“Is he REALLY a child of God? And who has sent him here?”

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May 6-12 in “Come Follow Me” is titled “Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost.” This has particular resonance in Primary, where we think about and seek to love Every Single Child, remembering that each has heavenly parents.

You don’t expect this kind of confession from General Authorities, but Elder Brian K. Taylor of the Seventy told about a visit to the “old rock chapel” of his youth. “Drawn to little voices coming from the same Primary room I attended decades ago, . . . I smiled as I remembered patient and loving teachers who, during our singing time back then, would often look at me—that rambunctious little boy at the end of the pew—as if to say, ‘Is he really a child of God? And who has sent him here?’”

Of course, Elder Taylor, even as a rambunctious little boy, is indeed a child of God – and so is each child in your Primary and in your family. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. We are given the sacred task of helping them on their way. So when we are tempted to think, “who has sent HIM here?” let’s hope that if we had little Elder Taylor in our Primary, we might have seen beyond his rambunctiousness and focused on the divinity within, however well hidden!

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Following Jesus – congratulating children on drawings

mormonfaq.com

“What would it be like if the Savior visited your ward or branch next Sunday?” asked Bishop Gerald Causse. He continued, “I wouldn’t be surprised if He visited the Primary children first. He would probably kneel down and speak to them eye to eye. He would express His love to them, tell them stories, congratulate them on their drawings, and testify of His Father in Heaven. His attitude would be simple, genuine, and without affectation. Can we do likewise?”

This thought is a sweet and gentle reminder of the extraordinary things we are doing on very ordinary Sundays in Primary. Rejoice in your calling to minister to His special children the way He did – on their level, with genuine concern and caring.

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“Mother I love you, I’ll clean up my rooooooom!”

“Mother I love you, mother I do, Father in Heaven has sent me to you. When I am near you, I love to hear you yelling so firmly ‘clean up your room!’ Mother I love you I’ll clean up my rooooooom!” (Thank you, Dale Boam.)

It’s upon us again – Mother’s Day and Father’s Day season in the USA. While different countries celebrate these holidays on different days or in different ways, every culture honors parents and families. These moments of honoring parents are important and precious.

When over 40 percent of births in the United States are to unwed mothers (said Elder Dallin H Oaks in 2018), what does it mean to a child to sing “I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home?” What if Daddy doesn’t come home . . . ever?

Or how do you teach the 10 Commandments, including “honor thy father and mother,” when you know some kids may be abused at home? Does honoring parents mean children allowing themselves to be abused? A recent Ensign article estimates that one in four people worldwide has been abused as a child. One in four.

Try these lesson ideas:

Read more at All Kinds of Families are Part of Heavenly Father’s plan – and other topics

God bless ALL the children in all kinds of families — on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and always, no matter “how imperfect our family tree may be” (Elder Dale G. Renlund, April 2018).

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Easter – home-centered, Church supported

Could your Easter home celebration use a boost? Looking for ways to make this Easter Sunday memorable in Primary? Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Happy Easter from all of us to all of you!

-Marci

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(sniff sniff) Goodbye Song!

from Mr. Multicultural nop33.wordpress.com

Perhaps you, like me, much prefer the “Hello Song.” But there are times when you just gotta sing the “Goodbye Song” to a beloved friend or Primary leader. Try this version, to the same tune ((Children’s Songbook, 260):

Farewell, adios. See you later, alligator. We’re sad to see you go. NO!
Farewell, adios. See you later, alligator. We’re glad you came our way,
to share with us our Primary day and be our friend in a very special way.
Farewell, adios. See you later, alligator. We’re sad to see you go. NO!

For a fun variation on the “Hello Song,” see Hello Song in multiple languages made easy!

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Children and disasters

lds.org

For the first time in decades, I walked past the elementary school of my childhood recently. I walked right to the spot on the playground where I heard the news of the tragedy that defined my generation. The teachers were crying, and we children were all sent home to try to make sense of it with our parents.

Some tragedies are too big for children to ignore, even in Primary. While the task of helping children deal with disasters largely falls to parents, Primary leaders and teachers may feel the need to acknowledge, however briefly, a personal or global disaster to help children put it in an eternal context. A few principles can be useful to keep in mind:

  • God is always stronger than Satan. We need not fear; God is still in charge.
  • While disasters are a big shock to us, they are no surprise to God. He knows everything, from the beginning of time to the end (Moses 1:6).
  • God’s purposes are never frustrated (Doctrine & Covenants 3:1,3). Sometimes I don’t know how, but I do know that God will unfold His plan in this circumstance somehow.
  • In the end, God’s team will win. Of that there is no question. The only question is whose team I will be on in the end. I will stay on God’s winning team (see “Our Greatest Coach,”New Era, November 2014.

For more information, including specific ideas of responding to disasters with acts of service and emergency preparedness tasks, see Feeling safe in the last days on this blog and “Dealing with Disasters,” Ensign, August 2018, 72 (pictured above).

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Teaching modesty to children

lds.org

In a previous post, we talked about our updated pornography prevention materials, explaining why the concept of modesty was unlinked from the concept of pornography.

While these two concepts both deal with our bodies, they can actually be quite different in intent and motive.

 

For more about teaching modesty, see

Modesty: Including follow-up for families about pornography prevention, sharing time idea

Teaching modesty in Sharing Time or Family Night: clothing as advertising

Kristine Haglund’s insightful post “On Modesty” https://bycommonconsent.com/2019/03/19/modesty/

SELECTED SCRIPTURES FOR FAMILY SCRIPTURE STUDY:

  • Genesis 3: 21 – God showed Adam and Eve the importance of modest clothing to cover bodies.
  • 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
  • Isaiah 52:11 “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.”
  • Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
  • Romans 12:1 “[P]resent your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
  • Mormon 9:28 “Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask . . . that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.”
  • 13th Article of Faith “We believe in being . . . chaste. If there is anything virtuous, lovely. . . we seek after these things.”

PUBLICATIONS:

  • Modesty means. . . ” how I act, how I dress, how I speak, how I treat my body, how I treat others. Friend, August 2016
  • Modesty Checklist,” Friend, May 2010
  • My Gospel Standards, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003. List of standards for Primary children to maintain personal purity and keep the commandments. Order at store.lds.org or download for free at www.lds.org
  • For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2001. Booklet for youth about standards of dress and behavior. Order at store.lds.org or download for free at www.lds.org

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Children creating their own parables!

from “Come Follow Me for Primary”

The “Come Follow Me” curriculum for this week (March 18-24) is about Jesus’ parables. A parable is just a simple story that teaches gospel truths. In Matthew 13, Jesus taught His followers using ordinary objects such as a seed, bread-making, a treasure, and a fishing net. There is much to unpack in these wonderful brief stories Jesus told.

Children may enjoy writing or telling their own parable. Using Jesus’ sentence-starter in Matthew 13, they could start with “The kingdom of heaven is like. . . ” and finish the sentence using an ordinary object that illustrates their feelings. Go ahead and write or tell your own parable to give them an example.

Or you might pick a different sentence starter: “Trying to be like Jesus is like . . . ” or “Prayer is like  . . . ” Finish the sentence with an ordinary object, then explain why you chose that object in a few words.

These need not be long; Jesus told the parable of the leaven in 24 words (Matthew 13:33).

Your children — at home or in Primary — might surprise you with their insight. Asking them to create using Jesus’ teaching style can help make the gospel more real in their ordinary lives.

 

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Primary presidencies – staffing, training, and holding it together!

lds.org, with child holding Book of Mormon in Latvian

Without a weekly Sharing Time to prepare, the role of members of the Primary presidency has shifted considerably! Now the presidency can turn its attention to other matters, such as:

P.S. – just called into the Primary presidency? Looking for a Quick Start Kit? Try this!

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“Home church” and the book “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids”

Are you getting settled into a rhythm with Come Follow Me and your family and/or yourself? Are you finding what works for you? A child called it “home church” — taking the third hour home.

You may be making more liberal use of the Friend magazine than ever before, with its monthly resources that support the Come Follow Me curriculum. Watch for the diamond that reads “Come Follow Me” on the top corner in certain articles and activities.

Here’s an additional resource to add more fun gospel learning to your sabbath: “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids,” the book that was born on this blog! It’s your favorite Primary in Zion blog posts, plus new voices from other authors, in a volume you can take with you! “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids” is available on Amazon.comDeseretBook.com, or wherever LDS books are sold.

Read how the book came about here. Download the handouts and posters here.

You’ll find

  • A mini pioneer trek, a temple trip, talking about girls’ and women’s roles in the church, and other memorable lessons and activities
  • Pint-sized service projects
  • Clever pictures to memorize the Articles of Faith
  • Creating simple play stations (at nursery and at home!)
  • and more!

 

 

 

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