I'll Follow Him in
Stake Leadership Training
submitted by Melissa
McGowan / ga09292006
Last night I attended my Stake Leadership Meeting
about next year's theme "I'll Follow Him in Faith" and I thought I'd share
the excellent ideas they gave.
Our invitations were printed on a pretty picture of a single sunflower and
when we got to the chapel, there was an arrangement of sunflowers at the
pulpit and sunflower refreshments mentioned below.
Our first handout was the Parable of the Sunflower. It is as follows:
The Parable of the Sunflower
When Sunflowers bloom, they follow the sun all day. The flower looks towards
the sun as it goes across the sky.
We can be like the sunflower and look for our light in the Son of Heavenly
Father, Jesus Christ.
It will help if we put our plant in good soil. The good soil of our lives
can be obeying our parents, going to church, saying our prayers, etc. These
things help nourish our testimonies of Jesus Christ.
When the sunflower blooms, its seeds help nourish people, animals and birds.
Our testimony will help nourish others around us as they see how the light
of Jesus Christ shines in our lives.
We should follow Jesus Christ the same way the sunflower follows the sun. If
we pray in the morning and at night and watch for his help all day long, He
will be able to guide us.
They also gave us a handout with 10 ideas for how to make use of the Parable
of the Sunflower in a quarterly activity or even for a sharing time. They
are as follows:
1. Tell the parable of the sunflower. There is a picture of Monet's painting
of sunflowers in the back of the church manual titled, The Presidents of the
Church. There is a picture of Jesus in the red robe on the flipside of the
2. Let the children make a bracelet out of different colored beads but give
them a pattern or example to follow. Show a picture of the Savior and talk
about following the pattern He has given us to follow.
3. Plant a sunflower seed in a cut for them to take home (see sharing time
outline for the first week in January).
4. Copy a picture of a sunflower on yellow construction paper or cardstock
to use as a picture frame. Let the children cut out the sunflower and put a
picture of themselves in the center of the flower.
5. Play "Simon Says" to see how well they can follow.
6. Make a round cake and frost it yellow. Place Twinkies around the outside
of the cake to look like the petals of a sunflower (this idea was shown in
the Family Fun magazine). (CLICK
HERE for another version of this cake). Use jumbo milk
chocolate chips (Hershey's Kisses) to cover the round cake to look like
seeds on a sunflower. The children could each receive a Twinkie for a treat.
7. Sunflower cookie cutters are available at JoAnn's Craft Store. Let the
children frost their cookie yellow and use chocolate chips for the center of
8. Small pictures of the Savior could be given to each child to display in
their rooms or keep in their scriptures.
9. Plan a service project that will give the children and opportunity to
follow the Savior's example.
10. For more ideas, see the Friend, March 1999, Jesus Christ Shows Us The
Way, page 14 and the Friend, May 1999, Follow Jesus Christ, page 44.
Also, one of the BEST ideas I think we heard last night was taken from a
talk called "Faith
Is The Answer" given by Virginia H. Pearce at the General
Young Women's Meeting on 26 March 1994. In this talk, she talks about an
easy to remember definition of Faith that can be counted out on your 5
fingers. Then she tells 3 stories - Moses, pioneer, personal - and applies
each story to the 5 points of Faith defined as follows:
1. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and they are in charge of this
2. They know me.
3. They love me.
4. They have a plan for MY future.
5. If I will obey the commandments, work hard, and trust in their plan,
sooner or later, everything will be okay.
I think everyone can agree that this is a PERFECT definition of Faith. What
a wonderful idea it would be to reiterate this definition EVERY week in
primary after a scripture story or personal experience is told. It fits
every story, scriptural or personal and can be a comfort and a bulwark for
anyone that commits it to memory. It is certainly easy enough for children
to remember if it is repeated each week. We will DEFINITELY be using this
idea in Primary this year. And I will take EVERY opportunity to reinforce it
for myself, my family and my Primary.
Some good quotes:
"According to legend this common but beautiful flower follows the sun from
the early hours until it reaches its zenith, is constant and steadfast
through the long afternoon, and, as the sun declines, follows it until it
finally disappears into the horizon." -Relief Society Courses of
Study, 1986, pg. 171
"Walk in the sun with your heads high, knowing that you are loved and
honored, that you are a part of [the Lord's] kingdom, and that there is for
you a great work to be done which cannot be left to others." -President
Gordon B. Hinckley ("Live Up to Your Inheritance," Ensign, Nov. 1983)