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Thread: I taught in Church today

  1. #1

    I taught in Church today

    We have a place to share what we learned in church, so we probably need a place to share what we taught or spoke on in church. So here we go...


    I have the opportunity of teaching Elders Quorum every couple of months. I try to mix things up a bit to talk about Church related topics but with a different spin. I have talked about Mormonism in the Media (during the election), and Mormon Doctrine vs. Mormon culture. This week my focus was on a small section of the handbook of instruction:

    "Parents have the primary responsibility for the sex education of their children."

    I also quoted from the Church's A Parent's Guide about child development.

    We have a very diverse group with never married older guys, divorced, recently married, married with young kids, married with teenagers, empty nesters, and young elders getting ready for missions.

    I asked how many received the birds and bees talk when they were teenagers and less than half had. We then discussed why that was and how it can be embarrassing for the kids and parents to discuss it.

    It got a bit heated when I quoted the teen pregnancy rate for Utah and then asked if it is ok to teach kids abstinence, abstinence, abstinence... but just in case here is a condom for your wallet? A couple older guys said no that the prophet has never taught that so we shouldn't either but a couple younger elders thought that it was a good idea to do that as some LDS kids are still having sex despite being taught differently and they need to protect against disease and pregnancy. I had to finally end all the comments because we ran out of time. I ended by stating no matter how you as a parent feel about the subject we should follow the Church's advice and be the ones to teach our children about it.

    I had several people come talk to me afterwards about the subject. One older guy told me that he had to bite his tongue on a couple occasion to keep himself from laughing. He said that he grew up on a farm and his little sister was artificially inseminating cows at age 12 so he found it funny that city kids and their parents were so reluctant to talk about such things.

    Lastly, since we hold our class in the chapel I would suspect that it was the first time that the words p_nis, v_gina, and chl_mydia were uttered there, but then again teenage boys prepare the sacrament so I am probably way off on that one.

  2. #2
    Wondering what teen pregnancy rate you referenced? There was a discussion on UF.N the other day, and Utah teen pregnancy rate is #42 in the nation (meaning one of the lowest).

    BTW, I think you can teach kids about your values and also about safe sex without handing them a condom for the wallet, they aren't notions that have to be mutually exclusive.

    This is how I plan to teach my kids about the subject:

    Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What

  3. #3
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I taught that the news story about the young woman who joined the church after seeing the Book of Mormon musical was awesome.

    (I didn't teach this part, but I also think it's awesome that she is moving to Utah to finish college school at the University of Utah. She is a theater and performing arts major.)
    Last edited by LA Ute; 05-06-2013 at 01:56 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  4. #4
    I taught (yesterday) from President Uchtdorf's "Four Titles" talk. It was my unashamed appeal for better home teaching.

    I figure if anything can move the needle, it is the popular German pilot (and Ute Football fan).
    Desse jeito, não tem jeito.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    ...asked if it is ok to teach kids abstinence, abstinence, abstinence... but just in case here is a condom for your wallet?....

    We've taught abstinence as well, and my oldest daughter heads off to college next fall. I've invited her to get birth control if she'd like. In my mind there's no sense in compounding poor judgment at the moment, with a child that she won't be able to support. When the boy heads off to college I'll be sure he has access to a condom or three.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Wondering what teen pregnancy rate you referenced? There was a discussion on UF.N the other day, and Utah teen pregnancy rate is #42 in the nation (meaning one of the lowest).

    BTW, I think you can teach kids about your values and also about safe sex without handing them a condom for the wallet, they aren't notions that have to be mutually exclusive.

    This is how I plan to teach my kids about the subject:

    Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What
    I used the numbers from the Federal Health and Human Services site here. It is for 2010 and has Utah at 37 out of 51 states and D.C. This shows total teen pregnacies but of those only 76% were out of wedlock (who know how many were shotgun weddings). So a strict unwed teen pregnancy rate would make Utah look much better.

    I agree that there are many difference ways to teach teenagers about age appropriate intimacy and the potential consquences that can follow. I didn't advocate one way or the other. My goal was to simply get our quorum thinking and talking about an important subject that many find taboo.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    I used the numbers from the Federal Health and Human Services site here. It is for 2010 and has Utah at 37 out of 51 states and D.C. This shows total teen pregnacies but of those only 76% were out of wedlock (who know how many were shotgun weddings). So a strict unwed teen pregnancy rate would make Utah look much better.

    I agree that there are many difference ways to teach teenagers about age appropriate intimacy and the potential consquences that can follow. I didn't advocate one way or the other. My goal was to simply get our quorum thinking and talking about an important subject that many find taboo.
    I got that sense from you about wanting to spark conversation, I was just adding my 2 cents. One day I'll share the 'maturation' talk I had with my dad, it was equally uncomfortable for both of us, and now a cherished memory, ironically. He probably has no idea that I've chuckled about it these years later, maybe he has too. I can't wait to scar my children in similar fashion.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    I've always been under the impression that a good percentage (20%) of married LDS adults have never used birth control (maybe I'm wrong in that assumption). To that orthodox group, a single LDS Teen or Adult carrying a condom would clearly be controversial. You are braver than I am, I don't think our EQ could handle that topic. Minds would be blown.

    On the other hand, we all know LDS teens and adults who've had children out of wedlock. While heart-breaking and tragic in the short term, in many of those cases, those new fathers and mothers excel in life and the gospel long term. Things have a way of working out and it almost seems like it was part of their individual plan, and a poor choice ends up being a life-long beneficial turning point.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Just a guess/feeling, but I would think that 20% is an order of magnitude high.
    fair enough, it was just a guess.

    speaking of what I taught in church, we are discussing prophets and revelation in Sunday School, I mentioned the Holy of Holies in the Salt Lake Temple and none of my 14 year old class had ever heard of that room before? I was surprised these are bright kids that know the gospel pretty well. It seems like there a number of gospel subjects that were referred to 25 years ago that we don't reference any longer. Holy of Holies, and calling and election made sure are just a couple of those?

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorcho View Post
    fair enough, it was just a guess.

    speaking of what I taught in church, we are discussing prophets and revelation in Sunday School, I mentioned the Holy of Holies in the Salt Lake Temple and none of my 14 year old class had ever heard of that room before? I was surprised these are bright kids that know the gospel pretty well. It seems like there a number of gospel subjects that were referred to 25 years ago that we don't reference any longer. Holy of Holies, and calling and election made sure are just a couple of those?
    I think the holy of holies is just a little obscure. In any copy of the book The House of the Lord you'll see photographs of it. I haven't heard anyone mention having one's calling and election made sure for many years. One of my mission companions who had spent a year at BYU pre-mission told me that it was a hot topic there in 1974. The concept has always rubbed me the wrong way.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    My wife and I have been assigned to talk on Easter Sunday, with a topic of "Easter". I'm putting together a lot of thoughts for both of us to use, and I think it will be fairly easy and fun.

    I was fiddling with the concept of embedding some "easter eggs" in my talk. Things that I can say that would be inside jokes that few if any would get, that I can smile at internally while saying them. As a poor example, when I was speaking before leaving for my mission (many, many years ago), a friend challenged me to incorporate lyrics from a Beatles song. I wasn't very clever about it, I just said after one point "Obladi, Oblada, life goes on".

    Any thoughts or challenges of things to say? I'm not looking to be a total goof off. The talk will be centered on Christ and will have serious parts as well. But the talks I enjoy most usually have some lightheartedness to them. I'm trying to think of pop culture references, lines from a movie, unusually words or phrases, etc. that you normally wouldn't expect to hear in a talk.
    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    Any thoughts or challenges of things to say? I'm not looking to be a total goof off. The talk will be centered on Christ and will have serious parts as well. But the talks I enjoy most usually have some lightheartedness to them. I'm trying to think of pop culture references, lines from a movie, unusually words or phrases, etc. that you normally wouldn't expect to hear in a talk.
    I would start of the talk with "all right, all right, all right."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I have nothing for you, but I have put a Bob Dylan lyric into every one of my sacrament meeting talks over the past 10 years.
    Speaking of Dylan: "It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be..."

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I think the holy of holies is just a little obscure. In any copy of the book The House of the Lord you'll see photographs of it. I haven't heard anyone mention having one's calling and election made sure for many years. One of my mission companions who had spent a year at BYU pre-mission told me that it was a hot topic there in 1974. The concept has always rubbed me the wrong way.
    "Those who know, don't speak. Those who speak, don't know." Looks like LA isn't one of the chosen few yet.

  15. #15
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    "Those who know, don't speak. Those who speak, don't know." Looks like LA isn't one of the chosen few yet.
    I will confirm that without reservation.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    My wife and I have been assigned to talk on Easter Sunday, with a topic of "Easter". I'm putting together a lot of thoughts for both of us to use, and I think it will be fairly easy and fun.

    I was fiddling with the concept of embedding some "easter eggs" in my talk. Things that I can say that would be inside jokes that few if any would get, that I can smile at internally while saying them. As a poor example, when I was speaking before leaving for my mission (many, many years ago), a friend challenged me to incorporate lyrics from a Beatles song. I wasn't very clever about it, I just said after one point "Obladi, Oblada, life goes on".

    Any thoughts or challenges of things to say? I'm not looking to be a total goof off. The talk will be centered on Christ and will have serious parts as well. But the talks I enjoy most usually have some lightheartedness to them. I'm trying to think of pop culture references, lines from a movie, unusually words or phrases, etc. that you normally wouldn't expect to hear in a talk.
    I'll give you my latest joke when I last spoke. I said, "Sitting up on the stand and looking out at so many people I know well, it reminds me that in my Patriarchal blessing it mentions that I had a part in planning my life on earth, particularly the people with whom I would associate. I have to say of all the parts of my blessing, that part has always been a particularly discouraging revelation."

    Half will laugh and the other half will be offended.

  17. #17
    In two weeks I'll be teaching my monthly EQ lesson and the talk that is up is President Eyring's talk: To My Grandchildren. All things considered, I'm pretty excited about getting to teach on this talk because it is about Happiness...and that is exactly what I'm going to focus on...what is it that makes people happy (or unhappy).

    My plan for right now is to bring in a number of things that make me happy, and then ask others in the room what things make them happy. Included in this discussion will be what makes for a happy marriage, but moreover, a happy existence, given all the troubles and pressures that we are surrounded by daily. I'm going to find a bunch of quotes from outside sources on the subject of happiness, and finally, I'm going to make copies of Pharell's song "Happy" and hand them out to everyone in EQ.

    What other ideas do you guys have?

    I'm a big tent guy, and I take a very practical approach to how I practice my religion...and most importantly, I want to keep things light and stress free in my class so everyone feels comfortable to comment and participate...and mostly feel like I'm not wasting their collective time.
    Last edited by DrumNFeather; 04-15-2014 at 10:15 AM.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by DrumNFeather View Post
    In two weeks I'll be teaching my monthly EQ lesson and the talk that is up is President Eyring's talk: To My Grandchildren.
    I haven't heard the talk but I like what you have presented so far. It sounds like it would be a great lesson with lots of participation. Let us know how it goes. Also there is a documentary on Netflix called "Happy" about what makes people happy around the world. You could show a clip in class or watch it for yourself for some additional material.
    Last edited by Sullyute; 04-15-2014 at 10:39 AM.

  19. #19
    I'm up to bat again in two weeks. The stake made an error and has posted the same talk has this month's lesson, so the EQP told me I can choose whatever talk I want. Given the state of so many people that I interact with both on these sites and in my ward, the natural choice for me is President Utchdorf's "Come Join with Us" talk from last October. I am really working hard with some of my friends who are struggling to help them know that there is room for them within the walls of the church so long as I am teaching.

    Any other talk suggestions I should look at?
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DrumNFeather View Post
    Any other talk suggestions I should look at?
    The original version of Ronald Poelman's talk at Conference in the Oct 1984 is perhaps the single finest talk ever given by an LDS General Authority. In the talk he discussed the difference between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church ("ofJesusChrist....ofLatter-daySaints").

    The talk was so good at pointing out the stark distinctions between Gospel and Church that other, higher-ranking GAs forced him to re-record the talk and they published only the revised text in the Ensign.

    A good breakdown of the changes is found here:

    http://lds-mormon.com/poelman.shtml

    The revised version conflates the "distinctions between" the two, into a "relationship between" and pushes the idea that we always need the Church and cannot grow beyond it, as implied in the original talk.

  21. #21
    Elder Faust's talk on forgiveness is fantastic. He gave it a year or so before he died.

  22. #22
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I taught our high priests group yesterday. It was Chapter 8 in the Joseph Fielding Smith book, The Church and Kingdom of God. Suffice it to say that very few people posting in this thread so far would have enjoyed the lesson. But it was a fun discussion from a believer's point of view. (Hint: the Poelman talk didn't come up.)

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I taught our high priests group yesterday. It was Chapter 8 in the Joseph Fielding Smith book, The Church and Kingdom of God. Suffice it to say that very few people posting in this thread so far would have enjoyed the lesson. But it was a fun discussion from a believer's point of view. (Hint: the Poelman talk didn't come up.)
    Taught that one in EQ last week....and also thought a lot about some of the discussion on this thread/board in my preparation.

  24. #24
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBlender View Post
    Taught that one in EQ last week....and also thought a lot about some of the discussion on this thread/board in my preparation.
    I did too. I may seem to be making light of the concerns expressed here -- I'm not. It's just that a lesson about that subject, taught to a room full of believers by a believe, is a different type of discussion than we tend to have here.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  25. #25
    So, in two weeks I'm teaching on the most recent conference talk on Joseph Smith. I'm trying to decide what kind of approach I want to take to this lesson in general. I try to keep my lessons light on the fluff and try to be very real and realistic about the subject matter. For this particular topic, I'll be channeling Bushman quite a bit, but I also want to give people an idea of the world and circumstances that he was born into and lived in. My plan for this is to dive a little into the circumstances.

    The question then becomes about Joseph and what should be covered there and how much is too much to share/discuss in a church setting where some might not know some of the more controversial information regarding him.

    I'd love to hear some feedback/suggestions on the best approach here.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm not sure why anything controversial needs to be included in a church lesson. Is it to challenge members of the class? Stir up discussion? To appear well read? Prepare people for attacks that they might hear?

    With Joseph Smith, there's so much good stuff to talk about and only 30 minutes. I'd make sure there's a really good reason before brining in anything extraneous. If you start with what you want the class to get out of the lesson, it will be easier to decide what is in and what is out.
    Yeah, I think that is a fair point, and one that I agree with. Sometimes I get in the habit (not for apperances) to just throw comments out there off-hand that aren't intended to be inflamatory, but end up being that way. I really don't like to troll my ward, because fundamentally I disagree with that approach in a church setting.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  27. #27
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm not sure why anything controversial needs to be included in a church lesson. Is it to challenge members of the class? Stir up discussion? To appear well read? Prepare people for attacks that they might hear?

    With Joseph Smith, there's so much good stuff to talk about and only 30 minutes. I'd make sure there's a really good reason before brining in anything extraneous. If you start with what you want the class to get out of the lesson, it will be easier to decide what is in and what is out.
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Yes.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #28
    Yesterday I prepared a lesson for our HP group. As it turns out, I taught a combined EQ and HPG. I started the lesson by showing "Come Unto Me" in its entirety by President Eyring from May 2013. I passed out paper and pencils for everyone to take notes on how we can draw closer to the Savior. We then shared some of our thoughts in the 20 minutes that remained.

    The two overarching themes in the talk are obedience and service. I was thanked afterward like never before, yet it took less preparation than any lesson I can ever remember giving.

    Desse jeito, não tem jeito.

  29. #29
    I'm four pages into my lesson on Joseph Smith in my notes and I finally am quoting the talk. Lots of background info and context for this one. Interestingly enough, this is the week that all of our graduating Seniors are joining the EQ, so that will add a new dynamic (not that I expect them to show, maybe one).
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  30. #30
    I'm up to bat again this week, and teaching on President Uchtdorf's talk: "Are You Sleeping Through the Restoration?"

    I've been trying to come up with some examples of counsel or what have you that have been given in talks recently in GC such as "Get out of Debt," "Beware of Pride," President Monson's Anger talk from a few years back.

    Do any other examples spring to mind?
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

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