Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Be A Bell Ringer

The past two years, I have shared the following quote with my students and given them a jingle bell necklace to wear or put on their back packs, etc.
We have discussed the bells we hear at Christmas, the bell ringers we see at shopping malls, the significance of bells, the attention they bring, etc. 
Then discuss who the bell ringers are around them and how they, too, can be bell ringers.T

A bell ringer is someone who sounds a call, issues a warning, rings a signal, or chimes a time. A bell ringer, you see, makes things happen.
~Elaine Cannon~
(Elaine Cannon is a former LDS General YW President)

Order jingle bell necklaces from Oriental Trader or have the students make their own, which is very inexpensive. I have seen them at Dollar Tree, Michaels, Wmt, etc.
Be a "Bell Ringer"

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Second Coming "Scattergories" (see end of post for other adaptations)
We are studying the signs and events, listed in Doctrine and Covenants 43 and 45, that will take place before Jesus Christ's Second Coming. 
  • Preparation in advance (not necessary-but helpful) the day before, I assigned the students to read D&C Sections 43 and 45 and note the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ for the next class. (About half of my students did this and they are the ones who got the most out of this activity, but everyone participated and learned more than they would through just reading in class and making lists in their journals, etc)
  • I divided my class in to teams. ( I suggest teams of no more than 3-4)
  • Each team had a rolling chalk board that was out of the other teams' view. (you can give each team a large piece of poster board and that would be easy to place them side by side at the end)
  • Based on D&C Sections 43 and 45 (where our lesson was from) they were to list as many signs of  Christ's Second Coming as possible in 15 minutes (this gave time for reading and discussion amongst team members)
  • Instruct them to write neatly and make lists in neat lines/rows 
  • I told them that once they listed the signs from those sections, they were also allowed to list any other signs from any other scriptures, just be prepared to name the source.
  • When the time was up, they rolled their boards side by side.
  • We started with one board, reading their list and comparing the other lists. Anything that was a duplicate had a line drawn through it.
  • We went through all the lists and the team who had the most signs listed that the others did not list was the "winning team"
  • We then discussed the signs that were most interesting, surprising, the ones that have happened already, etc.
  • They chose the top 4 signs that they want to learn more about-which is where I will focus more time as we study. 

This was a very effective way for the students to dig in and study the different signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I was very impressed with how interested they were and it helped me to know where to focus our lessons and discussions.

It was interesting to note the teams who figured out the use the footnotes to find other signs of the Second Coming. They used the Topical Guide and their "True to the Faith" books as they made their lists longer and longer. 

Going forward:
There is a list of 51 signs of the Second Coming in Bruce R Mc Conkie's book, Mormon Doctrine, under the heading, "Signs of the Times" pp 715-738. This will be helpful to use some of this as we study these lessons.

Other adaptations: 
I used this when we studied the names of Christ. They were not allowed to use their books for this one.  ( I think I gave them about 10 minutes)

With or without looking in their scriptures, have each team list the names of people in the Old Testament, New Testament, or Book of Mormon. I am going to do this with people we have studied in the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History after a few more people are introduced. (again, give a time limit-usually 5-10 minutes is good but I gave more time of the signs of the second coming as they had to read)

If they use their books, it is good to have them be prepared to state the reference or location. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dispensation of the Fullness of Times

Doctrine and Covenants Section 27
This idea came from a member of the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group, Mark McCune. 
(seriously, if you are a Seminary Teacher-join that Facebook group). 

I took it one step further by attaching the names of the Prophets from the different dispensations.
I used this when teaching Doctrine and Covenants Section 27.
This will work well with Doctrine and Covenants Section 29 and a others regarding Apostasy, Restoration, Prophets, Dispensations, Fullness of Times.
If you have a specific suggestion of a Seminary lesson this goes with, please leave a comment below.

We met in the chapel and sat in front of the Sacrament table that was all draped in white cloths covering the Sacrament trays (this is a subject for another blog post)
After we discussed the emblems  and symbolism of the Sacrament, we moved to the other side of the chapel to discuss the Sacrament meeting that will be held at Adam-ondi-Ahman prior to the Savior's second coming.
I had the students search Section 27 to tell me who would be at that Sacrament meeting.
Some of the people who will be in attendance are the Prophets from each DISPENSATION along with Joseph Smith the Prophet of this DISPENSATION of the FULLNESS OF TIMES

To demonstrate DISPENSATIONS, First, line up the hymnals (I labelled mine) and name the Prophets who led during past dispensations...

Stack the dispensations up to show that we are living in the DISPENSATION of the FULLNESS OF TIMES. The dispensation that will usher in the Second Coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
If I do this again, I may leave a BLANK hymnal in between Peter and Joseph Smith to show the Apostasy. I discussed this verbally, but a blank would have been a more effective visual.
It was so powerful to see that our dispensation is so close to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and that we need the fullness of the gospel to help us prepare for His coming.

This depicts the Prophet who headed each dispensation and other Prophets from that same dispensation. You could use this when you discuss Joseph Smith as the head of our dispensation and add the names of the Latter-day Prophets next to his name.

This visual can be used all throughout the Doctrine and Covenants lessons on Prophets, Restoration, Dispensation, Fullness of Time, Second Coming,  the 7 Seals, etc.

I have understood this concept for most of my adult life, but when I taught with this visual, it gave me clarity and understanding in a way I have never had.
Happy Teaching

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sock-O-Bingo Scripture Mastery

Make a Bingo Grid on the Floor
(5x5=25 Scripture Mastery verses)
Make a "Sock-O" with any sock filled with beans, popcorn, etc.
It is fun to use a sock with a seasonal pattern/print
Divide in to 2 teams
 Place a card turned writing side down with a clue for each Scripture Mastery verse inside each square.
Have a team member throw the "sock-o" to a square, turn over the card and read the clue.
The team as 15 seconds to find the verse in their scriptures.
They can use their Scripture Mastery cards or bookmarks to help them (I used the same clues as the cards and bookmarks)
When a team member finds it, have them yell, "Contact"
They must state the reference and they have the option of:
1) reading the scripture from the book
2) Reciting from memory the scripture (or having a team mate recite it from memory-but a team member can only recite 1 scripture by memory during the entire game, otherwise the same  team member may recite it every time)
If they read the scripture, the team gets 5 points
If a team member recites it by memory, the team gets 10 points
If they cannot find the scripture in 15 seconds, the other team has the option to "steal" and get 5 points for reading it or 10 for reciting it by memory.
The first team with 5 in a row, wins.

You can adapt this with other rules or for teaching review questions, etc.
The "sock-o" can be used for many other purposes such as "hot potato" where it is passed around a circle while one student's back is turned to them. When that student says stop, the person with the "sock-o" recites or names the scripture using the key words or clues given by the person who is "it".

Bring On General Conference

As my students entered the building this morning, this greeted them...
 Scroll down to see more close up.
Each fall leaf or pumpkin as a message on it.
General Conference Rocks!
 Which languages do you think we will hear spoken from the pulpit?
 Bring on General Conference!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

General Conference Preparation

By the way my students reacted when they received this assignment, I am anticipating an exciting General Conference preparation season in my Seminary class.

At the beginning of this week, each of my students drew a piece of paper out of a bag that contained the name of one of the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Starting Monday, September 22, we will have 2 students per day report on the person they chose.

Each student has 3-5 minutes to present information in an interesting and informative way. I believe this is time well spent each day.

They are welcome to use props, visual aids, snacks, etc. as long as they are directly related to the person they are reporting on.
We discussed how/where to research
(great way to teach how researching on and other LDS Church sites)
and what details they may want to include, such as:
where/when born
family, etc.
Each presentation should include 1 quote from the person they research.

What was already fun for me to see was how excited some of them got at the very thought of doing this.
The goal is to create recognition and familiarity with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles prior to General Conference.

We will do this later in the year with Latter-day Prophets and others from Church History.

On the Friday before General Conference, I will serve some of my family's favorite General Conference foods.

How are you preparing your class for General Conference?
Please share...

Monday, September 15, 2014


Doctrine and Covenants Sections 11-12
Forms of the word, 'desire', are the recurring theme in section 11 given to Hyrum Smith, yet meant for all who have good desires.

We discussed desire, how do have desire, what good and righteous desires are, and what it means and how to be a part of the "UGOTTAWANNA" club.

This time of year, many of the students are joining clubs and school, participating in extracurricular activities, etc. We discussed how being part of the "UGOTTAWANNA" club brings eternal blessings, opens the mysteries of heaven, and blessed the lives of others.
If time had allowed, I would have had them make their own "UGOTTAWANNA" club poster
As my friend, Cathy Borchardt suggested, take the word D E S I R E and write it across the top of a page, let the students come up with words under each letter relating to desire and have them explain and testify about the power of desire.

Happy Teaching!