Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Podcast 9: Eli

Running long again, but quite interesting. If you don't listen completely in one session, continue listening over the course of a couple of days. We got some good stuff goin' on here.

We had hymn specialist Laura on board for certainly not the last time.

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  1. I am about to write a book, so get ready. Long podcasts elicit long responses.

    I taught this lesson on Sunday and also brought up the Corianton story from Alma 39. Good going, Jon. I also agree with his theory about rampant depression in the Church and Laura's about referring to how strong the Spirit is/has been in a meeting. Comparing one's statements of faith with those of others is dangerous business.

    I had a bit of a know-it-all in my class on Sunday & he said Eli's sons would have been killed for sexual immorality, but according to Deuteronomy 22, that only would have happened if the girls they slept with were betrothed or already married. See vv. 22-29. I made the mistake of believing the know-it-all because it made Eli's choice of honoring his sons over God all the more dramatic. Need to do my homework better, I guess...

    I used the Samuel-Eli interaction to talk about Priesthood leadership and the blessing it can be in our lives. Eli helped Samuel discern the voice of the Lord, and he also accepted that the Lord was condemning his family for past wrongs, even though he apparently righted the ship after the episode with his sons. I thought that was an interesting study in being honest with oneself, even if you're the high priest over the congregation like Eli was.

    And shame on you for the bleep! lol

    Regarding the "be like everyone else" thing with having a king, I talked about how the Lord, through Samuel, warned the people of what they would lose if they had a king...the oppression they would feel when their sons were conscripted to be soldiers, their daughters to be servants, etc. and the need ancient and modern Israel have to be satisfied with the Lord's way of doing things because it keeps families together and people in general safe. What others have may look cool and you may get tired of being part of the 'peculiar people', but that is a hopelessly shortsighted perspective to have.

    I don't like "As Sisters in Zion" either, Laura. Janice Crap Perry. And Michael McLean. And my ward doesn't do a practice hymn. If they did, I'd puke right there in class.

    And to Rhett's thought about things that emotionally "get to us" all being because of the love of Christ...I find that kind of fallacious. I think it has to do with upbringing/indoctrination too, because it depends on what kind of emotion is being ignited. Some on earth find suicide bombers inspiring, after all. That's not the love of Christ making them feel that way. Emotional effect can be taught...it isn't all naturally there.

    I was one of the crazies who, when Harry Potter first came out, called it dangerous. Then a read a few of the books and saw the movies (my bishop is actually a big fan and took the ward to see the last movie last summer at the Megaplex at the Gateway...he's so awesome) and I now see the series as a great way to teach gospel principles and thank JK Rowling for giving parents and people in general that opportunity. With some titles that aren't overtly improper, there's a need to ignore what everyone else is saying and read/watch it for yourself and draw your own conclusion. HP was one of those for me. And no, I wouldn't use HP or Lost or anything like that in a sacrament talk. I had an Institute teacher use HP to talk about Joseph Smith's money-digging and water-witching and stuff and that was just not cool. Joseph and Harry should not be mentioned in the same breath.

    And Jon's comment on "The Passion of the Christ" is right on. I haven't seen it, don't want to see it and wouldn't want my kids to see it for much that reason. The meaning of the Atonement isn't to be had on film. End of story.

  2. SRA (and Rhett),

    What you said about the love of Christ and what pulls at one's heart strings reminded me of an essay I read in an LDS anthology about spirit vs. sentiment. I wish I remembered that during the recording, but I really appreciated that essay because the Spirit and sentiment are two very different things. I believe the Spirit is pure, and sentiment can be manipulated. I watch a Hallmark commercial and it pulls at my heart strings...is that the spirit telling me "this is true"? No. That is an advertiser telling me how to feel.

    Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of CES teachers have gone the way of sentiment to manipulate an emotion out of their classes. That's why I stopped attending one institute class in particular. And transferred out of a seminary class one time.

    It's harder to teach by the Spirit, you don't have as much control over that because the Spirit teaches to people individually, teaches them what they need to learn. It's not selling you something, it's speaking a truth. I'm not saying the spirit can't reach you through sentiment, I'm just saying they are different and have very different purposes.

  3. WRT the comments made on Braveheart, I don't think you can prevent people's minds from wandering. The Book of Mormon itself has all kinds of "inappropriate" components, but you can't decide to avoid quoting it because of that. I think it's important to focus on the good of any story or message, and accept that if a person's mind wanders from that topic, it's their problem, not yours or your source material (that's all assuming your source material legitimately contributes to your message).

    Laura: I agree with you. I think that CES likes to present a very sterilized view of the Gospel. As such it seems like they purposely try to minimize the places that leave room for thought and exploration. Consciously or subconsciously, it seems to be ALL about control.

  4. Regarding your list of movies, here are my answers to the question(s) Rhett asked.

    Shawshank Redemption: I would encourage my kids to watch this at about 15 years old, depending on the kid
    Schindler's List: 17 - it's too morally murky
    Lord of the Rings: My kids have already seen this at 8 and 5 - but we cover my 5 year old daughter's eyes during the Shilob scenes because she's terrified of spiders and I don't want to deal with the ensuing nightmares
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail: 13-14
    Monty Python's The Life of Brian: Never. This is pure filth, and it's not even funny - one of the few movies I've ever wished I could personally "unwatch"
    The Passion of the Christ: If they wanted to watch it, I'd want them to be at least 17 or so, but I would discourage them from watching it - I just didn't consider it a very good movie.