Hi. My name is Chad Nielsen. I’m a senior in biological engineering at Utah State University hoping to establish a career in genetics and synthetic biology. More importantly, however, I am a believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While sitting in the Celestial Room of the Logan Temple one day I was pondering on the things I had been posting on my other blog and had a prompting to start a blog with a focus on faith-promoting but informative essays on the Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I started out with some historical work, but after burning myself out on an intensive research project on the First Vision (which became the earliest set of posts on this blog), I decided to turn this blog into a place to put up old sermons that I felt were important to be made readily available online. Since then, however, I was called as an elder’s quorum instructor in my ward, which means that I teach from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church series on a regular basis. Since I have an obsession with reading about the history and teachings of my religion, I tend to put a lot of effort into my lessons and have realized that there is always a need for resources to help bring lessons to life. After all, we often suffer from Christ-centered boredom (and occasionally not all that Christ-centered) in our Church meetings. So, I have tried to make resources freely available for people who are teaching from these manuals that add interest and depth to the lessons. In connection with that, this blog has also become a forum for expressing thoughts about our doctrine that relate to each lesson in a series of essays at the end of each post.
Each post is designed to cover a broad spectrum of possibilities for lessons. Since the lessons should be mostly drawn from the manual, I start out with a brief overview of the chapter in question. Then, I provide a series of resources that can be used in teaching that include suggested hymns to reinforce the lesson, videos that are available online, object lessons, and quotes from various Church leaders and other individuals that apply to the lesson as well. Then, since Jesus Christ is at the heart of our religion, I include a short essay on an event from His life and ministry or a doctrine that focuses on Him that relates to the lesson. The goal of that section is to provide tools to help insure that Christ is mentioned in every lesson in some way or another. Finally, I include a “deeper look” section with an essay on a doctrinal or historical point of interest that relates to the lesson. My hope is that these resources will be valuable and useful to those teaching in the Church. Happy teaching.