Video Interview about Seminary, Complexity, Manuals, and Other Fun Stuff

There’s a large group on Facebook for Seminary teachers, where they ask questions, share ideas and lesson plans, etc. I’ve been a (sometimes not-very-detached) observer there, and recently participated in a live-streamed interview with Jenny Smith about various things around teaching seminary. I’ve uploaded it to youtube for wider watching, below with some notes.

One thing I wasn’t able to do was overlay links to the different posts, quotes, etc. I’ve included some of those below.

  1. My post on the three-week manuals.
  2. President Hinckley on teaching and studying

    “It is imperative that we as teachers in the seminary and institute of religion program of the Church read constantly the scriptures and other books related directly to the history, the doctrine, and the practices of the Church. But we ought also to be reading secular history, the great literature that has survived the ages, and the writings of contemporary thinkers and doers. In so doing we will find inspiration to pass on to our students who will need all the balanced strength they can get as they face the world into which they move”- https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/voice-my-servants/four-imperatives-religious-educators

  3. On black-and-white thinking, note this written directive to BYU Religion profs.

    Teaching in Religious Education is to be substantive and inspirational. Students should become familiar with the text studied in each course taken and learn the implications of the text for daily living. They should feel free to raise honest questions, with confidence that they will be treated with respect and dignity and that their questions will be discussed intelligently in the context of faith. Where answers have not been clearly revealed, forthright acknowledgment of that fact should attend, and teachers should not present their own interpretations of such matters as the positions of the Church. Students should see exemplified in their instructors an open, appropriately tentative, tolerant approach to “gray” areas of the gospel. [Yes, there are gray areas of the gospel.] At the same time they should see in their instructors certitude and unwavering commitment to those things that have been clearly revealed and do represent the position of the Church. Teachers should be models of the fact that one can be well trained in a discipline, intellectually vigorous, honest, critical, and articulate, and at the same time be knowledgeable and fully committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, His Church and Kingdom, and His appointed servants.

  4. Per D&C 132, Joseph Smith was indeed a polygamist. (Please note, that link is on the Church’s approved list of resources. There’s also a Gospel Topics essay, of course.)
  5. On Joseph Smith translating with the seer stone in the hat.
  6. On teaching my BYU RM Book of Mormon class and assigning two contradictory analyses of Mulek.
  7. The trunk vs the branches (an old handout of mine.)
  8. The Flood and Complexity in seminary.
  9. On assumptions and frameworks, see my missionary-oriented podcast here.
  10. On grace vs. works and the patron-client relationship etc., see my post here.
  11. On context and reading the Bible in context, see my concise list of resources here, a longer set of posts on resources here, and my Sperry Symposium presentation here.
  12. President Nelson “Good inspiration is based on good information” from General Conference.
  13. Elder Ballard on expertise and General Authorities, see here (addressed to S&I teachers) and here (to BYU students)
  14. Epistemology! The study of knowledge, and how we know what we know. (I learned this term from an Ensign article.)
  15. I reference Thomas Wayment’s New Testament Study Bible for LDS, and three articles out of Religious Educator. I discuss and link those at the bottom of this post.
  16. Note that there is an approved non-LDS app for missionaries with multiple translations! It’s called Parallel Plus, available on iPhone and android.
  17. Religious Educator

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