Jenny's blog


I admit it. I totally faked the Job lesson.

Maybe not *totally*, seeing as I did read the text and had kind of an idea what I’d do if the lesson went short. A student, impressed with the “One Small Voice” video from Josiah movie asked to see the Esther music video today. I showed it at the beginning of class. It was a big hit, but there ensued a lengthy discussion about the relative attractiveness of the Esther actress (I think she’s the crying main girl character from Legacy, too, btw)

I have not been sleeping well again, and as I had to split Job into two days, I figured this day would be a short discussion and then tomorrow I’d do a better job. I think the problem, btw, is being caused by these new pillows I bought. They are HORRIBLE. They were at a clearance home good store, and now I know why…..

So I put the kids at the tables and asked them to open their scriptures. I mentioned that Victor Hugo had said that Job was one of the most important books ever written because of it’s theme: why do people suffer. We read the Bible Dictionary entry for Job to help with the setting. “So, what did you think about Job?” I asked. The discussion was crazy awesome. Shockingly awesome. I had underlined some verses in chs 1-3 about what God thought of Job and directed the kids to them. Discussion. Then I directed the kids to verse 1 in ch 1 about Job being a “perfect” man. I asked them if it meant he was without sin. Then I said, if we wanted to know more about the word perfect or to find other people who were perfect in the scriptures, how could we do it? Topical Guide (they knew it!). So I put them to work to find perfect people or verses that related to the passage that could help us understand what perfect meant. This went amazingly well. Finally I had to cut them off bc we were going so far over time. And then one kid interrupted me to tell more!!! I think this was a really good exercise for them to learn how to research in the scriptures. I have been wanting to give them this chance, and this turned out to work great. I had thought of it beforehand, but not in detail. It went great.

Today we finished up Job. I played the music video of Esther again (mistake). The girl who asked for it was ill yesterday, so I showed it for her today. It de-evolved into a discussion of who thought Esther’s eyes were nice and whatever. *sigh* So on these videos, one time is it. No repeats. Lesson learned.

I spent a while yesterday planning out this lesson to make up for my slackerliness yesterday. I read several chapters in Job and the commentary in the Institute manual (which I almost never do). The commentary in the Institute manual was so good that I marked several passages to read aloud during class.

Our opening song was “Abide with me” because of the commentary. After magic squares, I re-explained to the kids about Job losing his wealth, health, and posterity. There is a particularly graphic description of Job’s physical condition in the Institute manual:

“First: We must recognize without knowing exactly what it was that he suffered from physically. From the symptoms, some have said that it appears that he had elephantiasis. Sore boils, one of the symptoms of this disease, had attacked ‘Job’s body, forming large pustules which itched so greatly that a piece of pottery was used to scrape them. Job’s face was so disfigured that his friends could not recognize him. Worms or maggots were bred in the sores ( 7:5 ). His breath became so foul and his body emitted such an odor, that even his friends abhorred him ( 19:17 ff), and he sought refuge outside the city on the refuse heap where outcasts and lepers lived. Pain was his constant companion ( 30:17, 30 ) as were also terrifying nightmares ( 7:14 ).’ ( The Westminster Study Edition of the Holy Bible, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, p. 641, note.) . . . “

Ew. I asked the kids how they thought Job felt about this. We read then some verses I had written down. Most of them were expressions of Job’s faith. Oddly enough they aren’t in my notes, but somehow I wrote them on the board…. The passages from Job 19 were particularly impressive when you consider they came from a man who already had maggots eating his flesh. What faith to believe that he would see God in a whole and complete form!

I then read aloud the passages from the commentary — especially the bits about faith to salvation. I gave them the option of reading aloud, but they told me to and asked to go back to the couches. I told them okay, but no sleeping :) So I read the best parts of the commentary that I had marked beforehand. Then I had the kids turn to D&C 122. I wanted them to think about Jesus Christ. Even though Job suffered things we consider beyond the range of human endurance, Jesus Christ descended even below that. Two students read all 9 verses of that aloud. It is a particularly striking chapter. The kids could easily see the similarity of feeling between Joseph and Job. I summed up with a note about faith in Christ and how it sustains us so we can endure trials and receive eternal life. I could tell it hit home.

I am at the library now, preparing lessons for the next several days on Psalms and Proverbs. I’m even starting in on Isaiah. I think Isaiah will be the most challenging thing I teach this year. It will take lots of preparation.

I could do this at home, but we have a friend finishing up the crown molding (that’s been half-completed for 2+ years now) upstairs. Neither the hubs or I could get either the motivation or learn the skills to do it, so I finally broke down and aksed him to hire someone to do it. I suppose I’m like a spoiled brat, but at this point I just want to leave and come back to it magically complete. So I’ve been out all day so I don’t have to see the mess or be annoyed/embarrassed that we couldn’t do it ourselves.

On the up side, I’m getting a remarkable amount of writing done :)

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.