Jenny's blog

I wonder what I’ll be good at?

Luke 15

While we were watching this fantastic movie this morning:

all of the students were commenting on how talented this sand story artist, Joe Castillo is. Then, one of my least introspective students asked himself aloud: “I wonder what I’ll be good at?” Another Freshman turned to him and said, “I know man! Me, too!” I didn’t know what to say to him that wouldn’t sound like a platitude, so I didn’t say anything. I remember those days of wondering what the future holds, imagining where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing. Some days Seminary reminds you of all the angst of High School. They’ll all get through, but it’s a rough slog.

Anyway, today was an easy lesson that turned out super well. I had students summarize briefly the three parables in Luke 15 from their reading. I told them we’d be watching a video (HOORAY) and it was artsy so I hoped they could handle it (UH-OH). I asked them to watch the video while thinking about which of the people in the parable they could most relate to. After the movie, I asked them who they felt they related to best. First they mentioned the son who stayed home. One suggested that we relate to the prodigal. I reminded them that since we all sin, each of us is the prodigal at some point. Then they related with the Father, watching a friend making poor decisions and waiting for them to return. And finally, several of them made the connection all at once that I was hoping for — that at different points in our lives, we will relate to each of the people in this parable. What is our responsibility when we make a wrong choice? What is our responsibility when we see others making wrong choices? Great discussion.

Regarding the video, the YouTube version I’m linking to above is from a Seminary teacher in Utah. I suspect he doesn’t know that the video is pretty likely copyrighted (I didn’t know ether). The full version is available at the artist’s, Joe Castillo’s, website for a fee. These videos were such a hit with my students that I think I will buy the four DVD set for use in later classes.

::::::::: Going back in time to Monday :::::::::

Luke 10

Objective: Students will find aspects of Luke 10 that relate to service: what authority, blessings of authority, whom to serve, and how to choose what to do. They will also learn how Christ is both Father and Son.

V22 – read JST, then JS quotes, then Mosiah, then institute quote

Above are my notes… I really can’t remember what I did this day! I know that we did not get to how Christ is both the Father and Son — no one had read the footnotes and didn’t have any questions about it, so I just let it go.

Luke 11

(For this day, the reading assignment was Luke 11-13, but I only covered the Lord’s prayer. )

Before class began, I had contacted my two students that went to New Jersey over the Thanksgiving holiday to help out with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts there, and I asked them to come on Tuesday ready to report on what they had done. That took probably 10-15 minutes, so I didn’t have a lot of time to cover our lengthy reading. It was okay, though, because it’s more important for these kids to see the gospel in action in the lives of their peers than to hear me yak.

On the board, I wrote this quote by L. Edward Brown from Manual: “My beloved brothers and sisters and friends, I bear earnest and solemn witness to you that the Lord does communicate with us as individuals. Never, never fall victim to the heinous thought that He does not care for you, that He does not know you. That is a satanic lie, one designed to destroy you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 109; or Ensign, May 1997, 78). (New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, The Gospel According to Saint Luke, Luke 10–13)

For this lesson we tossed about one of our little critters and students took a scripture verse or two. After verse one, I asked students,” Why do you think the disciple asked Jesus to teach him to pray?”

After deciding that he probably heard something special when Jesus prayed, we cross referenced this verse with 3 Nephi 17:15–17 (3 Nephi 19:16-)34 which shows another example of what it was like when Jesus prayed.

Together we picked apart the verses in the Lord’s prayer as recorded by Luke. Here are some of the questions I asked or points I made:

Did you notice the footnotes?

Definition of importune.

Have you ever prayed for something that you didn’t get? Doesn’t that contradict the JST footnote for Luke 11:5a? Why not?

Our wise Father will not give us things that will harm us.

Luke 14

This lesson turned out okay.

Before class I took four envelopes and some construction paper. I wrote a “clue” on the outside of each envelope and put the mixed up letters from a word or phrase in the respective envelope:

Luke 14:1–6 (two words), SABBATH DAY
Luke 14:7–14 (one word), HUMILITY
Luke 14:15–24 (two words), GREAT SUPPER
Luke 14:25–35 (one word), DISCIPLESHIP

It only took each zone a few minutes to unscramble the words. I asked the kids what they would title this chapter if they were writing a children’s book. My title was “Jesus Goes to a Party.” We talked about each of the four sections in this passage in turn. The Sabbath day one was especially good, because when I asked for a real-world example of this, they were able to point a the students who had just been up to New Jersey and New York for the service project. They performed hard labor on Sunday, and it was totally appropriate. “Which of you, whose brothers and sisters are affected by a big Hurricane, will not straightaway pull down some moldy sheetrock on the Sabbath Day?”

We talked about how Jesus pointed out how people are prideful. We mentioned that even at a party he was looking for teaching opportunities. We had already talked about the symbolism in this chapter, so I had them repeat again who the people who were “invited” to the great supper were (The Jews), and who those shaken out of the bushes were (The Gentiles). We wrapped up with a pretty good discussion about what it takes to be a disciple, based primarily on the footnotes from the JST. Kids wrapped up with a great prayer pleading for greater strength to be disciples. I love it when they get it.

Tomorrow we will be finishing up their scripture mastery flash cards. Good heavens — that has taken FOREVER. Next year I will think twice about having them make those during class. That might be our before class begins assignment. Phew.

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.