Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Visual Lessons

It is nice to go beyond the chalkboard and do a visual lesson.  Although these YW are a bit older, they are still in many ways children and enjoy the difference visual aids can bring to a Sunday presentation.  This can also be helpful when you have a chatty bunch of girls or when there is a Sunday when you cannot seem to keep them focused.  Some individuals are also very visual learners.  You need not be an artist (as you can tell by my visual aid this week) just a little bit creative.


The new lesson curriculum for May is on Prophets and Revelation.  Our lesson was:  "How can I strengthen my testimony?"  I found a wonderful conference talk by Elder Wirthlin that addressed this topic and was very adaptable to visual aids.  The talk is entitled "Siritual Bonfires of Testimony" and compares dangerous wolf packs of the Ukraine to dangerous temptations of the adversary and how to keep the fires of testimony burning bright for our spiritual safety.

I gave each girl a rectangular piece of brown paper that represents a "log" and had them write something that helps build testimonies.  As each girl did so and explained her ideas, we build a fire on the chalkboard.  We had a girl who was the "Keeper of the Flame."  She added the embers to our bonfire making it bigger and brighter, keeping the wolves at bay.  We then subtracted the kindling, one by one, and watched the fire get smaller and smaller, making us more vulnerable to attack.  

I occasionally like to have a "scribe" to write on the chalkboard for me or a helper of some kind (such as a Keeper of the Flame).  This often draws in a girl who is less engaged or not really paying attention.  

My end-of-lesson handout was a snack bag filled with Tootsie Roll logs and a flame that said, "Fuel your testimony."  

The new curriculum is keeping me on my toes!  After years and years of the old lesson manuals, I find that I too am greatly benefited by this new way of doing things and "Teaching in the Saviour's Way."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Prayer ROCKS!

May's lessons include meaningful prayer, personal revelation and, following the prophets.  I admit I had a difficult time narrowing down what I wanted to discuss about prayer .  There are so many wonderful principles taught in these lessons.  A sister in our ward mentioned how Heavenly Father was a "parent" in the true sense of the word, a perfect parent.  This touched my heart and I felt the prompting to talk about conversing with your Father in Heaven as your Heavenly Parent.  Remembering back many years, I contemplated the first time I was away from home and how I missed my mother.  I missed the talking, the counseling, as well as the small daily physical and emotional contacts with her and her love and wisdom.  I believe that our spirit often misses contact with our Heavenly Father in the same way.  How wonderful it is to have that kind of a connection to our Father in Heaven!  How wonderful to know that he cares and WANTS to know about us!  He wants to have real conversations with us, to teach us, guide us, and show us his love!

In the end, I turned to an old faithful handout....prayer rocks.  I hand painted a few using paint pens (Sharpies did not work well) that I found at the craft store and attached the little prayer rock poem that goes with it.  As I bore my testimony, I told the girls how wonderful prayer is that it literally ROCKS!  Although I started with struggles in this lesson, I felt I gained a great deal from the lesson myself.  Is it not wonderful that the Gospel is so diverse and giving in this way?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ really ROCKS!

Prayer Rock Poem:

I'm your little PRAYER ROCK and this is what I'll do:
Just put me on your pillow till the day is through,

Then turn back the covers and climb into bed,
And WHACK!-your little prayer rock will hit you on the head.

Then you will remember as the day is through,
to kneel and say your prayers as you wanted to.

Then when you are finished, just dump me on the floor,
I'll stay there through the night to give you help once more.

When you get up the next morning, CLUNK!  I'll stub your toe,
So you will remember your morning prayers before you go.

Put me back upon your pillow when your bed is made,
your little PRAYER ROCK will continue in your aid.

Because your Heavenly Father cares and loves you so
He wants you to remember to talk to Him, you know.

Charles M. Schultz