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A Test of Faith
Murder Mystery Dinner
New Era (Feb 1992) ideas
Missionary Week

YOU MUST CHOOSE, BUT CHOOSE WISELY: -  -  The evening was a Mystery Dinner with a twist.  As we make choices throughout our lives we must also be accountable for those choices. Whether we ourselves are  accountable for our own chices or whether we allow others to direct our choices, the consequences are the same.  The tables were set, and at each place setting was a number and a corresponding number at a place setting on the opposite table.  If we had an odd number of youth, one of the brethren would be captured and brought to stand  accountable.  The menus were distributed, the choices were made.
Main Course: choose 1 item.  Cold stuff, Cup of cure.
Dessert: choose 2 items,  Messy Marvin, Johnny Cakes, Mr. Wiggle and Dirty Doe.
Appetizers:  choose 3 items. Amazing Maze, Cross Graine, Fence Posts, Pebbles, Sea Beds, and Lily of the Field.  All had now received their dishes and had returned to their place..No one was allowed to eat until all  had been served. Now the plates remained, but the youth had to trade places  with the corresponding place on the opposite table.  This represents what happens when we let others make choices for us.  "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.   But life is not like a box of chocolates.  We are in control of our own destiny. Some of the youth had made good choices for their own plate, but now they are forced to endure other peoples choices. The process was repeated and this time they kept what they had chosen. Now they can be accountable for the choices they have made.  The evening was a big success.
The menu items were disquised as: Main Course:  Cold Stuff = Chili;  Cup of Cure = Chicken Noodle Soup.
Dessert:  Messy Marvin = ice cream bar; Johnny Cakes = apple fritters; Mr. Wiggles = gummy worms; Dirty Doe = oreo cookies Appetizers:  Amazing Maze = cube of butter; Cross Grane = bread; Fence Posts = carrot sticks; Pebbles = olives; Sea Beds = lettuce; and Lily of the Field = cauliflower.  Of course you can make up your own menu....  -- Sidney Montana Ward - Sis. Beigh

IRON ROD ACTIVITY:  I would like to tell you about a very successful combined activity we did.  We took a rope and threaded it through the cultural hall having it bend at 8 stations.  At these stations we had temptors, money, donuts, pretend lottery tickets, $50.00 gift certificates, $10,000 limit credit cards, basket ball dunk for $20.00, candy, and games.  Between each station we had 1 question that had 2 correct answers but the youth had to give the most correct answer. Now that I have set up the event let me take you back to the very beginning.
 (CLICK HERE for the rest of the activity)

DRIVE-IN MOVIE: -  Our Young Men came up with this idea.  We are having a drive-in movie.  The kids all have to furnish cardboard cars and quote a scripture to get their ticket in to the theatre.  We will have a condiments booth with candy, popcorn and pop and we will be showing "How Rare A Possession".

CARNIVAL: -  The other night we had a carnival with booths of games.  To get tickets you  had to fill out a questionaire with ?'s like "have you read your scriptures  at least 3 times this week?"  There were about 10 ?'s.  However many you  answered that you did that certain thing that week, you got that many tickets to play games.  There were peopel in the Primary room giving out more  tickets that you could earn by memorizing scriptures and saying them, singing  primary songs, Articles of Faith, playing some songs on the piano, etc. Tthere  was also someone giving out tickets for free where the fair was. He asked if  you wanted any, and he took your name if he gave you some.  Then later
we all  met up in a room.  The people that had around 20 or more tickets that earned  them got the highest kingdom.  The people that got around 10 or so got the  middle kingdom.  The people that got 0 or got free tickets without working for  them got the lowest kingdom.  The person who was giving out the free tickets  was secretly supposed to be the devil...and instead of them trying to work  for the tickets, they got tricked into getting them free.  Then they talked  about the kingdoms and perfecting your talents.  Then the people in the  highest kingdom got a brownie, ice cream, sprinkles, cherry, and chocolate.  The people in the middle kingdom got a brownie and some ice cream. The people  in the lowest kingdom only got a brownie.  It was really neat how they thought up how to do that. 

DINNER'S ALL TIED UP: -  - I have a neat idea for a combined YM/YW activity.  Everyone sits at a table (set them up in a horse shoe shape). Seat everyone boy-girl then tie their hands together with a piece of cloth or something then serve them dinner while both their hands are tied to their neighbors.  If you want to eat you have to cooperate with your neighbors.  Beware it could be messy,  but is fun and teaches sharing.

FAITH WALK: -  The idea for a Faith Walk where the YW/YM are gathered together by someone singing "Come Follow Me".  ...use this at Youth Conference.   It's located at:  A Year of Activities

ARTICLES OF FAITH ICE CREAM BAR: -  Several weeks before the activity we tell the youth to study the Articles of Faith.  On the night of the activity, we have 13 booths set  up.  Each youth moves from booth to booth reciting the Article of Faith.   Before the Activity the leaders choose which booths represent which ice cream  topping.  We did not tell the youth.  For example, if they recited A. of F.  #1 they would get a bowl, for #2 they would get a spoon.  We had ice cream at  booth #8.  Almost every youth passed off every one except for a few. Each youth had a piece of paper that they had signed off at each booth. Everyone  had fun and at the same time were focused on something  important.    Susie Bailey

PANCAKE BAKEOFF: -  We had a Pancake bakeoff.  We paired off into groups of two.  The YM provided the batter and we had to bring everything else.  We had four categories - Plain Pancakes, the Most Decorative, the Best tasting and the Most Creative.  We also used the Bishopric for judges.  It was one of our best YM/YW Combined Activities ever.  June

PIZZA BAKE-OFF: -  We had a great activity dealing with team work and unity.  We had a pizza bake-off.  Each class was to provide all the ingredients for their pizza and it could be whatever kind they decided.  Everyone of course had to pull through to make it work.  We had just the plain old pepperoni from our deacons, a garlic chicken from our MiaMaids and a couple of dessert pizzas and at least one other kind. We made the dough and the kids topped them.  We played volleyball while they cooked and the bishopbric was the judges.  The judges came up with the idea for awards as they tasted.  It was a fun night for all!  ~Michelle

TICKET TO PARADISE: -  You've probably heard of this as the airplane crash or other title. I don't know where it originated but lots of wards across US have done it. It works best with a large group. We told the youth that we were going to have a Hawaiian party and assigned food for them to bring (Hawaiian Haystacks, Hawaiian punch, Fruit kabobs, etc.) and told them to dress Hawaiian that night.  The Sunday before we passed out their official invitations (imitation plane tickets) complete with assigned seats and itennerary.  When the youth arrived, they were allowed to visit for awhile and then they were told it was time to board the plane. We had a podium set up outside the overflow area where and "agent" took their tickets. They could not swap seats. If they forgot their tickets, or did not have one, they had to wait to the end for standby seats. Chairs were set up in rows. We had a flight attendant from the other ward act as stewardess who gave out flight wings, did the "crash talk" and served soda and pretzels after takeoff during which we showed a movie "Blue Hawaii".  Let the movie run for about 15 minutes (they will think it's lame). Then lights flash, the pilot announces for all to be seated and buckled, smoke (dry ice) appears.... (We had a local member who works at a radio station make up a sound tape so it was more real). Then all the lights go out and they sit in the dark for several minutes.  Then they hear a voice announcing that flight (??) has crashed and they are sorry to report that there are no survivors, a little more silence, then the doors to chapel open where a priesthood member is on the stand dressed in white. You could have a spotlight on him. (We had both Bishops open the doors and escort the youth to the benches. They were dressed in white as well as any other leaders waiting in the chapel area.) We had the stake president on the stand who after being joined by the bishops, spoke on being prepared to meet the Maker at any moment.  He spoke for about 10-15 mins. Then excuse the youth to the culteral hall where they eat and have the Hawaiian party promised.  They were also given leighs when they boarded the plane.

Alternative: I've heard of this done as a ward activity on temple marriage. Same sort of thing only after the crash, anyone who was not sealed
had their children taken away to another room, even if they were crying. It made a big impression.

Note: If you do this activity it is important that the fewer people and leaders that know what's happening the better. If word gets out it ruins the
results.  -- Maria Vaughan--Hoover AL.

A TEST OF FAITH: -  To see this program, click here

MALE/FEMALE RELAY RACE: -  A fun outdoor activity is a battle of the sexes relay race.  You set up  two sides girls on one, boy on the other.  Your course is set up of various things the typically either girls are better at or boys are better at.  Some of the things we did were. Station 1. Change a cloth diaper on a doll.  Station 2. Have two cars ready for them to have to pop the hood and find the battery, the spark plugs, and the carborator. Station 3.  Have them paint someones figurenails or their own if they will, most YM won't  (smile).  Station 4. Tie a tie. etc. etc.  We did a total of 6 staions. Can do more or less depending on your #'s.  These are just some ideas, you can do anything.  Kids get a kick out of this one.   I am doing this again, !st time in this ward.  If you have any really great new Station ideas let me know.
Sue Roquemore, San Antonio, Texas

 GROUP ACTIVITY: -  You need 2 seperate rooms for this activity.  Divide the kids up into groups and have them go from room to room.  Each room is dark except for a small light, or a few electric candles. Each room has a different leader who is the story teller. Have someone who can get into the story, and make it seem really real.
 Room one story: We are all out on an outing.  We see a cave.  We decide to go explore.  We get deeper and deeper in the cave, it's dark.
We hear a noise.  It's water.  It begins to fill the area where we are at.  There is no way out.  We notice a ledge that will fit one person.
Whoever is on this ledge will stay out of harms way, everyone eles will die.  (KEY TO STORY) Ask the kids to really think here about the next question then have them answer it one by one.  The question is are you the one who is to live or die, why, if not you then who, and what would you have the person who is to live tell your family and friends. P.S.  ONLY ONE WILL LIVE NO EXCEPTIONS!!! smile
Room 2:  Is any story that has to do with someone who's made a mistake in their life.  This one needs to be geared for YOUR youth, where they
need to change a little.  The main thing is at the end of the story the leader has a paper attached to a piece of cardboard.  You ask the youth
to think of anything they may have done wrong this past week. Large or small, Gossip, cheating, lying, not obeying parents etc.  Then you pass
around the cardboard with a pair of scissors.  Have each youth punch a hole in the cardboard.  When everyone is done.  The leader takes the
paper off the cardboard and opens it, all will see a picture of Christ and the holes they've made.     How you end this is up to you, go with the spirit.  But I have found there really isn't alot that needs to be said except maybe, Don't wait to tell your family you love them, and Christ atoned for ALL our sins. We all caused some of those drops of blood.   This is very chopped up, each story should take about 15 min. with 15
min. to talk about it.  It is a very humbling experience for the kids and us leaders.
Brian and Sue Roquemore, San Antonio, Texas

NEW YEAR KICK-OFF: -  To kick off the new year, and the fact that we have all new Young Women's and Young Men's Presidencies in our ward, we are having a "Getting to Know You" night.  All youth and leaders will bring their favorite snack food for refreshments.  They will also bring a favorite board game.  We will have everyone fill out a questionaire all about their interests when they first arrive (including the leaders)  We will play board games and eat snacks for the first hour.  The last 1/2 hour we will play a culminating activity using a
"GIANT" twister game that was made for our girl's camp last year.  We will let a member of the Bishopric call the colors and body parts to avoid getting too "touchy".  It should be fun, and we will later use the answers we collect for a family feud game later on in the year.
Cindy Woodard, Medford Oregon 4th Ward.

A GAME OF CLUE: -  Murder Mystery Dinner used at Halloween or any time.  (click here)

MYSTERY DINNER: -   We told all the youth that we were flying to Hawaii.  On mutual night we used the over flow as an airplane, we had the chairs set up in rows, 3 to each side.  In the lobby we used the pulpit as the check in counter (at the airport).  They got their ticket and had a seat to wait to be boarded.  We then let them board the plane.  The "pilot" welcomed them on the flight, the stewardess' (YW leaders dressed in Hawaiian attire)  told them to buckle up (pretend) and then continued to explain emergency landing, etc.  We then served them peanuts and soda, when all of a sudden we were  hijacked (by the YM leaders w/ bandana's to cover their faces and water guns).  We were screaming they were telling us to stay seated..... etc. (really ham this up).......anyway they hijacked us to Mexico, luckily we arrived safely
and had a Mexican fiesta.  It was a lot of fun and very yummy!    Shaila

GENERAL CONFERENCE ACTIVITY: -  We had a great activity Saturday morning for our joint YM/YW.  Leaders got together and cooked breakfast -- crepes, eggs with ham and cheese, bagels, donuts, toast, bacon, etc., etc., etc.  We do this every year to get the youth together to watch the Saturday morning session of conference.  We start eating at about 8:15, and they're done before conference starts (9:00 a.m. here in Calif).  Just before conference starts, we pass out "conference bingo" - actually a primary game...  and when they hear the designated words, they blank out a square.  They tend to work in groups, and have a good time listening.  This is a favorite activity of the youth every year.  Sue

NEW ERA - FEBRUARY 1992 ISSUE:  -  Lists many different ideas for activities. Click here

SCRIPTURE MASTERY SKIT NIGHT: -  We had a joint activity called scripture mastery skit night. We divided the youth into groups of 5, and made sure that there were a couple of seminary students in each group. Each group was given 5 scripture mastery scriptures, and then all groups were sent to different rooms (with a leader) for 15 min, to make a skit. In the skit they had to use the scriptures given. It could be a subtle use, or some said them right out. But it had to go along with the skit. We came back together after the 15 min, and performed the skits for each other. A panel of 3 judges was given the scriptures that each group was to use and were to judge each group on a scale from 1 to 10 for creativity , performance and recognizable use of the scriptures. Scores were tallied and the winning group recieved little candy bars as prize. The skits were great and all enjoyed. Be glad to answer any questions. Tawnie

BOOK OF MORMON BATTLE: -  We as the Young Women and Young Men are having a "Book of Mormon Battle."  We are counting pages for the next 3 months to see which group reads the most.  Then at the end, for the joint activity, the loser will make and serve dinner to the loser.  To help start off this challenge, we had a fireside to help them become familiar with the Book of Mormon stories.  We had it at one of the leaders home and told the youth to bring their scriptures.  The laurels presidency had previously picked 7 stories from the Book of Mormon and each written a discription of the story.  We then divided into groups (Beehives, Deacon, Leaders, etc...) and each had to perform a skit on one of the stories the Laurels had assigned us.  The leaders did their own skit, so the youth were on their own.  They did a great job and everyone had fun learning the Book of Mormon stories!

  • SPIRITUAL MARITHON: -  Annually we hold a Spiritual Marathon with the YM/YW.  It is held on a Friday or Saturday night.  The kids come at 7:30 p.m.  There are workshops, guest speakers and activities designed to strengthen their understanding of gospel principles, etc.  One year one of the seminary teachers came and did quite a presentation.  We have had different community members who are LDS come and speak on the contributions LDS values can have on society, etc.  We break at about 9:00 for light snacks and drinks and then go until 11:00 or so.  We order pizza from a pizza delivery service and have pizza and rootbeer floats the last hour so the kids can socialize and then take them home at midnight.

  • SPECIAL NEEDS MIA: -  Last year, we had the Special Needs Mutual present a sacrament meeting in our ward.  This mutual unit provides YM/YW activites for youth with varying disabilities and handicaps.  In exchange for presenting the sacrament meeting, they ask that the ward provide a service for their MIA.  Our YW were asked to come to their girls camp and assist with a craft.  This was a very positive and exciting experience for our ward YW.   ***(This is in the Salt Lake Valley area.  I do not know whether there are other Special Need MIA groups in other parts of the country or world.)

  • MISSIONARY WEEK: -  (for ideas see Missionary Week Ideas)

  •  SCAVENGER HUNT: - Divide Young Men and Young Women into groups of four or five. Each group is assigned to one of the youth leaders, and will remain with that leader throughout the evening. Prior to the activity, one of the youth should prepare clues for the scavenger hunt and post them in different areas throughout the ward boundaries. As each team arrives at their next clue, they also receive a hint that will help them to solve a riddle or puzzle (for example, the goal of the evening could be to find the phrase “Faith in Every Footstep”). The first team to find all of their scavenger hunt clues, solve the puzzle, and make it back to the ward building first wins!

  • CARNIVAL OF LIFE: - (Brite Impressions)  You have a carnival setting with booths:  worldly booths, food booths, and spiritual booths.  Youth go about earning tickets at these booths.  Spiritual Booth ideas include:  Name the Prophets, Name the Hymn,  Articles of Faith, etc.  Worldly booths include:  dart throw, ring toss, fish pond,  cake walk, etc.  Carnival goes on for awhile.  Angels come and get the youth (secretly)  one by one and take them to be judged.  Go through learning about Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial Kingdoms.  For more information,  please check the Brite Impressions books at any LDS Bookstore.

  •  SENIOR CITIZENS NIGHT:  - We have quite a few Senior citizens in our ward, esp. widows. Every year we have a combined activity where we invite the seniors and we play games. (Jenga, Pictionary, Sorry, etc.)  The leaders try to make sure that the youth mingle and interact with the seniors and not just stay with themselves.  Of course there are refreshments.  We had the YW bring cookies, the YM brought punch and popcorn.  It is always fun and it helps our ward cross the generation gap.   Our seniors are great sports and show alot of interest in our youth and I think this activity might be a real help.  Our youth learn that these older folks are a lot of fun.          
  • OLD KID GAMES NIGHT: - We had a fun yw/ym activity last month.  FUN-FOOD-and COMPETITION!!!!  We just played old kids games like musical chairs, and red rover and we had them tie balloons around their ankles and try and pop each others.  We also had a bunch of relays and lots and lots of candy!!!  We hyped it up all month, asking them to  come to YM/YW for nothing but fun and food and we had a massive turn out (for us) and had a blast!  No "lessons" learned just fun.  The kids want to do it again soon. 
  • BIGGER AND BETTER SCAVENGER HUNT: - Another one that we did that was a lot of fun was called Bigger and Better.  All of the youth started with a penny.  As they went to the various houses they asked if the people had something bigger or better.  They were given a half hour to complete the activity.  At the end we ended up with things like an old tire and a wheelchair - which we donated to DI. (or Thrift Store, if possible).