Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Lesson Finally Learned and Hopefully Internalized

This year as we have been studying the Old Testament in Seminary there have been so many lessons to learn. This past week we talked about Saul. And today I have been working on making slingshots, and Monday morning we will go into the Cultural Hall and try to use the slingshots and shoot marshmallows or ping pong balls at one of the students who will be on a ladder portraying our Goliath (too bad I couldn't find 125 pounds of armor to put on him/her ; )

I know I talk so much about my class, and I hope you don't mind, but then again I remember that part of the reason for this blog is so I can have a journal. Anyway, what has been amazing to me is the incredible lessons that I learn as I teach--how I hope the students (it's so much easier to call them kids, but I know that isn't fair) are learning the lessons. Teaching is not so much about pointing out what is there but helping them to DISCOVER the application for themselves. When they do that it takes on meaning and it goes from their head into their heart. (President Eyring's words touched me so deeply at President Hinckley's funeral this afternoon as he talked about President Hinckley asking him how to get the message into everyone's heart. Isn't that the goal for each of us--internalizing the messages. As well, don't each of us want to help our children--helping them to feel, not just know.

Some days I complain about getting up early for Seminary--but I just want to say it is so worth it. I love the time I get to spend with these young people--especially Kyle. I started teaching him in grade 9 and he is now in grade 11. What a delight it is to have that time together each morning. The time I spend reading and pondering is such a help for me personally. (Not to mention the discussions Allan and I have had together.) I love marking my scriptures--I think I'm on my third set. They get so marked with notes in the margins, glue-ins, and different colors all over the page.

I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. I thought about Saul and how he started out so humble when he was called to be King. But then pride took over and suddenly he thought he was all that and more. Jealousy engulfed him. He couldn't seem to rejoice in David's successes at all. I started thinking about myself. I worry so much about what others think of me--is it pride that does that??? I compare myself to others. I base my own feelings of worth on what I THINK others think of me--and I need to stop doing that. After studying this lesson I realized I am a daughter of God--He loves me, He is aware of me, He is the one I need to be most concerned about. I need to know His will for me and do it. If I'm in tune, I will know the areas of my life where He would want me to improve. I can't please everyone. At 57 I wish I had learned that a long time ago--I could have saved myself a lot of grief and heartache.


Sidenote: Allan and I went to see 27 Dresses Friday night. When we drove up to the house at 9:30 there were a couple of extra cars. We walked in and surrounding the kitchen table were 6 16-year-old boys all playing Apples to Apples. Did I ever have a good chuckle!!!

22 comments:

Mel said...

Yvonne- this is wonderful. I wish I could sit in on your lessons each morning. You are an excellent teacher. Now I'm thinking I want to go back and study Saul a little more.

Holly said...

I love this post. I love your thoughts on pride, but also that we need to discover these things for ourselves. I'm sure you're an awesome teacher and these kids are so blessed to have you in their lives.

Corrine said...

that is really wonderful! thanks for sharing your thoughts and testimony!

apples to apples is a lot of fun!

Chel said...

I wish I could go to your lessons. You amaze me each time you enlighten us with your knowledge and wisdom. I had to read the last paragraph over and over because you wrote it as if I was saying it. I loved how you then reflected on Him and that is what matters and that is what should be important and I need to remind myself that. I worry too much about how I look or what others think of me sometimes.
Yvonne, you're amazing!

txmommy said...

I love your seminary stories!

How was the movie?

annie said...

I've heard about that game, but wasn't sure what it was???

You are a blessing to the students! That's for sure.

Lauren said...

Mmmm...Apples.

This was a great post. So uplifting! Thank you :)

Magirk said...

What a wonderful lesson. :)

I confess, I'm working on that lesson as well - worrying what others think of me, and comparing myself to others.

In my moments where I'm completely honest with myself, I actually feel good about the things I accomplish and have accomplished in my life. For the most part, I do good things, I try my best, and I hope for a good outcome. I often discredit myself far too much - and the comparisons of myself up against others aren't fair, because it's only based on the exterior of them that I can see - not on the truth behind the exterior. How am I to know what they're dealing with!?

Maybe their 'show' is just as intricately balanced as I feel mine is somedays! LOL :D

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Nancy Face said...

I loved reading this post. No, you DON'T talk about your students too much! I would love to be there shooting marshmallows at a preteng Goliath! That's awesome!

I loved listening to President Eyring yesterday...and to President Monson.

Kris and I saw 27 Dresses on Friday night, too...and we also got home about 9:30! Funny...there weren't many couples in the theater...mostly just women! :D

aurora said...

This was a very sweet read. You sound like an amazing seminary teacher, and I am sure that your students just LOVE you!

Would love to see pics of the slingshot/marshmallow activity. :)

Yvonne said...

mel: Thanks. It is so wonderful to spend time with these great youth each morning--they are amazing. I have never really studied the Old Testament so thoroughly--so many great lessons.

holly: Thank you. The kids are such a blessing to me.

corrine: Thank you.

We really enjoy Apples to Apples--did you know there is an edition for younger children???

chel: Thanks--you're very sweet. We all need to remind ourselves, don't we.

txmommy: Thanks. The movie was pretty good--could have been better.

annie: It is a really cute game. Your family would enjoy it. I love teaching my students--they are such a blessing to me.

lauren: You and your mom and txmommy are the ones who introduced me to Apples to Apples ; )

Thanks.

magirk: We usually compare our worst self with everyone else's best self--that's where we get into trouble.

nancyface: We would have loved to have you there with us this morning--it was so fun. Thanks for allowing me to talk about my class.

All of the talks at the funeral were amazing. I loved Elder Tingey's comment about Pres. Hinckley taking the stairs while he took the elevator ; ) And, of course, Pres. Monson talking about their doctor and the cane.

Great minds think alike, eh??? What did you think of the movie? I thought it was o.k. but was hoping for more.

aurora: I love my students. We have great experiences together. I will look at my pictures from this morning and see if there is anything I can use.

Tonya said...

Your journal is for you to talk about anything you want to and seminary is a big part of your life.

I wish I could come to your class. I've never been to seminary and you would be the best teacher :o)

Tori :) said...

Finding a group of hormonal teen boys playing Apples to Apples is a mom's dream, right??\


Great post Yvonne.

Amber said...

Powerful teaching moment. That is what I miss about teaching seminary. The wealth of knowledge and personal revelation just flowed in my preparation. I am sure those students never benefited as much as I did!

Nancy Face said...

About 27 Dresses: I really liked them as a couple...they were so cute, especially him, haha! I didn't like her language at times, I didn't appreciate the naughty scene in the car, and I most especially disliked what she did to her sister...that was completely out of character for her. But I loved the ending and went home happy! :)

JustRandi said...

I would love for you to be my institute teacher. Please could you move to Colorado? PLLEEEEAZZZZZEEE?
At least don't stop posting this stuff. Sometimes it's the only "shot in the arm" I get since I don't get to attend RS right now.

Peter said...

I have to say Yvonne, that I love to hear about what you are doing with the seminary kids each morning. I was baptised when I was 17 and was only able to attend seminary for a short period of time. And what I remember most about my teacher was his love for us and how he was a wonderful example for me and made me search deep for the truthfulness of the gospel. I don't remember his name just how he inspired me to do better. I can tell from the things you say, that you are doing the same thing.
Carolyne-Niverville

Whitney said...

I wish I could have had you for a Seminary teacher! I like how you put it, how you want people to discover the things in the scriptures themselves. I know you're a great tool in helping them do that. I can tell just by reading your blog that you have an amazing spirit about you and you just emanate the Holy Ghost.
I just love your blog.

Speaking of President Hinckley's funeral, I had it on tv while I was cleaning the house and everytime I would walk in the main room I would start to cry! Especially when President Monson was reading the words to "God be with you til we meet again".

Apples to Apples is such a fun game! That's one I need to buy! :)

Yvonne said...

tonya: You are right--Seminary is a big part of my life. I never had the opportunity to go to Seminary when i was a youth either, maybe that's why I love it so much. Would love to have you in my class ; )

tori: You are so right--just where I'd want these boys--in my kitchen eating ; )

Thanks

amber: There are some real spiritual benefits (beyond measure) to teaching seminary. I know I will miss it very much. I know I get much more out of the class than the students do.

nancyface: The scene with her sister really took me back--wasn't expecting it. He was absolutely adorable.

justrandi: Thanks. Would love to have you in a class--that would be so fun. I just know that you are such a strength to the Young Women in your Ward.

carolynne: Thanks. I didn't realize you joined the Church when you were 17. That's so great that you had a chance to attend Seminary.

whitney: Thank you so much. I'm so glad that you visit and I love visiting your blog, too.

I don't think I'll be able to sing that hymn without thinking of President Hinckley.

You definitely need to buy Apples to Apples ; )

Alice Wills Gold said...

I think all women do that...all people do...but most definitely women...base our value on what others think of us..I have been learning that lesson a lot lately...I should base what I think about myself on what my Heavenly Father thinks of me...thanks for the reminder.

mindyluwho said...

I love this post. I think that teaching seminary would be something I'd like to do someday. I also loved President Eyerings words about getting the message into the heart. A great seminary teacher can do that, and I bet you are a great seminary teacher!

Melissa said...

What a great post! I agree with mel - I think that it would be so fun to sit in one of your classes :) Isn't it amazing the things we learn? It may be something we have read over and over, but at different times of our lives, different things pop out. I think that is why we are truely never "done" reading the scriptures!