Jenny's blog

1 Samuel

I promised a friend that I’d blog about what I’m doing in Seminary for 1 Samuel, but I’ve been so busy….. Today I’m catching up, as usual.

Report cards and catching up to 1 Samuel 16

This day I had a lot of material to cover because of getting back from the holiday after so many missed days. It was also report card day. Joy.

I had the kids working on group activities while I talked with each individually about his/her report card. One group did an activity on music, one did David, and the other did Saul. I won’t lie — the presentations were pretty much a flop. I wasn’t able to supervise them well and their reports were no where near as good as usual. If I have to do this again I will probably assign table work in a worksheet form instead of group work. Then I can supervise a little better. Anyway, here are the activities we did:

Saul as King

Working as a group, prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on Saul’s call and eventual downfall. You may act out some events in Saul’s life, report on the king as part of an imaginary newscast, design a newspaper/diary/autobiography of Saul’s experiences, draw a cartoon strip, or do something else of your own choosing. Include all members of your group in performing your presentation.

***EACH member of the group must use at least one power phrase when performing the presentation. Your power phrase may be written on an illustration.***

Use the following chapters and scripture reference to help you:
1 Samuel 9-10, 13, 15
Psalms 37:7–11, 34

Here are some ideas and points you might include:

  • Saul was “goodly”, obedient, and physically impressive (see 1 Samuel 9:2–5). He sought God (1 Sam 9:11) and was humble enough to be surprised at special treatment (1 Sam 9:21). He received the gift of prophecy and was turned into another man with a new heart (1 Samuel 10:6, 9, 11) He even seemed to try to avoid becoming king (1 Sam 10:22). What do you think happened to cause this good man to fall? See D&C 121: 36–40.
  • Who did Saul think of as the Ultimate Authority over the Israelites when he first began his reign? What about later?
  • You might describe the following situation to the class: “Imagine you are on a desert island with twenty other church members. Unfortunately, the only priesthood holders on the island are deacons in the Aaronic priesthood. The people wish to take the sacrament. Is it acceptable for deacons to bless and pass the sacrament, so that the other members do not miss the opportunity to partake of that essential ordinance?” (Allow students to respond. The correct answer is ‘no’.) “Why not? How is this similar to what Saul did when he performed the sacrifice instead of waiting on Samuel’s arrival? ” Point out that even though Saul was king over all the land, he did not have authority to exercise priesthood authority.
  • 1 Samuel 15 includes a description of Saul’s excuses for his actions. Pretend you are Samuel refuting Saul’s excuses one by one during a presidential debate. What will you say?

David and Goliath / 1 Samuel 16:7

Your presentation and activity will be performed during tomorrow’s seminary lesson. Your assignment is two-fold:

PRESENTATION Working as a group, prepare a short presentation about David and Goliath. You may use the movie – ask Sister Smith to see it, act out the story using scripture language, or do something else of your own choosing. Include all members of your group in performing your presentation.

***EACH member of the group must use at least one power phrase when performing the presentation.***

The following scriptures may be of help to you:
1 Samuel 16-17
Psalms 20:7
Psalms 19:7

ACTIVITY Create an imaginary Goliath out of paper and make marshmallow slings. Develop a game to help other students learn the story of David and Goliath using your paper Goliath and marshmallow slings.

Develop a second activity to help students memorize 1 Samuel 16:7. You may consider rotating the two zones between the games.

Music Affects Us

Working as a group, prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on music.

Read the following scriptures:
1 Samuel 16:23
Moroni 7: 13–19
D&C 136: 28–30
Ephesians 5:15,19

Your presentation on music will cover the following topics:

  • how music affected Saul
  • how music affects people today
  • each member of the group will list at least one song or hymn that helps him or her feel the Holy Ghost. Share these with the group.
  • tips on determining if music “enticeth to do good continually”

Consider bringing out the following points during your presentation:

  • The effect of David’s music on Saul was only temporary. What would have given those feelings to Saul more permanently?
  • How do you use music the same way Saul did?
  • Share an experience you’ve had that showed how music affected your feelings.
  • Share a portion of the cassette tape “Apples or Onions”

Include all members of your group in performing your presentation.

You may want to make a small handout with your tips on choosing good music for each class member to take home.

1 Samuel 16:7

The last group did their presentation, and the “activity” they came up with for the group to do was for everyone to memorize on their own >:-(. So, I put up the video from ginnywizzy on YouTube for 1 Samuel 16:7 and also the text at scripture mastery section for them to use as a memorization aid. All the kids passed off the scripture and one or two did an extra, but this was a wasted day. I was aggravated. I should have supervised better on the first day, but also the kids should have done better with their presentation.


At least they all passed off the scripture mastery though. As of this date our class has fully memorized 85 scripture mastery passages. We should really be at about 150 for halfway through the year, but since memorization is not required, I figure we’re doing okay.

1 Samuel 18, 20

For our opener I had the kids list on a piece of scrap paper the three biggest temptations facing youth in our area. 60 seconds on the timer.

They shared their thoughts for several minutes. Then we read Proverbs 17:17. I had the kids copy the following question off the board and respond: “What effect could a friend with high standards have on facing temptation? A friend with lower standards?” We discussed this question.

Next the kids copied the following statement and completed it on their papers: “A true friend is one who _____”. We listed their responses up on the board.

Now we read Proverbs 27:17. They understood it very well.

From their reading, I had the kids describe ways that David and Jonathan demonstrated friendship. I asked the kids to think about their friends. Are they the kind of friend who influence you to turn closer to God? What kind of friend are you?

To wrap up, I talked to the kids about the Lord’s definition of friendship based on John 15:12 (I think — can’t read my notes). What does it mean to lose a life for a friend.

At this point several of the boys brought up some war stories they knew and/or heroic military figures they’d met (somewhat common in this area). It was a very good summary for the lesson.

Afterwards I got to thinking about what the boys had said and how our missionaries go into the “line of fire” as it were, to rescue souls from the “fiery darts” of the adversary. I brought that up at the beginning of our class the next day both to let them know I was thinking about what they said and to point out the vital importance of missionary work. It’s easy to see the value of a military career in this area. Sometimes it’s not as easy to see the value of missionary work.

1 Samuel 24, 26

On the easel I wrote
(Matthew 5:44)

I let the kids decipher the word scramble, which was “love your enemies”. I asked the kids who from the previous night’s reading demonstrated this love of enemies. I then asked them to look in their scriptures and find an example in 1 Samuel 24 of how David showed that. We read them aloud and discussed.

We spend a fair amount of time in discussion about what was going on in the scripture. I think it’s valuable to spend time helping the kids interpret what their reading — painting a picture of what’s happening.

We spent a little time on the significance of cutting off the hem of Saul’s garment. Read the Bible dictionary entry BD, Hem of Garment. I asked the class what they would have done in David’s shoes. I made a point of showing how David’s heart smote him when he did wrong. I pointed out how humble and in tune he must have been for the Spirit to work on him. I hope that our hearts smite us when we do wrong, and that we listen.

For 1 Samuel 26 I spent a little bit of time on the word sustain and what it means. I had a series of questions I had written to start a conversation on what it means to sustain a leader. I can’t really reproduce the discussion, but here are the questions I wrote:

  • What does sustain mean?
  • How is it different that “elect”?
  • Who in here has had a calling or responsibility in the church? Did you fulfill all your responsibilities perfectly? Did you fulfill your responsibilities exactly like the person before or after you? Why then do we expect other leaders to be perfect or do things our way? How is that wrong thinking?
  • We talked about Jethro being a supportive follower of Moses. Can you remember any ways Jethro supported Moses?
  • What impressed you about the way David sustained Saul?

Among other things I pointed out that David didn’t take the kingdom — he awaited God’s decision to remove Saul. There was also some discussion about how sustaining means we agree that the person has the authority to act in the office of their calling and what that really means.

Old Testament Personalities Review

For this day, I wanted the kids to review some of the people we’ve talked about during our study so far. We’ve talked about so many people that I felt a review was necessary to remind them of the material we’ve covered (about 3000 years so far). The “reading” assignment was for the kids to describe their favorite bible personality to a parent. Then they came to class and we had 3 activities related to names in the Bible that each of the 3 zones rotated through.

For the first rotation, the kids were with me playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Here’s the link to the Old Testament Who Wants to be a Millionaire game we played. It goes from Genesis through 1 Samuel:…

We also played “States”, which is the newspaper smacking game, but the students played it with the names of Bible people instead of the names of the states. Here’s an explanation of States if you haven’t heard of it before.

(I will say about states, that our zones of just 4 were too small to play this game. I tried to switch them up so that 6 were playing while 2 worked on the scroll, but that was a failure. You might want to choose a different game.)

The third rotation drew on the scroll. Each picture had to include the artist’s name, the name of the person being illustrated, a power phrase, and a picture of a favorite Bible personality. Our scroll is made out of two old rolling pins I bought on eBay and a roll of paper that I cut down with a hacksaw to fit the rolling pins. The paper roll came from IKEA.

Here are some of the pictures of the completed scroll:

I will bring it to Church on Sunday to display in the hallway.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.