Sunday, 14 April 2013

The words came to me

"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."  - Doctrine and Covenants 84:85

I had a neat experience in Primary Sharing time today (children's ministry at our church.)  I was teaching the 7-12 year olds about the doctrines Jesus Christ taught during his mortal ministry, and how many of them were lost during the Great Apostasy.  I had already taught the lesson once to the 3-6 year olds, but I always try to challenge the older group a little more, wanting them to search their scripture themselves so that they can see that I'm not speaking my own words, but the Words of God.

I had a great visual aid - a bunch of cardboard bricks each labelled with a different piece of doctrine that was present around 33 AD, contained in either the New or Old Testament.  My plan had been to simply explain the ideas to the younger group, but have the older group look up the bible verses associated with the doctrine.

But I forgot to find the verses and write them down.  I didn't realize I hadn't done it until I was standing in front of those 7-12 year olds.  I didn't panic, but I also didn't change my plan.  I knew I wanted to reinforce to those kids that these ideas were all found in the bible.  So I opened my scriptures, asked for their patience and grace (and help from the other leaders, if necessary!) as I would try to find each verse.

Miraculously, each verse came, without any searching or stumbling.  I would stare down at my labelled bricks, and my eyes would focus on a piece of doctrine, and the associated scripture would jump into my head.  There were 18 concepts, and 18 times the bible verse came to me, clear as day.

For many years I never had a great recall when it came to the scriptures.  I knew all the stories were in there somewhere, but I could never keep them all straight.  I've noticed, however, in the past 5 years or so, things have dramatically changed.  You see, I heard someone say once that if we do the work of putting the scriptures into our minds (ie: reading and studying) then the Holy Spirit will pull them out when we need them.  Now, when I find myself wanting to make a comment in a lesson, or teach something to my children, my mind is flooded with the scriptures I've studied in the past.

Also notable are the 100 verses I memorized in Seminary (early morning scripture study class, taken every school day morning during the high school years.)  I knew those verses like the back of my hand (over 15 years ago now!) and today it was many of those key verses that paired with the gospel doctrine points I was trying to teach.  What a fantastic testimony building experience about the power of scripture study.  I'm so grateful to my ever-faithful Father in Heaven for the beautiful promises he makes and keeps.

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