Sharing Time Ideas from the 2017 Outline
Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Prepare two wordstrips: Fasting and Prayer. Invite two children to stand close together, and give each child one of the wordstrips. Have another child walk between them. Ask the first two children to securely link their arms, and ask the other child to try to walk between them again. Point out how much stronger the children are when they are linked together. Explain that fasting and prayer are more powerful when we use them together. Write “Fasting and prayer can strengthen my testimony” on the board, and have the children repeat it together.
Encourage understanding (listening to scriptures and participating in an object lesson): Ask the children to listen for things the sons of Mosiah did to become strong in the gospel as you read Alma 17:2–3. Invite the children to flex their muscles each time they hear something that helped the sons of Mosiah become strong.
Lead a discussion on fasting by asking several questions such as “What is fasting?” “Why should we fast?” “When should we fast?” and “Why should we pray when we fast?” (see Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73–75). Let every child who adds to the discussion hold on to one end of a piece of yarn or string. Hold the other end of each piece of string in your hand. At the end of the discussion, ask the children holding the strings to come to the middle of the room and twist all of their pieces of string together, making a strong rope. Explain that each piece of string we add to the rope makes the rope stronger. Help the children understand that in a similar way, each time we fast and pray we add strength to our testimony.
Sharing Time Ideas from Little LDS Ideas
Back in 2012 I shared an idea that Emmalee Hammond shared. She based her Sharing Time idea off of Elder Wirthlin’s red wagon story from, “The Law of the Fast”. I loved her idea then, and I still love it, so I went ahead and created some printables that you could use for this week’s idea. Thanks again Emmalee for the great idea!
Begin your lesson by doing the “Identify the Doctrine” idea given in the outline. I think the children will enjoy this activity, and it will help them learn the power of fasting and prayer.
You can then read the scripture from the outline a (Alma 17:2–3) and discuss the power we receive when we pray and fast.
The Red Wagon Fasting and Prayer Sharing Time Activity
As I said before, a sweet sister shared this idea in a comment on Sugardoodle back in 2012, but it is perfect for this week! Here is what Emmalee shared: “I am using Joseph B. Wirthlin’s red wagon story from “The Law of the Fast”. I’m going to bring a red wagon to fill. I will tape quotes about prayer and fasting (when we fast, the examples of the sons of Mosiah and Nephites, why we fast, etc.) onto cans and boxes of food and a blanket. The children will pick one item at a time, discuss the quote, then place the item in the wagon to fill it by the end. Here is the wagon story: How well I remember my father, the bishop of our ward, filling my small red wagon with food and clothing and then directing me—as a deacon in the Church—to pull the wagon behind me and visit the homes of the needy in our ward. I remember visiting one family in particular: a sickly mother, an unemployed and discouraged father, and five children with pallid faces, all disheartened and hungry. I remember the gratitude that beamed in their faces when I walked up to their door with my wagon nearly spilling over with needed supplies. I remember how the children smiled. I remember how the mother wept. And I remember how the father stood, head bowed, unable to speak. Brothers and sisters, in a sense, you too can bring to a needy family a wagon brimming with hope. How? By paying a generous fast offering. -JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN”
I think it would be so fun to bring in an actual red wagon filled with food and clothing, but not everyone has a wagon, so I went ahead and created some printables to help you out.
I have included an 11″X14″ wagon (I also included one that can be printed on 2 sheets) as well as food items to go inside the wagon.
Begin by sharing Elder Wirthlin’s story with the children. I did see a video of Elder Wirthlin’s story, here. It’s a Youtube video, so you might need to get permission from your Bishop if you’d like to show it.
After you have shared the story, show the children the empty red wagon. Tell the children that today they are going to be learning about fasting and prayer by finding food items to fill the red wagon, just like Elder Wirthlin. Explain that all around the room are different food items. On each food is a word that represents a question that you will discuss.
To play this, you could have the children search for any food OR you could give them a specific food to search for (that way you ask the questions in order).
The questions that you will be asking are the questions from the outline:
What is fasting?
Why should we fast?
When should we fast?
Why should we pray when we fast?
I also included ‘Where’. You could ask something like ‘Where does our fast offering money go?’ You could also add a ‘Who?’ question: ‘Who is blessed from fast offering?’. Just a few more ideas. I included a few blank food items that you could write your own word on or you could write scripture references.
When a child finds a food item, have them bring it to the front and place it in the wagon. Then ask the question that goes with that food item. If they aren’t sure what the answer is you could read a scripture to help them out or have them ask another child for help. When you have answered the question, invite another child up to find the next food item. Continue until all items have been found.
To close, help the children understand that each time we fast and pray we add strength to our testimony.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Fasting and Prayer Sharing Time Idea. I would love to hear if you use it, so leave me a comment letting me know.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful day and a great Sharing Time!