Why My Lesson Fell Flat

27 Aug

I was giving a lesson with another missionary about Justice and Mercy, based on Alma 42. We sat together in the sunshine one beautiful afternoon, said a prayer, and began to prepare our materials. As we worked and talked about the topic we had chosen, the most beautiful feeling came to both of us and we worked feverishly, with new insights and ideas coming to us every few seconds. It was wonderful! I am sorry to say, however, that when we gave our lesson a few days later, it fell flat. The class was appreciative of our efforts and enthusiasm, but I don’t think we conveyed the great spiritual insights that we had received.

I’ve done some thinking since then on why our lesson failed. I know that the Lord’s Spirit helped us to understand those passages of scripture in ways that will benefit me all my life, but why couldn’t I share that just a few days later?

I’ve decided that teaching with the Spirit is tricky. You can’t just dive into it with someone who’s not there with you yet. It’s like trying to touch your toes for the first time in years. You can’t get there with cold muscles. In preparing the lesson, you may have had wonderful insights, but that was a few days ago and your spiritual muscles are cold now. It’s important to lead into it, to warm up, to let the Spirit build upon itself.

This is the way that the Lord teaches us. 2 Nephi 28:30 reads:

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 and 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.

Our Heavenly Father wants to teach us. He has promised us knowledge if we turn to Him. But He understands that stretching cold muscles can cause some serious pain for the next few days. That is why He teaches us slowly, line upon line, letting the Spirit build and warm those spiritual muscles so that we can stretch further than ever before.

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One Response to “Why My Lesson Fell Flat”

  1. stephaniesmoot August 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    I totally know what you mean:) We gotta exercise those spirit muscles!

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