Teaching Using Learning Objectives

While the new Teacher’s Council provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate, the primary purpose is to teach members of the church (including families) how to learn. Our social norms, both in and out of the church, condition us to operate as Self-Help Junkies, with a higher emphasis on completing the reading task than actually learning something.

With this in mind and using Blooms Taxonomy, I’ve taken two lessons from January’s potential topics on the Godhead and written examples for learning objectives.

Topic: The Godhead

Learning objectives:

  1. List the members of the Godhead.

Authentic Happiness With Missionary Companions

Those of you who have served missions will readily recall certain companions who were more challenging than others. Some companions were introverted and others never shut up. It was a great learning ground for us as we prepared for the bonds of matrimony. Statistically it appears that many of us still struggle with interpersonal relationships. It’s possible that the source of frustration may be an intrapersonal conflict.

Conflict is to be resolved…

Conflict is to be resolved.

Contention is of the devil.

Disputation, debates, dissensions, arguments, controversies, quarrels, and strife or contention of any sort have no part in the gospel; they are of the devil. The gospel is one of peace, harmony, unity, and agreement. In it argument and debate are supplanted by discussion and study. Those who have the Spirit do not hang doggedly to a point of doctrine or philosophy for no other reason than to come off victorious in a disagreement. “Cease to contend one with another,” the Lord has commanded (D&C 136:23; Titus 3:9). Bruce R. McConkie. Mormon Doctrine, pgs. 160-161)

Conflict vs. Contention

What Is The Difference Between Conflict And Contention

The very comparison of these words creates both conflict and contention. In many heart breaking coaching discussions, I’ve learned that having a clear understanding of these two contrasting words can bring peace of mind and warmth of heart to a relationship. But only when properly and harmoniously understood.


Conflict is sharing the same end result but seeing a different path. Contention is fight or flight, violence or silence. It is blocked progress and the attention is on who is right at the expense of what is right.

Forgive and Trust Again?

The question is often asked: “How do I handle a family member or friend who has violated my trust? Am I supposed to give the trust back when I forgive them?”

For an example on how Joseph Smith and the brethren handled a violation of trust, the story of Francis G. Bishop is illustrative. Joseph_Smith

One Francis G. Bishop, an Elder in our church, was very anxious to be ordained a High Priest, but he was not considered a proper candidate to fill the office at that time; and his urgent solicitations to be promoted to the High Priesthood, confirmed the Saints in the opinion that he wanted a high station without meriting it, or without being called by the Spirit of God to that work.

The Art and Science of Prayer: Part 2

The Purpose

The purpose of prayer is to commune with God and to learn His will for us. It is God’s classroom for teaching us; hence we learn His will, while He teaches. It is a platform to express gratitude, ask questions, seek direction, and confirm inspiration, thoughts, and ideas.

It is not an arena to persuade God into seeing life through our eyes. It is not a platform to teach those who are collectively praying and within earshot to pontificate doctrine in hopes of persuading others to see things our way or to be seen of men. In other words, its not a competition to sound intelligence, articulate, brilliant, or to say a long prayer as a sign of piety.

A Missionary Paradigm: Using Agency in the Process

The concept of conducting member missionary work usually instills feelings of guilt and fear into members of the church. The traditional approaches to missionary work are:

  • Invite your friends over to dinner and conveniently have missionaries show up.
  • Give the missionaries the names and contact information of your friends and let the missionaries contact them sometimes surprising them.
  • Ask people you know if they have heard about the church and if they want to know more.

Final Call for Ted & Ting’s Adventure

The free download opportunity ends Wednesday. If you still want a copy of the manuscript Click here for the download page.

For those of you who have downloaded the book, here is a link to make comments.

Ted & Ting’s Comment Page

Here are the upcoming changes so far:

  • A chapter or section on Emotional Intelligence
  • An Index
  • Two columned formatting
  • Minor grammar or word corrections
  • The book will not be available on Amazon, but only through my website or my office.
Thank you to those who have sent me suggestions. As a reminder, please use the comment page in the future.

Ted & Ting’s Comment Page

For those of you who have downloaded the book, here is a link to make comments.

Ted & Ting’s Comment Page

I’ve also provided a suggested reading format based upon feedback so far.

There is a little time left to download the book. Click here for the download page.

The material is thick in content and challenging in practice. The more you practice, the more you appreciate the material. Without attempting Ted Level 1, the gist and meaning behind the practice assignments are trivial.

Ted & Ting’s Great Adventure

For all the returned missionaries who served in the Tacoma Washington mission:

I’ve just completed writing the book on Ted and Ting. I’ve titled it:

Ted & Ting’s Great Adventures:
An Introduction to the 7 Skills of Powerful Listening

As I prepare the manuscript for publishing, I’m offering you a pdf copy of the pre-released edition. I ask only that you give me feedback. What works and what doesn’t.

I want to capture the experiences of those who have actually read the book and practiced what is taught for the testimonials on the inside flap of the cover.

Virtue Values #2

The Guidance and Influence of the Holy Ghost

In September 1981, I was attending Brigham Young University and was starting my senior year. During spring term I discontinued a serious relationship and was questioning many things about life and myself. I went to the Lord in fasting, prayer, and supplication to learn from Him how to proceed. I poured my heart out expressing my desires and asked, if He approved, for certain blessings.

I was desirous to meet a young woman, virtuous, lovely, and with a good report card to befriend, experience emotional intimacy with, and pursue a lasting relationship that would ultimately lead to a Ketubah (marriage contract) in the Temple of God of my choosing.

Teaching An Agnostic

Here is the setting, Elder Jackson from my home ward of Gig Harbor, is serving a mission in SLC, UT and sent me an email telling the story of Tony the agnostic. He wanted to have a better understanding of what an agnostic is. I sent him a short definition and then received this email:

Brother Himmer,

Control vs. Power

When teaching the gospel, he who asks the questions is in control. She who is being questioned has the power. This allows the Holy Ghost to work in harmony with the missionary (teacher). The Holy Ghost will do the heavy lifting when you, as the teacher, give permission to the investigator to think and express an opinion without fear of judgment.

Think about the last time you met a persuasive salesperson or missionary. Did you have permission to say no? Were your opinions, thoughts, and desires truly sought? Were they considered and honored? If no, did you feel trust towards that person?

Practice and Have Fun

Practice often in front of your bathroom mirror.

  • Some folks like to type out every word at first and then work on phrasing it into their own words.
  • Others use concepts on 3 X 5 cards.  Either way, with each time you practice, you will become more comfortable and proficient with your talk and it will come through in the delivery.
  • Many people become very nervous because they are not as familiar with their subject and their prepared remarks to the point of confidence.  Practice breeds confidence.

Three Parts to your Talk

Break your talk into three parts

I.      Introduction

Get their attention and introduce the topic by telling a story or explaining a metaphor.  You can ask questions (rhetorical) that provoke thought.  Then you answer the question or solve the problem in the next section.

II.      Body

  • This is the main part of the talk.
  • You answer any questions from the previous section.
  • You build the case for your topic.
  • Keep the topic very narrow.
  • Solve the problem.
  • Teach them how to ease the pain.
  • Focus on HOW as much as possible.