The Introduction of the manual for Teachings of the President's of the
Church states unequivocally : "You may at times be tempted to set this book
aside and prepare lessons from other materials. But your assignment is to help
others learn the gospel through the President's words and
scriptures."It also contains sections on seeking the guidance
of the Holy Ghost, and suggestions on how to prepare a lesson. I
have sat through too many lessons in which these guidelines were ignored. It is
not an edifying experience.This being the case, I wonder why the DN
is promoting this book, and gave it such rave reviews?
I was thinking the same as above... I appreciate the help or the writer. Some
people just aren'tborn teachers and need rto guidance. My hope would be
that this book doesn't try to fill a lesson with "extras" that
steers the teacher from Really going by the lesson and fills the lesson so much
with extra that the teacher leaves much left uncovered from the manual.
The author has gone to great efforts to prepare material to help teach these
lessons--I commend her for it, efforts many may never take. They then wonder why
their lessons were a "failure?" The one question I ask is this, "Is
her view and her outline the answer to what my Relief Society in my ward/branch
needs, or is it just an easy way to get through a lesson I didn't have time
to prepare?" Review Brother David M. McConkie's October 2013 General
Conference talk, "Teaching with the Power and Authority of God" and we
can all prepare our own lessons to meet the needs of those we teach because we
will have the help of the Holy Ghost. As a stake Sunday School president, I have
the responsibility for teaching the gospel in my entire stake. Thus, I
understand the need to help improve gospel teaching in any organization in the
There is nothing wrong with using hymns and an excerpt from a conference talk to
help with the lesson, go online and find this out as you review the chapters of
the manual online. We are, however to use the manual for the lesson, there is
plenty of material in each chapter for a great lesson if we take the time to
When the church puts forth a great deal of effort to provide a manual for study,
complete with teaching aids, questions, etc. Why would one "add upon'
from a secular book, no matter how well done. I want to be generous and say well
done to the author and that perhaps it is the marketing verbiage that causes the
concern. Nevertheless, my instinct is to steer clear in this case and stick to
the approved manual for Relief Society. It's enough for me.
My experience has been that the manual has so much information that it is
impossible to get through even half of it. I think that is why the brethren have
counseled us to stick to the manual and not go searching for outside fluff. If
you teach by the spirit and focus on the materials that Lord has provided, there
is no need to rely upon supplements like this one.
Given that we have lay teachers, a large number of whom have no formal teaching
experience and training, we could all do more of the following: (1) read the
lesson in the manual before going to class (2) seek the spirit by study and by
faith (3) try to make our comments relevant when the teacher asks for them,
sticking to the subject (4) realize that while any specified teacher may not be
reaching us, others may be getting the message (5) compliment the teacher when
we've been touched or have learned something new (6) if something from an
outside source is presented (by the teacher or another class member), use our
own intelligence to see if and how it relates to the topic, rather than molder
in resentment. Just a few hints for starters, but the list could go on.
Actually, by going to a popular website, named for a South American river, that
sells books, you can look inside and sample this book. You'll see not only
that this isn't Trina Boice's first such companion guide to these
manuals, but that all the hang wringing in the above comments is unfounded. One
could I suppose argue that the Church supply this book, but it really just
focuses instruction on the existing church materials. Every classroom
participant has the manual; nothing unusual about the teacher having a manual.