Showing posts with label primary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label primary. Show all posts

Monday, April 30, 2018

Truth Among Bibical Deception

            I have the hardest time teaching the old testament to children - the story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac or all the lies and deceit that took place and seem contradictory to the message I am supposed to convey.  Yesterday's lesson was on Jacob and the 12 tribes.  The last time our class met, the lesson was on Jacob and Esau.  We related the account of how Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.  Rebecca dressed Jacob in goat skin in order to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing that was supposedly given in Esau's name

            It's been suggested that both parents played along as it had been revealed when Rebecca was pregnant with the two that each twin would bear nations but that the elder would serve the younger.  Perhaps Rebecca and Isaac had put on the charade for Esau's sake.  It's still deception.  Yesterday's lesson was on Jacob returning to Haran to take a wife because no maiden in Canaan was worthy of the Abrahamic line - and yet the family continued to return to Canaan.  I don't get it.

            Jacob labors seven years for Rachael but is tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachael.  In my mind, Laban's deception toward Jacob doesn't seem any different than Jacob's toward Esau or Isaac.  It was still a part of the plan, right, that Jacob marry multiple wives and have many children?  The scriptures will have us believe that it was Leah who was the most fertile as she had more children than the other three put together.  But does Dinah even count?  There is no evidence of our having a tribe through her.

            In addition to lots of prayer, I used this summary and this video to assist my understanding, though I knew I'd be limited in what I could share with the children.  My absolute favorite quote in this movie is when Jacob finds Leah in his bed instead of Rachael and she says, "Have you never wanted something so badly that you were willing to deceive even those you love in order to get it?"  Duh, Jacob.  

            I know it's just speculation, much interpretaion is - how can one really look at the Bible (either old or new testament) and think it complete?  Perhaps the details aren't important, but it would certainly help me to have more of them.  In the TNT production, it shows that Laban and his family use deception for gain - not so much because it is tradition to marry off the eldest girl first, but because "Whatever Jacob touches, flourishes".  Laban did not wish to lose that and thus continued to lie to Jacob until finally Jacob and the others snuck away when Laban and his servants were unable to see.

            And what makes one a servant anyway?  A population is just born into being?  I don't relate to their customs at all.  With Laban's daughter's getting married, he gives each a gift - a handmaiden.  My gift to you is a person?  This person is going to come in handy when you learn that you won't be able to bear children after your own sister has had four and three more after that?

            My lesson that it is wrong to lie or to break a promise.  I wholeheartedly agree.  It is wrong!  It was wrong for Laban to do it and I think it was equally just as wrong for Rebecca to do it.  But it's just.  It was part of the plan.  But why is it just for her and Jacob and not Laban since Laban's deception also fulfilled a necessary part of the plan - not that I condone plural marriage either nor do I understand why Jacob was able to father with others if he wants us to believe that he was so devoted to Rachael?

            Of course I hadn't planned on mentioning any more than the lineage.  I printed two for the class to look at and ended up talking more about personal genealogy rather than Abraham and Jacob's.  Thomas and Carli listen better when their hands are busy and so I don't always know they are listening, but was actually impressed at how much each of them retained and contributed.  

            Three more lessons about Joseph and Moses after that. I am so grateful to live in a time with easy access to the scriptures and words of the prophets and paved roads and many methods of transportation and choices of footwear, written communication and photographs.  Those old testament people always seem so lost and often out of touch - and incomplete.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Health, Happiness and Approximate Conversation

          Just before we got in the car to come home from church, Jenna had asked me what was wrong.  Evidently, I was wearing an expression of sadness or despair.  Perhaps I should not use quotes as I don't fully remember the conversation, but I'm going to use quotations anyway.  This is only an approximation.

          Jenna (playfully joking):  "Are you sad because you don't have choir practice?"

          Me (sarcastically;  keep in mind that I DO NOT have a great singing voice and would rather eat than practice):  "Oh, yes.  That must be it" 

          Jenna: "What's wrong?"

          At that exact moment in time, I was dreading money spent wastefully - but I don't wish to share my thoughts with her because I know she'll feel bad, and my fourteen-year-old shouldn't be concerned over family finances the way that I am.  Not that what I shared with her was any better - in fact, it was probably worse.

          "Oh, dad and I were watching program this morning about health and happiness in the workplace.  Dad has never been happy about this job that he has currently.  I think that's why he's been sick for so long. 

          "This morning's program interviewed a man who had a job that paid good money but he was not happy.  He quit his job to become a fireman which he loves, but he isn't even making a third of what he did.  But he is happier.  We're always making sacrifices.  Dad does his job to support us.  And now he has a boss who evidently attended the school of Hitler management and feels like he is walking on eggshells all of the time.  I think that's why he's been sick for so long.  He just can't seem to shake it.

          "My health has been so much better in Oregon than it was in Salt Lake.  I have been so much happier overall.  I don't feel as much stress.  But if we have to move again so dad can get his business started, I will be the one who is sick.  Accounting doesn't make me happy.  I don't want to be part of a business.  So either he is going to be sick or I am.

          "And I just learned another great Uncle has passed away this month.  He had dementia when he passed.  Uncle Ned had dementia too.  And my grandma may have had a touch of it after she was admitted to the hospital for the last time.  She had asked dad and me to take her home, but she didn't even know who we were."

          Jenna and I were both crying.  My mom had dementia.  Perhaps it's hereditary.  I'm 15-20 years younger than mom had been when she was diagnosed, but this "goldfish memory" thing seems to be more frequent.  It's highly probable that I'll get dementia also.

          There is only one traffic light downtown and another in Tri-City.  We were at the second light when I realized what the most recent "trigger" took place.  It hadn't anything to do with our current spending or our health. 
          "I hate primary," I said.  I have been in the primary for over 40 years of my life and I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of practicing for the annual program.  I really don't mind teaching, but I am tired of babysitting the children who don't wish to be there or just have no concept of why they're there.

          "I'm going to be stuck in primary forever!  The only way a person can ever get released from a calling is by developing a love for it so much that he/she doesn't want to be released.  That is when they get released.  That is how it works.  I am going to be stuck in primary forever because I don't love it.  On the plus side, I will never be called to be the Relief Society president."

          Jenna laughed.
          "No, I am serious.  I can't be in the primary and Relief Society at the same time." 

          Just before we reached our driveway, I shared another reason to be sad.  I think I'm allergic to chocolate.  And I LOVE chocolate.  I love chocolate more than I hate primary.  How awful and sad to love something that may not love you back.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Just a Few Thoughts to tie Us Over until my Next Post

          There is no topic for
discussion this week. 
No assignment to turn in.  It is
the final week and all I
have to do is one assessment. 
Worked out great as Jenna
is off school this week for
spring break.  Her spring break is
twice as long as
any of her friends in Utah.

Yesterday, Jenna helped set
up for my primary class. 
Roland came in and insisted
the temperature felt nice.  Nice? 
It was too warm.  I could not
open the window and so
covered the vent with
hymn books (as they were
 all I could find) Later the
primary president
nearly praised me for
my clever act.

I went to the instructors'
class.  I don't remember ever
having laughed so much in
that class before.  It felt
nice to share that laughter with
those others who attended.

I haven't been sleeping well.  I
look like a football player with
dark marks under my eyes - though
they're not really that dark.  I guess
I look more like a ghoul. 
Roland still has his
stupid cough.  Be Gone Already!

I may take the assessment either
Wednesday or Thursday.  I
probably ought to study for
it, but first I am going to return
to my bed and take a nap.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

No Such Thing as Coincidences

            Being in the primary has never been among my favorite of callings - which may be why I've been in it so long.  On Saturday there was a breakfast provided by the Relief Society for those who are visiting teachers.  While there, I was asked to teach a Relief Society lesson on this coming Sunday.  I made an impulsive decision to say yes.  I can still teach my primary class but will be missing singing/sharing time.  I'm certain that the primary leaders would much rather have me there than teaching a Relief Society lesson,  but sometimes I feel the need to be elsewhere.  On Sunday it will be in Relief Society.

            On Sunday I was given the subject of my upcoming lesson.  "By Divine Design" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband.  Hey, I remember that talk.  I had actually created a blog post (here) about it.  I obviously did not go into as much detail as I had felt at the time of the initial talk - but it was at a time when my head was full and my fingers weren't as able to work as quickly as what my mind was saying.

            I have to smile at Elder Rasband quoting Neal A Maxwell's words: "[God] does not do things by ‘coincidence’ but … by ‘divine design " and think of all the many times my brother Corey has said or written that "He doesn't believe in coincidences".  It made me think of these two pictures that he has posted more than once:

            Depending on how the Spirit guides me, I may or may not share this example, but if I do, I have placed the two photos side by side and have highlighted the etching above the arch to illustrate that it is indeed the same building though taken a decade apart. 

The family taken in 1947 are from Utah.  They were touring San Francisco and chose to have their picture in front of the church building.  The other photo is of the youth group who attended MIA (Mutual Improvement Association) and seminary at the Sunset Ward in San Francisco which met in the same building.
            The two circled heads are that of my dad and mom.  They were married in the Los Angeles Temple.  Their reception was at the building which is behind each of them in both photos.  This is one example of Divine Design.  I am looking very forward to giving this lesson.  I hope to have a lot of participation, but if not,  I have more material than I will have time.  Wish I could say the same of primary.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Why Are There More Cars Than People?

          Almost every week that we drive to church, we get behind a car that isn’t going quite as fast as Roland believes it should.  He jokes about it because nine out of ten times we will follow it all the way to the Catholic Church before it turns into the parking lot.  Roland will then speed up though there is less than 20 seconds left before we arrive at the LDS church. 
This morning an ambulance passed us as we were heading to town.  It did not get on the freeway but continued on past the school.  And guess where it turned?  The Catholic Church parking lot.  We left the house a bit later than usual and so the parking lot was pretty filled by the time we got to church.  Every family must have brought a car for each driver in the family.  I don’t know why the parking lot seemed so full when the chapel didn’t appear so.  It appeared that half the pews were empty – more so than usual.
I gave my talk today- or a partial of my talk.  Once I sat down I realized what I hadn’t said and felt upset at having not included certain parts of my talk.  I did receive many genuine compliments.  I’m grateful that I hadn’t offended anyone and that my words were well received.

          A new couple was called to babysit teach the sunbeams and it appears there is an instructor for the CTR as well.  Danny and I had the smallest class this year.  Seven students with a total of 15 children in primary.  Danny and I decided to split our class – though not in the middle.  She will be taking all the older children and I will be taking the younger ones.  I will have only four or five in my class at the most.  I have already introduced them to the passport idea found here  and will probably continue with it as I believe it has appealed more to the children I’ll be teaching over the one’s that Danny will be teaching.

          Roland, who normally stays after church for clerical reasons, said that he would be going home with me today.  We stayed for choir practice but now we are home.  I’m going over my lesson for next week.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Upcoming Week - I'm predicting BUSY

            I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament meeting next Sunday.  I am excited to have finally been asked to give a talk.  The subject is on family home evening which is even more exciting.  I was told to keep it at 20 minutes.  Oh, no.  That could be a problem.  Thus  far I think I have over 80 minutes worth of topic.  Lots of prayers will be said this week that I may directed to say the words that the congregation needs to hear.  Meanwhile I have this blog.  Aren't all my followers excited?

            I also start new classes tomorrow.  Another Management.  Another Accounting.  I think I will be more focused on my FHE talk as it is a subject near and dear to my heart and I understand the language.  I LOVE my family.  I LOVE how I was raised.  I recognize the benefits of family home evening as part of my upbringing and values I have passed on. 

            There is also a fund raiser for the library.  I posted flyer of spaghetti dinner offer, but really don't have any information except for what is on the flyer.  I believe six others have shared it to either their groups or personal pages.  We do have a great media support.
            Still waiting for tomorrow to see what my agenda will be for my two classes and if there is going to be a meeting at the library since the dinner is going on elsewhere - but perhaps it's for just the board - in which case I should go. 

            Not much of a post . . . I was actually going to create a post on my primary class . . . there were twelve in class today.  Two visitors and four were absent - otherwise I would have had sixteen.  Can you imagine?  Danny has talked about splitting the class.  She would have the older children and I would get the younger ones - but that's still a 10 to 4 ratio if that.  And the classroom that we currently meet in would have to be split - which is fine for me and four children - but I can't imagine Danny and 10 children squashed into just half the room size.  And being that Danny's been sick for the last three weeks . . .

            There's a lot on my mind.  Many started posts.  Nothing complete.  Not even this one.  And yet here it is posted.  Just a heads up if I fall behind for the next 1 - 4 weeks.  Accounting and Management.  I hope I am assigned to instructors that are more uplifting than the subject matters.