Praise to the Man: Silent Video for both Older and Younger

I want my children to feel they know Joseph Smith.  One of the ways to do this is to use Silent Video.


Play a video (doesn’t have to be this one… has several short video selections) about Joseph Smith on a large screen for the children, but turn the sound off and sing the first verse yourself about 3 times (or however many times the song fits) through as the video plays.  I sing it more slowly, often pointing to something on the screen.  I turn off the video (in this video it is right before it shows Emma crying as he is taken to Carthage), then turn to the children and bear my testimony.  It is powerful and wonderful, and the children get a feel for who Joseph was.  They hear the melody, rhythm, and words over and over again in personal way.  The visual images and the feelings the children feel as they watch and listen link up to this song in their heads. I love watching the children’s eyes as we experience this together.

22 Responses

  1. Laura Bickmore

    Hello again Sharla –
    I’m curious – what month are you teaching this song? In March? Or are you teaching it in Jan paired with If I Listen with my heart?

    • Sharla Dance

      I am teaching Praise to the Man starting in March or April. My president has asked that I teach Scripture Power, I Will Follow God’s Plan, plus the first verse of If I Listen, and some Article of Faith songs (whew) these first two months. I am going to take 8 weeks to teach it (because of the huge amount of words, and I want to focus on melody, beat, harmony, and not just words for all of those activities). But it is a great contrast to If I Listen With My Heart in feel and mood, so it would be great to teach it in January if you choose to! Thanks for asking, Sharla

  2. Aline

    I too am teaching Scripture power. Starting verse 2 this week. I would love to hear what you are doing to teach it. So far I’ve done the word puzzle and partner scarves. I don’t want to repeat the same method that I’m doing to teach the monthly song, so it’s becoming a challenge coming up with ideas.

    Is there a preference of which method (movement, visual, logical, word, rhythm, etc..) I use first to introduce the song? Or does it not matter as long as I have those different methods throughout the month?

    • Sharla Dance

      For very rhythmic songs, movement is a good beginning. It is the combination of all the variety of teaching, though, that makes the difference in the long run. Thank you for putting some effort into doing different things with the children! And you are right to vary and contrast the activities you use on Sunday between the different songs.

      Some ideas for that verse of the song might be egg shakers patterns to the beat, a body rhythm pattern like patsch, pop, (switch) patsch, pop, snap, snap, clap, or a paper “band.”

  3. Amber

    I love this idea! I am not able to access Youtube at church (the internet at church has it blocked), and this video isn’t available for download. Do you have any ideas? I love that this shows clips from his life. I haven’t found any other video that I think would work. Thank you for all your work!

    • Sharla Dance

      In my last workshop at a Stake Center, I used a church video about the restoration showing Joseph going into a garden. Easy to download, and still gives the children a “view” of Joseph’s life. I went to and chose media, then looked through the clips to find one.

    • admin is an easy way to download YouTube videos. You don’t have to install anything, it is free, and works pretty fast. Just chose mp4 (video) instead of mp3 (audio).

  4. Amber

    Thank you for this! I used this activity today and it worked so well. The children were involved watching Joseph Smith. I was able to use an HDMI cable and use the Internet off my phone. Thanks to you, singing time is active, and they are excited to see what will come next!

  5. Whitney

    I am wondering if you are planning on doing this with both jr. and sr.? I love the idea of it. Also, are you only teaching the first verse to the song? I was debating on teaching another verse to sr. and then have the congregation join the rest of the song.

    • Whitney

      Just reviewing the manual and realized it says to teach verses 1 and 3…So my next question is do you sing both verses during the video, or just verse 1 to start?

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Whitney, Yes, I show this video and sing with both Younger and Older Children. It is appropriate for both ages (although they get different things out of it!) I only sing the first verse over and over again so that it stays as a unit in their memory.

      Because this hymn has a complicated melody with complicated words, I will teach verse one using at least 4 to 5 different activities, then teach verse three with other activities: 2 or 3 different movement activities, puzzle challenges, visual stimulus (like this video), and some music manipulative extenders like paper plates, paper cups, hand bells, maori sticks, wind wands, and rhythm instruments.

      I want the children to feel the power of this hymn by the way I teach it, and I want them to stay engaged as we are having different experiences with it. Thanks for asking!

  6. sue piotrowski

    Sharla, I am experiencing a problem teaching the song” If I listen with my heart”. I live in Switzerland and my German is mediocre when teaching children and in musical terminalogy. I am having a difficult time memorizing the words and therefore the kids are also struggling. We have worked on verses 1 and 2 with the 2nd verse being almost impossible to learn because of the translation. It is awkward and not flowing and too formal a form of German for the children. I am not sure what to do. I made a flipchart for the first and second verses and then I also used a fill in the blank chart for them also. They just are not getting the words down at all because they are technically tricky. I recite the words then have them repeat them,then we put it to music, then I have them clap along with the beat. I even used the chart showing how the tone goes up and down and we followed along. I have few teachers and the presidency isn’t in the chapel with us at all during singing time. I feel as though I am running a three ring circus just trying to keep a handle on some non participating boys. My good singers just left Primary so I am singing solos most of the time. The children literally only know 12 songs out of the whole songbook and the songs that are fun are not translated or included in our songbook. I am frustrated and I am exhausted! HELP!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Sue, If there is a verse that does not flow as well as the others (especially with formal German!), I would turn my attention to other songs and just plan on that verse being sung in the Sacrament program by a small group of talented children (even just 2 or 3) that could perhaps pick it up better than a larger group. It will be easier to work with a smaller group.

      Do any of the children speak some English? We have been asked to sing songs in the native language, but if they speak both languages, that opens up more possibilities for the songs.

      One upbeat song that you can utilize for movement is Singen macht Spaß! Do they like the song Wenn du fröhlich bist?

      Have you tried Crack the Code or Envelope Game with your non-participating boys? Are any of them athletes? Have you challenged them with some hand tap complex movements and related it to increasing their ability on the playing field?

      Is your accompanist willing to help you pass out (and retrieve) rhythm sticks, paper plates, and other extenders? I’d love to work with you to see what we can do. I have an Austrian woman in my ward whose children are wonderfully musical and I can discuss this with her. Do you have specific questions I can ask? Let me know how I can best help.

  7. Sarah

    Sharla, you say that you stopped this video right before Emma crying? Is there a reason you didn’t show the whole video? I think I’d like to show the whole video with the sound (not singing myself). What do you think about doing that? Thanks!

    • Sharla Dance

      Emma crying is sometimes quite upsetting to the children. That’s why I stopped it there. My purpose for showing the video was to add some visual images to the song. The children don’t know they are associating the images with the song, but their subconscious mind does, and it gives them deeper experience with the song.

  8. Shillene

    Where did this video come from? We have internet at the church, but so many people are on it with their devices, it won’t work to show videos. Can this video be purchased from the Church?

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Shillene, The internet at the church can’t show youtube videos. I showed this one through my phone. No, you can’t purchase it. A man compiled it together and put it up on the internet. I have also used Silent Video singing this song with some of the Restoration videos from
      Take care, Sharla

    • admin

      Hi Shillene. is an easy way to download YouTube videos at home so you can show them at Church. You don’t have to install anything, it is free, and works pretty fast. Just chose mp4 (video) instead of mp3 (audio).

  9. Leslee

    For those that can’t use the church internet for YouTube videos or videos, you can download a third party program/add-on/app that will download YouTube videos. Do a Google search or try this one. I’ve been successful in downloading them and then you can play it on your device or computer without internet connection.

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