So far I’ve been loving Gospel Doctrine this year. I’ve committed to read and be prepared before hand. And I take seriously the admonition in the front of the Class Member Study Guide to
“come to class prepared to contribute insights, ask question share experiences, bear testimony and listen attentively to the teacher and the other class members. When you have studied the reading assignment and pondered the questions int his study guide, you will be better prepared to experience the fulfillment of the Lord’s words when we said, “He that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another and both are edified and rejoice together” [D&D 50:22].
So I read the lesson each week and watch the BYUTV discussions and read several commentaries listed in the gospel doctrine link. And I feel so good. Not about knowing so much, [I don’t retain much of it, that’s for sure!] but it changes how I feel inside. At least for a while. Oh, I go back to the natural [wo]man quickly enough, but I do feel a warm glow-y thing going on inside for a while.
One of the most inspiring things I’ve heard/learned this year is that when Jesus was baptised he really DID descend below all things. He was baptised 740 meters below sea level in the lowest fresh-water area in the entire world. Another type. A subtle foreshadow. I find that absolutely enticing! So many little signs and details, none of them left to chance. And I don’t believe in coincidences! I believe the tiniest details are absolutely meant to mean what they mean!
In lesson four, the baptism, there were all those Jews, the Pharisees and Sadducees who didn’t believe they needed to be baptised. They after all, were born into the lineage. Sometimes we might think we’ve got it made because of who our parents and grandparents are and what they did on those plains. But lineage doesn’t determine salvation. Descendancy, alone, doesn’t determine ascendancy. Righteousness, keeping the covenants and fulfilling the ordinances of the gospel are what determine salvation.
I love this line! “No matter what our physical pedigree is, our spiritual pedigree is one line long! Just because we have Pioneer ancestry doesn’t mean we’ve got it made. But the fact that we are children of God, we’ve got that potential.”
I also love to read Brad Constatine’s commentaries. He has many multi-colored pages that explain everything. I mean everything! The fact that he has done so much work and research makes reading his lessons so understandable.
And of course, Meridian Magazine has an interesting group of writers for the weekly Sunday School lesson. I sometimes have a hard time finding it and often it shows up a little late in the week, but it’s worth reading, as well. Meridian has so many other interesting things to read that I sometimes forget why I went to their site and end up reading an assortment of other thought-provoking articles. It’s worth a look, though.
I have a hard time finding anyone to talk to about all of this. Mikelle goes to a different class and Tracy has been teaching Primary for years, now. We used to call each other every Sunday and rehash the lessons and tell each other goose-bumpy experiences we had during Gospel Doctrine class. We talked about every detail and I loved every minute. I tried the other day to tell someone at work about the lowest fresh-water-in-the-world-thing and I, seriously, got a cold shoulder. She even said, “Oh, how do they know that?”
I said, “I just Googled it and it wasn’t even an LDS site and it said the same thing.” Big time cold shoulder going on now.
s.i.g.h. Such an odd duck!
Well, I’m addicted to this right now. I look forward to studying and reading and thinking about all of it each week. I admit it’s a little distracting to watch four BYU professors of ancient history sitting around a coffee table with their scriptures open on their laps because it was filmed in 2002 and their hair and clothes are a bit outdated. One of the lady’s hair is very, um, up-swept, and interesting. But she is one smart sister! And I adore her!