Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lesson Preparation

In my most recent job at church I get to teach only once a quarter. Since I like teaching this was a sad change from my teaching once a month gig. But the bright side is that I get to pick my own topic for my lesson. I love that aspect because it allows me to think deeply about what topic will most benefit the women I teach and I can bring some of the passion I am feeling about the topic I choose to the lesson. 

Sometimes picking your own topic can be hard because really there are SO many wonderful and important aspects of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we could address. And sometimes the most vital and central aspects, which all revolve around Jesus Christ and his life and mission in the greater plan, seem too big a topic to cover in just one lesson.

But as I have been preparing for my turn to teach this Sunday, the topic has come readily. And I have found great joy in the growth of knowledge, understanding, and peace that I have felt from preparing and studying for this lesson. I am excited to share what I have learned and hope to plan an effective way to properly deliver it. 

In my view, the topic I have choose is important for everyone and critical to most people. I am sad that we only have about 20 women in the class I will be teaching. I feel like so many more would or could benefit from a better understanding and study of this topic. So while I don't normally "write out" any of my lessons, I think for this I may make an exception. 

I am going to write down what I plan to teach and post it here on the blog. It will not be exactly what goes down in my lesson because obviously I will be involving the class in my lesson and I can't predict what comments will be shared or where they will ultimately take the lesson. That is the reason I don't "write out" my lessons. I like to be free to follow where the Spirit guides during the lesson without the pressure to "get through" all that I had prepared.

But I am going to write up what I have learned and put it in the basic structure of what my lesson should look like. I would love for anyone on here who would like to join me in this "virtual class" to join me by doing a little reading to prepare. If you do the reading and have some thoughts to share I would LOVE to hear them before Sunday in case I want to incorporate them into my lesson. Depending on my time, I will either post the lesson here just before or just after I give it on Sunday. 

So ... here is the topic: Tapping into the Healing and Enabling Power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We all know that Jesus died to Atone for our sins and that through Him our sins can be washed away. That is not what I am looking at in this lesson. In this lesson I want to examine how the power of the Atonement can reach to soothe or heal the spiritual injuries we suffer through no sin or fault of our own. 

I feel like everyone has these. The injuries loosing Camille inflicted on my spirit (my mind and heart) were very public in that everyone knew what happened to me. I got the added benefit of public support and love to aid me as my spirit healed. But so many people suffer in private and silence from equally devastating spiritual injuries. 

This is a lesson about finding Hope to deal with those injuries (many of which are recurring and cannot be changed.) It is about learning How to tap into the power of the Atonement to help you do that which you cannot do alone. And it is about developing a "Firm Mind" so that you can choose the better path when life or circumstances make it seem like there are no choices.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these topics especially especially after you read THIS AMAZING talk and the following scripture found in the Book of Mormon in Jacob Chapter 3. This is in a sermon by the prophet Jacob after he has called the men to repentance for not being faithful to their wives. He then says this to the innocently spiritually injured wives:

 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and apray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will bconsole you in your cafflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down djustice upon those who seek your destruction.
 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his alove; for ye may, if your bminds are cfirm, forever.
Keep that scripture in mind as you read the talk I linked to above by former BYU

Idaho president and current apostle David Bednar. I'd love to hear your insights!