Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gospel Doctrine: Rough & Rewarding

For the past year I've taught the Old Testament class at church. We have people from all walks of life, that contribute all kinds of perspective. It always makes for an interesting hour, and I almost always walk away saying to myself, that's definitely not what I prepared, but it's what the people needed to discuss!

There are a few frequent contributors that at first I had difficulty figuring out how to handle the comments for. All of them are older (70 - 80's), and are pretty set in their ways. Some are crazy funny scientific comments about how there was a layer of water circling the atmosphere before the flood which is why it could rain for so long during the 40 day flood.

One gentleman in particular always asks very blunt extreme questions. I've had such a hard time trying to figure out how to answer him, and not end up being offended when he asked on my second week "What's the point of this lesson? It seems like you're just giving a history." (sometimes you can't understand the true depth of the doctrine until you understand the history behind it)

Sunday I finely got to the point where I could say "it doesn't matter what he thinks, if I'm testifying of the truth and backing it up with Scripture and doctrine, that's the best I can do." He had several questions this Sunday, I answered to the best of my ability and class members chimed in to back me up. The lesson was an over all success.

After class this gentleman took me aside and thanked me for such a great lesson. He continued to tell me he always appreciates how I take time to answer his questions and don't just shoot him down. He then explained about his years of inactivity and how he's only come back to church recently when his wife passed away. 

This conversation really made me think! I had no idea the struggles he had gone through, nor did I realize his questions were genuine. Although week after week it felt like he was playing the devil's advocate and just giving me a rough time, he was truly looking for answers. I'm grateful for the patience I was given until I was given the understanding. I hope I can always be patient with those around me. 


  1. Sheesh, I didn't know you are the gospel doctrine teacher!! That is a tough job! In my old home ward, it's all the teacher can do to keep people going off on weird tangents all the time. I'm glad you're doing well. I've never heard of someone your age teaching that class. :)

  2. Most of the time I love teaching! It's great to really dive into the doctrine and get to own the scriptures. I've learned so much more this year teaching it than I ever have before by just being in the class. We get tangents too, but I've become good at bringing them back on topic.

  3. It's amazing how knowing one key bit of information can change our perspective about a person. When I'm having a hard time loving someone at church I try to remember "Maybe there's something more going on there that I just am unaware of". Even if it's not the case I have never been sorry I gave the person the benefit of the doubt.
    BTW did you get your swimsuit top and earring? I'm sorry I didn't warn you I had mailed them I just didn't want to loose it and time slipped away from me. Thanks for our game of Apples to Apples. We've played it several times and smile knowing it was from you guys!