If you were taking a class to the Temple and visitors centre…

what would you hope would be there? What type of experience/ resources would you like them to have? My view from my own experience suggests that RE teachers would like an exploration of the beliefs, especially the distinctive beliefs of a religion. Teachers and children also appreciate the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of “authentic voices”. I have just returned from a visit to a Sikh community and the trainee teachers I took along came away most impressed with the people who spoke about the impact of their faith on their lives.

I think it may be that as teachers “book” to come and visit the visitors centre it could be discussed with them what would be most appropriate and what they are hoping to get out of the visit. Beliefs and their impact on people’s lives are much more important for the RE classroom (whether Primary, Secondary or Univeristy). Themes might include:

What do we think of Christ?

Who was Joseph Smith?

Why a restoration

The scriptures

Distinctive practices (eg Word of Wisdom, and perhaps elements of other ethical issues as the children get older)

Worship in the home and in the Church

Why a Temple

Rites of Passage (blessings, baptism, confirmation, priesthood, marriage)

What do you think? What resources would be good to use?

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3 Responses to If you were taking a class to the Temple and visitors centre…

  1. RJH says:

    I agree that authentic voices are important. The trouble can be that Mormons speak in “missionary voice” which some teachers and pupils might find suspect.

  2. James says:

    I agree Ronan, when we speak to school groups it is necessary to inform, but also explain how our faith affects our lives rather than proselytise. Interestingly I received a suggested plan for a primary school from a well meaning person where one of the learning activities was to invite the missionaries in to talk about the Church. As a teacher, while I welcomed authentic voices, I much preferred “real life” people from the local area. Also talking about beliefs may not sit comfortably with a missionaries main purpose.

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