Being optimistic about “Optimism”


I’ll use this post as a place to gather my thoughts over the next few days on the YW lesson “Optimism”

I do like the scripture the lesson refers to:

Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.  (D&C 90:24)

There is great power in looking at life this way: that if your focus is on your covenants and working with God, then God can turn all things for good. Another way to express this is: consecration.

This verse also calls to mind 2 Ne. 2: 2: Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

There is something to think about there.
But also, I have nothing against “optimism” itself. There are lots of conference talks by Pres. Hinckley and Pres. Monson that I could look  at. This sort of optimism comes from trust in God, and that is a profound thing to discuss.

There is also the route of looking at gratitude and how that radically changes our outlook on life. Pres. Monson’s talk on gratitude just a week and a half ago would be a good source for that.

Lots of possibilities. I’m definitely looking forward to an opportunity to teach. So, onward with the lesson preparation!

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2 responses to “Being optimistic about “Optimism”

  • Karen

    The YW Resource Guide has some excellent suggestions:
    -Elder Cook’s talk “Just so ya know, we had a hard time.”
    -Elder Wirthin’s talk “Come what may, and love it.”
    A few scriptures: 2 Ne 31:20, and several verses in Ether 12.

    Each one of these will take on a different reason of why we are not optimistic. I also looked at 2 Ne 4.

    In each case, I imagine the reason is similar: for whatever reason, we have lost sight of the great plan and power of the gospel.

    What if I had each girl find a scripture related to this? “Joy” or some such thing?

    It is time to revisit the Ignorant Schoolmaster. There is something so true in allowing “the book” (here, the scriptures) to be the common ground that both student and teacher are looking at. Onward!

  • Karen

    I revisited my old post on chapter 3 of the Ignorant Schoolmaster. There is so much to think about in that book! Here is a snippet from my earlier post that explains my concern:

    “There is a danger in using any church lesson to give someone the “right” answer. We are also teaching them 1, there is no more thinking to do, 2, they can’t figure it out on their own, 3, there are superior minds who know these things, and 4, if you hear otherwise you’ll have to pick who you trust more (or it’s further proof you can’t remember things right). Ranciere rings so true to me because I see that if we use the scriptures as our material “thing” in a classroom, it makes us equal before it with the infinite task of reading and studying. Every discussion becomes an adventure in the land of knowledge – a fun play that is so productive and so joyful. A passage of scripture becomes an infinite source of truth and rejoicing, rather than a heavy weight to be taken care of as fast as possible.

    It just seems ironic and counterproductive to ask any teacher to assume a position of superiority, when we all have the infinite task of studying out the scriptures and the words of the prophets.”

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