My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

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DarkJedi
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Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Aug 2014, 19:58

Thanks for sharing this, Curt. I enjoyed it very much and wish I could have been there.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SilentDawning
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Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Aug 2014, 06:40

Fascinating. You remembered a lot in quite a bit of detail. I liked how they dealt with the father who would not give permission.

I had a reverse situation like that on my mission. We had taught an over-aged youth, and the youth decided to get baptized quickly -- within a week. We went to the Bishop and he said it was a bad time to do the baptism that week because of something else going on. I was, I guess, clearly disturbed by that because as FT missionaries the more time between the commitment to be baptized, and the actual baptism, the more risk there is of the person changing their mind etcetera. The Bishop saw I was really against it (REALLY AGAINST IT), and backed away saying he would support us in whatever we and the girl decided, but that it would be better if we delayed it a couple weeks due to so much happening that evening.

My companion and I decided to acquiesce. If he had've forced us in some way, that would've probably made us dig in our heels, but the space the Bishop gave us allowed us to reach our own conclusions that matched his wishes.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Aug 2014, 07:19

The lesson last week was a bit of a repeat from the previous week, except that it was lead by my oldest son (who was in town for my daughter's homecoming talk). His mission experience in Washington (Everett Mission) was different in many ways than my daughter's experience in Germany, but he also talked about what he observed and learned relative to marriage and family while serving (on an American Indian reservation, near a military base and in a very diverse ward, particularly) - and most of his thoughts were similar to hers. Rather than summarize what he said, I am going to be lazy and refer everyone back to the previous summary. ;)

The main reason I decided to have him speak was that only two students were in Sunday School when my daughter lead the lesson, and I wanted more students to hear that sort of lesson.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
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Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Aug 2014, 17:39

We focused today on practical things that we can do to strengthen marriage and family in our own lives. Most of the kids in my class have two parents at home, and today all of the ones in attendance have traditional families, so I structured the lesson around a series of reflective questions and input from the students. Also, the Sunday School President attended the class, as did my wife. (She was called today to teach the younger class and wasn't prepared with a lesson, so we combined the two classes.)

I asked each question, gave them about a minute to think about it, and got their answers - talking about each one, if further discussion seemed appropriate. The following are the questions and the answers that were given:

1) What do your parents do to strengthen their marriage?
They help each other with the small tasks around the house.
They communicate with each other / talk about everything before making big decisions.
They work things out without arguing with each other.
They look for things to do together.
They still do silly, romantic things - like dancing in the kitchen while the food is cooking.
They go on regular dates.
They talk nicely to each other.
My dad made it clear he loves us but loves my mom more - that she is his top priority and he won't let us disrespect her.


2) What do your parents do to strengthen your family?
They make sure we read the scriptures as a family at least a couple of times each week and have family prayers most nights. (I loved the focus on regularly when "daily" just didn't work, especially since these parents are ward leaders and wold be classified as "TBM" by everyone here.)
They try their best to put up with the kids.
They make sure we eat dinner together, even though my dad works 12 hour days.
They do fun family activities, including my favorite: rides after church on Sunday.
They had fun Family Home Evenings, including things like basketball in the backyard, tag, hikes, etc.
My mom helps everyone. She takes us to all of our activities and volunteers to help others, also - even though that leaves her little time for herself.
They spend as much time together as possible and work hard to have good relationships with us.
They show appreciation for us and compliment us more than they criticize us.


3) What sacrifices have your parents made to help their marriages and their families?
My dad took care of me when I was little and my mom was bedridden with her degenerative disease.
My mom got a job to help support our family, even though she wanted to stay home with us.
My dad started a new job during the day while trying to keep his business open. He would spend hours with us each evening, then, when we would go to bed, he would spend hours each night trying to save his business. We didn't know what he was doing until after his business closed, since he didn't want us to feel bad about the time he spent with us.
My mom gets stressed out easily. She tried to take medication for it, but it made her feel like a zombie, and she couldn't help us while she was on it. She gave up the medication and is trying to find other ways to cope with her stress, even though it's really hard on her. She told us she would rather struggle to be part of our lives than not struggle and not be part of our lives.


I used the responses to that question to reiterate again how we tend to talk about an ideal when we talk about marriage, but I pointed out (by asking the questions directly) that all of them know single, adult members of the ward - and divorced or widowed members of the ward - or members who are married to non-members and attend church without a spouse - etc. I told them that what we were talking about is important no matter what their individual adult lives end up being like - that it's much like in October when we will talk about "Becoming More Christlike".

I finished with one last question, and I told them I would NOT ask for their answers. I told them that it was something to consider now but also over time - and that it might be one thing or twenty-seven things or any number of things. I first reiterated the core definition of "repent" (which they all know by now is simply "change") and told them that this is a great example of a way to approach proactive repentance (making changes NOT because of mistakes / sins of the past but in order to grow moving forward).

4) What do you need to change about yourself in order to be a better husband / wife or mother / father when you are ready to get married and have a family of your own?

Finally, I told them not to try to find "the perfect spouse". I told them, for example, that the apostles and their wives weren't apostles and apostles' wives when they met, fell in love and got married. I told them if they are with someone who makes them feel worse about themselves when they are together to run away from that person and find someone who makes them feel better about themselves when they are together. I told them to find someone who will make them the top priority - who will be willing to sacrifice in some way to support them and to keep a strong marriage.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
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Posts: 16570
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Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 Aug 2014, 17:02

Since I was out of town on Sunday, my wife taught both classes and focused on why it's important to get to know our ancestors and leave a record for our descendants. She framed it in terms of what the students know, don't know and would like to know about their parents and ancestors - and how the major events and how we think (and why we do and believe things) are much more important to most people than a daily list of common, repeated activities.

We both will be gone next Sunday. Therefore, there will not be a new lesson summary until the first Sunday in September.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16570
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Sep 2014, 12:39

I forgot completely to post my Sunday School lesson summary for last week, so here it is:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Sunday was the first lesson about commandments, the topic for this month. To lay the groundwork for the rest of the month, we focused on two important questions:
What are commandments?

Why do we keep the commandments?


I told the students that these questions sound like simple, Primary questions but that we were going to go a lot deeper and try to see them in their broadest, most powerful terms. I then asked everyone to tell me what the word "command" means. The responses included the following:
direction; order; advice; counsel; guideline; requirement


I divided the list into two groups and asked them to tell me the difference between the groups:
order; requirement

direction; advice; counsel; guideline


They saw immediately that the first group described things that must be done (things that were harsher or might even include an element of force or strong expectation), while the second group described things that were more like suggestions (things that were softer and carried no hint of absolute necessity - things that were much more up to personal choice to accept or ignore). Given that fundamental difference, the first group ("order; requirement") is the only group that fits "command".

To emphasize the difference, I explained how "Let there be light" is translated in English and in Japanese (which is translated from German). In English, as worded above, there is a feeling of almost benevolence and gentleness (of direction; advice; counsel; guideline) - as if God had said, "I will allow there to be light." In Japanese, the wording is, "Hikare ga are" - which translates as an unyielding command that light exist, as if God had said, "There is going to be light, because I am God and command it to exist." The follow-up statement that God "saw the light, that it was good" also carries an element of supervision - that God oversaw the process to ensure that the result was what he had commanded.

I then asked the students who they should follow completely - in whom should they invest the ability to command them and their actions. They immediately focused on God and understood when asked that obeying anyone else completely as a "commander" is "relying on the arm of flesh" and giving up individual agency. We talked again, as we have in the past, about Lucifer's plan - about how the ONLY difference in the plan's was the focus on forced obedience vs. individual agency free of coercion (and the consequences of that difference). That difference is encapsulated in our 11th Article of Faith, which says:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.


I simply pointed out that "all men" means "all people" - and that includes members of the LDS Church, as well. Yes, we sustain and support our leaders and give deference to them and what they ask of us - but we do NOT obey any mortal leader as if s/he was God. We always have to rely on our own consciences and ask ourselves, whenever any mortal asks or tells us to do something, whether or not what is being asked of us is in line with or opposed to our own conscience and what we believe God would command. What mortals ask of us is "direction; advice; counsel; guideline", not "order; requirement; command". Without that distinction, we risk putting mortals in the place of Lucifer and obeying for no other reason than we are told to obey. That makes us no different than animals - or, in Mormon-speak, confined to our "natural (wo)man".

We then focused on the "why" of keeping commandments. The students gave the following answers to that question:
to be protected; to gain help and strength; to be happy


I asked the students to name some commandments that protect us, and they mentioned the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Given the complexity of the discussion I wanted to have about why we keep the commandments, I stopped them there, and we focused on those two commandments.

I took them through a discussion of how those two commandments could be taught: either through a focus on being protected or through a focus on gaining help and strength - and how each approach influences how we talk about being happy.

With the Word of Wisdom, focusing on protection emphasizes the "don't" statements (strong drinks, tobacco, hot drinks, meat, etc.), while focusing on gaining help and strength emphasizes the "do" statements (wholesome herbs, grains, fruits, meat, etc.). The "consequences" of obedience are "receiv(ing) health in their navel and marrow to their bones," "find(ing) wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures," "run(ning) and not be(ing) weary," "walk(ing) and not faint(ing)" and, ultimately, being passed over by the destroying angel. I simply pointed out that there is NO distinction in the revelation between the "don't" and the "do" statements (nothing to indicate one is more important than the other) - and that when we focus solely on what we should not do and skip what we should do we are not keeping this commandment fully. We focus on the "don't" verses primarily in an attempt to gain protection, but ignoring the "do" verses robs us of an important element of gaining help and strength and being happy.

With the Law of Chastity, this difference is even more stark.

We talked about the ways obeying the Law of Chastity protects us (avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, emotional harm, betrayal, etc.), and then I asked them why that just isn't enough in our modern world. They didn't get it at first, so I asked them how our world now is different than it was in the past relative to the consequences of sex. One of them said, simply, "protection" - so we talked about how birth control, contraception, abortion, etc. are so readily available now that many people might blow off the idea of keeping the Law of Chastity as a means of protection. To avoid the obvious, natural consequences, they can say they are being protected even if they have sex. (Obviously, that isn't 100% accurate, but people can and do make that claim - especially teenagers and young adults.) Given that reality, I asked them how keeping the Law of Chastity provides help, strength and happiness.

We were almost out of time, so we focused the discussion on self-control, trust, emotional stability and, ultimately, how all of those benefits and more help us become like God and become less animalistic or "natural". We talked about how the Law of Chastity is "unnatural" and, therefore, must include blessings and benefits beyond just physical protection.

To end the discussion, I pointed out how both the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity can be taught positively (focused on benefits, now and in the future) or negatively (focused on fear and/or punishment, now and in the future). I told them that people respond to different motivations, so I understand why both a negative and positive approach are used - but, personally, I am motivated much more by the idea of actively gaining strength and help to protect myself than I am by being protected by inaction while living in a cocoon of fear. I don't like to obey commandments passively (meaning simply not doing things because I'm told not to do things); I prefer to obey commandments actively (meaning doing things for reasons that are important to me).
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16570
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Sep 2014, 12:39

I forgot completely to post my Sunday School lesson summary for last week, so here it is:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Sunday was the first lesson about commandments, the topic for this month. To lay the groundwork for the rest of the month, we focused on two important questions:
What are commandments?

Why do we keep the commandments?


I told the students that these questions sound like simple, Primary questions but that we were going to go a lot deeper and try to see them in their broadest, most powerful terms. I then asked everyone to tell me what the word "command" means. The responses included the following:
direction; order; advice; counsel; guideline; requirement


I divided the list into two groups and asked them to tell me the difference between the groups:
order; requirement

direction; advice; counsel; guideline


They saw immediately that the first group described things that must be done (things that were harsher or might even include an element of force or strong expectation), while the second group described things that were more like suggestions (things that were softer and carried no hint of absolute necessity - things that were much more up to personal choice to accept or ignore). Given that fundamental difference, the first group ("order; requirement") is the only group that fits "command".

To emphasize the difference, I explained how "Let there be light" is translated in English and in Japanese (which is translated from German). In English, as worded above, there is a feeling of almost benevolence and gentleness (of direction; advice; counsel; guideline) - as if God had said, "I will allow there to be light." In Japanese, the wording is, "Hikare ga are" - which translates as an unyielding command that light exist, as if God had said, "There is going to be light, because I am God and command it to exist." The follow-up statement that God "saw the light, that it was good" also carries an element of supervision - that God oversaw the process to ensure that the result was what he had commanded.

I then asked the students who they should follow completely - in whom should they invest the ability to command them and their actions. They immediately focused on God and understood when asked that obeying anyone else completely as a "commander" is "relying on the arm of flesh" and giving up individual agency. We talked again, as we have in the past, about Lucifer's plan - about how the ONLY difference in the plan's was the focus on forced obedience vs. individual agency free of coercion (and the consequences of that difference). That difference is encapsulated in our 11th Article of Faith, which says:
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.


I simply pointed out that "all men" means "all people" - and that includes members of the LDS Church, as well. Yes, we sustain and support our leaders and give deference to them and what they ask of us - but we do NOT obey any mortal leader as if s/he was God. We always have to rely on our own consciences and ask ourselves, whenever any mortal asks or tells us to do something, whether or not what is being asked of us is in line with or opposed to our own conscience and what we believe God would command. What mortals ask of us is "direction; advice; counsel; guideline", not "order; requirement; command". Without that distinction, we risk putting mortals in the place of Lucifer and obeying for no other reason than we are told to obey. That makes us no different than animals - or, in Mormon-speak, confined to our "natural (wo)man".

We then focused on the "why" of keeping commandments. The students gave the following answers to that question:
to be protected; to gain help and strength; to be happy


I asked the students to name some commandments that protect us, and they mentioned the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Given the complexity of the discussion I wanted to have about why we keep the commandments, I stopped them there, and we focused on those two commandments.

I took them through a discussion of how those two commandments could be taught: either through a focus on being protected or through a focus on gaining help and strength - and how each approach influences how we talk about being happy.

With the Word of Wisdom, focusing on protection emphasizes the "don't" statements (strong drinks, tobacco, hot drinks, meat, etc.), while focusing on gaining help and strength emphasizes the "do" statements (wholesome herbs, grains, fruits, meat, etc.). The "consequences" of obedience are "receiv(ing) health in their navel and marrow to their bones," "find(ing) wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures," "run(ning) and not be(ing) weary," "walk(ing) and not faint(ing)" and, ultimately, being passed over by the destroying angel. I simply pointed out that there is NO distinction in the revelation between the "don't" and the "do" statements (nothing to indicate one is more important than the other) - and that when we focus solely on what we should not do and skip what we should do we are not keeping this commandment fully. We focus on the "don't" verses primarily in an attempt to gain protection, but ignoring the "do" verses robs us of an important element of gaining help and strength and being happy.

With the Law of Chastity, this difference is even more stark.

We talked about the ways obeying the Law of Chastity protects us (avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, emotional harm, betrayal, etc.), and then I asked them why that just isn't enough in our modern world. They didn't get it at first, so I asked them how our world now is different than it was in the past relative to the consequences of sex. One of them said, simply, "protection" - so we talked about how birth control, contraception, abortion, etc. are so readily available now that many people might blow off the idea of keeping the Law of Chastity as a means of protection. To avoid the obvious, natural consequences, they can say they are being protected even if they have sex. (Obviously, that isn't 100% accurate, but people can and do make that claim - especially teenagers and young adults.) Given that reality, I asked them how keeping the Law of Chastity provides help, strength and happiness.

We were almost out of time, so we focused the discussion on self-control, trust, emotional stability and, ultimately, how all of those benefits and more help us become like God and become less animalistic or "natural". We talked about how the Law of Chastity is "unnatural" and, therefore, must include blessings and benefits beyond just physical protection.

To end the discussion, I pointed out how both the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity can be taught positively (focused on benefits, now and in the future) or negatively (focused on fear and/or punishment, now and in the future). I told them that people respond to different motivations, so I understand why both a negative and positive approach are used - but, personally, I am motivated much more by the idea of actively gaining strength and help to protect myself than I am by being protected by inaction while living in a cocoon of fear. I don't like to obey commandments passively (meaning simply not doing things because I'm told not to do things); I prefer to obey commandments actively (meaning doing things for reasons that are important to me).
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16570
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Oct 2014, 23:42

While putting the finishing touches on my Sunday School lesson prep tonight, I realized that it has been a few weeks since I've updated this thread. We had Stake Conference; my wife taught the following week; we had General Conference last week; I forgot to post the summary from the last time I taught the class. Here is a very abbreviated summary of that last lesson:

With the topic being "commandments", we talked about the difference between commandments that are fairly objective and easily measured and those that are more subjective and impossible to measure consistently or universally. Since the students had mentioned the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity in the first week's lesson, we focused on those commandments again - and added modesty as another discussion point.

First, I asked the students to list the things that are part of the Word of Wisdom. All of the first answers they gave were the things from which we abstain, with the things that are encouraged coming after the forbidden things. We talked about how easy it is to define and quantify the prohibitions in the Word of Wisdom - how they are easily enforced - and how that contributes to them being the focal point of most discussions about it. We talked about how impossible it would be (or how bad it would be) if local leaders had to try to enforce the more ambiguous aspects of meat, fruit, vegetable and grain consumption, for example.

We then talked about the Law of Chastity and how there are some things that clearly are forbidden for everyone, while there are other aspects that are more open to individual interpretation - and how local leaders often view and enforce the more subjective aspects differently.

We spent most of our time talking about the principle of modesty and what it means in its fullest, purest sense - moderation, in all things. We talked about how we focus almost completely on how we dress - and how we focus inordinately on how women dress. Every student, male and female, understood that distinction and thought it was wrong without any need for convincing from me - and their conservative / liberal orientation didn't make any difference in that regard. We talked about how there is almost no way to "measure" modesty universally and have a definition that everyone will accept and upon which they will agree. (As a simple example, I had the shortest and the tallest students stand and asked how long a modest skirt would be that both of them could wear. That caused some serious laughs, but we talked about how even anatomy-focused measurements [like covering the knee] are arbitrary standards that are culturally-based.) We talked about modesty in language - and in house size - and in car purchase - and in cost of clothing - and in any other way that deals with moderation as a principle.

I finished the lesson with a direct statement to all of them. I told them flat-out that we need to quit blaming women (of any age) for the thoughts of men (of any age). I told them that I believe in the principle of modesty, but that I do NOT believe in it as a way for one group to control the thoughts of another group. I told them that if a man lusts after a woman he is not justified in blaming the woman for it, no matter what she wears or how she acts. I told them the way we often talk in the Church seems to blame the women and/or put the responsibility on them to keep the men's thoughts in line - and that such statements are wrong, and they need to help put a stop to it in their own spheres of influence.

Two of the young women in the group thanked me specifically after the class for that part of the lesson.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16570
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Oct 2014, 13:42

The topic for this month is "Becoming More Like Christ". The lesson outline we discussed was entitled "How Can I Help Others Be More Christlike?"

I started by asking the lesson title question. Some of the responses were:
Read the scriptures about Jesus with them.
Help them learn about prayer.
Show them that I love them, so they can begin to know that God loves them.
Invite them to come to church with me, so they can learn about Jesus there
.

I told them that those were good answers, but that, first, if we want to help others become like Jesus, we need to know Jesus ourselves - or, at least, know about him - and be striving to become more like him. The best way to teach someone else about becoming like Jesus is through example - showing them what it's like to become more like Jesus. They all understood that, so I then asked them how they can become more like Jesus.

After some discussion, we focused on gaining a better understanding of his actual life. I mentioned that there are other sources of information about him (particularly his pre- and post-mortal life), but I emphasized for the lesson the Gospels in the New Testament - since that is the only account we have of something that we can attempt to model in our own mortal lives. For the rest of the lesson, I had them open randomly to somewhere in the Gospels, read for a few minutes, then describe what they had read, one thing they took from those passages that taught them what Jesus was like and how they could become more like Jesus in that specific way.

What we discussed included:
Jesus taught that we need to be prepared for difficult times.
Jesus taught in parables and analogies.
Jesus blessed even people who were enemies of the Jews.
Jesus suffered in silence when it wouldn't have done any good to rail against people who were persecuting him. He had a lot of self-control.
Jesus grew and learned just like we need to grow and learn.
Jesus loved and helped outcasts in his society.
I told the students at the end of the lesson that we cannot become more like Jesus if we only study about him - that we have to take the things we learn about him and internalize them into our own lives. I told them it is better to know a little about Jesus and then actually live it than it is to know a whole lot about Jesus and not live any of it. I asked them to pick one thing about Jesus they admire and focus on getting better at that one thing - then, when they feel they have gotten better at that one thing to pick one more thing and repeat the process - and to do that for the rest of their lives. I told them that they can't become like Jesus overnight but that, if they work on it one thing at a time, relentlessly, that they will become as much like Jesus as it is possible for them to become by the time they die - and they will become a person who is becoming godly - and, given all eternity to learn and grow, they eventually will become like Jesus.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16570
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: My New Calling: Sunday School Lesson Recaps

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Oct 2014, 08:26

Last Sunday, we talked about the titles we attribute to Jesus and how we can model many of those titles in our own lives. We used the Topical Guide from the LDS Bible to identify titles, since that was the most handy, traditional source to use. The list included the following, with a brief example of the conversations we had about each title:

Bread of Life - We can nourish people in need (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) by understanding them well enough to give them the nourishment they actually need - and by not drowning them if they are suffering extreme thirst.

Creator - We can develop our creative talents, whatever they are, and use them to help others.

Advocate - We can look for people who need support of some kind, especially those who are being hurt in some way by others.

Exemplar - We can be examples, focusing especially on loving charity.

Good Shepherd - We can help gather, protect and feed people in dangerous situations - and we can avoid driving people away who would gather with us if not driven away.

Mediator - We can defend the defenseless and speak for those who can't speak for themselves.

Second Comforter - We can comfort those who need comfort.

Son of Man - We can honor parents - even with bad ones for whom honoring means nothing more than passing on a better life to our own children and "redeeming" our family name.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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