Sunday, July 14, 2019

Physical Measurement vs. Spiritual Measurement

This past week was Youth Conference for the youth in our Stake.  My husband and I were given the assignment of teaching a workshop on the topic: This is your time.  What are you doing with it?  I won't bore you with all the lesson details.  However, I thought it would be okay to share two of the object lessons we used. 

FIRST OBJECT LESSON:
After the youth entered the Primary Room, we shared with them a tradition we have in our family.  When our children were younger, we would visit Grandma & Grandpa's house.  Prior to leaving their home, my dad/grandpa, would take all of the grandchildren out into the garage to measure them up against the garage wall.  For years these measurements happened.  As with any family growth chart, there were the typical family challenges as to who would beat whom in height.  The younger children always wanted to grow taller than the other kids.  It was a very sad day when my parents moved out of the area and the measurement wall had to be painted over.  Our own little family didn't want to see this tradition go away so we recreated it in our home.  It's not very pretty, but it is our youngest son's measurements so we are extremely proud of his growth.  You can see he is currently undergoing a very big growth spurt.
Hawkins Family Growth Chart
In order to share this experience with the youth, we decided to have them measure themselves.  Each youth was asked to get a partner.  With their partner, they went over to the wall and measured each other.  They marked their height and put their initials and date on the chart.  We had a great time watching as they all seemed to have smiles on their faces doing this simple task.  We talked about how the length of their hair changed the outcome or if they had their shoes on that made a difference too.  The key was they were having a great time measuring up and seeing how tall they were.

Measuring Activity
After several minutes of discussion, we twisted this into a spiritual activity.  We asked, what if you were asked to measure your spirituality?  How high would your mark have been?  Would your mark have made it onto the chart?  Are you at a spiritual plateau?  For fun, we shared with them that for every spiritual task or good deed that they did in life that would equal one foot in spiritual growth.  For instance, if you read your scripture today, you grew a foot.  If you performed an act of service for someone, you grew another foot.  We shared six different examples and then shared with the youth that there would be some that would be spiritual giants.  However, we are not all going to be consistent with our spiritually all the time.  Thank heavens we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His Son to atone for our sins.  We then asked, are there some areas you could focus on with your spirituality that could help you to reach the same height spiritually on the chart as your physical marking or even higher?  There answers were exactly what we were looking for and spot on for heading in the right direction spiritually.

We hope that this object lesson is one they will remember for a life-time.  It was a great reminder to me that as long as we are focusing on the Savior and following the covenant path everyday, we can get closer and closer to our Heavenly Father.

OBJECT LESSON NUMBER TWO:
This object lesson was one that my husband brought home from his mission in Korea.  I fell in love with the concept and the idea of it so we had to use it.

We asked all the youth to find a place to stand in the room.  All of their personal items and the chairs were pushed back out of the way.  While standing in the room they were asked to blindfold themselves and not to talk during the activity.  These two simple tasks were the only instructions that were given.  No other guidance!
Youth Blindfolded - Go to the drum!
Unbeknownst to them, we had hidden a few musical instruments in the corner of the room.  Our son, Braden, began hitting the drum with a very consistent beat that remained throughout the entire activity.  My husband and I walked around the room and from time to time would shake maracas or jingle the bells on the tambourine.  Our noises moved around the room and were not consistent.  We also whispered to the youth the words "make a choice."  It was several minutes before the youth started to react to this activity.  Before long, some started moving while others remained in place the entire time.  The object of this activity was to get to the drum.

After a few minutes of playing this activity out, we allowed the youth to take the blindfolds off.  It was neat to see their reaction and the reaction of what their friends had done.  We sat and visited about what had just taken place.  The drum was consistent.  It represented the gospel and our Heavenly Father.  The other musical instruments represented Satan and his shiny objects that we sometimes like to follow.  Really anything that would lead you away from our Heavenly Father.  Lastly, we discussed those that just stood still.  Those that didn't move all had their reasons.  This could represent several things but we pointed out that you can't be afraid to try hard things or even new things in life.  Standing still won't get you anywhere in life.

If you ever have an opportunity to use this object lesson, you will not be disappointed.  It is definitely one that makes the youth think.  

WORKSHEET:
After our lesson, we presented this worksheet to the youth so they could think about how they are using their time daily.  We hope it will be an eye opener to them that they truly have more time to fill then sometimes they realize.  We encouraged them to fill their time with spiritual growth, physical activities, developing their talents & hobbies, family time, and much more!





Sunday, February 17, 2019

Be a Light

You never know who is watching. Remember, you are a light to all those you come in contact with.  This message comes as a great reminder that we all have individuals that look up to us.  Be a light!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

CPR

There was a beautiful testimony shared today about CPR. Maybe you have heard of this before. Remember to invite others to C - COME and See or COME and Learn about the Savior and our Church. P - PRAY to know if it is true and R - Remember to invite others to READ about the Savior in the Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. May we all put CPR into practice this upcoming week. We may be able to save a life!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Think. Feel. Act.

This message was shared today by one of my seminary students in a talk she gave on service. I loved it! When we are serving others do we stop and react in this way: 1. Do we THINK about that individual the way the Savior would? 2. Do we ACT the way the Savior would towards that person? 3. How do we FEEL during and after that service is performed? Do we FEEL the way the Savior would? Definitely something I want to ponder this week.




Sunday, January 6, 2019

BRIGHT

This past week, I was listening to a podcast for work that highlighted the word BRIGHT. I was inspired to really think about the word BRIGHT and it's definition. Throughout the weekend, I have been pondering the meaning behind the word and how thankful I am for the lives that BRIGHTEN my day. When you think about the word BRIGHT as something that SHINES, what can we do everyday to let our LIGHT SHINE? I have noticed so many big and small things our Heavenly Father offers since really focusing on this word. I hope you will love diving into this word this week as you are finalizing your 2019 New Year's Resolutions. Maybe there will be more you do this year to let others see how BRIGHT and full of LIGHT you are. Thanks for being that LIGHT in my life!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

12 Days of Ministering

As a young girl, I lost two very dear cousins of mine to cancer.  It was during that time frame that our family started a tradition of celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas.  Each year, our father would spearhead organizing countdowns large and small for families in need.  This tradition has been one of my favorite to participate in during the holiday season.  This year, I would like to share a 12 Days of Ministering countdown.  I hope it will be a way for you to have a little fun remembering those that you minister to in addition to promoting the Light the World campaign.  Merry Christmas to all!













Sunday, January 8, 2017

Truly Converted

When we have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and are baptized, we are prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In preparation for my lesson tomorrow morning on Act Chapter 2, I was taken by the word RECEIVE in the statement above.  Look at all the other key words used prior to the word RECEIVE.  We must have faith, repent, and be baptized.  Once these steps are complete, then we can RECEIVE the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost.  As we RECEIVE that third member of the Godhead into our lives our hearts will change and we can be truly converted unto Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I want the youth to take some time thinking about when their hearts have been changed, when they felt converted, and how they acted once that feeling overwhelmed them.  I created this simple little worksheet so they can take some personal time to really ponder and pray about those moments in their lives.  I hope that your youth will visit these memories too!


Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Importance of Reading Your Scriptures

I was asked to speak at Young Women's Camp that was held for our stake a few weeks ago on the topic of the importance of reading your scriptures.  As a seminary teacher, I was thrilled to be given a topic that I know a lot about.  While pondering about what I might say, I remembered being a young woman their age.  Do you remember being that age?  I recall having lots of questions that always came to my mind.  The who, what, where, when, and why type of questions.  I thought, hum, that might make for a fun lesson and it clicked!  Make a board to help answer their questions about the importance of scripture study. 

While researching, I found many wonderful articles on lds.org that cover this topic.  I fell in love with a talk given by Sister Tanner at a BYU Devotional about the importance of scripture study.  Some of the thoughts on the board I created came from her talk.  I also pulled from other General Authorities which you will see below with the quotes that I have taken from their talks.

Let's walk through the different questions and how I shared this with the YW.  First, we were outside so the board came in handy to help keep all of my thoughts in one place.  I enlarged the clip art below by using a projector and added a few embellishments to make it look cute.  I started by sharing my scriptures that were given to me by my parents when I was old enough to begin seminary.  They are used and have a few markings inside.  Then, I compared them to the scriptures I use today which are more like a seminary teacher workbook.  Completely read from cover to cover with lots and lots of notes and highlights.  I pointed out to them that I had to make the personal decision as to how important my scriptures were going to be to me personally.  No one else could make the decision for me and no one can make that decision from them.  They would have to do that.  I shared the scripture from Psalm 19:10 which talks about scriptures being more desired than gold and honey.  The scripture is below and goes on the board above the YW.  This lead into me offering the YW a Teddy Gram for a snack.  I asked them to place a little bit of honey on it and to eat it while I played the song "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.  This is a song that Sister Tanner mentions in her talk.  I love musicals too so this was a perfect fit.  As it played the girls ate their bears and I asked them to listen carefully to the lyrics of the song.  I never realized that the song mentioned learning from Holy Books and studying for hours upon hours a day. To study Holy Books is regarded by Orthodox Jews as a sweet blessing and a great privilege.  In fact, in some Jewish traditions, when child was to start his/her education in the Torah, a taste of honey was given to the student so that he/she would associate the study of the holy book with sweetness.  This was intended to reinforce what it says in Psalms:  "How sweet are the words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalms 119:103).  I asked the YW are the scriptures delicious to you?  Do you want to feast upon them?  This lead into sharing the WHO - Who should read their scriptures?  Well, that's easy -   All of us!  I didn't want this to be a Primary answer so I went searching and found in the handbook of instructions for the Church that it talks about the WHO under the section based on Education.  We should be reading our scriptures to gain knowledge just as we read from books we learn from at school.  Then, came the question WHAT - What do we get from reading our scriptures?  You can see the list that was shared below.  Next, I asked them WHERE can you read your scriptures.  I used this section to have them interact with one another.  Each young lady was asked to write down one or two places that they enjoy reading their scriptures personally.  When they were finished, they were to share their answers with the young woman sitting next to them.  Together, they were to share with the rest of the group their favorite answer.  We went around to each group and wrote their answers with Dry Erase Marker on a blank laminated card up on the board.  There were some fantastic answers given.  Everything from their bedroom to school to at the park to in the car.  Moving on, we went to the next question WHEN.  When you read your scriptures, what happens?  I found a really cute poem from the Friend magazine that was shared with the group.  I love it!  Hope you will too!  WHY - Why is it important to read your scriptures?  As we discussed the WHY we placed each of the cards on the board.  I left a few blank cards too so that others could share their thoughts about this question.  I love the next and final question HOW - How do should you read your scriptures?  I think they know the answer to HOW, but it was a great reminder to remember to ponder, pray, search, read and apply.  At the end of sharing this lesson, I hope that all of you would remember to share your personal testimony of the importance of reading your scriptures with the group you share this message with.  I know personally the love I have for my Savior and the blessing that the scriptures have been to me.

Sincerely,
Jennifer












Sunday, January 17, 2016

Take Action Cards

I love sharing challenges with the youth that allow them to TAKE ACTION.  A while back, I asked the youth to take these simple TAKE ACTION CARDS with them to school.  The challenge was for them to TAKE ACTION doing each of the suggestions on the card then pass the card forward to a friend or teacher at school inviting them to do the same.  I loved the stories that came back the next day.  They had so many miracles take place by simply taking action and making a difference in the life of another person.  Try it and see if it works!  Feel free to create your own TAKE ACTION CARDS!  Great activity for all ages.












Knock, Knock, Who's There?

In March of 2015, I was asked to put together a game for a Seminary Super Saturday.  The game needed to be based off of seminary related topics and missionary work.  I thought about how much fun it must be to be a missionary going door to door preaching the gospel.  Thus, the name of this game quickly became Knock, Knock, Who's There?

We set up the primary room with the game cards on the floor - see attached!  The youth started at the card that read Knock, Knock, Who's There.  With each roll of the dice, the youth paired up two by two would move from one end of the game board to the other depending on the number they rolled.  The goal was to see how many people they could convert to the Gospel and baptize.  At the end of the game, points were tallied and a winner was chosen.  Points were generated based off the number converted per game card.  The game cards were divided into the following categories:  scripture mastery worth 4 points/4 new investigators, basic doctrine worth 3 points/3 new investigators, mission prep worth 2 points/2 new investigators and generic church questions worth 1 point or 1 new investigator.

There were additional small game cards, which you can create on your own based off of your personal needs for your group.  This was tons of fun - sorry the pictures of this activity and the cards are not great!