The Individual's Responsibility

Time sure flies. I apologize for the delay in posting. Two weeks ago in my Sunday school lesson, the topic was about how as teachers we have responsibility, but as learners in a classroom we also have responsibilities.

These are:

1) Be prepared to hear the word (be teachable)
2) Give place for the word
3) Nourish the word

Then it was neat how our teacher tied the next part to the parable of the seed in Alma.

In the parable of the seed being compared to the word of God, it tells us that we hear, experiment, plant, and then nourish. We also know that in the gospel we have members that are "just arriving", "show up a few times", "seek to gain an understanding", and "have an understanding". Our teacher pointed out the parallel as this:

Those being prepared: - Just Arriving (hearing the word)
-Show Up a Few Times (experimenting)

Those giving place: -Gaining an Understanding (planting the seed)

Those who have hold upon the word: -Have an Understanding (Nourishing)

I thought it was a neat parallel.

When we seek to learn the gospel, we receive blessings. But to gain the blessings we need to put forth the effort. Preparations such as: study, ponder, search for specific answers, pray, meditate, follow the guidance of the spirit, and being obedient will help us to be in-tune with the spirit and thus bring blessings.

We need to remember that even though we have prepared the lesson, and have done out part, when all is said and done, the individual will use their agency to learn or not learn. We gave to allow them to choose. However, we CAN make it more enjoyable to learn.

The old adage "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" applies to the gospel. Can you "salt" the "oats"? Yes. Or maybe you could "run" your "horses" a few miles to make them thirsty. So we CAN increase their desire to learn. How?

What do we do that prohibits our listeners from learning? Do we stop to think about how even our smallest actions affect the listeners? Not all things disrupt everyone's learning, but here are some ideas/actions that tend to distract many:
1) Wandering around the room
2) To read the lesson to them word for word
3) To lecture
4) To Criticize or downplay questions or comments that arise
5) Tangents
6) Chewing gum
7) Many, many others

Now, what can we do to increase our listeners desires to learn? Try these:
1) Ask someone to help with the lesson (in advance if appropriate)
2) Prepare an object lesson
3) Personal experiences (in moderation)
4) Pondering (allow the listeners time to absorb, process, and answer)
5) Read the Scriptures with understanding
6) Listen and make use the ideas that are shared
7) Questions the stimulate thoughts (see #4)
8) When a question is asked of the teacher, invite class members to answer it

I really enjoyed this lesson, I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts and notes with you. Hope it helps someone.

Keep the Faith...

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