(by Terri Finney in Ft Worth, TX)
First I did the bit from the Friend about
being on top of a mountain ... I live in Texas so I also talked about being
high up in a tall building : )
Then we talked about control towers at airports, what are they for? Why do they need to be high? What would happen if we didn't have them? Also continued this thought with the judge at a tennis tournament and old forts and castles with towers.
Then I told them that we were going to learn about something similar from the scriptures. I held up a Bible and told them that In the Savior's time, farmers grew grapes in great fields called vineyards.
We acted this out:
I had a vineyard owner who came and stood by the "field" (front of the room where I had scattered lots of clip art grape clusters on the floor). Since the grapes were valuable the farmer wanted to protect them so he set up a 'fence' (2 kids held up a large blanket. I then asked the vineyard owner to choose 2 workers to work in his field. They came up and started collecting grapes.
I reminded them that in those days grapes were very valuable and that often robbers would come into the fields and steal the grapes. At this point a boy, who had waiting outside in the hall (he was in on it with me) came in and stole some grapes.
We talked about how the workers couldn't see the robbers in time to defend the grapes. I told the children to think about the control tower, tennis judge and castle ... What could this vineyard owner do to protect his grapes?
They made the connection (I love it when this happens!) and suggested that he build something high so that he could see far away and warn the workers before the robbers came. I explained that in those days the tower was called a watchtower and the man who was hired to keep watch was called the watchman. I pulled a chair over and asked the vineyard owner to choose someone to be his watchman. I told the children that the vineyard owner always chose a respected and trusted person to be his watchman as it was an important job to be responsible for warning everyone of danger.
They then acted it out again but this time the watchman was able to warn the people of the approaching robber and they had time to prepare to defend the vineyard.
I continued with the bit from the Friend...
Through the ages, Heavenly Father has given His children "watchmen." These watchmen are called prophets and apostles. They have been called by Heavenly Father to watch over His children. They are given a better view of the dangers that lie ahead of us. They warn us about how we can be prepared and defend ourselves against those dangers, including those that are sometimes hard to recognize, such as temptations and evil influences.
WHO might be our watchman today?
The Prophet. While he doesn’t stand on a tower, he does receive direction and inspiration from Heavenly Father to know what dangers, problems, and challenges await us. He teaches us how to prepare to face them as we try to keep our covenants and the commandments. If we listen to and obey his words, we can be prepared.
Read scripture of the month
And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen (Doctrine and Covenants 1:4).
Then I divided the children into groups of 3 and handed each group
I asked them to read their quote, figure out what the prophet was telling us about, find a song that relates and draw a picture to go with it. At the end each group came to the front and shared what they had done.
It went really well.
Hope this helps someone or gives them an idea for the future (thanks to those who posted their ideas earlier last week on this topic as those ideas helped me as I put this one together. I always love seeing everyone else's ideas as it seems to spark my imagination!)