This is a great lesson for you as the teacher to encourage discussion during class and maybe even outline some rules you may have. I never like to discourage anyone from speaking but I know some of you have a problem with people taking over. This would be a great opportunity to address how you might cut someone off to keep the discussion going and allow other people the chance to speak or how you might call on so many other people before going back to the same individual.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following while leading this discussion:
“One way to help members understand the importance of gospel discussions at home and church could be to invite a child and a parent to sing “Teach Me to Walk in the Light”(Hymns, no. 304). What does the interaction between the child and the parent in the lyrics of this song teach us about learning the gospel? Perhaps some members would be willing to share their thoughts on how to make gospel discussions a natural and regular part of family life. The following scriptures may provide insights: Deuteronomy 11:18–20; 1 Peter 3:15; Mosiah 18:9; Moroni 6:4–5, 9; Doctrine and Covenants 88:122. How can our discussions at home and at church bring us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?”
A lot of these talks have some great points as well as answers to some of the questions to ponder. You may want to reference them.
“Teach Them the Word of God with All Diligence” by Elder L. Tom Perry
“Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty” by Elder Robert D. Hales
“Teach Them to Understand” by Elder David A. Bednar
“Parents Can Boost Power of ‘Come, Follow Me’ at Home” by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
“Helping Light the Fire to Learn” by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
“Support Gospel Learning in the Home” (Teaching in the Savior’s Way)
“Teaching the Gospel in the Home” (Family Guidebook)
“Teach the Doctrine: Discussion Is a Means, Not an End” by Brother Tad R. Callister
”5 Ways to Create ‘Golden Teaching Moments’” by Brother Brian K. Ashton
Role of New Materials and Technologies in Personal Gospel Study (about 3 minutes)
The Power of the Gospel in Your Pocket (about 1 minute)
We Are All Learners and Teachers (about 2 minutes)- This page also includes more video ideas.
We Learn (about 3 minutes)- It’s directed to the youth back when their curriculum changed but it completely applies to what the rest of us will be going through.
Questions to Ponder
How do you feel the new Come, Follow Me curriculum will effect your gospel discussions at Church?
What are things we can do as teachers as well as class members to support those willing to speak up in class? How can we encourage more people to participate?
What are some things we can do (or continue doing) in our homes to create more gospel discussion? (physical and spiritual)
What are some of your fears about having gospel discussion in the home? How can we conquer those fears?
What are some of the reasons you might not currently comment in church classes? How we can overcome those reasons?
What might we be able to do if there are others in our home not open to gospel discussion? How can we continue to study in face of opposition?
How can we better prepare ourselves and our families at home to discuss gospel principles at church on Sunday?
What can we do to make our gospel discussions last throughout the week instead of one designated time?
How might we include others not in our family in our gospel discussions?
What can you do to help your children discuss gospel principles and truly understand the concepts we will be learning about?
How might people with really young children still include them in their gospel discussions?
How might parents include their grown up and out of the house children in their gospel study?
How can we make sure our gospel discussions actually lead us back to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father? What things might distract us from that goal even though we are discussing gospel things?
What can we do to help those without a support system to have gospel discussions throughout the week?
What blessings can you see might come as we implement more gospel study at home and being able to continue that discussion at church?
Why is it important to you to have a home centered and church supported gospel study?
How can we make our homes a source of spiritual strength and increased faith?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
It is important to note that there probably will be growing pains along the way. We will be doing things that we may never have done before. Children may complain. You may feel drained at times. Satan will work against you. What plans and decisions can we put in place now so we won’t give up later?
Continue with the theme of studying the hymn, “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” as recommended by the Church. What does it mean to walk in the light? How can we invite that light in our homes and keep it there (especially during the harder times)? How can we share that light with others? You may want to tie in the Light the World materials available during the Christmas season.
As you discuss light or things that we can do in our homes to make gospel discussion a regular thing, put a battery operated tea light into a lantern. You can make the lantern out of a tin can, paper bag, or borrow one from a friend. After you have used all your lights to fill the lantern, discuss how much brighter it shines now. What benefits can we see as a result of having more light in our homes? How might that lead to increase missionary opportunities as well? How will the increased light allow us to be better ministering brothers and sisters?
Discuss how we need to shift our focus of what church means as President Russell M. Nelson mentioned in his opening remarks, “As Latter-day Saints, we have become accustomed to thinking of “church” as something that happens in our meetinghouses, supported by what happens at home. We need an adjustment to this pattern. It is time for a home-centered Church, supported by what takes place inside our branch, ward, and stake buildings.” What can you do to make the church classes a support of what you are learning at home and not the other way around? What things might need to change? You could draw a picture of a house on the white board then add a steeple to it as you discuss these changes.
Hand out strips of paper that people can quickly write on about their reasons for not contributing to the discussions in a church setting. It’d be best to get people to do this before class or right at the beginning. Then collect them and read a few out loud. What are some things we can do to help people be willing to discuss and share their insights during class? These discussions are all about including everyone! You can also talk about some hesitations our children might have and how we can encourage them both at home and at church.
Use the scriptures recommended by the Church to easily divide into groups and discuss what they can teach us about regular gospel study and bringing light into our homes. Each scripture card I made includes the same set of questions to ponder.
Invite one of the youth leaders that has been teaching from the Come, Follow Me manuals for the past few years share what they love about it as well as the challenges they have come across and how they have tried to overcome them. It’s a great opportunity for people to ask their questions as well and even get ideas of how to start these discussions with their youth now.
This lesson might be a good time to answer any questions about the basic changes to the church schedule next year as well. You can have a leader host a Q&A for a few minutes. I know a lot of people are wondering what time they will actually start church next year. Even if the leaders don’t know the answer yet, at least everyone will know it’s still being discussed.
Refer to Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk and find the promised blessings given for those that fully embrace the changes. How does knowing these promises help you? How do you see the fulfillment of these promises? Are there other benefits that you can see coming because of these adjustments?
Elder Cook also stated, “We know that when we have better teaching and more spiritually prepared class members, we have a better Sunday Church experience.” What does this quote mean to you? How do you prepare now for Sundays? What do you personally want to do better to prepare for Sunday classes? How can your preparation enhance the Sunday Church experience for another? Have you been blessed by another person’s comments during class?
Discuss how our increased gospel discussion in our homes and at church might impact our ability to share the gospel with others as well. What can you see happening naturally because you are discussing the gospel more in the home?