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Administrating Teachings for Our Times

I like the idea of Teachings for Our Times. In an education system that encourages correlation, the program allows local leaders to make decisions based on the needs of students. This year, I was delighted to find that our stake did not choose the talks for these monthly lessons and passed that responsibility to the wards. I was asked by the bishop to come up with the TFOT lessons for the fist six months of the year, and I went through a process to make that happen. Based on my experience, here are some ideas related to the administration of Teaching for Our Times:

1. Make the decision as local as possible.

The point of the program, as it seems to me, is to allow local leaders to choose, through inspiration and/or discernment, from the 30+ talks from general Conference based on the needs of the people receiving the lessons. It makes sense for those closest to the students to make that decision and/or receive that inspiration. As a rule, the chance for inspired decision-making should be passed as far down the line as possible, especially in terms of administration rather than doctrine. From the guidelines for Teachings for Our Times: ‘Stake and district presidents may choose which talks should be used, or they may assign this responsibility to bishops and branch presidents.’ I would encourage passing the responsibility along unless spiritual discernment suggests otherwise.

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