Harvesttime. Every year, there is at least one harvesttime. In some parts of the world, it is harvesttime now. Green vegetables, juicy fruits, and healthy grains, which have been growing for months in good soil and sunlight, are ripe and ready for harvesting. Farmers and gardeners work hard so that everything can be gathered and nothing is lost.
Harvesttime. The Lord has said that “the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4). His harvest is humble people who have been searching for answers to their questions about life and death and who are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries work hard so that they can find and teach as many of these people as possible.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has asked all Church members to help with missionary work. He said, “I wish I could awaken in the heart of every man, woman, boy, and girl … the great consuming desire to share the gospel with others. If you do that you live better, you try to make your lives more exemplary [be better examples for others] because you know that those you teach will not believe unless you back up what you say by the goodness of your lives.”*
When you try to live a better life and keep the commandments, a number of things happen. You show your willingness to obey the prophet’s counsel. You also show that you love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Savior taught, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21). You prepare to go to the temple and to serve a mission when you keep the commandments. You are exemplary, a wonderful example to others who watch you and who want to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Harvesttime. Like the farmer who has worked in the field or the missionary who has served a full-time mission, you can see the fruits of your labor. You have worked hard to choose the right. What is your harvest? Your friends and family members have noticed your good example and want to come to church with you. Your bishop is happy because you qualify for a recommend, if you are a baptized member of the Church, to go to a temple dedication. And Heavenly Father is pleased because you have shown your love by keeping His commandments. As you continue to keep the commandments, you shall continue to have many harvests.
Can you find the bicycle, bucket, button, coveralls, hoe, journal, needle and thread, packet of seeds, piggy bank, rake, scriptures, sprinkling can, temple recommend, tractor, and work boot hidden in the picture on page 29? As you find them, color the objects a farmer or gardener would use in one color, and, in a different color, the objects you would use or learn to use to prepare for a full-time mission (some objects might be colored in both colors).
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook (CS) unless otherwise indicated; GAK = Gospel Art Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call)
1. Have older Primary children prepare and demonstrate an experiment like those described in the Friend: “Floating Needle” (July 1998, p. 26), “Make a Cloud” (Oct. 1997, p. 11), “Tube Mystery” (July 1997, p. 11), or “Color Trick” (Mar. 1995, p. 23). Explain that such experiments, if followed correctly, always have the same results because they obey physical laws. If you drop an item, it will always fall to the ground because of the law of gravity. Explain that spiritual laws also have predictable outcomes. We receive blessings when we obey laws. Have the children locate and read D&C 130:20–21 as a choral reading (see TNGC, p. 163).
Some of the rewards that come from obeying the commandments, such as living now to be worthy to go to the temple, are found in the songs listed in the Commandments section of the CS. Sing some of the songs. Write each of the standards in “My Gospel Standards” on a separate piece of paper. Have the classes choose a standard and discuss with their teachers the blessings they receive now by living that standard, then report about these blessings to the rest of the Primary. In their “The Temple—I’m Going There Someday” booklets, have the children write or draw one of the standards that they wish to work on through the week.
2. Sing “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (p. 168). Discuss with the children things they can do today to be missionaries and the things they can do now to prepare to serve a full-time mission. Divide them into four groups. Using stations (see TNGC, p. 179), have the children learn a missionary skill from each adult leader.
Station A: Full-time missionaries memorize discussions about the gospel. Have the children memorize an article of faith and repeat it to the group. They may do this in pairs, with an older child helping a younger one. Have Gospel in Action cards available to encourage children to memorize all thirteen articles.
Station B: Missionaries read the Book of Mormon. Have each child choose a GAK picture representing his or her favorite story from the Book of Mormon section. Help the children locate the stories in the scriptures and retell them to the group.
Station C: Missionaries give talks. Help the children practice giving a talk by using this four-step process: 1) choose a scripture, 2) tell what the scripture means, 3) relate a personal experience or scripture story that illustrates the point, and 4) bear testimony about it. If necessary, have the leader give an example, using these steps. Have the group choose a scripture. Ask someone to tell what it means. Have a second child share a personal experience or tell a scripture story about it. Have a child or the leader bear testimony of its principle. (For example: 1 Ne. 3:7 means that whatever the Lord asks me to do, I will do because I know that He will help me do it. One time I was invited to go to a birthday party on Sunday, but because I knew that the Lord wanted me to keep the Sabbath Day holy, I didn’t go. I felt good because I knew that I was being obedient. I know that when we keep His commandments, even when they are not easy to keep, we will be blessed.) Suggest using these steps to give talks in Primary now as preparation for speaking as a missionary in the future.
Station D: Missionaries often lead music. Have the music leader help the children learn to lead music. See CS, p. 301 for diagrams of the beat patterns. Turn your back to the children and beat a 3/4 pattern. Have the children copy the motion. Sing “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95), and have the children lead the song. Sing other songs that have a 3/4 pattern. Teach a 4/4 pattern in a similar manner, and have the children sing and lead “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153) and other songs with a 4/4 pattern. Note that both of the songs mentioned begin on the upbeat (beat 3 or 4, respectively).
3. Review the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy by having children role-play the gathering of manna (see Ex. 16:11–31). Have the children turn to D&C 59:9–15. Tell them to listen for things they are asked to do on the Sabbath as you read the scripture out loud and to raise their hands when they have an answer. Read it, and stop when a child raises his or her hand. Invite the child to write the answer (or you write it) on the chalkboard. Continue reading until you have a list of things to do on the Sabbath. Discuss the list and add things, such as read the scriptures, visit the sick, and write letters to missionaries.
Ask the children to listen for promised blessings as you read D&C 59:16–19. Write some of them on the chalkboard, such as “food … for taste and for smell” and have the children mention foods they love to taste and to smell. Sing “Remember the Sabbath Day” (p. 155). Discuss things that children can do during the week, such as go to school, play outside, shop at the store. Sing “Saturday” (p. 196).
Play a game to review the good things to do on the Sabbath. Have the children sit in a circle and establish a rhythm by lightly tapping their hands on their laps two times, clapping their hands two times, then snapping their fingers two times. When they are snapping their fingers, a child says something they could do on the Sabbath. Continue around the circle, allowing children to add to the list. Stop the game and insert another day of the week for the children to list things to do.
4. Use Articles of Faith 1:5 to talk about the bishop being called of God. Have the children read Titus 1:7–9. List the qualities for being a bishop on the chalkboard. Explain any unfamiliar words. Sing “Our Bishop” (p. 135).
Explain that one way we honor the bishop and other priesthood leaders is by calling them by their correct title. It is a sign of respect. Write the offices listed in Articles of Faith 1:6 on the chalkboard: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists. Write the following titles on separate pieces of paper: elder, president, bishop, brother, and patriarch. Place the papers in random order on the chalkboard. Sing “The Sixth Article of Faith” (p. 126). As you get to each title, stop and have a child match the correct title to the office until all titles and offices are matched. Apostles are addressed as “Elder.” The prophet is called “President” because he is the President of the Church. A pastor is now called “bishop.” “Teacher” does not refer to a teacher in an auxiliary but to someone who holds that office in the priesthood; he should be called “Brother.” The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that evangelists are our patriarchs.
Write a letter from the Primary to the bishop to thank him for his service. Include a commitment from the children to keep the commandments and to live worthy to attend the temple. Have each child sign his or her name or draw a picture of himself or herself.
For younger children: Play a game to illustrate how we should follow the bishop. Choose a child to be the leader and have the rest of Primary follow his or her directions. When the leader says, “Bishop says,” the Primary takes one step forward. For example, the leader says, “Bishop says, ‘Pay your tithing.’” Or, “Bishop says, ‘Prepare for a mission.’” However, if the leader gives a direction without saying “Bishop says” first, the Primary stands still. For example: “Jump up and down.” Or, “Stomp your feet.” Children who move forward without being told “Bishop says” must return to the starting point. The first child to reach the leader becomes the next leader.
5. Review temple songs and concepts learned this year. Have the children sit in a large circle. Place inside the circle, spaced evenly, pictures that represent the theme for each month—a picture of a nearby temple for January (“I love to see the temple”), a picture of a family for February (“My family can be together forever through the blessings of the temple”), etc.
To go with each picture, prepare a list of scriptures from those suggested each month and a list of songs—the suggested monthly song and other songs that support the concept taught by the picture. For example, for May, “My body is a temple,” the list could include “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (p. 153), “The Word of Wisdom” (pp. 154–55), and “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (p. 152).
On the chalkboard, draw a simple game board with a picture of a temple as the final goal. Use a picture of a child as the marker.
Have a child spin a small bottle with a narrow mouth. When it stops, the child the bottle points to chooses the number of squares to move the marker on the board: three squares = locate and read one of the listed scriptures for the month the bottle most nearly points to; two squares = sing one of the listed songs for that month; one square = tell something he or she, his or her class, or the entire Primary learned about preparing to go to the temple (e.g., be baptized, follow the prophet, keep the Sabbath Day holy, pay tithing, seek good friends, share the gospel, honor priesthood leaders). Play until the marker child reaches the temple goal.
Express your love for all the children and your desire that they live their lives so that they can receive the blessings of the temple.
6. Additional Friend resources: “Be a Standard-Bearer,” June 2001, pp. 24–25; “Bishop Larson,” Sep. 2000, p. 43; Sharing Time Ideas, Aug. 2000, p. 14; “Jesus Wants Me to Be Honest,” Feb. 2000, pp. 48–IBC; “Sunday Can,” June 1999, p. 23; Sharing Time Ideas, June 1999, pp. 45–46; Sharing Time Ideas, Oct. 1998, pp. 14, 43.