The Rocky Shore

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Much Ado About Integrity

Yet again I was trounced by heavy eyelids and unable to overcome the wiles of boredom. So, instead of pretending to be captivated by a robotic lesson, I dipped into the preparation of my own lecture I am to teach in Elder’s Quorum next week. Upon reviewing the subject and reflecting upon background and possible angles I might use in order to create a somewhat endurable hour, I recognized that my heart and soul were not completely supportive of the lecture material; otherwise referred to as facts.

How can I teach a lesson I do not feel comfortable with defending?

I have been in this situation a number of times over the years and always, without fail, feel like I’ve let myself down by not having enough integrity to simply recognize that I’m probably not the most ideal person to be teaching that particular lesson if I so decided on going ahead with a half-hearted attempt.

Should I voice my concern to the Elder’s Quorum president? And if so, how?

Don’t misunderstand me, I have an extensive background with teaching large groups of people with only a moments notice; it has nothing to do with not feeling prepared. I, at the least, want to feel like I can play both the role of the teacher and the student without having a sense of shame.

So with that said…….....hit me with your best shots by way of either condemnation or advice.


  • Narrow the subject down (or broaden and go off on a tangent) to what you DO feel comfortable teaching. Find other materials that are appropriate that emphasize what you want to teach.
    Look at the "title" of the lesson, what do you think about?
    In RS lessons it is typical to use other things like personal experiences to teach a lesson. You can use many scriptures that are related to the subject but emphasize something else.
    If you are teaching things that are NOT gospel related or doctrine, then you have a problem. But if you don't cover "everything" in the lesson manual and instead focus on other related things that should be fine. EQ presidencies are normally just happy if the teacher shows up prepared and doesn't teach false doctrine.

    By Anonymous JKS, at Monday, July 31, 2006 10:50:00 AM  

  • Yeah, what jks said. Teach what you feel comfortable teaching, avoid what you don't. I wouldn't bring it up to the EQ president, because I can't seem to think of anything this would accomplish. Just avoid the things you don't want to talk about; there are plenty of other interesting facets to the gospel to discuss. And when in doubt, ditch the manual. Nobody is going to care as long as you lead an interesting discussion.

    By Blogger Jared E., at Monday, July 31, 2006 12:40:00 PM  

  • Depending on the topic, or the frequency of such concerns, it may be a good idea to talk to the EQ president. Is it a topic he and his counselors want taught? If so, you should let them know that you can't.

    It's even possible that they will end up asking you to teach your "version." I write from experience in this regard.

    If this type of concern occurs often, I think you should let them know.

    By Blogger BrianJ, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 11:32:00 AM  

  • I run into similar situations often, but fortunately, they are just paragraphs within a whole lesson. If this is the case, skip those paragraphs.
    What about being honest in the class? I have often said, "you know...the verdict is still out for me on this subject. What do you guys think?"
    If the whole lesson doesn't jive well with you, turn it to an open discussion. Don't defend anything. Rather, read a paragraph, ask a question and let them do the talking.

    By Blogger Jilopa, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:43:00 PM  

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