Long gone are the old teaching manuals I grew up with. Now the lessons are updated using more current technology and teaching them is to be patterned after how Christ, our Savior, taught:
with love, patience, and through the Holy Ghost.
We as teachers are now encouraged to be more facilitators rather than sermon-givers. Silence is encouraged as well, for in moments of silence there stronger bonds with the Holy Spirit can be forged, testimonies fortified, and life-changing lessons can be learned.
As a Young Women's group, we had a chance to experience the power of silence in a Sunday lesson for our Christmas lesson. It was humbling & empowering all at the same time. It felt as though Jesus Christ were sitting right there with us in that room!
|(Pretty sure our YW president borrowed from THIS lesson idea, but changed some stuff up. Also a member of our ward already had the stable & manger set-up, and were kind enough to let us borrow it. The manger was empty, and we had multiple different pictures around the room depicting different events in Christ's life. Each seat was assigned. Those are LED candles in clear cups, so each girl had her own light by which to read & write. The entire room was dark except for the faux candles, a few strategically placed lights to better emphasize the pictures, and the video screen. Only sounds were prayerfully selected songs and videos of the Savior. It made me tremble inside with joy!)|
Now, granted the lessons shouldn't be great productions, and not all of our lessons are to be in complete silence either. Spiritual discussion amongst the youth is ideal, as often some lessons are learned better from each other, as they are more receptive to their peers and often tune adults out. Journaling & meditation play a big role in this new curriculum as well.
Needless to say, I am very excited about this new direction. Our youth are pretty brilliant, and very in-touch with the Spirit. I adore playing a small role in facilitating opportunities through which our youth can grow in spiritual strength. Think back to ancient scripture... often great spiritual epiphanies & miracles came about on mountain tops. Now we live in the desert here, with the nearest mountains about 90 minutes away. However, even our humble classroom can feel as removed from the outside world if we've work hard to make it a refuge. So I am hoping these Young Women will have mountaintop experiences together in our class.
Within our ward, our Bishopric procured a case of small composition notebooks for each of our kids, so as to further encourage them to journal their spiritual experiences or favorite quotes or scriptures or lessons learned. Kind of like how Nephi kept plates: the historical record went on large plates, and the sacred spiritual record went on small plates, this Bishopric has asked that our youth each keep their own "small plates" along this new journey.
So as to keep these small comp books in better shape, and unique for each of my girls, I spruced them up a tad. I can't WAIT to give them out on Sunday!
If you'd like to do something similar, you're welcome to use the simple bookplates I whipped up for the covers. Enjoy!
My Small Plates Book Plate