Not surprisingly, though, it's a hard topic to teach...especially to little children. Everything I found is either about specific sacrifices (like obedience, tithing, fast offerings, talents, etc.) or about animal sacrifices--which really isn't the point of Elder Oaks' talk. So the internet world is a little quiet about this topic as a whole. So a lot of these are from me...which means there isn't as much this week. Sorry. :)
POINTS TO PONDER BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
- What do I already sacrifice in my life? Why do I do it? (What is the "something good" and "something better?"
- What needs exist outside of my home--in the Church or in the community--that I have the talents to fulfill?
- "Today the most visible strength of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the unselfish service and sacrifice of its members. Prior to the rededication of one of our temples, a Christian minister asked President Gordon B. Hinckley why it did not contain any representation of the cross, the most common symbol of the Christian faith. President Hinckley replied that the symbols of our Christian faith are “the lives of our people.”5 Truly, our lives of service and sacrifice are the most appropriate expressions of our commitment to serve the Master and our fellowmen."
- "How do we persuade such followers of Christ to serve? As a prophet explained, “We [just] ask them.”"
- Many years ago this conference heard of a young man who found the restored gospel while he was studying in the United States. As this man was about to return to his native land, President Gordon B. Hinckley asked him what would happen to him when he returned home as a Christian. “My family will be disappointed,” the young man answered. “They may cast me out and regard me as dead. As for my future and my career, all opportunity may be foreclosed against me.” “Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?” President Hinckley asked. Tearfully the young man answered, “It’s true, isn’t it?” When that was affirmed, he replied, “Then what else matters?”
- "I am grateful for the marvelous examples of Christian love, service, and sacrifice I have seen among the Latter-day Saints. I see you performing your Church callings, often at great sacrifice of time and means. I see you serving missions at your own expense. I see you cheerfully donating your professional skills in service to your fellowmen. I see you caring for the poor through personal efforts and through supporting Church welfare and humanitarian contributions...I also see unselfish Latter-day Saints adopting children, including those with special needs, and seeking to provide foster children the hope and opportunities denied them by earlier circumstances. I see you caring for family members and neighbors who suffer from birth defects, mental and physical ailments, and the effects of advancing years. The Lord sees you also, and He has caused His prophets to declare that “as you sacrifice for each other and your children, the Lord will bless you.”"
- "Just as the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to prepare for the destiny that plan provides for us."
- "Can a Little Child Like Me?"
- "'Give,' Said the Little Stream"
- "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus"
- "When We're Helping We're Happy"
- GIVING IS BEAUTIFUL: Present a square sheet of blank white paper. Discuss how this piece of paper in it's current state is not really providing any joy or happiness. Fold the paper several times into a triangular shape. Then take suggestions of things we can do that require sacrifice on our part but provide joy to others. With each suggestion cut a small shape from the folded paper. After several suggestions have been made and several snippets taken from the paper, discuss how the pieces which have been removed represents how our sacrifices take a little bit from our time and talents. Unfold the paper and reveal the beautiful pattern that was created through our sacrificing. This paper which was blank before is now more enjoyable and visually pleasing to admire. We as our Lords servants are blessed immeasurably with every sacrifice we make in our efforts to build up our Heavenly Father's Kingdom on Earth.
by Mindy Dryer
- A CANDLE LOSES NOTHING BY LIGHTING ANOTHER: Start by lighting one of several candles, ask for a volunteer and give them a candle. Then light the other candle from the candle already lit. What did they observe? Did the candle lose any of it's momentum from sharing it's flame. No, in fact it shines brighter. Hence, "a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." I have used this in my lessons about service and how it is the person doing the serving who, by sharing their flame, burns brighter and gets the most out of the experience. Also enabling the person they are serving to light the way for others.
- BE A TOOL! :) Show children a few simple tools--screwdriver, hammer & nail, saw, etc. Ask what they are and what each of them does. Ask if the screwdriver could do the work of a hammer, etc. Use this to show that we each have a special work to do that no one else can do but us, and we must sacrifice our talents to help "build" the kingdom of God!
GAMES & LEARNING ACTIVITIES:
- Cut out the sacrifice cards shown above (DOWNLOAD HERE) and put in a bag or other container. Have children draw them one at a time and talk about when/how/why we might sacrifice that thing. You can also have children list the short-term and long-term blessings of sacrificing that thing, or ways that Jesus Christ sacrificed it. For teens/young adults, you could challenge them to find a scripture that goes along with that sacrifice before they share. (Full instructions are included in the download.)
- Do you have pioneer ancestors? Even if you don't, pioneers are a part of our spiritual heritage. And you certainly have SOMEONE in your family history (even your own parents) who made sacrifices so that you could have a life in the gospel. Show a picture of this person and tell the story of their sacrifices and how you were blessed.
- If you want to focus on a specific sacrifice for your family, such as tithing or talents, you'll have to come up with your own activity for that...or wait 'til there's a Conference talk all about it so I can do the work for you. ;)
- Coloring pages--there aren't any about the general "sacrifice" topic online, but there is one about PIONEERS (here), and one about preparing for the temple that I think ties in HERE (go to the bottom of the page and click to view larger format). There is a similar idea HERE about halfway through the page. I also made one up, and now that my dear husband bought me a scanner I have a cool coloring page for you:
Download this pdf HERE and print it off (it's my first one, be kind!)
- I made a simple little 4"x6" handout with one of my all-time favorite quotes: "It's true, isn't it?...Then what else matters?" You can get it in black, as shown, or click on the color of your choice to download it in any of the pretty colors available. :)
ALSO AVAILABLE IN: Blue, Green, Purple, Orange, Red, Pink
CRAFTS & MORE:
- None this week...couldn't find a single craft related to sacrifice. I suppose you could always "sacrifice" something in your craft stash and make something for someone else. Pray about it as a family and decide who in your ward, neighborhood, or school might be in need of some cheering up and work together to make something for that person or family. :)
- Make any of your favorite family treats, but deliver them to someone else! Having the whole family "sacrifice" time (and treats) will probably not feel like much of a sacrifice at all. OR, have each child pick out a favorite color/flavor treat for another sibling.
- Make bread like the pioneers ate (recipe HERE)...and, if you're REALLY brave, help your family members each make their own butter in a baby food jar (instructions HERE, although I'd add a little salt :) to go along with it!