Category Archives: Teaching & Learning

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education | Three Reasons for Home/Private Schooling

July 30, 2014

Common Core: Report on Glenn Beck’s We Will Not Conform

LDS Homeschool Conference, Aug 8-9, UT

One more LDS Homeschooling conference is being held this summer, on Aug 8-9 at Utah Valley University in Orem UT.  This conference is offered by long time homeschoolers Thom and Tresta Neil. The Neil’s are extremely well organized and their speaker lineup looks fantastic. I was delighted to see that at least two of the speakers invited class attendees to read a selection beforehand. There is also a youth conference.  If your financial and family situation allows, I encourage you to attend. I will have a table in the vendor area, which is open to the public, so please come by and visit whether you are attending the conference or not.

Some people have thought this was my convention, but it is not. We held our last LDS-HEA Conference in 2007.  By then my “staff” had all grown up and moved on, and I was worn out.  My place in the homeschool movement now, as I see it, is to be a voice for the Lord’s educational program.  I believe the time has come to speak boldly, though I realize I am preaching to the choir.

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education

A few days ago my husband presented me, with fanfare, the newly arrived AugustEnsign, opened in a two page spread to the article, “Home, the Heart of Learning” (p.28).  It said, “The primary place of teaching and learning is the home.” I also watched the 2014 Learning and Teaching in the Home and the Church videos, and loved them.

The article spoke of learning being “centered” in the home. I picture a beam of light illuminating the home where education is part of the family culture.  Whenever a family member leaves for education, a portion of the light moves with him, and he goes to a tutor who also lives in a beam of light. The Church is also a place he goes, and the light is certainly there.  I like to say the office is at home and every home a school.

The Ensign article went on to emphasize developing the habit of continual teaching in the family.  Once homeschoolers obtain the mindset and habits of inspired teaching and learning (if they don’t already have it) they are only inches away from every home a celestial school, and inches away from obtaining for themselves and their children a truly religious education.

What came as a shock to me was that I had already been planning to propose a few “Pondering” activities, which I intended to put in a handout on my table at the Neil’s conference (and I still will). One would say something like this:

  • Our Heavenly Father sent His own Son to parents who would provide a fully religious education.  If you look under Education in the LDS Bible Dictionary, you will find that, “The ‘religious question’ could not exist in Jewish education…”  What would it feel like to have all of education be religiously based?  What did it mean for Mary and Joseph?  How and what would Mary teach her son?  How and what would Joseph teach?  How would the boy Jesus and other 12-year-old youth in his village be different from our youth their age?Can you picture, or feel, what education in your home might be if all of it were taught from a religious perspective?  Can you picture the Holy Ghost shining down on your home as a shaft of light and everything being taught by that light?

Please feel free to refine my “Pondering” activity and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions. This is just the first of many Ponderings we need to do.  Maybe your words will help others.

Now for the bold part, which has been on my mind for some time. These are my strongest opinions, so hold on:

Three Reasons for Home and Private Religious Education

1.  Government schools are not spiritually, morally, or physically safe
It is time for all parents to really examine the wisdom of sending our children to the schools of Babylon which are working models of everything anti-Christ.  Not only are our children indoctrinated in falsehoods, but they practice the behaviors and thinking patterns of the anti-Christ as they are controlled by bells and tests and computer screens and evil philosophies.  Once Common Core is fully implemented, our children will be nothing more than objects to be acted upon.  Even if Common Core is stopped, the same people with the same philosophies will simply pull back and wait for everyone to go back to sleep and then move forward again.

We can no longer put a bubble over our local school and allow things to happen there that we would not allow anyplace else.  We can not justify evil in the name of “learning to live in the real word” or of “being missionaries.” Our youth are gasping for air.  Many develop coping strategies, such as spending lunch hour in the Seminary building, “Where I feel safe,” or “finding a quiet place to read a few scriptures on an iphone.” Those who don’t find a way to cope fail, and thus we have an epidemic of “failure to launch.”

We tell our youth to hold to the rod, don’t get off The Path; then we plant them firmly on the other path. It’s one thing to live in Babylon and not be of Babylon; it is another thing to be enrolled, controlled, converted, perverted, and force-fed poisonous philosphies by Babylon.

Why did this happen?  Because parents and schools stopped teaching the rising generations religion and morality, and society began to crumble.  In December 1962, President McKay said: “By making [prayer] unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator himself” (Religion in Public Life, Elder Dallin H. Oaks).  The cord is cut; American schools as they once were, and as we wish they still were, are no longer.  Anything that is still good, including great teachers, is not part of the current plan and will not endure.  Someday all may be restored, but in the meantime, our children need to be rescued, not abandoned to “social justice” and Marxism.

2.  There is an opportunity cost
The “opportunity cost” to our children is enormous. Because the great bulk of their time is taken up by the Babylonian education, there is no room in their day in which to obtain a good Christian education.  Nor do they have the spiritual hunger to invest in that education, or even the hunger for the less rigorous pursuits of great music and literature.  Their love of learning has been extinguished.

In the seventh grade at American Heritage school in American Fork UT, the students meet in a beautiful, peaceful classroom.  On the wall is a large picture of General George Washington kneeling in prayer.  The students study true American history from original sources, and at the end of the year they write a final essay listing 50 proofs that America was founded as a Christian country.  I find that inspiring.  And simple.  If enough families would do this, we might save America.

3.  The Lord wants us to have a religious education
Do anti-Christ educations prepare us for Zion?  Will anti-Christ schools be welcomed there? Or does the Lord want a Christian education for His children?  It certainly seems the Church is slowly moving us in that direction.  Will homeschoolers ignite the fire?  What will a religious education look like in our homes?  What will it be like in a ward?  A stake?  Should this be another Pondering activity?

I wonder if we could find 50 proofs that the Lord wants a religious education.  Maybe some families or some groups of families should try this and report.  If anyone who lives near me wants to meet together to talk about these ideas, I’d love to participate.  My head is swimming with thoughts ready to be joined by yours.

Joyce

Please, please go see Dinesh D’Sousa’s America, Imagine the World Without Her if you can.  It is wonderful. Here’s a debate with D’Sousa and Bill Ayers.

Elder Bednar Leads the Way to Restoring Education!!!

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about strategies our youth are using to deal with the temptations and evils of their public schools, things like finding a hidden moment to listen to scriptures on their phones or hanging out in the Seminary building at lunch to feel safe. Our youth are gasping for air!  When will we get them to safety? For a people in the process of building Zion, a Godless education can not be tolerated.

In Christ’s day, education among His people was religious (see Education in the Bible Dictionary). So it was in early America.  So it was for the Saints under the leadership of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  In John Taylor’s day the Utah Saints chose “free” government schools, and they did so over the objections and the pleadings of Church leaders.  If we want to build Zion, we must restore religious education,

Joseph Smith’s Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ reconnected the Church to what Christ had established on His earthly mission.  The Restoration also restored forward, taking us to unfamiliar places that were not seen in Christ’s day, such as temple work for our ancestors. If we continue moving forward we may learn things that have been hidden in plain sight and some that only the City of Enoch knew. That path is becoming more clearly marked.

We often hear messages from church leaders that if we teach our children the gospel at home they will survive public schools. Those messages used to bother me because so many don’t survive and those who do survive have been cheated out of a Godly education in American History, Literature, Government, and even Math and Science.  I’m comfortable with that message now because I can see the wisdom in it.  The first and the foundational step toward homeschooling must be a the building of a gospel culture in the home. That culture must go far beyond check-box scripture reading, family prayer, and family night.  The home itself would look and feel like a place where people love to learn.  Family members would become self-directed gospel learners, and the Holy Ghost would become their teacher.

Family-directed religious education might do two things:  First, it will prepare the family for, and lead them into learning together every day, all subjects, at home and/or in places that feel like home.  Youth being taught under the influence of the Holy Ghost will see the difference between being a child of God with the gift of agency and being an object who is acted upon. They will not want to waste their time in anti-God schools and will demand a religious education.  Second, the strength of the families and the power of the Priesthood will be a protection from challenges to religious freedom, religious education, and homeschooling.

Families who are new to homeschooling or who are not feeling successful should consider that the first thing is to strengthen relationships, then faith, and then skills and knowledge.What Elder Bednar teaches about Teaching and Learning points the way for all we do at home, not necessarily by his intention but simply because the same principles he is teaching the church apply to home and family.  A friend pointed me to some outstanding videos, and my grandson taught me how to put them on a YouTube Playlist,  Go to YouTube, then search for Every Home a School, then “Prophets Teach Us How to Learn/Teach/Parent.”  The first video is “The Importance of Teaching in the Gospel, Part 1.”  Following it are 11 short clips, the first five lifted from Part 1 and the other six apparently from a Part 2 which I cannot find. I’ve also added another short clip from Elder Bednar, a story he told in England about a remarkable experience at BYUI.  And then there are three full talks, one from Elder Perry on how his mother made their home a school (my words, not his), and two from members of the Seventy: Elder Lynn Robbins, “What Manner of Men Ought We To Be,” about “becoming” and parenting, and Elder David Stone, “Zion in the Midst of Babylon,” which calls us to examine the influence of culture.If you have read the many pages of text I linked to the Escape Common Core video on the home page of our website, you may remember that I said, with great delight, that the Church is teaching us how to homeschool our children. Elder Bednar is magnificent.  Enjoy!

What Manner of School Ought We to Have?

I was out driving one day and thought to turn my radio on just minutes before an hour break and just in time to hear the last question in an interview with Dr. Raymond Moody who speaks about near-death experiences. The questions was about the people who stayed on the other side for the longest amounts of time, and Dr. Moody said the thing they all talked about was seeing multitudes of people going into beautiful buildings of education.  They were excited about learning. Naturally I thought of the 24 temples in Joseph Smith’s plat plan for the New Jerusalem in Missouri.

What will a school in Zion be like?  Will it be like early American schools?  The Founders envisioned government encouraged education. The Northwest Ordinance, signed into law by George Washington, directed the circumstances under which new states to the west of the original thirteen would be admitted to the union.  The ordinance said, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”  Land was set aside in the middle of each township for a school.  The schools were built and run locally.  Thomas Jefferson supported taxation.  He said, “Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”

The reason the Founders wanted schools in every community was to protect our liberties.  How much of what is done in school today prepares students to protect their liberties? How much actually destroys “religion, morality, and [true] knowledge”?  Should we, then, restore the early American pattern of schools?  Should schools again be established under state constitutions, without federal involvement?  Should they be overseen and supported by taxation at the local community level rather than at the federal level?  Or might there be an even better way?

The Brigham Young Academy was founded in 1876 in Provo, Utah, 20 years before statehood and the adoption of “free” schools in Utah.  President Brigham Young called Carl Maeser to head the academy and told him not to teach “so much as the alphabet or the multiplications tables without the Spirit of God.”  The story was told by Terry Warner in a BYU Devotional address on November 11, 2008.  Brother Warner also established a permanent exhibit on the BYU campus as a tribute to the Academy and the great men and women who taught there.  The Academy was technically a high school, but I suspect the courses were more challenging and the students more mature in that day before the invention of “teenage.”  (Thanks to the new changes in our church, our teenage culture is changing.)

I first discovered Brother Warner’s Devotional a couple of years after he gave it, and wondered how anyone could watch it and not want such a school for their children.  I watched and read the devotional many times and visited the exhibit at BYU.  Now, three years later, I watched the talk again and it seemed quite different.  I heard things I didn’t remember hearing before and was so stunned by some of it that I downloaded the text again and compared it to the one I had saved in 2011, which was actually entitled “The Education of the Whole Soul.”  (The title is still the same on the print out, but on the BYU website it is listed as “The Lighters of Our Lamps.”).  The words are still the same!  I am amazed.  The only explanation I can see is that our situation has changed in the last year or two with the rapidity we see in Book of Mormon accounts.  Last night I attended a small meeting at which people spoke of having feelings that they need to start a private school.

If you’ve read Brother Warner’s devotional speech before, please read it again. It is very moving and quite sobering.  Whatever we do in education, we want to be on the path to that City of Zion.  Are there clues here about what that path might be.

We will be coming back to this topic soon to look at more schools.

For further study:

The American Founding Fathers, more Jefferson quotes:  http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-education

Terry Warner, “Lighters of our Lamps,” text, audio, and video
http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1813

Joyce

A Core of Our Own: With Our Feet Firmly Planted by Joyce Kinmont

August 13, 1013

A Core of Our Own:  With Our Feet Firmly Planted
by Joyce Kinmont

As Latter-day Saints we are engaged in becoming worthy citizens in a Zion society, a society we have to build.  As a part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we return to the religious education that was originally understood by Joseph Smith and our early church leaders?

When I wrote a three part article for our website several years ago, I relied on Jack Monnett’s book, Revealed Educational Principles and the Public Schools for understanding and for quotes. I wondered if I dared to use a couple of quotes that included the word “infidelity.” Was the word too strong?  Would people be offended? How was it meant? I decided to use them.  Today I have no question; the word fits.

So let’s visit those quotes again, and some more.

When the legislature passed the Free Education Act of 1890 (and really, “Free” should be written in quotes because it isn’t free; it’s expensive!) President George Q. Cannon wrote in the Juvenile Instructor:

“It will be a great temptation to many people to send their children to the free schools that will now be supported by our taxes, but of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith.”  – Monnett, p.154

The gospel was not taught in the “free” schools.  The Saints didn’t seem to care.  So President Cannon tried again, in stronger language, in a later issue of the Juvenile Instructor:

There are parents who are very favorable to their children receiving education, but appear to be indifferent as to the character of the teaching which they receive. They do not seem to place any value on their children being taught the principles of their religion. Apparently, therefore, they would as soon their children be taught in schools or colleges where religion is entirely ignored as in an academy taught by Latter-day Saints . . . the Latter-day Saints have forsaken everything for their religion. They have been willing to die for it . . . how persons who have had these feelings concerning religion in their own case can be so careless as to expose their children to infidelity seems a great mystery. -p.161

If Christ is the bridegroom, then unfaithfulness to Him is infidelity.  But the Saints still did not respond.

One frustrated church school principal wrote to Brother Maeser, “We believe the Saints should say today as Israel of old, ‘God hath spoken, let Israel obey and patronize these schools and fill them to overflowing.” –p.155

The Saints heard plenty of counsel, even pleadings, from their leaders.  And the Church did everything possible to reduce tuitions and make obedience easier. But the Saints weren’t willing to make the sacrifices.

Jack points out that their choice was clear.  The Lord’s schools, or man’s.  Follow inspired leaders, or not.  For us the choice is clouded by years of compromise and by our having lived so long in Babylon.

Another friend of mine points out that the very purpose of the state schools was to destroy the Mormon religion.  So why would the Saints fall into that trap?  And why are we still there?

Had those early Saints, some of them the posterity of the pioneers, chosen what seemed at the time to be the hard road, would they have built Zion by now?

Instead they put their church leaders into the same quandary the Utah State School Board found themselves in:  Is it better to have a place at the table than to not have any influence at all?  It seems the School Board used that question as a justification for doing what they wanted to do – receive a “chunk of cash.”  From the taxpayers. (see previous article)  The Church, of course, looked to the Master for answers.  I’m sure there was much sadness.

Jack wrote that enrollment in church schools “peaked at about 10%. . . . Not only was this a sad commentary against the Saints, it was an embarrassment to their leaders. Their enemies, however, were elated.”

Commissioner Jacob Boreman, who had feared that the Mormons would blindly follow their leaders, reported:

These efforts of the Mormon Church are necessarily causing divisions among the membership of the church upon educational matters. This, however, is a healthful sign, as is every act which causes the people to think for themselves. It creates and develops individual independence. The outlook is indeed encouraging. – p.187

Jack wrote:

President Cannon had been one of the chief leaders of the church school movement.  As President Woodruff’s first counselor, he had worked hand and hand with the prophet to bring about a celestial education program that they and all the General Board agreed was a necessary step in creating Zion among the Saints.  When it became clear that church members were more comfortable with an education program “like all the nations,” (1 Sam 8:5) and were not willing to sacrifice or separate themselves from those around them, plans were made to once again work with Latter-day Saint youth in public schools.  It was awkward because the Brethren had been vocal about the differences of public and church education and had pointed out public school weaknesses. Previously, President Cannon had asked the Saints, “of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith?” He spoke to church educators and observed that “Although infidelity is not directly taught in the public schools, its spirit is fostered by the exclusion of religious education.

“In the summer of 1891, recognizing that a partnership had to be forged in order to continue teaching LDS youth, he said:

“The district schools must be patronized by the Latter-day Saints for many reasons; they are supported, to a large extent, by the taxes of the Latter-day Saints, and it would be well for the children to be trained in those schools at least up to their twelfth year; as it is supposed that this can be done without endangering their faith. Again, we have been accused of being opposed to education and the district school system, and we must not give our traducers the shadow of a foundation on which to rest their charges.” – Monnett, p 192-3

Jack continued:

Necessarily, the foe became the ally.  Competition that had at times been bitter now became friendly.  A new educational direction was given to the Saints. . . . Karl Maeser, who had once labeled public schools “godless,” said in 1898:  “By wise legislation it is provided, that the public schools shall be kept free from partisan politics, sectarian influences, and the inculcation of infidel theories.  These sound restrictions guarantee in some measure at least to the children of our people, a so-called common English education without the bias of sectarianism or the negative tendencies of atheism.” – p.193

In the 1890’s the Church did have a place at the table.  John Taylor was the first Superintendent of Schools.  Many teachers were LDS.  And society was basically moral.  By the 1990’s the Church had little influence.  And today?  Is there any reason to remain in the schools of our enemies?

Now It’s Our Turn
One of the most beautiful talks ever given about becoming Zion is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s August 2012 CES address, “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling.”  He spoke of the many times when the Lord’s people had to flee:

For more than 4,000 years of covenantal history, this has been the pattern: Flee and seek. Run and settle. Escape Babylon. Build Zion’s protective walls.

Until now. Until tonight. Until this our day.

Our call is to build Zion where we are.

One of the many unique characteristics of our dispensation, this the dispensation of the fullness of times—the last and greatest of all dispensations—is the changing nature of how we establish the kingdom of God on earth. You see, one of the truly exciting things about this dispensation is that it is a time of mighty, accelerated change. And one thing that has changed is that the Church of God will never again flee.

In these last days, in this our dispensation, we would become mature enough to stop running. We would become mature enough to plant our feet and our families and our foundations in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people permanently. Zion would be everywhere—wherever the Church is. And with that change—one of the mighty changes of the last days—we no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.

How are we going to live?  How are our children going to learn their gospel, their life mission and occupation, their family heritage, and their national heritage, all of which includes reading and writing and every truth about everything on this planet?  Is it time to pick up where the children of the pioneers stepped off the path?  Is it time to walk away from schools that were originally set up in Utah for the purpose of destroying the power of the Mormon church (and on the East Coast for similar reasons, including to make all immigrants “common.”

Do we want to be like Germany, as is the stated goal of the president and was the goal of Horace Mann in early Massachusetts?  Why do we put a bubble around government schools and release them from accountability to Biblical moral standards?  Why do we force our children to go where they aren’t safe and pretend what happens there is good for them — although we wouldn’t allow such things at home?

Elder Holland said:

In the 21st century we cannot flee any longer. We are going to have to fight for laws and circumstances and environments that allow the free exercise of religion and our franchise in it. That is one way we can tolerate being in Babylon but not of it.

Our children were born into our family, but not into a school classroom.  We do not need to “flee” the school system; we just need to stop choosing to send our children there.  If there are attempts to force us to do otherwise, they would be unrighteous dominion and unconstitutional.  

What “laws and circumstances and environments” will allow our children to have a religious education?  Elder Holland didn’t say anything about education, so we have to figure it out for our own families.  Are we willing to fight for our choice of “circumstances”?  I hope we are!

With our feet and our families and our foundation firmly planted!
Joyce

For Further Study:
Israel, Israel, God is Calling, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Broadcast, 2012 Elder Holland didn’t talk about education, but he did talk about Zion behaviors we must learn, so please watch the talk!  
Not Commanded in All Things, Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Conference Report, April 1965

Learning in the Lord’s Way: At the Start of a New Year

February 9, 2013

LEARNING IN THE LORD’S WAY:  At the Start of a New Year . . .

A new year has begun. The number itself – 2013 – feels unlucky. No surprise in a superstitious culture that builds hotels without 13th floors (a feat magically accomplished by numbering the floor above the 12th as 14 and pretending it is so).

In the Kingdom of God, 2013 is already a good year. It is the Year of the Youth. For a decade or more we have been watching our youth falling away in droves – not just in our church but in all churches. We were warned years ago that what we were then doing in our homes would not be sufficient. We tried, and some tried very hard, but the enemy got above us. This is the year things change as our youth “become converted to the gospel through learning and teaching in the Savior’s way.” This is the year they learn to exercise faith and do the hard mental work of being hungry, active, self-directed learners. This is the year the gospel moves from their heads to their hearts. This is the year they become mission oriented and step forward as an army of righteousness.

Of course these changes will require good training in the wards and stakes as well as teachers who are willing to change old thinking and old methods for new, inspired approaches. And of course there will be wonderful successes in some places and less success in others. Homeschoolers have an opportunity and a responsibility here. We have already experimented with force and freedom methods of learning. We already know how to do hard things, be self-directed, think outside the box, take risks, fail and try again; and we already know the pure joy of being in the presence of a child when the light of new learning fills his mind.

If you have a calling to work in the youth program, bless you! If not, remember in your prayers the of adults who have only known “acted upon” methods and now have to change their thinking.  Those of us who are blessed to attend Sunday School and Relief Society or Priesthood meetings can support the teachers as they learn to become facilitators. We do this by studying the lesson ahead, pondering the questions, bringing our manuals to class, and being prepared to help the Holy Ghost be the teacher.

The new program will invite positive changes in our church and family cultures. Are we willing to make those changes, whatever they may turn out to be? Will the adults be able to keep up with the youth? As homeschoolers, we know what joy awaits as every home becomes a school.

The History

Here is a very brief, and probably inaccurate, peek at recent history from my perspective:

In 1997 Elder Bednar, whose educational and professional background was in organizational communication and behavior, became the President of Rick’s College. In 2000 the college became BYUI. New buildings and a temple have been built, the student population has greatly increased, and a new Learning Model has been introduced.

In 2004 President Bednar said, “It should be obvious to all of us that something spiritually significant is taking place in Rexburg, Idaho.”  He also spoke of BYUI as a “Disciple Preparation Center.” Then he said, “Ultimately, the best Disciple Preparation Center is located within the walls of our own homes.” That concept made me feel that homeschoolers should connect our homeschooling efforts with BYUI in some way, that we should steer our own course toward their light. We couldn’t yet see that light; we just knew it was there.

Then last Christmas and again this Christmas, Elder Bednar published his wonderful books, Increase in Learning and Act In Doctrine. and the light became more visible to the whole church.

BYUI has also developed a program called Pathway in which students not on campus can attend two years of college at home, through their local Institute. A missionary couple is called to direct the program and the students meet together once a week. Pathway is now available in over 75 locations around the world. My daughter is in the only “Over Thirty” group in Utah, and she loves it.

In 2003 the Church held the first worldwide Leardership Training. In 2007 President Packer and Elder Holland presented the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting: Teaching andLearning. The video doesn’t seem to be on the church website anymore, but the text was published in the June 2007 Ensign as “Teaching and Learning in the Church.”

In 2004 changes were made in the General Sunday School. The Teacher Development position, which was disconnected and ineffective (I know; I once held that calling) was eliminated and the Sunday School Presidencies were given the responsibility of teacher training — and they’ve done a wonderful job.  In my stake the Sunday School Presidency is strong and effective and things are happening.

In 2004 the Missionary Department presented Preach My Gospel, a book and a program that revolutionized the mission field and probably made the lowering of the missionary age requirement possible.

A few years ago changes were made in how Seminary is taught.

Watching all these changes has been exciting, even though we see just the small pictures and have no real idea of the back-stories or what our Apostles do with the other 99% of their time.  And now we are making a giant move forward with the new youth program, “Come, Follow Me.” How blessed we are to be members of this church. Or, as an Institute teacher put it, what a Majestic God we have!

One Final Thought

I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to work on this article. As I typed “Come, Follow Me” something happened — my attention was drawn to the comma. The comma matters! A comma is a separator, a signal to pause. “Come Follow Me” without the comma is a simple command that can easily be said harshly or without feeling. If we respect the comma we must pause after “Come.” That forces us to say the title slowly and gently. “Come, . . . . Follow Me.” We hear the Savior’s voice!  It is an invitation.  We are commanded, but He will not force.  Lord, How is it that thou canst weep?  I gave unto them agency. All I want is that they love one another and choose me.  (see Moses 7:29,32-3)

His invitation is to our youth. They are His. Our job is to love and teach each other in His way in our callings and in our families. A little comma, the size of a mustard seed, perfectly explains how His Way feels.