Sunday, January 18, 2009

Activity Day Ideas: Family Trees

This idea comes from:

The boys used the family trees they made at Halloween to make these great artful trees to hang on their wall for a Primary Activity Day (that's through the children's program at our church) The leaders did so much precutting work for the kids so they could assemble this nice tree. I can only imagine how many hours they put into this, but see the beautiful results?!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Activity Days: Joseph Smith's first vision packet

This weeks Activity Days we colored and cut out pictures of the first vision for the girls to use in their upcoming Family Home Evening. This covers Learning & Living the gospel #2. Here is the packet for Family Home Evening:

Opening Song: “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” #26 in Hymns


Scripture: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5)

Quote: President Joseph F. Smith said: “The greatest event that has ever occurred in the world, since the resurrection of the Son of God from the tomb and his ascension on high, was the coming of the Father and of the Son to that boy Joseph Smith. … Having accepted this truth, I find it easy to accept of every other truth that [Joseph Smith] … declared” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. pp. 495–96).

Lesson: Tell the story of the first vision, use the cutouts to help you.
1. Joseph plowing the field - When Joseph was fourteen years old; many people in his hometown were excited about religion. Preachers gave sermons to try to get people to join their churches. Joseph learned about the different churches, but he couldn’t decide which one to join. The preachers disagree with each other. They can’t all be right!
2. Joseph reading the scriptures - One day, as he was studying the Bible, he read James 1:5. “ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Then he knew what to do. Joseph decided he would do what the scripture said—ask God. He went into the woods to pray.
3. Joseph kneeling and praying - Joseph had never prayed out loud before. He looked around to make sure he was alone, then knelt down. As soon as he tried to speak, he was surrounded by thick darkness and he was afraid he would be destroyed. He prayed to be saved from this evil power.
4. Joseph looking up to the sky - Joseph later said: “Just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
5. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ - Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ had appeared to Joseph. They told him not to join any of the churches because they were all wrong. When the pillar of light and the Heavenly Beings left, Joseph was lying on his back. He felt peace and joy. Joseph returned home and told his family about his experience. Joseph’s family loved God and wanted to keep his commandments. They read the Bible and prayed together often. Like Joseph, they were confused about which church was the true church of Jesus Christ. After Joseph received his first vision, his family believed him and supported him in the great work he was called to do.
6. Joseph talking with a preacher - When Joseph told others about his vision, they made fun of him. Ministers of other religions persecuted him, even though he was only a boy. “There are no such things as visions anymore! You’re either lying or you’ve been deceived by the devil.”
7. Book of Mormon - Joseph never denied his testimony. He said: “Though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; … I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.”
8. Children praying - We, too, can go to Heavenly Father in prayer and receive answers to important questions in our lives. Through prayer we can also receive a testimony from Heavenly Father that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

There are two reasons why we pray:
1-We pray to thank Heavenly Father for our blessings
2-We pray to ask for Heavenly Father’s help
Just like Joseph Smith’s prayer was answered, our prayers will be heard and answered when we sincerely speak to Heavenly Father. Ask the family if anyone would like to tell about a time they had a prayer answered. Share your own testimony of prayer or ask one of your parents to share their testimony.

Activity: Play stick pulling, one of Joseph Smith’s favorite games. Contestants sit on the ground facing one another with their feet braced sole to sole. Grasp a round stick, a 1 1/4-inch hardwood dowel, between them, parallel to the ground and lengthwise over their braced feet. On a given signal they begin to pull against each other until one is lifted off the ground enough to see daylight beneath him. The best out of three pulls determines the winner of the contest.

Closing Song: “On a Golden Springtime” (Children’s Songbook p. 88)

Closing Prayer: