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!