Monday, July 10, 2006

#140 - Typical Sabbath

Since yesterday was the 2nd Sunday, Mrs. Woody (or, actually, Sister Woody) taught the Relief Society lesson. Since this is a Relief Society lesson, you can imagine that quite a lot of thought and preparation went into it for a few weeks before the actual event. In fact, if you were to break Mrs. Woody's lesson preparations down to a chronology, it would look something like this:
3 weeks before lesson: Read lesson every morning upon rising. Prayerfully consider how best to present material.

2 weeks before lesson: Continue reading lesson daily. Begin calling friends and relatives to have them relate personal stories regarding topic.

1 week before lession: Realize you haven't read lesson for three solid days now. Read it again with a slight panicked feeling. Begin wondering if you're ignoring the Spirit.

5 days before lesson: Begin compiling twelve hours' worth of material which needs to be compressed down to 35 minutes of actual lesson time.

4 days before lesson: Feel guilty because you're not doing everything the lesson says we should be doing. Hubby assures you that you've had ample reason to get distracted. Best friend tells you to use the reality of your situation in your lesson. Makes it more human.

3 days before lesson: Give it a rest for a day. Can't focus. Too much going on right now.

2 days before lesson: Finish compiling twenty (not twelve!) hours' worth of material. Begin the work of abridgement.

1 day before lesson: Crunch time. Many prayers today for strength and inspiration. Decide to record children reading cute poem to use as lesson opener. Hope Hubby can increase volume because, contrary to experience, daughters suddenly embrace silence when presented with microphone. Cheer when Hubby comes through with copy that will rival teenage male vehicle stereo systems. Continue abridgement. Format lesson outline. Print out copies of lesson and several backup items to use if called for.

Day of lesson: Secretly enjoy ribbing Hubby is receiving for helping you place your displays on the table. Chuckle softly when Hubby vociferously claims to be "doily challenged." Lose 7 minutes because of announcement regarding new building clean-up rules. (Gotta tell the Relief Society because the Priesthood will never remember.) Give lesson. Enjoy accolades of sisters who just know you were talking directly to them. Have longish conversation with sister who only recently started coming back to church about how this is helping her testimony.

This, of course, differs greatly from the Priesthood method for lesson preparation:
3 weeks before lesson: Remember that lesson falls on day that you were supposed to be out of town. Forget to tell Presidency.

2 weeks before lesson: Remember that you need to tell Presidency. Forget to actually tell them.

1 week before lesson: Finally mention planned absence to Presidency, who promptly forgets.

Day of lesson: Quorum Secretary finds Bro. So-and-So and asks him to give the lesson. In two hours. Forget which lesson, could you look it up? Bro. So-and-So gives it a quick glance, decides which paragraphs to read aloud during the lesson, and how to incorporate the "Suggestions for Study and Teaching" questions. Figures Spirit will pick up the slack. Will use chalkboard if there's a need to impress someone. Shake hands with three or four brethren afterward who all mumble "goo'lesson" on their way to pick up kids from Primary.

Of course the Stripling Warriors learned from their mothers. Their Dads were probably asleep during Priesthood meeting.

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