Fifty years ago today President Thomas S. Monson became an apostle, and ever since, Church members have benefited from his warm spirit and especially his great conference addresses. These talks are much-beloved for their tenderness, but also for the amazing gospel-centered stories. To help make your next talk a little more engaging like President Monson's, follow these five simple tips.
Have you ever sat in a sacrament meeting where the speaker quoted scripture after scripture, and you couldn’t quite follow? Or have you listened to a talk where the speaker related a lengthy narrative, and you couldn’t figure out why? How many times have you been asked to give a talk, and then struggled with trying to keep from putting the congregation to sleep?
On the other hand, have you noticed how your children seem to all be snoozing off while watching general conference, until President Monson begins to tell a story? And then, suddenly, everyone perks up and pays attention?
Stories have a way to captivate people that other teaching methods don’t, and they can teach those principles more effectively, too. Stories provide concrete context for abstract concepts like faith and integrity. They directly show how correctly-applied gospel principles can bring specific blessings. As an added bonus, stories are also interesting and easy to remember—who can forget from the most recent conference, President Monson’s story about accidentally setting a field on fire a Vivian Park, and its moral about the importance of obedience?
Indeed, President Monson has mastered the art of storytelling. Ever since he was inducted into the Quorum of the Twelve 50 years ago, he has been charming congregations by the millions with touching and true stories that illustrate the gospel principles he teaches. Inspired by President Monson’s engaging and unique narrative style, and in celebration of his 50 years as an apostle, here are five steps to help you more masterfully use storytelling in your next talk.
What to Do When You’ve Already Pinched the Penny: 20 Helpful Hints for Raising a Family in Our Economy
It seems everyone is trying their best to save and be resourceful in this tough economy. But what do you do if you’ve already revamped your budget, calculated your expenses fourteen different ways, and clipped coupons, and you’re still a bit short on funds?
Check out this hilarious video of a family that went to extremes--watering down milk, making fake offbrand clothes ("Hoolister," anyone?), bathing with their clothes to clean both at the same time and save on the water bill, etc.--all in the name of saving some money so they could get some nice family photos.
How can we teach reverence to very young children (nursery to Sunbeam age) while still being sensitive to their need for interaction? Here are a few ideas for keeping the peace at church . . . well, as much as you possibly can with the little ones.
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.