I cannot think of a better topic to introduce this beautiful Mother's Day morning than the topic of “Teaching in the Savior's Way.” Maybe more than childbirth or rearing little ones, I believe teaching with love and loving those you teach is a sure sign of a mother.
We know today is filled with so many unique emotions, not one quite the same as another as a reflection of our individual journeys. Today, I hope you celebrate, honor, and hold space for all the many ways you have been touched by a mothering influence. Whether that be your own mother, or the woman that has shown up in your story and loved you as her own. I hope that you never underestimate or disregard your ability to influence those in your care—children, neighbors, sisters, strangers, students. At some point we are all in someone else's care as our paths divinely intertwine. At some point we all have the opportunity to love, lift, and teach in the Savior's way.
From the resource Teaching in the Savior's Way, it is quite apparent that the actual teaching of the lesson is very small part. So many things must take place beforehand to ensure a meaningful and spirit-filled lesson or teaching moment. Things like, loving those you teach, knowing those you teach, inviting the spirit first into your life, prayerful preparation, and creating an environment that is welcoming to the spirit. Perhaps as we keep these things in mind, we will allow there to be more focus on not just the content of the lesson, but the love, listening, and preparing that precedes it.
Conversion cannot be forced. But it can be facilitated with love, patience, and truth. Elder Newman posed a question that seemed to stand-out from the rest, what were [the Savior's] expectations of those He taught? Immediately I thought, He likely didn't expect them to learn it all at once, understand it the first time, or show forth a burning desire for more right away. But perhaps sometimes we expect this of those we teach. Conversion takes time, time we can't control. Conversion takes desire, desire that comes only from within. What we can offer is patience. What we can create is a loving environment filled with truth. What we can be is welcoming to all types and timetables of learning.
Conversion cannot be borrowed. The truths and practices that our children and students may be gathering by observing us, is not the same as conversion. Conversion is something that is born only when those truths are internalized and made personal, when those practices are done by sincere desire and choice, not by chore. I think of conversion as a foundation—they may borrow materials and supplies, but they cannot borrow the whole of another's foundation and call it their own. Conversion is found in the building process, through trial and error, faith and agency. They must go there themselves.
“Children inherit many things from their parents, but a testimony is not one of them. We can’t give our children a testimony any more than we can make a seed grow.
JAN E. NEWMAN
“We can teach it, we can preach it, we can explain it. We can talk about it, we can describe it, we can even testify of it. But until a person feels the sacred word of God distill upon his or her soul like the dews from heaven through the power of the Spirit, it will be like looking at a postcard or someone else’s vacation photos. You have to go there yourself.
JAN E. NEWMAN
I am teaching in the Savior’s way when I foster an environment of learning and love—inviting the spirit to personally tutor myself and those around me.
From THE COLLECTIVE
Join Emily Belle Freeman's study of laughter in the scriptures! Diving into 5 different versions of laughter mentioned in the scriptures, Emily has crafted a beautiful way for you to see how laughter is woven in the fabric of God's sacred text.
See the physical version of this print by Emi Christensen and even more goodness in your summer issue of The Collective!