1. Making Connections
I just decided to ask the students if they had any experiences this week that built up their testimonies of the gospel, or things that connected to the gospel. While they were thinking, I shared with them two things that happened to me and to my mom in connection with my grandpa's death last week.
My grandpa sold his home in St. George and wanted to come up to Idaho a month early. My mom scheduled a flight to go down there on a Sunday. But Friday night, she kept thinking, "I need to go down tomorrow. I need to go down tomorrow. I need to go down tomorrow." So she canceled her flight (or maybe just didn't show up? I don't know) and drove the 8 hours down there on Saturday. She helped to pack her dad up on Sunday and drove him all the way home Sunday. The reason this is significant is that he was going downhill FAST. Much faster than any of us thought. She got him home Sunday night, he went off dialysis on Monday, and he died Tuesday. If she had waited, he might have died there in St. George, and it was important to him, and to my family, that he get home to die.
The second story is one I've already told on here, but briefly, I was going to visit my grandpa on Monday night. My husband was going to go help give him a blessing, and then he was going to come home and be with my kids while I went over to kind of say my last goodbyes. But all day Monday, I kept thinking, "I need to go to Grandpa's house right now. I need to go to Grandpa's house right now." So I went early, during the day, even though I had my young son with me. I begged my mom and sister to keep him quiet so I could go into Grandpa's room and visit with him. He was lucid and peaceful and we had a good conversation and spent some good time together. The reason this is significant is that, when I went to his house after my husband had come home from giving him a blessing, he was asleep. And remained asleep until the next day, when he passed away. I would have never had those last, precious moments with him if I hadn't listened to the spirit.
These experiences obviously really strengthened my testimony of the Holy Ghost. And of Heavenly Father's tender mercies toward us.
So then, after I shared these two things, I asked my students if anything had happened to them this week that connected with the gospel, and they had had enough time through my two stories to think of something. I had probably four or five of them think of something they wanted to share.
2. Quick Review of Last Week's Lesson
I felt like I should review what we went over last week. I asked them if they remembered what we talked about last week, and a few of them did. I asked if any of them still had their bookmarks, and they did, and pulled them out. So we went over those four things that the atonement can do for you:
1. More strength
2. Help with trials
3. Cleanse from sins
4. Change your nature
And then I asked them if they remembered how to tap into this healing power of the atonement? Repent for your sins, and pray and ask for help with your trials. Ask for strength to do the things you need to do.
3. Our favorite scriptures about the Atonement
I handed out these slips of paper to the kids:
On this slip of paper, write your favorite scripture reference about Christ's atonement (if you don't have one, find one you like. It might help you to look up “Jesus Christ, atonement through” in the topical guide). Be prepared to share what you like about this scripture.
Some of them already had scriptures in mind, and others felt like they wanted to look some up, so I gave them a few minutes to find one they liked. Then we followed one of the suggestions in the lesson - we made a scripture chain.
So first, before we read them or shared them, we listed each of our references on the board and numbered them - 1 through 9. (There were nine people in class, including me. I had chosen my favorite scripture, too.) After we had written down the references, we started at the first scripture. We all looked it up, the student who chose it read it and shared why it is his favorite scripture about the atonement, and then, before we turned to the second scripture, we wrote the second scripture's reference in the margins of the first scripture.
Then we went through that same process again, writing the third reference in the margin of the second scripture, and so on. When we got to the last scripture, we wrote the reference to the first scripture in its margin, thus completing the scripture chain.
Incidentally, my favorite scripture about the atonement is St. Luke 7:36-50. Loooove that story.
4. Abraham and Isaac
I just inherited a Gospel Art Kit from my good friend, Kathleen, and I got to use it this week! I pointed at the picture I had displayed, of Abraham and Isaac:
I asked the students if they knew who was in this picture and what was happening. They guessed right. :)
And then we ran out of time!
What I was going to do was read the caption on the back of the Gospel Art Kit picture together, one paragraph per person:
And then I asked how this story symbolizes the atonement. They came up with really good responses.
And that's the end of the lesson! Badda bing, badda boom.