Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Succession in the Presidency

 After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, the Church was without a President. To teach how a new President was called, we studied the 4 possible "candidates". We learned how and why Brigham Young become the next President of the Church and Prophet in this dispensation. I had 4 students represent each "candidate" and read the reasons why they or someone else felt they should be he next President of the Church.

We read testimonies of the Saints who were present to hear Brigham Young speak and to see and hear him take on the appearance and voice of Joseph Smith.

As a lead-in to this discussion, I made a time-line of events leading to the martydom (see photos at the end). It helped set the stage for discussing the possible options of who would serve as the next President.

As an activity (see photos below) I set up chairs for each current member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We walked through what will happen when President Monson passes away and what happens to his counselors, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf.
We moved the pictures to the appropriate chairs to show the seniority of each Apostle and discussed how a new President of the Church is called and how new Apostles are called.

 Succession in the Presidency activity

 Time Line

Temple Socks

This morning, my  students LOVED  receiving their new Temple Socks so much that they could not wait to wear them. As they were putting them on, they were naming all the times and places they plan to wear their new socks.
One student said, "I am going to have the coolest socks in my entire school.. I will be the only person in my school with Temple Socks!"
A fellow Seminary teacher introduced these on the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group as an idea for an end of year gift. (I love that Facebook group and these socks!)

I reminded them to "Stand in Holy Places" and of this counsel from President Thomas S Monson
on the eternal importance of Temples:
"Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple? 
Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. 
There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, 
or too much discomfort to endure. 
They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort."

Order your own pair(s) HERE

Happy Teaching!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Latter-day Prophets Line-up

This is a fun and effective way to review the names of the Latter-day Prophets:
Place the name of one of the Latter-day Prophets on the back of each student.
(if you have less than 16 students, double up the names, i.e. place two names that are next to each other in succession on the same person's back-if you have more than 16 students, have the students without names coach the players with names on their backs to get in the right place)

Without talking, have them line up in order starting with Joseph Smith and ending with Thomas S Monson. Then have them check themselves.
Once they are lined up, sing the Latter-day Prophets Primary Song.
It is fun to watch them work together to get all the names in chronological order.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Whittling and Whistling Brigade

We learned about the Nauvoo Whittling and Whistling Brigade today.
Everyone can do their part to serve.
Even something as insignificant as whistling played an important role in protecting the Saints.

We did our own whittling and whistling with Ivory Soap.
I told the students yesterday to bring a pocket knife or carving knife to class today. One did. For the others, I had kitchen knives for them to carve with.
I told them to carve what they think a young boy in Nauvoo in 1844 would carve.
One of my students carved the shape of the state of Missouri, symbolizing his thoughts were on Zion.
A Piano
 A Person (from the front it looks more like a person )

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Don't Be An Airhead

Doctrine & Covenants 130:18-19
18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
We discussed the importance of gaining knowledge from many uplifting sources and how to avoid becoming and "AIRHEAD". As students shared, they received and Airhead candy.

Give Me a Reason "Riesen"

This was an effective way to get my students searching and digging for answers this morning. 
It will work with many lessons. 
I posted a doctrine on the board and then asked them to tell me the REASON it is true backed up with a scripture (preferably from the section/verses from our lesson reading) 
When they shared the REASON, I gave them a "RIESEN" candy. 
Great discussion and interaction resulted. (And this happens to be one of my all time favorite candies!!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons

We made lemonade out of lemons today as we studied the Saints arrival in Commerce, Illinois  and began to settle and build the city of Nauvoo after being expelled from Missouri.
The land was a swamp infested with mosquitos and many of the Saints contracted malaria, including Joseph Smith.
In spite of these circumstances, they cared for one another, worked to build their new home, dug ditches, and drained water from the swamps to the river, which made the land more usable and greatly reduced the mosquito problem.
Eventually, they built homes, businesses, schools, and other structures, including the Nauvoo Temple, which was considered by some to be one of the finest buildings in the country.

The Saints decided to improve the circumstances around them, which improved them as individuals, drawing them closer to Jesus Christ.

We discussed the lemons in our lives and how we can over come them and turn them into lemonade (strengths)

I gave each student a whole lemon and asked them how they could turn it in to lemonade.
A few answered, add sugar, etc.
Finally one said, cut the lemon.
I asked with what?
The student asked for a knife so I gave her a plastic knife and told her to cut it. At first it was difficult, but she got the job done.
She started to squeeze the lemon with her hands, with the juice dripping in to a cup.

We related this to using the tools that are available and making the best of our circumstances.
Then I brought out:
First, a better knife
Second, a hand juicer
Third, an electric juicer

We discussed each tool and how they would all get the job done, we just had to use them and have a positive expectation.

Each student  juiced their lemon with one of the tools, poured their lemon juice in a cup and added water.
I told them that was lemonade and to go ahead and return to their seats and enjoy it.

Quickly, they pointed out that it was sour and they needed sugar, to which I brought out a jar of "ATTITUDE": aka sugar.
I gave each of them a spoon and we related this to the positive attitude necessary to improve circumstances.
We did a lot of relating the Saints' circumstances to our own lemons vs lemonade experiences.
We concluded that a strong faith in Christ helped them through trials (lemons) just as a strong faith in Christ will help us do the same.

Adapt this lesson for teaching overcoming trials.