Activities,  Youth Activities

The Wizard of Oz New Beginnings January 2006

by Melody Dunn

SUMMARY AND NOTES AFTERWARD: I had some Wizard of Oz figurines from my g’daughter and some posters, and we served lemon bars (yellow brick road) and green sherbet with sprite (Emerald City) although we didn’t talk about that. I spoke on the parallels of the Wizard and YW, values, resisting temptations, etc. Then we had each of the current Beehives each introduce a value. The Beehives on their own accord got into the theme and a few weeks before, prepared costumes and each Beehive was a different character from the Wizard of Oz, and dressed up to present their value. It turned out very cute. Then I had asked a graduating Laurel to speak about how getting her PP helped her, but she wasn’t able to make it; so at the last minute I asked one of our graduated Laurels who just received a mission call (Hilary Wilson) to speak. She did an amazing job. That is the barebones of it. For favors I ordered some ruby slipper soaps (transparent sparkly and apple scented) on the Internet. Also included was candy cinnamon lips in a bag with a sticker with each girl’s name and the saying “Theres’ no place like home.” I included the cinnamon lips in reference to how Glinda gave Dorothy 2 things: ruby slippers and a kiss on the forehead. The book talks about how the kiss was a protection given to Dorothy from evil when seen by the wicked Witch. I compared this to the light of Christ and letting it shine to protect and keep us from evil.

Tonight we are here to celebrate the Personal Progress program and it’s goal of bringing YW to Christ. Through program we learn how to apply the values and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ into action and into application in our lives to help strengthen us and to stand as a witness of God, at all times and in all places. We are here as a New Beginnings night—the new beginnings of a new year for the yw working on their personal progress, as well as welcoming in a new Beehive this year—Jayne Starkie. This is a new beginning for her, a time of renewal for us, to reach for greater heights, seek the Lord more earnestly in our lives, and as our stake theme, to Arise and Shine forth.

Tonight’s theme is the Wizard of Oz. This book was written in 1900. Movie was made in 1939.

Dorothy arrives in Munchkin Land. Munchkins treat her kindly she is intrigued by the new colorful world. Dorothy’s house landed on the wicked witch who shrived up leaving behind ruby slippers. Dorothy was given the shoes and was told:

The Witch of the east was proud of those silver [red] shoes. And there is some charm connected with them; but what it is we never knew.”

Glinda, the good Witch of the East comes to give her guidance and direction. Dorothy is distraught and wants to return home.

How can I get there?” asked Dorothy.

“You must walk. It is a long journey, through a country that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible….”
“Won’t you go with me?” pleaded the girl,
“No I cannot do that, but I will give you my kiss, and no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of the North.”
She came close and kissed her gently on the forehead. Where her lips touched the girl they left a round, shining mark.

She is told to follow the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz to see the Wizard. He will help her return home.
Along her journey, she meets others who are looking for something to make them complete, they have known weaknesses, and lack a brain, heart and courage. The friends join together combining their strengths and encouraging each other in overcoming their weaknesses and withstand the adversary of the witches to the hope they see of the Wizard of Oz to make their wishes and hopes come true.

Dorothy is aided by nurturing, kindly characters.
Dorothy helps the scarecrow off the post from being stuck because he didn’t feel confident in his abilities. Dorothy oils the Tinman with love to loosen the rust of hard heartedness. Dorothy gives encouragement and compassion to the Lion who was frightened.

  • The Scarecrow stepped into holes and fell on bricks. In failing to use our brains we inevitably stumble through life and undermine ourselves. By using our brains we have a better chance of going where we want to go. Through the journey he sues his cleverness to overcome obstacles along the road.
  • Tin man, without heart, empathy, generosity and tender feelings for others we are ultimately deprived of happiness. Giving and receiving love is what makes us whole. He treats others with special kindness and sensitivity along the road
  • Lion: “Life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage. Along the journey he performs many acts of courage despite his awareness of danger.
  • Along the way they have been broken and mended, stumbled, tripped, fallen flat on their faces, but always gotten back on their feet again.

We must learn to give and take in relationships respecting and being respected, comfort and being comforted, encouraging and being encouraged. We must free ourselves from bad witches and instead be drawn to good witches who can help and guide us
Sometime we are Dorothy and help others. Sometimes we are like the Scarecrow, the lion or the tinman and are stuck because we have fears in our own abilities and identity. We are grateful when someone along the path stops to help us get unstuck and then offers a friendship as we journey along and grow.

Along the journey they experience personal challenges according to their weaknesses. The experiences make them strong in those things they seek and lack. The friends do not recognize the strengths they already have in themselves they think they lack.

Along the journey they take a shortcut and are overcome by the poppies and fall asleep. The witch rejoices because now she can overpower them and take the slippers. Just in time, assistance comes to Dorothy from the Good witch by way of a snowstorm to override the tranquilizing effects of the poppies. Once awake the friends rejoice with the good witch,
“Come out of the Woods, Come out of the Dark, Come into the light, Look straight ahead and see the most glorious sight.”

Sometimes we may be temporarily lost and confused, and it is natural but it leads to new and clearer paths. We press on and we make new discoveries. Remember that evil influences are all around us in the world and try to tempt us off the path, who try to destroy our spirits and souls and take our ruby slippers from us by getting us lost in sin.

Later on in the story:
The Wicked witch was both surprised and worried when she saw the mark on Dorothy’s forehead, for she knew well that neither the Winged Monkeys, nor she, herself, dare hurt the girl in any way. Then she looked down at Dorothy’s feed and seeing the [silver] shoes, began to tremble with fear, for she knew what a powerful charm belonged to them.

The little girl did not know of the wonderful power the [silver] shoes gave her, so the Wicked witch laughed to herself, and thought, “I can still make her my slave, for she does not know how to use her power.”

They see the vision of Oz and they are again on the hopeful path. They meet the Wizard who sends them yet on another journey. The Wizard disappointed Dorothy, but she forgave him and knew that he was a good man. Sometimes we will find people in our lives who we set up to be extraordinary may let us down, but we need to accept they are human but take the wisdom and teachings they give us.

In battling the witch what saves her is her mark of the good Witch’s mother kiss still shining on Dorothy’s forehead and knows she will not be mistreated. When we as YW know who we are and let our gifts shine, we know that we are lovable precious and worthy and does not deserve abuse from anyone and gives self respect. This and her slippers of understanding and knowledge give Dorothy the confidence and strength to realize she has power over the witch and is able to throw water on her in defending herself and as a results frees her from evil. Dorothy knew and identified the evil witch from the good witch. She chose to trust in the good side.

In the end, the Wizard grants them what they wish for—but the Wizard informs them they had those qualities in them (along their journey they have developed the sought-for gifts). The Wizard presents them with Scarecrow brains, Tinman with heart, Lion with courage, he is only recognizing and affirming the attributes that have always been a part of them, but by virtue of their insecurity, had remained hidden.
What qualities do we have in ourselves that we desire to have, we need to pray to our Heavenly Father for the opportunities to acquire and display and develop those characteristics. The two gifts that Dorothy had in starting her journey to give her strength and to overcome evil were:

  • Kiss: remember you are loved and cared for. The spirit of Christ and if we allow it to shine in our countenance, it gives us protection from evil influences and keeps us safe.
  • Shoes: stand under us, signify understanding: comprehension, knowledge discernment and sympathy for others. Means toward humane, full living. Shoes allow us to move on, to journey across rough land to venture far from home; they are the fittings of our autonomy. Self-understanding
    Dorothy is told by Glinda that all she had to do was to click her heels and say, “there’s no place like home.” Dorothy asks her why she didn’t tell her that to begin with; the response; “You had to learn it for yourself.”

The power to make our wishes come true resides within us, not outside of us.

When Dorothy goes home, she has changed during the course of her journey, she has

  • Accepted kindness of others
  • Been kind to others
  • Encountered Wizard and accepted him as an ordinary man and forgiven him
  • Confronted the evil witch and set herself free from destruction
  • Internalized and understood the power she has within herself from the shoes
  • Understood the protection she had from the motherkiss – that she was loved
  • Used her brains, heart and courage from friends and help from them to grow and thrive

Along our path we need to remember that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will provide us the guidance and direction we need—directly through personal revelation to receive the strength we need, and also by sending us kind friends to help us get unstuck, and likewise, we need to strengthen and share with others.

And when we return home after we have gone through our earthly experience here, we like Dorothy will say, I’m so glad to be home again!

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