I had a wonderful experience today teaching the Valiant Girls class. I love being their teacher, and some weeks we have great lessons, and other weeks I feel like it flopped. Of course, I'm not as prepared the weeks that it flops, so it goes to show that the problem is all mine.
I was prepared this week, and it was such an amazing lesson. The chapters were 3rd Nephi 8-11. This is when Jesus is crucified in Jerusalem, and the earth shakes and their is darkness for 3 days. Then, Christ speaks.
I downloaded chapter 9 onto my MP3 player. I set the stage by have the girls sit in a semicircle, with everything under their chairs. Usually we sit at a table with our Book of Mormon's open. I wanted them to concentrate on the spirit today, not on the written word. I read to them some of the verses and told them my story about being in the tent at Bruneau when I thought the tent was going to fall down. I turned out the lights and explained that it was total and complete darkness. I tried to turn on my flashlight, but it did not work. However, I explained that even in the midst of chaos and darkness, it is possible to feel peace.
I then turned on the MP3 player and we listened the Chapter 9, when is almost entirely a direct quotation from the Savior. Having it read in a male voice, while we sat in near darkness was a neat experience. As the Savior lists the names of the cities that were destroyed, I paused the reading, and encouraged them to think how they would feel if he was saying that Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Eagle, Salt Lake City, had been destroyed. It was so powerful.
I turned on the lights and explained that the people were then able to rebuild their lifes. To find family members, to build new houses, to gather to the temple in Bountiful. I read to them how Heavenly Father introduced Jesus to them, and how he descended into the midst of the people.I asked them who had been in the conference center. We tried to guess at how many people the center could seat. We guess in the thousands, I just looked it up and it is 21,000. I suggested that the "multitudes" that were at Bountiful could easily have been the same size, yet Jesus invited each one to come and feel the prints in his hand and in his feet. We compared that to how long it took for the thousands of people to say "goodbye" to President Hinckley. The best info I could find quickly said 100,000 people in 2 days. I know that we don't know the numbers or the time to visit Jesus, but it doesn't really matter, the point was made that it was a truly unique experience and one that those people cherished.
I read a few more verses, quotes from the Savior, allowed the girls to ask questions or share feelings, and then it was time to go. Our class time always passes so quickly, I wish that I had more time with these girls.
I had a rare treat of sitting with them during Sharing Time, usually I have to care for MaryAnn, and as they were leaving several of them told me how much they enjoyed the lesson today. That meant so much to me, the spirit was so strong, and I so wanted them to feel the spirit and to feel Heavenly Father and Jesus's love for them. I was able to give most of them a hug as they expressed they appreciation for the wonderful lesson.
I know that every lesson can't be as powerful, but I hope and pray that these girls are having spiritual experiences in our class that will help them in their lives.