I had no idea until she finished teaching, how much I needed this lesson. I've been trying for weeks to have consistent confidence with a challenging new calling, to have a plan and a preparation process that works, and to be able to deliver an articulate and meaningful lesson reflective of the work that has gone into it. So far, in the last four months of teaching, I have felt that way about only TWO of my lessons. There are definitely good things about them each week, but I can't ever manage to get everything right. There always seems to be something lacking every week. Maybe that's just because I'm a perfectionist, or because I'm impossibly critical of myself, or because my knowledge of the scriptures is pretty inadequate...or maybe I'm exactly right about my evaluation of my teaching and there's something else I can do.
I came home from Church today and instead of dissecting another one of my hopelessly flawed lessons, I decided to re-read the RS lesson Jeanette taught.
Here's what I read...
“The word of God, as found in the scriptures, in the words of living prophets, and in personal revelation, has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good, and find joy in this life.”SCRIPTURES = POWER
SCRIPTURES = JOY
"Immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other efforts that will bring greater dividends to your calling."SCRIPTURES = INSPIRATION IN CALLINGS
"When individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow."SCRIPTURES = INCREASED TESTIMONIES
SCRIPTURES = FORTIFIED FAMILIES
SCRIPTURES = FLOWING PERSONAL REVELATION
"...but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: forSCRIPTURES = PROSPERING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
“And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.” - Matt 1:37
"Feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” - Nephi 32:3SCRIPTURES = DIRECTION AND GUIDANCE
Do I need a stronger testimony? a fortified family? greater understanding of the Savior? to know my purpose each day? free flowing personal revelation? better discernment? more confidence in my calling? more surety in the whisperings that I hear? greater joy in my life?
Yep. I totally do.
My personal scripture study has been inconsistent lately and mostly revolves around preparing for a lesson every other Sunday. I have felt for awhile that I've needed to get back into a regular, more purposeful habit of reading and studying the scriptures on my own, and not just with my family in the mornings. And it turns out, there are tons of blessings that I'm totally missing out on because I've become casual with this critical piece of the puzzle. So, after Jeanette's wonderful lesson and after reading a few other great words about the power of personal scripture study, I've decided to make a more intentional effort and make my personal relationship with the scriptures as big a priority as prayer and temple attendance have become for me.
This quote is from an amazing blog post I read recently...
"I realized I can’t afford to neglect my time in the scriptures. I can’t risk being a voice to my children, my friends, or the Relief Society sisters I teach, if I am not partaking regularly of God’s word. Time with the word of the Lord is its own system of checks and balances for me. It’s how the Lord rights me, keeps me on course."Scripture study sort of takes on a whole new meaning after reading those wise and wonderful words. If we think of the scriptures as a gift from Heavenly Father, a guidebook, a manual for mortality, how can we even consider venturing outside of our homes and responsibly interacting with the world, or attempting to reflect a little light, without first arming ourselves with the power of the scriptures?
I'm so grateful for Jeanette's inspired lesson, for President Ezra Taft Benson's inspiring words, and for a Sunday that has turned into a feast instead of a snack.