Sharing Time Idea From The 2013 Outline
IDENTIFY THE DOCTRINE: Write “Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness” on a piece of paper. Place the paper in a container and wrap it to look like a gift. Hold up the gift and tell the children that inside is something that will bring them happiness. Let them guess what it might be. Then open the gift and have a child read the sentence to the class. Explain that Heavenly Father has a plan so that we can be happy and live with Him again.
ENCOURAGE UNDERSTANDING(singing a song and answering questions): Give each class a word strip with one of the following questions written on it:
- What does my life have, and where did it begin?
- What was my choice, and what should I seek?
- What should I follow, and to what can I hold fast?
- How will I feel if I follow God’s plan?
Sing the first two lines of “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (CS, 164–65), and discuss the answer to the first question. Repeat with the rest of the song and the other questions.
ENCOURAGE UNDERSTANDING (finishing a statement): Put pictures representing premortal, mortal, and postmortal life in three separate areas of the room. Draw a happy face on a piece of paper. Tell the children that each time you hold up the happy face, they should say, “Happy.” Stand near the picture of premortal life and describe the Council in Heaven. Whenever possible, let the children finish your statements with “happy” as you hold up the happy face. For example: “Heavenly Father wanted us to be happy. He told us about His plan to send us to earth and receive a body. He said that we could be happy if we obeyed His commandments. He knew that we would need a Savior to help us be happy, because none of us are perfect. When we heard about Heavenly Father’s plan, we were so happy we shouted for joy!” Continue this activity as you move to the other areas and describe the plan of happiness: “You came to your family, and they were so happy when you were born.” “We are happy as we make righteous choices.” “We will be happy to be with our families and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever in the celestial kingdom.” Add details of the plan as appropriate for the ages and understanding of the children.
ENCOURAGE APPLICATION (drawing pictures): Give each child a piece of paper with a happy face and the words “Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness” on it. Invite them to draw a picture of something in our Heavenly Father’s plan that makes them happy. Testify that the Father’s plan is for our eternal happiness.
Sharing Time Ideas from Little LDS Ideas
Today, I wanted to share another idea that you could use to open your Sharing Time (Identify the Doctrine).
Get a large box and several helium filled balloons. You can either write the sentence 'Heavenly Father's plan is a plan of happiness' on the balloons (a few words per balloon) or just have a bunch of balloons with happy faces.
Once you have your balloons, make sure they have strings attached, attach the ends of the string to the bottom of the box. Making sure the strings are long enough for the balloons to float out of the box once opened.
Invite a child to come to the front a open the box. When they open the box the balloons will float up (and I'm sure the children will be so excited!).
If you wrote a few words from the sentence, you could have the children unscramble the sentence. Have a few children hold each balloon until they unscramble the sentence. Then read the sentence aloud.
If you choose to just have happy face balloons explain that the 'gift' you just opened represents something that brings us happiness (just like the happy balloons). Have the children guess and then explain the Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.
**Wrap the large box with a big bow to have it look like a gift. Then you can explain that inside is a clue for a gift that we have been given that brings us happiness.
I decided to take a look back at some of my past Sharing Time ideas for this topic. Last year I shared these 2 ideas (below). I think they would work great for this week. You could even incorporate the ‘Encourage Understanding’ by having them finish statements by saying ‘Happy’.
Idea #1: Here’s an idea from 'The Friend' (February 1999). I really like this idea, and it would work great for a large Primary.
1. Plan with the music leader to teach the children about the plan of salvation with a “Sing-a-Story.” Assemble the following visual aids:
signs: Premortal Existence (or, Pre-earth Life), Spirit, Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom;
Gobe or picture of earth
a baby doll;
4 pictures of Jesus—alone, teaching, the Crucifixion, resurrected;
2 labeled partitions (these could be poster boards, drapes, scarves, or screens)—Birth and Death;
and “name” tags, Spirit Body and Physical Body.
Have one child represent all the children and move through the “plan.”
In the Premortal existence, the child wears the Spirit Body sign. Sing verse 1 of “I Lived in Heaven” (CS, p. 4). Then ask, “How many of us were there?” [we all were], and tell briefly about that Council in Heaven and our choosing to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. Sing verse 2 and hold up the picture of Jesus alone. Tell the children that when Jesus volunteered to be our Savior and give His life so that we could return to live with Heavenly Father, we were so glad that we shouted for joy.
Explain that the next step for us was to be born into this life. Have the child pass through the partition marked Birth. Explain that all of us come into this earth life as babies (show the globe or picture of earth, and the doll) and get a physical body (add the Physical Body sign on the child). Sing “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (CS, pp. 164–165). Ask, “What does this song tell us that we must do while we are on earth?” [Seek God’s light, obey His commandments, etc.]
(For younger children: sing one or two action songs about bodies.
Sing verse 3 of “I Lived in Heaven” and hold up the pictures of Christ teaching and the Crucifixion. Explain that because Jesus taught us the gospel and overcame death through the Resurrection and gave us the gift of the Atonement, we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Him again by living the gospel.
Sing “I Want to Live the Gospel” (CS, p. 148). Have the child pass through the Death partition. Explain that although we don’t know if we will be old or young when we die, we do know that our spirit leaves our body for a while (take the Physical Body sign off the child) and lives in the spirit world (hold up the Spirit World sign).
After Christ’s Second Coming (show the Resurrected Christ picture), we will all be resurrected and receive our physical body again (return the Physical Body sign to the child) and we will find a new home in one of the three degrees of glory (show the 3 Kingdom signs). Emphasize that we are aiming for the Celestial Kingdom. Sing “I Am a Child of God,” verse 4 (CS, pp. 2–3). Bear your testimony of the Savior and your gratitude for the plan that allows us to return to Him.
Idea #2: I had an idea after reading the one above. Here it is:
You will need signs, pictures, or objects to represent each part of the Plan of Salvation. You can use the examples from Idea #2 (baby doll, globe, etc.) Have the items in bags or boxes and number each one. Inside each box you could also add a song that the children can sing after opening. You can use the songs and questions from above or the songs from the Sharing Time Outline.
On a poster-board or chalkboard have the plan of salvation drawn but don't label each area. I thought it might be kind of fun to have a 'veil'. Hang up a sheet in a doorway or somewhere in the Primary room to represent the veil.
Begin by having a child come to the front and find the box/bag labeled #1- Pre-Mortal Life, have a sign or a picture or an object to represent Pre-Mortal Life. Ask the child which part of the 'Plan' this is, Pre-Mortal Existence, then have them find the paper with the Song on it. If you have a question you could ask the question and have the children listen while they sing for the answer.
After you have discussed the part of the Plan, label that part.
Then move on to box/bag #2 and do the same thing as before. Continue until you have gone over the whole Plan of Salvation.
You could find some clip-art to use for the Plan of Salvation and as you talk about each part have the child tape it to your poster-board/chalkboard where it goes.
Here's some clip-art from Sugardoodle: Click Here to view the Plan of Salvation clip-art
I think this is a great way to explain the Plan of Salvation. I like the idea of having a child move through the plan as you discuss it. You could even get creative and get some fun props for the child to hold/wear as they go through each area.
Well, I hope you don't mind me 'recycling' my ideas. Have a wonderful day and a great Sharing Time!