As members of the LDS Church, we are taught to “liken the scriptures” unto ourselves. We are also taught that education and learning, or seeking truth in all things, is of great benefit. We also believe that all truth can be assimilated into our belief system. Yet, when I attend a Mormon Sunday School class, I often find the same teachings and discussions previously taught and taught in the same manner. Where’s the correlation to other belief systems? Where’s the likening it to my situation? Where’s the historical context of the scriptures presented?
Over a four year period, LDS teen and adult Sunday School classes study the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Church History (with focus on the Doctrine and Covenants). These are then rotated every four years. Teacher manuals for these subjects don’t change often. However, teachers do change regularly as all serve on a volunteer basis. So, it stands to reason that different teachers, usually non-professionals, using the same materials will teach the same stuff in the same way. Zzzzzzz. Often I find myself nodding off in class.
I study a lot outside of class. I enjoy it and like to look for correlations in other sacred texts, historical context, and even in science. I don’t, however, share these findings during a Mormon Sunday School class. I have in the past, and usually they are met with quizzical looks, doubts, or a simple glossing over. I wasn’t trying to take over the class, but wanting to add my two-bits to the discussion. But, many LDS classes are like public school – teaching to the middle. Actually there are usually classes for those new in the church which teach basic gospel doctrine and then there’s the classes for the rest of us. Unfortunately , there are no classes offered for those of us who want to delve a little deeper.
So, I will continue to dig deeper into Mormon doctrine and Christian theology on my own while smiling and participating on a surface level in the formal Sunday classes so I don’t upset the masses.