For teachings for our times this week, our ward is studying Elder Maynes' talk Keeping Our Covenants. Since we've had problems in the past with instructors not showing up, I've started preparing a lesson each week 'just in case' -- the worst case is that I've studied the lesson more deeply than I would have otherwise. I'm not entirely sure of where to take this weeks lesson, so I thought I'd share some of my ideas, and see what feedback I could glean.
1) (an implicit theme for the lesson) We need to do more than just attend conference and/or browse through the conference report. We need to internalize the messages, write them on the fleshy tables of our hearts.
2) (a minor theme) We can learn more by likening the scriptures unto ourselves. As we move through the lesson, I'd like to focus on the example of the Ammonites (Alma 53:9,12,155,16-18,20-22; 56:45,47; 57:21,25-26) and draw parallels between the perilous times that the Nephites were experiencing and those we face as a community, a country and as families.
3) (the main theme) By making and keeping covenants, we can become the Captain Moronis and Helamens needed to guide and protect our community, country and families. I thought it was very interesting that Elder Mayne's first example was not of temple or baptismal covenant, but of contrasting, additional covenants made by the Ammonite fathers and their sons. What role should these additional covenants play in our lives?
Beyond the scriptures from Alma (above), I'd like to include:
D & C 42:29
And to tie things up, I'd like to go back to the idea that we can stand as Captain Moroni and Helamen with Alma 48:7-20