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.

(3) Talmage: Agency

Jesus The Christ – Study Guide

(3) Agency

In the Premortal Existence (PME) “the entire human race existed as spirit being…they were endowed with the powers of agency…” (p. 17). If we treat agency as the power to act righteously with the ability to make choices, it adds to the richness of the construct.PME

Elder Talmage explains that God’s omnipotence relates to agency and also provides an answer to the underlying question of how we are able to exercise agency despite His omniscience. He permits us the ability to make choices without infringing upon our desire to act righteously. However, when we choose sin over His commandments we no longer engage in agency. Instead we stray from the strait and narrow and His Spirit is withheld.

(2) Talmage: Premortal Existence

Jesus The Christ – Study Guide

(2)      The Premortal Existence

Genesis 1:26-27 is the biblical account of what is left of the premortal life, which according to some LDS scholars was over 2.5 billion years of existence. In this organizational meeting (Abraham 3:22-28), we were all present and witnessed the Savior’s appointment as the Premortal_existenceRedeemer. Jesus explained that some souls would be lost and not make it back. Lucifer argued that he could save them (v. 26). In verses 24-25, Jesus is already the Chosen One. He is speaking in past tense that we (God the Father and Him) we prove us to determine if we keep our covenants made (in the premortal existence).

100-Year Anniversary of Jesus the Christ

LDS Book Reviews

Jesus The Christ – Study GuideJTC_book


Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment have written a study guide to James E. Talmage’s Jesus The Christ commemorating the 100-year anniversary of its publication. They presented an overview during Education Week (2015). I picked up the book and will share some thoughts from their writings.

Flipping Your Lid

This is my most recent letter to my son.

For those of you who are fighting addictions, harmful behavior, codependency, family disorder, or struggling with your testimony, this will provide a foundation for healing.

If you can name it, you can tame it, as the saying goes. The ability to become one has many layers of meaning. Your happiness (well-being) is contingent upon it.onebecomingone

Dear Elder Himmer,

At the heart of the Lord’s great intercessory prayer from the Garden of Gethsemane, he expressed this desire (command) “…that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:11)

Living a Sheltered Life

“No man knows had bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not knowScripture_study what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”

Bad people don’t know wickedness because they live a sheltered life. Sheltered from the resistance of evil. If we resist evil, evil fights back. If we don’t resist evil, evil leaves us alone.

Lying down in a windstorm doesn’t give one an appreciation for the strength of the wind. Only standing up against the wind can one appreciate the power of the wind.


Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Albert Einstein

The effort that goes into disproving God is addictive in nature. I often wonder how believing in God can be so harmful to mankind, but accepting organizations and programs that outright harm humanity is acceptable. Is this what the bible refers to when the last days are described as calling good evil and evil good?


The Emotional Intelligence of Joshua & Caleb

In Numbers 14 we read about the 12 spies of Israel sent into the Promised Land to scope out Israel’s eventual homeland. No mention is made if they hired Realtors or not, although they drafted two reports as a result of the trip. One report by Joshua and Caleb and one report by the other ten.Joshua_Promised_Land

One can infer from the text that each man sent was one of his tribes best. However, no mention is made of the requirements, qualifications, or skills needed to be the best. Were they the smartest (IQ), most charismatic, strongest, loudest, most pious, richest, or was it based on nepotism, they were the oldest of the tribes literal lineage to whichever son of Israel bore the name of the tribe?

Priesthood Authority

I really enjoyed conference weekend. My highlight was probably Elder Oakes and how he addressed the Priesthood. Here are a few bullets that I especially enjoyed:
  • Women function in their calling with the authority of the Priesthood
  • Men and women have reciprocal authority
  • Only men will ever be ordained to a Priesthood office
  • Men are not the Priesthood, they function within the Priesthood
  • Only women have the God-given power of creation
  • Marriage is a full partnership – not a limited one
  • Women and men are equal with different responsibilities

The Trial of Christ: Ironies, Contradictions, and Violations

The Mosaic Law had safeguards placed within it to prevent wicked leaders from usurping their powers and making scapegoats out of the people.Jesus_Pilate

After the Jewish leaders talked themselves into believing that Jesus was guilty of a death sentence, they presented Him to Pilate.

Here is a short list of violations:

  1. No one-day trials resulting in capital punishment.
  2. No self-incrimination or confession without corroborating witnesses who agree with each other.
  3. No hearing before the Sanhedrin in the house of the high priest.
  4. The voting cannot be unanimous for a guilty verdict.

Ironies and Contradictions

Selective Neglect

I attended a Little Philmont training for Scout Leaders yesterday. One of the take aways from the meeting was Pres. Fields concept of “Selective Neglect.” It’s another way of explaining priorities in life. There is too much to accomplish during any given day, therefore, we must filter our activities through a set of priorities. Here are our family’s priorities in life:priorities

  1. God
  2. Spouse
  3. Children
  4. Work
  5. Church

I Do No Think That WORD Means What You Think It Means

This is an excerpt from a Brant A. Gardner book review.

Of course, the correct quotation of Inigo Montoya’s famous line in The Princess Bride is “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Unfortunately, it made too long a title, though in homage to Richards and O’Brien’s book, I have substituted the culturally defined Word for its more common reference. That is precisely the message of the book. You keep reading that Word. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. From their introduction:

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

For those of you familiar with our Christmas Adam tradition, you will recall that in the last few years I’ve included a section on Wisdom (Asherah). With the subsequent interpretation as our Mother in Heaven.asherah

I’ve attached a small excerpt from a review of Dr. Barker’s book for your reading pleasure.

Barker’s Thesis for The Mother of the Lord


This talk was delivered on June 9, 2013 in the Wollochet Ward.

It was a cold blustery morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Frank Daly, a local teenager was taking the bus home. The bus driver, John Williams, shivered each time he opened the door to let new passengers on. Inside the bus was warm, outside it was 10 degrees. Not far from his stop, Frank noticed a pregnant woman board the bus.

Her clothes were tattered, her socks were ripped and she had no shoes. The woman was heading in the opposite direction of her destination, but she boarded the bus to escape the cold. She was a mother of eight children and had enough money for the children’s’ shoes but not for her own.

The Art of Science of Prayer: Part 1

The practical application of prayer is akin to communicating with a parent; with the notable exception that communicating with earthly parents carries different nuances. The most apparent difference is the predictably irrational behavior of earthly parental units during times of frustration and anger.

If prayer is the process of communicating with God, then an understanding of effective communication is necessary. Pure communication is an exchange of understanding. However, for the purposes of learning, the process starts with seeking to understand the other person. No expectation of reciprocity. In other words, do not expect them to seek your opinions or thoughts.