The lesson suggested for the teacher to study Preach My Gospel, the part about scripture study, in preparation for this lesson. I wanted to demonstrate the different scripture-marking techniques that Preach My Gospel talks about, so I opened my scriptures to show my students different ways I've marked my scriptures. Sometimes, if there are many points to a main idea in a passage, I'll put little numbers in front of each point. Or, if there's a quote I read or heard in a class that relates to a scripture, I'll write that quote in my margins. Sometimes I just highlight small portions of a verse to get a clearer idea of what that scripture is about.
My idea was just to show them examples of these techniques in my scriptures and move on, but these kids were just loving this. They ended up spending the better part of the hour studying the markings in my scriptures, and writing down quotes or marking things the way I had in their own scriptures. They were really into it - they wanted these little treasures I have found in my life for their own. So the lesson really took us in a different direction from where we had started, but I felt like the Spirit was there very strongly and that the kids really felt it and gleaned a lot from this.
Part Two: Dictionary Exercise
So this lesson talks about studying the scriptures that are about the priesthood. This is one of the activities they recommended: "For example, you could use a dictionary to help them find definitions for the following words from Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46: dominion, betimes, compulsion, pricks, unfeigned, guile, distill, and scepter."
I didn't have dictionaries for each kid, so I printed off the definitions of each of the above words on a handout for each kid. Each time we came to one of the words, I had them look at their handout and see what the word means, and then we circled the word in our scriptures and wrote brief definitions in the margins. Here are the dictionary definitions I printed off for the kids:
: supreme authority : sovereignty
plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
often capitalized : a self-governing nation of the Commonwealth of Nations other than the United Kingdom that acknowledges the British monarch as chief of state
: absolute ownership
: in good time : early
archaic : in a short time : speedily
: at times : occasionally
a : an act of compelling : the state of being compelled b : a force that compels
: an irresistible persistent impulse to perform an act (as excessive hand washing); also : the act itself
: a mark or shallow hole made by a pointed instrument
a : a pointed instrument or weapon b : a sharp projecting organ or part
: an instance of pricking or the sensation of being pricked: as a : a nagging or sharp feeling of remorse, regret, or sorrow b : a slight sharply localized discomfort
To kick against the pricks is a quotation generally held to be from the Bible which refers generally to being stubborn or resistant to authority to the point of self-harm and specifically to being resistant to the will of God.
During the time of Jesus, many people were farmers and used oxen to till the soil. A prick, or goad, was a pointed shaft sharpened to a point on one end, much like a metalworking prick. This was held up to an ox by the driver in such a way that if the ox turned in the wrong direction, it would get pricked. Sometimes an ox would attempt to kick the irritant away, which would only drive it in deeper
: to let fall, exude, or precipitate in drops or in a wet mist
a : to subject to or transform by distillation <distill molasses into rum> b : to obtain by or as if by distillation <distill whiskey>
: a staff or baton borne by a sovereign as an emblem of authority
: royal or imperial authority : sovereignty
Part Three: Footnote Exercise
Another thing the lesson suggested to do is this: "Demonstrate to the class how using footnotes can enrich their scripture study. For example, you could help them explore some of the footnotes in Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44 or 121:34–46 to help them understand more about the priesthood."
I wanted to go about this in a more organized and prepared way, so I prepared slips of paper for each student. It told them which verse and footnote to look at and told them to be prepared to talk about what they learned from exploring their assigned footnote. Here are the slips of paper, numbered. One for each kid:
- Look at footnote c of D&C 84:33. It tells you two things you can look up in the topical guide. Look up the second one – Priesthood, Magnifying Callings Within. As you scan the scriptures listed, look up a few that look interesting to you. Be prepared to share the scripture you liked best.
- In D&C 84:33, the word “sanctified” is used. To sanctify something is to cleanse something. Look at footnote d. Look up sanctification in the topical guide. As you scan the scriptures listed, look up a few that look interesting to you. Be prepared to share the scripture you liked best.
- In D&C 84:34, the Lord says that one who obtains both priesthoods become the sons of Moses and of Aaron. Look at footnote a. It refers you to D&C 84: 6-26. Read these verses to understand what it means to become sons of Moses and Aaron. Be prepared to give any insights you came across in these verses.
- In D&C 84:41, the Lord seems to say that if you break your priesthood oath and covenant, you will not have forgiveness of your sins. Look at footnote b. Look up the scriptures listed and see if you can find further explanation of this. Be prepared to share any insights you might have come across in these verses.
- In D&C 84:42, the Lord says that he will give his heavenly hosts and angels charge over priesthood holders. Look at footnote a and look up the scripture it lists to get a better idea of what that might mean. Be prepared to share any insight this scripture gives you about what it means for angels to be given “charge” over you.
- Look at footnote a of D&C 84:33. Look up “loyalty” or “worthiness” in the topical guide. As you scan the scriptures listed, look up a few that look interesting to you. Be prepared to share the scripture you liked best.
- Look at footnote b of D&C 84:33. Look up “priesthood” in the topical guide. As you scan the scriptures listed, look up a few that look interesting to you. Be prepared to share the scripture you liked best.
- Look at footnote e of D&C 84:33. It refers you to Rom. 8:11. Read this verse and see what it has to do with renewing of the body. Be prepared to share any insights you had as you read this scripture.So anyways. Like I said, this class went in a different direction than I anticipated, but it was a really good direction. And it's so fun when they take the learning into their own hands and go with it. My students are so spiritual and focused on living righteously. They humble me. I love them.