October 10, 2011 – Charentsavan, Week 5
The Power of Simplicity
Before I talk about what happened I’d like to talk about an old fortress that we went to today. There is an old village north of Charentsavan. It is called Bjni. The village is about 600 years old and the fortress could be older.
We climbed up to the fort and took some amazing pictures. just as we were about to leave Elder Smith found a tunnel. It was a tunnel. We then decided to see what was in the tunnel. When we found the end there was a family of nine picking walnuts from their garden. They showed us some amazing pottery from the ruins of the fortress.
It was by far one of the most amazing things I have done on preparation day.
This last week was filled with powerful events. Events that I will never forget. This week could be the biggest turning point in my life and mission.
Elder Fairclough and I were assigned to teach our Zone’s District meetings.
For those who don’t know how a mission is organized this is a comparison to help you understand. Take note that there is a leader(s) over each of these areas
Mission = State (or Country) There is one mission
Zone = Regions in the state 2+ Zones in a mission
Disctrict = A city or a group of cities in a region 2+ Districts in a zone
Area = One of the cities or an section of a city 2+ Areas in a district
Our mission has 4 zones, 7 districts, 16 area
Elder Fairclough and I felt a great need to bring the spirit into those district meetings. As we discussed what could and needed to be done to invite the spirit’s inspiring and powerful influence the Lord seemed to flip switches in our minds. E. Fairclough would mention an idea and then another idea would pop into my mind. Following that another light bulb would turn on in E. Fairlclough’s mind. As we wrote down these ideas we realized that the plan we had formed was not one of our own making. There was a genius behind what we had discussed. The God truly did as spoken of in Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
or in 2 Nephi 28:30,“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”
Those meetings were the most spiritual District Meetings I have ever been apart of. I feel that the reason for this is that everyone was part of the plan and most of the talking was not done by us.
I have felt a break through in the way that I teach. I have always been one of many words. I have always had something to say and I realized a long time ago that my desire to speak stems from the righteous desire to share my experiences and knowledge, but it is not always good to talk a lot or at all. I have learned to feel whether my thoughts are more than just good, I can feel when they are needed. That is a slight but very needful differentiation to make.
To teach with simplicity means to teach in love and humbly, therefore it means to teach with power. We can teach someone a principle that we have studied and feel deeply about in two ways. Depending on the subject, we should not teach in one of the following ways:
– Lead the student/friend with a chain of facts from one reliable source to another. Link all of the facts together to create a train or a pathway of understanding. This is how we “break through” the wall of ignorance or misunderstanding.
– Explain to the student/friend what you know. Then give them the reliable sources. Allow them to search. Show them what they can do to create there own pathway of understanding.
In a physical science classroom the first is usually needed, but when helping someone grow closer to Christ only the spirit can form that pathway. The Spirit is called the comforter. He can teach us all this and “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] can know the truth of all things”. We should not try and replace the spirit. He already teaches the meek and broken hearted. We should not force someone on a path towards Christ through a series of facts. The most powerful way to bring someone closer to Christ is through walking the path yourself and then explaining which steps the student/friend must take to safely make it up the mountain.
The Spirit is a powerful teacher because the Holy Spirit teaches simply.