“This study guide is designed as a companion to your study of the Book of Mormon. It is divided into numbered sections that correspond with the lessons in the Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine course. Each section provides the week’s reading assignment and questions to enhance your study. You may use these questions to improve personal application of the scriptures and to prepare to make meaningful contributions to class discussions.
“You share with your Gospel Doctrine teacher the responsibility to help the class be successful. The Lord has said that teachers need to “preach … by the Spirit of truth” and that those who receive “the word of truth” should “receive it by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 50:17, 19). Come to class prepared to contribute insights, ask questions, share appropriate experiences, bear testimony, and listen attentively to the teacher and the other class members. When you have studied the reading assignments and pondered the questions in this study guide, you will be better prepared to experience the fulfillment of the Lord’s words when He said, “He that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22).”
I only half listened to the Gospel Doctrine teacher as she read this from the Book of Mormon Class Member Study Guide on Sunday, so engrossed was I in preparing my notes (via mobile phone and tablet, both which sat on my lap) gathered from the Bloggernacle and lds.org.
I perked up however, when I heard her admonishing the class that Sunday School was not a place for contention, not a place for controversy or inappropriate questions. I shrugged it off and tingled with excitement over raising my hand to impart all the amazing insights I had ready at my fingertips.
I don’t know if you know this, but Sunday School study is changing. More and more people (especially, it seemed, this first Sunday after Christmas) have internet access, sitting with their slim devices that take just a swipe to turn the page. I love it. I love having Kevin Barney, Julie M. Smith, Joe Spencer, James Falcouner, Ardis E. Parshall, William Hamblin, among many others, all virtually sitting next to me enriching my spiritual education. And I love the power of Google search that lets me peruse the pages of Dialogue and other online entities. But then again I thrive on intellectual discussion and insightful questions, where I can just feel the spirit buzzing inside.
Not everyone does. So what does it mean for those who, unlike me, are more apt to feel whispers of the spirit through pure scripture reading, “appropriate” shared experiences, and/or fervent bearing of testimony? I appreciate that the manual seems to take into account the many different kinds of student, but again, is it ready for the onslaught of accessible online commentaries and clarifications?
I don’t know. I’ve heard (rumor, I know) some wards and stakes banning electronic devices, at least in sacrament meeting. What does that mean? That they believe the spirit cannot ride virtual waves? I disagree, but as always, know that caution is warranted.
So what has been your experience in your Sunday School classes with the growing use of technology? (And in asking that, I realize that most BCC readers are on the forefront of using technology by their very presence).
*Note: in telling my Sunday School adventures to my husband later that night, I mentioned how the teacher used the introduction as a springboard to remind us all to “resolve to be better Sunday School students” and not let it be a place of contention. As I spoke, it dawned on me that she had likely done it just for me. This might be prideful, but I seem to be one that brings up many of the intriguing and mind-bending questions with, as mentioned above, the help of Bloggernacle brains greater than my own. I have to give it to the teacher that it took me all day to realize that her admonishment may have been directed at me, so carefully did she word it using the manual introduction. I find my questions tame and interesting, but every now and again, I get a bit heated when a teacher bring up things like Ephesians 5:22 to use as a defense for The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Regardless, even if her reprimand was not directed at me, it was a nice reminder for me to be more careful of the many different personalities/testimonies in the classroom and to always try to be loving in my discussion. Since my “tame” might just well be another’s “what the heck!?!”