Wise advice on Sunday School Teaching

From my friend Blair Hodges:

“Too often, the Sunday School teacher doesn’t have a sympathetic understanding of the place of science, philosophy, the arts, and history in the lives of young people, consequently, he depreciates, even belittles these branches of knowledge in his classes. In this way, often without realizing it, he creates confusions and conflicts, instead of an over-all harmony, such as spiritual growth should produce…

“The Sunday School teacher who makes a pastime of ridiculing men of science, and of holding them up as the arch enemies of religion, usually loses the respect of the most intelligent members of his class. Others, who for the time being accept his conclusions, are forced later on to believe they must choose one or the other. Sometimes, they don’t choose religion. And if they don’t, the deceptions of unscrupulous and irreligious teachers of science may have been one of the causes; but it’s equally true that the Sunday School teachers themselves may have been the worst offenders.”

Ezra J. Poulson, “Make Your Teaching Live,” Instructor Vol. 83, No. 4 (April 1948): 178-9, 199.

So true. Within science I’ve seen far more damage done by members who dismiss science as somehow anti-religious than any other form of anti-Mormonism.

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4 comments to Wise advice on Sunday School Teaching

  • Tim

    I also like the middle paragraph on the far right column. Awesome find here.

  • Wow what great advice… from 1948!!!

  • Cap

    Wow! That’s great! I may have to quote this at some point.

  • Ken reed

    Too often I’ve sat in Gospel Doctrine as a teacher blithely discusses Eden, Adam, Eve et al. as if Adam and Eve were actual persons and Eden was a place. I don’t remember ever believing the story, at least from 4th grade on. Yet as a symbolic parable, Genesis works quite well. Eden is a state. A state of innocence. Adam and Eve represent humanity in Eden, sinless and innocent. Until they taste the fruit of knowledge symbolic of the law. Upon receipt of the law, man is innocent. After the law, man is responsible. Mormon doctrine is cognizant of this distinction. And the law requires writing, which implies a civilization. And thus the law, begun in Old Testament times is delivered through prophets, who write it down. Those who don’t receive the law in life get another chance. After the Age of Reason, in the Age of Science, a new religion is born. A religion compatible with the prophets of old and the scientists of new.

    Thanks Stephen for helping.

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