- I teach one 40 minute lesson a month.
- Once I get the sisters talking they take over and I can spend the rest of the lesson nodding, smiling, and pointing to the next raised hand to comment.
- The group is actually officially called The Relief Society (I thought it was called Release Society when I was young--relief is much better, don't you think?).
- It keeps me out of the nursery.
- I don't have to do any paperwork.
- I don't have to go to meetings.
- I don't have to report to anybody.
- I get to say whatever I want and nobody can do anything about it.
Okay, well, maybe that last one isn't all the way true . . . but I do get to steer the topic in a direction that I find useful and that makes me happy.
Last month's lesson was called "No Other Gods Before Me." I read through the material and found some bits and pieces I could use to jump start the discussion. The lesson included a story I remembered hearing when I was a youngster--about these special traps used to capture monkeys. The gist of it all was that if you take a box, cut a small hole in the top, then put a nut in the box, the monkey would inevitably reach his hand in the box to retrieve the nut. Then when the monkey would try to remove his hand from the box, his newly formed fist would be too large to extract from the hole. The simple-minded monkey would never be able to figure out the whole drop-the-nut-and-I-can-be-free strategy, and thus he would be trapped by his own actions. You see how it fits, right?
So I told the story. Except for not exactly like I just wrote it. Especially the part about the monkeys refusing to let go of their treasure to free themselves from the box. What I said, and I quote (as if you couldn't tell from the quotation marks I'm about it use), "The cute little monkeys were trapped because they wouldn't let go of their nuts."
Yep. I said that. In relief society. With little old ladies all around. And. To. Make. It. Worse. . . Somebody giggled. I honestly didn't realize what I had said until I heard the giggle. I thought to myself, why is someone giggling?? Monkeys are being captured!!! That's not funny!! And then my face turned BRIGHT red (as it is prone to do when I make a complete idiot of myself in front of others).
I should have just gone on with the lesson and ignored the giggle. That's what my brain told me to do. But I also have this thing called a mouth which spouts various embarrassing crap when I'm flustered. "Ummmm, that was a poor choice of words, huh?" It's a good thing my eloquence got me out of that sticky situation. I know how to put the "relief" in Relief Society, I tells ya. Without that quick thinking, I might be known forever more as the teacher who used allusions to monkey genitalia in church. *sigh*
I'll bet those sisters are already charging their hearing aids so they can hear what I have to say in next month's lesson: "The Law of Chastity."