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Moksha

Correlation from now on?

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Teaching needs to stay on script: LDS Church News - Use proper sources

The daughter looked surprised.

"Why," she asked, "are you trying to boil down information? An inspired Church-writing committee has already done that for you."

The committee's work, the daughter continued, has been approved by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. It has been translated into dozens of languages and sent around the world. It corresponds with the lessons and information taught at the same time to other auxiliaries and quorums in the Church.

Now the woman looked confused.

"Everything you need — and more — is in your manual," the daughter said.

No more deviation you Gospel teachers. The lesson has been written.

The trouble with this is that the only times discussion has been both lively and stimulating for the class is when it seems to go off script.

A video lesson from the correlation committee would best ensure that lessons stay on an approved track, but will this hinder lively and stimulating future discussion?

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Hmmm, I think that the idea is to keep people from taking the bulk of the information from non divinely inspired sources. Elder Scott gave a talk recently (I think it may have even been last General Conference) where he said that an individual tried to teach a lesson with obscure references and trying to show off how much he knew. He said there was an obvious difference in the teachings from when a different individual taught humbly straight from the gospel.

I am pretty certain I have heard various quotes from non-LDS authors spoken in general conference. So my take is that we should as teachers begin with the doctrine from the manual and try to keep to it. But hey, if we have a quote or two once in a while from say Benjamin Franklin or Martin Luther, I don't its condemnable.

My opinion though, and completely not based on doctrine.

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I do agree that teachers need to stay more with the lesson plan as outlined. I've sat in classes where they told us to read the lesson and be prepared to discuss..only to have the lesson not anything that was in the lesson plan because the teacher used outside material instead.

But that's not to say that if someone brought up a point from another source that it's not worthwhile to pursue.

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I think they want them to keep to the manual so that the lesson intended will be taught, but I don't think they want discussion stunted. Straying from the lesson a bit to meet the personal spiritual needs of your class is fine.

I was teaching a lesson in Primary on testimonies. Satan was mentioned during the lesson and one of the girls piped in that she had no idea who Satan was. That certainly took me on a tangent. What's important is that you find a way to tie your tangent back to the message in the manual. Don't let your tangent take you off the path. There's a reason those lessons are in there- because they need to be taught.

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And I agree with pam and ozzy who posted at pretty much the same time as me :P

Drawing too much from outside material takes away from the spirit, but that doesn't mean we need to limit ourselves to strictly following exactly what the manual says.

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No more deviation you Gospel teachers. The lesson has been written.

The trouble with this is that the only times discussion has been both lively and stimulating for the class is when it seems to go off script.

That's too bad that your experience has been when good discussions go off "script." We have good discussions in our ward, but we are talking about the scriptures and how they apply to our lives.

I honestly don't care to know if Josephus in 70 AD said something that if true could change the world's view on one Bible passage.

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"teaching by The Spirit" is not the same as teaching by outside opinions. I think it should be possible to understand the difference. If someone brings in a personal account to illustrate the point being taught surely that is not going off topic. The RS lessons in the manual are so compact that it seems to encourage us to do so. That's not the same as bringing the philosophies of Freud to the lesson as one of our teachers did a few weeks ago. I think that is what we are being told not to do.

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My wife was "reprimanded" (maybe too strong a word) by a member of RS presidency...after 2nd time she opted out of the calling. All the RS presidency had heard her teach as a substitute in the past and knew her style. Many members complimented her on the lessons and enjoyed and appreciated them. When she was "warned" that the Stake RS Presidency would be attending the next week, and to stay only with the lesson, and not stray, she resigned.

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There is no room for "teaching by "The Spirit" anymore. My wife stopped teaching RS for this reason.

Is it impossible to bring the Spirit into a lesson that comes from the manual? Is it impossible for the Spirit to touch a Sister's (or Brother's) heart in the way they need as they listen to a lesson from the manual?

I've had "change of heart" moments that came from listening to a lesson that, on the surface, didn't appear to have anything to do with my sin, but a sentence, or a scripture from the lesson, was just exactly what I needed to hear.

Do we trust our Prophet? Do we trust that he and the Apostles, who carry the Keys of the Kingdom, can create (or I guess oversee the creation of) a manual that can serve the Lord's Church? Do we trust that the Spirit gave them confirmation (because I'm *sure* they prayed about the final product before sending it to publication) that it was the right manual for the church at this time, and that they would not have sent it to publication otherwise?

I've taught from the manual several times, and am the regular 4th Sunday teacher in my ward (so teaching from the Ensign). And I rarely have to deviate from the lesson material to deliver a lesson that the Spirit has been able to use to His purpose. I sometimes add on an extra scripture or two that isn't directly quoted in the lesson, and maybe a personal experience, if it's fitting, but otherwise I DO stick to the lesson material, and I've seen the Spirit work through the lesson to touch many of the Sisters in my ward.

The Gospel (from the Scriptures and the Prophets) can stand on it's own, IMO.

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My wife was "reprimanded" (maybe too strong a word) by a member of RS presidency...after 2nd time she opted out of the calling. All the RS presidency had heard her teach as a substitute in the past and knew her style. Many members complimented her on the lessons and enjoyed and appreciated them. When she was "warned" that the Stake RS Presidency would be attending the next week, and to stay only with the lesson, and not stray, she resigned.

I obviously don't know the circumstances, but I can say that for whatever reason, RS ward presidencies get very nervous when a stake rep visits. It's not as if our pay raise is based on their visit. But, the RS presidencies would always go into hyperdrive to make sure the tablecloth was perfect, the centerpiece beautiful, and ask someone who was a "good" teacher to teach. Silly really.

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Well in the manual on page 1 under the title "Introduction" there is a list of bullet points one of which is "Teach by the Spirit"

under "Teach the doctrine" it says:

'do not substitute outside materials, however interesting they may be.'

but also adds:

'As appropriate, use personal experiences and articles from Church magazines to supplement the lessons'

Perhaps people who are putting their own spin on this could do well to go backand read that intro.

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Teaching 100% from the manual can only work if your ward members actually read the assigned reading.

I think I only have one person out of 20-30 people who actually do the reading--and it only takes 20 minutes a week to complete it!

Without reading the material, we can't successfully have a discussion as the Brothern want.

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Read the chapters in the manual, and learn the doctrine as intended. Great care has been taken to make sure the lessons are pure, and in harmony with the official doctrine of the Church. We all have many pet topics, and ideas or knowledge we feel that we have received, that goes beyond the simple doctrine, that we should not teach in those lessons. That is the point. Not that you have to read the book in class verbatim.

You need to teach the doctrine as explained in the manual. Like the missionaries teach the lessons from Preach My Gospel. Teach by the spirit, and in your own words, and not rote repetition. If you need material to support your lessons, use the scriptures, personal experience, quotations from the manual, or quotations from Church Magazines. If you do that, and keep all the fringe stuff out, you will teach by the Spirit.

Teach the principles in purity and ask those in attendance about how they feel, or what they think about points of doctrine, and not questions that put them on the spot or cause them to try to guess what answer you want from them. If you do that, then you will teach by the Spirit, because those in attendance will have promptings and impressions that when shared, will enrich the lesson greatly, and all will be edified.

If you teach by the Spirit, in this fashion, then what is said will be in harmony with the doctrine of the Church, and it will be scripture to those in attendance. (D&C 68:4)

Regards,

Vanhin

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That's too bad that your experience has been when good discussions go off "script." We have good discussions in our ward, but we are talking about the scriptures and how they apply to our lives.

Actually Beefche when I mention going off script, I am not speaking about the scriptures. Instead I was talking about lively - but scripturally correct - discussions that can start from a pertinent question asked of the instructor, but leads off into a tangential but spiritually fruitful discussion.

I could be referring to my own Gospel Doctrine instructor, who takes the lesson and makes it more relevant to us by concentrating on the most salient points that affect our daily lives. I appreciate this deviation, since it is more inspirational than the approach of some past instructors. Perhaps that appreciation is fostered by the rebel in me or possibly it has a more universal quality that could provide the same inspiration for others.

:)

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Moksha, what you just described is not going against counsel. Oftentimes, a question asked by an instructor prompts others to ask questions which fosters discussion. As long as the conversations don't get crazy and off doctrine/scriptures, then it is pertinent and a teacher would be wise to listen to the Spirit and allow the discussion.

I remember one lesson I gave in RS. We talked about the 1st 6 words of a scripture and spent our whole time on that. We talked about the reality of it, how Christ was the perfect example of those words, and how we can strive to do better. By the time I got to the next point, I had 5 minutes left in class. I felt the Spirit was there in that classroom.

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I think there's a fine line to tread.

For example, two weeks ago in Sunday School when discussing Moses 1, a brother shared his insight as to the "nothingn[ess of man]" described by Moses in Moses 1:10, and used 2 Nephi 4:16-17 as an example, explaining that it is through the bridge of the Atonement that the two facts- God's greatness and our own nothingness- can be happily reconciled. The whole explanation took about 15-20 seconds, and the whole class was edified (you could feel the spirit enter the room). 2 Nephi 4:16-17 wasn't in the lesson plan.

Contrast that with an experience in Elder's Quorum this past Sunday, where a comment about how quantum mechanics testified of God quickly derailed the whole discussion into how well various scientific facts did (or did not) testify of the reality of God. The Spirit of God was chased from the room as a (minor) war of opinions ensued- opinions that were not necessarily opposite of each other, but that each man thought was important enough that he had to share it.

Actually Beefche when I mention going off script, I am not speaking about the scriptures. Instead I was talking about lively - but scripturally correct - discussions that can start from a pertinent question asked of the instructor, but leads off into a tangential but spiritually fruitful discussion.

Therein lies the problem, I think- not all discussions based on the scriptures teach truly correct doctrine (like one brother who opined that Satan may have been doing the will of the Father and not rebelling when he drew a third part of the hosts of heaven away from the Savior's plan, and cited a few scriptures to support his claim). Not all teachers are Gospel gurus, and so they might be lead, in their weakness, to indulge discussion about a topic that not only drives the Spirit away, but is doctrinally incorrect while supposedly being based in the scriptures. Edited by Maxel

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I am the Elders Quorum teacher right now and I can tell you that the new manual is a lot more difficult to teach from due to the lesson itself. Try filling 45 min with a 2.5 (1/4 page) lesson. I had to encourage discussion in Elders Quorum on Sunday or it would have been a 20 min lesson. I am sure no one would object to getting out early. For next week I plan to go to LDS.org and pulling Ensign/Conference talks to use in the lessons to fill time. Lots better then Quoting Hugh Nibly on the Nature of God. That's for sure.

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I am the Elders Quorum teacher right now and I can tell you that the new manual is a lot more difficult to teach from due to the lesson itself. Try filling 45 min with a 2.5 (1/4 page) lesson. I had to encourage discussion in Elders Quorum on Sunday or it would have been a 20 min lesson. I am sure no one would object to getting out early. For next week I plan to go to LDS.org and pulling Ensign/Conference talks to use in the lessons to fill time. Lots better then Quoting Hugh Nibly on the Nature of God. That's for sure.

We don't have that problem. Even with the JS Manual, I would only pick a few quotes from there to prime the class, and I let the quorum members do most of the talking. We all just teach each other. I never worry about getting all the material covered or anything like that. Basically we use the manual to ensure that correct principle and doctrine is taught, and let the Spirit inspire personal experiences and comments, and suggestions on how we can do better as fathers, husbands, and priesthood holders.

Regards,

Vanhin

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Gospel Principles is a very basic course containing very basic explanations about our very basic doctrines. Everyone should be able to go through that book at least once in a classroom without having a bunch of three-sheets-to-the-wind speculation and la-la-land exposition.

Now, I'm a huge fan of those, but there's a problem if nobody ever bothers teaching investigators and new converts that we believe in the Atonement of Christ, because we're too busy talking about the kind of sword the cherubim have, or whether Joseph prophecied of the Civil war or not.

Gospel Doctrine and other SS classes I'm less worried about off-topic stuff. But Gospel Principles should stick to, well, Gospel Principles - and those are remarkably simple and basic.

LM

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My wife was "reprimanded" (maybe too strong a word) by a member of RS presidency...after 2nd time she opted out of the calling. All the RS presidency had heard her teach as a substitute in the past and knew her style. Many members complimented her on the lessons and enjoyed and appreciated them. When she was "warned" that the Stake RS Presidency would be attending the next week, and to stay only with the lesson, and not stray, she resigned.

The proper answer to that is, "Do not worry sister. I will do as the Spirit directs."

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