Wow. This was a difficult lesson. I read on the Facebook group that one teacher spent five days on 2 Nephi 2. I thought that was ridiculous, but after today, I can see why.
I got a Facebook message on Friday from a student saying that she was bringing an investigator to class. This is the second investigator we have had come to class this year. I am not going to lie: it’s exhausting to plan for them. In addition to a General Conference review, I figured I better add in a “What is the Fall?” section to our lesson.
Anyway, I had the kids take out their notebooks and write something that touched them from General Conference. Then I asked them what living creature made an unexpected, hilarious appearance during the Conference. Those who answered the second question correctly got to choose a prize from the prize bin. Of course, the creature was that annoying fly that attacked poor Elder Vinson during his talk. Vinson took it like a champ. I only saw him swat twice even when the fly landed on his nose and on the mic multiple times. He cracked a smile a couple of times. The whole thing was pretty distracting. The talk was really great, but it sure was hard to concentrate with that fly photobombing. LOL. Anyway, kids shared their thoughts on Conference for just over 10 minutes. Then we got down to talking about the Fall.
Within minutes, my new investigator had asked exactly what I thought she might: What is the Fall? I was ready, and had the kids turn to Genesis 2 and 3 to read out a few verses. I had debated about using 2 Nephi 9 or Moses 3-4 instead, but I decided that it was better to stick with the Bible for the investigators’ sake. After we were clear on the events of the Fall, we read 2 Nephi 19-25 silently as per the manual. Then I used Nathan Richardson’s chart to work on the lesson. I debated and debated about whether to use this chart or the one in the manual, but as I said, I finally settled on this one. I am still second guessing my use of the chart, but I do think it kept me on task. It may have been better to have the kids find the items to fill in on the chart like suggested in the manual, but I did like the addition of the “Atonement” column on the chart. I felt like that was key to the discussion. My whole point was why we need the Atonement — it all goes back to the Fall.
We continued our discussion using the chart, and I answered questions as we went along. We got questions on everything from did the Garden of Eden fall from Kolob to earth (I had heard similar things, but I don’t know of any revelation) to one on 2 Nephi 2:21 about why does it say that we have to repent for the transgression of our parents if we have the Second Article of Faith. Phew. That last question, I answered, but she didn’t get it. I posted a link to an article Nathan recommended by Gerald N Lund called The Fall of Man and His Redemption. I highly recommend that article if you are preparing to teach these doctrines. I consider myself pretty solid on doctrinal issues, but I learned some things from this clear statement on the Fall that I was glad to have ready for class.
I had written a really strong conclusion, but I’m not sure that it sunk in. We were already runnign a smidge over because of student questions, so I told them to read 2 Nephi 2 again tonight (that was the plan all along) and to come with questions. Tomorrow we will be focusing on agency if we can get there. I may have to spill over into Wednesday if the kids get going again.