Today we covered Moses 3. I was out late last night with a DAR Fall Muster meeting registration I had signed up to help with, and when coupled with a family "crisis", I didn't get much time to work on my lesson for today. Luckily I had taken some notes on the material while we were in Connecticut on Monday and had enough that I could teach. Plus, the kids were in a playful mood, so I let them goof off a bit more than usual during opening exercises to take up some time.
Since today was Thursday, we did Moments instead of Magic Squares. One student shared how she stood up and said she was Mormon when someone was teasing a non-member, calling him Mormon, because his family had lots of kids. Another talked about how she was fasting that day for her friend's family that is struggling with a child in the hospital over an hour away. After she was done talking, I asked the student who was giving closing prayer (we make those assignments at the beginning of class) to remember this boy and his family in our prayer today, which he did. It was a simple thing, but I think it's good for these students to learn that they can support each other and their friends. Not only does it build unity, but it increases their love and understanding of those around them, and it shows the gospel in action.
These kids don't even need me. Their parents have done it all already. I'm just icing.
So Moments was probably the most important thing we did today, although our lesson was fine. I used the same discussion method this week as last, where I had the kids write down 2 new things that they learned. Most of them focused in on the point that things were created spiritually before they were created physically. They were also interested in the fact that the plants and beasts were also "living souls". We tend to think of souls as having intelligence, when I suppose that soul is really a more generic term meaning physical and spiritual form together. I did point out very briefly that the animals coming to Adam to be named showed his dominion and responsibility to take care of them. I also mentioned that knowing that animals have souls might change the way that we think about our food and the environment -- these are God's creations, just like we are, and they deserve our respect and care.
When one of the students mentioned that he was just studying the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in school and that they were excited to know where the garden of Eden was. I asked my class if they knew where the garden of Eden was, and they said the Fertile Crescent in Iraq. I was surprised. When this was covered in the Connecticut seminary class I attended Monday, the class answered Missouri unanimously. Hrm. So I told them that we did have at least one third hand account of Joseph Smith teaching that the garden of Eden was located at Adam-ondi-Ahman, or in Missouri. But that despite what they might hear, that is not stated in the scriptures. The location could very well be in Missouri, and that is what is commonly taught, however, there is no scripture stating so. I pointed out that knowing the exact location of the garden has no bearing on the truth of the story. Knowing the location is just frosting and is not essential to belief. This was a non issue for my students luckily, so I just touched on it briefly.
We did get into a little bit of a teasing discussion about who was better, men or women. The girls in the class do bash on the guys a bit, and the boys egg them on. It's cute to a degree, but I want these girls to not think they are better or more righteous or stronger than men. We are different, but all are children of God. Since tomorrow is the Fall, I think I will need to come ready to combat that idea that for us to be good, we have to be better than someone else.
Bednar. I bet he's got a talk somewhere I can use about men and women and their divine natures.
I've been wanting to mention that so far I have not used the lesson manual at all. The lessons have been so easy that there has been no need. Come up with an activity that will reinforce the material, let the kids run, act as rudder when they teeter a bit, answer questions, go home.
After class I went down to a local conference center and hotel to finish up helping with the DAR muster registration. There are definitely all kinds at those meetings. Some are so pleasant, and some just can't be nice. I didn't stay for the meeting, so I could come home and get some laundry done and my lesson planned. Chore time.....