361: Introduction to Mormon Stories Sunday School

July 4, 2012
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Mormon Stories Sunday School is a new podcast led by Bible scholar Jared Anderson. You can visit the site at www.MormonSundaySchool.org.

In this first episode, Jared outlines the vision, tone, goals, and proposed content of this Sunday School podcast. There will be a weekly Gospel Doctrine podcast entitled “Engaging Gospel Doctrine”, as well as a “ward library” of expanding content under the title “Excavating Scripture”. He also introduces skills for “close reading” of the scriptures as well as suggests resources, to which you can find links below.

This project models Sunday School teaching that is substantive and engaging while remaining faith-friendly, something that would be at home in a ward environment (though the coolest ward ever). Content will be produced in the following order:

  • A weekly Sunday School lesson published about two weeks before the Church schedule
  • A series of twelve audio-visual presentations that explore the intersection of key disciplines and topics with religion and Mormonism
  • Mormon Stories-style interviews that will focus on the Standard Works and related topics
  • A podcast commentary of the Standard Works

Here is a link to Dr. Sophia McClennen’s Close Reading Guide

The “Super Quad” list of books:

 

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17 Responses to 361: Introduction to Mormon Stories Sunday School

  1. Larrin
    July 5, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I have a couple questions.

    1) How will you handle weeks where a huge amount of material is covered in Gospel Doctrine? I’m thinking about when the entire book of Psalms, Romans, etc. is in one lesson.

    2) Will further commentary recommendations be given, or would that be too complicated? As you said there are millions of commentaries.

    • Jared
      July 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Larrin,

      Glad to see you are already excited for the Bible!

      1) No matter how much material is covered, in Engaging Gospel Doctrine I will stick to the time limit roughly since we are modeling a Sunday School class. However, just you wait… when the Bible hits the recommended links are going to explode. :)

      2) I will also recommend resources for each lesson the way I linked the close reading guide here. Here is a place to start for the Bible: http://www.scribd.com/doc/53054728/Bible-Book-Recommendations

      That said, when I get around to the podcast commentary I will be working a few chapters at a time so will take as much time as needed.

    • Penny
      July 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      This is way too cool. I’m also a member of the online FB group “The Venerables”. (Less young members!!) In the past, we discussed forming some sort of Sunday School situation…..well, NOW y’all have formed this option!!! It’s ABSOFREAKINLUTELY GREAT!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3 !!!

  2. LatterDayDeist
    July 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Wow I am excited! Finally something different than the same old stuff re-hashed

  3. Anon
    July 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hmmm. The Open Stories foundation claims it is not a new Mormon Religion. Yet here we go again. Yet another thing it is doing to emulate the Church. It before it was just communities emulating wards and stakes, and now it has a Sunday School. Hey, it even has a hierarchy, with the Alpha personalities filling that role.

    • Jared
      July 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      Well the ways that Open Stories parallels and differs from the Church and why it is not a new religion are large topics better addressed in a different forum perhaps.

      But to address the relationship of this podcast with the Church Sunday School, have you noticed that these podcasts follow the lesson schedule? There have long been abundant online resources to help Gospel Doctrine teachers and students get more out of the experience. This simply does so in podcast form. This is not an alternative Sunday School; it is fully aware of and engages with LDS Gospel Doctrine classes. Therefore it isn’t playing a part of a “new religion” any more than the hundreds of Sunday School classes around the world.

    • Ben
      July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      If you don’t like it, you don’t need to listen. :-/

  4. Chassie A Bunker
    July 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you so much! I have been waiting for something like this–I cannot express how excited and full of gratitude I feel for this much needed resource you are providing. Wow!

  5. Mike
    July 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I can’t wait to dig in.

    Close reading has been a real challenge for me and I look forward to hearing the comments of others who are trying their best at it. One of the biggest struggles i have with close reading is how to determine how closely written a passage may have been in order to know how significant each word or sentence might be. for example, perhaps Paul, writing in a dungeon with limited resources would have reworded a sentence but didn’t have the room to do so. Perhaps a part of king Benjamin’s sermon being an oral presentation originally, came out differently than he had wished. Or perhaps they chose every word carefully and each sentence has important meaning.

    Anyway, I am very excited that Mormon stories is doing this so that we can all bounce ideas off each other in an environment a little more opened to varying opinions than Sunday school typically is.

  6. Arthur
    July 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    This is an incredibly exciting endeavor. I am very grateful that Jared has taken it upon himself to create this program.

  7. Paula
    July 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Jared, thank you for this amazing resource! As I continue my journey toward a more mature faith structure, I’m confident this podcast will be a God send!

  8. Steve Parkin
    July 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    With face washed and lunched packed, I’m excited for the first day of school, Jared, er rather, Mr Anderson. I’m especially interested to learn more about biblical epistemology (and the other cool terms your used in your intro). My trepidation? I feel like I’m in Kindergarten, or perhaps 3rd Grade, on some of these topics. In your lessons, please give us some epistemology one-liners and simple sound-bites that biblical simpletons like me can repeat in regular Sunday School that will enlighten non-listeners.

    • Jared
      July 9, 2012 at 12:07 am

      Steve,

      My students call me professor, but you can call me Brother Anderson or Jared. ;) I will keep this in mind; I think it will come naturally as I explain concepts that need to be addressed. I am very serious about this not being a project with an academic feel for the most part, but at the same time offering substance.

  9. matt
    July 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Looking forward to this! In the last few minutes you discussed the format for the ways lessons will be approached. So, then each class will be segmented into literature, history, theology, and ethics in roughly 10 minute potions?

    • Jared
      July 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

      The eventual Scripture Commentary podcast will be roughly like that, though in different passages the segments will be longer or shorter. But that project won’t happen until I am done with the full Standard Works Gospel Doctrine schedule.

  10. Sheila
    August 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m really looking forward to learning in Sunday School again.

  11. Bonita Migliore
    September 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I’d like to see a tab for Jared’s bio. It would be nice to see all of his qualifications delineated.

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