Popular guest DeAnna Murphy serves as the Chief Organizational Development Officer at People Acuity, The Interdependent Leadership Company based in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Her experience leading organizational leadership efforts worldwide informs her advice for leadership and teaching in the Church.
5:56 How do you teach in the Savior’s way to achieve dynamic, impactful, transformational virtual instruction?
7:06 She notices some Church leaders struggling with virtual classrooms and wanting to be able to accelerate people’s ability to create authentic connection with others, feel the Spirit, and counsel together in the same way as if they were in person. Many people are intimidated by virtual environments, but they can have positive experiences virtually to help others to feel the Spirit and feel the Savior’s love. There’s a very brief and simple way to approach lessons or talks in a way that invites others to participate in counseling together to experience the same gifts as if we were live. [Notice both DeAnna’s method as well as the content as she models teaching and leading in the following.]
8:15 If you are open to it, let’s start with a scripture together. Doctrine and Covenants 43:8-10 has some really important direction to give us that I believe can help us while we’re learning how to teach and operate in a virtual environment. Let’s take on this together. Listen for the promises that come and what it is that’ required of us. Then we’ll talk about the terms the Savior uses there and what that means for us in a virtual environment.
After Kurt reads it, Deanna continues: Let’s just pause for a second and let me ask you as we are in a virtual environment, what words jump off the page to you when you read those verses.
Kurt: Sanctified–we want people to have a personal, changing experience during a church interaction. Then, “you shall bind yourselves” is a unifying factor: we grow or bind closer together through that instruction.
DeAnna: Wow. I’m just listening to how you’ve come to the essence. I’m noticing in our day, what’s important about 1) being sanctified and 2) being bound together at this time of division and tearing down?
Kurt: With tribalism and separating that is happening via technology and social media, we need the blessing of the function in our church of geographic wards that come together regardless of economic status or background. It’s an opportunity to unify despite the disunity perpetuated online and in the chaos of the world.
DeAnna: I’m loving what you are describing at a time when we are feeling more disconnected and pulled apart. The Lord has given us a promise that when we come together to instruct and edify each other, that our hearts will be bound together. I also love that you chose the word sanctified because these two promises are keys to a Zion society: that we become sanctified, holy, and pure, and we are bound together with others who also are.
12:20 I would love you to notice, too, that one of the other gifts is we are promised to know how to act. I was in Minneapolis when the rioting happened and things were going crazy. We literally were experiencing martial law with 700 buildings burning to the ground. We didn’t know how to act–it was coming to our neighborhood. THere’s something about us counseling together in a virtual setting that gives us increased ability to know how to act. And notice as we are starting today, we are doing what we are inviting others to do.
Each person in a virtual environment sees something. I had a conversation with a client earlier today who said she had heard feedback from her team: they got a better experience from the virtual gathering than they did live because everyone had a voice. Isn’t that interesting that in a day when so many are marginalized, some who don’t think they are good enough, a virtual environment ensures that all voices are in.
13:37 Let’s just counsel together for a second: for the phrase “instruct and edify”, I think in our church culture, we have a very specific mindset about what that means. What I’m seeing in watching the Brethren is that it’s not meaning what it’s always meant. The cultural overlay of what that means now may not be the same thing it meant to our parents and grandparents. When you hear the phrase “instruct and edify”, what do you think?
Kurt: Instructing reminds me of a teacher, but edify takes the instruction to a whole other level. Rarely is one edified when they just go sit and listen or when they have no questions to wrestle with.
DeAnna: I’m struck by the source of word edification: it’s to be filled. Filled with what? What is it we want each other to be filled with as we leave our experiences?
Kurt: The Spirit, fellowship, community, and unity, maybe.
15:49 DeAnna: It’s interesting to me as I’m watching the Brethren come out into our congregations and we videos of them instructing, I’ve been struck at how skillfully they ask questions and allow us to find our way into “What do you think of that? What do you think of Christ?” (The Savior asked that question: What think ye of Christ?] “What do you think about this?” or “What has been your experience with this?” It’s very powerful.
16:30 Let’s talk about if we want to be edified with the Spirit, we want everyone to feel it. We want them to touch it. We want them to have their experience with it. You’ve probably been in a meeting where a speaker shared a very touching story from their own life, but there is something that happens when a person finds their own story connected to whatever it is we are talking about.
If you don’t mind us using another scripture, let’s look at Mosiah 4:11-12. Verse 11 is going to tell us to always retain a remembrance–it’s getting people to remember His greatness, their own nothingness, and His goodness to them. In verse 12, notice what the promises are. It’s an interesting thing: I want you to notice what you just did. We were just talking about remembering the greatness of God, our own nothingness, His goodness to us, and our own experiences with Him. And notice the last thing you read: That you shall grow in the knowledge of Him who created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. You would come to know truth and the Savior. And this is eternal life, that they might know Thee. How are they going to know that? By remembering.
18:21 So often as teachers we miss an incredible experience because we want to impart wisdom, and we forget that those in front of us have been prepared for thousands of years to come to earth, and that knowledge and insight is still in their spirits. When they are invited to remember, this intelligence opens up inside of them, and it begins to flow to them and they remember. There’s an edification that comes from Spirit to their heart and then from their heart to another’s heart. I think where we have landed so far is that instruct and edify might not think what we think it means. When we include questions to invite people to remember, to reflect on their own experience and the experience of those in the scriptures and draw in their experiences, something powerful happens.
19:38 This example isn’t from virtual learning, but when I served as a Stake Relief Society President, there was a sister in our stake with a very public profile who was wrestling with her faith. Her bishop asked me to meet with her because he didn’t know how to help her. I felt anxious sitting across from her. We are all just normal human beings who get invited into these callings, and we don’t know what we are doing. I had an impression to ask her to tell me a time when she felt the Savior’s love and felt His truth strengthening and helping her. When we started, she looked angry, almost like “I dare you to try to fix this.” I didn’t know how, so I didn’t try. I invited her to remember, and something miraculous happened right before my eyes: her face visibly softened, looking back in her mind, and she went back to the story of her conversion. When she finished reading the Book of Mormon, she had an experience of sitting on the grounds of the temple and feeling the Spirit testify of the power of eternal families: that’s when she knew it was true. And by the time she had told her story, she had talked herself through her problem. I hardly said anything besides asking clarifying questions. I invited her to remember, and she remembered.
21:27 I’m discovering that one of the greatest gifts we can give in our classroom is before we jump in or launch into a lesson, many teachers are not aware that there’s a normal ARC. If we disrupt the ARC, people are not ready to learn. ARC is an acronym that stands for attune–reframe–complete. Refrain is where we wrestle with the ideas. At the beginning, if you jump into refrain, they aren’t ready. The walls are up, and if the walls are up, they can’t feel and hear each other. They tend to hold back. It’s not that we’re a bad teacher. The timing is missing. It requires a step back.
When we start a class, we’ve got to attune. The easiest way to do that with adults, as well as youth, is to ask them to find an experience. When we do this, we put together a template that I’ve shared. We’ve used this in Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary, and Young Women’s. It’s a tool that gives people a simple walkthrough. I’m going to take you through what we do to attune.
23:25 This is the power of noticing what you’re hungry for. So, attuning first requires realizing that people need to have shared agreements about what’s going to happen. So, in our classrooms we say, let’s invite three agreements:
1. The first one is the mindset that you don’t have to know everything here. We like to call it confident humility. Instead of worrying about getting it wrong, just hold that you know some things, and you don’t know some things. No matter what you do here, you’re not going to get it wrong because we’re just going to invite you to show up with what you have, and maybe what you have is a question. Maybe what you have is uncertainty, but share wherever you’re coming from and just bring it. And then we invite people to speak to the fact that in a virtual classroom, the greatest gift we give is what happens when we interact with each other. I prefer in a virtual classroom to go in and out. Many of the wards and stakes around the world are using Zoom. Zoom has break-out rooms. It’s a very simple feature: you just push a button and everybody can go into a breakout room and have one-to-one partner conversations. They can be on camera. And I share with them, today when you come to this class, you’re going to spend time in a breakout room. And your partner needs you to see them. Remember Michelle Craig’s talk in general conference, having “Eyes to See.” And I say, please, use your gifts to serve your partner. Help to draw your partner out and hear them. And here’s the way you’re going to do this:
2. No judgment zone: can you agree to not judge each other or yourself?
3. And, just get curious. When your partner says something, you can either ask a question to go deeper, just like I did earlier: “What does that mean to you?” or “What’s important about that to you?” And to repeat back, “What it sounds like you are saying is … Is that it?” People need to hear their own words back–that strengthens them. And we invite them: Listen, you don’t need to be a pro at anything. Just share back what you heard and ask a deeper question. That will help your partner. Are you willing to do that? This will attune people. It helps them know what to expect so they’re not scared.
And then the second part of attune is to help them connect with each other. So we invite them, “You’re going to go into a breakout room. Now, remember a time you experienced whatever the lesson topic is. So if this were a virtual classroom together, I would say, “Kurt, remember a time when you experienced a classroom, the Spirit was present, you felt connected to the other people who were there, and you felt the Savior’s love. When was it? What was it like? What created it?
Now, let’s stop sharing, for the benefit of those listening, and let’s have that conversation only because it allows those viewing to think, this isn’t some hypothetical thing. It’s real. So for all of you listening right now, as Kurt finds his story and he thinks of a time, think of your own time. When were you in a classroom that was life-changing? You felt the Spirit of the Lord speak to your heart. You felt connected to those who were present. When was it? And what happened to create it? Find your story and notice the feelings that you have, those of you listening, as Kurt shares his story.
Kurt: My mind went to a non-denominational Christian leadership retreat to focus on Christ and His gospel. And I just remember the feeling of being in a group where there wasn’t any judgment. People could share freely, and then we would eat together after, and so in that moment, I felt that unifying effect. I felt like people were on the same page. Everybody there seemed engaged.
DeAnna: So, just to model back what we were just speaking to in those three agreements, what was important about the no-judgment zone?
Kurt: It invited each individual, including me, just to be real, open up, and share. I was much more likely to raise my hand and contribute because I felt like I could be real.
DeAnna: You know, there was a feeling, like it was visceral to me when you said the words “open up.” You can feel what’s happening now–it’s exactly what can happen in a virtual room. When we open up, we make way for the Spirit to come in. Then, I’m not afraid I’m not good enough. I’m not afraid that you’re smarter than me or I’m dumb. All of the worry that is a natural part of being a human being disappears. And the only there is love and the presence of the Spirit. God’s love is there.
29:48 Attune takes 5-7 minutes, maybe 10. When you first do it, people aren’t used to it. They’re used to going straight to the task of the lesson. When you go straight to the task of the lesson, you don’t get people’s hearts open. And in our ward right now, our second-hour meetings are 30 minutes long. And so how do you get the Spirit and create meaningful transformation in a 30-minute period. The attune piece becomes important because everyone is open and there’s a flowing into. My love flows into your love, and my faith flows into your faith. The Spirit I feel flows into the Spirit you feel. It’s this grand synergy. In some respects, it’s a tiny version of Zion. And you can do it in 30 minutes. I create this island for these kids and adults that are coming. They’re disconnected, overwhelmed and anxious by the world, and we can create an island of safety, but you can’t if people aren’t open.
In our past experiences, the past 40-50 years of Relief Society, Sunday School, or the Young Women’s lessons, it’s 30-45 minutes of get-in-as-much-as-we-can: we’ve got to get through the lesson.
I notice when I prepare differently. I’ve got a co-teacher: we prepare independently. We write down the impressions that come. Then we come and compare notes, and we say, of all the things we read independently, what is the one thing that the Savior needs these kids to know now. What’s the way you create in 30 minutes that leaves people feeling loved, connected, longing to be together, and feeling like they belong? You pick one point in 30 minutes. You can get one point if you’re trying to create an experience.
What we do is not too fancy. In our Relief Society lessons, we would take the quote from the conference talk. In our scripture lessons, I would actually pull the scripture and put it up even though they all have their devices. Some of them are on their phone to be in the lesson, and I want them to stay, so I want everyone to be able to see it. Then we would read the quote or scripture together.
A lot of teachers get really anxious about what’s the right question. The Savior taught with questions: what’s the right question? I would love to give you the right question that will never be wrong ever. It’s this: “What jumped out at you?” Before we read the quote or scripture, I say, “I would like you to listen not with your ears but your heart. I would like you to notice what word or phrase that the Spirit draws your attention to. And what jumps out at you, notice it because there may be something special the Spirit wants to say to you, so listen for it. If I set up a scripture or quote like that, every single time, someone or multiple someones will have an experience because they’re looking. Whatever we seek, we find. Now I’m reading and there’s something in this verse or quote for me. I’m reading and I’m looking. We read it together, and usually, I take it one step further and say, “Now read it to yourself again with your heart tuned into it and see what jumps out to you.”
34:57 Here, the chat box is a powerful tool: every voice gets in if you use the chatbox. So I’ll say, “Now, go down to the chatbox, and write one word or phrase that jumped out to you. That way everyone’s fingers are engaged, and I can immediately scroll and call them by name: “I notice that Jackson chose the word ‘bind’. I see that MacKenzie picked the word ‘sanctify’. As I read their name and their word, everyone hears their name. And there is something about being seen that matters. And then I can go back, and I listen for the Spirit. I go, “Okay, Heavenly Father. Which of those words in this short time matters to you?” And then I’ll listen. And I’ll see, “Where do you want me to go?” And I’ll say, “Jackson, would you mind unmuting for a minute? Tell me what’s important to you about the word ‘bind’? His answer becomes important. The moment he does that, he’s actually bearing testimony and doesn’t know he’s doing it. He’s testifying of what the Spirit testified to him. And he becomes the mouthpiece for the Holy Ghost. And it’s amazing because you can see it happen in these kids, and it happens for adults. And it’s just giving them a voice and making it possible and not wrong. What do you think that means? What jumped out to you? There are no wrong answers if you invite everyone to go to the chatbox and put their word or phrase.
I should go back and mention this: At the end of attune, I always use “Share a time when…” because remembrance always invites the Spirit. Whatever the lesson topic is, I always use a remember question in attune because you will never go wrong.
37:22 Remember a time when you felt the Spirit because the lesson was on fire. Remember a time when things were really hard and Spirit came and brought you comfort. Or remember a time when you were struggling with your faith and tell how you found a way forward. It’s what the lessons going to be about, and I let them tell their story first because of that. Coming out of breakout room, here’s my favorite debrief of that because we’ve only got 30 minutes: I’ll say, “Go to the chatbox and write a word or phrase that describes how that conversation felt. Not what did you think; how did you feel?” Kurt, what feelings come to you when you remember your story? What are some of the words you’d use?
Kurt: A lot of peace, a lot of acceptance, just a feeling of community and unity. I guarantee you will hear those same words, regardless of what it’s about. I will predict that almost always the fruits of the Spirit come out of it (see Gal. 5:22-23): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,” and on. Those words tend to be the ones: they felt safe, loving, kind, it was gentle. It’s amazing how the words continue to flow into. I will then call attention to the fact, “Do you realize what all your words add up to? You’re feeling the Spirit: the Savior is here. He’s speaking to you right now.” Calling attention to that, we are experiencing it often, and we don’t know we are. So to just stop and do that, it verifies the feelings and the experience they’ve had is true. And it becomes a testimony meeting in small pieces, just one word or phrase. I usually make it just 90 seconds to 2 minutes per person in a breakout room.
The reframe is not trying to help them get their head around the concept but to help them, coming out of feeling Spirit, to look at what does this mean for my life? We want to look at the words and ask, “What does that mean to you? Let’s not try to figure out what it means to God. What does it mean to you?” Then there’s an opportunity for this: “Let’s look at…maybe there’s another scripture, a clarifying word, or something in a footnote that will clarify the meaning, but it helps people think about what it means.
40:39 And then when we get to complete, it’s just like in a missionary discussion: What are you going to do about it?
Kurt: I have a question. You may start a lesson by showing a quote, and then ask some questions to the general class and look in the chatbox for some responses. And then you’ll say, “Let’s go into some breakout rooms” and you give them a question or a thought to discuss and maybe focus on what are you feeling during that. You make those break rooms available for two minutes per person, especially for adults.
41:40 This is my own personal bend: I am less inclined than I used to about putting a lot of context at the beginning. If you stop and think about, what is the purpose of our meeting virtually? In some ways, it feels like there’s a heightened emergency around having crystal clarity about why we’re having those meetings. Once a month for thirty minutes, what is the purpose of that meeting? We have to know that. Because if we’re not sure, then we will try to cram too much in to a thirty-minute time.
So, what’s your opinion? What do you think is the purpose of a thirty-minute young men or primary class? What’s the purpose?
Kurt: My mind goes back to that scripture of Instruct and edify, but maybe that’s too vague. It would be to uplift an individual and invite them to come unto Christ and engage with Christ and His doctrines.
DeAnna: I love … Kurt, notice how you progressed through your thinking to the last thing you said: to engage with the doctrine of Christ, to engage with the Spirit, to engage with the Savior, to engage with others who are engaging with Him. We have to let go of the mindset we had before of “If I am a teacher, then I have a lesson to teach.” No, we don’t. Our biggest job is we are the connector. There’s a way, I believe, that the person who leads the classroom (and I believe that structure is the wrong word) is to facilitate engagement with the Spirit. It is to help those there to see what they cannot see and feel what they didn’t know they’re feeling. It’s to bring to awareness my connection to you and ours to Him. Because if we have that, we can get through anything. We can get through anything, and even if it’s only for 30 minutes with others. In my ward, my Relief Society presidency was terrified about their first Zoom lesson and reached out to me for help. There were women who stayed on Zoom for 30 minutes after. They didn’t want to leave, they were hungry, they were craving the kind of conversation that was being created. Such a longing.
44:52 I believe we need to shift our mindset: we are no longer teaching lessons. We are creating an engagement with the Spirit. We are multipliers of the Spirit, creating a connection between them and the Savior. That’s a different description than what we have given ourselves in the past. It’s not what we’ve done before.
Some are naturally uncomfortable with this type of structure. “Don’t put me in a breakout room. I’m just here to learn.” They almost want the teacher to talk at them for 30 minutes. How do we make this more comfortable so that more people want to be a part of this more dynamic experience in a virtual classroom?
45:51 I don’t believe it’s our job to create comfort. I think the Savior does a grand job of creating discomfort: divine discontent. I think if we do attune properly and encourage people, “Don’t skip creating agreements. They have to know what to expect. You bet they’re going to be uncomfortable. You know why? Because if I come and all I do is listen, I have zero responsibility. Engagement means responsibility. Engagement means my heart and my mind are in. If you talk at me for 30 minutes, I’m not necessarily engaged. In fact, I may not be engaged at all. Tony Robbins says, “Passive learning leads to passive application. Active learning leads to active application.” What we are talking about here is active learning. And active learning to active application. If we want our youth, our young people, and our fellow Saints, some of them who are wrestling with great and painful things, to actively apply the doctrine of Christ in their life, then we cannot be passively teaching. The best we can do is we’ve got to be teaching people and helping to create new expectations. We need to be talking differently about the purposes of our meeting together. We are here today to have an experience with the Savior together. We are going to invite Him to be here, and the Holy Ghost is going to speak to you and is going to teach you things in your mind and heart. And if you listen, you will hear it. And I’m going to ask you from time to time what you notice.
Even with 14-year-olds, it has happened. And those 14-year-olds? You would think they were prophets and apostles in the making. I have seen them engage with others that I swear I am seeing Peter, James, and John when they were 14 years old. Powerful! Because when we set the bar high, they rise to it. When we have them passively sit in their seats and we lecture to them, there is no responsibility for the lecture. They are just tuned out and they’re bored. They’re probably on their phones. They are just tuned out to something else. They are trying to multitask. There is no way you can multitask if you are teaching this way. That’s impossible. In fact, that’s probably the fourth agreement that’s not on the screen that I always say is that it will be impossible for you to multitask. So you need to be somewhere where you can have quiet. We would like you to keep your camera on and your microphone muted while we are together but unmuted when you’re in your breakout room. Because we want to see and hear each other or your words or voice in the chatbox. Somebody’s going to be touched today because you were here.
49:08 Art says, so reframing everything seems to be a huge factor for success in helping others get involved in the experience, right?
Well spoken, Art. Yes, and it really is at the beginning: we’re here to have an experience with the Savior. Here are some agreements about how we’re going to be together. Are you all okay with it? I’m not going to lecture at you. You’re going to be breakout rooms and engaging with each other. And so this means you’ve got to be on camera, muted when we’re together. Use the chatbox to support each other. And please don’t be multitasking. That’s it in a summary.
It’s a very simple ARC: ATTUNE, REFRAME, COMPLETE. We have talked all about attune above. Reframe is usually one point followed by “What word or phrase jumps out at you?” usually in the chatbox or else you could ping around the room because there is not a wrong answer. Nobody’s afraid of that. You could take it one step further: What’s important about that to you? What does that mean to you? It starts to flesh out what it’s about.
The C in the ARC: once we get through that reframing, when you’ve got about 3-4 minutes left, you’re down to COMPLETION. Completion is all about commitment about getting people to make a commitment to action. And so, almost always, what I do. I put this up: “Imagine you are living this more fully in your life. What would it be like? What one thing would you do differently this month to help you get there?”
51:20 If Kurt were having powerful, sacred, incredible experiences in the virtual classroom that you are leading and you are a part of, it would complement his Sunday experience and he wouldn’t feel empty but rather a greater sense of fullness on Sundays. He would approach his virtual lessons less afraid to ask them to engage via a breakout, in a chat, or speaking up because I see how important that is for the overall edification of the class.
On this last part, you may have each person private chat with her partner to tell one thing she would do differently to accomplish more of what we’ve been talking about today or rather to follow an impression of the Spirit that has come to her mind?
DeAnna is providing a resource to send to anyone who wants it, no strings attached. She’ll send the Powerpoint deck, and all you have to do is go in and change the quote every week. Remember is the best attune because it calls us back. She has a Word document to prompt people to help them.
She prompts her class members: “What words or phrases or impressions jump out as you read this section or talk this week? When I’m co-teaching with someone, we like to talk through: “At the end of this experience, what do you hope class members will have experienced? What two or three things jump out at you as the most important? Which one concept feels like the most important?”This is where I use a lot of prayer, thought, and inspiration because you’ve got to select one verse or one quote, get to the essese of what it’s about. This helps her have a clear bullseye so she knows if I’ve only got one point to make, this is the one thing it feels like the Savior is watching. I’ve created a framework you can follow. It gives you the timeline in the first column, a section on attune, and then it moves into reframe with possible questions to ask. And here’s how you would get to completion. This makes it easier for teachers to remember. Just reach out to Kurt to ask for a copy of Teaching in Savior’s Way Virtually. She hopes it will help people who are wrestling with this. The Zoom piece isn’t very hard. There are videos on how to create breakout rooms–it’s easy and intuitive.
56:46 Kurt: In the traditional approach, you are called as a Sunday School teacher, you’re studying, you’re getting quotes, you’re printing out white slips to pass around to people to read. There’s almost so much structure that it’s harder to break away from it because you put so much work into it. But it sounds like the preparation for this new way of teaching is very prayerful in trying to nail it down to that one quote or message that can launch the class. Then according to the Spirit and feedback, you navigate the class from there. Any other advice for preparing for a class like this?
DeAnna: Yes. Here’s what I know. If you as a teacher come in filled with fear or worry that you aren’t enough, if you are hanging your value on your performance, how they like you, how they respond, or if you did well; you’ll interfere with the Spirit. There’s a way where we have to be willing to do our own version of burying our weapons of war. It is impossible for us to be in a no-judgment zone if we have not put away our worry about getting it wrong, not being good enough, or not knowing. We have to assume we’re on the Savior’s errand. And just as in the allegory of the olive tree, He is with us.
She was so scared when she was called as a new Stake Relief Society president. I didn’t even like Relief Society. My daughter laughed out loud. The feelings of inadequacy in our callings because we are called to stand in the Savior’s stead, it is natural for us to feel that way, but if are clinging to our own fear, we lose sight of representing and reflecting Him. It’s hard work. She asked the Lord what He wanted her to let go of: He said, “Give me your fear, all of it. You can’t bring my love to anyone if you’re filled with fear.” She spent a few months inviting Him to teach her how to give Him her fear about getting it wrong.
60:20 We have created our own version of the world says, “You are valuable when you make enough money, you are smart enough, if you dress the right way, if people like you.” In the Church, it is “I’m valuable if I have the right calling/show up right/my kids do the right thing…” That is all a bunch of lies. Those lies are spun by the adversary–they interfere with and trap us in misery as much as any sin does. Satan gets us preoccupied with not being enough which interferes with our ability to feel the Savior’s love. Perfect love casts out all fear. And I’m learning that if I’m going to be the Savior’s instrument when I teach but I’m fearful, I can’t have His Spirit with me. Be willing to do the work. Ask the Lord, “Father, what would you have me put down so I have more of you available to me with more love to give to those I’m teaching. Our job is not to impart wisdom. our job is to connect and engage learners. These are different reasons than before. We can’t teach the way we used to and get the results Lord needs.
Here’s a short, 30-second story back to the beginning of my stake Relief Society era I went to conduct my first one-on-one. And I’m thinking, Who am I? I feel so small. More for me than her, I pulled up an extra chair. We had an empty chair next to us and she said, I’m just going to be honest, here: I’m not sure what I’m doing. But I know the Savior knows you and me. And where two or three are gathered in his name, He will come to be here to guide us both. When she said this, her fear was gone. She acknowledged not knowing what she should be doing and that she would let HIm be here. And his presence will give us comfort and light. She felt like they had angels attending them and were encircled about by fire (3 Nephi 17). She’ll never forget it.
We don’t have to be experts on anything: we just need to show up and be on His agenda, not our agenda. Her agenda was that she had to feel okay about herself. She let that one go and said, “Savior, I love you. You have asked me to do this, so you must trust me, so I’ll trust you to help me.” And it was enough.
65:12 We all have been prepare for thousands of years: our spirits already know. Our spirits understood that there was one thing that would cross the veil, that any effort we put into to develop our spiritual gifts before we came here would go with us. So we knew there would be these assignments. And we worked, practiced, and prepared for thousands of years, and that knowledge and insight is still in us. We said yes and could hardly wait.
I tell God, “I don’t know!” God answers, “Your head doesn’t, but your Spirit knows. And when you get rid of your fear, there is this light that connects that spiritual intelligence to your conscience mind. And it streams into me and it comes from Him. And remembrance is not just a great practice. It literally allows us to remember things we didn’t know we knew. I teach my instructors who are training to become facilitators that we have conscious knowing (we know what we know) and unconscious knowing (what you don’t know you know). Then there’s universal knowing: there’s insight out there, and when you are completely open, the insights just come into you.
We’ve got this available to us, and as church members who have made sacred covenants in the temple, we are a part of a synergy. It’s not just our love here among we who see each other. He has also given His angels charge concerning us. We are multiplied by powers beyond the veil we cannot fully see or understand nor will we until we are there and become multipliers of people who are here. And as long as we put down our weapons and are not afraid, then we become part of that spiritual streaming of light and truth and love into the lives of other people. And I believe that is what it means to be a teacher in the Church today. It’s to be a streamer of light and love and truth, a connector and a multiplier to help others figure out how to do that for themselves. And they can’t do that by listening to a lecture anymore. It’s no longer sufficient to help people get where they need to get today.
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