Even though your sins be as red as the filling in this jelly donut….

Yesterday I backtracked and did 2 Samuel 7 and 9. I had accidentally swapped Bathsheba/David/Uriah thing with today’s reading when I spoke with the class about the reading, and so I went back to do this section of scripture. It turned out to be a really good lesson. In fact, it seemed to go so well I might do it this way again if I ever teach this material again.

To start out I explained the class something I had learned about the purification ritual that Bathsheba was performing when David saw her on the roof. Students were asking why she was on the roof — was she trying to get David’s attention? I was actually reading something else about Judaism online, but I ended up finding a reference to the mikveh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikveh), which is the name of the ritual waters used for these type of rituals. The water has to be “living”, or moving, like a river or ocean or **collected rainwater**. It’s probable that Bathsheba had a cistern or tub on her roof to collect rainwater for her monthly required purification. Probably most all the women in Israel did. Even if that’s not why she was bathing on the roof, we know at least that she was obeying the law by being up there. It doesn’t seem she was on her roof with the intent to seduce David.

At any rate, we moved on to the regular lesson and talked about some of the personality traits they had noticed about King David. I had made a short list of things we could name, but they pretty much got them all themselves. We talked about his positive characteristics mainly, but didn’t pretend that he didn’t commit errors, too. I had decided earlier I wanted to be sure to talk to the kids about David’s repentance and how when he was called out for his sins, he turned to the Lord instead of becoming bitter.

Next we read all of Psalm 51 aloud. The kids really liked it — frankly, this surprised me, but I was glad — several marked different passages as we read. This bodes well for our study of these sections later. I also had them read a few verses later on in Psalms including Psalm 56:11-13 and Psalm 57:7. We talked about how David’s heart is being healed and he commits to fix his heart on the Lord’s will and to be obedient. We then turned to D&C 138:59 and read that scripture. After we repent fully for our sins, they are forgiven, and we become heirs of salvation (it says salvation not exaltation, btw, but I didn’t get into that in class). I decided kind of on the fly to read Isaiah 1:18 to emphasize the scripture mastery and personalize the message from David down to ourselves. I was just wrapping up — it was going beautifully — when my husband walked in with a giant bag of donuts from Dunkin Donuts. Needless to say, everyone was a mite distracted.

So I reemphasized the scripture and (partly because I was annoyed) said something like, “I know these things are true, and I know that Brother Smith knows they are true, too.” Jared walked up to the front of the class and said, “Yes, I do know this is true. Even though your sins are as red as the filling inside this jelly donut, they can become as white as the powdered sugar on top of it.” It was pretty memorable and I posted a picture of jelly donut on Facebook with Jared’s quote that got a lot of laughs from other folks, too.

1 Kings 1, 3

Today I briefly summarized the last bit of 2 Samuel with the intent of showing that David’s family was causing all sorts of problems in fulfillment of the prophecy/curse from Nathan after the Bathsheba /Uriah debacle. We summarized what was happening in 1 Kings with David and the young girl and how Adonijah tried to take over the kingdom but was outsmarted.

We then read 1 Kings 3 verse 3-15 aloud using Deliah/Samson/Grenalda Junior (our silicone worm-thing’s new name). Talked for a few minutes about verses 9 and 14. Then I told the kids we were going to try something new that I heard about at our Seminary leadership training: The Seminary Kung fu Theater. [groans] I explained how it works:

Basically, a student narrates the scripture, while other students act out the parts. The narrator does voices and such while the others do their best to lip sync the words. What happens is the students lips move out of time with the narration, so it looks like a badly dubbed kung fu movie. I had a couple of props (a baby doll, a stuffed fox — the dead baby, a wig for the narrator, and a hat for King Solomon)

The narrator read verses 16-28 aloud while the students acted. It was pretty funny. The kids liked it well enough that they came up and did it a second time. This is definitely one we will do again. It’s good because unlike when I’ve had the kids prepare a script for a movie, this requires no preparation at all.

One student suggested that we do a Survivor improv they do in drama. Basically you start out with your characters, but during the story one is “voted off” the island. Now the remaining characters have to continue acting but still playing all the parts. Eventually, you get down to just one person who is trying to act out all the parts. Sounds fun.

I think you could also do this Whose Line is it Anyway? style, too, where you have people move the characters’ bodies into position for the story, or you have someone being the sound effects while others act.

We finished up by doing Scripture Mastery Master Mind game. This is another game I got from seminary regional training. This was a really good one in my opinion. Again the kids weren’t too excited about it, but once we did it they liked it. It’s easy. Everyone gets a piece of paper and a pencil. Set a time for a few seconds (we used 90 seconds) and let the kids review a scripture mastery passage. We were doing Isaiah 1:18. After 90 seconds, everyone closes their books and begins writing the scripture passage from memory. When the leader (me) says switch”, everyone passes the paper to their right. Students correct any errors they see in the things already written, and then add on. The leader says “switch” after a few more seconds, and play continues.

In our group, when you finished your page, you stood up and you were out of play. Those still working passed their pages amongst themselves. When you were finished, you opened your scriptures and checked for accuracy. Correct passages earned two airheads. Incorrect earned one.

The instructions I received for this game had you group everyone into teams (which would work well for our zones) and then points are awarded for the first team to get all of their pages completed correctly. You could do several rounds with different passages and do a faceoff.

Scripture Mastery Master Mind was an excellent game. It really helps students read and write the passage, and learn it, while playing a game. This one was a winner for me, and the kids liked it, too.