Young Women presidency meeting

6-month planning meeting

We held our 6-month planning and leadership meeting this morning. I am not sure where I got the idea for holding this event before General Conference, but that has turned out to be a great choice.  It’s a day free of other church meetings, and since we are in the Eastern time zone, General Conference doesn’t begin for us until noon, which frees up the morning for YW. We invite all three young women class presidencies, their secretaries, the bishopric member over YW, all YW leaders, and our secretary to this meeting.  We meet in someone’s home and have breakfast together first thing at 9am.  Today we had leadership training on conducting (bishopric member), planning activities (first counselor), and why…

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Must the presidency sit at the front during meetings?

I’ve been in three Relief Society presidencies, and each group has had someone ask if they have to sit at at the front of the classroom during meetings.  In the past I’ve said it’s up to you, but today I stumbled on this article from Elder Boyd K. Packer (The Unwritten Order of Things, Brigham Young University devotional, 15 Oct. 1996).  He says something different: The things I am going to tell you about are not so rigid that the Church will fall apart if they are not strictly observed all the time. But they do set a tone, a standard, of dignity and order and will improve our meetings and classwork; they will improve the activities. If you know them…

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Sleeping Student

My Lesson is Boring!

AC expressed a common concern on the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook Group: “I’m a new teacher this year, not creative at all and need desperate help. I have my two boys in my class and they both tell me I’m boring.” Here’s what I said: Please know that everything I’m about to say is intended to be helpful. Please read it in that context.1) Consider the source. Your own children may be harder on you than others. They may be uncomfortable being taught in a formal setting by their own mother. They may have already seen all your tricks and heard all your stories. They may even be saying something to get a rise out of you, which unfortunately teenaged…

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Increasing Student Particpation

Increasing Student Participation during Gospel Lessons

Most gospel teachers struggle with classroom participation. Sometimes you’ll get a classroom of students who are very active and loud, and other times you may have a classroom of very quiet students. We want students to enjoy each other, but “between the prayers” we want them to talk about the gospel — not Friday night’s game. Following are some ideas to help you increase appropriate discussion in your classroom: Talk Less Ask and Pause Make your Classroom a Safe Place to Ask Questions and Share Ideas Encourage Sincere Participation Attempts Talk Less When a teacher takes the spotlight, becomes the star of the show, does all the talking, and otherwise takes over all of the activity, it is almost certain…

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Evaluating A Gospel Lesson – 10 Questions to Ask

After a lesson is complete, you may feel elated or even discouraged.  Evaluating your teaching is an important, often neglected, step that can help you improve as a teacher.  Evaluating your lessons is the “report” part of the Return and Report pattern taught in the temple.  Reporting, by asking questions of yourself, prayerfully consulting the Lord, speaking with another teacher or leader, or blogging experiences, can help you develop Here are some tips that can help you evaluate lessons and develop a plan to improve poor experiences or reproduce great teaching experiences. 10 Themes to consider after a lesson Was my level of preparation adequate?  Did I read each scripture reference?  Did I check LDS.org for music, videos, or general conference talks?…

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Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Commemoration Celebration ideas

This year the Aaronic Priesthood restoration date (May 15, 1829) is on a weekday, and I have been planning to have a little commemoration party during Seminary. After the results of the basic doctrines survey, I may instead do an activity on the essential nature of temple covenants.  Or I may do both.   We’ll just see… Anyway, I did a little research today, and the information on Priesthood commemmoration activities is pretty much nonexistant.  Men just don’t do activities on the level that women do, nor do they talk about it, and really, what can be said about a “Father/Son/Aaronic Priesthood/ActivityThatKillsTwoBirdsWithOneStone” campout anyway?  Back in the day, Aaronic Priesthood activities seem to have been slightly different. The Deseret News…

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Jenny's blog

A Century of Aaronic Priesthood

Barbara Jean Jones, “A Century of Aaronic Priesthood,” New Era, Jan. 2000, 30 “It was quite a thrill to me when I was ordained a deacon and permitted to pass the sacrament,” wrote Rendell Mabey of his ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood in the early 1900s. Rendell was a typical Aaronic Priesthood holder of his day: he was born to an LDS family and lived in Utah all his life. Things have changed since then. In 1900, young men were part of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. There was no official Church Scouting program until 1913. In 1900 there was no official age schedule for ordinations in the Aaronic Priesthood. It wasn’t until 1908 that a schedule was set:…

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Jenny's blog

10 Tips for Giving a Great Talk

Primary Object Lesson Talks You will get some good ideas from my LDS Object Lessons for simple Primary talks. Top Ten tips for Giving a Great Talk by Robert Felts, New Era, August 2000 from LDS.org Accept the assignment cheerfully, and pray for guidance, especially if you aren’t comfortable with the assigned topic. Start outlining your talk at least a week before your assignment. Use scriptures. Try to memorize the verses for your talk. Include your own spiritual experiences and testimony. Make sure your notes are easily readable. If you’re really ambitious, try memorizing your talk so you don’t need notes. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Practice standing straight on both feet without shifting or making nervous gestures. Avoid “ums”…

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