Doctrine and Covenants is the worst

So it’s coming up on Saturday evening and once again I am at a loss as to what to teach my Valiant 10 class in Primary tomorrow. This is my third time teaching Doctrine and Covenants in Primary. It’s my third year teaching from the Come Follow Me curriculum. And I have to tell you that the Doctrine and Covenants Come Follow Me manual is the absolute worst manual I have ever used. And I taught Young Women in the 1990s.

Most of the manuals the church produces are not great, Bob. In fact, when I am not teaching Doctrine and Covenants, I rarely use the manual. I just take whatever scriptures the manual is meant to cover that week and I figure something out. It’s not that difficult when you have decent material. I mean, I only have twenty minutes to kill. The problem with the Doctrine and Covenants is that it’s not decent material. I tried to read the Quran once. There was some stuff about a cow and I didn’t understand it, and I’m afraid I lost interest. The Doctrine and Covenants doesn’t even have cows. It’s just God telling Edward Partridge to go to the Ohio or whatever, over and over again. Everything that is worthwhile in the Doctrine and Covenants is covered more eloquently in other books of scripture. But wait, Rebecca, what about the Word of Wisdom? What about all the stuff about church organization and priesthood keys and the three degrees of glory? I SAID WHAT I SAID. Quick, think of your favorite scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants. Now think of your favorite scripture from literally any other standard work, including the Pearl of Great Price. For that matter, think of your favorite episode of Touched by an Angel. Is there really any comparison? I rest my case.

Do you know what my favorite scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants is? It’s Section 132:54. “But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord.” It speaks to me on a deep level. Cross-stitch that crap on a throw pillow and give it to me for Christmas.

If you look at the CFM Primary manual for Doctrine and Covenants, most of the lesson material is based on snippets of verses taken out of context. Sometimes the manual for Individuals and Families or the manual for Sunday School gives more context, but not always, and it’s almost never helpful. Do you know what tomorrow’s lesson is on? Doctrine and Covenants sections 106-108. (I know, right?) For those of you who don’t remember those scintillating passages, Section 106 is a revelation for Warren A. Cowdery (Oliver’s brother), telling him to preach the gospel. Section 108 is a revelation for Lyman Sherman, telling him to preach the gospel. (Neither one was going to the Ohio, as it turned out, so fine.) Section 107 is one hundred verses explaining the offices of the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthoods. CLANK. Oh, sorry, that was my head hitting the next available hard surface because I was so bored, I fell asleep. /sarcastic Homer Simpson voice

The manual suggests I talk about how the priesthood helps us return to God. Do you know where it says in Doctrine and Covenants 107 that the priesthood helps us return to God? That’s right, it doesn’t. Doctrine and Covenants 107 is about how the priesthood is organized, and the difference between the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. (Do you know why they call it the Melchizedek Priesthood? “Because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.” Direct quote. Probably on your missionary plaque.) It’s about how only a literal descendant of Aaron can be a bishop, unless you’re a high priest, in which case, never mind. It’s about the duties of the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy. (Who are the Seventy and how are they different from the Twelve Apostles? It’s unclear.) It’s about how Adam ordained Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, and how old each was when he was ordained. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were really old, and I find that fascinating, but there’s nothing here about how the priesthood helps us return to God. The manual recommends I focus the lesson on something entirely divorced from the text the lesson is supposedly based on. Because Doctrine and Covenants is the worst. That’s it. That’s the blog post.

Fortunately, each Primary class is required to have two teachers, so I only have to teach every other Sunday, and fortunately, there are only fourteen Sundays left in 2021, and fortunately, one of those Sundays is General Conference and another of those Sundays is stake conference, so I really only have to teach six more lessons from the Doctrine and Covenants, and then I will be free from this monstrous responsibility for another four years.

Brothers and sisters, the time is now yours to tell me what the frick I should talk to a room full of eleven-year-olds about for 20 minutes tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Last sentence. You’re asking the wrong people.

  2. The Come Follow Me manual for Section 106 references the baptism of Heman Hyde, whose brother is an ancestor of mine. Lyman Sherman in Section 108 is my direct ancestor. So I’m one of the very few people who actually likes these sections.

    Lyman’s story is kind of interesting, in that Joseph Smith wanted him as a member of Quorum of the 12, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball show up to Far West to extend the call, and Lyman’s on his deathbed. They see the condition he’s in and end up not extending the call. His widow, Delcina, later marries Joseph Smith, is widowed again, remarries again, and ends up staying in Winter Quarters for a a few years due to ill health. Four of her children, ages 12 to 20, die at Winter Quarters. She and her two surviving children finally manage the trip to Salt Lake (one of her children marrying a Scottish convert on the route), and Delcina dies a few months later.

    I’m not sure what the lesson would be in teaching the story of Lyman Sherman and his family, except that bad things happen to good people.

  3. BlueRidgeMormon says:

    Hiarious!! Even though I’m a bit of a church history buff and former early morning stake seminary teacher, I’d have to reluctantly agree. I love (and love teaching) the church history part, but the actual text if the D&C oftentimes leaves plenty to be desired. I mean for heavens sake, section 89 doesn’t even actually say anything resembling the actual modern practice of the WoW!

    Along those lines, the anecdote about 107 and the disconnect from the suggested focus of the lesson perfectly captures everything that’s wrong with the church’s modern approach to forcing a proof-texted modern meaning or desired “insight” on a text that just doesn’t say what the manual wants it to say. If you think the D&C manual is bad, have fun with the seminary manual for Old Teatment! Facepalm.

  4. Lyman was also supposedly the one who burned down the Kirtland printing press after the church lost ownership of it. Probably better not teach the kids about that, though…

  5. My co-teacher actually volunteered to teach tomorrow’s lesson, so I don’t have to do anything, yay. Last week, I showed the kids an old Seminary video about Zion’s Camp and we talked a lot about cholera. We have also watched videos of people burning buffalo chips because the kids really enjoy hearing about poop. When all else fails, I tell them about how hard pioneer life was in the 1800s. They love being horrified at the idea of killing their own food and pooping outdoors with no toilet paper.

  6. With the new “History of the Church” series, maybe they can shift D&C to be split with actual, interesting history. They’ve got 4 years. Means they could have it halfway done before the next time we have to do D&C

  7. Thanks Rebecca, my wife said just about the same thing this week. In fact most weeks.
    So we go looking for the ‘gems’, but I think your cross-stitch suggestion is the one to develop, and which could be spread over the weeks you have remaining or given as a take home project with Christmas in mind.
    One idea, as is suggested, is to substitute our names into the scripture – a way of likening them – so as just one of any number of suggestions:
    “There was joy in heaven when (insert name) bowed to my scepter” D&C 106:6 – the applications to eleven year olds (or any of us) are endless, and of course a discussion of what “scepter” means would consume some of the time, including the useful cross references and the picture of Abraham holding one in the PoGP – and why it is spelled differently by King James.
    As a last (or first resort) children could come up with a list of questions from the sections to take home and ask mum and dad about – strengthening home-centredness (sic).
    Hope this helps :).

  8. Aussie Mormon says:

    You can spend a lot of the time just going through the history leading up to those specific revelations.
    You can have a discussion about what it means to be a common judge.
    You can discuss the difference between local and general priesthood leadership.
    There’s plenty there.

  9. Movies, obviously.

  10. I would get a copy of I Walked to Zion by Susan Madsen and just read a story from that, then give them a snack. They’ll be happy and so will you. If you can’t get a copy by tomorrow, email me and I’ll scan you some pages. I’m absolutely sincere about that.

    I LOL’d at so much here. I also think the D&C is the worst, and I will forever feel cheated by my ward leadership who released me from teaching gospel doctrine after I slogged through the D&C. I really wanted to teach the New Testament.

  11. I teach the same age. On my Sundays, we have discussions about the deep doctrine behind the scriptures. All the kids(even the boys) engage. On the other Sundays, they get pablum from a teacher who thinks they are kids and unable to comprehend. Unfortunate. Oh, tomorrow we will discuss the offices and responsibilities of the priesthood. I mean it’s right there, in English no less.

  12. Grateful Reader says:

    Bag it. Talk about Jesus instead.

  13. Yes! I too am a Sunday school teacher.
    My daughter is that age and I’m surprised at how much she likes hearing how things work. For example, how missionaries get their calls today, how long it normally takes, what preferences they can list on the application, etc. Always an easy tie in to the lack of a lesson in Come Follow Me.

    You have an out with conference next week and can just play general conference games.

    Anyone else still play “don’t eat Pete” with their primary classes? Even older kids love it. You could always play the game but actually put pictures of the 70 on the board and even tell them the right name of the general authority and still see how many pieces of candy they get before they accidentally eat the candy on the right general authority’s pictures.

  14. I hit a wall a few weeks ago. Reached peak church history saturation. The only thing worse than taking a road trip is reading about someone else’s. (How much longer til we get there? December, ugh)

    The equivalent would be if in 200 hundred years people study how my southeastern US branch was formed 9 years ago and attended a building two counties over and 35-40 minutes away on dark, windy country roads. Then after 4 years—now grown into a ward—we inexplicably returned to our original building (same county & 15 min away) to share it with three units. This week our still newish ward split in two, and our brand new branch has been instructed to meet in that building two counties away yet again. Along the way we experienced flat tires, train crossing delays, and a member died in a car crash. Our two seminary class boundaries have changed each of the past three years. Kids have ping ponged back and forth between the two seminary teachers’ houses, as assigned. Oh and our stake split a few years back too, in the midst of it all.

    Was that hard for you to follow and are you rather uninterested in untangling it? That’s how I feel about church history curriculum. I honor and appreciate all pioneers, especially my ancestor born on the banks of the Chariton River. And yet I do not want to study it for a solid year.

    My conclusions on curriculum are first: the 4 yr rotation of standard works is tired and infantilizing.

    Anyone can open a book and simply read it cover to cover. We’re encouraged to study topically and cross reference in our personal study. Why doesn’t church curriculum reflect this model? How about a curriculum where each lesson centers on an attribute of the Savior. Include relevant examples from any/all book of scripture. The past couple weeks I’ve found myself returning to meditate on the song lyric: Tell me the stories of Jesus, that I long to hear. Why are we studying standard works as chronological silos? It’s unoriginal to remain constrained by time when the vast dealings of God and Christ transcend it. Adult instructional time at church would be 50% Jesus, 50% current conference talks. Is that the right ratio? I don’t know but it would be a significant improvement. Last week’s sacrament meeting topics were honesty, fasting, and tithing. Lovely talks. Jesus was only mentioned in the opening and closing prayers. And not at all in Gospel Doctrine. This is His church. How can we hear Him when it’s so hard simply to FIND Him at church.

    Secondly, what about church history? It would make a great 5th-Sunday topic.

    First Vision, Book of Mormon, Priesthood & Temples, Trek West

    4 hours of church history each year is more palatable than the current state of affairs. As the actual details of the church’s past are encountered by more members over time, it might behoove the church to consider relegating its history to 5th-Sunday status.

  15. This isn’t helpful for tomorrow but “Making Sense of the Doctrine & Covenants” by Steven Harper has been a godsend to me this year as a Gospel Doctrine instructor (I agree the CFM manual for D&C is nearly useless). It provides a ton of context for each section, and it’s helped me stumble on the kernels of many ideas to go with a given lesson beyond the text.

    Also, generally speaking, D&C can work super well as a jumping off point to talk about other scriptures. When I taught sections 98-105 in Gospel Doctrine last week, I ended up talking about an obscure (but pertinent) part of Isaiah, and I ended up talking about The Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man (because, despite what the manual thinks, 98-105 is primarily about failing to live the Law of Consecration).

  16. Wow, it’s like you are reading my mind. I have been feeling the same way this year teaching primary. Great essay!

  17. Yes, following the structural outline of the D&C as lessons for primary and youth (or adults) really does not make much sense. Time to go rogue and teach lessons from church history.

  18. anitacwells says:

    ah, try teaching early morning seminary where this is your curriculum for four lessons/hours a week! I spent one day on 106/108 doing particular phrase studies of scripture along with the historical context, one day on 107 with a worksheet/videos/discussion groups, one day coaching them on FamilySearch with a fun ancestor worksheet to gear up for 109/110 this week, and one day doing a refugee service project. And it was a bit of a challenge to fill that time.

  19. My new all-time favorite post on this site !!

  20. It’s even worse to teach CTR 4

  21. Our stake just challenged everyone to read the BoM by the end of the year (on top of our D&C of course!).

    Rumor has it this is because they are realizing that most of the D&C sucks and it is not really providing spiritual nourishment to anyone. They’d never admit that publicly of course but it’s not that hard to conclude as much.

  22. Too late to be a helpful response, I would talk about how the church really works in the 21st century. Who makes what decisions, how the roles are defined, who is in the room. Then I would assess the age group and local tolerance for complexity as I decided how much to add about where women are not, about how things have changed over time in seemingly arbitrary ways, and the tension between leader roulette and leader discernment. .

    I could spend 20 minutes on the Stake President alone, but maybe I’m peculiar that way.

  23. Especially with the JSPP, I would love for the seers to sit down and redo the D&C. Take out a bunch of sections. Re-work what’s there. It’s often just edited snippets from History of the Church etc. anyway, and it’s time to go through what we have and pick what we want this to be. Orson Pratt basically changed the prior format to the D&C into our current format, and we either need a new format and/or different selections to better illustrate the history. Feel free to receive/add in new sections as well.

    Additional scripture projects for the seers include a new translation of the BoM in more modern English and translating the rest of the papyri (book of Joseph).

  24. I thought your post was hilarious and mostly true, but also felt promoted to point out there are some great verses in the D&C. Here are some of my favorites:
    58:27
    121:7-9
    121:41-44
    128:22
    130:22-23

  25. A few more for Edwin’s list:
    59:18-20
    84:88
    88:63
    Hmmm, so that gets us through 8 Sundays, just need another 40 to make it a year …

  26. Kevin Barney says:

    D&C is my least favorite in GD

  27. Me and my husband teach 3-5 age range. We get lots of blank stares and way off topic comments. We usually end up with 10 minutes of lesson, song, walk outside, and then color. A lot of the topics are very abstract for a small kid.

    At

  28. Geoff - Aus says:

    Had a friend over for dinner who has a PHD in education, lectures at uni and lectures to conferences around the world.
    She agrees the CFM primary lessons on D&C are the worst.

  29. Chad Nielsen says:

    David Day, I’ve been thinking something similar and have been contemplating how I would reformat the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price as a fun thought exercise. I might put together a post over at Times and Seasons on that sometime, but the basic thought has been to reformat it more by document type (doctrinal expositions, misc. revelations and visions, histories, Church/Priesthood regulations), jettison sections that aren’t really important anymore and add in some other documents that are more pertinent or interesting (Wentworth Letter, JS 1832 History, King Follett Discourse, 1932 First Presidency statement on evolution, etc.).

  30. For me, the Doctrine and Covenants text is rich, but the Come Follow Me manuals seem to be laden with unsubstantiated belief systems and an undercurrent of behavior management. It seems the CES is in the business of supplanting doctrine with dogma. Save us from the CES.

  31. Way too late to be of any help, but your resting case about favorite scriptures seems to have overlooked D&C 45:3-5.

    And, about Section 107, I think the big lesson (and maybe the only lesson that won’t bore your charges to death) is about decision-making in councils, verses 27-31. Though directed at the first presidency, the 12 and the 70, the principles apply equally to stake and ward councils and to husbands and wives. If you can’t find 20 minutes in their to keep your Valiant 10s at the edge of their seats–or at least awake–send me airfare and I’ll come teach next time.

  32. RivertonPaul says:

    How did the the games of Hangman go? :)

  33. Travis, I also distrust CES. If the CES was interested in creating traditional dogma, similar to the Jesuit practice of “ultramontanism” which emphasized loyalty to the papacy, then fulltime seminary teachers would be masked up (in accordance with First Presidency counsel) when dealing with our children. In my area they are not. IMO, CES is the most politicized portion of the Church there is. Any “dogma” they create flows from conservative ideologues, not revelations through and counsel from the First Presidency.

  34. 107 certainly is very descriptive, which makes it harder to teach. But I think some principles could be discussed about order in God’s kingdom.

    This is a good gem though:
    decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity;
    Because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord.

    It’s good to discuss how decisions should be made in quorums. Is there anything to suggest that it wouldnt apply outside of a quorum? No. The key to receiving revelation in a group dynamic is there. In a class, marriage, even among coworkers. If you want to get everyone united on the same page and empowered with a vision, the godly way of doing it is explained in principle there.

    Notice it says nothing about the presiding authority deciding and everyone obeying.

    From a feminist perspective 107 also is very valuable. First it was handed down from father to son, the literal descendants. In ancient days that made more sense based on roles, child bearing/rearing, family groups, etc. Less relevant now for a variety of reasons both technological and social. But why do we feel we have the rational to make that change? We’ll, we’ve already done it. We don’t have literal descendants, so we expanded that to all men. A feminist approach to evolved priesthood is supported by this text. This is how they did thing in Adams time, this is how we have changed it and why, and this is why it’s justifiable to change again.

    There’s also this:
    Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
    He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.

    I think that’s also a lot that can be learned from there. So there’s a lot that can be discussed and insights from just a few verses.

  35. I hear you. Back in 1993 I taught seminary as part of the BYU Seminary training program (I thought I wanted to teach for CES). That year, the D&C year, CES decided to roll out a new teacher manual with just scripture references. No background, no “ideas for teaching,” not even references to prophets or other scriptures. Nothing but a block of sections and verses. Any other book of scripture, there is a story to tell, but the D&C takes place in such a short time frame that all historical backgrounds repeated over and over again. I would spend 2-3 hours on lesson prep each night. I can tell you I was relieved when I was not chosen to teach full-time. It was exhausting. I later taught institute as a volunteer for 4 years and those manuals were so much easier to use.

  36. Neon- I’d love to hear more about your Southeastern branch. We’re a small ward, but we’ve had our own building for a few decades and, to my knowledge, only two units in our stake share a building, despite half the units being branches. Our neighbor stake (also half wards, half branches) has buildings for each unit, except for when they tried to split a ward but they combined again after a short period. It would be interesting to map out the historic boundaries and timelines of branches, wards, and stakes in the region.

    I’m glad we’ve only had Primary approximately April-July here. Rumor has it we’ll restart in a few weeks. When we do have Primary, our Covid adjustment results in all the kids 3-11 in one room and a teacher only has 15 minutes after singing time. Usually they end up coloring.

  37. Try playing Hangman with your kids.

  38. Teach them about the Cohen modal haplotype and encourage them to get a DNA test. If positive tell them to take their rightful seat on the stand the following Sunday. Just the boys….it doesn’t apply to the girls.

  39. When we first started doing church from home my wife and I struggled the find a good hymn to start church with (not a big hurdle, but still something to deal with). Eventually I saw that each Come Follow Me has a hymn suggested with it. We started using those. This last Sunday for Come Follow Me we sang the suggested hymn “We listen to a prophets voice”, which I was not familiar with. The 2nd verse has this gem:

    The sacred message that he brings will witness and agree With ev’ry prophet called of God throughout earth’s history.

    My wife stops the song and goes “Do we believe that?”, to which I replied that we do not.

  40. I distinctly remember there being a story about a ghost coming and visiting someone in the old D&C primary manuals. I thought it was a little scary for primary aged kids. Not sure whether including or getting rid of stories like that is a good or bad thing.

  41. HokieKate, since you asked :) I’m in SC. I have no problem naming names if people want to look on a map.

    2012 Chapin Branch created. 3 units share one building—Irmo, Dutch Fork (DF) & Chapin
    2013 Chapin boundaries enlarged
    2016 Chapin moved to share a bldg with Newberry Ward. No renovations occurring; no reason provided
    2018 Chapin moved back to Irmo building. 3 units share again. No reason provided
    2019 Chapin boundaries enlarged
    2021 Chapin splits into Amicks Ferry Branch and Chapin Ward. Amicks Ferry Branch instructed to share Newberry ward’s bldg. Chapin, Irmo, & DF wards continue sharing Irmo bldg.

    Pres (then Elder) Eyring stated in our stake conference roughly 15 years ago that people would feel compelled to move here without knowing why. That they’d be drawn here as a gathering place in Zion.

    A few years ago Elder Bednar visited and said during a priesthood leadership meeting for us not to expect any new buildings in the US “for the sake of convenience” when this is a worldwide church.

    I can admit it’s hard to see new Utah temples built for people who don’t like having to wait a half hour to attend their preferred session. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but no information has been shared with us.

    Tl;dr – I wish they’d get on the same page. If we’re a gathering spot, please give us a building in Chapin to meet in. We already have two units for it.

  42. Neon- Thanks!
    Looking at the map, your units are much closer geographically than ours are. Our closest units are:
    North- 80 miles, ward
    East- 35 miles, ward (former stake center until they booted us west a few years ago). This ward tried to split, taking one family from our ward, and share the building, but then recombined. The stake included the former mission home that was dissolved into a mission further south a few years ago.
    South- 70 miles, ward
    Southwest- 68 miles, branch
    West- 80 miles, two wards, current stake center, also has institute building.

    On the plus side, it’s really nice to always have 10am church and not worry about sharing the building. I do wish we had pews.

  43. Too late to be of any help, but this comment would not have been of any help regardless. I like to geek out on the process of constructing the D&C, and all the foibles and humanity it exposes. In this case, wvs’s commentary on Section 107 provides plenty of good fodder: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Historical-Analysis-the-Doctrine-and-Covenants/An-Historical-Analysis-of-D&C-107.html

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  45. Yay! RebeccaJ wrote a post.

    My favorite calling ever was teaching the 11 year olds in Primary. This was pre-CFM, but I still rarely used anything more from the manual than just the scripture references. We’d read them straight out of our own books and then talk about what it meant. But I was teaching New Testament so it was a cakewalk.

    P.S. How did it go?

  46. Your favorite scripture – the epitome of the D&C for me.
    “Hey let’s organize a church off and for and by the men and tell the women they’ll be destroyed if they don’t go along quietly.”
    I haven’t been able to find any comfort or Christlike teachings in it except for the constant constant constant refrain of “take care of the poor” which most members like to ignore because then they would have to rethink their conservative political dogma.
    I’ve kind of given up.
    I could study New Testament all day so I keep my sanity by learning more about the actual Gospel Christ taught and lived.

  47. Dogheart2021 says:

    If you don’t support the church you should not be teaching the children.

  48. Daniel Ortner says:

    There are some great come follow me podcasts that I would highly recommend if you want to see how much others are getting out of these same chapters and the surrounding history.

    I especially love Follow Him by Hank Smith and John Bytheway, Don’t Miss This, Unshaken, Scripture Study Project.

    If you haven’t tried looking at the historical material and especially the Revelations in Context material for the week’s sections, I would also strongly recommend that

    I strongly disagree about the D&C being dull. Verse for verse I think there are as many gems there as any of the other standard works and perhaps more.

    I taught a zoom Sunday School lesson for Uplift on these sections last weekend and really enjoyed the discussion. We talked about priesthood power and authority, the priesthood power of women, and the principle of unanimity in the Q12 and how we can apply it to our quorums/classes and families. Not sure any of that is great for your age group though of course

  49. “I strongly disagree about the D&C being dull.”

    I agree, Daniel. The D&C is wondrous. IMO, it is a clear sign that prophecies having to do with great knowledge being revealed in the latter days are already on their way to being fulfilled.

  50. “I strongly disagree about the D&C being dull.”

    I agree, Daniel. The D&C is wondrous. IMO, it is a clear sign that prophecies having to do with great knowledge being revealed in the latter days are already on their way to being fulfilled.

  51. Kristine N says:

    Yes. D&C is the worst. I’m glad to see other people recommended hangman. When I was about 14 my SS class played hangman *at least* once a month when my (CES-employed) teacher didn’t show up to teach. Best class ever.

    I’m particularly unenamored of discussions of the structure of the priesthood. If we were to have a discussion of the impacts of the structure of the priesthood on how we engage with the church, on who we see as authorities and who we give deference to, and whether that’s really in keeping with the whole, “God is not a respecter of persons” idea, I’d be down with that. Not going to hold my breath, though.

  52. John Mansfield says:

    WARNING
    When I comment at this website, site writer John C. sometimes labels my words as “trolling.” I usually disagree with that characterization, but in the case of what I am about to type, he would be 100% correct. I am about to be inflammatory, insincere, and silly. Those who do not want to read such things at this site should skip the sentence that follows.
    WARNING

    Isn’t playing hangman with a Sunday school class kind of racist?

  53. John, I’d say that it’s probably more sexist than racist.

  54. Kristine N says:

    Some people think it’s problematic in some way; I forget how. I’ve played hangman with my kids and they were still rather horrified by the hangings and beheadings in The Three Musketeers when we watched it recently, so I don’t think hangman *really* inures them to violence

  55. Good on you for even attempting to teach something. When given something on D & C about how badly the saints were “persecuted” (not that they weren’t but the church conveniently leaves out some things the saints did), I ended up ditching it and discussing adversity in a more generalized way. Also how anyone can teach D & C 132 as gospel is beyond me- polygamy did not come from God and it is such a contradiction to Jacob 2 that it’d be laughable if it weren’t so sad. (And no, Jacob 2:30 is NOT an “escape clause” like people think).
    Also, here’s something fun to think about- in Come Follow Me next year for the Old Testament, Deborah the prophetess, is called a “noteworthy example” and her title of prophetess is removed. Also Huldah, one of the most compelling prophetesses from the OT that used phrases like “Thus saith the Lord” is not mentioned at all. Good job on protecting the priesthood and diminishing the role of women.

  56. Johnny, my boy,

    I’m genuinely surprised that you care so much about what I think. It’s kind of touching, actually.

  57. Daniel Ortner — is that the Hank Smith who retweeted DezNat at a marginalized BYU student and called the student an apostate, thereby both giving cover to and lending support to DezNat and its project? And you’re saying he has something to contribute to Latter-day Saints’ understanding of the Doctrine and Covenants?

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