I love to teach the gospel. It is the joy of my life. But most people don’t love to teach the gospel, and for many, it is the dread of their life. One of the greatest apprehensions people have about gospel teaching is the fear that their questions will go unresponded to.
But with these eight tips, there's no need to fear. As a seminary teacher, these are my go-to methods that work for me. My experience is in teaching youth and adults, but most of the techniques can be adapted to teach primary classes and will work in more structured settings like Institute and seminary or in regular Sunday meetings.
As a disclaimer, I make no claim to be a superior teacher or to have mastered the techniques I am about to list. I still have plenty of questions that “flop,” but the “floppers” flop because they were lazily written. I know that when I work hard to write effective questions, the harvest is great. And writing good questions is the most challenging and most time-consuming part of lesson preparation for many a teacher.
Remember family camping trips? Whether the memories are good or bad, recent or faded, learn some tricks and go back to basics in time to make this year’s camping season the best ever.
It's a cool summer night. A dark expanse of lake laps quietly at the edge of your campsite. You huddle in a sweatshirt and stretch your dirt-smeared calves toward the campfire's warmth. Firelight flickers across your loved ones' faces. Suddenly your soft conversation bursts into laughter, like a shower of sparks that dissipates into the starry sky above.
Gradually your group stumbles off to their tents. You are the last to turn in. Before you bank the fire, you close your eyes, inhale the rich scent of trees and camp smoke, and wonder why you don't do this more often.
Camping Out Is In
If you've been camping recently, you may have noticed that you weren't the only one doing it. According to a recent Adventure Travel Report, camping is the number one outdoor vacation activity in the United States.
It’s a weakness for nearly all of us. Birthdays, family reunions, weddings—almost any occasion can justify sugary indulgence. But you’ll be surprised to find out simple ways you can cut back on sugar.
Sugar easily draws our attention and our taste buds. At family get-togethers, sugar is as common as the relatives who are in attendance. And holidays? You might as well be celebrating sugar as opposed to pilgrims or freedom.
So how do you avoid a sugar monopoly without becoming extreme? Here are some healthy alternatives, with advice from nutritionist Rickelle Richards, to help you decrease the amount of sugar in your children's diet (and your own) without completely avoiding one of life's joys.
Make baked goods smaller. Let's face it - avoiding sugar altogether is nearly impossible, but you can easily lessen the blow. When making your famous brownies or chocolate chip cookies, bring the size down. The flavor, the richness, and the hint of sugar will still remain, just in a smaller quantity. This way when your kids ask for more cookies, you don't have to be the bad guy because you are trying to lessen their sugar intake. Everyone is happy.
Buy natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter may be a little more expensive, but you'll find that you are paying for health instead of sugar. It does not contain the hydrogenated oils that are found in most peanut butters, and although you have to mix in the natural oils on top, it's healthier and doesn't contain the sugars and starches found in more processed versions. Natural peanut butter still comes in extra crunchy, crunchy, and creamy, so you can satisfy everyone's tastes.
Doing as the pioneers did—walking for miles, eating little, sacrificing worldly comforts (and cell phones)—may be a daunting task, but it can come with great rewards as you draw closer to your pioneer predecessors and the Lord. Follow these guidelines to make the experience as positive as possible.
Pioneer treks are a common summer activity for Church members around the world, allowing them to experience, if even partially, the challenges the earliest pioneers faced in searching for religious freedom in the 1800s. Opportunities abound to learn how suffering and sacrifice brings one close to the Savior. Walking in the pioneers’ footsteps, participants can feel empathy for those who heeded the call to gather to Zion.
“It’s important to remember the pioneers and what they did, because without them, we wouldn’t have the Church like it is today,” says 15-year-old Jenna Rasmussen, who embarked on a pioneer trek with her stake in June 2012. “Being able to see the struggles that they went through and sacrifices that they made for the Church shows you that we shouldn’t take it for granted. That was a big part of the lesson for me: you have to appreciate what we have.”
Here are some great ideas of Sunday activities that bring the family together and keep the Spirit of Sunday alive the whole day. We’ve been told to keep the Sabbath day holy, but with a spirited eight-year-old, a flighty Valiant eleven-year-old, and a misunderstood teen, teaching them to choose the right may appear to be more of a cross to bear than a duty to do with a heart full of song. So what can you do to truly make Sunday a special day, other than trimming your nails on Saturday? Here are some ideas.
1. Reserve the day. The Sabbath is supposed to be for the benefit of man. Think of it as a weekly holiday from the world, the day that you don’t have to do your housework. If your kids are in school, help them get their homework done on Saturday. Likewise, if you work, save your job for the weekdays, unless necessity demands otherwise. Keep worldly things for the worldly days and sacred things for this sacred day.
2. Discussion time. Always ask your children what they learned in church. Ask them to relate the lesson they were taught, then find out if they have any questions. Maybe even ask them questions to show your own interest and to get them thinking. Sunday is a day of learning, so give your children a setting in which to learn.
3. The Sunday box. Make a special box and fill it with treats and Sabbath day activities (like acting out scenes from the scriptures, or watching an uplifting movie), then hide it during the week. Especially for younger children, the anticipation for the mysterious delights of the Sunday box, only seen once a week, should help them recognize how unique the seventh day is and how certain things are set aside specifically for it.