Wednesday, March 15, 2006

3 Nephi 18 - Shields of Faith

[student drawn artwork]

Today we discussed the teachings in 3 Nephi 18. After sharing some thoughts and points from the teacher's manual regarding the sacrament, I felt impressed for my particular class to spend the greater amount of time on the second half of the lesson in the teacher's manual - the importance of prayer.

The spirit seems to have led me to this throughout this week. Not sure why, but I guess that is not important. As seminary teachers, it is imperative that we be led to the paths of discussion our students are needing. I'm assuming that is what has happened here, because prayer as a topic of discussion keeps feeling important to be brought up this week. And it's been good as we've done so, the results.

So we moved into the discussion points in the teacher's manual on page 229 under the heading in the second column: 3 Nephi 18:13-25. Sincere prayer can help us resist temptation.

We read the quotes on page 229-230 under that topic and discussed the importance of of umbrellas, coats, shields, etc. and how they service us. And to lead into the application activity, I shared how we are to arm ourselves in the full armor of God, as mentioned in the scriptures.

Two particularly great scriptures along this line are Romans 13:12:
"The day is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darnkess, and let us put on the ARMOUR of light."
and Ephesians 6:11:
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
I shared how anciently when men in armies fought, they had a "coat of arms" emblazoned on the front of their armor so that they could be individually distinguished in the sea of metal armored men.

I shared how the students' testimony and gospel knowledge, solidified with sincere, personal prayer, creates their own unique "coat of armor" and that today in class, they were going to create their own symbolic "heraldry", which would serve to point to their righteous standing in God's army (referencing the "Shall the Youth of Zion Falter" and "Onward, Christian Soldiers" hymns).

So each student privately reviewed 3 Nephi 18. On their "coat of arms/shield" they were to write a reference from one of the five columns in 3 Nephi 18. They then drew a picture for each verse (anciently, very few people knew to read, so they used pictures to represent important concepts).

Then the students shared their work with each other. The kids seemed to take this quite seriously. I was impressed. And grateful. I love the scriptures. Absolutely love the scriptures. And I am grateful for the power of prayer, through which we can build our lives to become powerful footsoldiers for the Lord.

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just another early-morning-early-seminary-teacher mom