The 9 to 12 of us are the seasoned 31+ age group - we are actually fairly opinionated, off-topic, and more about "keepin' it real" in general.
[I managed to dodge the teaching bullet previously because of my own faith transition baggage, program baggage, and 10% garden variety human nature laziness. However, one of the Pathways missionaries politely twisted my arm about it. Evidently, his supervisor in Salt Lake never had anyone who participated in the class discussions not want to sign up to teach - and the leadership didn't have a protocol for that. Since I was able to point out that I had signed up for a class, the missionary figured all is well and moved on.]
The focus for the personal study was to compare stories of specific miracles using the gospel harmonies section and write about it. The students were supposed to bring their lesson plans that they put together doing that assignment, and any questions they had to the gathering and that would be the lesson. However, I know my fellow students - we are good people, BUT these 2 classes (English and FDREL 250) are very intense - especially when there is so much other church stuff like graduations going on. There is some re-prioritizing and off-the-cuff discussions going on...
So I provided the class focus of the miracle of the boy whom the apostles could not heal. I paired the 3 scripture blocks from the gospel harmony section with 3 General Conference talks on that specific miracle and 3 questions that covered both the scripture block and the General Conference talk. I split the class into 3 groups, and gave a pre-group and post-group recap of the miracle. Each group presented a summary of what their scripture block focused on, what their conference talk focused on (thematically), and what they pulled from both personally.
- The Pathways missionaries thought I did a good job. The arm-twisting missionary gave off non-verbal head shakes like, "why hasn't she been teaching all this time?"
- While reading her general conference talk, one of the sisters said out loud, "I needed this talk today".
- Another sister really related to the "Lord, I Believe" excerpt from President Holland and wound up crying (in a good way) as a validation of previous personal faith experiences.
- At the end, I pointed out that while it was important to "hold to the faith we have" as President Holland advised, we have to remember that a person's faith varies from day-to-day, hour to hour (I pointed out that I have more "faith" in the mornings, and less "faith" once I have been dealing with my children for a few hours as a hilarious example), and that this counsel is for everyone (including those who had faith previously, never learned about God or faith at all, is going through something) - that everyone to some degree or another needs to hold onto what they currently have (even if it isn't what they started with) and go forward. One of the people started talking about the other religions, and about how the 11th article of faith is very pertinent to remember in faith transitions. A different student said, "I had never thought about it that way".