For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time.
Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days. I hope that when that occurs you will not be led to exclaim as did King Lear, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” (King Lear, I, iv, 312). Rather, I hope that you will have every reason to be proud concerning your children, to have love for them, to have faith in them, to see them grow in righteousness and virtue before the Lord, to see them become useful and productive members of society. If with all you have done there is an occasional failure, you can still say, “At least I did the very best of which I was capable. I tried as hard as I knew how. I let nothing stand in the way of my role as a mother.” Failures will be few under such circumstances.
Such communication begins by your encouraging each one you teach to participate rather than be a passive listener. In this way you can assess their understanding of what is taught, create a feeling of ownership, and also learn from them. More important, their decision to participate is an exercise in agency that permits the Holy Ghost to communicate a personalized message suited to their individual needs. Creating an atmosphere of participation enhances the probability that the Spirit will teach more important lessons than you can communicate.
That participation will bring into their lives the direction of the Spirit. When you encourage students to raise their hand to respond to a question, while they may not realize it, they signify to the Holy Ghost their willingness to learn. That use of moral agency will allow that Spirit to motivate them and give them more powerful guidance during your time together. Participation allows individuals to experience being led by the Spirit. They learn to recognize and feel what spiritual guidance is. It is through the repeated process of feeling impressions, recording them, and obeying them that one learns to depend on the direction of the Spirit more than on communication through the other five senses.
A very natural and wonderful consequence of becoming a person capable of great love is described in this passage: “For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light” (D&C 88:40).
If we pursue the goal of an eternal marriage with purity and with both our hearts and our minds, I believe in most cases we will eventually be rewarded with a companion who is at least our spiritual equal and who will cleave unto intelligence and light as we do, who will receive wisdom as we receive it, who will embrace truth as we embrace it, and who will love virtue as we love it. To spend the eternities with a companion who shares the most important fundamental values with us and who will discuss them, live them, and join in teaching them to children is among the most soul-satisfying experiences of true romantic love. To know that there will be someone who walks a parallel path of goodness and growth with us and yearns for the same eternal values and happiness is of great comfort.
1. Study the chapter. Read the chapter to become confident in your understanding of Joseph Smith’s teachings. You will teach with greater sincerity and power when his words have influenced you personally (see D&C 11:21). As you read, keep in mind the needs of those you teach....
4. Decide how to encourage discussion. This is where you should spend most of the lesson time because participants learn doctrines and principles best when they participate in the discussion of them.
Your assignment is to help others understand the Prophet Joseph Smith’s teachings and the scriptures. Do not set this book aside or prepare lessons from other materials. Dedicate a significant portion of the lesson to reading Joseph Smith’s teachings in this book and discussing their meaning and application.
“Some questions invite inspiration. Great teachers ask those. That may take just a small change of words, an inflection of the voice. Here is a question that might not invite inspiration: ‘How is a true prophet recognized?’ That question invites an answer which is a list, drawn from memory, of the scriptures and the words of living prophets. …
“But we could ask the question this way, with just a small difference: ‘When have you felt you were in the presence of a prophet?’ That will invite individuals to search their memories for feelings. After asking, we might wait for a moment before calling on someone to respond. Even those who do not speak will be thinking of spiritual experiences. That will invite the Holy Ghost."