Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baptism Preview Fireside

Sunday night we had our Baptism Preview Fireside. This year I was able to help out our new Primary Presidency by putting together this special evening for my Primary Class (and train the new Presidency). I want this year to be special for these 7 year olds who turn 8 and get to be baptised. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that at 8 years old a child can choose right from wrong and are ready to make a sacred covenant with Heavenly Father and be baptised.

At the beginning of the year we hold a special evening with the 7 year old children and their parents to tell them about their baptism day.

This is the invitation that was sent out to each 7 year old in my class. You can find the PDF at The Idea Door here. Then I added the information with date and time. There are a couple of things I make sure to mention. First this is an invitation for the 7 year old child and her parents. I ask that they leave brothers and sisters home. We've found that it is more reverent without small children. Plus, it is a special night for that one child. I also request that they dress in Sunday clothing. It is our goal to have a reverent special night where the Holy Ghost can be there as these children embark on this special journey to become member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This is our program which you can click on any picture to see it more clearly. I add the words of the opening and closing songs.

Zoey Michelle (my niece) mentioned to me that they had children who were baptised from the previous year  come and tell about their baptism. You were right this was wonderful. The children really did listen to their peers. That could have been the whole program. The Holy Ghost was so strong. I loved it and would recommend this too. I had a boy (Kai) and Girl (Jensyn) come and tell about their special day. It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop during their quick 2 minute talk. They both did a wonderful job. Thanks Zoey Michelle!
During the preview we explain the Cub Scout Program for the Boys and Activity Days for the Girls. We decided to split them up into different rooms. The reason we do this is because the Cub Scout program is pretty exciting and they do all sorts of "boy" things. The girls program is more reverent and "girlie", but when you explain the program for the girls it doesn't seem as exciting as the boys, even though in reality it is - they just do different things. In the past the girls seem a little sad that they are not in Cub Scouts because of the "boy" energy. In short, it's better (in my opinion) to just have them split and that way you only take up 10 minutes / verses 20 minutes to do them separate during the full program. (I hope I explained that well enough).

Here is the boys room. Kelli did an excellent job in putting it together. The sad thing was that our 4 boys didn't show up to the preview (we only had girls). Thanks Kelli for coming, preparing and setting up everything for us. It would have really made those boys excited to turn 8.

The Activity Days room was equally beautiful. Terresa made it so fun for the girls.
She even gave them candy bars (purple on the table). Remember to click on the picture to see it better. Sorry my camera isn't the greatest.
When the children turn 8 they receive their Faith In God booklets. This is a program to draw nearer to Jesus Christ and prepare the children to be teenagers with a strong testimony. There are 4 different sections that they work on different activities for the next 3 years.
The basic requirements in the Faith in God books are:
Pray daily to Heavenly Father
Read the scriptures regularly
Keep the commandments and live "My Gospel Standards"
Honor your parents and be kind to your family.
Pay your tithing and attend tithing settlement
Attend sacrament meetings and Primary regularly.

Then the 4 sections are:
Learning and Living the Gospel
Serving Others
Developing Talents
Boys book is: Preparing for the Priesthood
Girls book is: Preparing for Young Women's

In Activity Days and Cub Scouts they try to complete 2 requirements per year in the first 3 sections. The last section they work on when they are 11 years old to prepare to move on to the "teenage" program Young Men's and Young Women's.
At the end of the Baptism Preview we hand the children a bag filled with lots of fun things.
There is a CTR ring and white towel with a poem (listed below). A picture of Jesus Christ being baptised by John the Baptist and a pack of gum with a poem (also below). There are three booklets and we also put a Faith in God booklet (not shown in picture but in there). At the end of the night each child is presented with a bag to take home and is theirs.
Baptism Poem also from The Idea Door. I rolled up a white towel and tied it with a white ribbon and attached this poem to the towel.
There is a CTR ring in the bag (and in the poem). CTR means "Choose the Right".
This is the "It's Great to Be Eight" Poem. One of our counselors wanted to include this. I've never read it or used it before but loved it. I found the frames at the dollar store and added a small picture of Jesus getting baptized. Along with a package of gum that I wrapped with a wrapper that says "We are so proud of you for "chewzing" to make and keep Sacred Covenants".
I happen to have this wonderful machine that binds books. I own it - so if you live in Meridian and want to borrow it - feel free anytime.
This is the Baptism Memory / scrap booking book we put in the bag. PDF for each of the three booklets are found at The Idea Door here:

I'll have to end here because I have to get to work. I'll do another post about the program. We followed up with cupcakes and ice cream. It was a great evening.
I made these silly little toppers by hot gluing them to a tooth pick. I made it up in word and cut them out with that handy dandy scrapbook paper cutter. I thought it was fun.
I hope this give you an couple of ideas how to make your Baptism Preview Fireside an memorable experience.

You can find more from Baptism Preview Fireside part 2 here.


Valerie said...

You so rock! I am gonna have steal your idea. Our stake has a baptism preview, but it doesn't include info on the separate boys and girls programs. AND children and parents from our ward rarely ever go. I would love to have something like this in our ward. Since I was just called to 1st counselor in primary (I was secretary), I'll have to bring it up and start planning right away. Too bad no boys showed up to yours. It looks like the leader made it so fun. (It's so sad when you plan and work and no one comes.)

Small House said...

This is great!! I'm calling our Primary President and having her stop by your blog. You really went to allot of work!! And how nice of you to do this for the new presidency...WOW!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you liked having children come share their baptism experience. I think that this is just such a neat thing to hear their peers, and I hope that we continue to use them each year. It looks like things went great! Those who missed out, really missed out.

Oh, and I love that you put, please leave brothers and sisters at home on the invitation. We had a real problem with that this year, so we will definitely add that to the invitation for next year! (I am in charge of those as well, so it will happen!!!)

CB said...

Sondra this was fabulous! I have never been in a ward where they have a preview for the kids like this. It is such a neat idea - I think all Primaries should do it!!
You did a fantastic job with the book and the cupcakes and the bag of goodies. Those kids have to be so excited!!
What a great year for them and lucky kids to have the best teacher!!!

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

Such a darling idea.
You do amazing work.

Connie said...

Such great ideas! You're an amazing teacher to these young, impressionable children. Thanks for sharing.

CreativeMish said...

This is awesome that you do this for the children. I still have my CTR Ring!

Christel said...

Thank you for posting this, and for including ALL the details. We're a new primary presidency and this was a great help!


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