Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Greater Call

Unless you count piano lessons for some seven year olds, I have never had any experience being a teacher.  To be perfectly honest, I sometimes envy those who are asked to teach Sunday School classes or other spiritual meetings because they are so spiritually strong.  If you really want to know something, try to teach it to somebody else.  Those who teach others about the gospel must truly know and understand what they're talking about in order to teach it effectively. 
Now we have come to a worry of mine.  I really respect those who choose to serve missions.  They are so in tune with what the Spirit says and what Heavenly Father wants them to do and teach.  They always seem to know just what to say.  As I've been preparing to serve a mission, I can't help doubting myself.  How on earth am I going to teach people about what I've known my whole life in a way that makes sense to them and that they can understand and appreciate??
It's frequently said that when we teach about the gospel, we should teach like Christ taught.  Considering that He is the greatest teacher ever known, in my mind, that can seem a little intimidating.  This is the way that I thought teaching should be done:

What ---> How

Start with what you need to teach.  Learn and understand it to the best of your ability.  Then figure out what the best method is to prepare and present it. 
Although this way is fine and good, it's not the best way.
Now, if we turn to the scriptures, we find that Christ often uses parables when He teaches.  However, this is not always the case.  It depends on the audience that He is teaching.  After He teaches a principle, He gives us the reasoning behind it and why it's important.  With that knowledge, I want to modify the teaching strategy a little:

Who ---> Why ---> What ---> How

Our audience, the "who," should drive the rest.  It should be the foundation for everything else.  As my Book of Mormon professor said, we should be teaching people, not lessons.  Try a little harder to be a little better.
Finally, I want to share one of my new favorite scriptures.  "Behold, I am the law, and the light.  Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life."  I know that's often easier said than done.  But God won't give you a trial or temptation above what you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Christ knows you perfectly.  You go the direction you're facing, so make sure that direction is always toward Christ :)

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