With Doctrine & Covenants 5 and 17 we learn about the Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses. This glue-in is a great time to take a closer look at who these people were. Many critics have pointed out that of the 11 witnesses, 6 of them fell away for at least some time from the church including all of the Three Witnesses. But to me, this makes their witness all the more strong. Although when away from the Church, it would have been a perfect opportunity to deny everything, every single one of them never denied their testimony of what they saw. What an incredible witness.
Have your class imagine that they lived in Joseph Smith’s time and they had the opportunity to ask the Prophet, “What would the Lord have me do?” Have that question written on the board and refer to it. Ask your class if they imagine that some elements of their personal revelation would have similarities to others’ who asked the Prophet the same question. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that “in the early days of the Church the brethren came to the Prophet Joseph Smith asking what the Lord would have them do.” (D&C 6:6; 11:6; 12:6.)
Many have noticed that the first verses of Sections 6, 11, 12 and 14 are almost identical. This side by side comparison highlights the similarities and differences. Notice that the Lord’s will is very similar to them, and likewise to all of us. Have your class go through the verses and look for things the Lord wanted these four brethren to do, and the Lord would also have us do. The last verses of the sections are all different.
Your class can do the same with Sections 15 and 16 which are essentially identical to each other, but “The message is intimately and impressively personal” (see Section 15 heading).
After you have taught Joseph Smith – History, you can use this fun game to help review it. To play, put together groups of 3-5 students. Each group needs Instructions (page 6 of the PDF), a game board (page 7), the Card Placer (page 8), and Cut up set of cards (pages 1-5). The Instruction page on the PDF will explain how the BLOCKBUSTER game is played
If you don’t have time for the whole game, perhaps just read the questions to the class and see if they can get the right answer and identify which verse. This was shared with my by Eric Richards. Thanks Eric!
I wanted to pass along some great work that someone passed along to me. Nathan Richardson, of www.nathanrichardson.com made a wonderful graphical timeline similar to the timeline on the S&I bookmarks for the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament. For me, my mind can comprehend ideas better when they are in a format like this. It could be a great handout for your class now, or especially when you get into the sections around D&C 57. Click on the image to go there on Nathan’s webpage.
Also he has made a wonderful handout called, “Section Titles and Divisions in the Doctrine and Covenants”. This shows the grouping of the sections (similar to the pages just before Section 1 in your scriptures). When a student needs to do make up work, I would give them the handout and have them write in the section titles at the top of each section, in their own Doctrine and Covenants. Click on the image to go there on his website. Also there are many other neat things on his website.
As I have talked about in past posts, to learn the Scripture Masteries, it is best to spotlight one scripture a week. BUT you can’t very well scripture chase with only one scripture you have learned. Well the document here (front and back) has all the mnemonics for the D&C. On a “Flexible day” in the Pacing Guide, you may want to go over the first 6 mnemonics and have your students mark them in their scriptures. Once you have gone over 6 mnemonics, have students quiz each other by one saying the key words (at the top of each mnemonic) and the other say the reference. If they can’t say the reference, have the other student give hints from the mnemonic. After a month, do this again with another 6 mnemonics.
Click on the link below instead of the picture.
The 3rd lesson in the D&C teaching manual is about the Great Apostasy. This glue-in (click on the image) is three of my favorite quotes that support the obvious need there was in the world for a Restoration of the Gospel. The quotes are from three very notable individuals: Martin Luther, Roger Williams, and Thomas Jefferson.
I have also changed the Weekly Attendance Word document. Once you have your class list, simply open the Word document and type in your students’ names. Then each week print a new one off. Teachers usually just put this sheet by the door and student’s write the time they arrived in the one spot, and if they read (including the weekends) in the other spot. That way, at the end of the week you can easily enter your attendance in WISE. It also helps you to be encouraging students. The sheet also keeps track of how students are doing with daily scripture study.
It is so important to start the year off right. Most weeks I only post one thing so as not to overload. But since school is starting soon for many of you, here are 6 things to start the year off right. At the link here (click on the picture) you will find items I have posted previously to help teachers with the beginning of the year. I think you will find these very useful. I now have a place for all these items on my website; under the “Seminary Resources” is a drop down for “Start of the Year Stuff” and “Scripture Study Skills”
There you will find:
1. Creating the Ideal Seminary Class: The first day of class, I like to have a lesson that gets them excited for studying that book of scripture that year AND how we can have the Ideal Seminary class this year. This also has three important graphics like “The One Rule”.
2. Weekly Attendance / Reading Sheet: This is a Word document where you can put your students names down and as they come into class, they mark their own reading and time they arrived to keep track of things for you.
3. On The Spot: This is an example of a devotional chart you can use and explains “On The Spot” which has a student, at the end of class each day, share the main message they got from class that day.
4. Seminary Class Presidencies: This is how to set them up and train them with this outline of responsibilities.
5. FEAST for Great Scriptural Thoughts: This trains your class how to give great scriptural thoughts and a handout as you train them.
6. Seminary Spotlights: This is something my classes have loved to do every Friday.
Naturally, there is a good explanation on all of these things on the website. Just click on the image to go there on the website.
If the two images here do not work, click on the links at the bottom. I have also added this link on the website to the last blog post if that did not open the PDF for you.
As Seminary teachers, we know scripture mastery is important, and we should do a little scripture mastery every day. But most teachers are overwhelmed with the thought of trying to figure out something small to do each day with Scripture Mastery.
The following is a solution that is designed to save you any stress, and it gives you what you can do each day for a few minutes. It centers on spotlighting a scripture mastery passage each week. With the few minutes you spend they will 1. Memorize the passage, 2. Learn the references from the key words, 3. Will understand why the scripture passage is important, and 4. Be able to apply it in their lives and use it in the future.
Click on the pictures above to see the 2 options for you. You can print this off as individual strips so that you hand your students a new strip each week, or you can print it as a packet that is 4 pages and they get that out of their folders each day. You can also follow that pattern but have things written on the board rather than use the handout at all. Either way will work. At the top of the handout is the brief description of what to do each day. I will explain it here in a bit more detail:
DAY 1: Recite the scripture together as a class. They can look at the handout, or some teachers order bigger posters if they have the budget for it. See http://www.carrprinting.com/page.php?id=66 . Then I ask my class, “What is so special about this scripture that they decided to make it a scripture mastery?” Then we also go over the back of the Scripture Mastery Card for that passage and discuss the Context, Doctrine or Principle, and Application. About 5 minutes.
Day 2: Recite the passage again like the day before and then learn the mnemonic cartoon. You can refer them to the handout or print out that particular mnemonic you are spotlighting that week, and have it up front. To teach mnemonics properly, see the instructions on the first page of the mnemonics which I posted just before this blog posting. Then I like to do a simple scripture chase activity with that passage and any we have learned previously. Simple say the key words and then say, “Chase!” and they have to remember the reference, and find it in their scriptures. Don’t let the class tell each other the reference, but rather, give clues based on the mnemonic.
Day 3: Recite the passage again and then have them see if they can recite it using the fill-in-the blanks on the worksheet. Also ask the class to try to figure out as many doctrines and principles they can from the passage. Ask them what kind of situations could come up where knowing that scripture could help.
Day 4: Recite the passage together again and then ask them to recite it using the first letters of each word like on the worksheet. Then come up with a role play situation where that scripture would be useful and have them act it out and share that scripture with the other person. Great practice for a mission.
Day 5: Recite the passage all together again and then give them a few minutes to pass it off to you or a classmate. I like to have an Incentive chart where they put a sticker down when they have passed off the particular scripture. Some stakes have the standard of only two hints on the harder scriptures when passing it off. They also say you can use the first letter of each word to pass off the 5 longest scripture mastery passages.
You may have noticed that the handout that has it as strips to pass out has the order from shortest to longest scripture masteries. This is to help those who say, “I just can’t memorize” build up their confidence by spotlighting and passing off the shorter ones first. The order you spotlight scripture masteries does not matter.
If the link on the picture here does not work, click on the link at the very bottom.
They're Done! Here are the mnemonics for the D&C / Church History. There are quite a few changes from years past including the new scripture masteries changes this year. If you are new to these, they are a great way to help your students learn the references from the key words. I hope you like them. The first page gives some instructions on how to use them effectively. Please read those first.
Many teachers spotlight one scripture mastery a week so some teachers will print up that particular mnemonic on an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper and place it on the board for the week. Other decorate with these.
In the next week, you will also get the handout that help you give the students something to do with scripture mastery each week as you help your class learn to find the references, memorize, and learn why each of these scripture masteries are so significant. Please read the instructions and let me know if you have any questions. Also, let me know if there are things that need correcting.
Here are some helps for teaching Moroni 4, Moroni 6, and Moroni 10. Just click on the hyperlinked text below, to get the particular item you want.
For Moroni 4 I like to start out by asking them what verse of scripture they have probably heard more than any other in their life time. After some responses, hint towards one they hear weekly, said word for word… till they come up with the sacrament prayer. Then have them calculate how much a person, born in the church, may have heard it. Then say that since they have heard it so often, they probably really know it and hand out the fill in the blank for the prayer. To me, the main goal is that they walk out of class knowing what the 3 promises they commit to, by taking the sacrament bread, and they commit to themselves to think of those three promises each time they take the sacrament.
For Moroni 6, this anonymous survey is just to help them consider where their heart is with these areas that qualify them for Baptism. Although the outward baptism happened perhaps long ago, the inward aspect is something we should often recommit ourselves to.
For Moroni 10, this is a nice way to go over Moroni 10:3-5 and also sharing some favorites, as they look back on having studied the Book of Mormon this year. Have them share their favorites.