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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Teaching Like the Savior using SALT

Marshall and I sang for a scripture night last week along with Elizabeth Weiler and Sister Groberg drew us this cute picture. Thank you Sister Groberg- your sweet note and picture made my week! We love you too Grobergs!

There have been a few people who have asked for a copy of a talk I gave a few weeks ago. Enjoy and change some ways you teach after you read this!

Jan 13, 2012

Teaching like the Savior

SALT- Spirit, Act, Love, Teach

Intro: {family stuff- end with If we look tired it’s because it’s been physically and emotionally grueling this last year but I'm, so I’m glad to be here where we focus on what’s most important- the spiritual stuff.} 
     I’m sure you are all familiar with the concept of giving a man a fish and feeding him for a day or TEACHING a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime. As mothers, fathers, bishops, priests, sons and daughter, we are all teachers or future teachers in every moment and “no greater responsibility can rest upon any man or woman than to be a teacher of God’s children.”  Young people will become teachers at a younger age now so it is important that youth as well as parents teach like the Savior.  President Bednar says that as teachers, we are not distributors of fish. (We can’t pour all our spiritual knowledge into the next person.) I have an original painting in my library that I bought from a young man in Brazil who was saving to go on a mission. It is the back of a fisherman. I want to point out that in the picture he is working hard at gathering his fish. Do we hang back on the sidelines of fishing/teaching?
My mother in law is one amazing cook! I love it when she invites us to dinner, but dinner is almost always already made when we get there.  One Super Bowl Sunday I asked if we could make it a SOUPER BOWL Sunday and if she would teach me to make a few of her delicious soups. For Christmas, she gave me this amazing book (show Family Recipes book). Today, I would like to invite you all to not just sit and eat. Uchtdorf says if you’re a spectator on the sideline of a ball game you are not reaping the health benefits of playing. I extend an invitation to all who teach or will teach (everyone here even if it’s just a little brother or sister watching you) to write down and ponder some of the ways to add yummy spices to your recipe of teaching more like the Savior would and apply and evaluate your lesson today. Today I would like to share with you the ingredient SALT. Remember the acronym: S, A, L, T.

S: SPIRIT- Teach with the Spirit…
                “It is only with the heart one can see rightly”- Linda K. Burton.  It’s not important what we see with our eyes and navigating millions of web pages isn’t good enough!  The things of most importance are invisible to the eye.  What the world offers is not good enough and we all need to be healed by the word of God. An unrushed atmosphere is essential. “Too many of us rush. We rush right past the Spirit of the Lord trying to beat the clock in some unnecessary footrace”.
Never postpone a prompting to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands!! When determining what to teach adapt the lesson to the individual needs of people and teach what is needed right then! Right now is the teaching moment!  Heavenly Father will guide as we review lessons, ponder, and pray to be aware of other’s needs. If someone has had a challenge that week, change the dynamic of the lesson. 1 Sam 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I teach you the good and right way. Talk to parents, teachers, and ask the learner themselves what they need. Concentrate totally on the Needs of the Sheep. Do not teach lessons, teach people. We’ll have experiences during the week that will prepare us if we have QUIET TIMES- a little quiet and still time every day, not just 30 minutes before we teach a lesson.  There is not enough time to cover the entire outline when thinking of the students.  Teach what they need and teach it simply. Take just a few good ideas and get a good discussion.  1 Cor 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding that by my voice I might teach others than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When we are teaching we really are preparing all within our voice to fight every day for righteousness. We are equipping them with the gospel- something that is more powerful for good change than the sharpest sword.  The preaching of the word, the power of the word has more effect on the mind than the sword.
     Remember as a teacher to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands.  We need to ask ourselves how can I listen better to the people I am teaching and the Spirit? Simplicity inspires heartfelt questions (learners, ask these). [Ex: Nicodemus invited the student to talk, listened and responded.]  Comments will not only direct this week’s lesson, but the next week’s lesson as well.  Matthew 10:19-20 Take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  Elder Scott said a teacher should humbly recognize that the Holy Ghost is the true teacher.  A teacher is the instrument to teach, testify, comfort and inspire.  2 Nephi 33:1 for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it to the hearts of the children of men. Elder Bednar said that the content of the message and Holy Ghost penetrate only if the receiver allows them.  Our job as teacher is to open the pathway into the heart.   D&C 84:85 …treasure up in your minds continually the words of life and it shall be given you in that very hour that portion that shall be meted to every man.  You can’t know exactly word for word what you will teach, but you do need to study, ponder, pray, and use the scriptures. You can describe quickly the history and context behind each scripture so you are nourishing not just feeding. Don’t be overwhelmed because you don’t feel you know enough about the scriptures. We all feel that way. Primary teachers be relatable and try to have scriptures come alive1 Cor 2:13 Which things also we speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  Remember our perspective is extremely limited to the Lord’s perspective, but we have a wealth of the word of God available to us and we ought to use it. [Ex: Dad and the question I asked him].  The scriptures don’t need to be diluted, but do need to be applied and likened with statements like, “This is what I will do”. Read and discuss them in class for they provide strength, authority and a foundation of truth.  Living prophets should have special attention in a lesson for they are vital for success [Class taken at BYU-I taught they should be right next to the ancient scriptures].  Our call from Christ as a teacher is just as those in ancient times, “Come Follow Me”. Prepare spiritually through DAILY prayers, scriptures, and living the gospel.
     Teach by testifying.  “Testimony is found in the bearing of it”. [Ex: When Christ asked Martha , “Believest thou this?” It was when she said aloud, “Yay Lord, I believeth thou is the Christ” that she had a testimony.] When we testify, we and our friends strengthen our desire to follow the Savior in a troubled world.  There were so many scriptures I read about bringing peace to your children in a troubled world.
     Music is another magnificent teacher and way to bring the Spirit to the room.  Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

A: ACT- Invite those we teach to act…
As a teacher we are the facilitator, the encourager, the guide. Invitations to action can be sent by discussing challenges and following up from the last invitation with statements like, “I acted this way and that’s how I changed my life”.
     We are not the only teacher in the room- allow others to teach.  Help the learner assume responsibility for learning. Let other members share, help, and gain confidence. Give them responsibilities as Christ did with his apostles.  He repeated three times the question, “Lovest thou me? (And answer) Feed my sheep.” [Ex: The Savior invited an enquirer to act on the next step when he asked what he could do: “One thing thou lackest. Sell what thou hast and give to the poor. Thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” Surely if the Savior asked that we can give an assignment to study for the next week or a challenge to notice the Hand of God in our lives, or even a reminder text. We need to follow up and invite others to share.  Even if we feel inadequate, we should aim high in our teaching.
     Teach them to learn for themselves.  We need to awaken a desire to learn, study, understand, live the gospel and to use our own efforts to gain knowledge and truth. Marshall will talk more of how to become a diligent gospel learner.  Diligent gospel learning is fundamental to teaching process.  Invite diligent learning.  David A Bednar asked if we are preparing our kids for the challenges of mortality. As parents are we preparing our kids to seek learning by study and faith or to wait and be acted upon?  “Are we primarily giving them the equivalent of spiritual fish to eat or are we consistently helping them to act, anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking?” What is in the minds needs to be felt and owned in our children’s hearts, not just relying on parents. This is the meat of the gospel that you are ready for after the milk.
     Teach unity and have the patience to know it is a step by step, line by line process.  Day by day as we choose to act, hearts will change, and we will see and feel unity.  Unity empowers more change. Remember as we testify it strengthens not only us but those around us.  King Benjamin, Alma, and Jesus all rejoiced because a group of people they were teaching no longer had the desire to do evil. Proverbs 11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor; but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. 2Nep 22:13 and great shall be the peace of the children.  We all have weaknesses and we should challenge ourselves and each other to make changes to be in harmony with the Lord’s teachings. Every once in a while I check where I am at by using preach my gospel, “Develop similar attributes of Christ” at the end of the purple section and we can use these great questions to work on our weaknesses as well. Conclude lessons in a way that invites the learners to live what they have learned. We can review main principles and ask learners to apply or review main points.  Remember to do what Elder Bednar said and exhort spiritual, mental, and physical excursion not just passive absorption.

L: Love- Teach through love: Teach each and every heart and life…
     The key to teaching like the Savior is charity. We have the power to teach hearts. “If children are unresponsive we can’t teach them yet, but we can love them. If you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow”. Maybe there is a disruptive person in class. Picture them all in white.  Instructors- fill your pockets beforehand with study and prayer! The Lord knew and loved his disciples personally. His love gave them power.  Ask, “How can I help people resolve their problems? How can I help people overcome their bad habits and vices?” [Maybe example of dad’s words or Uncle Bill here]. Mark 6:34 And Jesus when he came out, saw much people and was moved with compassion toward them because they were as sheep not having a shepherd and he began to teach them many things.” Love One Another as he loves us. Ann Madsen loved those she taught and started telling them one by one as they left her classroom each week. At first it was awkward. Over time things changed, the spirit became stronger, they grew to love her, and years later her students still remembered knowing each week that someone loved them.
Christ didn’t just speak or teach about love. He SHOWED it. He didn’t remove himself from the crowd. His hands lifted up and healed.  If we are His hands shouldn’t we do the same? [There is a song by Casting Crowns (a Christian rock band) called If We are the Body referring to us being the body of Christ. Some lyrics, If We are the Body, Why aren’t his arms reaching, why aren’t his hands healing, why aren’t his words teaching? Why is his love not showing them there is a way?
What good is teaching without love?-Uchtdorf. As you show love to each person they become more open to learning from you and aware of their eternal worth. Seek to understand them and reach out to each person individually. Worry a little more about the location of your student, what is going on in their heart and soul.  Search ways to help new members and less active feel welcome. Invite, introduce, and ask questions they will know the answer to in class.

T: Teach- Teach by Asking Questions…
     Asking and answering is at the heart of all learning and teaching. The Master asked, answered and sometimes chose not to answer. “Whom Say Men that I Am?” “Whom Say Ye that I Am?” Some questions invite inspiration and great teachers ask those. Try to ask questions that will come alive. Sometimes just the right inflexion or talking about feelings instead of lists makes the difference. Besides asking inspired questions, help find the answers. Examples of some inspiring questions are: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? Many revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants came about from asking a question.
Include these 3 questions in your lesson (in some form): Where have we been? Where are we going? What does the Lord want us to do? If I was to ask you these questions as pertaining to this talk today you might answer:  Nothing is ever as it was before and the teaching curriculum to prepare younger missionaries gives us more meat than milk. I will implement the ideas to teach people, not lessons and to concentrate on needs throughout the week when I am asked to teach. You may be tempted to turn back to teaching how you always have before I shared my SALT flavor with you, but remember what happened to Lot’s wife when she turned back (she turned into saltJ- don’t say this).
    We need not only talk, but we need to listen. Listen for new ideas that might not have anything to do with the lesson. Listen with your heart and soul. Jesus did not just lecture. Look outside the box. Mark 4:2 And he taught them many things by parables… not by a monotonous pattern of presenting the same kind of lesson week after week. When you teach with variety, learners tend to understand gospel principles and retain more. Some examples include presenting an object lesson, writing a question on the board, having someone read an article or story, etc. The manual, “Teaching, No Greater Call” has 37 different methods to teach. [Ex: Jelly beans in International Health class. Marbles when I taught a class in college. That way everyone participates then let talkers go]. [Ex: In 2008 President Monson shared the story of a young man who told his instructor there was no way he could learn Spanish for his mission and he was giving up and going home. When the instructor called for advice, they said, “Send him to a Japanese class”. After one time in the class, the young man came to his instructor and said, “I am sure I can learn Spanish”.] Christ will not fail. He knows how to succor his children. Respond to those you teach with questions sometimes. Remember to ask to restate principles taught in own words or ask questions that require them to express they understand.
     Prepare questions and what you teach beforehand. “Seek wisdom from the best books, seek learning, study, and also by faith.” [I need to ask HF to help me to teach so Kez doesn’t have too much TV time]. Evaluate your teaching! [NGOs can have good and bad effect- imperative that we evaluate now]. Ask yourself the questions, “When did they seem most willing to participate? When did they understand how the principle applied to their lives?” “Ask and Ye Shall Receive” is repeated the most in the scriptures so it has great significance to the Lord. David O McKay said, “We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however and take a good look at what we’re doing we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things”. In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things that do not really matter at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting the more important causes”.
     Taking the time to be a more Christ-like teacher is one of the more important causes and Jesus gives us SALT: 1. Teach with the Spirit. 2. Invite those we teach to ACT. 3. Teach through love. 4. Teach by asking questions. [I testify that as we set aside things that don’t really matter we will have time to add SALT to your recipe of teaching. Teaching is eternal and will help you feel wonderful. I hope our teaching ingredients can be passed on from my children to their children so the recipe just keeps getting better and better through time. My cooking and teaching are definitely not all I want it to be, but I can keep working at both.“After all that has been said and done teaching the gospel is the most important” and the best tool to teach it is YOU. You are the Salt of the earth.]