I loved seminary as a youth.
Okay, the early morning wasn't my favorite, but I really did LOVE what I learned and the opportunity to bond with the other students and the teachers.
I loved serving on the Stake Seminary Council and helping to plan events. It was awesome.
Driving the early morning carpool has also been an awesome experience! I love talking with the kids... or not... first thing in the morning. It reminds me to start out the day happy.
Imagine my delight when I was asked to teach seminary for two days. I was so excited. Nothing prepared me for this morning's conversation, not even ALL the prep that went into the lesson. (I'm about to go into a long story, which is awesome, but time-consuming...)
We were discussing how to study the scriptures, and there were several different methods recommended. (If you would like a copy of the handout, let me know... thanks LeAnne Hahne!!!) As a demonstrative tool, we used 3 Nephi 17:1-10.
First, we read the passage. No preamble, intro or anything.
Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my atime is at hand.
perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot bunderstand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.I a
Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and aponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and bprepare your minds for the cmorrow, and I come unto you again.
But now I ago unto the Father, and also to bshow myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not clost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they wereain tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled withacompassion towards you.
Have ye any that are asick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or bleprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will cheal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that yourafaith is bsufficient that I should heal you.
And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their ablind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did akiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
Then I asked them to tell me about the history of the passage.
638 years before, a group of jews, including a prophet, left Jerusalem and traveled to the American continent. Alone. They fought amongst themselves for hundreds of years, but the gospel was always present.
38 years before, Samuel the Lamanite stood on a wall and prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ. He listed signs that would evidence of the arrival of the Savior.
33 years before, the wicked people in the Americas set a date by which the signs must be made manifest, or those believing in Christ would perish. Nephi, a prophet, prayed to God. He was promised that the signs would come the next day!
The signs came.
33 years went by.
Earthquakes, storms, destruction, death, injury, illness, and then darkness... complete... utter... darkness for 3 days.
A voice comes.
3 times. It is the voice of GOD.
Then the Savior appears.
He greets them. Spends time with them.
Then we talked about who was telling the story: Nephi
Who was he talking about: The Savior and the Nephites... his people.
What did the Savior do? He was trying to leave, but they asked Him to stay. He did and he healed all those with infirmities.
Awesome.. we get the literal, right?
Now for the cool part...
I then asked them what principle the Savior was teaching in this passage. We started with verse 2-3 - after all the horribleness the people experienced. After everything, Jesus tried to leave. He told them they were not ready for the rest of the words He was to say. That they should go home, ponder on what had been said, pray about it, and come back tomorrow to talk about it. One of the students said, "He gave them HOMEWORK!"
She was right! It was homework. The Savior asked, and still asks us, to ponder, pray and prepare for new light and further knowledge.
It gets cooler than that...
In verse 5, the Savior looks at the people, one last time, and realizes they are asking him to stay. They want to see the same miracles He performed in Jerusalem.
Their faith is so great (verse 8) that HE CANNOT LEAVE!!!! He stays to perform these miracles because they have done what was needed to receive the blessings.
MY MIND BLEW..
I have read that passage many times, but today, it came full circle... It doesn't matter how rough I think my life is. It doesn't matter how hard things get. My Savior will be waiting until the time is right. He wants me to watch, read, ponder, and pray. He wants me to prepare to meet Him. If I do what He asks of me, He will be there to issue the blessings that are best for me, and if I demonstrate that kind of faith, He CANNOT DENY the blessings. He will be filled with compassion toward me.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to learn and study the gospel of Jesus Christ with the ease of turning on my phone, opening my own copy of the scriptures, etc. They are truly a blessing in my life!