Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sword of the spirit

Months and months ago our Stake Primary Presidency asked me to be a part of their Stake Activity Day. The theme was Warriors of Light. All the girls were given a beautifully designed warrior girl shirt and then the day was filled with activities involving putting on the full armor of God. 

I was asked to host a 30 minute workshop on the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I had plenty of months to plan and prepare but I didn't really come up with the final idea until this week. It should have been clear to me long ago, what is the answer to all "how can I use the scriptures to engage 8 - 11 year olds?" question. Ammon! Need to talk about missionary work -- Ammon. Need to teach about following the spirit -- Ammon. Need to learn about serving others -- Ammon. Need to talk about covenants and waiting on the Lord -- Ammon. Well, I needed to talk about swords, the spirit, and the word of God -- Ammon, Ammon, Ammon. 

The old teacher in me had to have a warm-up, so the girls came in and grabbed a copy of this Friend activity. They also took two twizzlers (one for the spirit, one for the word of God). After that we got right into the story of Ammon, in all but one of the six groups, there was a girl (or two) who could tell the others the story from Alma chapters 17 - 19. I still read a couple verses. I started with how Ammon and his companions prepared themselves for missionary service. 

"for they were men of sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that the might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." (Alma 17: 2-3)

Then we discussed the story and the parallels to our lives. Who attacks us? How can we prepare to fight off those attacks? Answers ranged from bullying to Satan, to dogs and bees. I closed by promising them they could use their "swords" to protect themselves from Satan's ambushes and shared this fascinating verse with them:

"Now, one of them whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him' and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead." (Alma 19: 22)

I told them God wouldn't protect them in quiet the same way as he protected Ammon, but He would protect them. Just like Ammon, they will have trials ... but if, like Ammon, they hold to the spirit and the word of God they will come away victorious (and yes, at least a couple girls asked if they would also get to cut someone's arms off).

We spent the last half of the class making our own swords, a cute craft idea I found here. I used the blank backside and had the girls write down an action plan for fighting off Satan's attacks. Daily prayer was the most common goal set, but I also saw some thoughtful personal notes, like "hold my temper" and "stop saying bad words." The girl who wrote that one told me she specifically wanted to stop saying "hate" and "stupid"  -- oh, the purity of 9-year-olds. 

The day reminded me of how much I love teaching. It was nice to freshen up on the ole skill. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fun activity.

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