EQ Return

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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2bizE
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EQ Return

Post by 2bizE » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:45 pm

I almost died of boredom today. Let me explain. After about 5 years of being in the YM organization, I returned to the EQ. This was my first visit in 5 years, and first since the HPG and EQ were combined. The quorum started off with asking about any missionary moments...the designated quorum yacker related several experiences of sharing the gospel to inactives and heathens during the week. The lesson of reading a Q15 talk then followed. Twice I felt inspired to leave, but didn’t. As a consequence, boredom overcame me like the feeling one gets waking up turned around in a mummy sleeping bag, unable to find the opening... I kept looking at the clock, trying to use my priesthoods to move it forward...my priesthood power was insufficient to move time.
I was near death by the end of class...zero knowledge added to my repertoire.
Last edited by 2bizE on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~2bizE

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Hagoth
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Hagoth » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:24 pm

2bizE wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:45 pm
Twice I felt inspired to leave, but didn’t.
You should never ignore promptings of the spirit.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Jeffret
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Jeffret » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:14 pm

2bizE wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:45 pm
After about 5 years of being in the YM organization, I returned to the EQ. This was my first visit in 5 years,
That's kind of what finally did it for me. With Primary, nursery, clerk, and YM it had been years since I had attended EQ / SS. My wife and I had been doing nursery together. They kept promising they would release us because we had been in nursery almost two years. We tried to tell them not to bother. We fulfilled our nursery callings reliably but otherwise our attendance and timeliness had been sliding. I'm sure they released me and didn't call me to anything with the intention that I'd get back into adult classes and strengthen my testimony. I went the first week and made it half way through SS and just through the beginning of EQ before I felt like such a stranger in a strange land (a very strange land) that I got up and left. I managed the same thing the next week. And then I gave up and never went back. My wife continued to take the kids and lasted about another 9 months.

Going back to SS / EQ was so painful.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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græy
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Re: EQ Return

Post by græy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm

So, having now been in charge of EQ for... 6 months, I both empathize with this post, and also somewhat that fear it.

EQ only happens twice a month. We only have a single guy called as an actual teacher so he teaches one week each month, while someone from the EQ presidency teaches the other. The guy with the calling, and one of the presidency members are terrible teachers. They mostly just lecture. Occasionally, one of us and break into their thought stream and get a (hopefully) thought-provoking comment or question in. Sometimes that will lead to an actual discussion for a minute or two before the "discussion leader" wrestles back the conversation and resumes droning on.

I try not to blame them too much. It's likely that neither of them have any experience leading group meetings or discussions outside of teaching primary. And they're trying to do just what primary taught them. The problem is, it didn't work for kids (when was the last time a primary child came home and remembered what they talked about?), and it REALLY doesn't work on adults.

I really try to kick off real conversations in our meetings. This past week we introduced the fact that future lessons will include the 13 GT Essays, including the illusive polygamy essays (https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comment ... rriage_in/).

This first essay lesson was a softball lesson on JS's teachings on the Temple, Women, and Priesthood. It lead to a fun discussion about how women can obviously invoke healing blessings (if you believe that sort of thing, anyway), so why do we need to use oil/priesthood at all? Someone suggested it had to do with severity of the sickness, but the group quickly decided that there was no basis for assuming that. The conversation bounced around for about 10-12 minutes before someone found James 5:14 which was Grant's justification for denying women the ability to heal and limited it to priesthood holders only. Someone asked why NT and D&C both say healing is a spiritual gift and neither of them specify a gender, and yet, we ignore those and follow James 5:14? It's almost like we pick and choose the scriptures that give the COB more control!... but no one went that far in their explanations. After that the discussion moved on to other things.

One member of the group tried to bring D&C 131:5's "sure word of prophecy" and link it to "calling and election made sure" by asking if we are guaranteed salvation after temple marriage. That could have been a fun discussion too. I briefly considered mentioning the second anointing, but didn't go that far... yet. That line of thought didn't really take hold in the group and we moved on to other things. All in all it was more discussion and actual thought than I've seen for a very long time.

While in our bishopric I tried unsuccessfully for years to have 5th sunday lessons on the GT essays, but was continually shut down by the bishop and/or the ward council. But then they screwed up and called me as EQP, now I can control the lesson subject, and I will.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Jeffret
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Jeffret » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:17 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm
The guy with the calling, and one of the presidency members are terrible teachers. They mostly just lecture. Occasionally, one of us and break into their thought stream and get a (hopefully) thought-provoking comment or question in. Sometimes that will lead to an actual discussion for a minute or two before the "discussion leader" wrestles back the conversation and resumes droning on.
I really wouldn't blame the teacher. The result you're seeing is intentional. That's what the church leaders want and it's clearly consistent with the design of the teaching materials.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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græy
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Re: EQ Return

Post by græy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:16 pm

Jeffret wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:17 pm
græy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm
The guy with the calling, and one of the presidency members are terrible teachers. They mostly just lecture. Occasionally, one of us and break into their thought stream and get a (hopefully) thought-provoking comment or question in. Sometimes that will lead to an actual discussion for a minute or two before the "discussion leader" wrestles back the conversation and resumes droning on.
I really wouldn't blame the teacher. The result you're seeing is intentional. That's what the church leaders want and it's clearly consistent with the design of the teaching materials.
You are correct. My very next line...
græy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm
I try not to blame them too much. It's likely that neither of them have any experience leading group meetings or discussions outside of teaching primary. And they're trying to do just what primary taught them. The problem is, it didn't work for kids (when was the last time a primary child came home and remembered what they talked about?), and it REALLY doesn't work on adults.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Jeffret
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Jeffret » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:14 am

Yes, but my point was that it really can't be blamed on Primary, either. It's the desired state for adult lessons. Decades ago I taught EQ (and my wife taught RS at the same time) and it was possible to use the lesson manuals as the starting point for decent lessons. With the introduction of the "Teachings of ..." series they killed that idea. Church leadership / lesson manual creators constructed a careful narrative of hand-selected quotes to bolster currently acceptable ideas, no matter how much they had to massacre the original ideas. They chose the most uninteresting things possible to not engender discussion because of the things they were carefully excising. At the same time, they ramped up the demands to not use any outside material, because of the potential uncorrelated statements that lay inside the ellipsis or just outside the bounds of the selected quote. This got worse as they continued to historical prophets and focused more on bland, meaningless, repeated conference addresses that everyone slept through the first time.

The last time I taught adults (EQ, years ago now) was in a ward we were visiting. Their instructor didn't show and rather than sit through totally unprepared ramblings, I volunteered to teach. It was supposed to be something from a "Teachings of ..." manual, but I didn't even look at that. I just grabbed the scriptures and talked about the example of Jesus in the NT. It seemed to go over really well with lots of interesting class participation. Admittedly, that's a topic that's fresh in Mormonism, as it's rarely broached.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Random
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Random » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:48 pm

græy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:02 pm
This first essay lesson was a softball lesson on JS's teachings on the Temple, Women, and Priesthood. It lead to a fun discussion about how women can obviously invoke healing blessings (if you believe that sort of thing, anyway), so why do we need to use oil/priesthood at all? Someone suggested it had to do with severity of the sickness, but the group quickly decided that there was no basis for assuming that. The conversation bounced around for about 10-12 minutes before someone found James 5:14 which was Grant's justification for denying women the ability to heal and limited it to priesthood holders only. Someone asked why NT and D&C both say healing is a spiritual gift and neither of them specify a gender, and yet, we ignore those and follow James 5:14? It's almost like we pick and choose the scriptures that give the COB more control!... but no one went that far in their explanations. After that the discussion moved on to other things.

One member of the group tried to bring D&C 131:5's "sure word of prophecy" and link it to "calling and election made sure" by asking if we are guaranteed salvation after temple marriage. That could have been a fun discussion too. I briefly considered mentioning the second anointing, but didn't go that far... yet. That line of thought didn't really take hold in the group and we moved on to other things. All in all it was more discussion and actual thought than I've seen for a very long time.

While in our bishopric I tried unsuccessfully for years to have 5th sunday lessons on the GT essays, but was continually shut down by the bishop and/or the ward council. But then they screwed up and called me as EQP, now I can control the lesson subject, and I will.
I would bet it was a more satisfying lesson than most of them had experienced for years.

Re: the bold and colored part above - That's awesome! You're doing your bit to make it more interesting and valuable to the class members.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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græy
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Re: EQ Return

Post by græy » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm

Jeffret wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:14 am
Yes, but my point was that it really can't be blamed on Primary, either. It's the desired state for adult lessons.
I still agree 100% with you. Your point is the point I was trying to make. I probably needlessly called out primary specifically, but I really meant any setting where you take the class manual at its face and use it word for word in the lesson.

Mormon doctrine is a mile wide and an inch deep, but the lessons (from any of the correlated manuals) narrow it down even further to a 1ft x 1inch section of that river.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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nibbler
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Re: EQ Return

Post by nibbler » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:02 pm

Jeffret wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:14 am
... At the same time, they ramped up the demands to not use any outside material, because of the potential uncorrelated statements that lay inside the ellipsis or just outside the bounds of the selected quote. This got worse as they continued to historical prophets and focused more on bland, meaningless, repeated conference addresses that everyone slept through the first time.
...
My advice would be to teach the lesson the way you want to teach it, even if that means using outside sources. If someone complains or it becomes an issue, leaders can call someone else that will read from the manual.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Jeffret
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Jeffret » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:14 pm

græy wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
I still agree 100% with you. Your point is the point I was trying to make. I probably needlessly called out primary specifically, but I really meant any setting where you take the class manual at its face and use it word for word in the lesson.

Mormon doctrine is a mile wide and an inch deep, but the lessons (from any of the correlated manuals) narrow it down even further to a 1ft x 1inch section of that river.
Ah, okay, that makes sense. Mainly I wanted to talk about how it has gotten worse over the last couple of decades or so. And some about my experience.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

Reuben
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Re: EQ Return

Post by Reuben » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:09 am

nibbler wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:02 pm
Jeffret wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:14 am
... At the same time, they ramped up the demands to not use any outside material, because of the potential uncorrelated statements that lay inside the ellipsis or just outside the bounds of the selected quote. This got worse as they continued to historical prophets and focused more on bland, meaningless, repeated conference addresses that everyone slept through the first time.
...
My advice would be to teach the lesson the way you want to teach it, even if that means using outside sources. If someone complains or it becomes an issue, leaders can call someone else that will read from the manual.
They hate having to call new people. It always upsets the temporary homeostasis they've carefully constructed. You're pretty safe tipping the canoe as long as you don't capsize it.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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