In 2017 the worldwide Primary theme is “Choose the Right.” I love it! The CTR shield is so iconic and we’ll be using it in many ways all year long.
We’ll also be using My Gospel Standards as the framework to discuss how to choose the right, month by month. If you aren’t in Primary, you may not be familiar with these! They are part of the Faith in God program, a goal setting program for Senior Primary. They are sort of like For the Strength of Youth but simplified for a younger crowd. We’ll use these 13 mini-subjects as the theme for bishopric visits and more during the year. I was also delighted to hear that The Friend will be offering a CTR Challenge every month in 2017 that correlates with the My Gospel Standards subjects.
I’m sharing this all to explain that our Primary is going to be spending time with each of these 13 gospel standards next year. Because of that I wanted to make them easy to understand for children as young as the Sunbeams! So I paired up each standard with a simple, easy to understand icon, as you can see above.
The first printable is a sort of mini poster and is available below in full color in tabloid (11×17) size.
I also made each of these standards available as individual letter size, full color printables, like the one you see below. You can print these at home on a color printer if you want. Printing all 13 would make an easy bulletin board and would only cost about $7.
There are 13 standards, plus a couple of extras below. First a kind of cover page:
And the I am a Child of God postscript:
I also made an easier to print poster–you can print it on two sheets of regular, letter-size paper if you don’t have easy access to a print shop that can print 11×17 sizes.
So with these four extras plus the 13 gospel standards, there are a total of 17 full color pages available in this Gospel Standards packet.
I think this is all I will offer of the full color variety, but over the next week or so I’ll post these icons and formats in an easy to photocopy black and white version. I also have a poster size (engineering print) in the works… stay tuned!
About five years ago I put together this super simple Service advent for my family and posted it on my personal family blog. I still really like it. It is so simple and every single activity is inexpensive (or free) and quick. Because at the beginning of December I have lots of energy for extra festivities. But by the end I am just hanging on, getting the essentials finished up.
This calendar is perfect for busy families because it is so simple. I thought carefully about each day’s service activity: I think each one can be completed by a child (about 8+) with very little help from an adult. More importantly, I think the small but meaningful service activities could really add to the spirit of peace and giving that we are all striving for at Christmas time.
It would be perfect for a Primary class, Family Home Evening, and even useful with the Young Women or Young Men.
One of the first projects I shared on The Mormon Home was our ward Priesthood Preview–about two years ago! Those printables were overdue for an update and I really like the new look I’m sharing here today. Feel free to use for your ward, print, and share!
I could not be more thrilled with the new directions we’ve received about the Priesthood Preview including both boys and girls. The “tie” imagery seems very wrong (and doctrinally not sound, right?) so it’s no longer available.
Here’s the link: https://www.lds.org/callings/primary/temple-and-priesthood-preparation?lang=eng
I also really like this interview for more clarifying comments regarding women and the priesthood:
Here’s the text:
Each year, a meeting called Temple and Priesthood Preparation is held for 11-year-old boys and girls together. Their parents are also invited. The purpose is to help these children understand the blessings of temple service, priesthood service, and making and keeping sacred covenants. Possible topics for the meeting include priesthood purposes, responsibilities, ordinances, and blessings; helping boys strengthen their commitment to prepare to receive the priesthood; helping boys and girls understand their opportunities to participate in the work of salvation; and encouraging children to prepare to receive a limited-use temple recommend when they turn 12 and to participate worthily in proxy baptisms as their circumstances allow.
Below are some resources and guidelines to assist you in planning the meeting.
- Mosiah 18:8–11 (covenants)
- Doctrine and Covenants 20:38–60 (duties of priesthood holders)
- Thomas S. Monson, “The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 90–94
- Thomas S. Monson, “Blessings of the Temple,” Ensignor Liahona, May 2015, 91–93
- Dallin H. Oaks, “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 49–52
- Quentin L. Cook, “Roots and Branches,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 44–48
- “The Priesthood Can Bless Our Lives,” lesson 47 in Primary 5
- “Temple Challenge” (video, 2:08)
- The Primary presidency plans the meeting under the direction of the bishopric.
- A member of the bishopric conducts the meeting, and at least one member of the Primary presidency attends.
- Other leaders, including members of the deacons quorum presidency, the Beehive class presidency, and Young Men and Young Women presidencies, may also attend.
- If a ward has very few 11-year-olds, the meeting may be held, under the direction of the stake presidency, with other wards or with the entire stake.
- According to local needs, the meeting may be held on a Sunday evening, as part of a Primary meeting on Sunday, or at another time.
This year I had one single goal for our Primary: more scripture study. To help the Primary kids and their families finish strong, I put together a new, simple reading guide that I hope will encourage them all to read through the end of the year!
Just for context, we’ve been working on scripture study for all of 2016. We started off with the Feast Upon the Words business cards, re-emphasized this program in June with new bookmarks, and celebrated memorizing the books of scripture in August. Additionally, each child was able to redeem their business cards for some kind of treat throughout the year: for every 30 days of reading they earned a treat. These have been varied, starting with buttons, replaced by squishy stress toys (a favorite) and now we’re using food-themed erasers.
But we’re all getting pretty tired and I think we need one final push to get us through the end of the year. I also think that the one focus that has been missing with the earlier “Feast” scripture program was the latter part of the phrase “upon the words of Christ.” So for the final months of the year, I made a reading chart with 30 scripture passages related to Christ, if not actual words that He said. I’m hoping our families will read one passage per day, mark off the circle and then return the completed page for a treat, as per our earlier 30-day agreement.
In an unusual move, I’m printing these in full color. I almost always just do black and white because it is so much less expensive to photocopy. But I want this last scripture study push to have some extra sparkle. So I’m paying extra for full color. There is one available in a full page size and then some that are four-per-page. I’ll probably print about a dozen full page versions for parents and then give a quarter page one to each child. I’ll be printing these on white card stock.
Happy Feasting, friends!
I am neck deep in planning for our Primary in 2017! I’m very excited. I really love these children and I’m looking forward to the theme next year.
Last year I put together these one-page calendars to help with planning. It is really helpful for me to see the whole year all at once! I thought I would share them. I like to have the theme and scripture for the month as well as a few basic dates (bank holidays and General Conference–I add our stake conference dates too). It’s available below.
If you’d like a much more general calendar, with bank dates but no Primary details, it’s also available below. I’m handing this over to our Cubs as they begin planning for their year. It would be great for Activity Days leaders as well.
I had a request for a one page compilation of the summary statements and images. Voila 🙂 Click here for the PDF.
I am totally in love with this game I just posted on Or So She Says: it’s a bunch of fabulous words pulled together into brackets so you can play together and countdown to the Best Word Ever. It was super fun to pull together. My husband printed off the pages last week and they’ve been doing the Final Four list at his office–he knew they would like it but he’s been surprised at just how much everyone has gotten on board. It’s originally based on the awesome idea at Ted McCagg’s blog. His top word ever: diphthong.
Go check it out and download your brackets and words. It’s a great game for families with older kids, YSA, or family home evening.
There are two versions–one where you decide the best word per every letter of the alphabet (long game) or one where you debate between the best word ever for just the top letters in the alphabet (short). Both would be super fun. Here’s a glimpse at the complete list, below.
I got a sweet plea from a dedicated Seminary teacher to put together the New Testament Doctrinal Mastery flashcards! Here they are. The first 7 pages are the images and the doctrinal summary, the next 7 pages are the scriptural references.
The flashcards are designed to fit a quarter page. There is tons of white space to make it super easy to photocopy front to back. Even if your copy machine or printer is a little off, you should still be just fine.
I designed them the same way as last year: the references are reversed so that they will photocopy correctly (I hope my image above with the numbers makes sense). Let me know if you have any questions!
I like to print a one page conference coloring sheet for my Primary kids. I have mixed feelings about packets, but I think a one-page take home sheet works well as a reminder for families to engage with conference. This year, I put together a new one that correlates with the Primary “I know the Scriptures are True!” theme. I chose the King Benjamin image for the front because of the parallels between his address to the people and our current, latter-day conference 🙂
The activities and coloring centers around The Book of Mormon, all pulled from the new coloring book available online.
It’s designed printed on both sides of normal paper and then folded in half (a sort of booklet). The liahona and title of liberty both cross the fold line because I think it looks cool!
My Mormonism runs deep in my bones: it is the faith of my fathers. My life’s work–my children–is bearing the fruit of this faith. Undeniably one of the more unique aspects of my religion is the doctrine of family. A child of divorced parents, a great-great-great-grandchild of polygamists and pioneers: my understanding of family has been subject to a mature interpretation of Mormonism itself. Capturing the clarity of our doctrine on family while simultaneously allowing room for the complexity of true family life is this lovely book by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, the authors of Girls Who Choose God.
The book is not a narrative story: it’s organized around fifteen key ideas that would easily lend themselves to lessons for Family Home Evening, Primary Sharing Time or Visiting Teaching. Short paragraphs support these key ideas, reinforced by quotes from leaders. Similar to their earlier books, each key idea also includes questions that provoke discussion and thought. For example, in the section titled “Families Creat and Celebrate,” the questions include: How do you create with your family? What is one of your favorite family traditions? And, what tradition would you like to start? The quote is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Our birthright… is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things….Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before–colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.”
It’s hard to over exaggerate how lovely the illustrations are, all by Caitlin Connolly. Each one is imbued with rich symbolism and imagery that complements the key idea at hand. The art is a stark departure from much recent work for LDS children. It is so much more brave and opinionated. It reminds me of the kind of art work in My Turn on Earth: memorable, evocative and bold. Highly stylized, but purposeful. I love it.
Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families is exactly the kind of book I am happy to support in every way and will treasure in my home for years to come. Pick up a copy online or at your local church bookstore.