David and Bathsheba

Couldn’t sleep last night. I’m not sure if it was because I was anxious about this lesson (which I was) or the fact that my husband sleeps at about 2000 Fahrenheit, but either way, it was rough.

I got up and went downstairs to do my lesson prep before the students got to class. I had already picked out the song (Choose the Right) beforehand, so that was easy. And I knew I really wanted to focus in on the choices that were made that could have been reversed. You know I try to prepare my lessons a week ahead if I can, and so I hadn’t looked at this lesson in several days. I was wishing I had looked a little better since it turned out that the lesson was much better than I thought by glancing at the 12 lines of notes I had written.

Before class began I wrote the chart from the student study guide about “What David Did” and “What David Should Have Done”. This chart had some flaws, btw. Don’t rely on the scripture references very closely if you use this chart. You’ll definitely want to read more verses than just 6-8, 14-17. We ended up reading the entire chapter pretty much.

Beforehand I had also highlighted the story from President Hinckley about the train that went off track in my online Gospel Study Notebook at LDS.org. This worked really well. This morning I just logged in to the website, clicked on the study notebook, and then clicked the tag I had used to mark the post. Easy and awesome. I was able to blow up the text (CONTROL +) so they could see better and everyone was able to read along with the kid who read the story aloud.

We sang our song, and I plunged right in to the story. Now, I got ahead of myself. I should have started with the GBH train story. I realized this about 5 minutes in, but by then it was too late. So when you do it, start with the train story.

The discussion went much better than I hoped. It makes such a difference to have the kids read the material.

We did have one weird moment when there was some confusion about who bears the responsibility during wartime for killings. The boys were jumping on a girl and it was a little hairy for a minute or two. I hope that I was able to smooth that one over.

Some discussion ensued about what were the “Top Three” sins. I’m not sure where they had heard of this before, but I did my best to explain what it meant. You know — unpardonable, unforgivable — adultery, murder, and sin against the Holy Ghost.

Someone even brought up suicide. I was just about to run to my bookcase for Mormon Doctrine, but luckily one of the students knew that you have to be in control of your actions and that God is the judge of those things. During that discussion the students asked about Saul committing suicide at the end of 1 Samuel. I had to go with I’ll let God judge him. One of the students quoted the part earlier in that lesson from David about letting God judge between thee and me.

And when the *boys* asked what the “purified from her uncleanness” meant, I told them. I tried to give them an out, but they insisted. Hehe. I bet they don’t press me again! :)

So we had some random topics brought up for sure, but I think that overall it wasn’t too awkward. I’m pleased when they ask questions, though. I’m so often surprised at the depth of question these kids are capable of asking. These teenagers are asking questions that I’ve heard in Gospel Doctrine classes by far older adults. Again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after nearly 6 months now, but I always am.

Anyway, the discussion went pretty well, considering. We read D&C 132:38-39 (I hate to say it, but if you can have a least favorite section, this one is it for me — so much of it makes no sense or is so obscure as to be ridiculous. My reading leaves an opening for multiple husbands for women, just not at the same time. Seriously. So I try to avoid that one as much as I can.). I was going to have the kids read Psalms 51, but we didn’t get to it. I will start there tomorrow so as to put an emphasis on forgiveness and the atonement.

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As I’ve said before, I always struggle a little with the story of David. He’s one of the Bible characters that we get pretty good characterization of, and I just hate the whole Bathsheba/Uriah thing. My hope is that my understanding of the Atonement that “after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation” (D&C 138:59). While David may not be able to receive the highest glory, I believe he did repent and was forgiven — certainly he believed it — and if so, his sins were blotted out, and he can receive glory according to his works through the Atoning blood of Jesus Christ. His wives were given to another, but he is always referred to as the father of Jesus Christ through Solomon, and I have to believe that he will be redeemed after having paid the penalty for his sins, as we will be.