August 9, 2007

This article is from a Mormon blog I founded and ran for about a year and a half and have since left in the hands of other, more capable writers. I’m going to be reposting a series of my old posts here because I want Sariah to see how misguided and silly her father was when he was young.


I have developed a new illness. It’s called “sunbeam syndrome”. It’s a very serious neurological condition. I’ve written this post to retrace the causes and the effects of this disorder to serve as a notification to those who might be susceptible to acquiring this malady…

They recently made a change in our (My wife and I) sunbeam class. Apparently our calling was too easy… which makes me think we should have spent more time after all the parents picked up the kids roughing each other up a bit. After all, the bishopric never would have considered combining our classes if we came out of the room every week with a few good rips in our clothing and maybe a black eye every week or two. No, like a big dumb idiot, I came out of our class every week smiling and blabbering on about how fun our class is and how much I enjoy the calling and our little class of five kids.

Unfortunately hindsights like that are 20/20 as they say and so our sunbeam class has now combined with another other class and doubled to a grand total of ten kids. That means that ten little three and four year olds on a weekly basis are entrusted to our care as expounders of the simplified gospel, guiding these little minds unto light, life and salvation. It seems like a lot of pressure. Well, maybe for a weaker mind – but thankfully I have an intellectual release valve. The way I see it, Christ was entrusted with ten virgins and He, the greatest of all, brought back only five.

In like manner I have been trying to decide which five of our ten sunbeams (or what I call, “the chosen ones”) we should focus on. The other five we will just put in the corner of the classroom with black crayons so that they can draw pictures of outer darkness, their inevitable future home.

I’m just kidding. That was so inappropriate.

Seriously, it’s been interesting as we try to teach this large group of children lessons from the manual (about insects, water, Adam and Eve, etc…) to see what types of things the Lord wants his little ones to learn about in a formal setting. Interesting and challenging. Honestly, how do you tell kids that all things typify Christ while looking at a magnified image of a snail?

“Well Alicia, snails only come out when it rains cause they like moving on wet surfaces and umm… Jesus really enjoyed walking on water.”

“No Timmy, don’t tell Mommy I said Jesus was a slug… That’s not what I said, I said slugs typify Jesus… Hey! who wants candy?!”

To be honest, having taught the gospel for quite some time now, it’s been pretty fascinating to discover that Primary lessons have taken more preparation than any other group I have ever taught. The flow of activity, the word selection and the balance of reverent time vs. playtime takes a significant amount of planning.

Sometimes it works beautifully despite the large number of kids. Some Sundays though, if we can get to the end of the hour with an emotional breakdown from less than three of the little ones, we count it a success (sometimes I consider it a success if I can get a certain child to break down emotionally)(I was just kidding again).

And you know, despite all the tears, the crumbs, the fights and the bathroom trips. Every week I walk into the Primary room and can’t help but smile when I look at our little line-up of squiggly-wiggly benchwarmers and every week I walk out of our Primary class and can’t help but realize another plain and precious truth that finds it way, as a drop of pure oil into my lamp.

I hope that in some way we help our young lampholders find their way to the march of the bridegroom.

In short I’m grateful for my little sumbeams that in so many ways typify Christ.

And Goldfish crackers. I’m thankful for those too. But mostly I’m grateful for the typifying Christ thing…


One comment

  1. You guys were awesome sunbeam teachers! I miss primary so much. It was a lot of work, but I loved it.

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