Alma 7:10-12

And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Gospel Art Book Image

In May of 2010, Elder Neil L. Andersen gave a talk that I've been contemplating ever since!

"The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony. Can you think of a more valuable gift for our children?"

He then goes on to ask about 20 different questions. As I tried to answer them honestly and thoughtfully, I realized I have a lot of work to do with my children. This Christmas, 2010... we will have short family devotionals based on the questions he asks.

I will fold some paper plates in half and decorate very simply. I will put the question Elder Andersen asks for the devotional in the paper plate and staple around the edges, I might even include a small picture or materials for the devotional. Each night I'll hide the plate under the pillow of one of my children to answer Elder Andersen's first question, "Are the life and teachings of Jesus Christ embedded in the minds and souls of our children?"

Yes. And maybe even their dreams too!

** Update: When I introduced what we were doing for the month of December to my girls, they decided to call it "Hot Cocoa Chats". So I'm adding a couple small Ziploc bags of marshmallows (to be used at devotional, pardon- "Hot Cocoa Chat") in the plates too. Who am I to deny genius?**

Looking to the Example of the Savior in Our Own Lives

Image from

I hope this isn't blasphemous to take what he has asked and change the pronouns. If it is, then kindly ignore the words in parenthesis and you can write me a scathing comment. I possibly deserve it.

Elder Andersen asks, "Do they (we) think about the Savior's life when they (we) wonder what to do in their (our) own lives?"

Start with opening prayer always! How do we expect the spirit to teach us if we don't invite him there!

Make a simple spinner. You can even get them at the dollar store or make a temporary one from one of your board games. Divide your spinner into categories to spin on, "Home, School, Out and About, Church". Have different scenarios for the children to think about what they would do and any examples from the Savior's life on how He taught us to act. Have a piece of paper you can add hearts to as you answer questions. See how many hearts you can get as a family.

For example, scenarios to read when they spin on that category:
1. It's Family Home Evening and the lesson is horribly boring. My sister is bothering me and I really feel like kicking her, after all, she is poking me! What should I do? When people hurt Christ what did He do or say?
2. Mom asked me to clean up the toy room. It's crazy in there and I think a mouse may even be living under a stack of old magazines. What should I do? How did Jesus help His mother?
3. Dad was getting me ready for bed. He told me to hop in and tucked me in snug. I am so tired, but I realize we forgot to say prayer. What should I do? When did Jesus pray?
1. My teacher is wonderful. She is kind and thoughtful, she is really just super! What can I do to show her how much I love her? What did Jesus do to show me love?
2. Tom is such a bully. He is always bossing around other kids and even gets violent sometimes. Ugh. He drives me nuts! What could I do to help Tom be nice? How did Jesus teach by example?
3. A friend of mine forgot to do their homework. They usually do it, but this one time it just slipped their mind. They really want to copy. What should I do? How was the Savior honest?
Out and About
1. I am in a movie theater watching an excellent movie. Except, a small part of the movie isn't excellent. They keep on taking the Lord's name in vain. It's rated PG but I feel uncomfortable. What should I do? What did the Savior do when he was tempted?
2. Suzie is having a slumber party and they are going to be painting toe nails. They'll be playing games until midnight and even decorating their own cakes! It sounds really fun but Suzie listens to music that isn't appropriate. She even said they'll have a dance competition to those songs. What should I do? Was there music in the Savior's life? (Matt. 26:30, Luke 2:13)
3. Walking home from school one day, I notice the street is filled with trash. I even see some birds picking at an old napkin. Poor mother earth. What should I do? Jesus helped organize the earth, how did He show love for that which He organized?
1. Everyone is being really noisy in Primary. I can't even hear what is being said. What should I do? How did Jesus show reverence?
2. Sunday morning breakfast is over. I want to make today special and keep the Sabbath day holy. What should I do? How did our Savior keep the Sabbath holy?
3. Fast and testimony meeting has arrived. We had a family home evening about bearing our testimony but I feel very nervous. What should I do? How did Jesus tell others about truth?

Wow! What great teamwork as a family! Bear testimony and end with I Feel My Savior's Love (Children's Songbook pg.74)

Visualizing the Premortal Council

Star Cluster R136 image courtesy NASA

Elder Andersen asks, "Have our children visualized the premortal council, where Jesus- the greatest of all- declared, "Here am I, send me"? Do they see their own willingness to serve as following His example?"

Start with an opening prayer.

Scripture: “In a premortal council at which we were all present, [the Savior] led the forces of good against those of Satan and his followers in a battle for the souls of men that began before this world was formed. That conflict continues today. We were all on the side of Jesus then. We are on the side of Jesus today” ( Elder Joseph B.Wirthlin “Christians in Belief and Action,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 71).

Sing We are All Enlisted (Hymns # 250)

Time to whip out the play dough!!
(An easy recipe: 
2 cups of water
4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
couple drops food coloring 
1 cup salt
Heat together all of the above in a pan until the salt is as disolved as it's going to get, then put in 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and then 2 cups of plain/all purpose flour. Stir it until it forms a ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the pan. Knead a little while it cools. Store in an airtight container like you would with any other playdough.)

Using a small table or box- create, visualize and make concrete with your hands and play dough the premortal council. Create what you think it looked like, create those who were there, create the earth to the side... the play dough should cover everything! Work as a family to build the whole scene. You can use small gem stones, cotton balls, whatever you have on hand to add details. You could even make play dough people of your family as you sat in the grand council! Have fun and enjoy! Leave up for a while to enjoy the fruit of your labors.

Discuss the story and scriptures of the Premortal Council as you create. Abraham 3:22-28
Another great reference with lots of scriptures Russell M. Nelson, “How Firm Our Foundation,” Ensign, May 2002, 75

Lastly, make a play dough path. For each step you make, name something we do to follow Jesus' example of obedience. Just as Jesus said, "Here I am, send me." (Abraham 3:27) we can say- Here we are, we'll follow!

Bear Testimony.
Closing Song: I Lived in Heaven (Children's Songbook pg. 4)

Friday, November 12, 2010

His Humble Birth

The Birth of Jesus Gospel Art Book

Elder Andersen asks, "Do they think about His humble birth, the Savior of the world lying in a manger? Do His circumstances help them better understand the proper place of material possessions?"

Start with opening prayer.

Song: Once Within A Lowly Stable (Children's Songbook pg. 41)

Have a texture box. A small shoe box filled with straw and hay. Hide different pictures having to do with the birth of Christ in the hay, humility as the focus. (Pictures could include: manger, swaddling clothes, animals, no room at inn, shepherds, Bethlehem) Use tweezers and take turns sifting through the hay until you catch a picture.

Read one of the following per each picture:
1. Matthew 19:24, "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

2. Alma 22:15 "And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy."

3. If there were a fire in our home, what really matters to us? What would we save if we could grab 3 things? What would we do if we couldn't save anything but our family?

4. Search the house and find 2 things you're willing to donate to a family in need. Then do it when you have the chance!

5. D&C 67:10 "And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual." What would we give to know our Savior?

6. Name 3 things you have. Where did they come from? (For example: Our car. Came from metals, which came from the earth that Jesus helped organize.) Trace all the things back to Jesus and Heavenly Father.
"To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous." (Gospel Library)

Bear Testimony.
Closing Song: Away in a Manger (Children's Songbook pg. 42)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ask, and Ye Shall Recieve- Using the example of our Savior's prayers

All the above images are from the Gospel Art Book and depict instances of the Savior Praying

Elder Andersen asks, "Do they know that Jesus often taught, "Ask, and ye shall receive?" Do His prayers of thankfulness and His pleadings to His Father flow through our children's minds as they kneel in prayer with their own concerns?

Please read the following, as personal study, before you present this lesson. John W. Welch, “The Lord’s Prayers,” Ensign, Jan 1976, 15 It's a compilation and explanation of the examples in scripture in the which Jesus prays.

Start with an opening prayer.

Sing: A Child's Prayer (Children's Songbook pg. 12)

Attention Activity: Have a jar and 30 little puff balls (or beans, whatever you have). As a family, take turns putting the puff balls into the jar and counting to 30. Is that a lot? If someone said something 30 times, would that be a lot? Try saying I love you 30 times together. Hold up the scriptures. Jesus and Heavenly Father have told us in 30 different scriptures, "Ask and ye shall receive".
(FYI- I did a scripture search on, there were 33 results but 3 of the scriptures didn't apply)

Display all the pictures of Jesus Praying, however cut out a large chunk from each picture. On each missing piece write numbers 1 through 5, and read correspondingly from Keith B. McMullin, “Words of Jesus: Prayer,” Ensign, Jan 2003, 48 then have a family member match it to the right picture.
  1. Jesus taught us to pray with complete faith and trust in God. To His disciple’s request that Jesus teach them to pray, the Savior responded: “When ye pray, say, … Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (Luke 11:2)
  2. Jesus taught us to watch and pray always. Our natural inclination is to pray only at particular times or on special occasions. By admonishing us to “watch … and pray always,” the Lord warns us to be ever vigilant and spiritually alert to the evil around us. (Alma 34:39)
  3. Jesus taught us to be divinely guided or inspired as we pray. Jesus said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matt. 6:8) Obtaining revelation requires faith and pondering.
  4. Jesus taught us to pray with sincerity of heart.  He said: “When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites … [for they pray] that they may be seen of men. … When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matt. 6:5, 7; see also Eccl. 5:2)
  5. Jesus taught us to attend to all things in prayer. Jesus’ instruction and example bear witness that we are to remember God and pray over all that we do (2 Ne. 32:9)
Have a picture of your family. Cut out a large chunk. On the back of it, write things that may concern each member of the family- worries, troubles, questions or thoughts. As we remember Jesus and how He prayed, we can pray like Him too. He's told us over and over again, (hold up the jar!!!) "Ask and ye shall receive."

Bear testimony. Close with the song I love to Pray (Children's Songbook pg. 25)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jesus LOVES children!!!

Image from “Our Savior, Jesus Christ,” Friend, Sep 2010, 49

Elder Andersen asks, "Have we told them of the love Jesus has for children, how He held them in His arms, prayed for them, and wept? Do our children know that Jesus stands ready "with open arms to receive them"?

Start with opening prayer.

Sing Jesus Loved the Little Children (Children's Songbook pg.59)

Show GAK picture 216

Show GAK picture 322

Lastly show the following picture of a Hen and Chicks

Read D&C 29:1-2 "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer."

Just as chicks are the babies of hens, so are we the children of Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father cherishes His children and has sent Jesus to gather us with OPEN ARMS as a hen would gather her chicks with big open wings. They love us VERY MUCH!!

Time for art!!! HERE are instructions on how to do a Hen and Chick (as pictured above) art lesson courtesy Art Projects For Kids by Kathy Barbro. Crayola Oil Pastels can be bought at Michael's for $3 with 40% off coupons, well worth the investment!

Bear Testimony. Closing Song My Heavenly Father Loves Me (Children's Songbook pg.228)

Strength in Fasting

Elder Andersen asks, "Do they take strength in the stories of Jesus fasting- as we teach them the law of fast?"

Start with Opening Prayer. Sing A Smile is Like the Sunshine (Children's Songbook pg. 267)

Print out THIS and read the story of Jesus fasting and then being tempted by Satan. (New Testament Stories Chapter 11)

In the story, how did Jesus stay strong and avoid falling into Satan's temptations? What are things we can do to exercise our spirit and be strong like our Savior? Let's learn about fasting by going to different exercise stations.

Have 5 different places in your home to do the following as a familiy, counting together too!:
  1. Push Ups- Do 3 push ups. Matt. 6: 16, 18 "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. " In our opening song, what was like sunshine?
  2. Sit Ups- Do 10 sit ups. What is fasting and how do I do it? More info HERE.
  3. Jumping Jacks- Do 15 jumping jacks. Share the following from Gospel Library/Gospel Topics "On one occasion, the Savior cast a devil out from a child and used this experience to teach His disciples about the power of prayer and fasting. His disciples asked Him, "Why could not we cast him out?" Jesus answered: "Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (See Matthew 17:14–21.)
    This account teaches that prayer and fasting can give added strength to those giving and receiving priesthood blessings. The account can also be applied to our personal efforts to live the gospel. If we have a weakness or sin that we have struggled to overcome, we may need to fast and pray in order to receive the help or forgiveness we desire. Like the demon that Christ cast out, our difficulty may be the kind that will go out only through prayer and fasting. "
  4. Squats- Do 10 squats. Share a personal experience of a time fasting has helped you.
  5. Strike a Muscle Pose!! Again from the Gospel Library/ Gospel Topics "Isaiah also testified of the blessings that come when we obey the law of the fast: "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. . . . If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (Isaiah 58:8–11)."
We can be strong by following the example of Jesus and fast!! Bear Testimony.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our loneliness, The Savior's loneliness

Footprints in the Sand Image courtesy creative commons license by Elliot Moore Sept. 2005

Elder Andersen asks, "In their own loneliness, do our children know the loneliness the Savior felt as His friends deserted Him and as He asked His Apostles, "Will ye also go away?"

Start with Opening prayer.

Watch THIS. Have pictures ready to show depicting the events he talks about. It is the May 2009 Conference Talk by Jeffrey R. Holland's None Were With Him. You may have to click on the left hand side on "watch". Let the spirit guide your conversation with family members.

Bear Testimony.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Miracle of Miracles- The Life of Jesus

The Marriage at Cana, by Carl Heinrich Bloch. (Used by permission of the National Historic Museum at Frederiksborg in Hillerød, Denmark. "Christ’s Ministry and Miracles,” Ensign, Jan 2007, 40–45)

Elder Andersen asks, "Have our children felt the power of the Savior's miracles? Jesus healed the leper, gave sight to the blind. He fed the 5,000, calmed the sea, and raised Lazarus from the dead. Do our children believe that "it is by faith that miracles are wrought," and do they pray for miracles in their own life?"

Start with opening prayer. Sing The Miracle found in “Christmas Carols,” Ensign, Dec. 1973, 10.

Almost every part of Jesus' life was a miracle, including His earthly beginning we are currently celebrating!
Review some of the miracles of His life by playing miracle charades. Some stories to act out could include:
healing the leper
giving sight to the blind
feeding 5,000
calming the sea
withers a barren fig tree
raising Lazarus from the dead
casting out devils
walking on water
turning water into wine

Memorize the following scripture, Moroni 7:37 "...For it is by faith that miracles are wrought..." Make a family sign to put on the refrigerator of this scripture -everyone can decorate with pictures of Jesus' miracles!

Bear Testimony. Closing Song I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus (Children's Songbook pg.78)

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Be Not Afraid, Only Believe" Mark 5:36

GAK picture 215

Elder Andersen asks, " Have our children taken courage from the Savior's words to the ruler of the synagogue: "Be not afraid, only believe."?

Start with opening Prayer. Sing 3rd verse How Firm a Foundation (Hymns pg. 85)

Act out the story of Jesus raising Jarius's daughter with simple costumes and props. The following is from the back of GAK picture 215 and could be read while family members act out.

"While Jesus was teaching the people, a ruler named Jairus came and knelt before Him. Jairus asked Jesus to come to his home because his only daughter, who was about 12 years old, was dying. Jairus had faith that his daughter could be healed if Jesus would lay His hands upon her. (See Matthew 9:18-19; Mark 5:22-23; Luke 8:41-42.)

Jesus started to go home with Jairus, but other people crowded around Him. While Jesus was helping a sick woman, a man came and told Jairus that his daughter had died. (See Matthew 9:19; Mark 5:24, Mark 5:35; Luke 8:49.) When Jesus heard this He said, "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole" (Luke 8:50; see also Mark 5:36).

When Jesus arrived at Jairus's home, He told the mourners not to cry because the girl was not dead. The mourners laughed at Jesus and made fun of Him because they knew she was dead. (See Matthew 9:2324; Mark 5:3840; Luke 8:5253.)

Jesus sent the mourners away and went into the house with Peter, James, John, Jairus, and Jairus's wife (see Mark 5:40; Luke 8:51). Then He took the girl by the hand and said, "I say unto thee, arise" (Mark 5:41; see also Luke 8:54). The girl's spirit returned to her body, and she arose from her bed (see Matthew 9:25; Mark 5:42; Luke 8:55).

"And her parents were astonished" (Luke 8:56; see also Mark 5:42). Jesus told them to give her something to eat and asked them not to tell anyone what had happened (see Mark 5:42-43; Luke 8:55-56).

As a family, take a white pillow case, perhaps like the one where Jairus's daughter laid her head and write quotes, scriptures, thoughts, draw pictures on being courageous. We never have to be afraid, only believe just as Jesus said. (This is especially helpful for our little girls who sometimes have bad dreams... even though they sleep right next to us!!! :) )

Bear testimony.

Some Things Are Just Plain AWESOME

Mentos Science Experiment Image Courtesy UK Mail Online

Elder Andersen asks, "Do our children know about His perfect life, His selfless ministry, His betrayal and cruel Crucifixion? Have we testified to them of the certainty of His Resurrection, of His visit to the Nephites in the Americas, of His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove?"

Start with opening prayer. Sing How Great Thou Art (Hymn #86)... but pick up the tempo a little for the children.

Proceed to do this experiment outside: AWESOME EXPERIMENT

Was that pretty awesome and wonderful and super? What is something that is even more awesome and wonderful and super?

Dan. 4: 3 "How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation."

Jesus Christ and His perfect life and Resurrection!!!
As a family we'll do the experiment again, but to earn mentos we need to answer questions, read scriptures and sing songs having to do with His awesome life!
Have a paper bag with the following on separate little pieces of paper inside for family members to take turns drawing out.
1. How was Jesus perfect? Name 3 things in His life He did that we can do.
2. Read the following quote and show a picture of President Hinckley. "I want to give you my testimony. I know that God our Eternal Father lives, that He is the great Governor of the universe, and that we are His children, and that somehow He hears and answers the prayers of His children. I want you to know that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He left His royal home on high and came down among men—hated and abused of men—and that He went about doing good [see Acts 10:38]. He was crucified out of the hatred of the people; He rose the third day—'the firstfruits of them that slept' (1 Corinthians 15:20). I want you to know that the Father and the Son appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and ushered in this marvelous dispensation—the greatest dispensation in the history of the entire world." Gordon B. Hinckley, "Inspirational Thoughts," Ensign, Feb. 2007, 4
3. Sing Tell Me the Stories of Jesus (CS pg. 57)
4. What feelings do you have when you think about the betrayal and Crucifixion of Jesus? (Show GAK pictures 228 and 230)
5. What is your favorite story from the life of Christ? Tell it.
6. Name 3 ways Jesus was "selfless". Name 3 ways we can be "selfless" too. 
8. Find 2 scriptures having to do with Jesus' Resurrection.
9. Pretend you are an ancient Nephite witnessing the visit of Christ to America. Describe how you feel, what you see and some things you hear.
10. Tell the story of Heavenly Father and Jesus appearing to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. Why is this important to you?
Bear testimony of the Divinity and reality of Jesus Christ. Then go take the mentos you earned and explode away! There are many awesome things in life, but the greatest is knowing that Jesus Christ lives!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Majestic Return

Jesus Christ - Christus Statue by midiman
(Christus Image courtesy creative commons license by midiman Jan. 2006)
Elder Andersen asks, "Do they anticipate His majestic return, when all will be made right and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ?"

Start with an opening prayer.
Sing When He Comes Again (CS pg. 82)

Make a "Majestic Return" bingo game. Have about 9 squares on each sheet. Draw small pictures or depending on ages, you can include scriptures, in each square. You can also include hymns or GAK images too. Use small crowns (google crown clip art and make plenty for each family member) as some simple paper markers.

Some ideas taken from the Primary 7 manual include :
Only Heavenly Father knows the exact time when Jesus will come (JS—M 1:40).

Jesus will be dressed in red clothes (D&C 133:48).

False Christs will deceive many (JS—M 1:22).

Jesus will come down from the sky (Acts 1:11).

The Second Coming will be a glorious day for the righteous (D&C 2:1).

The wicked will be destroyed (D&C 29:9).

When Jesus comes, he will look brighter than the sun (D&C 133:49).

Missionaries will preach the gospel everywhere in the world (JS—M 1:31).

Desolations are wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (JS—M 1:28–29).

The sun will be darkened (D&C 45:42).

For me personally, and it's probably because I'll be burned alive, I don't really anticipate the 2nd coming. I know I need a better attitude. I don't want my girls to ever be scared. I'm hoping a fun game like this will lighten my tension and worry on the subject.

End with this scripture:
Rom. 14: 11 "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

Bear testimony.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Presents of Peace

Image courtesy creative commons license by kevinthoule 10/15/05

My Christmas budget has been spent and now it's time to get creative! I wanted a few gifts that will help our souls grow and be spiritually meaningful... so dear hubby if you're reading this, time to click off and not spoil some surprises!

All these gifts are based on scriptures.

* 1 Nephi 19:23 "And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning."

Take a small brown paper bag and put a nice bow. Fill it with papers with scriptures on one side and then moments that this scripture has reminded you of the person on the other.

For example: 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" Then on the next side, "My dad setting up hundreds of chairs as Elder's Quorum president week after week all by himself. It seemed impossible but you always did it without complaining."

* Mosiah 2: 17 "When ye are in the service of others, ye are only in the service of your God."

Make a list of community volunteer opportunities. You can search newspapers, craigslist, the yellow pages, go to the library or schools and ask... google is always great. :) Print out this wonderful talk given at the last general conference. (What have I Done for Someone Today? President Monson) Attach both together and roll up like a scroll. Put a nice ribbon. Take about 10 index cards and make them a little fancier... whether it be stickers or whatever. On the top of the index cards put What Have I Done for Someone Today?

This gift is different. It encourages one to have wonderful experiences, then record it on the index cards to put in a journal or just reflect on. I know I love to help out but don't always have the knowledge of what needs to be done or how to help... maybe others think the same way and this could be a meaningful gift!

* D&C 59:5 "Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him."

How many of us take the time to review and ponder what we did good that day? Take this scripture and write it on a white board in permanent marker. Underneath (again, in permanent marker) write the question: What did I do today to fulfill this commandment? Boards and dry erase markers can be found at the dollar store or target dollar section.

* Mosiah 4:27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Spray paint an old shoe gold. Fill the shoe with your favorite quotes on hope, perseverance, and endurance. Give a little note card explaining:

When you're feeling tired
Worn out from the day,
When the race seems heavy
Don't fear or dismay!
Reach inside this shoe,
Golden truth will restore
A smile to your face
and love forever more!
poem by Sofia

* Ether 12: 27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Teach a talent or one of your strengths to someone you love. For example, my hubby doesn't know how to play the piano or read music, so I'm going to plan on teaching him this upcoming year. And to my Hubster, if you happen to be spoiling your surprise and reading this I would like you to please teach me how to play all those Bob Marley songs on the guitar. It will be music dates.

* Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Buy or make a 2010 year calendar. For each day write a scripture for the person to look up or a service challenge. Have a theme for each month... for example Hope. Use the topical guide and plan away precious time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 LDS Christmas Family Devotional Ideas

This year we will have the letters CHRISTMAS hanging on a small Christmas tree. For each letter is a Christ centered quality and attribute we can learn about and follow. Once a devotional is done, I will let the girls replace the letter with the picture from the devotional on the tree. (Pictures to come soon!)

I just want to take the opportunity to bear testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. Because He was born, because He lived His life perfectly and then atoned for you and I... we can have happiness! We can have peace and return to Him again after doing our very best. I love Christmas time. I love everyday of life.

I pray that my daughters can learn early through the teaching of the Holy Ghost who Christ is. I pray that my son can be proud of his mommy who adores him and does everything she can to return to him and make sure our family is eternal. I pray that Heavenly Father may know that I consider it a privilege to be able to bow before Him and confess Him as my God and His Son, Jesus Christ, as my Savior and Redeemer.

I hope these can help you and your beautiful families in any way shape or form! Merry Merry Christmas!!

"C" For Charity

Gospel Art Book Jesus Carrying a Lost Lamb

Scripture: Moroni 7:45-47
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever ; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

Scripture: John 10:11-15 "I am the good shepherd : the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."

Activity: Find, then be kind! Hide a bunch of stuffed animals around the house. These are like our Father's lost sheep. We must find, then be kind to them! Name something kind you can do for people as you find the stuffed animals.

Song: Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd (Hymns pg. 221)

Bear Testimony

Additional Activity: From what the children have come up with, as far as kindness ideas, choose one idea and then go do!
**Although, I'm kind of tempted to go as a family to a busy intersection with signs like "Have a nice day" and big smiley faces**