Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DO-GOODER WEDNESDAY ( an ongoing series)

I believe that it was my “lot” in life to teach and to function as a teacher. I don’t teach as a profession, but throughout my life I have always found myself in that role. I don’t think that I am a particularly good teacher, but I love the ones who have sought me out to help them.  When I was a kid, I learned a lot about volunteering, and service work from my mom. She would volunteer my services as “an older kid” all the time, whether I wanted to or not.  I think it finally clicked when I was in high school. In my senior year, I had to fulfill a number of “service/volunteer” hours before I could graduate. One of my assignments was with an organization called “DOPE STOP”.  This vital service was provided to teach children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and just like Nancy Reagan proposed; to teach them to “Just Say No”.  When I think about it, it was almost like teaching Primary. Years after I graduated, I met a person who remembered me from way back then, and he said that he was in one of my classes, and what I taught him then, had helped in his life in the present.   

I recently asked the Bishop of our congregation, if there was anything more that I could do, to be of service. He laughed and told me not to “speak too loudly” of volunteering for more callings. I remember mentioning that I try to make myself available as much as I can, to help when I can.  Sometimes I have found that people don’t want “your help”. What if you try to do a good deed for someone who will not accept it? Don’t worry, pray for that person, because no good deed goes un-used. I believe that we can all benefit from a good deed now and then.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I have been prompted from time to time in my heart, to give away a book of Mormon; talk about coming out of a comfort zone.  So previously I have purchased a small book of Mormon and a Book of Mormon Story book. I thought that I could use the Book of Mormon Stories in my Primary class. When I attempted to utilize it in a lesson, one of my students politely told me that the Book of Mormon Story book was for “little kids”. I thought wow, well I will read it, because deep inside, I am a “little kid” who is learning about the Book of Mormon. So I put it on the shelf and it’s been there for a year. So this past Sunday I was “reminded” to put the book in my book bag. I wondered why, I was teaching 12year olds now; they know everything.  

So a funny thing happened on the way to church this past Sunday.  One of our church members has recently started to walk to church; but not because he enjoys the exercise, although that could be a benefit. He recently had to change jobs and with the old job went his means of transportation. So my husband and I have seen him and his daughter walking to church. Now lately, it’s about 80 degrees at 0730 in the morning. The walk to church is a schlep, in the heat; it’s down a hill and up a hill and up another hill just for good measure. We have offered him a ride, even to pick him up; he only lives around the corner from us. “Nope” he says,” walking is good for us.” So we saw him and his daughter and a school friend walking “up” the first hill. So we pulled over and practically blocked their path and invited them in. We hashed out a deal, that even though he “didn’t want to be “beholding” to anyone, he would start walking out on Sunday, and wait for us at the end of the cul-de-sac, but we could negotiate the ride home, Oky doky.

So as it turned out, our neighbor’s daughter brought a friend from school with her to Primary.  Our lesson was about Nephi and Lehi, escaping from prison and a fiery death.  I asked this young lady if she had ever read the Bible, and I told her about the Book of Mormon and how it applied to our lesson. I compared Lehi and Nephi in the book of Helaman, to the 3 Jewish boys, Shadrech, Meshech and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel.  She got it and was an enthusiastic participant. After class I was again “nudged” to pull out my Book of Mormon Story Book, and was again reminded by my students that it was for “little kids”. I asked our visitor if she would like to read some stories from the book of Mormon. I explained that they were true accounts, written in way that she would be able to appreciate and understand. Her face literally light up, she seemed to hang on every word that was being taught. She loved it, and it was at that point I understood what the Savior is trying to teach us when he admonishes us to become as “little children”.          

Mark 10:13-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 And they kept bringing young children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples were reproving them [for it].

14 But when Jesus saw [it], He was indignant and pained and said to them, allow the children to come to me—do not forbid or prevent or hinder them—for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all

What is it to “welcome the kingdom of God like a little child”? During Jesus’ earthly ministry, there are frequent accounts of the Savior admonishing his disciples to “become as children” in their attitude, but not to be confused with “childish” behavior.  What is it about children that even adults should observe in their demeanor?
What I have learned in Primary, teaching or being taught by 8 to 11 year olds, is that the heart of a child, is always open, and ready to love and be loved, even a child who has suffered abuse. There seems to be a willingness not only to forgive, but to move forward and love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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