Today I had some interesting demographics in the classroom. One girl. All others were boys. Why? Lastnight was the opening night showing at midnight of New Moon. (Funny.)
Today we covered Mosiah 23-26. I decided to ask the class to divide up into four groups. Each group was assigned a chapter to read. They were to select two verses from their chapter they felt would be the most important to share with teenagers. In other words, as a group, they had to choose two that most applied to THEMSELVES. Once they chose their verses, they had to be able to defend their selection. I also chose two verses from each of these chapters I felt most applied to them. I wrote my choices on notecards and taped them to the board, facing away from them so they couldn't be seen. At the end of class, we would try to see if their selections matched mine, just for fun.
Let me share with you a few of the verses they selected:
Mosiah 23:14 "And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments."
Mosiah 24:14 "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
Mosiah 25:18 "Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma."
Mosiah 26:24 "For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand."
The best part of this activity for me, was hearing them defend their selections. They felt very sure and confident about what they chose. What I like about activities like these is that there isn't one right answer. As long as they could defend their verses, their answers were "right". They told me that it was important to be led by righteous men of God. They said that through our belief in the Atonement, the Lord will ease our pains and burdens. They shared how important it is for us to make covenants with the Lord, such as baptism, and that we receive strength from the Lord through our covenants. They shared how we belong to Christ as we take upon us his name.
And there was more.
It just made me leave class today with some "happy" in my heart to know that they are aware of what they need to cling to in these latter-days. They are so bright and intelligent. I love that about them. When I was their age, our leaders told us that we were the strong, rising generation. I still believe that was true. But now the people from my generation are the teachers of an even stronger, rising generation. What a priviledge it is for me to be their teacher.