Guiding Class Discussion

When my husband and I were newlyweds, our bishop invited us to attend a 12-week marriage and family Sunday School course. On the first day, the couple teaching the class made a speech about how “liberal” comments about “adapting roles” would “detract from the Spirit” so such comments were explicitly forbidden. However, class members were more than welcome to make comments that were even more conservative than the text.

Looking back, those torturous twelve weeks of instruction on the glories of 1950s social culture did not harm our marriage. In fact, I would say that our commitment to our own marital style was strengthened by the animated discussions the two of us held with each other every week after we left church. After biting our tongues during a full hour of classroom instruction, we both had plenty to say. For me, however, the repressive classroom commenting policy greatly detracted from the Spirit the teachers said they wanted to cultivate.

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