by Sara K.S. Hanks
Link to Lesson
Purpose: To held each child understand that we can choose the right because Heavenly Father gave us agency.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Want Us To Choose For Ourselves
The manual suggests starting out the lesson by having the children choose something, like a candy or a colored rock, from a bowl. This is something I’ll definitely be implementing in my CTR4 classroom. We have a tradition of snacking on Skittles in our primary class, and they end up being great tools for object lessons and positive reinforcement. My opinion is that unobtrusive, low-key treats like Skittles are appropriate for younger kids, though they may be distracting or ill-advised for older kids. My class always loves choosing the colors of Skittles that they like most, so I think this agency activity will be a good way for us to get going. Continue reading
by Jenni (with combined input from my mom and sister, who are both in primary presidencies also, and who taught the lessons first)
On the wall in the primary room for easy reference
Objective: to help the children understand the plan of salvation in a meaningful way
In an area training last year, Sister Jean Stevens counseled primary leaders in that region to focus on the plan of salvation. Cheryl’s ward did a 5th Sunday about the plan of salvation and put these large visual aids on the wall in their primary room, and now refer to them during most other sharing time lessons. They based their lesson on a simplified version the Plan of Salvation lesson from Preach my Gospel (leaving out references to paradise/spirit prison and judgment). My sister recently taught a similar lesson in her ward.
Link to Lesson
Objective: To help each child learn how to pray to Heavenly Father, and know that He will listen.
I think the biggest “take away” that I would hope to give the children though this lesson is that Heavenly Father hears their prayers. I know that we Latter-day Saints can easily get caught up in the cultural aspects of prayer, what I often call the “works” part, such as whether we have closed our eyes or folded our arms, or if we’ve used the “proper” old English pronouns correctly, but regardless of these things I believe Heavenly Father hears every sincere prayer.
The Bible Dictionary is a good resource to read over for this lesson. (It’s interesting to me that prayer is more a duty of the faithful rather than a commandment, and nothing about it is found among the list of interview questions for a temple recommend). However, when we pray, we are commanded to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Continue reading
One of the things I love about Primary is that it’s incredibly forgiving. Kids are very patient with adults’ mistakes, and (for the most part) vice versa. It’s pretty rare that I find myself truly uncomfortable in Primary. Total acceptance is the norm.
However, there are a couple of things that I wish, wish, wish, I could make disappear from Primary forever. Continue reading
guest post by Cheryl
Link to Sharing Time Outline
These were some of my thoughts and inspirations leading up to my sharing time presentations. This might actually be more important than the actual sharing time outlines which follow. My study of the scripture stories made me realize that those who grew closer to God were those who acted. Those who grew away from God were those who were acted upon.
Elder Bednar (from General Conference, April 2010)
In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are “things to act and things to be acted upon” (2Nephi 2:14). As children of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity and power of independent action. Endowed with agency, we are agents and we primarily are to act and not merely to be acted upon….
Giving a man a fish feeds him for one meal. Teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime. As parents and gospel instructors, you and I are not in the business of distributing fish; rather, our work is to help our children learn “to fish” and to become spiritually steadfast. This vital objective is best accomplished as we encourage our children to act in accordance with correct principles—as we help them to learn by doing…. (John 7:17)
Are you and I helping our children become agents who act and seek learning by study and by faith, or have we trained our children to wait to be taught and acted upon? Are we as parents primarily giving our children the equivalent of spiritual fish to eat, or are we consistently helping them to act, to learn for themselves, and to stand steadfast and immovable? Are we helping our children become anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking? Continue reading
Link to Sharing Time Outline
Comments: I like to have the children teach whenever possible. I think it works best where there is a lot of short concepts to teach in one lesson. I call the parents ahead of time to discuss the lesson, and then I always call Saturday afternoon/evening as a reminder. I encourage the children to use pictures or other materials to help them feel comfortable giving a lesson
Identify Doctrine: Briefly have 6 children discuss the following principles of the gospel listed below. Have each child emphases how a person can use his/her agency in each stage of the plan of happiness.
Encourage Understanding: After every child teaches sing the corresponding songs with the children:
Before I came to earth I lived in heaven (“I Lived in Heaven” [CS, 4]).
I chose to come to earth and receive a body (“I Am a Child of God” [CS, 2–3];
I will be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (“When I Am Baptized” [CS, 103];
I can prepare to go to the temple (“I Love to See the Temple” [CS, 95];
“Families Can Be Together Forever” [CS, 188]).
I will be resurrected (“He Sent His Son” [CS, 34–35]).
Link to original lesson
Objective: To help each child realize that Heavenly Father loves each of us because we are his children.
Some resources that may be helpful for this lesson are:
New Era Article “You are a Child of God”
Mormon Messages Video Clip “I Am a Child of God”
Mormon Messages “Child of God”
Quotes on the doctrine of Premortal Existence:
Boyd K. Packer (February 2006 Ensign “The Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Teaches of Life Before Birth) “This doctrine of premortal life was known to ancient Christians. For nearly five hundred years the doctrine was taught, but it was then rejected as a heresy by a clergy that had slipped into the Dark Ages of apostasy. Once they rejected this doctrine, … they could never unravel the mystery of life. They became like a man trying to assemble a strand of pearls on a string that was too short. There is no way they can put them all together.” Continue reading