Sunday, August 31, 2014

Five cool things we learned in my first week of teaching seminary

1. Coming unto Christ is the purpose. 

The Savior should be the center of our lives and our class. He has so much power to heal, nourish, strengthen, and teach us. Come unto Him. I invite you to watch the music video we watched. It's this year's LDS Youth theme song, Come Unto Christ. If you're like me, get a Kleenex first.  

2. God wants us to be active, not passive learners of the gospel.

Here are eight quotes of Heavenly Father inviting us to PARTICIPATE in class! You can use this as an easy FHE lesson with older kids or teens. Or to teach your church class how to be active participants. When students participate, they invite the SPIRIT, who is the ultimate teacher. If we don't learn and teach by the Spirit, it's not going to work. 

When people teach others, in their own words, principles and doctrines they find, it helps root these truths deeply into their hearts, and inspires us to apply them. 

3. The point of scriptures is to find and apply PRINCIPLES. 

Here are some great quotes about finding principles in the scriptures. 

Just reading the scriptures doesn't give us the spiritual power and nourishment we need. We need to FEAST, meaning looking deeper and finding principles that we can apply in our lives.  

We played part of this fun and inspiring talk (with permission from the publisher) to teach the youth how to READ IT, FIND IT, USE IT!  In other words, how to look for and apply principles! 

4. It's important to bond as a class or a family. 

The Family Proclamation says that wholesome recreational activities are important in building relationships. We have played several get-to-know-you games to help everyone become friends, and to be united as a class.

 This is a question ball. My daughter helped by writing down a bunch of quick-answer questions.  Whoever catches the ball gets to answer the question by their right thumb. We'll play this game soon.  

5. God is a God of miracles. 

I know this because I, Becky Edwards, got up at 5:30 AM this week. Those who know me well know that THIS IS A MIRACLE.  

I've seen other miracles in my life as I prepared to start teaching seminary. 

  • Heavenly Father magnified my capacity to help me do more than I could on my own to prepare for teaching seminary. In the past couple months I've been able to read the whole Doctrine and Covenants as an overview, study the new Seminary & Institute teaching manual (can I just say whoa, awesome book), do an online training for seminary teachers, and attended several live trainings. I've been blessed with many resources for fantastic seminary ideas, like the handful of wonderful seminary teachers who are my friends, Pinterest, Facebook seminary teaching site, and other sites like The Redhead Hostess. I'm so grateful for all of these trainings and resources, because it's been a couple years since I taught institute, and I needed the updates and the awesome fire back. I'm feeling the fire! 

  • Another miracle has been that it felt important to me to put my home and systems and papers in order before I started teaching seminary. For you mothers who have felt the "nesting instinct," that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.  In answer to many prayers, Heavenly Father helped me do more than I could on my own here as well. I was able to buy a new-ish lateral file, de-junk and update my filing system, create a weekly family chore system, update our home routines, my planner (yes, I'm one of the 62 left on the planet who still uses a paper planner). I got a shorter haircut for a 5:30 AM fast hair do. And we worked as a family to tidy up kitchen cupboards and drawers as well as bedrooms and the garage and basement. Ahhh... Now I can think straight again. 
  • One way this is such a miracle is because I'm already a busy homeschool mom, wife of an LDS bishop, and we had a very full summer already filled with good things like serving at the new Ogden LDS temple, hosting out-of-town relatives, having some sacred missionary experiences, doing girls' camp and youth conference and a family trek, among other things. I feel blessed that my three kids who will be homeschooling next year (oldest two will be gone from home) have fantastic groups with wonderful teachers, so I'll be more of a supportive role instead of their main teacher, which will leave time for me to teach seminary. Heavenly Father has helped us work things out so I can serve His beloved seminary students. I KNOW that I have had heavenly help getting ready this summer!

Early church leaders and pioneers experienced many miracles too! 

Their struggles and experiences are recorded for us to learn from and apply principles. Their lives can teach us that God will help, strengthen, answer prayers, and work miracles in our lives just as He has in theirs. I am so excited to learn this year at the feet of these amazing heroes. 

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