Sep 15, 2009

What Do You Say When

you don't know what to say? It reminds me of that old Ritz cracker commercial: What do you want when you don't know what you want...something on a crisp Ritz cracker...which is making me hungry here, I was late so I skipped breakfast which is probably ok because I just realized as boss I need to take my birthday employee out to lunch. Let's see, how long was that sentence?

With a big sense of regret, I was released from my RS calling. I have been the second Sunday teacher for years and always enjoyed my time with the sisters. Those of us in small branches know the closeness you can develop. In some cosmic irony my niece was called to the position. Her first lesson was Sunday. And what a lesson it turned out to be.

I guess because I'm older and sound like I know what I'm talking about, I kept the know-it-alls at bay. You know what I mean here. One sister began to sprout some pretty heavy doctrine I'm not even sure actually is doctrine, which only managed to totally confuse our newest convert and upset one of our oldest sisters. Not to mention have me wonder where the heck is she getting this stuff anyway??? And of course there's Sister Nice who wants to make everyone feel better so she tries to wind up the whole thing into a nice round ball of neatness.

I looked at my niece at the small podium and she looked back at me like what happened here. I gave her a wink and she smiled and we laughed about it later. I told her hey at least you got them talking. Just feed them chocolate (the real reason for my popularity) and you'll be ok.

On our way home (her second counselor hubby has to stay after most Sundays), she asked me the question I was dreading. So was sister so-and-so right? What do I say when I don't know what to say?

I opted for honest. I'm not sure but I am sure I don't like it. So I guess I have some research to do. Since then I've discovered what I suspected all along...Heavenly Father gets to make those kinds of decisions and that's OK by me. I don't even want to go there.

So was sister know-it-all wrong, not really. But her delivery was off key and upsetting. And instead of trying to pull back and be more tactful, she opted for full sail ahead and forget about the jet and flotsum created in her wake. Somehow I think the Savior would have put the whole mess in such a way that everyone understood, accepted it and saw the love in it.

I will tell you one thing, it didn't faze my niece at all. She's already studying for her next lesson. Good girl!!! She's gonna be great. But I'm still gonna miss it...a little. I am the Gospel Doctrine teacher now so there's a whole new dimension to my teaching now...the brothers, ha.


  1. Teaching Relief Society really is one of the best callings in the church, I have always said. You can't beat a once-a-month deal. I was released from teaching Gospel Doctrine in May and I miss it. As I read the Book of Mormon now I can see that I learned so much teaching it last year--I recognize minor things from various chapters because I remember teaching it. It's the best. And what to do about those know-it-all class members? Who knows!

  2. Terri, I think you will love your new calling as Gospel Doctrine teacher. We have a few sisters and brothers that are KIA's in our Ward also. Most of the teachers have learned to either steer clear of them or how to cut them off kindly so that they don't control or monopolize classes. I quite like how they stir things up because it gets everybody thinking, and the teacher either has to be very prepared or open it up to other's that are more stable minded. Either way it does make for interesting and sometimes eye rolling times.

  3. Terri, I am so excited for you! I understand missing teaching RS...but you are going to have a great time in SS. I got a kick out of reading this post and your description of what happened. lol...what do you do? We had a sister get up and start bearing her testimony about tome pretty strange things. She suffers from mental illness and sometimes things can get out of hand. Lots of love and prayers...and thankfully, like you said, Heavenly Father gets to take care of it all. Wishing I could attend your SS class!

  4. I liked your thoughts on teaching, delivery & participation--a delicate balance, to be sure. How wise of your niece to be able to roll with the flotsam (:. And I think you're right about the Savior being able to teach in an understandable way; a great model for us as teachers at home or church or wherever, as He is in so many other ways.


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