LDS Quiet Book: Parables of Jesus

My sister is visiting from Utah and we have decided to make some Quiet Books together. I'm super excited because I had started brainstorming ideas for this a LONG time ago.

A Quiet Book is a cloth book with interesting (and quiet!) things to "do" on each page - snaps, velcro, buttons, spinny things - whatever.

Growing up, we had an awesome Quiet Book that was church themed and well-used during Sacrament Meeting. My mom made it. I'm sure most of the pages were from some LDS pattern source, because Sarah brought her mother in law's Quiet Book for her kids, and it had some of the same pages! "Help Suzy say her prayers," and the one where you help Lehi's boat sail across the page from Jerusalem to America. So cool.

Anyway, there are so many possibilities for Quiet Books, and between Sarah and me, it's like we could probably start a business or something. I would never want to do that, but we just keep brainstorming idea after idea for themes and pages, and how you would make each page interesting. A fairy tale themed book. One of all the Latter-day prophets. Women in the Scriptures. Articles of Faith. Etc, etc.

The one I want to make is a Parables of Jesus Quiet Book. I went through the Bible Dictionary and made a list of all the "official" parables under "Gospels - Harmony of." There's a lot, and some will be really tricky. But wouldn't it be cool to have a page for every parable!?

It was so much fun to talk about this with Danny. Not only did he remember the obscure and totally hard-to-understand parables, but he also came up with lots of great ideas for a quiet book pages. Even if you aren't crafty, this would be a fun and new way to study the scriptures: figuring out how to make the story you're reading into a child's Quiet Book page. Sounds like a fun activity my mom would have had us do in Seminary.

Here is a list of the parables I will use, and the ideas we've had so far.
  • the Sower - In this parable, the seeds get cast into different environments, where they either grow or don't. There could be a bag of buttons (or snaps) that you can move around to the rocky soil, thorny soil, wayside soil with the birds, and the good soil.
  • the Candles - I think this is the one about not hiding your candle under a bushel, but putting it on a candlestick so it can give light to all in the house. So, the idea is to have a felt candlestick and flame that you can move from under the bushel to a candlestick holder.
  • the Tares - This is where the reaper separates the wheat from the tares, or the faithful from the unfaithful in the last day. So a giant plastic sack thing with some green leafy stalk things and some yellow leafy stalk things, maybe short pieces of that fuzzy wire stuff I forget what it's called. You have two sacks, a happy one and a sad one, and you have to separate the green ones from the yellow ones and put them in the right sack.
  • the Mustard Seed - This is the one where a huge plant grows from a tiny seed, just like how a strong testimony can grow from a tiny amount of faith. This would be fun to have a folding tree that just gets bigger. It would be cool to somehow incorporate a real mustard seed hot glued on the page.
  • the Leaven - This is the one where a person makes a loaf of bread and it rises a lot even though there's only a little bit of leaven. It's supposed to have something to do with the church's growth in the latter days, according to Joseph Smith. I think this one would work to have an outline of a piece of bread that you can snap up to "inflate".
  • the Treasure in a Field - In this parable, somebody finds a coin in a field and uses it to buy the field. It would be cool to have a field and a zipper pocket with a hidden coin.
  • the Pearl of Great Price - In this one, the man finds a pearl and sells everything he owns to buy it. I think it would work to just have a "pearl" bead on a fancy pillow cushion with tassels. Kinda boring, but kinda cool.
  • the Net - In this one, there is a net with lots of different fish which, in the end, get sorted into piles of good and bad fish. So, I could have a net with fish inside it with snaps on them, and the happy ones go in one pile and the sad ones in another.
  • the Householder - This is a tricky one. Danny and I talked about it for about an hour. We think the point of it is that Christ was saying, "You think you get the parables I've just told you; why don't you keep thinking about them, and the more you do, the more you will learn new truths to go along with the old ones that you think you know." But that was just our interpretation, and it may be wrong. How to do it? A treasure chest with some old coins and some new coins that you can take out and look at.
  • the Lost Sheep - This is the one where the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to find the lost one in the mountains. Easy enough, have felt mountains and a velcro "trail" for the shepherd to follow to get to the baby sheep at the top.
  • the Coin - find the piece of silver hidden in the house.
  • the Prodigal Son - This is the one where the son returns to his family and repents after he has spent his inheritance in wicked ways, and the father welcomes him and gives him all these wonderful gifts. The end of the story is often overlooked, so we decided it would be interesting for a quiet book page to have three guys: the dad, a happy man in ragged clothes (the prodigal son), and a pissed man in nice clothes (the brother). Then, there would be a table with three fold-ups. One would have a fancy ring, one would have a fancy coat, and one would have a side of roast beef (the fatted calf).
  • the Unmerciful Servant - This is the one where there is the master and two servants. The first servant owes the master millions of dollars, and the master forgives him of his debt. But then, a different servant owes the first servant like, a dollar, and the first servant doesn't forgive the debt. So the master throws the first servant in jail. This was also a cause for great discussion on how to incorporate it into a quiet book page. I think there could be three heads with three wallets. The master's wallet has a heart in it, one servant has an "I owe U" with a cents sign, and the other an "I owe U" with a dollar sign. And there could be arrows pointing to which one they owe money to. But it's kind of a boring page. And really hard to convey the idea of "debt" across with felt. Sigh.
  • the Good Samaritan - In this one, a man is mugged and injured and is on the side of the road. Some people pass him by (Jews I think), but then a Samaritan (an unlikely helper) stops and helps him. Dresses his wounds and gives him clothes and money. This one is really long, but Danny came up with a great idea. A man with a sack and a man in his underwear. In the sack, there are things like bandaids, clothes, and coins that you can give to the one in his underwear.
  • the Unjust Steward - I don't understand this parable at all. It's about a steward who is about to get fired, but then he goes and settles his master's debts and the master praises him for it. I think it's supposed to have something to do with how if even an unjust steward thinks about the future, how much more should we think about the future. But I don't really get it more than that. What do you think it means? Any ideas for this one?
  • Lazarus and the Rich Man - I always thought this parable was somewhat lame, growing up, because it's about the after life more than it is about this life. It didn't seem anything like the others. There's a beggar named Lazarus and a Rich Man. Lazarus begs the Rich Man, who ignores him. But then they both die, and Lazarus becomes a rich man, while the Rich Man becomes a beggar. He is reminded that he's just getting his due. He begs them to send Lazarus back from the dead to teach his family, claiming that they will listen to a dead man. But he's reminded that if his family members won't listen to the prophets, they won't listen to a dead man. I think this one would work to have two men, one Lazarus, one the rich man, and have them be able to switch clothes. Rags to a purple cape and outfit, and a crown. Either that, or I will just use Danny's idea of the dogs licking Lazarus. Seriously, a little kid would LOVE that.
  • the Unjust Judge - This is the one where the woman pesters the wicked judge so much that he finally hears out her case and rules justly. The point of this one is that if even a wicked judge would finally rule fairly, then how much more fairly will a completely just judge (Christ) be. Maybe just a judge's gavel?
  • the Good Shepherd - Christ, a gate, some sheep, and a wolf. Maybe some finger puppets.
  • the Laborers in Vineyard - A spinny clock with some people on it, and a purse full of coins to give to each one.
  • the Pounds - Or this one. A coin in a napkin that you have to unwrap.
  • the Two Sons - Two little dice thingies labeled "Do" and "Say", that you can switch from "yes" to "no".
  • the Wicked Husbandmen - I vaguely remember this one as the one where there are some people in charge of a field who kill everybody who the master sends to them, symbolic of Christ. But I will need to reread it. I think I will just use the second part of this, with the stones. I will have there be a wall of stones, and you have to put the main piece back together. It is stored in a trash can because at first it is rejected?
  • the Wedding of a King's Son - This is the one where the King's son is getting married and he invites a lot of guests. They don't come. He invites them again, they don't come. So he goes to the side of the road and invites whoever. They are all feasting, but then there is one who isn't wearing proper wedding attire, and he gets kicked out. The point of it is how the gospel was offered first to the Jews (the original guests) but they refused to accept it, then to the Gentiles (whoever by the side of the road). The person who isn't ready for the feast represents the unfaithful members of the church, I think. Danny's idea for this one was cool: have a wedding feast with a bride and a groom, but one person in their underwear, and you have to go through a bag of clothes to find the right ones for the wedding.
  • the Ten Virgins - This is the one where there are ten virgins going to a wedding party, but only five of them brought enough oil to keep their lamps lit; only those five are let in to the party. Basically it is a symbol of how you are supposed to prepare yourself now for the next life. This would be easy - have ten girls with lamps, only five of which fold up to reveal small flames. Those five are happy, the ones without the flames are sad.
  • the Talents - In this parable, one man gets five coins, one gets two, and the last gets only one. The one with five works hard and doubles his coins, so in the end he has ten. The same with the second one, who ends up with four. But the last one is embarrassed by his one coin and so he just buries it in the ground, and in the end only has one. This parable is about how you're supposed to do the best with what God gives you, and not compare your blessings/gifts/talents (though the talents of the parable are totally not modern day "talents") with others. In this one, I could have three flip books. The first has five coins, then a picture of someone working, then ten. You get the idea for the second one, and the last one would have a picture of a buried coin instead of someone working.
  • the Sheep and the Goats - In this parable, the sheep get sorted from the goats, and the sheep end up on the right hand, while the goats end up on the left. It's symbolic of how in the end, we will be judged by our deeds, and if we are righteous we will get to be at the right hand of God. If we are not, we will not. This one seems very similar to the one with the wheat and the tares, and the good and bad fishes. Maybe instead, there can be two strings and you have to move the sheep to the right, and the goats to the left.
These are my ideas so far. I know there are lots more metaphors that would be conducive to quiet book pages (some would probably be much better than the ones I have chosen. Sigh, these are the ones that are "official" parables, and being the dork that I am, I kinda want to get all of them). Please let me know your ideas, and help me figure out what to do for the ones I have no clue on. And also, please correct me if my interpretation of the parable is wrong.

I'll keep updating this post as people share their ideas :)

Oh yeah, and feel free to use any of these ideas if they are interesting! LDS Quiet Books...yeah, they are pretty useful during those long Sacrament Meetings!

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