Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 25 - Last class of "Becoming More Christlike" (Though it's a continuing process ...)

We had a great class on Sunday.
I want to thank you all for participating. And not just because I was more than a little nervous due to the fact that our Stake President had joined us.

We discussed the lesson "How Can I Show Love for Those I Teach."

There are many ways we can show our love to others, as Jesus showed love to those He taught.

  • We can serve others.
    In Marvin J. Ashton's General Conference talk, "We Serve That Which We Love" (from April 1981), he states: "We serve that which we love. If we sacrifice and give our love for that which our Father in Heaven asks of us, it will help us set our footsteps upon the path of eternal life. Again I conclude, what we serve we learn to love, and what we love takes our time, and what takes our time is what we love."
  • We can be kind to those we teach.
    I'll admit that sometimes, as much as I do love you all, it can be a little difficult to keep your attention (That's my biggest challenge as your instructor ... and, as far as challenges go, it's one that I prefer. You all are a great class. You bring energy and a wonderful spirit to the class. You all seem to genuinely like each other and get along. You are willing to take part in our discussions. I am VERY grateful for all of this.) ... so, on the occasions that I need to redirect the focus to the topic we're discussing, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU and I'm trying to be more like Jesus, I make sure to GENTLY adjust your focus. I work really hard at not snapping and using a tone. It's one of the ways that I can show my love and respect for you (and, by practicing not losing my cool, I also get the benefit of growing just a little bit more like Jesus and our Heavenly Father. So it's a TOTAL win-win situation).
We also talked about WHO we are teaching (Hint: It's everyone. We all have opportunities to learn from each other ALL THE TIME. It's a big responsibility ... and, well, if Heavenly Father trusts us with that responsibility, He'll give us the opportunities and abilities for us to fulfill it.) -- We can be good examples to our families. We can help teach our friends. Since "every member is a missionary," we can all help to bring all those around us to an awareness of the gospel and of God's love for them. We will have opportunities to teach our children (or, if you don't have any children of your own, you can teach those children around you, like Sheri L. Dew's wonderful example ... or in the example of Great-Aunt Rose from Elder Uchtdorf's talk at the October 2015 General Women's Session).

And we also discussed the WHY of loving those whom we teach ... because, well, if someone is making me feel bad about myself and showing that they don't feel that I'm worthwhile, I sure am going to have reservations about listening to them.

Our actions will speak to others louder than our words. So, like my Seminary teacher, Joan Schofield, would tell us, "You need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk." As Ralph Waldo Emerson (he's a famous writer and poet) wrote, "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."
If we don't infuse our actions with charity (that pure love of Christ), others may think that we're preaching to them or being hypocritical. 

Elder Renlund, in his Conference Talk, "Through God's Eyes," tells us:
"Only when we see through Heavenly Father’s eyes can we be filled with “the pure love of Christ.”5 Every day we should plead with God for this love. Mormon admonished, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ."

As we are filled with this love, it will be evident in our actions and behavior. People will be able to FEEL, through you, the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for them. They will KNOW, through you and your example, that they are LOVED and VALUED and IMPORTANT.

Just imagine how different the world would be if everyone KNEW that they are important, that they are loved beyond comprehension, that they are precious and valued? And that those around them are equally loved and cherished?
I really do think that, if everyone KNEW these facts, that everyone would act in a much better, kinder, happier manner. We'd all be more eager to assist each other, to protect each other, to help each other, and to love each other with a perfect love for our spirit brothers and sisters.


We also had the opportunity to discuss a situation that one of you is/was faced with.

We've had many Conference talks (for both General and Stake Conference!) about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.

Sometimes, meetings or activities will be planned for Sunday.
Others may not always have the same beliefs or priorities as we do.
(I have a cousin-in-law who observes the Sabbath on Saturday, for instance.)
But, as we show love for those around us, that gives us an opportunity to serve and teach them.

In this case, there was going to be practice for a class.
And the teacher, after learning that a few of his students have church on Sunday, told them, "Well, come after church."

This does put one in a predicament. However, we have instructions on how to handle these things ...

1 Corinthians 10:13 --
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
In this case, it could be tempting to just say, "Oh, well, I'll go to church and then do this afterwards."
(Bonus points to your classmate for not even considering this. And bonus points to [Classmate]'s family for teaching that Sabbath day observance is a priority in their lives.)

You could also choose to just say, "I can't be there," and leave it at that. Your grade would most likely suffer.

OR, as Sister Seltz talked about in Sacrament Meeting, you could follow Sister Carole M. Stephens's example from her Conference talk.
She was in the situation where her granddaughter would NOT stay buckled in her carseat as they drove to Sister Stephens's house. Sister Stephens tried everything she could ... and said a prayer.
She received an impression to teach her granddaughter WHY staying buckled in her carseat was necessary.

We can apply this to our lives, especially in the case of a teacher (or coach) setting up things on the Sabbath day.

If this happens, let your teacher/coach/whomever know WHY you can't be there, WHY you believe that keeping the Sabbath is important, WHY the Sabbath isn't just part of the weekend ... and let them know that you're willing to make up work as needed on other days of the week (or out of class or whatever). This way they know that you're invested in this class/activity and not just blowing them off because you're irresponsible or lazy. (Because you're NOT those. We all have our moments ... like how I've not blogged about class until THURSDAY MORNING. Goodness gracious ... but you're full of unlimited potential. You surpass labels.)

Another situation we talked about is responding kindly and civilly when others ... well, aren't being kind or civil. (Just like in Proverbs 15:1 - "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." -- I've been told that, if an argument starts and you must participate in it, lower your voice to the same degree that the other person raises his or hers. It could end up with you whispering and the other person yelling ... and it's REALLY HARD to keep up yelling or arguing with someone who's being so quiet. #TheMoreYouKnow) ... Just because someone isn't being nice doesn't mean that you need to lower yourself to that level. It gives you a great opportunity to show them (and those around) how a person can and should respond.

Yeah, that was a lot to cover in a lesson. Probably too much for just one lesson, really. ^_^
But you all did a great job of taking part in the lesson. I hope that it was enlightening and helpful to you.
(If not, please let me know what you DO need.)

See you Sunday!
(Remember that it's Fast Sunday ... and you'll all be full of Halloween candy, right ... so I won't be bringing treats THIS week. But next week should be good. ;D)

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