Yesterday we talked about how we received spiritual protection by learning from the lives of others in the scriptures. Today we continued that coverage by studying Ether 12.
As per the lesson manual, I started off today with an anchor I’d drawn on the board. I asked what an anchor does for a ship. Then we read Ether 12:1-5 and discussed what an anchor does for us during our spiritual storms. What anchor would that be?
We read Mormon 5:18 to compare the Nephites with the Jaredites, who by this time so often lacked spiritual mooring through personal anchors in Christ that they often floundered (and eventually sunk). We read Elder Scott’s quote about anchoring our life in Jesus Christ (found on page 264 in the teacher’s manual).
One student compared the Jaredites to being like chaff. I said, “That’s right. Class, do you all know what chaff is?”
When the majority of the class said no, I shared, “Chaff is what is left over after wheat has been thrashed. Anciently the women used to toss the product into the air. The wheat would fall back onto the blanket (or whatever they’d used to toss it up). The chaff would be blown away.”
The students seemed to catch the lesson and I drew dots representing chaff in swirling motions on the opposite side of the board from the anchor. “It’s our individual choice to determine whether we will anchor our lives on Christ’s teachings, with Him then anchoring our souls to Him – or to choose not to do that, essentially then becoming as chaff as one of you just shared.”
So where does all this lead?…by choosing Christ, we lead lives full of spiritual confirmation of these truths, after having been found faithful in our trials. In essence we become a hero for the Lord and to those around us. And Ether 12 helps us all to figure this out.
One student mentioned the twelve heroes of faith that Moroni recorded in this chapter (she first had heard of this at an EFY camp). We discussed in a variety of ways the value of being a hero of faith and where we need to place our faith in order for that to happen.
The same student said they’d received an assignment during EFY to underline every time “faith” was mentioned in Ether 12. She said she’d found more than twenty!
Truly Ether 12 is a rich chapter, full of insights!
As per the lesson manual, we looked at some “heroes” (as the student had called them) left for us in additional scriptures. I wrote Nephi, Jacob, Isaiah, brother of Jared, and Moroni on the board. “What do they have in common?” I asked. The kids weren’t quite sure (perhaps it was the early hour! :0)
We read in 2 Nephi 11:2-3; Ether 3:7-8, 13; and 12:38-39. We followed many of the questions found in the teacher’s manual on page 265, discussing how we can become a faith-full hero also.
I think by this time the students were getting the fact that Moroni wanted us to understand faith and its accompanying power. So to drive this home, we played a game I’d called “Ether’s Jeopardy” (I’ve uploaded the PDF file at the Seminary Class Notes group site under “Files”).
Of course, I needed to modify the game a bit to avoid the contention I’ve noticed enters in at times when playing with teams. Additionally, to save time, I only made three columns – so we wouldn’t run out of time.
So instead of breaking into teams, I announced this game would be a way for the kids to earn Brigham Bucks for the end of the year auction we’ll be having.
Each student would have the opportunity to select one category and one point amount. If they could answer the answer with the appropriate question (patterned after the TV show, Jeopardy), they earned the entire point amount for the class! If they needed help, the class could help and the entire class would get 50% of the points.
We proceded to play the game and the kids really seemed to be enjoying it. And I enjoyed it, because there was no fighting over “this point earned” or “that rule is not fair”, etc. :0)
As they discovered and answered each point, we stopped for just a moment to define and clarify in one sentence or so the teaching found in that particular verse where they found the answer (they could use their scriptures to dig for facts). And at the end of class, I ran again through what we’d spotlighted in the game regarding the life of Ether and also the teachings of Moroni.
There was so much more meat in this chapter than I could ever cover in one class. But I hope they deeply drink from these waters again, having their tastebuds tantalized by the refreshing gospel truths contained in Ether 12. Some may mock these words, some even from within the ranks of the church. But the truths contained herein will be born out through time.
I love these students and care deeply about their lives, the choices they make, the future they face. I pray to be an excellent gospel resource for them, that they will be able to be heroes for themselves and others as they grow into their futures. What great kids!
just another early-morning-seminary-teacher mom! :0)Free resources for the LDS seminary teacher.