We had a fun first day of seminary today!
I confessed to my students that I didn't used to love the Old Testament.
Years ago I was called to teach Old Testament in Gospel Doctrine right after coming off a Book of Mormon high, where we read it several times in a row in short order. At the time the Old Testament left me hungry and unsatisfied. Where was the meat and spiritual feasting I was used to?
Then I discovered a key.
I started looking for Christ hidden just under the surface of the prophets, stories, people, symbols, laws of the Old Testament, and the lights started turning on all over the place. Here is a post I wrote about how exciting it is to see Christ in Joseph of Egypt's story.
|This book helped me fall in love with the Old Testament. If you're like I used to be, maybe it can help you too. |
|This is another book I highly recommend to help you understand the Old Testament and see Christ in it.|
Here are a few activities you could use in FHE or seminary to help people see Christ in the Old Testament.
1. Check out a few parallels with Old Testament prophets and Christ.
If you want a fun little scripture journey, check out these references to see who each verse was describing. Some of the students read the list and quickly wrote Christ in each blank. But then I had them look up each scripture and fill the blanks in again.
_________ 1. He was called the Son of God (Moses 8:13)
_________ 2. He had the power to live forever, but willingly gave his life (2 Nephi 2:25)
_________ 3. His name was known by prophets before his birth (JST-Genesis 50:34)
_________ 4. He was in the express image of his father (D&C 138:40)
_________ 5. He was considered a perfect man (Moses 8:27)
_________ 6. He fasted for 40 days and nights (1 Kings 19:8-9)
_________ 7. He healed a leper and raised the dead (headings of 2 Kings 2, 4-6)
_________ 8. He blessed the bread and wine (Genesis 14:18)
_________ 9. He prophesied his own death and resurrection (Job 19:26)
2. Read these verses and discuss what they mean.
When you really understand that ALL things testify of Christ, it changes the way you study the scriptures, especially the Old Testament. It also brings you closer to Christ, which is the main point.
And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.(Moses 6:6)
...all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him. (2 Nephi 11:4)
3. Play the "all things game."
Since ALL THINGS typify or bear record of Christ we played a game to try it out. The students thought of an object and then described how that object typifies Christ somehow. They came up with items like these:
- hand sanitizer
- garbage can
- door knob
- dry erase board
- glue stick
- fire alarm
- red paper cup
- fire alarm
Have fun with it!
4. Play clips of three parts of a song as an object lesson showing how important the bass line is, but how you have to look for it to hear it.
Play these three short clips in a row: one, two, and three. You can discuss how the bass line gives foundation, richness, depth, power to the piece of music, but we have to look for it because it's not as easy to hear as the melody. Like Christ is the foundation, richness, depth and power to the scriptures, but sometimes we have to look for Him because the stories are easier to see.
Note: I want to give credit to Kenneth Alford for the list of parallels and the "all things game," who shared them with us at BYU Education Week last month.
And just a few memories of setting-up-the-room day.
This year I'm teaching at a small private school, and my new room had bare walls.
I was grateful I had saved some prints and frames in case we finish our basement. They came in handy.
I'll share a couple tips for decorating with gospel pictures on the cheap. Buy a calendar or two at Christmas time and frame the prints. Two of the Christ pictures in front below are from a Joseph Brickey calendar. He's my current favorite gospel artist. The large print of Christ's face in the back was less than $3 at the LDS Distribution Center. I've found inexpensive frames from places like DI, Big Lots, Ross, and Walmart, often with other prints in them that I replace with ones I like.
Of course my beloved Mike came and helped me arrange the room and hang stuff. He's amazing like that. Most of the pictures are about Christ, because that's who we're looking for in the Old Testament, and in our lives.
I quite like the peaceful country view from the school. Aaaahhhh.
Have I mentioned that I L.O.V.E. teaching seminary? And that I'm loving digging into the Old Testament more than ever before?