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Meadowchik

YW Virtue Lesson, Legos Version

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So I asked to teach the lesson on virtue for my turn this month and the scriptures cited for the lesson focused on four steps:

1) Seeking good things to develop a righteous pattern in our lives

2) Repentance

3) Lusting over and objectification of others and fornication is sin.

4) God will strengthen us as we obey.

I started by defining virtue historically, first as it related to masculine strength, like for courageous soldiers, then as it was used for honorable upper-echelons of society, then centuries later, as it was applied even to the least,  ie the "noble poor."

In other words, once a person's power was recognised by society, their personal  use of their power unto righteousness was assigned a name: virtue.

So out came the Legos. We distributed them and asked each class member to come forward and offer a Lego and an element of their lives which exemplifies personal power unto righteousness. Each subsequent comment was made as the Lego was stacked onto the others. 

They started by stacking one directly atop the others. At about the sixth piece, the teetering tower toppled. We had to "repent" and start again. This time I directed the building just enough to produce a mostly solid block.

I commented on how solid and strong the block has become. It also one inevitably had a pattern. The class members had been encouraged to repeat elements of that felt so inclined, and if course there where about six different repeating colors of Lego blocks, all representing answers like love, prayer, scripture study choices,  purity, temple, entourage,  the Spirit, the WOW, dependence,...

I then chipped a few pieces off the edges, which happened to be two whites and a blue. I then showed the block and asked?

"Are there any blues left?"

Yes.

"Are there any whites left?"

Yes, there were.

By building life of these elements, we'd created a pattern that will help us and remind us what and how to live when things got rough, to literally help us to remember Him and keep out baptismal covenants.

We then read the scriptures in groups, summarized them for each other and discussed a bit. 

The pres has the scripture about lust. She said it was normal for such feelings to arrive, but we cannot misuse them to objectify another person, and must repent if we do so. We pointed out our bodies are designed for these feelings so it is a difficult task to use them properly.

We also pointed out that in repentence, Jesus Christ blesses us with the chance to learn, grow and reconcile ourselves to truth, that we should get used to repenting in a daily basis.

It was a good experience for us, at least the YW president and I got something out of it. We hope the young women did, too.

Edited by Meadowchik

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Love this!!

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When I read this Meadowchik, it made me hope another teacher in my youngest son's life had given him as good a lesson.

I failed miserably in teaching my children about the birds and the bees. Maybe it isn't too late, but he is out of the house and moved about an hour away.

Am I too late? He hangs out with a group of kids that I'm not too sure about. Not dating anyone serious, just hangs with a group of kids, male and female. 

But I'm afraid I might be too late. If I mention anything now at his age, 19, he'll probably laugh in my face.

 

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8 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

When I read this Meadowchik, it made me hope another teacher in my youngest son's life had given him as good a lesson.

I failed miserably in teaching my children about the birds and the bees. Maybe it isn't too late, but he is out of the house and moved about an hour away.

Am I too late? He hangs out with a group of kids that I'm not too sure about. Not dating anyone serious, just hangs with a group of kids, male and female. 

But I'm afraid I might be too late. If I mention anything now at his age, 19, he'll probably laugh in my face.

 

Ooooo...it is tough being a Mom!!!  Perhaps when you see him..just talk about trust and how you trust that he makes good decisions. When they are living on their own it is hard to lecture..hard to say anything without the touchy..touchy...roll eyes...thing.  But you gave him a good foundation I am sure..so get some sleeping pills Tacenda..:P  You are a good Mom!!!  I love this lesson though of Meadowchic.   My son is in his 30's now and through all the highs and lows...a divorce that took everything..we are best friends because I trust him and he knows that my love is unconditional.  You will always have that.

Yeah....finally..he is moving out in December to take care of Grandpa.  I know that empty nest feeling again!!

Edited by Jeanne

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

So I asked to teach the lesson on virtue for my turn this month and the scriptures cited for the lesson focused on four steps:

1) Seeking good things to develop a righteous pattern in our lives

2) Repentance

3) Lusting over and objectification of others and fornication is sin.

4) God will strengthen us as we obey.

I started by defining virtue historically, first as it related to masculine strength, like for courageous soldiers, then as it was used for honorable upper-echelons of society, then centuries later, as it was applied even to the least,  ie the "noble poor."

In other words, once a person's power was recognised by society, their personal  use of their power unto righteousness was assigned a name: virtue.

So out came the Legos. We distributed them and asked each class member to come forward and offer a Lego and an element of their lives which exemplifies personal power unto righteousness. Each subsequent comment was made as the Lego was stacked onto the others. 

They started by stacking one directly atop the others. At about the sixth piece, the teetering tower toppled. We had to "repent" and start again. This time I directed the building just enough to produce a mostly solid block.

I commented on how solid and strong the block has become. It also one inevitably had a pattern. The class members had been encouraged to repeat elements of that felt so inclined, and if course there where about six different repeating colors of Lego blocks, all representing answers like love, prayer, scripture study choices,  purity, temple, entourage,  the Spirit, the WOW, dependence,...

I then chipped a few pieces off the edges, which happened to be two whites and a blue. I then showed the block and asked?

"Are there any blues left?"

Yes.

"Are there any whites left?"

Yes, there were.

By building life of these elements, we'd created a pattern that will help us and remind us what and how to live when things got rough, to literally help us to remember Him and keep out baptismal covenants.

We then read the scriptures in groups, summarized them for each other and discussed a bit. 

The pres has the scripture about lust. She said it was normal for such feelings to arrive, but we cannot misuse them to objectify another person, and must repent if we do so. We pointed out our bodies are designed for these feelings so it is a difficult task to use them properly.

We also pointed out that in repentence, Jesus Christ blesses us with the chance to learn, grow and reconcile ourselves to truth, that we should get used to repenting in a daily basis.

It was a good experience for us, at least the YW president and I got something out of it. We hope the young women did, too.

What a fine and engaging object lesson. Good job!

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17 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

but we cannot misuse them to objectify another person

Limiting objectification to sexual matters doesn't really build a strong base for respecting others.

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37 minutes ago, Yirgacheffe said:

Limiting objectification to sexual matters doesn't really build a strong base for respecting others.

Pointing out that lust is objectification identifies a problem with lust, especially for those who already understand the problem with objectification.

:)

And indeed, go to a middle school and listen to the kids.  At ours, sexual objectification is rampant, kids are bombarded with it constantly. There's reason to focus on it.

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1 minute ago, Meadowchik said:

Pointing out that lust is objectification identifies a problem with lust, especially for those who already understand the problem with objectification.

:)

And indeed, go to a middle school and listen to the kids.  At ours, sexual objectification is rampant, kids are bombarded with it constantly. There's reason to focus on it.

I'm in a middle school just about every day, and sexual objectification is just part of the objectification that goes on.

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17 hours ago, Tacenda said:

When I read this Meadowchik, it made me hope another teacher in my youngest son's life had given him as good a lesson.

I failed miserably in teaching my children about the birds and the bees. Maybe it isn't too late, but he is out of the house and moved about an hour away.

Am I too late? He hangs out with a group of kids that I'm not too sure about. Not dating anyone serious, just hangs with a group of kids, male and female. 

But I'm afraid I might be too late. If I mention anything now at his age, 19, he'll probably laugh in my face.

 

Your hopes are joined by mine, Tacenda! My oldest is only 16, but I have seen with my own parents that good influence is still possible after kids are grown. My parents make the effort to stay engaged with all of us their adult children and they've helped us all tremendously.

Don't give up and do trust love!

Hugs,

Meadow

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17 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

So I asked to teach the lesson on virtue for my turn this month and the scriptures cited for the lesson focused on four steps:

1) Seeking good things to develop a righteous pattern in our lives

2) Repentance

3) Lusting over and objectification of others and fornication is sin.

4) God will strengthen us as we obey.

I started by defining virtue historically, first as it related to masculine strength, like for courageous soldiers, then as it was used for honorable upper-echelons of society, then centuries later, as it was applied even to the least,  ie the "noble poor."

In other words, once a person's power was recognised by society, their personal  use of their power unto righteousness was assigned a name: virtue.

So out came the Legos. We distributed them and asked each class member to come forward and offer a Lego and an element of their lives which exemplifies personal power unto righteousness. Each subsequent comment was made as the Lego was stacked onto the others. 

They started by stacking one directly atop the others. At about the sixth piece, the teetering tower toppled. We had to "repent" and start again. This time I directed the building just enough to produce a mostly solid block.

I commented on how solid and strong the block has become. It also one inevitably had a pattern. The class members had been encouraged to repeat elements of that felt so inclined, and if course there where about six different repeating colors of Lego blocks, all representing answers like love, prayer, scripture study choices,  purity, temple, entourage,  the Spirit, the WOW, dependence,...

I then chipped a few pieces off the edges, which happened to be two whites and a blue. I then showed the block and asked?

"Are there any blues left?"

Yes.

"Are there any whites left?"

Yes, there were.

By building life of these elements, we'd created a pattern that will help us and remind us what and how to live when things got rough, to literally help us to remember Him and keep out baptismal covenants.

We then read the scriptures in groups, summarized them for each other and discussed a bit. 

The pres has the scripture about lust. She said it was normal for such feelings to arrive, but we cannot misuse them to objectify another person, and must repent if we do so. We pointed out our bodies are designed for these feelings so it is a difficult task to use them properly.

We also pointed out that in repentence, Jesus Christ blesses us with the chance to learn, grow and reconcile ourselves to truth, that we should get used to repenting in a daily basis.

It was a good experience for us, at least the YW president and I got something out of it. We hope the young women did, too.

I'll make an assumption that since you've posted this in General Discussions and not Social Hall, you might appreciate some critique (as opposed to mere applause & affirmation).  Please read no further if my assumption is flawed.

;0)

I'll start with what I liked:  It's thoughtful and you tried something a bit different in terms of teaching approach.  It's hands-on and I'm sure it was engaging for the young women.  It could have triggered some great discussion--what are these "good things?"  Who exemplifies a "righteous pattern?"  Perhaps it did all that and more.  

And now I'll share a couple of concerns (of course I wasn't there so please forgive if I get it wrong).  God doesn't ask us to repent of mistakes, He tells us to repent of sin.  And with the Logo exercise, you risk trivializing the latter.  Contemporary Protestant theologian R.C. Sproul once described sin as, "Cosmic Treason."  This is why we need a savior, why we must embrace God's gracious offer of repentance.  Not because someone failed to implement the right pattern in her life (or her Lego's). 

Second, you make Jesus an afterthought (the only one who built the tower correctly--to borrow your analogy).  He appears in your second-to-last sentence, dispensing chances & blessings.  How nice of him.  But does this not risk trivializing the person & work of Christ? 

As father of two young daughters, my desire for them is to know God.  And I know this knowledge will give them courage, will make them bold.  I want that for them too.  And given my middle child (she just started kindergarten) wants to be a Navy Blue Angel pilot when she grows up (she got to meet one last year and then she got to "co-pilot" a float plane over the Puget Sound earlier this year)--I may be getting my heart's desire on that last part.

:0)

A sincere thank you for the thread, Meadowchick.  Feedback welcome, as always.

--Erik

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34 minutes ago, Yirgacheffe said:

I'm in a middle school just about every day, and sexual objectification is just part of the objectification that goes on.

Teaching the reality of how "I am a child of God" means each and every other person is a child of God is one of my favorite teaching subjects. 

And that leads us back to the critically important power of procreation within us, and the importance of understanding this at an age when the body desires sex but the brain's ability to ascess risk is not fully developed.

But, make no mistake, I don't think anyone in the class left thinking it was only about righteous sex. I intentionally used the Legos to broaden our perspective of virtue: power unto righteousness.

 

Edited by Meadowchik

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38 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

I'll make an assumption that since you've posted this in General Discussions and not Social Hall, you might appreciate some critique (as opposed to mere applause & affirmation).  Please read no further if my assumption is flawed.

;0)

I'll start with what I liked:  It's thoughtful and you tried something a bit different in terms of teaching approach.  It's hands-on and I'm sure it was engaging for the young women.  It could have triggered some great discussion--what are these "good things?"  Who exemplifies a "righteous pattern?"  Perhaps it did all that and more.  

And now I'll share a couple of concerns (of course I wasn't there so please forgive if I get it wrong).  God doesn't ask us to repent of mistakes, He tells us to repent of sin.  And with the Logo exercise, you risk trivializing the latter.  Contemporary Protestant theologian R.C. Sproul once described sin as, "Cosmic Treason."  This is why we need a savior, why we must embrace God's gracious offer of repentance.  Not because someone failed to implement the right pattern in her life (or her Lego's). 

Second, you make Jesus an afterthought (the only one who built the tower correctly--to borrow your analogy).  He appears in your second-to-last sentence, dispensing chances & blessings.  How nice of him.  But does this not risk trivializing the person & work of Christ? 

As father of two young daughters, my desire for them is to know God.  And I know this knowledge will give them courage, will make them bold.  I want that for them too.  And given my middle child (she just started kindergarten) wants to be a Navy Blue Angel pilot when she grows up (she got to meet one last year and then she got to "co-pilot" a float plane over the Puget Sound earlier this year)--I may be getting my heart's desire on that last part.

:0)

A sincere thank you for the thread, Meadowchick.  Feedback welcome, as always.

--Erik

Thanks, both are essential points you bring up and I agree with you that repentance should not be trivialized nor Christ marginalized.  My goal was to help normalize repentance as a blessing we should receive constantly. 

I wasn't able to quote the entire lesson, and I was clumsy in my delivery, as always. Ideally the introduction would explicitly tie Christ in, rather than just later in the lesson or in my closing testimony.

Thanks for the excellent advice!

Edited by Meadowchik

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I prefer the licked cupcake lesson. We are more likely to get to eat the extra cupcakes.

Sounds like a good lesson though.

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22 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I prefer the licked cupcake lesson. We are more likely to get to eat the extra cupcakes.

Sounds like a good lesson though.

Baked goods are the best at church on Sunday when you haven't eaten yet!

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3 hours ago, Five Solas said:

I'll make an assumption that since you've posted this in General Discussions and not Social Hall, you might appreciate some critique (as opposed to mere applause & affirmation).  Please read no further if my assumption is flawed.

;0)

I'll start with what I liked:  It's thoughtful and you tried something a bit different in terms of teaching approach.  It's hands-on and I'm sure it was engaging for the young women.  It could have triggered some great discussion--what are these "good things?"  Who exemplifies a "righteous pattern?"  Perhaps it did all that and more.  

And now I'll share a couple of concerns (of course I wasn't there so please forgive if I get it wrong).  God doesn't ask us to repent of mistakes, He tells us to repent of sin.  And with the Logo exercise, you risk trivializing the latter.  Contemporary Protestant theologian R.C. Sproul once described sin as, "Cosmic Treason."  This is why we need a savior, why we must embrace God's gracious offer of repentance.  Not because someone failed to implement the right pattern in her life (or her Lego's). 

Second, you make Jesus an afterthought (the only one who built the tower correctly--to borrow your analogy).  He appears in your second-to-last sentence, dispensing chances & blessings.  How nice of him.  But does this not risk trivializing the person & work of Christ? 

As father of two young daughters, my desire for them is to know God.  And I know this knowledge will give them courage, will make them bold.  I want that for them too.  And given my middle child (she just started kindergarten) wants to be a Navy Blue Angel pilot when she grows up (she got to meet one last year and then she got to "co-pilot" a float plane over the Puget Sound earlier this year)--I may be getting my heart's desire on that last part.

:0)

A sincere thank you for the thread, Meadowchick.  Feedback welcome, as always.

--Erik

I think what many critics of Mormonism fail to realize is that Jesus Christ is a given in pretty much everything we say and do in our worship services and instructional settings. Whatever the point of doctrine might be, He is at the heart.

For example, those who say Mormons ought to be talking about Christ instead of genealogy betray their own ignorance of Latter-day Saint doctrine. Our focus on family history stems from our belief that salvation and the blessings of Christ's atonement must be available to all, including our kindred dead.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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4 hours ago, Yirgacheffe said:

Limiting objectification to sexual matters doesn't really build a strong base for respecting others.

i didn't get the sense that Meadowchik was limiting it to that. But objectification stems so often from sexual immorality and it's a big and pervasive enough problem that it warrants a discussion of its own.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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22 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think what many critics of Mormonism fail to realize is that Jesus Christ is a given in pretty much everything we say and do in our worship services and instructional settings. Whatever the point of doctrine might be, He is at the heart.

For example, those who say Mormons ought to be talking about Christ instead of genealogy betray their own ignorance of Latter-day Saint doctrine. Our focus on family history stems from our belief that salvation and the blessings of Christ's atonement must be available to all, including our kindred dead.

 

I think this is true, but I have to remind myself that the youth are still in the early stages of learning. In some cases we have to treat them as investigators or very new members. Some even are. 

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7 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I think this is true, but I have to remind myself that the youth are still in the early stages of learning. In some cases we have to treat them as investigators or very new members. Some even are. 

Well, it's always good with whatever lesson we are teaching to tie it directly back to Christ and His doctrine, even when we are dealing with seasoned members of the Church. I readily acknowledge that.

 

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On 19 September 2016 at 10:05 PM, Meadowchik said:

So I asked to teach the lesson on virtue for my turn this month and the scriptures cited for the lesson focused on four steps:

1) Seeking good things to develop a righteous pattern in our lives

2) Repentance

3) Lusting over and objectification of others and fornication is sin.

4) God will strengthen us as we obey.

I started by defining virtue historically, first as it related to masculine strength, like for courageous soldiers, then as it was used for honorable upper-echelons of society, then centuries later, as it was applied even to the least,  ie the "noble poor."

In other words, once a person's power was recognised by society, their personal  use of their power unto righteousness was assigned a name: virtue.

It was a good experience for us, at least the YW president and I got something out of it. We hope the young women did, too.

My only comment relates to your first example of virtue. I think it regrettable that virtue, in a lesson designed to adress the issue for young women, is related to masculine strength (like for courageous soldiers). Are there really so few examples of women displaying virtue? That have not left their mark in strength and courage?

It was easy to find articles about "Hundred most beautiful women". A google for "Hundred most famous women" was, unfortunately, a very disappointing list. At least on my list, I wouldn´t have Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Thatcher.

How about Madame Curie? She won not just one but two Nobel prizes, for Physics in 1903, then for Chemistry in 1911. Her life was full of challenges. She lived in a time when women were not, in many universities, even permitted to study. When she won the first Nobel prize, it was assumed that it could only have been her husband who had done all the work (Her husband and she were, however, extremely good at working together). 

Or how about  Malala Yousafzai? Her courage in standing for education despite the Taliban´s attempt on her life, is a remarkable story.

Men are not the only ones who do virtuous or courageous things (Although most history books, films and TV programs would have us believe such)

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1 hour ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My only comment relates to your first example of virtue. I think it regrettable that virtue, in a lesson designed to adress the issue for young women, is related to masculine strength (like for courageous soldiers). Are there really so few examples of women displaying virtue? That have not left their mark in strength and courage?

It was easy to find articles about "Hundred most beautiful women". A google for "Hundred most famous women" was, unfortunately, a very disappointing list. At least on my list, I wouldn´t have Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Thatcher.

How about Madame Curie? She won not just one but two Nobel prizes, for Physics in 1903, then for Chemistry in 1911. Her life was full of challenges. She lived in a time when women were not, in many universities, even permitted to study. When she won the first Nobel prize, it was assumed that it could only have been her husband who had done all the work (Her husband and she were, however, extremely good at working together). 

Or how about  Malala Yousafzai? Her courage in standing for education despite the Taliban´s attempt on her life, is a remarkable story.

Men are not the only ones who do virtuous or courageous things (Although most history books, films and TV programs would have us believe such)

I don't think it hurts to educate people, even young people, about word etymologies when we are discussing concepts.

Virtue in its original sense had a far broader meaning than we have come to assign to it today.

One online dictionary gives one of the definitions as "effective force, power or potency."

I have noticed that in a scriptural sense, virtue seems to mean power, specifically healing power. For example, when the woman touched the hem of Christ's garment, He perceived that "virtue had gone out of him."

And Alma observed that the preaching of the word had had a more powerful effect on the people than the sword or anything else that had happened to them; thus he decied to try "the virtue of the word of God."

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6 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My only comment relates to your first example of virtue. I think it regrettable that virtue, in a lesson designed to adress the issue for young women, is related to masculine strength (like for courageous soldiers). Are there really so few examples of women displaying virtue? That have not left their mark in strength and courage?

It was easy to find articles about "Hundred most beautiful women". A google for "Hundred most famous women" was, unfortunately, a very disappointing list. At least on my list, I wouldn´t have Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Thatcher.

How about Madame Curie? She won not just one but two Nobel prizes, for Physics in 1903, then for Chemistry in 1911. Her life was full of challenges. She lived in a time when women were not, in many universities, even permitted to study. When she won the first Nobel prize, it was assumed that it could only have been her husband who had done all the work (Her husband and she were, however, extremely good at working together). 

Or how about  Malala Yousafzai? Her courage in standing for education despite the Taliban´s attempt on her life, is a remarkable story.

Men are not the only ones who do virtuous or courageous things (Although most history books, films and TV programs would have us believe such)

Well, it's the reality of the word's origin, and I was describing its evolving meaning over time.  The example was not mine but the actual part of the word's history. "Vir" actually means "man."

See here:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=virtue

Personally I think it's necessary that girls understand the context of the changing world they were born into, one built on ages of patriarchy, with that power being used for good and evil.

That said, it's important  to teach about women who've exercised power in righteousness and for good. Thanks for your great examples!

 

Edited by Meadowchik

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11 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I don't think it hurts to educate people, even young people, about word etymologies when we are discussing concepts.

Virtue in its original sense had a far broader meaning than we have come to assign to it today.

One online dictionary gives one of the definitions as "effective force, power or potency."

I have noticed that in a scriptural sense, virtue seems to mean power, specifically healing power. For example, when the woman touched the hem of Christ's garment, He perceived that "virtue had gone out of him."

And Alma observed that the preaching of the word had had a more powerful effect on the people than the sword or anything else that had happened to them; thus he decied to try "the virtue of the word of God."

My main point was that the "virtues" most commonly thought of (And which, by the way, are most often used as girl's names): Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Hope, Faith and Charity are more thought of as feminine virtues. The power and strength side of the interpretation, and even the "vir" as in "virile" are also factors but far from the only ones.

I considered that since the audience was female , the focus should then be on virtuous women and not necessarily concentrating on the maleness factor.

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Well, it's the reality of the word's origin, and I was describing its evolving meaning over time.  The example was not mine but the actual part of the word's history. "Vir" actually means "man."

See here:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=virtue

Personally I think it's necessary that girls understand the context of the changing world they were born into, one built on ages of patriarchy, with that power being used for good and evil.

That said, it's important  to teach about women who've exercised power in righteousness and for good. Thanks for your great examples!

 

Granted, the girls of today are born into "A Man's World" but it doesn't mean that that is the only viewpoint that has to be accepted. I had a lengthy discussion with my wife regarding the "Maleness" of the world around us, including the constant denegration of females. Her son also brought up how in Twitter and Facebook groups, a woman who states a contrary opinion is immediately trampled down. A discussion group about a WoW level, stated by a woman, was berated with the most horrific sexist  and derogatory comments, most of which would not be repeatable here.

My wife brought up the wage differences in the workplace, different pay levels for the same job, based on gender. She also noted that some of the most rabid defenders of the status quo were in fact women. Go figure.

Edited by bcuzbcuz

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3 hours ago, bcuzbcuz said:

My main point was that the "virtues" most commonly thought of (And which, by the way, are most often used as girl's names): Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Hope, Faith and Charity are more thought of as feminine virtues. The power and strength side of the interpretation, and even the "vir" as in "virile" are also factors but far from the only ones.

I considered that since the audience was female , the focus should then be on virtuous women and not necessarily concentrating on the maleness factor.

I would hate to the think the attributes reflected in the female names you mentioned must be thought of as exclusively feminine or regarded as unmanly. In fact, I want to cultivate them as part of my own character, and I wish more males would do so.

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Computer glitch made a double post. Please ignore this one.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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      I would like to respond to that idea here.
      As much as the idea of the noble, happy poor is appealing to me and as much as I hope for the happiness of the vast majority of the world's population living in relative poverty, I think the idea that having no social or material capital helps us misses the fundamentals.
      On the contrary, it is agency that opportunes us to choose wisdom and love, and in many cases poverty has a strong inverse relationship with agency.
      Think about the majority of impoverished globally, who wash their own clothes by hand: what happens to the mother who can use a machine? She has more time, her family has more time. Maybe she can read and then change her world with what she reads.
      Before she has a machine she has less choice and after she has a washing machine she has more choices. She now has to trade off less of material advantages and necessities if she chooses to spend time reading, to herself or anyone else.
      Thus material advantages allow a person the chance to make more decisions, to exercise power in more ways, for good or bad. And the fruitful exercise of agency produced more opportunities for fruit-bearing agency.
      In other words, without agency, the righteous exercise of power--or in other words, virtue--is impossible.
      I believe that Christ expects us to love "the least" because, in part, He wants all of us to experience opportunities of power and thus develop virtuous personal qualities grown from righteous exercise of power, virtues by virtue of virtue.
      Thoughts?
    • By Super Mom
      We are currently living in Europe and do not speak the language in our ward.  Almost all the adult members speak English, to a degree, but all the meetings are held in another language with translation offered to us.  My husband and I both serve in the ward and we attend every Sunday.
      The problem is that our daughter is now old enough to attend Young Women.  The girls her age do not speak English but are nice enough.  She is already an introvert but the language issues make it worse.  She does not want to go to the weekly activities or even to church on Sunday.  This is having a major impact on her testimony and, in my opinion, she needs more interaction with English-speaking LDS girls and youth leaders.  I have looked online for a Skype YW class or Skype Sunday School Youth class, but have found nothing.  I know that our Farsi friends in our ward meet weekly on Skype for Sunday School, but I have not found anyone meeting in English.  I have contacts in the U.S. I could ask for their YW and youth classes to Skype with our daughter, but then there would be time zone issues.  Has anyone heard of an official (or unofficial) Skype class for expats?  Or for YW who are home bound?  Any ideas?  Thanks in advance.
    • By rockpond
      Last week Jana Riess published this guess post by Mette Harrison on her Flunking Sainthood blog.  It's a letter from a mom to her daughter's seminary teacher.
      In the letter she discusses six topics and how they are addressed in seminary:
      LGBT issues Faith and Intellect Identity MIssion Marriage and Family Exposure to other religions Yesterday Riess published a response from a seminary teacher (not the actual seminary teacher the letter was written to).  Here's the great response by this teacher.  You kinda have to read the first letter for the response to make sense.  But, I think it's worth it... his responses are insightful.
       
    • By cshaw
      Can anyone give me some perspective on Luke 8:46?  From an LDS perspective, what Virtue did Jesus percieve had left him when he was touched?  Almost everything I can find, from LDS sources, seems to focus heavily on the virtue of chastity.  I assume the virtue Jesus felt was a loss of power within himself?  The power was gained by being the perfect example of living all the virtues combined? And there is some link between virtue, healing and Melchizedek Priesthood?  Can anyone help enlighten me on this? 
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