape undetected. She may convincingly blame a sibling for her own mess and not get in trouble. Or children may see it in others: bullying behavior may go unaddressed week after week, or cheating may result in good grades without deserving it. What happens when poor choices don’t lead to immediate consequences? Children (and adults) may wonder how agency and consequences really works in the real world.

Yes, good choices lead to good consequences, and bad choices lead to bad consequences. But there can be invisible consequences and delayed consequences. Ask children to define invisible consequences (outcomes you can’t see) and delayed consequences (outcomes that don’t happen right away). Back to the stick with “choices” on one end and “consequences” on the other: take a colorful handkerchief and cover over the consequences end of the stick. Ask, “If you can’t see the consequences, are they still there?” (Yes.) Now remove the handkerchief. Raise the choice end really slowly. Ask, “If it takes awhile for the consequences to catch up to you, are the consequences still there?” (Yes.)

Let’s see how this works. You may want to cut the following four situations into wordstrips and discuss each one.

  1. What if you steal a cookie from the cookie jar and nobody notices? You made a bad choice, but you got away with it without consequences, right? No? What are some possible invisible consequences of taking something you’re  not supposed to? (Answers might include feeling bad about it, not having enough cookies for everyone in the family, etc.) What are some possible delayed consequences of taking something you’re not supposed to?  (Answers might include being found out later, not being trusted.)
  2. What if you blame your brother for your own mess to avoid getting in trouble? What if your parents believe your lie and your brother gets in trouble?  What are some possible invisible consequences of saying something that is not true, even no one finds out? (Answers might include feeling bad about it, having your brother be mad at you, etc. God always knows.) What are some possible delayed consequences of taking something you’re not supposed to?  (Answers might include being found out later and getting into double trouble.)
  3. What if someone is mean to others and doesn’t get punished?  What are some possible invisible consequences of being unkind? (Answers might include that the person making mean choices might feel unhappy inside, have no friends, etc.) What are some possible delayed consequences of being unkind?  (Answers might include having others be unkind to you, being punished later, etc.)
  4. What if someone cheats in school and gets good grades without deserving it? What are some possible invisible consequences of cheating? (Answers might include that the person cheating might feel unhappy inside, go on to harder work without understanding the work on the test, etc.) What are some possible delayed consequences of being unkind?  (Answers might include being found out and having all your good grades turn into zeros, etc.)
In God’s plan, no one ever gets away with anything. Sooner or later God will reward everyone according to their works. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible!” (“To ‘the Rising Generation,’” New Era, June 1986, 5). Put the following wordstrip on the board: “Wickedness never was happiness.” (Alma 41:10) Ask the children to repeat it with you a few times, including the reference.
Related songs include:
  • “Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, 169)
  • “Dare to Do Right” (CS, 158)
  • “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (CS, 78)
CHOOSE the RIGHT – every time!
-Marci
lds.org

lds.org

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Filed under Bullying, Lesson, Sharing Time

Temptation and Repentance for Kids

Did you catch this profound truth from “Matt and Mandy” in the August 2016 Friend magazine, at the bottom of the article “The Hidden Video Game”?

Mandy: “Watching movies or playing games that make you feel bad. . . ”

Matt: “. . . is like eating worms just because they’re there!”

Children can learn that just because something is there doesn’t mean you have to do it, play it or watch it. Even if it’s fun or interesting, it may not pass Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ “good, better, best” test – especially if done in excess.

Whether children have made truly terrible choices or just not the very best choices, there’s always repentance – even for kids. See “Daily repentance in daily prayers.”

-Marci

clipartkid.com

clipartkid.com

 

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Service with Kids in 0, yes Zero, Minutes

You read that right. Zero minutes. Yes, service with kids.

Service rightly takes center stage in December, thinking of others at this joyous time of celebrating the Savior’s birth. I love the church’s “25 ways over 25 days” — an advent calendar of 30-second videos and service project ideas until Dec. 25. But busy, overwhelmed parents and Primary leaders may feel like they’re doing well to get through another day! How can we add more thing to a busy season, added on top of a busy life?

Michelle puts it this way: “I would just like to remind all of us to recognize and give ourselves credit for ALL the amazing things we are already doing for our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We are raising children, serving in our church congregations, teaching our children morals, visiting our neighbors, volunteering at school, smiling at our fellowman, offering words of encouragement, supporting our spouses, helping our extended families and so so much more! These acts of service do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

“During your lunch break, or if you’re doing dishes today or sit down to fold laundry here’s a little workshop video all about service and how to ‘Create a Culture of Service’ in our families without killing ourselves: Video Workshop: Kids and Service.” Check out the resource sheet and service grids on that same page with ideas for service projects that can be completed in 0 minutes, 5 minutes, a few hours, or 1/2 day.

Service in zero minutes? It boils down to doing something you’re already doing, but focusing it on service. You can have books in your home about being a good friend and neighbor, post a picture of someone your family knows who is serving a mission, or genuinely say “You really tried hard on that” or “I love you.” And never underestimate the power of children and families simply praying for someone in need — a refugee, a family member, a ward member, or a stranger. God hears and answers those prayers offered to Him as genuine acts of service — calling down the powers of heaven on behalf of someone in need.

Also see:

Make it a merry Christmas — through service in as little as zero minutes!

God bless,

Marci

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December: The Scriptures Teach Me about the Savior’s Birth and Second Coming

"The Second Coming," by Harry Anderson. Gospel Art Kit 238

“The Second Coming,” by Harry Anderson. Gospel Art Kit 238

Teaching children about Jesus’ birth (First Coming) AND Second Coming accomplishes several good things:

  • It puts the Savior’s birth in the context of Jesus’ eternal lifespan, helping to keep Christmas focused on Jesus.
  • It removes the confusion about what that baby Messiah was supposed to do. As one of my Jewish co-workers said, “Look around – if that was the Messiah, we need a better one!” Of course she did not believe what we understand –that he would come twice: once to show us the way and atone for our sins, and a second time to conquer and establish his kingdom, subdue evil, and establish peace on earth.

Very few lessons teach the Second Coming in a way that is understandable to children. Most rely on analogies about virgins and lamps that are useful, but often leave children without an understanding of what exactly Jesus’ Second Coming means. Here is a lesson to fill that gap and prepare children to meet Him, whether in this life or the next: Jesus’ First and Second Coming.

-Marci

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