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{Sharing Time} Prophets Testify of Jesus Christ

Sharing Time Ideas From the 2015 Outline

ENCOURAGE UNDERSTANDING: Before sharing time, place a picture of Jesus Christ on the board and cover the picture with pictures of the following prophets: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Nephi, and Joseph Smith. Assign one of the following scriptures to each class: Isaiah 9:6; Mark 1:6–8; 2 Nephi 25:26; Doctrine and Covenants 76:20–24. Have the children read the scripture with their class and identify which prophet is testifying and what he testifies about Jesus Christ. Have one class point to the picture of the prophet they read about and share with the Primary what they learned. Take the picture of the prophet off the board. Repeat with the other three prophets. Point to the picture of Christ and tell the children that all prophets testify of Jesus Christ.

Sharing Time Ideas From Little LDS Ideas

 

The cute prophet clip art is from Susan Fitch Design

To introduce this topic, I thought that it might be kind of neat to have a man from the ward/branch come in and talk to the children. Have him come dressed as one of the prophets from the Old Testament, New Testament, or Book of Mormon.
This is what I was thinking of, but this is just an example:

Have your prophet come in at the beginning of Sharing Time.

Hi, I am King Benjamin (or any prophet you choose). I am a prophet from the Book of Mormon. Throughout history Heavenly Father has called courageous and honorable men to be His prophets. They are special witnesses of the Savior Jesus Christ. The prophets are called to testify of the Savior, to teach all of us that He died so that we might repent and return to live with our Father in Heaven. Prophets tell us of Christ’s great love for us. Many of the prophet’s testimonies are found in the scriptures. I too have a testimony of Jesus Christ. An angel of the Lord came to me, and told me many important things about our Savior. Have him read from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:5-8.

After he has read from the Book of Mormon, have him testify of Jesus Christ.

After the prophet has talked to the children and testified of Christ you can talk to the children about the prophet and about Testifying of Christ. Explain to the children what ‘Testifying of Christ’ means, and why it is so important. Tell the children that today they are going to be learning about a few more prophets.

From The Outline: Before sharing time, place a picture of Jesus Christ on the board and cover the picture with pictures of the following prophets: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Nephi, and Joseph Smith. Assign one of the following scriptures to each class: Isaiah 9:6; Mark 1:6–8; 2 Nephi 25:26; Doctrine and Covenants 76:20–24. Have the children read the scripture with their class and identify which prophet is testifying and what he testifies about Jesus Christ. Have one class point to the picture of the prophet they read about and share with the Primary what they learned. Take the picture of the prophet off the board. Repeat with the other three prophets. Point to the picture of Christ and tell the children that all prophets testify of Jesus Christ.

At the end of the Sharing Time, show the children a picture of President Monson. Our prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, also testifies of Jesus Christ. He said, “He is the literal Savior of the World, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel, even the risen Lord. … As His witness I testify to you that He lives. (Ensign, May 1988, page 56.)

All prophets, whether they lived during Book of Mormon Times or they live today, testify of Jesus Christ. When we listen to the prophets, we can learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and gain a testimony for ourselves. Bear Testimony to the children.

Sunday Lessons = Boost Testimony Of Christ

Downloaded from: http://ldsywideasandactivities.blogspot.com/2014/04/sunday-lessons-boost-testimony-of-christ.html One of my readers has suggested that I write about teaching lessons for girls of all different backgrounds. I was intrigued by this idea – I wondered what she meant. Like, less-active girls? Part-member families?….I’ve thought about it a lot. If your ward is like mine, you’ve got a wide range of backgrounds in your young women organization. When you boil it down, I feel that no matter…
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Sunday Lessons = Boost Testimony of Christ

Sunday Lessons = Boost Testimony of Christ

One of my readers has suggested that I write about teaching lessons for girls of all different backgrounds. I was intrigued by this idea – I wondered what she meant. Like, less-active girls? Part-member families?….I’ve thought about it a lot. 

If your ward is like mine, you’ve got a wide range of backgrounds in your young women organization. When you boil it down, I feel that no matter what the background or circumstance, all of the young women need the same thing. They need a testimony of Jesus Christ and his gospel. This is what prompts them to keep the standards, repent, study the scriptures, pray, want to attend lessons and activities, be missionaries, etc. I feel that this is the root of a lot of the struggles our young women are facing, regardless of their background and family situation. 

If they don’t have a testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored Church, why would they want to do any of the things we’re trying to teach them to do?

I made a list of some of the different situations/backgrounds that our young women might have. This includes young women who may show up on any given Sunday, who may not necessarily be on your attendance sheet. I’m sure there are many more scenarios, but these are the ones I’m familiar with (not necessarily about girls in my particular ward):
  • Part-member family (one or more parent is a non-member)
  • Less-active (not attending class and/or activities as much as she should be, may have a calling but usually does not do it)
  • Inactive (not active in the church in any way – not attending church/activities)
  • Non-member (not a member of the church, perhaps visiting with a friend or relative)
  • Unbaptized member (active in the church, but unable to be baptized for some reason)
  • Investigator (meeting with the full-time missionaries to learn more/prepare for baptism)
  • Recently Re-activated (used to be inactive, has recently become active or less-active and may not have a large gospel knowledge background)
  • New Convert (baptized after age 8, did not grow up in the church, possibly never attended Primary)
  • Disgruntled (upset about church policy and/or gospel doctrine and/or leadership decisions)
  • “Over it” (thinks she is too mature, too cool, too whatever to listen or participate)
  • Forced to attend class/activities (don’t want to be there, but parents make attendance non-optional)
  • Paid to attend class/activities (don’t want to be there, but parents bribe them to attend)
  • No testimony
  • Weak testimony
  • Not sure if she has a testimony or not
  • Thinks the standards are ‘old fashioned’/rules should be bent to fit her preferences
  • Has no intention of keeping the standards, but lies about it so her parents don’t find out
  • No home support (parents may be inactive or non-member, but do not provide support like rides, help with personal progress, etc)
  • Speaks a different language
  • Special needs (physical)
  • Special needs (mental or developmental)
  • Special needs (emotional)
  • Special needs (abuse victim)
  • New Beehives (less familiar with the program, may be unsure of higher level concepts in lessons)
  • “Hermoine Granger” (totally “gets” it, bears testimony at every opportunity, raised hand to answer every question, volunteers for everything, may be labeled a “goody-goody”)
You’ll probably recognize most of these situations in your own ward. Of course, these situations I’ve listed might not apply to everyone and many girls will fall under multiple categories. Its usually not helpful to label people, because we are all complex individuals, but it is important to be aware of the situations our young women are dealing with so that we can be of the most help to them.

We may place a lot of focus on helping the girls who need the extra support or are struggling, but even the girls who already have a testimony (or the beginnings of one) will need to be strengthened to keep their testimony going through all they have to face in their teenage lives. Many times the “goody-goody” is the outcast, even among her fellow youth in the church. 

Just like adults, every single one of the girls I’ve worked with could use some testimony-strengthening. Specifically their testimony of Christ- who is the center of everything we believe and do.

How do we do this?

My personal “mantras” for teaching any Sunday lesson:
  1. No matter what the assigned topic, Jesus Christ is the topic.
  2. Prepare/teach a lesson as if it were the last one they are going to hear (because sometimes it is).
Let me elaborate.
I am a convert to the church (the only member on my side of the family) and a returned missionary. So I think (and hope) that I’m pretty missionary minded. When I prepare a talk or a lesson, I recognize that there will probably be at least one investigator or non-member visitor in the congregation that day. I plan for that. I try to think about what I would say if one of my own family members were there. Would I “phone it in” with my preparations and just ‘wing it’ or read a Conference talk word for word if I knew that they would be there? I would try harder to have the spirit and teach from the heart, and bear an honest testimony thats for sure. 

But what do we bear testimony of? And what if our topic is something potentially awkward to a visitor or less-active member, like tithing? 

I would never want a visitor or investigator to come to church for the first time and hear a talk that I gave and go home thinking, “My pastor was right – they aren’t Christian. The speakers spent the whole time talking about home teaching, and didn’t even mention Christ”
Even if I am assigned the topic “Tithing,” I still consider Jesus Christ to be the primary focus of that talk….Why do we pay tithing? (to show obedience to Christ, to become more like Christ, to teach us sacrifice like he has sacrificed for us, etc). You don’t have to talk about Christ the entire time, but if Christ is the head of our Church and the center of our lives, should be at the core of all we do and teach.
I use this exact same concept for young women Sunday class lessons.
2 Nephi 25:26 “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins”
Are we teaching, preaching, and testifying of Christ, every chance we get? Do we talk about him every single Sunday? If we want the young women to understand that they can look to him, we need to make his name and teachings a presence in our lessons. The girls need this – no matter what background or situation they come from. The investigator, the disgruntled young woman, the girl who is only sitting there because her parents are “making” her, the Hermoine Granger – every one of them. Some girls (many) are not getting this at home. Even if they are, its not something you can reinforce too much.
In our ward, we don’t have advisors, so the presidency members teach the Sunday lessons. I’ve had experienced some situations when I’m teaching a lesson and I know that it is likely to be one of the last lessons one of the girls will hear (or maybe even the last). As the girls grow older, they want to make their own decisions and create their own identity. They start to question why they have to keep all of these ‘rules’ and begin to realize that its getting harder and harder for their parents to force them to come to church. 
I think to myself- what can I say, what can I do to help this girl? What will she remember about this lesson? Will she say that she’s not accountable because she was never taught the correct principles? Will she say that she didn’t know whether I had a testimony or not? Even if she doesn’t have one – I need her to know that I DO.

Several years ago we had a teenage girl join the church. One Sunday, her mother (a Catholic) unexpectedly attended church with her and she was invited to YW class. I was teaching all of the girls that particular day, and the lesson was about a very sensitive topic that I knew was a point of concern for her. I only had 1 hour notice that the mother would be attending class with us. I was panicking a little. Not because I didn’t know what to say, but because I had already geared the lesson toward active girls who are familiar with the concept, so I needed to make some changes to my plan. I tried to think of how to explain the concepts to everyone – but especially to the mother of this recent convert. I tried to explain the doctrine and my feelings about them. I bore my testimony. I tried to say everything I would want someone to say if my own parents had been present.

This is how we should approach teaching the young women every time…. not just special occasions or with special visitors – every time. Because they need it and because it might be the last time they bother to show up. I don’t mean to sound negative, but its not uncommon for young women who used to be active to suddenly refuse to participate in young women. Their reasons may vary from “its dumb” to “I just don’t believe in the doctrine.” As a leader who cares for and stressed out over how to help the young women in our ward, it hurts.

I feel that focusing on Christ and bearing our honest testimony are two of the most important things we can do to help these girls.
I am totally on board with the “Come Follow Me” youth curriculum, so please don’t misunderstand. Our emphasis has gone from preparing an old-fashioned “speech” lesson to trying to create an interactive experience for the youth to develop their own testimony through discussion, experiencing teaching, etc. Although I try very hard to follow that model and it has been very successful, I always try to keep the focus on Christ and still always try to end with my heartfelt testimony. I never want anyone to leave the class without knowing that I know.


2 Nephi 20-26

Tomorrow is election day which is a holiday here in the Commonwealth, and so I’ve got a bit of a break tomorrow.  Time to catch up on the blog. 2 Nephi 20-24 This morning a couple of kids had questions about BYU applications and Seminary endorsements.  I showed them the form I filled out and told them how I do it.  I explained that Seminary graduation is NOT a requirement…
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Book of Mormon Magic Squares – Updated for new scripture mastery passages

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Book of Mormon Scripture Mastery Rhymes (with verses)

Thanks to help from Jeanette Petersen, Leslie Woolf, and encouragement from lots of other Seminary teachers, the Scripture Mastery Rhymes final version is finally online! PDF and ODT versions attachments are available, and below is the text of the rhymes.  Each line represents one beat. Some of the rhymes are a little awkward and require a little practice, but don’t worry, you’ll get it.   Scripture First 4 beats Second…
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Book of Mormon Scripture Mastery Flash Cards for 2013

My son helped me make a set of online scrpture mastery flash cards using Quzlet.  Before you ask, yes, these include the updated 2013 scripture mastery passages. Each phrase is an actual quote from the scripture so that students can learn actual scripture phrasing. Scripture Mastery Keyphrases 1 Nephi 3:7 – “I will go and do” 2 Nephi 2:25 ‘Adam fell that” 2 Nephi 2:27 – “Men are free ……
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Help me Remake Magic Squares – Book of Mormon Scripture Mastery Rhymes

UPDATE: Below is the work-in-progress.  Here is a link to the final version created with help from user comments you see below: http://www.mormonshare.com/lds-clipart/book-of-mormon-scripture-mastery-… UPDATE 2 – If you are looking for strict magic squares style rhymes (without the verses) follow this link: http://www.mormonshare.com/lds-clipart/book-of-mormon-magic-squares-upda… ================== I have decided to remake Janice Tate’s Magic Squares for the new scripture mastery passages.  What a job!  There are several passages from the same chapter,…
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New Scripture Mastery Passages for Book of Mormon 2013

Today another Seminary teacher came to observe my classroom (more on that later), and she mentioned something that the kids had talked about in class yesterday: the scripture mastery passages have changed!  I decided to take a quick look this afternoon before the kids get home to see what changes have been made. There are 8 changes to the Book of Mormon scripture mastery list as best I can tell….
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New Scripture Mastery Passages for Book of Mormon 2013

Today another Seminary teacher came to observe my classroom (more on that later), and she mentioned something that the kids had talked about in class yesterday: the scripture mastery passages have changed!  I decided to take a quick look this afternoon before the kids get home to see what changes have been made. There are 8 changes to the Book of Mormon scripture mastery list as best I can tell….
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Life is a Journey- Not an Obstacle!

Object Lesson

This lesson is different than any ‘obstacle course’ object lesson, but it has a great point. Often times in life, we place obstacles in our way that really don’t need to be there. Such obstacles include our own weaknesses, sins, pride, grudges, drama, stress, envy- you name it! Other ‘obstacles’ might really not be obstacles at all, but we might choose to make them that way such as daily scripture…
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We are moving to http://NoBoringLessons.com/ where you can find Come Follow Me Lesson ideas for the new 2019 curriculum Dismiss