Religious Education in the Church Educational System
Gospel Teaching: The Role of the Teacher
Gospel Teaching: Skills for Effective Teaching
Some of our teachers have said, "I can see how the counsel to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ is applicable to gospel subjects, but what about subjects such as Church history that deal in facts?" I would answer this by saying that facts should be taught not only as facts; they should be taught to increase one's faith in the gospel, to build testimony.
We would hope that if you feel you must write for the scholarly journals, you always defend the faith. Avoid expressions and terminology which offend the Brethren and Church members. I refer to such expressions as "he alleged" when a President of the Church described a revelation or manifestation; or other expressions such as "experimental systems" and "communal life" as they describe sacred revelations dealing with the united order and the law of consecration. A revelation of God is not an experiment. The Lord has already done His research. Revelations from God are not based on the theories or philosophies of men, regardless of their worldly learning.
I would hope that each morning before you leave your homes you kneel before the Lord in secret as well as family prayer. I also hope that before you go into the classroom you ask to be led by the Spirit. The most important part of your teaching preparation is that you are guided by the Spirit.
When a teacher feels he must blend worldly sophistication and erudition to the simple principles of the gospel or to our Church history so that his message will have more appeal and respectability to the academically learned, he has compromised his message. We seldom impress people by this means and almost never convert them to the gospel. This also applies to our students. We encourage you to get your higher degrees and to further your education; but let us not forget that disaffection from the gospel and the Lord's Church was brought about in the past by the attempts to reconcile the pure gospel with the secular philosophies of men. Nominal Christianity outside the restored Church stands as an evidence that the blend between worldly philosophy and revealed truth leads to impotence. Likewise, you teachers will have no power if you attempt to do the same in your educational pursuits and classroom teaching.
Some teachers have felt that they have to expound some new slant on a doctrine, or reveal sensational or intimate and sacred personal experiences from their own lives, or allegedly from the lives of the Brethren in order to be popular with their students. You were not called to entertain students or unduly dramatize your message.
Your sole duty is to teach the gospel. You are not "to intrude into your work your own peculiar philosophy, no matter what its sources or how pleasing or rational it seems to you" (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., "Charted Course," p. 9). Your teaching should not be the "enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith [and the faith of your students] should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5).
Before you can strengthen your students, it is essential that you study the doctrines of the kingdom and learn the gospel by both study and faith (see D&C 88:118). To study by faith is to seek understanding and the Spirit of the Lord through the prayer of faith. Then you will have the power to convince your students. This is not just good advice; it is a commandment of the Lord.
Your purpose is to increase testimony and faith in your students. Should you wonder how this is done, carefully study the Book of Mormon to see how Mormon did it with his "and thus we see" passages. A careful study of Orson F. Whitney's Life of Heber C. Kimball or Matthias Cowley's Life of Wilford Woodruff will also demonstrate how one teaches facts and draws great lessons of faith therefrom. I would like to feel that all my grandchildren are edified, strengthened, and inspired as a result of your classes.
Teachers, because of your example and influence upon young people, they will come to you from time to time for counsel on personal problems. May I urge you to develop a close relationship with their ecclesiastical leaders, so that when they do come to you, you can guide them to their bishops. This permits the problems to be handled in the Lord's way. Never must you get between the student and his own bishop.
A measure of this change of heart is what happens to the motives and desires of the gospel teacher. Enos testified that he "began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren" (Enos 9). Alma, who also experienced this mighty change, said: "I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste" (Alma 36:24). May your motives be likewise as pure. May the welfare of your students be the primary motive to your teaching. May you be converted so you can strengthen your students.
In Lehi's vision of the tree of life, he saw a man dressed in a white robe who beckoned him to follow him through the dark and dreary waste, which represented the temptations of the world. With the help of prayer, Lehi was led to partake of the fruit of that tree, which provided him "with exceeding great joy." (See 1 Nephi 8:6-12.) We would hope that you teachers would be as men in white robes, leading our youth safely through the temptations of the world so that they too may partake of the tree of life and have exceeding great joy.
Seminary and institute teachers, you represent the First Presidency in all you do and in the way you appear. We expect that you will be conservative and well groomed. The expression "follow the Brethren" has a broader meaning than some would apply to it. It means not only to agree with the counsel given to the Church by the Brethren, but also to follow their example in appearance and deportment. As teachers you need constantly to ask, "How would the Savior have me appear before others? How would He have me act?" You should not imitate worldly fashions in your dress or so-called modern expressions in your language. Your hair style should be in conformity with the standards of the Church. You are on the front line, so to speak, in impressing our young men to serve missions. Certainly you should provide them with an example of what we are asking future missionaries to conform to.
Your responsibility is to live as you teach. Be consistent in your life with the message you declare to your students. The majority of you have provided strong, commendable examples of what a Latter-day Saint life and home should be. How many students have been induced into righteous decisions because of the examples of their seminary and institute teachers! "I want to be just like them" is an often-heard expression referring to you as a husband and wife team. We think those expressions are well deserved and we commend you for the examples you set.
It has come to our attention that some of our teachers, particularly in our university programs, are purchasing writings from known apostates, or from other liberal sources, in an effort to become informed about certain points of view or to glean from their research. You must realize that when you purchase their writings or subscribe to their periodicals, you help sustain their cause. We would hope that their writings not be on your seminary or institute or personal bookshelves. We are entrusting you to represent the Lord and the First Presidency to your students, not the views of the detractors of the Church.
Permit me to offer you a word of counsel about writing books or articles. Some of you have desired to write, and we do not discourage that. Because of problems with some writings from some of our teachers who have put themselves in print, it is well to give you some cautions. Doctrinal interpretation is the province of the First Presidency. The Lord has given that stewardship to them by revelation. No teacher has the right to interpret doctrine for the members of the Church. If Church members would remember that, we could do away with a number of books which have troubled some of our people.
Sometimes gospel principles are written with such erudition that the gospel is hardly recognizable in them. Worldly phraseology and authorities replace the scriptures and the prophets. You institute teachers need to be aware of this in teaching courses such as Courtship and Marriage, and in giving counsel on child rearing. Be careful of blending your worldly training with the gospel courses you teach lest you be guilty of diluting the pure gospel of Jesus Christ and end up teaching the philosophy of men mingled with a few scriptures.
A problem occurs on occasion when, in the pursuit of higher degrees, one becomes so imbued with the terminology and methodology of a secular discipline that, almost without realizing it, he compromises the gospel message. The simple principles of the gospel, not the disciplines of men, should always be our basis for truth.
As a result of some thought and reading of all I could find that General Authorities and many others have written on the subject of religious education, I have arrived at some conclusions. Among them are these:
The youth of the Church, your students, are in great majority sound in thought and in spirit. The problem primarily is to keep them sound, not to convert them.
The youth of the Church are hungry for things of the spirit; they are eager to learn the Gospel, and they want it straight, undiluted.
They want to know about the fundamentals I have just set out--about our beliefs; they want to gain testimonies of their truth; they are not now doubters but inquirers, seekers after truth. Doubt must not be planted in their hearts. Great is the burden and the condemnation of any teacher who sows doubt in a trusting soul. (p. 246)
The first requisite of a teacher for teaching these principles is a personal testimony of their truth. No amount of learning, no amount of study, and no number of scholastic degrees, can take the place of this testimony, which is the sine qua non of the teacher in our Church school system. No teacher who does not have a real testimony of the truth of the Gospel as revealed to and believed by the Latter-day Saints, and a testimony of the Sonship and Messiahship of Jesus, and of the divine mission of Joseph Smith--including in all its reality the First Vision--has any place in the Church school system. (pp. 249-250)
The mere possession of a testimony is not enough. You must have besides this, one of the rarest and most precious of all the many elements of human character--moral courage. For in the absence of moral courage to declare your testimony, it will reach the students only after such dilution as will make it difficult if not impossible for them to detect it; and the spiritual and psychological effect of a weak and vacillating testimony may well be actually harmful instead of helpful. . . . a twin brother of moral courage and often mistaken for it--I mean intellectual courage--the courage to affirm principles, beliefs, and faith that may not always be considered as harmonizing with such knowledge--scientific or otherwise--as the teacher or his educational colleagues may believe they possess. (pp. 250-251)
An object of pity (not of scorn, as some would have it) is that man or woman, who having the truth and knowing it, finds it necessary either to repudiate the truth or to compromise with error in order that he may live with or among unbelievers without subjecting himself to their disfavor or derision as he supposes. Tragic indeed is his place, for the real fact is that all such discardings and shadings in the end bring the very punishments that the weak-willed one sought to avoid. For there is nothing the world so values and reveres as the man, who, having righteous convictions, stands for them in any and all circumstances; there is nothing towards which the word turns more contempt than the man who, having righteous convictions, either slips away from them, abandons them, or repudiates them. For any Latter-day Saint psychologist, chemist, physicist, geologist, archeologist, or any other scientist, to explain away, or misinterpret, or evade or elude, or most of all, to repudiate or to deny, the great fundamental doctrines of the Church in which he professes to believe, is to give the lie to his intellect, to lose his self-respect, to bring sorrow to his friends, to break the hearts and bring shame to his parents, to besmirch the Church and its members, and to forfeit the respect and honor of those whom he has sought, by his course, to win as friends and helpers. (p. 249)
I wish to mention another thing that has happened in other lines, as a caution against the same thing happening in the Church educational system. On more than one occasion our Church members have gone to other places for special training in particular lines; they have had the training which was supposedly the last word, the most modern view, the new plus ultra of up-to-dateness; then they have brought it back and dosed it upon us without any thought as to whether we needed it or not. I refrain from mentioning well-known and, I believe, well-recognized instances of this sort of thing. I do not wish to wound any feelings.
But before trying on the newest fangled ideas in any line of thought, education, activity, or what not, experts should just stop and consider that however backward they think we are, and however backward we may actually be in some things, in other things we are far out in the lead, and therefore these new methods may be old, if not worn out, with us.
In whatever relates to community life and activity in general, to clean group social amusement and entertainment, to closely knit and carefully directed religious worship and activity, to a positive, clear-cut, faith-promoting spirituality, to a real, everyday, practical religion, to a firm-fixed desire and acutely sensed need for faith in God, we are far in the van of on-marching humanity. Before effort is made to inoculate us with new ideas, experts should kindly consider whether the methods, used to spur community spirit or build religious activities among groups that are decadent and maybe dead to these things, are quite applicable to us, and whether their effort to impose these upon us is not a rather crude, even gross anachronism. (pp. 251-252)
I have already indicated that our youth are not children spiritually; they are well on towards the normal spiritual maturity of the world. To treat them as children spiritually, as the world might treat the same age group, is therefore and likewise an anachronism. I say once more there is scarcely a youth that comes through your seminary or institute door who has not been the conscious beneficiary of spiritual blessings, or who has not seen the efficacy of prayer or who has not witnessed the power of faith to heal the sick, or who has not beheld spiritual outpourings, of which the world at large is today ignorant. You do not have to sneak up behind this spiritually experienced youth and whisper religion in his ears; you can come right out, face to face, and talk with him. You do not need to disguise religious truths with a cloak of worldly things; you can bring these truths to him openly, in their natural guise. Youth may prove to be not more fearful of them than you are. There is no need for gradual approaches, for "bedtime" stories, for coddling, for patronizing, or for any of the other childish devices used in efforts to reach those spiritually inexperienced and all but spiritually dead. (pp. 252-253)
You teachers have a great mission. As teachers you stand upon the highest peak in education, for what teaching can compare in priceless value and in far-reaching effect with that which deals with man as he was in the eternity of yesterday, as he is in the mortality of today, and as he will be in the forever of tomorrow. Not only time but eternity is your field. Salvation of yourself not only, but of those who come within the purlieus of your temple, is the blessing you seek, and which, doing your duty, you will gain. How brilliant will be your crown of glory, with each soul saved an encrusted jewel thereon. (p. 253)
I would like to visit with you tonight about how we can best help in those moments of quiet crisis in the lives of our students when they cannot see. The moment comes when they say to themselves: "Maybe what I though was true, what I have depended upon, isn't so." You are the person they have turned to in such moments, probably hundreds of times for some of you. . . . Whatever the reason for the moment of doubt, may I share with you what has seemed to me to help them most?
The key for me is to believe Paul and Moroni: Faith is evidence of things not seen with natural eyes. And so, doubt comes from a failure of spiritual sight. If you and I will be helpful to these young people, it will be to help them restore that sight. Just accepting such a simple picture will change the way I start the conversation; I will let them talk, not just about their doubts, but their feelings. There are good reasons for that patient approach.
I should like to speak briefly of four imperatives . . . The first, Keep on growing. . . . None of us, my brethren and sisters, knows enough. The learning process is an endless process. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. . . .
My second imperative is Grow with balance. An old cliche states that modern education leads a man to know more and more about less and less. I want to plead with you to keep balance in your lives. Do not become obsessed with what may be called "a gospel hobby." A good meal always includes more than one course. You ought to have great strength in your chosen and assigned field of expertise. But I warn you against making that your only interest. . . .
Thirdly, Let love be your lodestar. It is the greatest force on earth. Love is a word of many meanings, and all of these apply to you. Cultivate love for the subjects you teach. There is a central figure in all of these, and that figure is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Teach of Him. Bear testimony of Him out of a deep and earnest conviction so that your students will feel the strength of your testimony . . . cultivate in your hearts not only a love for the Savior of whom you bear testimony, but also a deep love for those you teach and particularly for those who appear to be so difficult to reach. They need you most, and the miracle that will come into their lives as you labor with them in a spirit of encouragement and kindness will bring gladness and satisfaction to you all of your days and strength and faith and testimony to them. . . .
And now, finally, Enjoy your work. Be happy. I meet so many people who constantly complain about the burden of their responsibilities. Of course the pressures are great. There is much, too much, to do. . . . [but] the gospel is good news. Man is that he might have joy. Be happy! Let that happiness shine through your faces and speak through your testimonies.
It would be very difficult for a Church teacher, officer, or parent to have meaningful religious experience with a student without first being an exemplar of Christ's doctrine. For how can one implant in others moral principles that he has not come to understand, appreciate, and live himself? As is taught in the Priesthood Teacher Development Program, "You teach what you are." It is with the educator that the student appropriately identifies. When the parent, officer, or teacher lives Christ's teachings, he becomes in a sense the subject matter and material in action. If he then, with a delicate sensitivity, builds a bridge into his student's world to feel the pulsations of the pupil's heart, and the two openly share feelings of love, they will find themselves in a meaningful relationship. But it takes time, patience, and sacrifice of self-interests to accomplish this end; and this quality of rapport is usually much more difficult to attain in groups than in an ongoing face-to-face relationship with an individual. . . . This is why the home can be such a powerful school of learning. The relationship of the teacher-parent and student-child is frequent, continuous, and usually face-to-face. The instruction is individualized. (p. 216)
Let me give a word of caution to you. I am sure you recognize the potential danger of being so influential and so persuasive that your students build an allegiance to you rather than to the gospel. Now that is a wonderful problem to have to wrestle with, and we would only hope that all of you are such charismatic teachers. But there is a genuine danger here. That is why you have to invite your students into the scriptures themselves, not just give them your interpretation and presentation of them. That is why you must invite your students to feel the Spirit of the Lord, not just give them your personal reflection of that. That is why, ultimately, you must invite your students directly to Christ, not just to one who teaches his doctrines, however ably. You will not always be available to these students. You cannot hold their hands after they have left high school or college. And you do not need personal disciples.
Our great task is to ground these students in what can go with them through life, to point them toward him who loves them and can guide them where none of us will go. Please make sure the loyalty of these students is to the scriptures and the Lord and the doctrines of the restored Church. Point them toward God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and toward the leadership of the true Church. Make certain that when the glamour and charisma of your personality and lectures and classroom environment are gone that they are not left empty-handed to face the world. Give them the gifts that will carry them through when they have to stand alone. When you do this, the entire Church is blessed for generations to come.
May I also encourage you to prepare and live in such a way that you have the Spirit of the Lord in your teaching. There is so much in our world that destroys the feeling of the Spirit and so much that would keep us from having the Spirit with us. We need to do all we can for these young people who are assaulted and barraged by worldliness all around them. We need to do everything possible to let them feel the sweet, reassuring presence of the Spirit of the Lord. Your classrooms are weekday sanctuaries where they should be able to find that.
Why have we set up this great educational system? I thought of the objectives that we have repeated time and again. The first objective was to teach truth. And in answer to the age-old question . . . "What is truth?" the Lord gave us the definition: "And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come." (D&C 93:24.) Our objective is to teach truth so effectively that students will be free from error, free from sin, free from darkness, free from false tradition, from vain philosophies, and from untried, unproven theories of science. . . .
The second objective that has been impressed over the years is to educate our youth, not only for time, but for all eternity. . . .
The third objective that I would name is to teach the gospel, that students will not be misled by purveyors of false doctrines, vain speculations, and faulty interpretations. . . .
The fourth objective would be to prepare students to live well-rounded lives. . . .
The fifth objective would be to set the stage for students to acquire a testimony of the reality of God and the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and his work. . . .
We are going to have to do a better job . . . than we now do in helping the young to see that there is a connection between the gospel and the problems of the real world and that the gospel does contain the solution to human problems. Mormonism never was, is not, and never can be monastic. It is not a religion that runs away from life, but it stays in there and hangs tight in the situations of our time, trying to make them better. This means that the much-used word relevancy is still at issue in that young people must come to see that the gospel is something we do, not simply something we talk about. And that means that the relevancy of the gospel, in terms of how it can solve human problems, has got to be borne home more consistently, more artfully, and more spiritually than has been done in the past.
We need to do a better job, I think in helping the young to appreciate the high adventure of orthodoxy, helping them to know that it is not something which is muttered approvingly in a high priest quorum full of old men, but that orthodoxy is, in fact, the system by which the gospel principles are weaved together in a fabric which keeps them in check and in balance with each other. You see, the doctrines of Jesus Christ by themselves are dangerous. Any principle of the gospel, isolated, spun off, and practiced in solitude goes wild and goes mad. It is only the orthodoxy of the gospel that keeps it together, because these are powerful principles that need each other. Just as the people of the Church need each other, the doctrines of the Church need each other. It seems to me that we are called upon to help our young people understand that some of the subcultures in America that focus on love without chastity, without discipline, and without justice are sick; and that, by the same token, to focus on one principle of the gospel and exclude the others produces the same kind of madness and wildness. To preserve orthodoxy is the great balancing act. It is the mission and the excitement and call of life in the institution of the Church, because the sum of human happiness will be greater and larger as a function of orthodoxy than it will by simply spinning off in satellite operations as so many do.
Vexing . . . as the current minor and tactical irritations are which emanate from clever critics and dedicated defectors from the Church, these do not constitute our major challenge. These tactical irritations are mere mosquitoes from the swamp; the real challenge is the spreading swamp of secularism itself, which will engulf marginal members. . . . From the worldly and secular, consumed as they are by the cares of the world, we encounter deepening and massive indifference if not hostility toward all things spiritual. . . .
Because of . . . [these] challenges, our gospel teaching must underscore, as never before, the verity, the relevancy, and the urgency of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This triad of teaching objectives is keenly important because their force will hasten full conversion.
There is worldly teaching and there is Church teaching. There is teaching by the power of the intellect alone, and there is teaching by the power of the intellect when quickened and enlightened by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . .
I shall suggest to you five things that compose and comprise the teacher's divine commission. We are talking about divine, inspired, heavenly, Church teaching, the type and kind in which we are, or should be, involved.
[The ideal] teacher has a deep sense of loyalty--a naive, simple, child-like loyalty. It is not insincere, and I say that such a loyalty cannot be counterfeited; there is no fabricating of it. This loyalty cost him something. If it had not, then he would not have earned it. It cost him viewpoints; it cost him philosophical positions; it cost him that which it takes to humble himself and to commit himself. I never noticed any attempt on his part to search for angles; he is not looking for the angles. I saw very little "I" trouble in him. That "I" trouble is not the kind of eye trouble you see on the physical examination form. It is the other kind. You know the kind. It becomes apparent in an interview with a prospective seminary teacher when one asks, "Why do you want to teach seminary?" Often the answer will be "I think I would enjoy it; I will get a great deal of good out of it: it will do me a great deal of good; I have always liked . . ." And then there is the rare exception who says: "There is a service to be rendered: my qualifications are not so much, but I am willing to try." I noticed very little "I" trouble in this teacher.
A few years ago I attended a breakfast meeting in Boston, and the president of Boston University was there. He had been newly appointed, and he made a statement of his position as university president: "We can best serve as a neutral territory, a kind of arbiter where people can come to reason." When I wrote that down as he was speaking, I wrote on the same little card, "Heaven help us if we ever degrade to that." Now let me read it again, because a lot of people think this is quite a fine statement. "We can best serve as a neutral territory, a kind of arbiter where people can come to reason."
In other words, he'll put good and evil in an arena, throw the student in the middle and let him referee it, and just hope for the best. Well, those hopes, as we now know, in many cases are ill-founded. So while you are staying at your post, and while you are standing steady, make sure that you are committed, that you are nonneutral, that you are biased, that you are one-sided, that you are on the Lord's side. We do not consent in any way to have the voice of the adversary or the other side speak in your classes. Can't you see that?
Some of you tend to say, "But our students have to see both sides of this picture." They surely do; and from a thousand pulpits, a thousand voices, they are hearing it from one side. And it is just your voice now, particularly on the university campuses, it is just your voice that's speaking the right side; so yours is not a playing field where good and evil can come and joust with one another until one side may win. Evil will find no invitation to contest in your classes. You are a training ground for one team, you are the coach, you are giving signals preparatory to the game of life; and you just don't welcome the scouts from the other team.
I will not consent to any influence from the adversary. I have come to know what power he has. I know all about that. But I also have come to know the power of truth and of righteousness and of good, and I want to be good. I'm not ashamed to say that--I want to be good. And I've found in my life that it has been critically important that this was established between me and the Lord so that I knew that he knew which way I committed my agency. I went before him and said, "I'm not neutral, and you can do with me what you want. If you need my vote, it's there. I don't care what you do with me, and you don't have to take anything from me because I give it to you--everything, all I own, all I am," and that makes the difference.
Many of you are specialists, and you ought to continue to specialize. But please know that however specialized you become in one thing, you must remain expert in several others. For instance, if you are a specialist in the archaeology of the Old Testament, there is not the slightest excuse for you to be deficient as a teacher of the Book of Mormon or of the Doctrine and Covenants or of the New Testament. If you are assigned to teach these areas to undergraduates and feel that you are being misused because you are a specialist, you need to repent. If you have a tendency to set aside these things, you are drifting from what it is all about.
The adulation of the young can easily be misunderstood and misused. If you are a talented teacher, you may have the tendency to be as foolish as the missionary who draws a convert, not to the gospel and the Church, but to himself. I caution you vigorously about that.
After I had taught seminary for a number of years, I discovered something that made a difference in how much students learned and how much they remembered.
What I discovered was this: there is great value in presenting a brief but very carefully organized overview of the entire course at the very beginning. . . .
Those few beginning periods, so brief an investment of time by comparison, make it possible for the students to locate themselves anywhere along the way. They have something of a feeling. They retain much more when they know how all of the pieces fit together, and the light of learning shines more brightly. The preview forms a framework and is more than worth the time and work invested in it. . . .
Providing your students with a collection of unrelated truths will hurt as much as it helps. Provide a basic feeling for the whole plan [of salvation], even with just a few details, and it will help them ever so much more. Let them know what it's all about, then they will have the "why."
Most of the difficult questions we face in the Church right now, and we could list them--abortion and all the rest of them, all of the challenges of who holds the priesthood and who does not--cannot be answered without some knowledge of the plan [of salvation] as a background.
When one understands that acquiring and using knowledge with wisdom takes substantial commitment, that person will avoid the tragedy that can occur when teaching and learning become mechanical. Taken to an extreme, there results a process Elder Maxwell characterizes as transferring the professor's notes to the student's notebook without passing through either's mind. You who have made the sacrifice to be present realize that education can begin by listening to an array of qualified experts where their stimulating presentations spark our imaginations and motivate us to learn more. The process can start there, but for us to acquire useful knowledge it must be understood, valued, remembered, used, and expanded. (p. 152)
Profound spiritual knowledge cannot be poured from one mind and heart into another. It takes faith, trust, and diligent effort. Precious knowledge comes a small piece at a time with great exertion and at times with wrenching struggles. The Lord intends that it be that way so that we can grow, mature, and progress. We are asked to do all we are capable of doing first before asking for divine assistance. (p. 154)
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