I won’t be reviewing the Gospel Doctrine Lesson this week. I don’t know if I’m burning out on it, of if Lesson 9 is just so densely stupid that I can’t get my mind around it.
Instead, I’ll share a Lesson SpongeBob SquareGarments shared on RfM, from he was recently asked to teach a LDS Sunday School Lesson to some teenagers:
|Lesson per the lesson manual:
Class members will learn to use the power of revelation in their own lives.
The Holy Ghost is an unreliable method to learn the truth. I used all church sources and personal experiences to demonstrate that relying solely on the Holy Ghost to seek the truth can often lead to error.
I told the class I was going to read them 3 stories and that one was true, one was false and that the other one could be true or false. I told them to use the prompting of the spirit to determine which ones were true and which were false.
The voting was decisive. After reading the stories, every class member (14 students) definitely said that story # 1 was true. It was false. 11 out of 14 said that story # 2 was true. It was false. 13 out of 14 said that story #3 was false. It was true.
These were actual results and the stories were not manipulated by me.
I then asked the class what they thought about using the holy ghost as a reliable method of discerning truth. They whole-heartedly said that the spirit was simply not reliable.
I showed how emotion can be confused with the Holy Ghost and that you never really know if feelings are really from the HG or just your own emotions. I quoted from Elder Boyd K. Packer in an address that was printed in the 1983 LDS Ensign magazine in an article titled “Candle of the Lord”:
“The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.”
I also quoted from Packard’s same talk about how promptings can also come from Satan:
“Be ever on guard lest you be deceived by inspiration from an unworthy source. You can be given false spiritual messages. There are counterfeit spirits just as there are counterfeit angels. Be careful lest you be deceived, for the devil may come disguised as an angel of light.”
I then had one of the students read from the book Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts to show how Joseph was deceived by Satan and the point being if even, the great prophet Joseph Smith couldn’t tell what promptings came from God and what promptings came from Satan, then how could the rest of us mere mortals possibly be able to discern what really is from the HG:
We discussed the burning in bosom. We agreed that even this was not a reliable means to discern truth as ‘heart-warming’ feelings result from watching fictional movies. I then quoted Elder Oaks talk (Ensign, Mar ’97) where he admits to never having a burning in the bosom.
I decided to incorporate Jesus in there somewhere using something Grant Palmer taught: I told them how Jesus never invited anyone to know him by a religious feeling. Instead of advocating a controversial and highly subjective spiritual feeling methodology to know him and his teachings, Jesus taught: “If any man will do his [Father’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
I encouraged the members to follow the Golden Rule and to live a life worthy of receiving revelation but to realize the extreme limitations of the Holy Ghost and to not rely on revelation as a definitive guide to truth. The class seemed to have gotten the message.
Teaching the truth in Sunday School is a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.
Quotes used came from http://www.mormonthink.com/testimonyweb.htm#burningbosom