Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Lesson on Prophets - What I Did

Alright. Rolling up the sleeves.

I inherited my mom's old Family Home Evening manuals a couple of years ago, which have seriously been a treasure trove of activities and object lessons for me as I've taught the youth.  I got the following idea from the Church's Family Home Evening Manual, circa 1976. 

First, glue a picture of the prophet on a posterboard:
At the beginning of class, I asked my students why it was important to follow the prophet.  I wrote their answers up on the chalkboard.  They mentioned a lot of things I wanted mentioned, and the few that they didn't mention, I wrote up on the board.  I made sure that the following five points were written:

A.  Heavenly Father speaks to us and gives us direction through the prophet.
B.  It's a commandment.
C.  If we follow the prophet's counsel, we will never be led astray.
D.  We need current revelation as well as revelation from the past.
E.  We are blessed when we follow the prophet's counsel.

Before class, I passed out these quotes which correlate to each of the above points:
When a student would mention one of the above points, I would write it on the board, and then I'd have someone share the quote that correlated with the point.  After they read the quote, they would stick it to the poster next to the picture of Thomas S. Monson.

Here are the quotes:

A.  And whatsoever they [the Lord's servants] shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost...shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation (D&C 68:4).

B.  Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me.  For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.  (D&C 21:4-5)

C.  There is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds.  Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord. 

An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends.  But the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be. ("Eternal Keys and the Right to Preside," Ensign, July 1972, p. 88)

D.  We require a living tree - a living fountain - living intelligence, proceeding from the living priesthood in heaven, through the living priesthood on earth...And from the time that Adam first received a communication from God, to the time...Joseph Smith had the heavens opened to him, it always required new revelations, adapted to the peculiar circumstances in which the churches of individuals were placed.  Adam's revelation did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor did Noah's revelation tell Lot to forsake Sodom; nor did either of these speak of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt.  These all had revelations for themselves...And so must we.  (The Gospel Kingdom, comp. G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City:  Bookcraft, Inc. 1964], p. 34)

E.  Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants.  (3 Nephi 12:1)

Kay.  Then I prepared six slips of paper, blank on the front, with things written on the back.  Blank front:
Stuff on the backs:

Give one slip to each student.  A word is to be written on the front of each of these slips, and the six slips will form a sentence.  For the student to find the word he is to write, he needs to follow the directions on the back of his slip.  Here's what is written on the back of each slip:

Slip 1:  Use quotation C (these are the quotations we just pasted next to the picture of Thomas S. Monson), the twelfth word in the sentence which begins "An individual..."
Slip 2:  Use quotation E, the eighth word.
Slip 3:  Use quotation A, the next to the last word.
Slip 4:  Use quotation D, the ninth word from the end.
Slip 5:  Use quotation B, the eleventh word.
Slip 6:  Use quotation E, the eleventh word.

The sentence they will have completed is "Give heed unto all his words."  Have the students attach the sentence to the poster.  We already had this scripture read aloud as quote E, but I made sure that they looked up the scripture and had it underlined.  It's 3 Nephi 12:1.

Kay.  This is where I, of necessity, tweaked the family home evening lesson a bit.  At this point, the lesson challenges the family to cut out counsel from the prophet and paste it to the poster during the week.  I decided to do a variation on this.  I gave them some more pieces of paper.  The fronts, again, were blank:

The backs had snippets of President Monson's talks in this last General Conference:

The students had to read the snippet and write, in their own words, what the snippet is saying on the front of each slip.  Then they glued those pieces of paper to the poster board, as well.

Here is how I envisioned it looking the night before:
 And this is how it ended up looking after class:
Hahaha!  But you know, the second version is more beautiful to me, because look at all the synthesizing those kids did.  Look at their own handwriting.  They read, they thought, they put things into their own words.  A thing of beauty.

I really wanted the students to realize that the counsel of the prophet can help them in their lives.  I got the following idea from a different FHE manual.  Kind of.  I tweaked it quite a bit.  I wrote up some situations and put them on another poster:
And yes, I realized way too late that I used the wrong "council."  It's "counsel."  I'm losing my edge.  I fixed my mistake:
Then I gave each student some more snippets of things that President Monson said in this past General Conference:

I had them tape the quote that addresses each situation next to the situation.  The quotes go on the red squares on the poster board. 

Another thing of beauty?  I had a student come up to me after class and ask to keep one of the quotes.  "My friend is really struggling with the same situation as one of the ones on the poster," she said.  "Can I keep the quote and give it to her?" 

Of course I said yes.  I love moments like that.

1 comment:

Lyndsay said...

You are awesome. I hope you know I use your lessons for my family home evening and am saving them for future sharing times!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...