Leaders Say Primary Theme Builds Children’s Testimony of Christ
Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor
- Leaders, teachers, and parents should focus on two questions as they prepare to teach children: “What will the children do to learn and how can I help them feel the Spirit?”
This year the Primary general presidency wants Latter-day Saint children worldwide to come to know that Jesus Christ lives.
The theme of the 2015 Outline for Sharing Time—“I Know My Savior Lives”—is based on the scripture “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
“We feel this is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about our Savior Jesus Christ,” said Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president. “We want children to feel a closeness to the Savior.”
Sister Wixom and her counselors, Sister Jean A. Stevens and Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, met with the Church News to discuss the 2015 theme and why it is important for Primary children and their families.
Sister Esplin said she hopes every child will have an experience this year that enables them to feel the Savior’s love.
Children, said Sister Stevens, “are naturally drawn to the Savior.”
The sharing time outline is written in a way that is engaging to the children and offers opportunities for them to participate, she said.
Leaders, teachers, and parents should focus on two questions as they prepare to teach children, said Sister Wixom. “What will the children do to learn and how can I help them feel the Spirit?”
Sister Esplin said it is important that those teaching children share their testimony of the Savior. “If we really want the children to have a testimony, parents and leaders need to have a testimony themselves.”
Teaching, said Sister Wixom, is engaging the children. She hopes teachers will foster “engaged learning” and strive to involve the children this year.
“We are His disciples and we can follow Him,” she explained. “We want children to understand they have a place in this work—the work of salvation. … They can participate. They are capable.”
Sister Esplin said throughout the 2015 Outline for Sharing Time there are a variety of teaching tips and suggestions to help children learn.
Monthly themes in the outline teach children to believe in God and Jesus Christ and that the Savior is their Redeemer. Every monthly theme is connected to Jesus Christ.
Sister Esplin said the truths taught in Primary this year will help children build their foundation on Jesus Christ.
Sister Wixom said the presidency wants children to hold tight to the reality of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. “Those principles can get them through any challenge,” she said. “He has a plan for them and they can return to Him.”
Sister Stevens said children come to Primary with a belief in Jesus Christ in their hearts. “They often have it more deeply than we understand or than we give them credit for.”
Because adults and children age eight and older will be studying the New Testament as part of their Sunday School curriculum this year, the Primary theme will facilitate family discussion, said Sister Wixom.
Sister Stevens said an important way to teach about the Savior is through music. “One way to ensure that music is an important part of Primary is to have singing time first.”
Singing time will set the tone for the sharing time lessons, Sister Wixom said. Singing also helps children feel the Spirit and learn truths they can remember and share at home.
Sister Wixom said the song “I Know That My Savior Loves Me” is included in the outline.
“Wouldn’t it be great if every family could learn that song and sing it in their home,” said Sister Esplin. “As they sing, they are bearing their testimony about the Savior.”