PDF version at www.lds.org: http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/magazines/liahona-march-2016/2016-03-03-learn-of-me-eng.pdf
He it was who declared: “Come, follow me.”3 “I have set an example for you.”4
Except Ye Be ConvertedJesus taught a simple yet profound truth as recorded in Matthew. After He and His disciples had descended from the Mount of Transfiguration, they paused at Galilee and then went to Capernaum. There the disciples came unto Jesus, asking:
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”5
In the Church, the goal of gospel teaching is not to pour information into the minds of God’s children, whether at home, in the classroom, or in the mission field. It is not to show how much the parent, teacher, or missionary knows. Nor is it merely to increase knowledge about the Savior and His Church.
The basic goal of teaching is to help the sons and daughters of Heavenly Father return to His presence and enjoy eternal life with Him. To do this, gospel teaching must encourage them along the path of daily discipleship and sacred covenants. The aim is to inspire individuals to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles. The objective is to develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to become converted to His gospel.
Teaching which blesses and converts and saves is teaching which emulates the Savior’s example. Teachers who emulate the Savior’s example love and serve those they teach. They inspire their listeners with eternal lessons of divine truth. They live lives worth emulating.
Love and ServeThe Savior’s entire ministry exemplified love of neighbor. Indeed, His love and service were often His lesson. In like manner, the teachers I remember best are the teachers who knew, loved, and cared about their students. They sought the lost sheep. They taught life lessons which I shall always remember.
One such teacher was Lucy Gertsch. She knew each of her students. She unfailingly called on those who missed a Sunday or who just didn’t come. We knew she cared about us. None of us has ever forgotten her or the lessons she taught.
Many years later, when Lucy was nearing the end of her life, I visited with her. We reminisced concerning those days so long before when she had been our teacher. We spoke of each member of our class and discussed what each one was now doing. Her love and caring spanned a lifetime.
I love the Lord’s injunction found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
“I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
“Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you.”6
Lucy Gertsch taught diligently because she loved untiringly.
Offer Hope and TruthThe Apostle Peter counseled, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”7
Perhaps the greatest hope a teacher can offer is the hope found in the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“And what is it that ye shall hope for?” Mormon asked. “Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him.”8
Teachers, lift up your voices and testify to the true nature of the Godhead. Declare your witness concerning the Book of Mormon. Convey the glorious and beautiful truths contained in the plan of salvation. Use Church-approved materials, especially the scriptures, to teach the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in their purity and simplicity. Remember the Savior’s injunction to “search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”9
Help God’s children understand what is genuine and important in this life. Help them develop the strength to choose paths that will keep them safely on the way to eternal life.
Teach truth, and the Holy Ghost will attend your efforts.
“Learn of Me”Because Jesus Christ was perfectly obedient and submissive to His Father, He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”10 Do we have the determination to do likewise? Just as Jesus “received grace for grace,”11 we must patiently and persistently seek light and knowledge from God in our efforts to learn the gospel.
Listening is an essential element of learning. When preparing to be taught, we prayerfully seek inspiration and confirmation from the Holy Ghost. We ponder, we pray, we apply gospel lessons, and we seek the Father’s will for us.12
Jesus “taught … many things by parables,”13 which require ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand. As we live worthily, we can better hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, which can “teach [us] all things, and bring all things to [our] remembrance.”14
When we respond to the Lord’s gentle invitation, “Learn of me,” we become partakers of His divine power. Let us, therefore, go forward in the spirit of obedience, following our Exemplar by teaching as He would have us teach and learning as He would have us learn.
PDF version at www.lds.org: http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/magazines/liahona-february-2016/2016-02-02-landing-safely-in-turbulence-eng.pdf
Not long ago my wife, Harriet, and I were at an airport watching magnificent airplanes land. It was a windy day, and fierce gusts of wind whipped against the approaching aircraft, causing each one to swerve and shudder during the approach.
As we observed this struggle between nature and machine, my mind went back to my own flight training and the principles I learned there—and later taught to other pilots in training.
“Don’t fight the controls during turbulence,” I used to tell them. “Stay cool; don’t overreact. Keep your eyes focused on the centerline of the runway. If you deviate from your desired approach path, make prompt but measured corrections. Trust the potential of your airplane. Ride the turbulence out.”
Experienced pilots understand that they can’t always control the things that happen around them. They can’t just turn off the turbulence. They can’t make the rain or snow vanish. They can’t cause the wind to stop blowing or change its direction.
But they also understand that it’s a mistake to fear turbulence or strong winds—and especially to be paralyzed by them. The way to land safely when conditions are less than ideal is to stay on the correct track and glide path as perfectly as possible.
As I watched one airplane after another make its final approach and recalled the principles learned from my years as a pilot, I wondered if there wasn’t a lesson in this for our daily lives.
We can’t always control the storms that life puts in our path. Sometimes things simply don’t go our way. We may feel shaken and blown about by the turbulence of disappointment, doubt, fear, sadness, or stress.
During those times, it is easy to get caught up in everything that is going wrong and to make our troubles the center of our thoughts. The temptation is to focus on the trials we are facing instead of on the Savior and our testimony of truth.
But that is not the best way to navigate through our challenges in life.
Just as an experienced pilot keeps his focus not on the storm but on the center of the runway and the correct touchdown point, so too should we keep our focus on the center of our faith—our Savior, His gospel, and the plan of our Heavenly Father—and on our ultimate goal—to return safely to our heavenly destination. We should trust God and make staying on the track of discipleship the focus of our efforts. We should keep our eyes, heart, and mind focused on living the way we know we should.
Showing our faith and trust in Heavenly Father by joyfully keeping His commandments will bring us happiness and glory. And if we stay on the path, we will get through any turbulence—no matter how strong it may appear—and return safely to our heavenly home.
Whether the skies around us are clear or filled with threatening clouds, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing that if we do so, everything else we need will eventually be provided (see Matthew 6:33).
What an important life lesson!
The more we obsess about our difficulties, our struggles, our doubts, and our fears, the more difficult things can become. But the more we focus on our final heavenly destination and on the joys of following the disciple’s path—loving God, serving our neighbor—the more likely we are to successfully navigate through times of trouble and turbulence.
Dear friends, no matter how violently the winds of our mortal existence howl around us, the gospel of Jesus Christ will always offer the best path to a safe landing in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.
In a world where secularists say there is no right and wrong, that's its just people's opinions, that there are no absolutes, etc., we have prophets of God who communicate otherwise, and I believe them. I know what they say on these things is true, that we must SHUN all evil and not let it gain root. Even Jesus Christ was emphatic on this point, it is not unknown to the Savior, He taught:3 Nephi 12:29 28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.
29 Behold, I give unto you a commandment,
that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart;
Pornography is the vile evil that is spreading darkness throughout the earth in all kinds of ways. It is the spiritual cancer that is the beginning of probably most vile and evil acts including pedophilia, rape, incest, adultery and murder. Its why we should shun it for the cancer that it is. it causes one to lose the spirit, just like adultery does.