Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, November 11

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon: “The Most Effective Sunday School Class Teaching for Gospel Essentials” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon: The Most Effective Sunday School Class Teaching for Gospel Essentials


In October 2011 General Conference, Matthew O. Richardson, the Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, spoke on “Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit”. He said:
“Those who teach after this manner of the Spirit help others by inviting, encouraging, and providing them opportunities to use their agency.”
“With the current conditions of the world, we desperately need real learning and teaching in our homes, meetings, and gospel classes.”
“My life has been blessed by real teachers, who have taught with the Spirit and especially by the Spirit. I invite you to align the manner of your teaching after the manner of the Holy Ghost in all you do.”
“or believe they are turning all their teaching over to the Spirit when, in truth, they are actually just ‘winging it.'”

I think this is most necessary for new members, which means for the Gospel Essentials class. (And hey, what do you know, that means priesthood and Relief Society now, too!) It totally agree about the Spirit.

The talk was ironic, because I’ve written the LDS Curriculum Department (twice, I believe) about this, but no changes have been made; in fact, I got a negative email back once.

So, I’m going to share the best teaching I’ve experienced with you!

The teacher is very knowledgeable, but has the ability to put the gospel in very easy to understand terms and concepts. Lesson preparation is done ahead of time, but the Spirit leads.

The teacher welcomes everyone, starts class with a prayer, finds out about everyone. The teacher invites students to share things about their lives from that week. Reports are given (later).

The tone of the class is set as a safe, welcoming place to learn. Many of the questions, in fact, are not asked by the teacher, but by the students.

A few of the class members are ward missionaries; they support the teacher in helping the students learn the gospel. They do this by sharing how they learned, experiences they went through, and their testimonies.

The lesson starts. There is lots of discussion. Everyone speaks, everyone shares.

At the end of class, HOMEWORK IS GIVEN!! It’s not mandatory to participate in it or complete it to any level, and no one is checking; but it is given. Everyone is invited to participate in both doing it, and in reporting their experience next week in class.

This reporting does not matter if the experience was positive or negative, successful or not, or unknown. This is the time to correlate the lessons to life, to explain better or deeper, to resolve concerns, to talk about what might have happened and why, to confirm faith, and share testimonies.

The more this was done, the more excited members became about living the gospel during the week and even attending class.


So, if by some remote chance the Sunday School General Presidency sees this… I encourage you to try it!

Oh, about that “winging it” part…
I’ve seen it done, true, but the person usually doesn’t have the Sprit much and is feeling guilty, so it’s hard to have a good lesson. But… I have something to share about “winging it”. For a few months I would do a lot of preparing for class (scripture reading, thinking about class and members, meditating, etc.), but would walk in there without a lesson, and just see what came up.
One day a girl started crying during class. I asked what was up. She shared that every week, for three weeks in a row, she had had pressing, stressful matters in her life—and that every week, for three weeks in a row, she had found the very answers she needed. The third time it happened, it was overwhelming and moved her to tears. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between winging it and teaching by the Spirit… ;) Yes, I had felt prompted, and then there was a time to end that way for that class.

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