New Calling: Gospel Doctrine Instructor

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I was set apart as the newest gospel doctrine instructor in our ward today. I was actually released as elders quorum president in January, but it took the stake awhile to replace our presidency, which took place last week.

I was pretty sure for the last couple of months that I would be called as a teacher of sort. When one of the Gospel Doctrine instructors was released last month, I was convinced that would be the new calling. That was made more evident each week that a replacement wasn’t announced.

It will be an interesting calling. I have been in priesthood leadership callings for the last 14 years, so this will be a nice break. Fewer meetings is always a plus and having to prepare a lesson for every other week must certainly be an easier workload than being elders quorum president.

One of my pet peeves is teachers who stand up and give a lecture. I never did that as an elders quorum president, and won’t do it in this calling. I personally find my best classes are those in which there is a conversation. That is what I will focus on.

One thing that scares me is that my co-instructor said everyone who has co-taught with her in the past has ended up in a bishopric. Yikes! Too bad she didn’t tell em that before I said yes.

If anyone is interested, here are the callings I have had since I was married in 1995:

  • elders quorum second counsellor
  • elders quorum president
  • ward mission leader
  • stake mission secretary
  • young men president
  • ward clerk
  • elders quorum president
  • Gospel Doctrine instructor

Nope. No ward bulletin editor.

4 thoughts on “New Calling: Gospel Doctrine Instructor

  1. Congratulations, and good luck. I’m finding that Gospel Doctrine is taking far more time and effort than I imagined it could — 8 or 10 hours per lesson, at least, which is far more than I’ve ever needed for Relief Society teaching. I’m also a big supporter of discussion over lecture, but I’m learning that it takes study and planning to direct the discussion toward a lesson goal, and not having it turn into a bull session. It’s a completely different dynamic, having men in the classroom — women in Relief Society can stay on track with a minimum of guidance; men seem to want to pontificate about anything and everything, regardless of how off-topic it is — it’s taking all my skill to listen attentively to some of them for the moment when they have actually said something vaguely reminiscent of the lesson, then to jump in with an appreciative remark that both ends the pontification and restates their remarks into something that advances the objective. Like almost anything else, Gospel Doctrine teaching requires a huge amount of work to make it both effective and (apparently) effortless.

  2. Thanks, Ardis. I’m sure I’ll need the luck.

    I have no problem with the amount of preparation; I certainly put in more than 8–10 hours every two weeks as EQP. I’m more than happy to have a workload reduction; especially if all my work can be done at home.

    I haven’t noticed any pontification in the last 4 years as EQP in our quorum lessons. All we’ve done is talk about gospel principles mentioned by the instructor in a genuine practical way.

  3. It is funny, in our Stake when a member of the Bishopric gets released a lot of the time they end up in Gospel Doctrine teaching, assuming that the High Council does not snag them. Just the opposite.

  4. I went in the opposite direction last year and I am jealous – I really liked Gospel Doctrine. Co-teaching seems hard, unless you are both on the same page. FWIW, our GD teacher yesterday spent 20 minutes discussing her colonoscopy, I still haven’t figured out what that has to do with the Organization of the Church; but I am slow like that.

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