I'm just finishing up my fourth year as gospel doctrine teacher. Two more lessons to go, and I'm hanging on by the tips of my fingernails. My well has only a few liters of water left. I feel like I've shared every personal experience, every good story, every insight I can squeeze out. Yes, I know that men like Daniel Ludlow and Gerald Lund probably teach gospel doctrine for 17 consecutive years, but HELLOOOOO, I'm not Daniel Ludlow!
Tomorrow we will be discussing the book of James. I thought this idea by Bruce R. McConkie was cool. Paul wrote his letters for the benefit of those members of the church living at that time. Occasionally there are gems that benefit us today. James, on the other hand, wrote his letter for the members of the House of Israel today, and a few individuals from his day might possibly have benefitted from them. As I read James with that thought in mind I could truly get the picture.
Take James 1:5-6. It wouldn't surprise me if James wrote that scripture specifically for Joseph Smith. He said that no passage of scripture had ever come to his heart with more power than this one did. And think of the countless individuals who have been blessed because Joseph read and acted on that scripture. I like this quote by Bruce McConkie: "Thus, this single verse of scripture has had a greater impact and a more far reaching effect upon mankind than any other single sentence ever recorded by any prophet in any age."
Anyway, if you're ever feeling uncertain about whether you've prepared a good lesson, may I suggest that a treat during class goes a long way toward improving what you have prepared!!