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 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
Objective: To help each child understand that we lived with Heavenly Father as spirit children before we came to earth and that we can live with him again after this life.
Link to Lesson
(Read Alma 40 as lesson preparation)
For an “attention getter,” contact the parents of the kids ahead of time and get a picture of each child as a baby. Young children often like to look at pictures of themselves as babies, and it’s a good way to introduce the “pre existence” concept. As you hold up each picture, ask the children if they recognize who the baby is in the picture?
Do they remember being a baby? Most people can’t remember what it was like to be a baby. Do they remember living before they were born? Most people can’t remember what it was like to live with Heavenly Father but everyone did.
We are spirit children of Heavenly Father
- Did you know that we are all spirit children of Heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:9)? We all lived with him before we came to earth as babies. We were happy there.
- Our spirits are an invisible part of our bodies. Our spirits can live without a body just like they did before we were born, but our bodies cannot live without a spirit. A body without a spirit inside it is called “dead.” Your spirit will always live but not your earthly body.
- One of the reasons we came to earth was to be born into a body so our spirit could experience the joy of having a body. A body is wonderful! (See: Friend Magazine February 1999 “I Shouted for Joy”)
Part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us to grow and to learn to be more like him was to come to earth to get a body. On earth we get to learn to treat our ourselves and others the right way.
Link to Sharing Time Outline
As I studied this lesson I was impressed by the importance in the act of creation. Here is the Mormon Message from Elder Uchtdorf, about the human desire and need to create. I wanted to allow the children to have the opportunity to create something with their hands and have it be apart of a larger project to see that they can work together as a primary class to create something of importance.
Identify the Doctrine
Review the how important the gift of Agency is in our lives. That it is an essential part of the plan of happiness.
As part of the plan of happiness we chose to use our agency by choosing to come to Earth and receive a body. And that the earth is very special place because Jesus Christ made the Earth for us to live and to learn about the gospel.
Jesus Christ made wonderful and amazing things on the earth. Ask the children for ideas of what parts of the earth Jesus made. (Waterfalls, rivers, mountains, the ocean, etc.)
Ask them how they feel about the wonderful things that has been created? Or about spending time in nature.
Activity: Making a Clay Model of the Earth
Make dough or some already made. I like salt dough (instructions at the end) because it is easy. If possible make a few earth colors like blue, green, yellows, browns. And a flat box or piece of cardboard, for the display.
If you worry about the possibility of things getting out of control with the younger children have them do it as a class. Continue reading