Tuesday, March 07, 2006

3 Nephi 11 (cont.) - Hearing the Bird, Seeing the Lord

Today we followed these steps to complete our discussions of 3 Nephi 11:

1. I had the class all come up and touch a flower. It was not a race; rather, they were all to walk normally and one at a time take their turns walking to the flower, touching it, and then return to their seats. I timed them and it took approximately 8.6 seconds each.

2. Without explaining why they touched the rose (intrigue always seems to help keep the sleepy students awake), I then passed out their Spiritual Feast Snacks we'd made at the beginning of our 3 Nephi study. I had them draw a representative picture or symbol for every chapter we'd studied in 3 Nephi, along with the chapter number. I wanted them to process what they had learned thus far.

3. Once they finished, I shared a story I had heard in a CES institute class a long time ago. Two men were walking down a busy city street. The one asked the other, "Listen to that bird." "I don't hear a bird," the other replied. "No, you must listen harder." The second individual listened very carefully and after a few seconds, he finally heard the bird amongst the hustle of the street.

The first individual asked, "Do you think THEY hear the bird?" The second man looked around at the rushing pedestrians racing past them. "No, probably not." "Now watch this." The first gentleman flipped a quarter, allowing it to fall to the ground. Scads of people stopped and looked for the fallen coin. "Amazing," came the reply of the second man.

How often do we walk through life, with our minds and hearts attuned to the material things of life? (i.e. worries about money or prestige?) Or perhaps better worded, how often do we listen for the things of God? Are our ears attuned to hear His voice?

4. As a class we opened 3 Nephi 11 and the kids read the first few verses where a voice came to the surviving Nephites, while they were gathered, discussing the events that had just occurred. As a group, they heard the voice three times before understanding it! Could it be that they too had been so occupied in their lives that they hadn't taken the time to listen for the things of God prior to this?

5. I shared with the kids the following experience (I do not share these kinds of experiences unless prompted - in this case today, I did). While serving on my mission my companion and I were teaching a couple who was most confused and a bit hard-minded about certain things. One night we were discussing their pending baptism.

The couple did NOT want to baptize their daughter, even though she was of age. They claimed they wanted her to wait till adulthood. I knew there was a scripture in Doctrine & Covenants which teaches parents otherwise. I knew I was to share that particular scripture, but did not know where it was. Mentally I was guessing it was in D&C 124. Then I had an amazing experience.

I heard a voice that corrected my error with a simple phrase: "It is in D&C 68." The voice came so sweetly and so still that it felt so normal. It was a calm voice. I didn't feel startled. In fact, I even talked back mentally with, "No, it is in D&C 124." The voice came again, patient and quiet: "It is in D&C 68."

The moment was here. I had to share the scripture. Problem was, I couldn't find it on my own.

I heard the voice again say most quietly, "It is in D&C 68." Finally in faith, I opened my scriptures to D&C 68. To my astonishment (and gratitude), I saw in verse 25:
And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion,...that teach them not to understand...baptism by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be be upon the heads of the parents." (emphasis added)
I had heard a voice. I knew it and was amazed by the experience.

I shared with the students that these kinds of experiences are valid, and as we serve faithfully, they come if or when they are needed. I testified as to the truthfulness of the account of 3 Nephi 11, because I have felt the spirit witness to me of this event.

6. I finished up by reviewing the events of the rest of the chapter. But I paused at 3 Nephi 11:15. The teacher's manual estimates the group of people meeting Christ as approximately 2500. They each were able to touch his palms, his side, one-by-one.

I reminded the class that it took them about 8 or 9 seconds each to touch the rose - an object which they didn't care much about and had done so rather carelessly. What if the rose had been the Savior? How long would they have wanted their one-on-one time to be with Him (yet remembering there were many people wanting the same privilege)? We multiplied their answer (at LEAST 30 seconds) by the 2500 people present = approximately 1250 minutes. 1250 minutes equals about 20 hours.

The Savior loves each one of us. He never tires in aiding us. And as we look to Him in all things, doubting not, fearing not, we will be sustained in what we must do. The students seemed to get this. And as they then briefly shared their scriptural research projects from yesterday, the spirit was wonderful.

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Until tomorrow!


just another early-morning-seminary-teacher mom :0)