Sunday, April 11, 2010

Heart and Souls

Baylie gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting today, on “Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change” (Oct Gen Conf, Dale Renlund). Amazingly, she didn’t seem nervous at all! I was so impressed! She shared the most important points of Elder Renlund’s talk, bore her testimony, and was done in about 3 minutes. In those three minutes she also communicated what a darling, sweet and gentle, beautiful soul she is.

The other two individuals who spoke on the same topic were a cute, newlywed-BYU nursing student, and a grandmother in her mid-sixties with unstyled gray hair and glasses. In order to preserve her privacy, I will call the grandmother “Nan.”

Nan has been teaching one of our classes in RS each month for at least a couple of years, now, so I have had ample time to observe her teaching style. Nan is not a “dynamic” speaker or teacher. She does not try to “entertain.” Her approach is always one of thoughtfulness. She thinks deeply and introspectively. For some people that description means that she is a “boring” teacher/speaker.

If anyone in the audience in Sacrament meeting had such thoughts and as a result stopped listening, how ironic, considering the topic of stony hearts v. hearts of flesh. As it turned out, today was also Nan’s day to teach the class in RS. I was glad. I find that when I listen thoughtfully, I am always edified when Nan teaches or speaks.

It is not just kids who quit listening when they decide someone is going to be “boring” (based on the teacher/speaker’s appearance or style). There are some adults who decide that they can’t learn from someone simply because she is female. How many men quit listening when a woman teaches or speaks? I have watched it happen for years. Additionally, there are those who quit listening because they are certain that they can’t learn anything from a person who has less experience or less education or is “beneath” them in some other way.

I am certain that He who knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and minds is not pleased with those who harbor feelings of disdain or condescension. It is one of those things that will condemn us:


… if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.

For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence. (Alma 12:13-14)

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And we will weep with shame.
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4 comments:

Rebecca said...

I have noticed that many stop listening as you have described and it makes me sad.

I have been amazed at the inspired words that come from the most unlikely of places, especially children.

Katscratchme said...

I wish I had been able to listen better yesterday. Maybe my kids will be perfect angels next week... :P

shydandelion said...

A few years ago, you told me a story about one of the apostle's father. He would take notes during every sacrament meeting. He told his son that if he had the spirit with him, he could alway learn something. That stuck with me and I keep a notebook in my church bag for that very reason. I am not always good at it, though. I find myself getting distracted or disturbed when people present their opinions as doctrine, and then I try and think of an appropriate response that will not offend them. I suppose I shouldn't worry about it so much, but I think of the other souls in the classroom who would take opinion as doctrine. Bleh...

Jen said...

Baylie did a great job. She wrote the entire talk by herself, too. :)

Kat - I hope your kids are perfect angels next week too . . . I'm speaking next week.