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Nevo

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Hi Tacenda. This question totally would have derailed the other thread :)

 

This year's seminary manual had two lessons dedicated to discussing section 132. The first lesson focused on temple marriage and the second lesson focused on plural marriage.

 

The lesson on plural marriage didn't go into a lot of detail about Joseph Smith's marriages, but it covered some key points. Students learned that Joseph was commanded to practice plural marriage, that he was reluctant to do so but eventually complied, that the practice was initially kept secret, and that it was a trial of faith for him and Emma.

 

I was teaching a class made up mainly of high school seniors, all of them from strong LDS families. All but one of them already knew that Joseph practiced polygamy so nobody was shocked by the lesson topic. I followed the manual pretty closely, although I did insert a few lines (verbatim) from the Gospel Topics essays here and there. I mentioned the approximate number of wives but didn't say anything about their ages, how they were proposed to, or that some were already married. One student (who recently received his mission call) expressed his understanding that Joseph Smith only married widows and that the relationships were strictly non-sexual. I tried to gently correct that idea. The lesson actually states that "one reason why the Lord commanded Joseph Smith and others to practice plural marriage . . . [was] to have children."

 

Overall, I thought the class went pretty well, given the sensitive nature of the topic. I think the students were reassured to know that the Lord's standing law is monogamy and that polygamy is an exceptional circumstance, an Abrahamic test that we—thankfully—have not been asked to participate in.

Thank you for answering here on Social, I have a terrible habit of derailing. Sounds like you're an excellent teacher and answered the one student honestly and thoughtfully.
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Thank you for answering here on Social, I have a terrible habit of derailing. Sounds like you're an excellent teacher and answered the one student honestly and thoughtfully.

 

Thanks, Tacenda. Actually I don't think I'm a very good seminary teacher. My inclination is to be more of a "sage on the stage" type, imparting dry lectures, than a "guide on the side" facilitating learning. Seminary is now supposed to be all about student-centered learning. Ideally, the "teacher presentation" (i.e., lecture portion) of a given class should only last a few minutes, with the rest of the time taken up with learning activities (group work, etc.). Also, the teacher is expected to testify often about the principles taught. Admittedly, that's not really my style. I probably would have been better at it in my twenties. Nowadays I feel like a spiritual burnout. Maybe its even worse than that (Bobbieaware thinks I'm a semi-converted tool of the Adversary!). Anyway, this is my last year teaching. After four years, I felt it was time to pass the torch on to someone else—hopefully someone more dynamic and Spirit-filled.

Edited by Nevo
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Thanks, Tacenda. Actually I don't think I'm a very good seminary teacher. My inclination is to be more of a "sage on the stage" type, imparting dry lectures, than a "guide on the side" facilitating learning. Seminary is now supposed to be all about student-centered learning. Ideally, the "teacher presentation" (i.e., lecture portion) of a given class should only last a few minutes, with the rest of the time taken up with learning activities (group work, etc.). Also, the teacher is expected to testify often about the principles taught. Admittedly, that's not really my style. I probably would have been better at it in my twenties. Nowadays I feel like a spiritual burnout. Maybe its even worse than that (Bobbieaware thinks I'm a semi-converted tool of the Adversary!). Anyway, this is my last year teaching. After four years, I felt it was time to pass the torch on to someone else—hopefully someone more dynamic and Spirit-filled.

Ha, that's not all that it's cracked up to be, I'm sure introverts especially appreciated humble testimony or teaching style. :)
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Thanks, Tacenda. Actually I don't think I'm a very good seminary teacher. My inclination is to be more of a "sage on the stage" type, imparting dry lectures, than a "guide on the side" facilitating learning. Seminary is now supposed to be all about student-centered learning. Ideally, the "teacher presentation" (i.e., lecture portion) of a given class should only last a few minutes, with the rest of the time taken up with learning activities (group work, etc.). Also, the teacher is expected to testify often about the principles taught. Admittedly, that's not really my style. I probably would have been better at it in my twenties. Nowadays I feel like a spiritual burnout. Maybe its even worse than that (Bobbieaware thinks I'm a semi-converted tool of the Adversary!). Anyway, this is my last year teaching. After four years, I felt it was time to pass the torch on to someone else—hopefully someone more dynamic and Spirit-filled.

 

I would MUCH rather have a teacher presenting/teaching than do learning activities.  Like tacenda said, i think that sometimes manual planners forget about us introverts.  

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One student (who recently received his mission call) expressed his understanding that Joseph Smith only married widows and that the relationships were strictly non-sexual. I tried to gently correct that idea. The lesson actually states that "one reason why the Lord commanded Joseph Smith and others to practice plural marriage . . . [was] to have children."

 

I wonder if we'll ever be able to get past the incorrect ideas that still permeate throughout our people.

It is good that there are teachers like you who know enough to teach the truth without falling into contention.

There are so many incorrect ideas that have been adopted over the years.  There are probably still many who believe plural marriage was only lived due to "a shortage of men".

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Hi Tacenda. This question totally would have derailed the other thread :)

This year's seminary manual had two lessons dedicated to discussing section 132. The first lesson focused on temple marriage and the second lesson focused on plural marriage.

The lesson on plural marriage didn't go into a lot of detail about Joseph Smith's marriages, but it covered some key points. Students learned that Joseph was commanded to practice plural marriage, that he was reluctant to do so but eventually complied, that the practice was initially kept secret, and that it was a trial of faith for him and Emma.

I was teaching a class made up mainly of high school seniors, all of them from strong LDS families. All but one of them already knew that Joseph practiced polygamy so nobody was shocked by the lesson topic. I followed the manual pretty closely, although I did insert a few lines (verbatim) from the Gospel Topics essays here and there. I mentioned the approximate number of wives but didn't say anything about their ages, how they were proposed to, or that some were already married. One student (who recently received his mission call) expressed his understanding that Joseph Smith only married widows and that the relationships were strictly non-sexual. I tried to gently correct that idea. The lesson actually states that "one reason why the Lord commanded Joseph Smith and others to practice plural marriage . . . [was] to have children."

Overall, I thought the class went pretty well, given the sensitive nature of the topic. I think the students were reassured to know that the Lord's standing law is monogamy and that polygamy is an exceptional circumstance, an Abrahamic test that we—thankfully—have not been asked to participate in.

Hi Tacenda. This question totally would have derailed the other thread :) This year's seminary manual had two lessons dedicated to discussing section 132. The first lesson focused on temple marriage and the second lesson focused on plural marriage. The lesson on plural marriage didn't go into a lot of detail about Joseph Smith's marriages, but it covered some key points. Students learned that Joseph was commanded to practice plural marriage, that he was reluctant to do so but eventually complied, that the practice was initially kept secret, and that it was a trial of faith for him and Emma. I was teaching a class made up mainly of high school seniors, all of them from strong LDS families. All but one of them already knew that Joseph practiced polygamy so nobody was shocked by the lesson topic. I followed the manual pretty closely, although I did insert a few lines (verbatim) from the Gospel Topics essays here and there. I mentioned the approximate number of wives but didn't say anything about their ages, how they were proposed to, or that some were already married. One student (who recently received his mission call) expressed his understanding that Joseph Smith only married widows and that the relationships were strictly non-sexual. I tried to gently correct that idea. The lesson actually states that "one reason why the Lord commanded Joseph Smith and others to practice plural marriage . . . [was] to have children." Overall, I thought the class went pretty well, given the sensitive nature of the topic. I think the students were reassured to know that the Lord's standing law is monogamy and that polygamy is an exceptional circumstance, an Abrahamic test that we—thankfully—have not been asked to participate in.

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The evidence that Joseph was reluctant to engage in plural marriages is really pretty slender, mainly in comments he offered in his own defense when challenged. It's pretty hard to argue that he had to force himself to get together with other men's wives, as in the case of Prescindia Buell, Lucinda Morgan Harris and others. A better argument can be made that he believed in a kind of free love, open to men and women alike. The fact that many of the women involved continued to express affection for him suggests that they also saw a benefit in the practice. His former maid Fannie Alger was in this category. She was fond of him even after Emma threw her out and she made her own life separate from the church.

The Oneida Community, a Christian sect based near Palmyra, promoted a variation of free love and that kind of thinking was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s. Joseph was certainly open to borrowing ideas and practices from other sects, such as baptism of the dead from the Shakers, and certain rituals from the Masons.

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The evidence that Joseph was reluctant to engage in plural marriages is really pretty slender, mainly in comments he offered in his own defense when challenged. It's pretty hard to argue that he had to force himself to get together with other men's wives, as in the case of Prescindia Buell, Lucinda Morgan Harris and others. A better argument can be made that he believed in a kind of free love, open to men and women alike. The fact that many of the women involved continued to express affection for him suggests that they also saw a benefit in the practice. His former maid Fannie Alger was in this category. She was fond of him even after Emma threw her out and she made her own life separate from the church.

The Oneida Community, a Christian sect based near Palmyra, promoted a variation of free love and that kind of thinking was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s. Joseph was certainly open to borrowing ideas and practices from other sects, such as baptism of the dead from the Shakers, and certain rituals from the Masons.

 

You're right that the evidence for Joseph's reluctance is not unproblematic. I was following the seminary manual, which mentions the angel with a drawn sword, so that is the version of the history that I presented to the class, but as Dave Banack points out elsewhere, "the private justifications [Joseph] gave (to Nancy Rigdon, situational ethics; to Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, an angelic visit and command) do not even appear in the 1843 revelation." And Mary Rollins Lightner may not be a completely reliable source in any case. That said, I think the length of time between Joseph's first and second attempts to practice polygamy (I'm not persuaded that Lucinda Harris was a plural wife) does suggest that he was holding back. Emma's reaction to the Fanny Alger episode could not have been encouraging and I think Joseph really did worry about committing adultery.

 

I don't think Joseph was into free love and wife-swapping at all. I really don't. I don't see anything like that in Nauvoo among the plural marriages that Joseph authorized.

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You're right that the evidence for Joseph's reluctance is not unproblematic. I was following the seminary manual, which mentions the angel with a drawn sword, so that is the version of the history that I presented to the class, but as Dave Banack points out elsewhere, "the private justifications [Joseph] gave (to Nancy Rigdon, situational ethics; to Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, an angelic visit and command) do not even appear in the 1843 revelation." And Mary Rollins Lightner may not be a completely reliable source in any case. That said, I think the length of time between Joseph's first and second attempts to practice polygamy (I'm not persuaded that Lucinda Harris was a plural wife) does suggest that he was holding back. Emma's reaction to the Fanny Alger episode could not have been encouraging and I think Joseph really did worry about committing adultery.

 

I don't think Joseph was into free love and wife-swapping at all. I really don't. I don't see anything like that in Nauvoo among the plural marriages that Joseph authorized.

I agree that there is plenty of room for speculation regarding Joseph's relationships with women, but I prefer to see him as ahead of his time when it comes to equality of the sexes. He was highly imaginative and it seems fair to say that he was continuously drawing on his original visions, and reinterpreting their meaning as he went forward. This is the view I have developed of him in the course of writing my recent novel of his life, "The True History of Joseph Smith, as told by his sister." You might find it interesting:

http://www.amazon.com/True-History-Joseph-Smith-ebook/dp/B00SSBDB4U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423500822&sr=8-1&keywords=True+history+of+Joseph+smith

 

Please do not advertise on the board.

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I agree that there is plenty of room for speculation regarding Joseph's relationships with women, but I prefer to see him as ahead of his time when it comes to equality of the sexes. He was highly imaginative and it seems fair to say that he was continuously drawing on his original visions, and reinterpreting their meaning as he went forward. This is the view I have developed of him in the course of writing my recent novel of his life, "The True History of Joseph Smith, as told by his sister." You might find it interesting:

http://www.amazon.com/True-History-Joseph-Smith-ebook/dp/B00SSBDB4U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423500822&sr=8-1&keywords=True+history+of+Joseph+smith

 

And speculation is all it is.

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I hate group projects in school. BTW, I graduated!

I HATE group projects in school. BTW I graduated and am at the point where my kids have been doing group projects in school for quite some time now.  Do they always have to put my conscientious, hard working, sometimes OCD children with kids who just don't care?

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I HATE group projects in school. BTW I graduated and am at the point where my kids have been doing group projects in school for quite some time now.  Do they always have to put my conscientious, hard working, sometimes OCD children with kids who just don't care?

Seriously! This is in-school child abuse.

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Seriously! This is in-school child abuse.

I'm not sure if you're teasing me here, but the last 2 years have been exceptionally bad for this kind of pairing with my kids.  One daughter was so mad about the work her group did on a project that on top of the work she did for the group, she did the whole project on her own.  After the class where her group presented, she gave the teacher what she had done along with a written "presentation" explaining her concept she told the teacher "this is what I wanted to do, so I just did it too".  The group barely made a C on the project and my Shiney was quite disappointed.  A week later the teacher returned her own project with a note praising her work, thanking her for doing her best in working with the group and gave extra credit enough to bring her grade up to an A

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I HATE group projects in school. BTW I graduated and am at the point where my kids have been doing group projects in school for quite some time now.  Do they always have to put my conscientious, hard working, sometimes OCD children with kids who just don't care?

 

It is fantastic training for when you have a job. :)

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It is fantastic training for when you have a job. :)

I don't know, I've always found the group dynamic while working different from that in school.  At least in my experience people who have jobs seem a lot more motivated to succeed, they want to have their participation seen and be well received. 

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I don't know, I've always found the group dynamic while working different from that in school.  At least in my experience people who have jobs seem a lot more motivated to succeed, they want to have their participation seen and be well received. 

 

Some are, some aren't. Depends on the workplace and the people.

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I'm not sure if you're teasing me here, but the last 2 years have been exceptionally bad for this kind of pairing with my kids.  One daughter was so mad about the work her group did on a project that on top of the work she did for the group, she did the whole project on her own.  After the class where her group presented, she gave the teacher what she had done along with a written "presentation" explaining her concept she told the teacher "this is what I wanted to do, so I just did it too".  The group barely made a C on the project and my Shiney was quite disappointed.  A week later the teacher returned her own project with a note praising her work, thanking her for doing her best in working with the group and gave extra credit enough to bring her grade up to an A

Not teasing at all. Group work sucks more than home teaching. They tend to be equally useless.

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