Activity: Families Are Blessed When They Follow The Prophet (April 2014 General Conference)

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To reinforce the theme for May 2014, I’ve summarized or quoted parts of several talks from our most recent conference and related them to Primary songs.  Please help us out by leaving more ideas in the comments!  Conference talks will be available to review in the May issue of the Ensign.  It’s not yet printed at the time of this posting, but you’ll soon be able to find the issue here.  Or, remind yourself of the main points of each talk with this handy Deseret News summary.

For Junior Primary, print strips of paper with both the summary and the song.  Have children draw slips from a hat, read the summary and sing the song.  For Senior Primary, consider writing the names of the songs on the board.  Read only the summary and see if the children can guess which song you’ve chosen to go with it.  You might even ask if they can think of other songs which teach the same message.  This will help children draw connections between what they are learning in Primary and what they hear from the Prophet.  Some children might find it interesting and empowering to know that they are learning the same concepts that adults are working on.  It may help them feel that the conference messages are more accessible.

Also, talk to your Primary Presidency about how they plan to teach Sharing Time this month.  If they are planning something similar, you might consider combining Singing Time and Sharing Time for that week.  I’m all about reinforcing the Sharing Time message with Singing Time whenever we can, but this activity is full of doctrine and could potentially become very long and tedious if it were done twice in the same week.  Part of the purpose of Singing Time is to help the children rest their minds and digest the information.  Just keep that in mind :)

Stand for the Right or Dare to Do RightElder Jeffrey R. Holland,The Cost – and Blessings – of Discipleship”You will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…. You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school, or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled, or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion.  Yes, it is worth it.”

Love One AnotherElder Ronald A. RasbandThe Joyful Burden of Discipleship”As members of the Church, worldwide, we all have the wonderful opportunity of blessing the lives of others.  Will we respond with love when an opportunity is before us to make a visit, a phone call, write a note, or spend a day meeting the needs of someone else?”

I Wonder When He Comes AgainElder Carlos H. AmadoChrist the RedeemerElder Amado talks about the first time Christ came to earth, as a baby in Bethlehem.  He tells stories of Christ from the scriptures and reaffirms for us that Christ truly is the Son of God and our Savior.  Then he speaks briefly about the second coming.  “I testify that Christ will return in a way very different form His first coming.  He will come in power and glory, with all the just and faithful saints.”

How Firm a Foundation or The Wise Man and the Foolish Man Elder Neil L. AndersenSpiritual WhirlwindsElder Andersen tells us that we will be faced with many trials in our lives.  These trials can sometimes be like spiritual whirlwinds.  If we have built our lives upon the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will be safe from the perils of the adversary.  “As you live righteously year after year, I assure you that your experiences will confirm to you again and again that Jesus is the Christ.  The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure.”

The Things I DoElder Russell M. NelsonLet Your Faith ShowElder Nelson asks us what we have faith in.  He says that some people in the world have faith in sports teams, in brands or in celebrities but that we ought to have faith in Jesus Christ because he is the only person who will never fail us.  He then tells us that we need to share our faith by showing our faith!  “As you practice your religion, you are exercising your faith. You are letting your faith show.”

I’m Trying to Be Like JesusElder Richard G. ScottI Have Given You an Example”The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving and loving others.  He sat down with individuals who were judged to be unworthy of His companionship.  He loved each of them.  He discerned their needs and taught them His gospel.  He invited us to follow His perfect example.”

Keep the CommandmentsElder Robert D. HalesIf Ye Love Me, Keep My CommandmentsElder Hales tells us that we need to follow all of Heavenly Father’s commandments all of the time.  We can’t just choose the commandments that are easy for us to follow.  He gives examples of good people who disobeyed God’s commandments and had unpleasant consequences.  Heavenly Father loves us and doesn’t want us to have those bad consequences, but he has given us agency to choose for ourselves. Elder Hales reminds us that Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Kindness Begins With MeElder W. Craig ZwickWhat Do You ThinkElder Zwick asks us to be kinder to one another.  He suggests that we can learn to love and understand each other if we always ask each other “What do you think?”  We can try to have compassion for those people who disagree with us by trying to see their side.  He says “The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility- even when we disagree.”

Family History, I am Doing It or Truth from Elijahor Families Can Be Together ForeverElder Quentin L. CookRoots and BranchesElder Cook talks about families and the importance of “tying roots to branches,” or doing the work necessary to seal our ancestors to us so that we can all be together again.  He tells us that we live in exciting times because we have the temple and are able to perform ordinances for our dead relatives and he encourages us to do our Family History.  He explains “Our Father’s plan is about families.”

Can a Little Child Like Me or Children All Over the WorldPresident Dieter F. UchtdorfGrateful Under Any CircumstancesPresident Uchtdorf tells us “As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to ‘thank the Lord our God in all things,’ to ‘sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,’ and to ‘let our hearts be full of thanks unto God.”  Sometimes we think we can only be grateful for great blessings, but President Uchtdorf teaches us that we will be happier if we are always looking for reasons to be grateful, even when things are difficult for us.

I Want to Be a Missionary NowElder M. Russel BallardFollowing UpAs part of his talk, Elder Ballard asked us to invite someone once a quarter to be taught by the full-time missionaries.  That’s four times each year!

I Will Follow God’s Plan For Me or I Lived in HeavenBishop Gary E. StevensonYour Four MinutesBishop Stevenson talks about the LDS athletes he watched during the recent Winter Olympics.  He points out that these athletes had trained for years to become good at their chosen sport, but whether or not they would win a medal all depended on how they performed at the competition.  He tells us that this is like our lives.  We lived and learned things in heaven before we were born and now we have a short time to show how well we will follow our Heavenly Father.

Love One Another or Jesus Said Love EveryonePresident Thomas S. MonsonLove- The Essence of the GospelPresident Monson reminded us that loving one another is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.  He told a story about a plane that was supposed to fly from Alaska to Seattle and had to go out of it’s way twice to help a boy who was badly injured get to the hospital.  The people on the plane might have been mad that they arrived in Seattle so late, but instead they were only worried about the boy.

The Holy Ghost or The Still Small VoicePresident Boyd K. PackerThe WitnessPresident Packer tells about an experience he had in Okinawa, Japan during WWII where the Holy Ghost testified to him of the truthfulness of the Gospel.  “(The Holy Ghost) is the third member of the Godhead.  His mission is to testify of truth and righteousness.  He manifests Himself in many ways, including feelings of peace and reassurance.  He can also bring comfort, guidance and correction when needed.  The companionship of the Holy Ghost is maintained throughout our lives by righteous living.”

FaithElder L. Tom PerryObedience Through FaithfulnessElder Perry tells us how, when he was a child, his Grandfather explained to him that a team of horses can only work together if they always know who is in charge.  He explains that we are like the horses and that Heavenly Father is our driver.  He has a purpose and a plan and we need to listen to Him and work together if we want to help accomplish His works.

Praise to the Man or On a Golden Springtimeor An Angel Came to Joseph SmithElder Lawrence E. CorbridgeThe Prophet Joseph SmithElder Lawrence testifies that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.

I Am a Child of God, especially verse 4Elder Michael John U. TehFor Where Your Treasure IsElder Teh talks about visiting the Saints in the Philippines after the recent earthquake and typhoon.  He says that even though many of them had lost everything they own, they were still in good spirits.  This experience helped teach him that we have to be careful what we “treasure.”  If we are too interested in worldly things, we will forget to prepare for and appreciate our spiritual treasures.

Faith or Search, Ponder and PrayElder Marcos A. AidukaitisIf Ye Lack Wisdom Elder Marcos tells us that the internet is a great resource but we have to be careful because it holds both good and bad information.  He suggests that we can know whether what we read is true by examining its “fruits” or consequences.  He reminds us that when something is true, we can plant it like a seed in our hearts and it will grow.  

I Stand All AmazedElder D. Todd ChristoffersonThe Resurrection of Jesus ChristElder Christofferson reminds us that Christ overcame our sins through the Atonement and overcame death through his Resurrection.  Through him, we can all be made clean and live again with our Heavenly Father.

When I am BaptizedRosemary M. WixomCovenants Protect, Prepare and Empower (RS Session)Sister Wixom, the General Primary President, talks about the importance of our covenants.  She tells us about two girls in Lima, Peru, who were in wheelchairs and could not perform baptisms for the dead, but they traveled 14 hours to come to the temple anyway, just so that they could watch their sister perform the sacred ordinance.

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