Sorry about the delay. We just had the marvelous opportunity to travel to Oregon and spend time with my family. We spent a whole week at the Oregon Coast (think 60 degree weather, wading in the ocean, sand castles, tide pools, and sunsets). My kids were too little to remember the beach so it was a very exciting trip!
I’m going to wrap the rest of this up too quickly, but I’m getting ready to teach again so I’ll be spending most of my time this week on that lesson. But, here’s the idea:
Joseph Fielding Smith focused a great deal on the equality among the different offices of the priesthood. With all the talk lately of whether or not women and men are equal in the Church, and the constant reminder that all members are given access to eternal life, which is what we’re really after anyway, it was curious to me to see him making that same argument to just the men. He was making sure that each priesthood holder saw himself equal to any other priesthood holder, and also, that every priesthood holder and member had equal access to eternal life.
I drew that out for a while and tried to get some conversation going about that, and why it is that we naturally, as human beings, want to create hierarchies where those governing are somehow more important than those being led. We focused on why it is important for each priesthood holder to fulfill his own assignments, and how it all works together for the same aim: to bring eternal life to others.
Then I tried to transition to talking about women. I didn’t want to tackle women & priesthood issues head on because I didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do there. Instead, I transitioned by pointing to the questions at the end that all try to generalize what President Smith was saying. So, I generalized it by asking the women what our role was as the Relief Society, and why it would be important for us to do our assignments. We went to the RS History for a few quotations and also the list of purposes of Relief Society. I also used Elder Oaks’s recent talk to explain that we really, really have the same goal as the priesthood (to bring salvation to others), since everything we do in RS is also infused with priesthood power.
It seemed a jumbled up lesson — mostly because I was hoping the Spirit would be with me more strongly and guide me in which quotations to use, or which to use when, but I barely felt any guidance at all. I don’t know if that was because I should have just picked my path more narrowly and gone from there, or if I was trying to teach what I wanted instead of whatever the sisters needed more that week, or if I was mostly just distracted since Joe had left for a trip only a half hour earlier, and I had one of those “panic” moments where I realize anything could happen and I might never see him again… (I don’t really panic, I just mean those things cross my mind sometimes, and it happened to cross it 10 minutes before I taught, when I was already very nervous about this lesson!). Anyway, I was discouraged by my experience. The lesson material was fine, but I was discouraged by the way I did or didn’t follow the Spirit. But, that’s okay, more to learn for my next lesson! Which is what I’m on to now. 🙂
Thanks for reading, and if you have questions or want more details, please please ask!