Category Archives: General Conference

Pray for women church leaders – setting an example

I paused in my prayer. I had just prayed for my bishop and ward Relief Society President, stake president and stake Relief Society President, and the prophet. For the first time, the thought occurred to me that I could pray for the General Relief Society president also.

I often pray for my ward and stake leaders (both men and women) and their counselors. They need our prayers, and we are blessed by their leadership. It meant a lot to me when President Thomas S. Monson said, “I have felt your prayers in my behalf and have been sustained and blessed” (April 2008).

Both boys and girls are blessed when they understand that there are strong, righteous men AND women leading the kingdom on every level, from their own ward or branch to the worldwide level. Setting the example by praying for these men and women blesses their lives and ours.

Guest author Christanne suggests: “Point out women leaders to your children. As I have had a calling as Stake Relief Society president, I noticed that every time I was on the stand or speaking, a mother in the audience was pointing at me and whispering something to her children. After one meeting in which I was conducting, I walked over to talk with this woman and her son. The son saw me and said, “Mom, there she is.” The mother explained that she specifically pointed out women leaders to her children and explained the role they had in that setting. Her children had seen me speak in stake conference, translate a woman’s testimony from Spanish into English during stake conference, and conduct a fireside. Her son had seen me often enough that he started pointing me out to his mother. People appreciate seeing women leaders and children benefit from seeing women leaders in various roles.”

Children might enjoy this story about a bird from General Relief Society president Sister Jean B. Bingham (video above):

“One beautiful spring day I left the door open to enjoy the fresh air. A small bird flew in the open door and then realized this was not where it wanted to be. It flew desperately around the room, repeatedly flying into the window glass in an attempt to escape. I tried to gently guide it toward the open door, but it was frightened and kept darting away. It finally landed on top of the window drapes in bewildered exhaustion. I took a broom and slowly reached the bristle end up to where the bird nervously perched. As I held the head of the broom next to its feet, the bird tentatively stepped onto the bristles. Slowly, very slowly, I walked to the open door, holding the broom as steady as I could. As soon as we reached the open door, the bird swiftly flew to freedom.

“Like that bird, sometimes we are afraid to trust because we don’t understand God’s absolute love and desire to help us. But when we study Heavenly Father’s plan and Jesus Christ’s mission, we understand that Their only objective is our eternal happiness and progress. They delight to help us when we ask, seek, and knock. When we exercise faith and humbly open ourselves to Their answers, we become free from the constraints of our misunderstandings and assumptions, and we can be shown the way forward.” (“That Your Joy Might Be Full,” October 2017)

Children may have had a similar experience where they wanted to pet or help an animal that was frightened of them, even though they were only being kind.

Children (of all ages) are blessed by strong, righteous women and men leaders. Praying for them blesses our leaders, our children, and ourselves.

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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

“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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“I Was a Stranger” and how this initiative can apply to children

IWasAStranger.lds.org

IWasAStranger.lds.org

I think God knew what he was doing when He included Primary girls in the audience when the new initiative “I Was a Stranger” was announced at the General Women’s Meeting in March 2016. I think God knows that children have something important to contribute to this good work. Not only that, but the Sharing Time theme for the very next month was “Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me.” And what did Jesus do? He served others with love.

You may have already noticed our blog post Serving as Jesus Served: Sharing Time project or family activity, with ideas for pint-sized service projects, with new ideas directly related to the new #IWasAStranger initiative. For example, one ward Relief Society in my area recently did a service project for refugees through a local community organization. They put together bags of items children could play with or might need during the refugee screening process. Primary children could help collect the items or decorate the bags.

“I Was A Stranger” (available in multiple languages) has suggestions of how folks can get involved (scroll to the bottom of the webpage and look for “Getting Involved”). Some ideas are as simple and child-friendly as this:

  • Make a new friend
  • Do something you enjoy with someone new
  • Invite someone to your family night

We hope you’ll prayerfully read that website, and see what you feel inspired to teach your Primary about service, perhaps even about refugees in age-appropriate ways. Remind the children about times when they were strangers and how much they appreciated people helping them feel at home.

Also see the Church News article, Teaching Kids About Refugees: Every One of Us is a Child of God.

And now a question for you: Have you read any children’s books that taught the concepts addressed in I Was A Stranger? Any child-friendly service projects in your area?

Yours in this great work,

Marci

 

 

 

 

 

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Heavenly Father Speaks to Us through His Prophets (March Sharing Time or Family Night Lesson)

lds.org

lds.org

March Sharing Time theme is about prophets. Here’s a roundup of some of our “greatest hits” about Following the Prophet to help you get started on your planning your Sharing Time.

Follow the Prophet Tic Tac Toe: A fun activity to reinforce the main idea is always a good bet — providing repetition but also a change of pace, helping learners of all styles practice and remember the lesson.

Lessons from Our Prophet includes a lively activity with the prophet’s words inside balloons, ready for popping.

Follow the Prophet – but how, exactly? includes a Pictionary-style game with the prophet’s counsel.

Some of these lesson plans use quotes from President Monson. If you’d like to use other quotes, substitute these quotes from the October 2015 General Conference: “Keep the Commandments” by Thomas S. Monson.

  • “God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible.”
  • “Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to say: Thou shalt not lie; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; and so on. He understands that when we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated.”
  • “With his . . .  lies, the adversary will lead you down a slippery slope to your destruction if you allow him to do so. He cunningly calls: Just this once won’t matter; everyone is doing it; don’t be old-fashioned; times have changed; it can’t hurt anyone; your life is yours to live. How vital it is that we exercise constant vigilance in order to avoid giving in to such lies and temptations.” Explain adversary = Satan, who tries to get us to make bad choices. Vigilance = watching carefully. Discuss the situations in which children may hear these words from friends, and what Pres. Monson might encourage them to say in response.
  • “Our greatest happiness in this life will come as we follow God’s commandments and obey His laws!”
  • “If any of you has stumbled in his journey, I assure you that there is a way back. The process is called repentance. The sooner you do so, the sooner you will be able to experience . . . peace and . . . quietness.”

Follow the prophet – he knows the way!

-Marci

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Follow the Prophet=Come Unto Christ: Sharing Time Lesson ideas and application

I absolutely believe that following the prophet will help us come unto Christ.  I feel an increased awareness of this as I try to navigate parenting four-young-children-growing-at-a-rapid-pace.

It seems like only yesterday that my 5-year-old was telling me, in response to the Prophet during General Conference, that we needed a picture of the temple in his room “RIGHT NOW!”  Do you remember the General Conference when President Monson suggested that each child have a picture of the temple in his or her room during their childhood?  You can read more about my son’s response to this conference talk here.  Now that adorable little boy has been baptized, is starting 4th grade and asks me deep questions like, “How am I going to know for sure if Heavenly Father is real?  I want to live with Him again someday but I’m confused because so many people believe different things.”  Following the prophet is a way to build a foundation of faith one brick at a time, helping our children build their path back to Heavenly Father.

Following the Prophet is a way to build a foundation of faith one brick at a time helping our children build their path back to Heavenly Father.{depositphotos.com}

Here’s a roundup of some of our greatest hits about Following the Prophet to help you get started on your planning for Sharing Time.  You may have trouble narrowing it down!

 

Follow the Prophet Tic Tac Toe: A fun activity to reinforce the main ideas is always a good bet — providing repetition and a change of pace, helping learners of all styles practice and remember the lesson.

Lessons from Our Prophet: What did the Prophet actually say in our recent General Conference?  If we’re going to follow him I guess we better know what we’re following!

Follow the Prophet–but how exactly?: How can we help our children understand and apply these principles in their lives?

Anytime is a good time to teach about following the Prophet but October is a great opportunity to reinforce this principle, help the children prepare for General Conference and then remember and reflect on what they saw and heard during General Conference.

~Michelle

 

 

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Look for Primary leaders! and other General Conference ideas

photo from lds.org

photo from lds.org

One of our favorite guest authors, Primary president Jen H., posted this picture of the Primary General Presidency in her ward, to teach the children about their worldwide leaders. You can ask the children to watch for these leaders at General Conference, including the General Women’s Meeting! “There’s a Primary leader!” You might want to talk about the history of Primary, which first started over 100 years ago with 215 children. Now there are over a million children in Primary all over the world! Read more here.

In addition to learning about Primary itself, children might like to learn about Relief Society and Young Women: their history and purpose, and their strong, faithful women leaders, past and present. See the lesson plan with downloadable visuals at “Women and Service in the Kingdom: A Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys.”

For more family preparation for General Conference, see this great interactive activity for kids to do during conference: “General Conference Chart: Prophets, Apostles & Velcro OH MY!

-Marci

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Preparing for Easter

When Easter Sunday happens to fall on General Conference weekend,  I love having the opportunity to listen to the prophet and apostles on Easter and be home together as a family.  But I do miss having regular Sunday meetings and Primary.  But who says you can’t teach about Easter in Primary the week before Easter or the week after?  Or both?  In fact, I think anytime is a good time to help children learn about Jesus’ life mission, celebrate His resurrection and get to know Jesus better!

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Check out the link below for some Palm Sunday and Easter Sharing Time Lesson ideas with links to visuals that will help you tell the story of Jesus’ last week.

Palm Sunday and Easter Sharing Time Idea and Family Activity

Share this 1 page document with your Primary children’s families so they can follow along at home through the week leading up to Easter and draw closer to Jesus through scripture.  This is always a memorable week in our house when we dedicate a little chunk of time each morning or night to study Jesus’ last week. Easter morning comes and the kids are definitely excited for their Easter basket treats but we also burst into song and praise our Lord through music inspired by the scripture verses we’ve been studying.  Learning and thinking about Jesus all week makes Easter so much more meaningful for me.  Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection are…well…everything!

“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28: 6

~Michelle

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Lessons from our Prophet – Sharing Time or family night idea

meme-monson-love-1240651-wallpaper

lds.org

“Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110) has always been one of the most beloved Primary songs that I have had the privilege of teaching to children of all ages. It is amazing that we can not only learn about ancient prophets giving directions, but that we too can listen to our own latter-day prophet and receive guidance.

After having the opportunity to listen to our latter-day prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, speak at General Conference, here are some of the directions he has given us that you may want to teach the children  (April 2014):

  • “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!”
  • “In order for us to make correct decisions courage is needed—the courage to say no when we should, the courage to say yes when that is appropriate, the courage to do the right thing because it is right.”
  • “Love is the very essence of the gospel and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”
  • “If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect.”
  • “Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love.”
  • “May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers.”
  • “May we be kind and loving to all those who do not share our beliefs and standards.”

Activity Ideas:

Look through the Gospel Art book or in your ward library and find pictures of ancient prophets – such as Adam, Noah, Daniel, Moses, King Benjamin. Have a child pick a picture and place it on the board. Discuss with the children something that that prophet taught. For example, Moses gave the Ten Commandments; Noah preached about repentance.

Next place a picture of President Monson on the board. Explain that just as the prophets of old have given directions, our prophet today does that same thing! Fold up the quotes from his talks and place them into deflated balloons. Blow up the balloons (with the folded pieces of paper stuck inside) and have the children pick a balloon to pop and find out what the prophet taught during General Conference. (Hold the balloons by the knotted end and pop with a thumbtack.) Explain and discuss each quote and how it relates to them.

Share a personal experience of when you have had to be courageous and stood for what you believed in. Invite the children to share any experiences they might have had.

If you prefer a more creative outlet, have the children draw a picture of how they can show love to either family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. You can either let them choose which one to draw, or you can have them pick a piece of paper out of a hat. Children can then share their drawings with the group if time allows.

Sing “Follow the Prophet” (CS, 110). Pick your favorite verses, but make sure to sing the final verse about listening to the prophet today! I love to use homemade instruments with Junior Primary (and nursery) as well.

In the Media Library on lds.org you can also find posters of inspirational quotes from General Conference. Download Pres. Monson’s quotes. I like the one above with Christ and a child. Younger kids can look at the image and remember to be kind like Jesus; older kids can read the quote. Put four images on a page, print, and cut into four individual mini posters that kids can take home with them.

-Laura

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by | April 28, 2014 · 9:00 am

Follow the Prophet – but how, exactly?

pres monsonWhen you teach that the living prophet leads the Church under the direction of Jesus Christ, you might “show the children the most recent conference issue of the Ensign or Liahona. Select sentences from the prophet’s talks, and invite children to read them aloud. Together, make a list of things the children could do to follow the prophet.” (2013 Sharing Time manual, 10).

It was a wonderful treasure hunt for me, to re-read the conference issue and look for things that President Monson said that children could understand and follow. Here are the gems I found:

  • “I would recommend . . . that you take an inventory of your life and look specifically for the blessings, large and small, you have received.” (Ensign, Nov 2012, 86)
  • “May we ever watch over one another, assisting in times of need.” (110)
  • “Let us not be critical and judgmental but let us be tolerant, ever emulating the Savior’s example of loving-kindness.” (110) This may require defining some words for younger children.
  • “May we pray for the inspiration to know of the needs of those around us, and then may we go forward and provide assistance.” (110)
  • “I thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I need them; I feel them. We as General Authorities also remember all of you and pray for our Heavenly Father’s choicest blessings to be with you.” (111)

You might have a drawing activity illustrating these things the prophet has asked us to do: blessings we can be grateful for, or ways we can help others. You could do this “Pictionary style” — one child draws something on the board and the other children guess what they’re drawing. Or you could prepare a handout for coloring or original drawing.

Or you might like to play Follow The Prophet Tic Tac Toe – download the lesson plan and gameboard here.

And of course, there’s no better time to sing “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, 110). My favorite way to sing this song is with children reverently but valiantly marching, following a child who is taking a turn as a prophet, worthy of following. What a blessing for children to know they are safe following the Lord’s prophet, and to learn how to follow the prophet.

-Marci

photo from mormonnewsroom.org

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