Philippi had a “rich” history based in GOLD. This background is a great way to set up the content and context of Paul’s epistle to the Philippians (a good overview of this is found at: http://www.ldolphin.org/pphilippi.html).
This Mormon Message, FLECKS OF GOLD, is a great illustration of what it is like studying Philippeans and the other epistles of the New Testament. Many times they are ignored because they seem small and insignificant. Well, today’s activity is meant to show that they are anything but that.
After the video, I gave the students 10 minutes to read as much of Philippians as they could. I passed out little gold papers to them to write down important verses that they found during their study. Some students found 5, and others found 15+. Some students finished the whole book, and some finished chapter 1. I was trying to teach them a scripture study skill as they studied this “rich” epistle. The Teaching the Gospel Handbook states, “To help students be successful in their personals study of the scripture, teachers can assist them in developing and utilizing a variety of scripture-study skills and methods” (2.3.1). In this case, I was trying to help them understand that most days our scripture study is made up of FLECKS OF GOLD. Most epistles are not filled with NUGGETS, but rather FLECKS that need to be discovered and treasured.
Many of the students had not even heard of Philippians other than from the Books of the New Testament song. They did not think that they would have very much to discover and mark for the future. However, this activity helped them to quickly realize how much they would have missed out on. After the 10 minutes of personal study each student finished writing their selected scripture references on their little gold fleck of paper. We then crumpled them up and simultaneously ”flicked” them in a random direction in the room. Then each student got up and “picked” a FLECK OF GOLD off of the ground and headed back to their seat to see what their classmate had discovered. They would then mark in their scriptures anything that they liked from the suggested scripture references.
Once they had finished with that FLECK, they would “flick” that fleck and “pick” another one to study. The pattern was to “flick, pick, read, repeat”. We did this part for 10 minutes at an individual pace. Some people got through 10, and others got through 20.
To wrap things up, we had a class discussion on what they thought and discovered from the seemingly insignificant epistle. They were really surprised at how RICH it really was. I gave them the challenge to study each of the epistles with the same goal in mind: FIND THE FLECKS OF GOLD! Don’t just search for nuggets. Then we actually did talk about nuggets because there are a few in Philippians. I asked them to share some nuggets that they found. Most were from chapter 4. Many of the nuggets were discovered as they noticed over and over that different student were referencing the same scriptures. They figured that if so many students had picked the same one then it must be pretty important. So we took some time to discuss which ones they were and why they were so significant. It was a very fun and engaging activity that was primed with quality personal scripture study and refined with a meaningful classroom discussion.