Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lesson - How does reverence help me receive revelation? - What I did.

Yeppppp, this was way back in May.  I've been a big-time slacker.  But I have got to get these on here so I can refer to them next year.  So here we go. Um, I'll do my best to remember what I did. :)

This seems so fitting that I'm just typing this up, because at a family reunion last weekend, I had a distant relative that is not of my faith ask what Mormons believe about personal revelation.  She was under the mistaken impression that we believe that angels come and talk to us on a regular basis about our lives.  She must think we're all crazy!  "No, no, no," I said, chuckling.  "In the past, I know that angels have visited prophets.  And perhaps angels have visited regular people.  It hasn't ever happened to me or anyone I know in that way.  We believe that Heavenly Father loves us and is interested in our lives and can help to guide us when we don't know what to do.  So we pray.  And then we listen and we think and we meditate.  It works differently for everyone - receiving revelation.  For me personally, when I have a problem or a choice to make, I make a tentative decision.  Then I pray.  And then I think and I listen with my heart.  I'll usually picture myself going forward with the decision I had come up with on my own.  If it feels weird or not right, or if I can't picture it, it's the wrong decision.  It's the things I can picture happening, and that I feel good or peaceful about, that are the right decision.  That's how Heavenly Father speaks to me."

I don't know.  It was cool having that little missionary moment.  And setting that poor girl straight about the Mormons not being crazy.

Anyways. :)

1.  Making Connections

I did just what the lesson suggested on this part.  I had written on the board (before class), “Reverence is __________.”  Then I had them come up at random, whenever they thought of an answer, and write their definitions of reverence.

Next, I handed out this quote to everyone:

Reverence is profound respect and love. When you have a reverent attitude toward God, you honor Him, express your gratitude to Him, and obey His commandments.

You should be reverent in your behavior as well as your attitude. Reverent behavior includes prayer, scripture study, fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings. It includes wearing modest clothing and using clean, wholesome language. The depth of your reverence is evident in your choice of music and other entertainment, in the way you speak of sacred subjects, and in the way you dress and act when you attend church and the temple. You show your reverence for the Lord when you serve other people and treat them with kindness and respect.”

  • True to the Faith

I had one student read the first paragraph.   Then we paused.  I had them re-scan what we had just read and see if there were any definitions we hadn't gotten up on the board.  If there was something in the first paragraph that hadn't been listed, I added it to our list.

Then we did the same thing for the second paragraph.  One student read it aloud while the others read it silently, then I had them re-scan that second paragraph for any definitions we hadn't written on the board at the beginning of class.

By the end of this activity, the following things should be on the board:
1.  profound respect and love
2.  gratitude to God
3.  obedience to God's commandments
4.  praying, scripture study, fasting, and paying tithing.
5.  wearing modest clothing
6.  using clean, wholesome language
7.  making good media choices
8.  speaking reverently about sacred subjects
9.  the way you dress and act at church and at the temple
10.  serving others and treating them with kindness and respect

2.  Reverence helps me to receive revelation

After the making connections exercises, I gave each of the students these worksheets:

Reverence Helps Me to Receive Revelation

Directions: Read the last part of the Reverence section of True to the Faith, and then read the quote by Elder Pieper, looking for answers to the question “How does reverence help me receive revelation?” Write what you find at the bottom of this worksheet.

As you become more reverent, you will notice a quiet transformation in your life. The Lord will pour out His Spirit more abundantly on you. You will be less troubled and confused. You will be able to receive revelation to help you solve personal and family problems.

Just as reverence brings you closer to God, irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary. Satan will tempt you to follow the world’s trend to more noise, excitement, and contention and to less restraint and quiet dignity. Like a commander mounting a military invasion, he will try to jam the channels of communication between you and the Lord. Beware of such tactics, and strive to be reverent in all you do.

  • True to the Faith

The sacred cannot be selectively surrendered. Those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened (see D&C 84:54), and unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them (see D&C 1:33). Unanchored by the sacred, they will find themselves morally adrift on a secular sea. In contrast, those who hold sacred things sacred receive promises: “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24).

  • Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy, “To Hold Sacred,” April 2012 General Conference

  1. According to True to the Faith, how does reverence help you to receive revelation?

  1. According to Elder Pieper, what will happen if you hold sacred things sacred?

After I had given them about...8 minutes or so to read the excerpts and answer the questions, I had them share.  Since their answers will have been similar, I just had one student share their answer to #1 and one student share their answer to #2.

3.  Scripture Slips

I organized the students into pairs and gave each pair one of these slips of paper with a scripture reference on it:

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

1 Kings 19:11-12

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

3 Ne. 11: 1-7

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

Psalm 46:10

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

D&C 63:64

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

D&C 84: 54-57
I gave them about five minutes or so, and then I had each pair share what they learned.  If they struggled, we would read the scripture together and come up with the answer as a class.  Here is what I was hoping they found in each scripture:

1 Kings 19:11-12 - Revelation most often comes in the form of a still, small voice.  We need to be in quiet places, physically and mentally, to hear it.

3 Ne. 11: 1-7 - The Nephites and Lamanites that had survived the destruction at Christ's death had heard Christ's voice a couple of times.  They were all gathered together and conversing quite loudly about all that had happened when God's voice started talking.  Heavenly Father had to say the same thing three times before they understood it, because it was a still small voice.  They couldn't understand it or hear it because they had been conversing so loudly.  Again, quiet places and a meditative mentality help us to receive revelation.

Psalm 46:10 - I love this scripture.  I feel like Heavenly Father is saying that if we be still - quiet our bodies and our inner voices - we'll be more able to hear the promptings of the Spirit and know Heavenly Father better and be better acquainted with his desires for us.

D&C 63:64 - As we discussed at the beginning of class, part of reverence is treating that which is sacred with respect.  If we do this, the Spirit will continue to be with us and we can receive revelation easier this way.

D&C 84: 54-57 - If we treat the revelation we have received lightly - by not obeying the promptings we receive, or not taking them seriously - our minds become darkened, and we are not as easily able to receive personal revelation.

4.  How to make church meetings more reverent

I had Ben download this talk by President Boyd K. Packer to our laptop.  Before class started, I fast-forwarded to about 8 minutes and 14 seconds into the talk, where he begins with, "When we return for Sunday meetings..."

I handed out these worksheets to the kids to write notes as they watched from that point in the talk to the end of the talk:

Reverence Invites Revelation

Directions: Watch the excerpt from Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” from General Conference, October 1991. As you watch, in the space below, jot down things that Elder Packer says we should do to invite revelation in our church meetings.

Then we discussed the things we had jotted down.  Here are the things I hoped they picked out:
1.  Be more reverent when we enter the chapel.
2.  Take noisy babies and toddlers out.
3.  Appropriate music and instruments
4.  Prelude music
5.  Actually sing the hymns
6.  Use reverential terms in prayer.

And that's the end!!



Hilary said...

Your write ups help me so much. Thank you, thank you.

Lana said...

I love your lesson summaries! Thank you for sharing them with your fellow Sunday School teachers. :)

Mark & Rebecca Taylor Family said...

You give such wonderful ideas. I use them all of the time. I was feeling guilty just now as I read this lesson, like, why can't I come up with these ideas on my own? Am I an awful teacher because I am not inspired with these ideas? Then I realized that we all are helped in different ways. I know that your willingness to share the gifts and talents you've been given strengthens those of us like me that have to borrow your gifts! THANKS! You can borrow my gifts anytime!

Matthew Taylor said...

This is under my husband's account name (I'm a lady, not Matthew) but, anyway, thank you so much for these lessons! I'm stressed and tired and your lessons save me every Sunday. Not only that, your testimony is very inspiring!

Jane said...

A year and a half into teaching Sunday School, I am still guilty of checking your blog every week to see if there is a way to present the week's topic in a fun way. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

ashley said...

Thank you for this!

Sha said...

Same as the comments above...been teaching for a while now, but love to consult with your ideas as well. You are AWESOME!!!

Susan said...

Even in 2017, your lesson ideas are super helpful! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I have used many of your lesson ideas. They are great!

Raffaella Palmisano said...

Thank you!! You are a lifesaver!

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