Priestcraft in Svithery


Stake conference this week and we heard from the Sunday School general president.

He reminded teachers (and aren't we all teachers?) that we should be focused on learning, not teaching. In other words, it's not about how cleverly we teach, but about hos well learning occurs.

Teaching in a way that glorifies the teacher rather than serves the learner is a form of priestcraft.

I'm taking this as personal instruction, for church, for here, for m'job, for life.

last week's svithe


  1. Oh, how I wish my very-egocentric, very-boring, priestcrafty professors would follow your lead, Th.

    While it's sometimes nice to warm myself in the glow of their intellects just after I've come in from the wintry cold, I wish they actually intended to spark more in their students than a love for Dr. Look-at-me-I'm-center-of-the-academic-universe-and-I-deserve-all-the-attention-and-praise-you-can-muster.

    Needless to say, I've got some great models NOT to follow when I finally finish school and gain the protection of tenure.

  2. .

    It's a constant temptation, the desire to be worshiped.

  3. Well, I almost began with "All hail Thmazing!" but decided against it due to your renewed commitment to deny yourself the glory...

  4. .

    It's hard, when you're worthy of it.

  5. One of the most incredible callings in which I have served is the Gospel Doctrine teacher. I recognize the significant pull to take the soap box and make it sound like I know enough to "teach" everyone what's what. I, however, have never felt like I knew more than the next guy, preferring to lead a discussion rather than try to teach the class.

    I've been in the Gospel Doctrine class when the teacher spent the 40 minutes lecturing the class. It doesn't work - few Gospel Doctrine teachers have been educated enough but fewer can entice the spirit to participate in their diatribe.

    The right discussion provides the opportunity for many to share portions of their testimony with the class.

    I prefer to consider any teaching position within the church as more of a discussion moderator than a teacher.

  6. .

    The best, most knowledgeable teachers I have ever seen in gospel doctrine have known enough to get out of the way and let us instruct each other.

  7. One of my least favorite G.D. teachers at BYU was kinda priestcrafty. He never taught what was in the manual and always taught straight Bruce R. on the topic instead. He was very infuriating because he always let off the air that he knew more than even the people who put together the manual. I'm pretty sure he once said something to the effect that "The manual is made for people who don't know much about the gospel."

  8. .

    Good thing you were sitting. Unless we think that slapping him might have been a better result. Then: Shame you were sitting.