Weekly Thoughts and Tips

July 2014


Teaching with Questions

By Jan Taylor, Primary general board
July 25, 2014

Primary children raising their hands in class

I had the opportunity to visit a senior Primary class a few months ago, and it was inspiring to watch. The teacher stood at the front of the class with his Bible open. He had the children open their scriptures to the same place, and they took turns reading passages. He asked them questions to make sure they understood what they read. Then he asked them questions to help them discover how these passages related to their lives. I was impressed with the way the teacher led the discussion through his inspired questions.

Teaching, No Greater Call points out that “questions can encourage those present to participate in discussions. They can help learners understand a principle, think about it more deeply, and relate it to their lives. They can lead learners to turn to the scriptures for answers. Most lesson manuals provide questions for getting discussions started and keeping them going. You may use these questions and prepare your own. Ask questions that encourage thoughtful comments and help individuals truly ponder the gospel” (Lesson 14).

Why do you think asking questions is important? What questions can you use that will help engage those you teach? How can you ask questions that will encourage learners to think more deeply? For answers and additional help, see “Teaching with Questions” on pages 68–70 of Teaching, No Greater Call.

Not Too Young to Hasten the Work

By Jocelyn Christensen
July 18, 2014

Young boy using a laptop computer

Recently, my 8-year-old son has been showing interest in doing family history and indexing. Which is great news for me, because ever since hearing the promises recently given by Apostles on how doing family history can bless and protect youth, I've wanted to introduce my children to family history.

Elder Cook said, "If the youth in each ward will not only go to the temple and do baptisms for their dead but also work with their families and other ward members to provide the family names for the ordinance work they perform, both they and the Church will be greatly blessed” (“Roots and Branches” from April 2014 general conference).

I know a child must be 12 years old to attend the temple. I wondered if there were also age limits regarding family history. I searched the words of the prophets given in general conference and found the following answers and promises:

"Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. You are sons and daughters of God, children of the covenant, and builders of the kingdom. You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family” (Elder Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn” from April 2014 general conference).

Of course, not every child will be ready to participate in indexing, and all will probably require the supervision of a parent, especially when starting out. But if they desire, every baptized member of the Church who has received their own record number can access the Church websites as well as familysearch.org and begin learning about and participating in family history work in some way.

Editor’s note: This weekend is a worldwide Church indexing event! Join other families across the globe in making history. Click here for more information.

Mix-and-Match Covers

By Maggie Zug
July 11, 2014

Friend Matching Game

To make a matching game/quiet book, I removed the covers from several Friend magazines and cut each into three horizontal strips. (If possible, don’t cut through the text on the back so that you can still read the letters from children.) I laminated the strips and mixed up the order of the top, middle, and bottom parts of each cover. Then I had the edge spiral bound to form a booklet. Now young minds and hands can study the uplifting art and try to match the three parts of each cover.

Bringing Primary Home

By Marissa Widdison
July 4, 2014

July 2014 Friend

What are your kids learning about in Primary this month? There are a couple of pages in every Friend that make this question an easy one to answer. Just look for the section labeled “Bringing Primary Home,” usually found on pages 42–43. For example, in July children will be learning about baptism and confirmation in sharing time. In this month's “Bringing Primary Home," you will find a story about a girl preparing for baptism, a song, a scripture, and some talking ideas for your family. There’s also a craft to make!

As we reinforce gospel lessons at home and in church, our children’s lives will be blessed. Elder Bednar once said: “Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results” (“More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Oct. 2009 general conference).