May: Prophets and Revelation


Print up the following test questions and hand out copies to the class. Tell the class it is test day and these are the questions.
  1. What is Franconian notation? Why is it important?
  2. How did the composers of the Ars Nova improve on Franconian notation?
  3. What is an isorhythmic motet? Where are talea and color found, what are they, and what role do they play?
  4. What is pan-isorhythm? Describe how it is present in a work discussed in class.
  5. Who was Machaut, and why is his Messe de Nostre Dame important?
  6. What are the three French formes fixes?
  7. How can the Ars Subtilior be understood as an intensification of the Ars Nova?
  8. What is the Squarcialupi Codex? Why is it important for the understanding of Trecento music and composers?
  9. Name the form, and 3 unique characteristics of the Italian Madrigal with an example.
  10. Compare and contrast the Italian Ballata with the French virelai. Use examples.
  11. What is music ficta? What is its relationship to the Guidonian Hand?
When the class shows their inability to answer the questions, ask if it would make it easier if they could ask their neighbor the questions. When this also does not work, tell them it is an open-book test. If they have a music history textbook, they can certainly answer the questions. (If you have your own test and its corresponding textbook, that will be an even better object lesson, as you can offer them the book.) Now tell them that, although it is open book and open neighbor, it is also timed. Give them 30 seconds to answer question 1.

When they all fail the exam, ask them how they could have better prepared. Of course, if they had read the textbook, and if they had heard the lectures, and if they had taken notes and studied, they would have been able to answer most of the questions. If they read the textbook many times, the test would have been simple, fast and easy.

We all know that this life is a test and the textbook is the scriptures. It is open book, it is open neighbor, and it is conducted in real time. We all have the textbook, but if we wait until a tough question comes up to read the book or if we rely simply on asking others, we are going to struggle. For one thing, our neighbor might not know the answers any better than we do. For another, we may not have the book with us in the moment. And even if we do, we may not have time to research and find the answer.

BUT if we have been reading a bit every day, if we have been marking our scriptures, if we have been going to gospel classes and listening to sacrament meeting talks, the words of the Lord will be in our heads and we can quickly pull them out in an instant in a crisis, particularly with the aid of the Holy Ghost which will attend us if we are focused on the scriptures, and we will have the right answer to pass every moment's test.

Read Psalm 119:105, Alma 31:5, D&C 11:21.

Ask the students to be thinking of a scripture that has been very important in their lives.

Watch the video "Daily Bread Pattern" while serving the students homemade bread, if you like.

Have the students share their special scriptures, and you share yours as well. You may also share some favorites of the prophets. For example, 3 Nephi 22:17 was an extremely significant scripture to President Ezra Taft Benson. He carried it in his wallet throughout his life. Why was this important? When he was an apostle, he was called by his prophet to go to post-war Europe, visit the suffering and starving saints in all the countries affected, and arrange for delivery of food and goods to them. In order to do this, he had to pass by foreign armies, travel through bombed lands, deal with military bureaucracies, and daily risk his life. (This is detailed in the book On Wings of Faith, by Frederick Babbel, his young missionary-assistant.)

Watch the video "Book of Mormon Messages."

Read 1 Nephi 15:24-25 and challenge the students to read for 20 minutes every day.


Scripture study is aided for the Latter-day Saint when he fully avails himself of the Joseph Smith Translation.  This lesson provides information about the origin of the translation, how to get it, and how to use it.


For a lesson with lots of interesting little tidbits that can be unearthed in the scriptures regarding the Prophet Noah (thereby learning about both prophets and the scriptures), go to my lesson Noah Prepared an Ark


Here is the first part of a lesson on "The Keys of the Kingdom" held by the prophets and apostles.  The remainder of the lesson, including some fun pictures can be found at this link

Bring the following four items:

A message written in code.
A color-by-number page.
A box, padlock, diary, etc with a lock.
A quiz (math, music, history, whatever).

Give each of the items to a different student and ask them to translate, color, open, or answer correctly in 1 minute.

Review their progress and ask what might give them a better chance of success.  A key, of course.  Show the appropriate key for each thing:  For the message, a code key; for the art, a color key; for the lock, a metal key; for the quiz, the answer key.

The Keys of the Kingdom

Christ promised to give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:19), and those keys were transfered to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration by Moses and Elias (Matt. 17:1-9).

"The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'I will give you a key that will never rust; if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.'

"These spiritual keys hold 'the right to enjoy the blessing of communication with the heavens, and the privilege and authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to preach the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins' (Joseph F. Smith, p. 142).  Keys of the ministering of angels are the right of the Aaronic Priesthood. (See D&C 13). The higher Melchizedek Priesthood 'holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God' (D&C 84:19).  To be efficacious and valid, every act in the Church must be performed under the authority of the keys at the appropriate time and place, and in the proper manner and order. The authority and power to direct all of the labors of the kingdom of God on earth constitute the keys of the priesthood. Those who possess them have the right to preside over and direct the affairs of the Church in their jurisdiction" (James E. Faust, "The Keys That Never Rust," Oct. 1994 General Conference)  (Follow the link at the top of the lesson for the rest.)

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