March 2007

This was originally a comment on a post over at Mormon Stories.

By now you’ve probably heard of a new Anti-Mormon DVD about to be released. Just in time (as apparently is usual) for General Conference. It’s called “The Search For Truth” and is packaged to resemble Church videos. You can find the Foundation for Apologetics and Research’s response to it here.

The purpose of this video, the disingenuous nature of the distribution (the “fake” LDS packaging, the leaving of it on cars parked on private property and the leaving of it on doors like junk mail) deeply offend and anger me. If I find one (doubtful because, thankfully, Canada seems to have a smaller, less vociferous population of antis) I think I shall take great pleasure in smashing it.

You are welcome to discuss your religion with me. You are welcome to discuss my religion with me. You are not welcome to sneak around like a thief and leave your ugly thoughts of what you <i>think</i> I believe lying around, disguised as something coming from a source I would trust.

If you’re not Mormon or you’ve left the church that’s your choice and your path. Please allow me the same freedom you seek for yourself, to believe as I feel directed by God.

And at least have the strength of character to do what you feel you have to do up front. I have more respect for the guy who dressed up like a devil (red face paint, pitchfork and all) and stood outside the Hill Cumorah Pageant than I do those who seek to tear down the faith of others but evidently cannot stand up for their own.

We have two new occasional students in my class.  I say “occasional” because custody issues make their attendance necessarily periodic.

I don’t know much about David.  I’ve only seen him three times so far.  He can only come once a month.  He seems older, so I’d say maybe he’s about ten.  He’s a model student; sits quietly, raises his hand (mostly) to ask questions, and responds to questions with appropriate (thoughtful, even!) answers.

Durendal comes twice a month.  I’ve only seen him twice so far.  He seems younger, so I think he’s about eight or nine.  He’s also a helpful student so far but seems a little overwhelmed by the others when they get going.  (I don’t blame him; so am I!)

Opening Prayer.

Attention Activity: Brainstorm. Subject: Temptations

Scripture puppet show. (Made two puppets, Jesus and Satan. Also drew scenery on the blackboard.)

Discussion questions to listen for:

Why did Jesus go into the wilderness?

How do you think fasting and being with God helped prepare Jesus to resist temptation?

How did studying the scriptures help Jesus resist?


Narrator: The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be with God. He fasted for forty days and forty nights. When he was done he was hungry. Then Satan came to him.

Satan: If you are the Son of God, command these rocks to be bread.

Jesus: Mankind does not live only on food but also on the words of God.

Narrator: Then the Spirit took Jesus to the holy city and put him on the top of the temple. Satan followed them.

Satan: If you are the Son of God, throw yourself off. The scriptures say that the angels will save you.

Jesus: Do not test the Lord God.

Narrator: Next the Spirit took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain. Satan followed them there too. He showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

Satan: I will give you everything you see if you will kneel and worship me.

Jesus: Get away from me; the scriptures say “Worship the Lord your God and only serve Him.”

Narrator: Then the devil left.

Answer discussion questions.

Decide, Pray, Listen to the Holy Ghost — how can doing these things help us resist temptation?

Role Play resisting a temptation from the earlier Brainstorming activity.

This lesson did not go smoothly. I was expecting 6 or more students and I only got 4. That meant three students to do the puppet show and one to watch. If I’d thought faster I’d’ve taken the role of narrator myself but I’d planned it with one particular student in mind and it didn’t occur to me to change things at the time. Alvin put up a fuss about not getting to read anything; in vain I pointed out that he’d read the last time we acted the scriptures out. Stephen was willing to trade places but Alvin just doesn’t have the reading ability the activity required. In the end Alvin refused to watch. It was not our best effort.

I had to send Stephen out to find his dad later; I’d paired the boys up for an activity and when I refused to let Stephen and Alvin pair up (because they’re out of control together), Stephen sat back in his chair and pretended to sleep. I asked him to participate; he refused. I asked if he needed to go see his dad; he didn’t respond. So I sent him to find his dad. In normal circumstances I would have sent him to the Primary President but she was out of town and we were too shorthanded that day.

This lesson ended in a bit of a muddle but the scripture reading/puppet show went pretty well. I’m pleased with that at least.