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!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

President Gordon B Hinkley

This was shared by a Seminary teacher on our LDS Seminary Teachers Facebook page. Oh how I love and miss President Hinkley. This is a tender sweet message he delivered at BYU-Idaho in 2002 at the dedication of the new Gordon B Hinkley Center (which is an amazing facility we had the pleasure of visiting this past summer)

Oh, how I miss and love President Gordon B HInkley.
Click HERE for his sweet message.
It is on Youtube so if you want to show it to your students in an LDS Building, you will need to download it first.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


When I first read this, I was not certain which lesson to use it with.
Tomorrow is 9/11 and this is a wonderful message.
So much forgiveness had to take place as we healed as a nation and as families and individuals.
God Bless America 

19 Questions

"19 Power Packed Questions to Help you Know For Yourself"
Thank you, Becky Edwards at Purpose Driven Motherhood for taking time to share

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Scripture Mastery Posters

Three weeks in to teaching and these Scripture Mastery posters have proven to be money well-spent:
Click HERE for link.
The past 2 years, I have printed the posters myself and they were not as effective or durable.
The first day of the week, I post the Scripture Mastery verse on the front wall where it is visible to all. Each morning we repeat it, using various memorization techniques, and work toward having in memorized by Friday.
Something I find effective for reciting Scripture Mastery verses is:
We always stand while we are reciting the verse.
If the students know the verse, they face the back wall, if they are still working on it, they face the front wall and read the parts the need to. By then end of the week, most students are facing the back wall.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Church History Timeline

This week, my class will begin making a Church History timeline that will be added to for the balance of the year.
It will go from 1800-2015, including a spot for them to note when they were born.
(They are making "mini-me's" to post.

I found this Church History and World History Timeline that is very helpful for this project.
Click HERE to see.
Do you have any suggestions for making an effective timeline?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Plan of Salvation - Hula Hoops

Pardon the photo quality as I explain how I used hula-hoops to teach the Plan of Salvation/ Plan of Happiness on our first day of Seminary.
I lined up a few students at the front of the classroom and gave them hula hoops to replicate the pattern below. In between each person who was holding a hula hoop (circle), I placed another person to represent the lines in the design.
The people represented: (left to right) Pre-Mortal Life (holding a hula hoop), Birth, This life (holding a hula hoop), Death, Paradise/Spirit Prison (holding a hula hoop), Judgement and Final Judgement (two people standing side by side), and finally, 3 people holding 3 smaller hula hoops representing Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. We did not have a hula hoop for outer darkness, it was just "out there where we don't want to go"
When I lined them up. at first, I did not tell them what they were representing. I asked them what they thought the circles and formation meant and how it may relate to Seminary, life, the gospel, etc.
After some discussion and interesting answers, I then explained what each of them represented and brought out this pillowcase printed with the design they were representing.
I had a pillowcase printed with this design for each student to have as a daily reminder that we are here on earth as one phase of our journey and that there is so much more than this life.
With this knowledge, does it help us make wise decisions, etc?
It was very effective.
I cannot take any credit for the design and I wish I knew who to give original credit to. I just thought up  a way to re-enact it using hula hoops.
I have seen this design on several sites printed on T-shirts. I kept checking to see if it was copyrighted or who may have had the original idea, If you know please share so I can give credit to the right person(s).
I decided to have pillowcases printed rather than T-shirts for several reasons. One was practical-I could not get the T-shirt sizeof each of my students before Seminary started. The other was that a pillowcase would be seen daily and be a reminder that "*you are here"- where are you going, what do you need to do to get there?

 We have not seen the last of these hula hoops for this Seminary year.
I am certain they will show up during a learning activity or game.
I may bring them to class when we are doing a review and ask the students to 
re-enact and re-teach the Plan of Salvation/Plan of Happiness

I hope this is clear and easy to understand.
After teaching this doctrine for many years, I must say this was my favorite and quite possibly the most effective and  interactive/visual method to teach and internalize the Plan of Salvation.
Happy Back To Seminary!

Scripture Mastery Activity

The post-it notes are back!
This is a very effective way to learn and re-inforce scripture memorization.
Each word, comma, period, number, colon, semi-colon, etc. is on a separate post-it note.
Have the students work in small groups to put the post-it notes in order to read the scripture verse.
Groups need to be small or not everyone participates.
Four is the maximum group size I recommend.
Depending on how well they know the verse, I allow them to use their scriptures or scripture mastery cards for guidance.
As the year progresses and familiarity is increased, they work without their scriptures or scripture mastery cards.
I usually have a small prize for the team who finishes first and has the verse correctly arranged.
When they have the verse in order, the team recites it to me without looking at their scriptures.
I read along with a book or scripture mastery cards, if something is not in order, I tell them to check it without suggesting to them which words to rearrange.
Sometimes, I purposely leave out a few words and ask them to tell me which words are missing. This works best with the shorter verses.
This is also effective for learning the Articles of Faith.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Breakfast Fit For A Prophet

This morning, we enjoyed a breakfast fit for a Prophet.
Did you know President Thomas S Monson prefers Wheaties for breakfast?
And yes, that is President Monson on the box of Wheaties.
 As part of our Church History study this year, we will enjoy favorites of many of the Latter-day Prophets. Click HERE  and HERE for a few favorite foods/recipes of the Latter-day Prophets. This Wheaties idea and the recipe information are some of the wonderful benefits of the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group.
 We will never eat Wheaties with the same perspective again.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweep The Earth As With a Flood

Elder Bednar's landmark address is a must watch for all people, not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
Click HERE for the text and video.

You Did It

This sign greeted my students this morning as they entered the building. It is important to recognize the benefits of Seminary and the amazing accomplishment it is that they attend Seminary every morning. Our Seminary students are making choices that are completely different than the peers they associate with when they walk the halls of their schools.
Many youth don't have "cheerleaders" in their lives and we need to be part of their "cheering squad". For some, Seminary is the only "bright spot" in their day.
I am thankful for their positive choices and the energy they bring to class.
I told my students this morning:  if you can attend one week of Seminary, you can attend two, and three, and so forth. You can do hard are doing hard are amazing.
I have had 32-34 students every morning this week.
It was definitely a logistics challenge.
I was expecting 17-20.
What a blessing to have so many students eager to learn and feel the spirit.
The down side is that my class will be divided this week and I can't imagine not have a single one of them.
Growth is good, yet painful.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Week and Counting

One Week until the 4:45 am wake up alarm signals time to wake up for Seminary!
Tomorrow, we have our Parent-Student Orientation Meeting.

In many ways, I feel prepared and charged up.
In other ways, I wish I had 2-3 more weeks of summer break to prepare.

Happy Back To Class!

Monday, July 21, 2014

True To The Faith of the Pioneers

Oh, how I miss President Gordon B Hinkley. Especially when I read and watch this Mormon Pioneer tribute.
At some point during the Seminary year, I will share this.
The video, "Faith In Every Footstep: An Epic Journey",  before his message is beautiful.

Read, watch, and enjoy:
"True To The Faith"

Here is another beautiful perspective on the Pioneer legacy:
"Under Covenant Toward The Promised Land"


Saturday, July 19, 2014

What They Need To Know

For LDS Seminary Teachers, Young Men/Young Women Teachers, Sunday School Teachers:
What They Need To Know by Damon Janis

I highly recommend purchasing a copy of this book and reading it.
You will want to mark it up, and read it more than one time.
The only place I know to get it is from Amazon.
Click HERE to order your very own copy.
It is available as a kindle book, also.
I have read it twice now and each time I learn something new.
It is an easy read, packed with fabulous advice.
Don't let the fact that it is specifically written by an Early Morning Seminary Teacher for other Early Morning Seminary Teachers make you think this isn't something you will benefit from.
All teachers, especially those who teach youth, will benefit from the concepts taught in this book.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh What Do You Do In The Summer Time?

This is not necessarily Seminary related, but many of you work with Young Women, attend  YW Camp, help with Camp, or help with other Youth activities in your Wards and Stakes.
This activity, posted on my personal blog, is from our Young Women's Camp last week and is something I know you will want to share or adapt for your own needs.
Click HERE for details, meanwhile, these photos speak volumes:
 My daughters and me covered with the Young Women Values.
The Young Women Values will only benefit us if we "get them on us"
and make them part of our daily lives.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Our Seminary Book of Testimony

Each student wrote their testimony on a "plate of gold" and we compiled it in to our own 
"The Book of Palm Beach & West Palm Beach Seminary"
Most of their thoughts were based on the 
"I Know..... Because...." statements we have discussed.
We displayed this on the day of our Seminary Sacrament Meeting and
at our End of Year Breakfast.

Titles of Liberty

 We made individual Titles of Liberty when we studied Alma. I kept them until the end of the year and displayed them at our breakfast. Most of them were very well thought-out and meaningful.

Seminary Sacrament Meeting 2014

You are looking at an amazing group of young men and young women.
Last Sunday, we sang in Sacrament Meeting for both Wards in our building.
In addition to singing, I presented the students with their awards for
Attendance, Course Completion, Scripture Mastery, Book of Mormon Reading
We are missing a few students in the photos below, 
but this is the wonderful sight I get to see each morning at 6am.
For more details, click HERE
 They love being together, they love coordinating the colors they will wear when they sing, they just love life and I love them.

End Of Year Celebration 2014

We held our end of year breakfast and celebration last week.
Many of my students cannot attend class during exams this last week of school due to transportations issues, which is why I wanted to have the breakfast early this year. 
Read HERE for more details on this wonderful tradition.
 I have had these basic decorations for many years, each year, I just get them out and make a few minor adjustments or additions.

 Of course, the liahona is at the food serving table...
Another wonderful year behind us. I LOVE my students, and I LOVE the Book of Mormon. I also love sleep, so I am looking forward to a little more sleep this summer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Autocorrect Is Not Always A Friend

Or...Why you (I) should never text when you (I) are not distracted.
It is no secret that I do not like to take time to proof-read.
When nothing is underlined in red, I just press "send" but this morning that all caught up with me.

One of my Seminary Students has one more Scripture Mastery verse to pass off and he will have memorized all 25 Scripture Mastery verses.
He left this morning without passing the verse off and I needed to know if he was going to pass it off tomorrow morning so I can present  his Scriptorian award this Sunday during Sacrament meeting.

Here is what I sent him and this is why you  (I) should always read your texts before you (I) touch send.
Auto correct is not always your  (my) friend. (forgive the language)

Imagine receiving this from your Seminary Teacher:
"Are you pissing off your last Scripture tomorrow morning?"
Next, I tried to correct it (still distracted, obviously)
"Are you passing off your lazy Scripture tomorrow morning?"
Was still in a hurry and did not proof-read.
Last attempt,
"Are you passing out your last scrap book tomorrow morning?"

OK...I am a slow learner..or in too much of a hurry.
Try number 4, I got it right.
" Are you passing off your last Scripture tomorrow morning?

Just a few more days of 4:30am alarms...
I can do this!

The Sacrament Prayer

As we studied the Sacrament Prayers in Moroni, this was a fun activity:
(Adapt it for learning a Scripture Mastery verse or learning the Articles of Faith)

  • Divided my class into 2 teams
  • In the Cultural Hall, I placed 2 rolling chalk boards at opposite ends of the room- not too close to the walls, but with backs facing each other and far enough away that the teams working on the boards could not easily hear each other.
  • Without notes or scriptures, we left our classroom and entered the Cultural Hall
  • Each team lined up in a straight line, facing their chalkboard.
  • When I said go, one at a time, each team member took a turn going to the board to write, in order, one word at a time from the Sacrament prayer. They could choose the bread or water prayer.
  • For example: First player wrote, "O", Second player wrote, "God", Third player wrote, "Eternal" and so forth.
  • They were allowed to coach each other only if the person at the board could not remember. They had to at least try before they got help from a team mate. 
  • It was amazing to see how much they did not remember-even the Priests who recite this prayer every Sunday. It was also amazing to see how much they do remember. Some of them surprised themselves.
This was a great activity. 
I wish I thought of it earlier and applied it to a Scripture Mastery verse.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Sacrament

A few weeks ago, I taught a lesson on preparing for Sacrament Meeting and partaking of the Sacrament. I used an idea shared on the Facebook group for LDS Seminary Teachers to hold the lesson in the chapel. I adapted it for my class and it was one of our best classes of this entire Seminary year. (if you have not joined the LDS Seminary Facebook group administered by Jenny Smith -I highly recommend it. I have an entire support community of Seminary Teachers who "get" my life and share incredible ideas. It is, many times, the only reason I look at Facebook. This time of year, as I am dragging to the finish line, it is nice to associate with others who are in the same situation, other times, someone will post a lesson idea that I needed at that very moment)

I took my class in to the chapel and we met around the Sacrament table for the entire lesson. It was a beautiful experience. We used the cloths and trays as we discussed the sacredness of this ordinance and the symbolism.
I had the young men in my class who are Priests and Teachers prepare the table, sit in the seats they sit in to to bless, etc.

We discussed arriving early, starting the prelude music early, staying in your seat the entire meeting, grooming and dress, etc. Being in the chapel brought this lesson straight to their hearts and provided an opportunity to discuss personal preparations.

At the end of the lesson, we sang the Sacrament Hymn #181, Jesus of Nazareth (referenced in John Bytheway's message). In our chapel, our organ can be programed to play the hymns, so one of my students went right up to the organ and started the hymn as another led us in singing. It was a beautiful way to end a very effective lesson.

I gave this lesson on a Friday so that I could challenge my students to prepare for Sacrament Meeting and partaking of the Sacrament that coming Sunday. On Monday, I followed up with asking about their experiences and thoughts.

In addition to the Scriptures, the two best resources for this lesson were:
1) John Bytheway's presentation on Sacrament symbols taken from his message, "The Best Three Hours of the Week". Found HERE (there is a "glue-in" hand out from John Bytheway and one from Elder Oaks' message, reference below.
2) Elder Dallin H Oaks General Conference message , "Sacrament and Sacrament Meeting", found HERE (this is one of my all time favorite Elder Oaks' messages)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Elder Holland's Witness

The first week of our Seminary year, I showed THIS video clip from Elder Holland.
I had my class read in Ether 12:37-38 just as Hyrum Smith read to the Prophet Joseph Smith right before they were martyred.
Just as Hyrum Smith did after he read that passage, I had my students fold down the corner of that page as a reminder of the sacrifices made so that we are blessed to have the Book of Mormon in our  day.
Once in awhile, I have referred to the "Ether 12" folded down page as we have discussed standing up for what we believe in, defending  and sharing our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ, etc. I have seen my students turn to that page and noted that the corner of the page is still turned down.

As we are approaching the end of our Book of Mormon study, I am showing this as a follow up. We are spending a few minutes each day viewing various testimonies recorded on Mormon Messages as well as the testimonies of latter-day Prophets and Apostles.
This video from Elder Holland is one of the most powerful messages we have heard all year.

I Know_______ Because________

As we are in the final weeks of our Book of Mormon study, I have my students write the following in their journals and then fill in the blanks.

I Know_________________   Because___________________

I challenge them to write something they know or have learned or felt as they studied the Book of Mormon this school year and then write WHY they know/feel that way. It was difficult for some of them at first. At first, I had to give several examples or prompts.
With the recent experience of welcoming the Ft Lauderdale Temple to our area, I have tried to connect many of their experiences with feeling the to our study of the Book of Mormon,  feeling the spirit, gaining a testimony of Prophets, Apostles, obedience, faith, etc.
( did you feel when Elder Holland came to speak to our youth at the Ft Lauderdale Temple Cultural Celebration rehearsal?  Why do you think you felt that way? What do you know or what did you feel because of that experience? What is different in your life because of attending the Temple Dedication? etc.)

Something I have found very helpful is to show Mormon Messages from with "regular-ordinary-every-day" people sharing their testimonies of the gospel. I usually share one of these at the beginning of class so it gets them thinking and I close the class with a short video clip from one or the latter-day Prophets or Apostles.

HERE is a fun Mormon Message that helps the students realize that everyone from every walk of life has the opportunity to hear and live the gospel.

I can't believe the year is winding down. I LOVE the Book of Mormon!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The "War Chapters"

Alma 43-62 are known as the "War Chapters" in the Book of Mormon.
In his book, Righteous Warriors: Lessons from the War Chapters in the Book of Mormon, John Bytheway does a masterful job of sharing the main principles of each chapter. Either for teaching the Book of Mormon or for your personal study, this book is a wonderful resource.

For teachers, the chapters are divided the following way:
1) Captain Moroni vs Zerahemnah: Alma 43-44
2) Captain Moroni vs Amalickiah: Alma 46-51
3) Captain Moroni vs Ammoron: Alma 52-58
4) Captain Moroni vs the king-men in Zarahemla: Alma 51, 59-62

Since my class was behind, this grouping helped me to pace our lessons and make a plan to get back on schedule.

Each chapter in the book expounds on a chapter from Alma 43-62 and gives clarity as to  principles and doctrines to focus on.

I purchased my copy from
It is also available from

Friday, March 7, 2014

Experiment Upon The Word

We studied Alma 32 this past week.
This morning, we planted sunflower seeds to represent
our seeds of faith.
We chose an area we felt would be protected, yet get the best light, nourishment, etc.
We compared this to nurturing our testimonies.
By the end of the Seminary year, we  should have some 
large sunflowers, if we carefully nurture them.