2 Nephi 27
Due to some unforseen circumstances, I was completely unprepared ahead of time for this lesson. I had prayed to the Lord to let him know I had been doing my best, but I just could not get the lesson prepared, and went to bed. I HATE having the kids come without a real lesson prepared. I just feel if they are willing to come sacrifice at that hour of the morning, I ought to have some spiritual meat to help them prepare for another day of school. I was concerned, but I slept like a baby. Then I woke up fully awake and alert at 4am. I was able to prepare a solid lesson from the manual in about 30 minutes with plenty of time to read my own scriptures. I was shocked. It was totally a tender mercy of the Lord, and I am grateful He is looking out for these kids and wants them to have a good experience when they come to class in spite of me.
I did the object lesson from the manual. It was a dud. Would not use that again, but at least it made me look super prepared 🙂
The discussion of 2 Nephi 27:1-5 went well, especially the explanation of verse 3, which they were naturally confused about.
I ripped through the points in the next several verses fast, like who were the witnesses, and how kids can be missionary-witnesses -- even right now, too. I wrapped up this section with Elder Holland's quote and testimony. Powerful.
Did the chart listed in the manual. For whatever reason, this was inordinately difficult for the kids to wrap their heads around. I may not have been doing a good job explaining it, but they also missed the correct answers. It would have been better to do this as a group rather than as pairs.
Anyway, the lesson went surprisingly well, and I was really grateful for the help of the Lord on this day.
2 Nephi 28
This lesson started out a little rocky. I opened the lesson with the opening principle from the manual about how the Book of Mormon exposes the adversary's workings. I told the students they were going to get to take a peek into the devil's playbook, as it were. I had a student of mine who plays on the football team explain what a playbook is, and we likened it to the BoM.
From here, it was downhill.
I put in the Spiritual Crocodiles movie. When I watched this, I shook my head. Watched it again. Didn't seem to get better for me. But I had seen on the Facebook group that many other teachers had a great experience with the movie, and it's easier to watch a movie than me tell the story, so I decided to show the movie anyway. Mistake. Any reaction to the violence was ruined by a couple of boys who cheered on the crocs. It was definitely not cool. Now, the students definitely understood what the meaning of President Packer's parable is, but they were not able to *feel* the message because of the video and their reactions. This video might work better in a smaller classroom, but I'd not show it again.
Anyway, it took me some time to wrestle the kids back to sanity, and I had my Freshmen come up and write a list on the board of false teachings from 2 Nephi 28:3-9. One of the boys is about 4.5 feet tall, and another boy (my struggling student), erased one of his answers and put it on the board as if it was his own. It was definitely not nice. I didn't draw alot of attention to it then, and today was a holiday, but I will pull the kid aside tomorrow. I am not going to tolerate that kind of behavior in our class.
I had upperclassmen list modern examples of these false teachings after the Freshmen had made their list.
Anyway, recovered from that, but barely. Next we read vv 12-14 aloud. That helped to pull the class back together. Discussed briefly.
Then we reviewed verses 20-29. I explained that these are like the devil's playbook. Since we can take a look inside, we can know what kind of plays we need to create to protect ourselves from his attacks. I had kids list the tactics they were finding. I used the questions from the manual to guide the discussion as we went along. This ended up on a strong note, and I used v 32 to conclude that God is merciful to those who repent.