Teaching with authenticity

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Roy
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by Roy » 02 Jun 2015, 17:38

NonTraditionalMom wrote:Either you follow the prophet, or you're an apostate/heretic, right? I mean, Pres. Hinckley told us not to have more than one earring, so if you are dating a girl who doesn't take her second pair out, she is really showing you how shallow her testimony is, right Elder Bednar?? This talk was recently brought up in RS, and several women shared their personal experiences of taking out their multiple piercings immediately, and the general consensus was exactly what the manual is saying: the prophet says it, you do it, the end. And if he's wrong, you'll be blessed anyway, so no worries.
I personally would either teach the lesson as it is worded in the manual or ask for a sub.

I do not have too much problem teaching a lesson that I disagree with because it is not my place to teach the docrine according to Roy. I was called to teach the doctrine according to the COJCLDS. I believe that there are times when a thought provoking question could be asked, I just don't know if this lesson is the time to do it.

Or I would fake an injury and call for a sub. :o
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jun 2015, 19:31

But what if you don't consider it doctrine, Roy? It could be argued, of course, that we don't get to pick what is and isn't doctrine and that's the prophet's job (which would fit in the lesson in question). On the other hand, it could be argued we are expected to understand whether something is or isn't doctrine and gain a testimony of the doctrine. Throwing the dark mirror into the mix, as individuals we each have different levels of testimonies about different things. While I do believe TSM is a prophet (but not in the orthodox way), I don't believe much of what is in the 14Fs.

I get your point, if we agree to teach or accept the assignment we're expected to teach the lesson at hand - but what if we really can't teach that because we don't believe it? FWIW, when my FC hit, I was GD teacher and asked to be released because I felt I couldn't teach what I didn't believe - and I still can't.
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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by hawkgrrrl » 02 Jun 2015, 19:45

The 14Fs are so so bad. I don't envy you. I think you have a few options:
1 - find the diamond in this pile of horse manure and focus solely on that.
2 - throw questions out to the group without taking a stand; let the class teach the lesson. For one, I'd ask: 1) what do you do if a current leader asks you to do something against what a previous leader said? 2) what if they ask you to do something that violates your conscience?, 3) how do you distinguish between when they are speaking an opinion and when they are speaking for God?, 4) how do you demonstrate respect for the office without giving up your own need for personal revelation? 5) any idea why people think Mormons look like a cult?
3 - tell the RS president you can't in good conscience teach that lesson and why and then ask them to find someone else to cover.
4 - show a video of something that is loosely related
5 - fake an illness (I'd do #3 before I did that)
6 - juxtapose quotes from evil dictators that sound a whole lot like the 14F and then ask who said it (that's sort of a bad idea maybe, but it amuses me). It's hard not to see the similarities between the standard for following leaders laid out in the 14F and things Kim John Il has said.

NonTraditionalMom
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Joined: 22 May 2015, 08:48

Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by NonTraditionalMom » 02 Jun 2015, 20:39

DarkJedi wrote:But what if you don't consider it doctrine, Roy? It could be argued, of course, that we don't get to pick what is and isn't doctrine and that's the prophet's job (which would fit in the lesson in question). On the other hand, it could be argued we are expected to understand whether something is or isn't doctrine and gain a testimony of the doctrine.
Yes. And here is part of my problem with this lesson: I don't believe that it is doctrine. I don't believe that Wilford Woodruff was directed by God to say that no prophet could lead the church astray, and I don't believe that Ezra Taft Benson was directed by God to give his tips on following the prophet. My testimony of deity, in fact, relies on prophets being completely fallible. I need to believe that prophets have misunderstood the Spirit's promptings or decided to do things their own way because otherwise, it really is true that God doesn't love me the way he loves my husband and sons. I've believed that in the past, but I just can't do it any more. I'm not trying to turn this into a feminist rant or anything, but this is a very critical issue for me. So then I have a really hard time stomaching, let alone saying out loud to people I am teaching, that prophets always speak for the Lord.

But I agree, Ray, that I agreed to teach the Church's doctrine, not my own. And truly, I think my mental/emotional/spiritual state is making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.
hawkgrrrl wrote: 6 - juxtapose quotes from evil dictators that sound a whole lot like the 14F and then ask who said it (that's sort of a bad idea maybe, but it amuses me). It's hard not to see the similarities between the standard for following leaders laid out in the 14F and things Kim John Il has said.
Oooh! I saw something on facebook or somewhere where you had to guess whether Dumbledore or Uchtdorf said it. Maybe I'll put a whole bunch of old white guys on the board and have them do a matching game. :lol:

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Heber13
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2015, 22:44

NonTraditionalMom wrote:Either you follow the prophet, or you're an apostate/heretic, right?
No. That's not right. That's too extreme of a position. Brigham Young advocated we use our brains, and good reason, and don't simply follow like lemmings. That is not the plan. So...although some quotes or positions are taken to break it down to such an simplistic formulas and package that as a faithful righteous position...it simply can't be so simplistic. Or the priesthood ban wouldn't have been lifted and we'd be living polygamy, because one prophet once told us to.

You will hear lots of people's stories (ear rings, mission calls, sacrifices people have made to be obedient, miraculous cars that don't work at just the moment that if it was working would have smashed into a drunk driver coming the other way....). People like stories. They go to church to be inspired. Some stretch for inspiration through Paul H Dunn stories.

That doesn't make them right. And it doesn't make our job to correct them.

One thing I learned as a scoutmaster...the lesson manuals and programs are often outlined for you on what you should teach. Agree with them or not...the material is there for you to teach it. Have people read quotes, ask questions, follow the lesson outline and let others make the statements. I have learned I can be a neutral facilitator. I don't have to reinvent the wheel, I can just follow an imperfect scout program like I'm asked to do, and try to put my personality in it so I am honestly embracing the good things of scouts while inwardly telling myself scouts is stupid except for the part it gets boys to do stuff. Some people say every boy MUST get his eagle...and that just isn't true, and those words will never come out of my mouth. What will come out is a plan to do scouts so boys have fun. And if they don't like what comes out of my mouth, they can release me and I won't lose sleep over it. I follow my heart, focus on the purpose of things, don't try to complicate it, and try to do good things to add to the ward family.

...and I skip the things I hate. Like black and white extreme statements (which many 14F sound like, especially when taken out of context or over quoted with hyperbole).

Do you have a lesson outline, or is it a general conference talk on 14 fundamentals that you have to prepare what to ask people?

Have you read our thread discussions on the 14F?
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2172&p=25747&hilit= ... als#p25747
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

NonTraditionalMom
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by NonTraditionalMom » 03 Jun 2015, 09:29

You're absolutely right, Heber. And I think I've been looking at it as a black and white issue as well. Thanks for the link to the thread-- it's very helpful.

I love this, too:
I follow my heart, focus on the purpose of things, don't try to complicate it, and try to do good things to add to the ward family.
I feel less riled up today. I think that's a good thing.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by Roy » 03 Jun 2015, 09:59

DarkJedi wrote:But what if you don't consider it doctrine, Roy? It could be argued, of course, that we don't get to pick what is and isn't doctrine and that's the prophet's job (which would fit in the lesson in question). On the other hand, it could be argued we are expected to understand whether something is or isn't doctrine and gain a testimony of the doctrine.
NonTraditionalMom wrote:Yes. And here is part of my problem with this lesson: I don't believe that it is doctrine. I don't believe that Wilford Woodruff was directed by God to say that no prophet could lead the church astray, and I don't believe that Ezra Taft Benson was directed by God to give his tips on following the prophet.
Perhaps we are defining the term differently and I take total responsibility for that. In this case I am defining COJCLDS doctrine as "what is taught" and as completely seperate from what God may want taught.

Last year I was asked to team teach Pioneer Club on Wednesday nights at the First Christian Church. When I told my bishop he seemed surprised and asked what I do when they ask me to teach something I do not believe in. I responded that for the most part it is just general principles derived from bible stories. They have a manual that lays out the lesson plans and I just follow that. Suppose that they had a lesson on the Trinity. I would consider it inappropriate for me to teach the Mormon Godhead. People send their children to Pioneer Club to be taught mainstream Christian doctrine. I can choose to teach it as outlined in the lesson or somehow avoid it (focus on something else in the lesson, skip to the next lesson, ask to be excused, fake an injury, etc.). I might also teach it in the third person with statements such as "the manual has the following quote" or "Such and such person compared the trinity to XYZ" and not share my personal perspective. I do not think it would be right for me to teach something diametricaly opposed to what I was asked to teach.

I know it is generally much easier to be detached about what is being taught in another church vs. your own. :think:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Ann
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by Ann » 03 Jun 2015, 11:03

NonTraditionalMom wrote: My testimony of deity, in fact, relies on prophets being completely fallible. I need to believe that prophets have misunderstood the Spirit's promptings or decided to do things their own way because otherwise, it really is true that God doesn't love me the way he loves my husband and sons. I've believed that in the past, but I just can't do it any more. I'm not trying to turn this into a feminist rant or anything, but this is a very critical issue for me. So then I have a really hard time stomaching, let alone saying out loud to people I am teaching, that prophets always speak for the Lord.

But I agree, Ray, that I agreed to teach the Church's doctrine, not my own. And truly, I think my mental/emotional/spiritual state is making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.
It's hard to draw the lines, but I do think that women have an extra hurdle to clear. Good luck and tell us how it goes.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

startpoor
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by startpoor » 03 Jun 2015, 14:07

I just read through the lesson and wow. It's worse than I thought. I'm not convinced it is a doctrinally sound lesson even for the church. Of course I could think of numerous examples that counter what it was teaching, but that would make for a poor lesson. If I were to use the manual at all for this lesson, I might start by reading the church's official statement on doctrine, which is that not every word spoken by a prophet past or present is considered doctrine, but rather is well regarded council. Then I might quote Lorenzo Snow as saying: "There were men in those dark ages who could commune with God, and who, by the power of faith, could draw aside the curtain of eternity and gaze upon the invisible world... There were men who could gaze upon the face of God, have the ministering of angels, and unfold the future destinies of the world. If those were dark ages I pray God to give me a little darkness..."
Then quote uchtdorf "mistakes were made..."
Then ask: wilford woodruff said that the prophet cannot lead us astray, how would you interpret that?" Then depending on the answers I would dig more: "so do you think he's implying we be blindly obedient?" Or "in what way specifically can we not be lead astray?" Or "what if I pray about what the prophet says and I don't get an answer, should I still follow him?" Or "john Taylor seemed to imply that God speaks to other men. If so, how is the prophetic mantle different?" "What does it mean for a prophet to hold keys?" I would try and help the class discern between administration of church affairs, wise council and doctrine. I would really refer to the text minimally. There are plenty of better quotes from other prophets you can use in the lesson. Get away from the ideal and try to bring the lesson into the reality of everyone's lives. Playing devils advocate during a lesson is a good way to innocently question the primary answers people give.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

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DarkJedi
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Re: Teaching with authenticity

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Jun 2015, 17:07

I think it is worth noting somewhere that when Pres. Benson said this stuff (14Fs) he was not Pres. Benson, he was Elder Benson. At that time the idea that all of the Q15 were prophets was somewhat less emphasized (at least where I live).
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."

My Introduction

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