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Elder Scott's Talk


consiglieri

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I came to the computer this morning all ready to engage on another thread only to find it closed due to the fact it got too personal.

So I would like to discuss Elder Scott's talk in a way that isn't doesn't involve board personalities, or my personal teaching style (which, by the way, will remain unchanged).

Elder Scott's talk was a bit troubling to me, and as I pondered over what he had said during the weekend, the reasons became more clear.

One of the things I find troubling about Elder Scott's address is that, as I took time to think about it more, it struck me as strange that he would be saying on the one hand that the "second" Sunday school teacher was more interested in showing what he knew than in teaching his class; and then in the next breath Elder Scott was talking about all the personal revelation Elder Scott was receiving that was too "sacred" to share.

Something about that had rubbed me the wrong way, and it took a lot of thought for me to finally catch it and put it into words.

Another thing I found troubling is that any Sunday school teacher who is not in Mexico City who had Elder Scott sit in for the class during the past year is going to be feeling pretty bad about now.

And it doesn't make any difference if it was the one he was actually referring to; instead of pinpointing the teacher, he laid out a general kind of comment that would have any teacher where he was present feel bad, being ostensibly called out in front of the whole church; and how would those teachers feel about showing up to teach next Sunday?

I think if Elder Scott really had such an impression about a particular Sunday school teacher, he should have just spoken to that teacher personally after class, and not waited to bring him up at General Conference.

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I think if Elder Scott really had such an impression about a particular Sunday school teacher, he should have just spoken to that teacher personally after class, and not waited to bring him up at General Conference.

Any thoughts?

I think Elder Scott didn't think it was an isolated incident. As a General Authority, he teaches general principles that are to be applied to the general church. How many sections in the Doctrine Covenants have personal chastisements that we still try to apply to us personally today?

I think he thought there are several Teachers who are choosing to be 'interesting' over 'edifying'. The one he spoke about was used as the example/type for all to whom that applies.

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Elder Scott's talk touched me the most out of all the talks from GC. I had been praying for days/weeks that certain things that deal with my life, my weaknesses and my strengths, would be spoken of that the Spirit would let me know which talks were for me or which parts of talks were for me.

I had many moments in many talks where my prayers were answered, but it was nothing compared to my experience with Elder Scott's talk.

So, given that, there is no way that i can find any fault in it or suggest that he should not have said what he did in any way.

I can see why it would bother you though consig. and i really don't mean that in a snotty or self-righteous way.

:P

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Consig,

I felt that Elder Scott's talk was excellent. That said, that one comment about the teaching style seemed out of place with the rest of the actual talk. Very strange. Additionally, I think the point he was trying to make was that we need to make sure we are seeking to teach by the Spirit, because the Spirit will teach us all things and without we cannot teach the Gospel. Unfortunately, most likely because he had a limited amount of time to speak and the teacher comment wasn't even the main thrust, it came out as inferring that teachers who have external quotes or who are academic are not teaching by the Spirit. This will indeed lead to the castigation of many good, spiritual, and educated Sunday School and other Church teachers. I know that there are several people in my ward, newer members (newlyweds who have only been here a few months and don't know me or my degree or anything else like that), who do not appreciate my historical comments that expand on a topic, even though they are presented in a faith promoting way to further our joy in the Gospel and trust in its leaders. There are always those elements in the church who will look upon all academics as arrogant and thinking they know better than God or the Apostles, when in reality I (cannot speak for you or others) have the utmost faith in the restored Gospel and its leaders, most especially Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, if anyone tries to bring up Elder Scott's talk to me in a way that would indicate not to be a "smarty", I will kindly walk them through the concept of teaching by the Spirit, regardless of material, and then point them to Elder Holland's talk in the same conference wherein he mentions Ethan Smith, Solomon Spaulding, and uses an obscure (but meaningful) reference to Hyrum Smith turning a page over in the Book of Mormon before martyrdom, all while Elder Holland held that actual volume that was Hyrum's. Those actions and references could be viewed as intellectual puffing and showmanship (look what I have!), but I for one view it as inspired and accompanied by one of the most powerful witnesses of the Spirit I have felt in years.

Elder Scott is one of the most loving apostles I know of. I cannot see him ever meaning to imply academics should not be heard in Church.

Besides... he looks like a mad scientist. What isn't to love about this Apostle? :P

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I can see why it would bother you though consig. and i really don't mean that in a snotty or self-righteous way.

:P

Hi, Bluebell!

I cannot imagine you ever being snotty or self-righteous, so no worries.

I am just lucky I am not one of the Sunday school teachers where Elder Scott made an appearance during the past year or I might have thought he was talking about me. ;)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Elder Scott is one of the most loving apostles I know of. I cannot see him ever meaning to imply academics should not be heard in Church.

Thanks for your comments, MJT!

I agree with you about a million percent.

And I, too, have always seen Elder Scott as one of the most loving apostles ever.

That is why his seemingly ungracious comment took me back so much.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I too thought that was odd. Seeing that both classes served as a catalyst for him receiving personal revelation.

And Elder Scott said the "most sacred" of all these personal revelations he was receiving came in the class with the teacher he took umbrage with . . . :P

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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That is why his seemingly ungracious comment took me back so much.

Since you are teaching the Doctrine and Covenants this year you of all people should understand that even if a revelation is given to one person the Church as a whole can learn from it.

I really don't believe it was an ungracious comment, perhaps an examination of why you would think it so is in order.

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Hi, Bluebell!

I cannot imagine you ever being snotty or self-righteous, so no worries.

I am just lucky I am not one of the Sunday school teachers where Elder Scott made an appearance during the past year or I might have thought he was talking about me. :P

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I can definitely understand that point of view and i agree that i'm glad i KNOW that Elder Scott wasn't talking about any teaching experiences of mine.

But, at the same time, i think one of the things we have to learn as adults is the ability to take chastizement and accept correction, especially when it's given in a spirit of love and concern.

It seems to be an ability that is being bred out of us in this day and age of 'self esteem' and ribbons or trophies for coming in last and not keeping score at children's sporting events-the 'whatever you do, don't ever make me feel uncomfortable about myself, especially in front of others'idealogy that is so PC right now.

The Lord isn't afraid to chasten us though and He speaks in the scriptures about it being a sign of His love for us even, so we should probably expect that His servants-those who speak for Him-will also sometimes call us to repentance or chasten us, even in a personal, uncomfortable manner. And hopefully we'll be mature enough to accept it in the spirit that it is given, and self evaluating enough to recognize a need to change or a weakness to overcome, rather than focus solely on being embarrassed that someone noticed a best effort falling short (or even that a best effort wasn't really a best effort after all).

I think of Elder McKonkie when his mormon doctrine book came out and the first presidency pretty much made him publish another edition because of some of his probably deeply held beliefs. I'm sure it was embarrassing, or could have been, but i think we're all also really glad that the request by the first presidency was made and that BRM complied with humility.

It's just one more example of how there are more important things in the world than making sure no one is ever embarrassed about a mistake (not that i'm advocating no need for sensitivity or charity in such examples either, of course).

;)

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But, at the same time, i think one of the things we have to learn as adults is the ability to take chastizement and accept correction, especially when it's given in a spirit of love and concern.

I just finished rereading the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, and read where he took severe chastisement from Brigham Young on more than one occasion, even though Parley was doing his best to do what he thought was right. I admired his willingness to take such chastisement and keep on going faithful to his duties.

One of the reason I personally take what Elder Scott said to heart is because it has caused me to examine myself closely to see if I fall within his admonition.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I came to the computer this morning all ready to engage on another thread only to find it closed due to the fact it got too personal.

So I would like to discuss Elder Scott's talk in a way that isn't doesn't involve board personalities, or my personal teaching style (which, by the way, will remain unchanged).

Elder Scott's talk was a bit troubling to me, and as I pondered over what he had said during the weekend, the reasons became more clear.

One of the things I find troubling about Elder Scott's address is that, as I took time to think about it more, it struck me as strange that he would be saying on the one hand that the "second" Sunday school teacher was more interested in showing what he knew than in teaching his class; and then in the next breath Elder Scott was talking about all the personal revelation Elder Scott was receiving that was too "sacred" to share.

Something about that had rubbed me the wrong way, and it took a lot of thought for me to finally catch it and put it into words.

Another thing I found troubling is that any Sunday school teacher who is not in Mexico City who had Elder Scott sit in for the class during the past year is going to be feeling pretty bad about now.

And it doesn't make any difference if it was the one he was actually referring to; instead of pinpointing the teacher, he laid out a general kind of comment that would have any teacher where he was present feel bad, being ostensibly called out in front of the whole church; and how would those teachers feel about showing up to teach next Sunday?

I think if Elder Scott really had such an impression about a particular Sunday school teacher, he should have just spoken to that teacher personally after class, and not waited to bring him up at General Conference.

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Do you think he might have spies in your class? :P

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So do you think any teachers will change their method of teaching because of the Apostle's comment? Or that all who fit into the category will just assume that he couldn't possibly mean them...?

Elder Scott's comments were so vague in this regard that it would seem difficult for any teacher to know whether his comments applied to them or to somebody else. This is another reason why it might have been more effective for Elder Scott to simply talk to the teacher in question, rather than speaking in general in General Conference.

The reason I resonate with Elder Scott's comments is because I used to be the second teacher he was talking about. I have taken many steps in the intervening years to become the first teacher he was talking about.

I have examined myself thoroughly in the past couple of days to see if there is any of the old me still remaining that needs to be weeded out, and feel that I am sufficiently purged to continue on my current course.

Other minds may differ . . . :P

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I think he thought there are several Teachers who are choosing to be 'interesting' over 'edifying'. The one he spoke about was used as the example/type for all to whom that applies.

Or perhaps it's Elder Scott's fault for not attuning himself to what was being offered in the lesson. :P

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I just finished rereading the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, and read where he took severe chastisement from Brigham Young on more than one occasion, even though Parley was doing his best to do what he thought was right. I admired his willingness to take such chastisement and keep on going faithful to his duties.

I know. I don't know if i would be as humble in his place.

One of the reason I personally take what Elder Scott said to heart is because it has caused me to examine myself closely to see if I fall within his admonition.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I would imagine that your reaction is the precise reaction that Elder Scott wants all teachers in the church to have and is probably why he chose to incorporate that issue into his talk.

After all, what better consequence of their talk can a GC speaker desire than for people to turn to the Lord and get personal instruction from Him on their subject. Anything learned from the Lord because of a conference talk would probably be seen as a success by the speaker.

:P

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And Elder Scott said the "most sacred" of all these personal revelations he was receiving came in the class with the teacher he took umbrage with . . . :P

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

What do you think that says? Do you think it somehow serves as an endorsement of the teacher who was taking an incorrect approach to gospel teaching? I sure don't. I do think it underscores the fact that contrast often serves to highlight correct views.

What seems unfortunate to me is that some people reach a point where they can no longer be taught from any source, but will instead continue to adhere to the idolatrous philosophy that leads them to say, "My way or the highway."

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...I think if Elder Scott really had such an impression about a particular Sunday school teacher, he should have just spoken to that teacher personally after class, and not waited to bring him up at General Conference.

Any thoughts?

Even though the New Testament implies a different course of action, it's probably healthier in the context you've suggested to believe that people are occasionally called on the carpet publicly as an opportunity to overcome/subdue the ego. The "sufficiently humble" thing.

I'm thinking, for example, of Joseph tearing Brigham apart in a meeting. And Brigham's response. And Joseph's relieved reply.

And of Joseph's comment about how he personally preferred to respond to criticism.

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Or perhaps it's Elder Scott's fault for not attuning himself to what was being offered in the lesson. :P

Oh man! Impressive backhand. I'll be chuckling about the inside joke on that for awhile. You've seriously brightened my day.

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What do you think that says? Do you think it somehow serves as an endorsement of the teacher who was taking an incorrect approach to gospel teaching? I sure don't. I do think it underscores the fact that contrast often serves to highlight correct views.

I thought Elder Scott's tacit endorsement of the second teacher was interesting primarily because it was inadvertent and certainly unintentioned.

I agree with you that contrast is often an effective teaching tool, and one I try to use to good effect in class.

I note, however, that the teacher's manual seems completely devoid of contrast.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I thought Elder Scott's tacit endorsement of the second teacher was interesting primarily because it was inadvertent and certainly unintentioned.

I agree with you that contrast is often an effective teaching tool, and one I try to use to good effect in class.

I note, however, that the teacher's manual seems completely devoid of contrast.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

That you believe Elder Scott provided "tacit endorsement" of the teacher employing incorrect gospel-teaching methods seems delusional and somewhat self-serving. I know I can see nothing in his remarks that would logically lead to that conclusion.

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One of the things I appreciate about the D&C is that when individuals were chastised, including Joseph, it was included as part of the revelations/counsel.

I thought Elder Scott's talk was meant to be "general" and his use of the examples to guide the many and varied GD teachers, including the importance of teaching by the Spirit and imparting the message proposed in the lesson.

And Consig, you've posted on this board often about your classes and what you intend to teach... some of which would "stir the pot" by your own admission. Why do you think your classes came to mind to a number of us as Elder Scott spoke. I know you're a gifted teacher, but from your posts I know you on occasion would raise eyebrows, sometimes I believe knowing full well that you would.

It's good Elder Scott's talk has given you food for thought and self-examination...

GG

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