The Lord has asked us as covenant keeper to proclaim the Lord's teachings unto the entire world and to prepare to accomplish what the Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed - to see that "the truth of God [goes] forth boldly, nobly … till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of god shall be accomplished. …" (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 540.)
In order to proclaim and to prepare the world we must teach our children not only to be righteous covenant keepers, but to become effective teachers too. As mothers we are their teachers, but how are we teaching them to become teachers?
Here is how to teach them how to teach:
The church has two new manuals/programs to help us: Gospel Teaching and Learning and Teaching Christ's Way. They are both fantastic in helping us become better teachers and teaching how to teach.
Here is a few things the Savior said about teaching:
The next few Table Talk Discussions will be focusing on a learning pattern to help you and your children how to teach effectively so that we, as mothers, are preparing to accomplish and witness the "truth of God [going] forth boldly, nobly, till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of god shall be accomplished. …"
This bothered me so I talked to him about it. I'd tell him, "I'm going to read this small section and have you tell me what we read." I would read and stop to ask him. He would almost verbatim tell me what we read. The first few times this satisfied me. He told me the same words I read. Then it occurred to me he was only memorizing the words and not really understanding them. "Now what?" I remembered asking myself.
One day while reading Johnny Terrmain I stopped and asked everyone what "desertion" meant. They didn't really know, so I defined it. Then their older college age brother came in and defined it even better and we talked about examples. When I felt everyone understood I went back to reading. The story about Pumpkin, Johnny's friend getting caught and tried for desertion continued. Tirzaan, my 6 year old got up from the floor and sat next to me and asked, "What does desertion mean?"
I was shocked. Wait, how in the world could he not have gotten anything from the discussion we just had? I explained it to him again trying not to sound frustrated and a little disgusted.
I pondered on this incident for some time. I have concluded - children must have a question and seek the answer before true understanding can happen. This is a life changing principle for me. I'm so glad I discovered it and will now be a better teacher for my children.
Principles are found either directly, implied or experienced or understood. "Wickedness never was happiness" is a direct principle. It took Newton many experiments to discover the implied principles of "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Some principles are natural consequences like, "if I put my hand on a hot stove I will get burned." All principles whether direct, implied or understood can be categorized as a basic principle or a higher principle.
Basic principle are truths found in every subject on earth and in the universe. They are all encompassing. Every relationship is built on basic principles like, "when I feel loved I have a greater capacity to love." Basic principles may include higher principles. The difference is higher principles are often indisputable like, "you can't be in two places at the same time." Principles are often "monumental discoveries" as when the governmental principles were identified by the mentors of the founding fathers.
Higher principles have been called by many different names throughout time. Algernon Sidney called them "first principle" in his book, Discourses Concerning Government. He said, ““All human constitutions are subject to corruption, and must perish, unless they are timely renewed, and reduced to their first principles.” Cisero said these first principles or “natural law should be the same throughout time and across the world because it is based on human nature, not on culture or customs.” The founding fathers called them inalienable rights. And the Bible calls them doctrine.
The wise virgins were prepared with wisdom and understanding and were able to withstand a longer wait. The foolish ones were not able to handle hard situations because they did not have enough wisdom. Knowing principles, both higher and basic provides us with the understanding to handle all types of tough situations.
Tresta Neil is a homeschool mother of eight. She was born with curiosity and increases that curiosity through symbology!