Saturday, September 26, 2015

Teaching Abraham 1, LDS Seminary Old Testament Lesson 19

Today lesson 19  in Seminary went great so I thought that I would take the time to blog about what I did.  We were learning from Abraham 1. We read through Abraham 1:19 and discussed the scriptures and why God didn't save the daughters of Onitah, but he did save Abraham.  I also asked them how we can learn from this story in Abraham.  As a thought provoking question I asked them how many of them had had their father's try to sacrifice them. Of course there are a few that jokingly answered yes.  So then I asked how can this apply to our lives?  I gave them the handout below.

We read the quote together and they pasted it into their journals.  Then I had them watch a portion of the talk "Spiritual Whirlwinds" by Neil L. Andersen from April 2014 General Conference.   I had the students listen for parallels between this talk and the things that Elder Andersen talks about.  Here is the portion that I had them listen to:

My young friends, the world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming of the Savior. The scriptures declare that “all things shall be in commotion.”1Brigham Young said, “It was revealed to me in the commencement of this Church, that the Church would spread, prosper, grow and extend, and that in proportion to the spread of the Gospel among the nations of the earth, so would the power of Satan rise.
More concerning than the prophesied earthquakes and wars3 are the spiritual whirlwinds that can uproot you from your spiritual foundations and land your spirit in places you never imagined possible, sometimes with your barely noticing that you have been moved.
The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary. Sin has always been part of the world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable. There is, of course, a powerful force that will subdue the whirlwinds of sin. It is called repentance.
Not all the whirlwinds in life are of your own making. Some come because of the wrong choices of others, and some come just because this is mortality.
As a young boy, President Boyd K. Packer suffered from the crippling disease of polio. When Elder Dallin H. Oaks was seven years old, his father died suddenly. When Sister Carol F. McConkie of the Young Women general presidency was a teenager, her parents divorced. Challenges will come to you, but as you trust in God, they will strengthen your faith.
In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return.4
You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead.
How do you prepare for your whirlwinds? “Remember … it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, … his shafts in the whirlwind, … when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power … to drag you down … because of the rock upon which ye are built.”5 This is your safety in the whirlwind."

I had them take notes in their journals.  When they were done watching the talk I had them work in groups of three.  They had to come up with two interesting things that they learned from the talk and then ask one question.  

I also had them write their answers on sticky notes. Then each group shared what they learned and put their sticky notes on the board under the saying "what stuck with you today." 

We didn't have time for all the groups, but the ones who did get a chance to share did an amazing job.  I was able to pick groups of students who didn't usually answer questions.  This gave me the chance to hear their thoughts and to get them more involved with the class.'

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