Author Archives: Marci

About Marci

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

Children Following Jesus’ Example: Service

lds.org

lds.org

The April 2017 Sharing Time is “Jesus Christ Teaches Me to Choose the Right.” The lesson for Week 1 suggests cutting a puzzle into four pieces, representing four ways that “Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me:”

Of course there are an infinite number of ways that Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me, but we suggest cutting that puzzle into FIVE pieces as you teach the children this one more way:

  • He served others (see Mark 2:1-4, 11-12). Friends lowered a paralyzed man down through the roof when the house was too crowded for them to get to Jesus. Then Jesus healed the man immediately. Afterwards, his friends didn’t pull him back up through the roof; the man picked up his bed and walked home.

In addition to teaching about Jesus’ example of service, you may want to help the children apply it, real time. Add an actual pint-sized service project to your Sharing Time lesson, to help children to serve as Jesus served. If you have time, this can happen in the same lesson, or in a followup lesson. Think about someone in need in your ward or community: perhaps a homebound ward member, a sick child, local nursing home residents, hospitalized children, missionaries serving in your ward, missionaries serving elsewhere who grew up in your ward, firefighters or police officers who work around the clock every day of the year, etc.

Children can draw them a picture or make a card to cheer them up. Older children can write letters about what they’re learning in Primary. This can be simple (paper and crayons/pens) or elaborate (stickers, markers, buttons, lace).

Children can create holiday cards for upcoming regular holidays or for unusual holidays held throughout the year. For example, DaysOfTheYear.com says that Saturday, April 15 is Microvolunteering Day! Even micro-people can help in micro-ways. There’s an occasion to celebrate for every month and every day of the year.

Here’s more ideas for service projects with kids, including great resources to share with Primary families as well: Pint-sized Service Projects and Creating a Culture of Service.

Here’s to serving as Jesus served.

-Marci

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“Fourth Floor, Last Door” for Children: Teaching Persistence, Obedience, Good Choices

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I love Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk about the missionaries who found the young girl who later became his wife – by knocking at all the doors of an apartment building until they came to the only one who would listen, located on the “fourth floor, last door.” And I’ll bet your children will love this story too.  This story underscores lessons about persistence, obedience, good choices, missionary work, and faith.

Start by making a poster with four floors of doors, 6 doors on each floor. Simple index cards taped to a large poster will do. Behind the last door on the 4th floor, place a picture of a smiling family. The rest of the doors will be blank underneath.20170101_123311-rotated

 

Ask 24 (yes, 24!) children to line up. (If you have fewer than 24 children, they can go to the end of the line and take several turns.) Each child takes a turn knocking on a door in order, opening the flap and finding nothing there, until the last door is opened. Ask the children, “Are you ready to give up?” “Should we stop knocking on doors?” Discuss how these missionaries showed persistence, obedience, good choices, and faith. Remind children that God seldom answers prayers immediately; keep at it!

(Thanks to Gisel for this great visual and lesson idea!)

-Marci

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Filed under Activity, General Conference, Lesson, Sharing Time

Happy Birthday! from Primary to Relief Society

Women PR lesson 3On March 17, the world’s oldest continuing organization for women, the Relief Society, turns 175 years old! Children who are turning 4 or 7 or 11 may have a hard time imagining a birthday cake with 175 candles.

What could we give our women’s organization to wish them a happy birthday? What would Relief Society like for it’s birthday? I think Relief Society would like children to understand what Relief Society is about.

The March Sharing Time theme is about living prophets. It was the Prophet Joseph Smith who organized the first Relief Society 175 years ago. The First Presidency, in the preface to Daughters In My Kingdom, said “We testify that the Lord has restored the fullness of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that Relief Society is an important part of that restoration” (page ix).

Here are some ideas for a quick birthday message, for children to understand a little about Relief Society:

  • Have the children repeat with you the Relief Society purpose: “Faith, Family, Relief” (from the headline of the Visiting Teaching message in the ENSIGN each month).
  • Teach the Relief Society motto: “Charity Never Faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Explain what “charity” and “faileth” mean.

If you have more time,

  • Have the children make and deliver birthday cards to Relief Society, drawing a picture of what any of the words above mean to them (faith, family, relief, charity) or how those Relief Society words help them choose the right. Each child could give a card to one of the women in Relief Society. You may want to do this at the very end of the Relief Society/Primary hour. The Relief Society secretary could pre-label blank cards before the children decorate them, to make sure the sisters who need them most receive a card. Or you could let each child give the card to any sister in Relief Society (except their mom? including their mom? your choice).
  •  Consider teaching this marvelous lesson about the history and purpose of Relief Society and its powerful women leaders, past and present, complete with visuals and games for younger and older children: Women and Service in the Kingdom: a Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys

By the way, when is Primary’s birthday? It’s August 25, 1878 (see History of Primary at lds.org). President Monson’s birthday is on August 21, 1927. You may want to start planning ahead to celebrate! Here are some ideas: August: Celebrate Birthdays of Primary, Pres. Monson

Happy birthday, Relief Society! from your pint-sized fans in Primary.

-Marci

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“Follow the Prophet” March sharing time ideas

IMG_9725Follow the prophet! A favorite theme for kids and adults alike. Here’s a roundup of some of our “greatest hits” about Following the Prophet to help you get started on your planning your March Sharing Time: “Living Prophets Teach Me to Choose the Right.”

You also might want to suggest to parents this classic to prepare: General Conference Chart – Prophets, Apostles and Velcro OH MY!

Follow the prophet, he knows the way!

-Marci

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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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