Zion’s Camp – Primary lesson 28 (in Book 5 for Valiant 8, 9, 10 & 11)

By Karen
I was asked last minute to substitute teach a Valiant 9 primary class last Sunday. Here are a few notes on lesson 28 and how it went for us in case it is helpful to anyone:

1) We started by seeing if anyone in the class had been to Missouri (one family had just been to Kirtland, so it seemed worth asking! ūüôā ) No one had, but we talked about where it was and that there was a city the Saints were trying to build there, and they were going to call it Zion.

2)¬†At that point I realized they probably didn’t have a clear idea of¬†why¬† they were going to call it Zion. So, we stopped and talked about Enoch’s city. I explained that a long time ago there was a man named Enoch who taught the gospel, and when people believed they came to his city, and then he kept teaching and more and more people kept coming to his city. We talked about how there was a whole city full of people who were keeping the commandments and being good to each other and that there weren’t any people who were poor because everyone took care of each other. Then I told them to imagine even a group of 5 people who got along and took care of each other, then to imagine 200 people doing that. They smiled and could see that that would be hard. (We also talked about how there are millions of people in the Church today, and how hard it is to get millions of people all keeping the commandments and getting along and taking care of each other so that there isn’t anyone who is poor.)

I explained that Enoch’s city actually did this, and God decided to translate everyone in the city, and take them up to heaven. Then I asked if they remembered what the earth was like when Noah taught. (They did, of course.) Then I helped them see that the reason the earth was so wicked is because Enoch’s city had been taken to heaven. Enoch was only a few generations before Noah. I was hoping that by connecting Zion to Noah – a story they knew well – it would help make Enoch’s city more real to them.

Then we talked about how God has promised that when there is another Zion city here on earth, both cities can come together and all those people can come back to earth and we’ll have the Second Coming, etc.

So, this is why Joseph Smith and the early Saints were always gathering together. God commanded them to gather in Kirtland and make a temple. Which they did, and then they had to leave. So they did this again and again, and one of those times was a special place where God wanted them to make a city called Zion. He wanted them to keep the commandments, get along, and take care of the poor. He wanted them to build a temple there too.

But, those around them didn’t like them, and of course mobs came to make them leave.

3) After this background, we talked about what Zion’s Camp was. We told the story and drew out some principles (which I’ll mention later). Then we watched the video about Zion’s Camp and paused it here and there to talk about it and draw out more principles. Near the end, I paused it and just asked the kids what more they had learned and we had a nice discussion.

4) Here are some of the principles we drew from the story of Zion’s Camp:

  • Sometimes the reason we think God wants us to do something isn’t the whole story
  • Sometimes we aren’t ready to receive the whole blessing God wants to give us (we read the first verses of D&C 105), but even then He still gives us other blessings anyway
  • Sometimes God wants to make sure that those who are leaders in the church, or in a ward, or as parents, are willing to do whatever God wants them to do because they are examples and teachers to others
  • Sometimes because some people are being bad, good people suffer too (we had just watched the part in the video where someone good dies in the camp, and the reason there was sickness at all was because some were being bad). But, even when that happens, we can still be happy (we noticed that he was still faithful and still called God the one who guides the camp, etc.)
  • Sometimes God wants to help us but we want to do things our way. Sometimes we get stressed about something even though God is in control.

Those were some thoughts from our Valiant 9 class this last Sunday. If you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences, please comment below. Thanks!


Sharing Time 2012- November – Missionary Work

Thoughts:  This month is an amazing opportunity to teach about missionary work.  I love the idea of teaching correct principles in missionary work.  I believe that primary is an amazing opportunity to teach children manners and how to interact in social situations regarding religion.

I love this video by Clayton Christensen who is LDS and teaches at the Harvard Business School about missionary work primary and our position in teaching Christ Centered missionary work.  Filled with his personal mistakes and wonderful ideas.


Brother Christensen provides more than ample material to cover this months lessons.




Sharing Time 2012- September Week 3: I should honor my parents.

Jessica F.


Thoughts: ¬†I wanted to focus on what job we have in a family. ¬†I like ¬†to teach my kids that the parents job in the family is to help the kids learn how to be good adults, and the children’s job is to learn and to become a functional adult. ¬†I know it does not always work that way, but I think ultimately that is my goal. ¬†And that often the task of raising a child is a massive group effort. ¬†I want children to leave this sharing time knowing that someone loves them, and in reality for most a lot of people love them.

Identify Doctrine: ¬†Ask the children who loves them. ¬†I want to make a list of all the people in their lives who love and care for them. ¬†This can be anyone from babysitter to friend’s mom, to grandparents. Either begin with Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, or be sure that they get added into the list. ¬†The goal is to have as many people on the list as possible so that the children can see how much love they have.

Why did Heavenly Father give us so many people who love and care for us?  Because he loved us first.  And he knew we would need to come to earth and to be born into families so that we could learn important things, and be safe, and learn to come back to him.

Encourage Understanding: ¬†I was thinking that a game would be fun to demonstrate how listening to our parents or those who love us, can help us make good choices. ¬†I wanted to pick groups of two children. One will act as the parent and one as the child. ¬†I will have two bags A and B, (or two choices each time) ¬†I will whisper in the ear of the person who is the parent. ¬†They can then try to convince the “child” to make the right choice. ¬†In each correct bag will be varying degrees of treasures, and each wrong choice a negative event. ¬†Depending on the age of the children in your primary expanding the number of bags or possible choices.

Conclusion: I really want to leave the children with the knowledge of how much they are loved.





Sharing Time September 2012- Week 1: We are blessed when we keep the commandments.

Jessica F.


Thoughts : ¬†I am back and we have internet ūüôā

I felt that this weeks was a perfect place to connect the Old and the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon. ¬†Really the PG too. ¬†I love when we can connect the ideas across books of scripture and help children see the beauty of God’s words that have been preserved.


Identify the doctrine :  I wanted to start by telling the story of Jesus and his teachings of what Jesus Talked about in Matt 12 ,specifically 28-33.  .  I  think teaching the children to focus on the two greatest commandments. I want to simplify the process on the board of what we can do to LOVE GOD and LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR.  

GAME: Who is our Neighbor?

I want the kids to sing the following songs:  While passing out sticky things to put on the board.  To confirm who is our neighbor.

I want to be Kind to Everyone, I Will Walk With You, Jesus Said Love Everyone, Love One Another.

Have the children sing them. ¬†If your primary does not know them I will be using signs or have your music leader make them if he/she really likes that kind of thing. ¬†Ask the children “Who is your neighbor?”

Encourage Application:  How can be better neighbors?  And why would God ask us to be good neighbors?


Sharing Time August 2012- ÔŅľWeeks 3 and 4: I should do things on the Sabbath that will help me stay close to Heavenly Father.

Thoughts: ¬†I love the idea of Sabbath observance. ¬†I love the idea of taking a break from the normal world and stepping back and creating space for God. ¬†But in all reality with kids and teaching primary normally I need 6 days to recover from Sunday ūüôā

I really love the idea of emphasizing that we are so busy that we often miss the beauty that God had created for us on Earth.  In my house we try to talk about appreciating beauty on Sunday.  Beautiful books, beautiful conversations with family members, beautiful art, and beautiful time together.  We also eat dessert on Sunday.  I try to make sabbath not something to dread but something to create, to appreciate, and to worship.


Identify Doctrine:  I want to tell the children how other religions celebrate the sabbath on different days.  And even in our church if you live in Dubai (the Muslim Sabbath is on Friday) that you will go to church on Friday.  If you live in Israel  you would go to church on Saturday.  In Hong Kong they have church every day because so many people have to work and Jesus wants as many people as possible to come to church and to take the sacrament and to see their friends at church.

I wanted to show a map and say that you could actually go to church 4 times a week. ¬†Start in Hong Kong on Thursday, Dubai on Friday, Israel on Saturday, and Europe on Sunday. ¬† My father in law actually does part of this some weeks. ¬†His travel is crazy. ¬†He says sometimes he has a 5 day weekend ūüôā

But that as Christians we celebrate the sabbath on sunday because Jesus raised from the dead on Sunday.  Jewish people celebrate it on Saturday because that was the day God finished creating the earth.  And muslims celebrate the ability to gather for prayer on friday.


Encourage Understanding:  Have the children think about what they do on a typical Sunday.  Ask how it is different from what they normally do on every other week day.  It is important to also let children express frustration with NOT being able to do some of their favorite activities.  I am a big believer in allowing children to hold opinions and to have a safe place for them to express their feelings.  Even as an adult sometimes I really wish I could just treat Sunday like Saturday and get so much done.  It is also important to consider that small children do not have the autonomy to choose a lot of their sabbath activities.

Scripture Activity: What did Jesus do on the Sabbath?

Jesus attended Synagogue and Healed on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:9-13: “Now when Jesus had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. {10} And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”; that they might accuse Him. . . .{13} Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.”

In essence, Jesus went to Church and He visited the sick. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. There are seven (7) healings recorded in the New Testament of Jesus Healing on the Sabbath. (Request our free article: “Jesus Performed Seven Sabbath Miracles”.)

Following Jesus’ example, we can go to church and keep the Sabbath. We may not be able to heal people as Jesus did on the Sabbath BUT we can pray for their healing and we can visit the sick.

Jesus Taught on the Sabbath 

Mark 1:21: Jesus and His disciples “went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day Jesus entered into the synagogue, and taught.”
On the Sabbath Jesus taught God’s way of life to others. The greatest evangelism that we can do is to teach our children and grandchildren God’s way of life.


We are faced with a question in the Church today of: Where are our Children?
Many have quit attending Church and are not keeping the Sabbath. What can we do? We can set the right example, encourage them and pray for them.

Jesus kept God’s Law

Matthew 12:1: “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.”
Obviously, Jesus and His disciples harvested a small handful of grain and ate on the Sabbath. This was permitted by God Law (Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 23:24-25, Hebrews 4:15 ). Humorously we can conclude that we can eat on the Sabbath.

Do Good on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:11-12: Jesus “said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? {12} “Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.””
It is lawful to do good and help an animal or a man on the Sabbath. Luke 6:9: “Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?”

Jesus is saying that we can do good on the Sabbath and to save a life. We then could visit someone who is sick and prepare a meal for them.

Activity:  Bring in things that are beautiful and talk to the children about how God created them for us to enjoy.  And how we can use the sabbath to find beauty in our lives, to create beauty, and to create beauty and kindness.

Sharing Time 2012: ÔŅľWeek 2: I should read, listen to, and look at things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.

Thoughts: ¬†I wanted to use the “Good, Better, Best” talk from Elder Oaks. ¬†I like his approach that there are many good things and we have to choose. ¬†I think that primary is great time to teach practical life skills along with spiritual ones.

The advent of technology and especially technology that is easy for very small kids to use, think iPad, has changed the way children grow up.  I think moderation delegated by  parents is great, but we also have to teach children to deal with pressures and social, technological time management issues in addition to dangers that have traditionally been addressed.


Identify the doctrine:  Heavenly Father wants us to fill our minds with wonderful things.  And because God loves you so much the whole earth is filled with amazing things to learn.  Sometimes we have to use our minds and choose between activities.  I want to show a scale and how it needs to be balanced.  I think sometimes we get out of balance and that is not good.

Heavenly Father wants us to have fun and be happy.  We have to decide how to put first things first, but that is hard. But luckily we get lots of time to practice and everyday is new and we get to practice again.  And eventually we get really good at it, but not even I am perfect at it.

Encourage understanding:

I wanted to draw a large circle on the board that will turn into a pie chart.  On one of the sides I want the kids to list what a typical day looks like.  Then roughly draw out the parts of the day on the pie chart.  So that they can see how much of their day they actually get to pick.

Application:¬†I wanted to show three foods, one that is good, one that is better, and one that is best. ¬†And explain that we probably wouldn’t want to eat the best (some green veggie) all the time, but when we eat all three we get lots of different flavors and our bodies get good nutrition. ¬†Just like how we use our time, it might not be fun to do the hard things but when we balance we can be happy and taste all the wonderful beautiful things that God wanted us to see.

I am going to do

spinach, Milk , and Chocolate and blend them up and let the kids have a treat.  Since I know all the kids food allergies.