So my current calling is to teach Elder’s Quorum once a month. It’s been about 8 years since I’ve taught the Gospel to adults, so I am feeling a bit rusty. I’ve taught 3 times now, and I haven’t quite found my rhythm. Anyway, I am posting my notes here in hopes that some of you brilliant folks here can come by and give me some pointers on what I can do to make this lesson better. I have decided not to do a power point, but to just go through the lesson material on the board, if I feel like I need to use a visual aide. My biggest challenge in teaching these lessons has been that I have two gentlemen with disabilities who wander radically off topic that I don’t know how to handle, so any tips for dealing with people with Schizoaffective Disorder and/or Autism/Aspergers would be greatly appreciated.
“ I had the distinct impression that this instructor was using the teaching opportunity to impress the class with his vast store of knowledge. At any rate, he certainly did not seem as intent on communicating principles as had the humble priesthood leader.” – Richard G. Scott
I am here trying to communicate principles, but do worry about going to far.
History of Baptism
a. Traditional Christian Baptism begins with John the Baptist and Jesus Christ- both Jews
b. Before and after this in Judaism this is called Mikvah
c. Jewish Midrash points out that this ritual purification began with Adam, as does Joseph Smith’s Midrash, the JST section we now call the book of Moses 6:64.
Mikvah is similar to LDS baptism
a. For ritual purification (spiritual)
b. Traditional procedure for conversion to the religion (for conversion requires witnesses)
c. Mikvah via immersion
d. Symbolic of being “born again”
Mikvah is different than LDS baptism
a. Mikvah is not a one and done (talk about rebaptism and baptism for health in early lds church, replaced by emphasis on sacrament around 1922. Talk about Sacrament as our modern ritual for self-purification)
b. Mikvah without white clothing(Naked actually)
c. Mikvah for utensils (to make them Jewish, convert them)
d. Mikvah must be supplied with a natural spring (“living water”) Mosiah 18:5 (Book of Mormon evidence?)
e. Today in Judaism, Mikvah does not require priesthood to administer the ordinance, but is a self-dunking. (May sound strange to us, but think of Alma in Mosiah 18:14)
Central purpose of mikveh is ritual purification for the purpose of renewal. It is a key component of repentence.
Why must we be baptized?
a. for the remission of Sins- baptism is an important step in the repentance process. Ask Naaman (Another Mikvah!) how it works. It gives us an act of faith to perform to be healed.
b. for Membership
__i. Gift of Holy Ghost (Br. N will discuss next week)
__ii. Token(or sign) of Obedience
__iii. Access to God’s Kingdom (Here and hereafter)
Who is Baptized and How?
a. Believer’s Baptism (or credobaptism)
b. Immersion (like the mikvah)
a. Taught by Joseph Smith, Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 273
“Baptism is a covenant with God that we will do his will.”
b. It is acceptable to say Baptismal Covenant because baptism is the first ordinance of the Gospel and is thus entry via baptism into the “Covenant of Christ”. However, Baptism does not itself directly contain the covenant, but merely a sign or witness thereof.
c. Mosiah 18:10,13- sign of the covenant to serve God until you are dead
d. Sacrament Prayers- We do this as a sign of the same covenants
e. Alma 7:15- show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism
New Beginnings-Born Again-Galatians 3:26-27
a. In Baptism, we put on Christ and all are equal in Christ
b. become Christlike
c. If prompted by the Spirit and time permits, tie this to Ardis’ Post on San Antonio saints building a house for the poor and needy.