Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I got to be an instrument

I had a neat experience last Sunday. In Sunday School while we were waiting for our teacher to appear, I opened the study guide that I kept in my scripture case so that I could see what lesson we were on. I saw that it was titled “They Did Obey…Every Word of Command with Exactness” and encompassed Alma 53-63. Undoubtedly it was focusing on the armies of Helaman, those stripling warriors.

I thought about the recent study I had done on them that culminated in this blog entry and I hoped I would have an opportunity to share some of things I found.

After a while it became evident that we actually didn’t have a teacher, and the Sunday School President was also missing. Brother Moak went and brought in Brother Wagner (an instructor in the high priest quorum) to teach a lesson. Brother Wagner was understandably flustered as he stood up in front of everyone. Poor guy; nothing like the sudden prospect of having to unexpectedly teach a lesson to destroy peace of mind.

Since he wasn’t prepared on the topic of the lesson, he was going to fall back on the area that he had been studying on his own—the last few chapters of Moroni—when he happened to say that if anyone else happened to have a lesson prepared, they were more than welcome to speak up and take the class.

I thought again of the things I had learned and I felt that the Lord wanted me to share those things, so I raised my hand. (I don’t think I’ve ever felt so self-conscious about raising my hand to volunteer before!) It took a while for Brother Wagner to notice me, but the Petersens pointed me out to him and he offered me the floor. And now I was the one that was flustered…

Thankfully the person who gave the opening prayer asked that I could teach the things that I had in my heart and somehow I got things started.

It turned out to be a great lesson, and it wasn’t because of me. The Lord blessed me in a special way. I spoke confidently. Occasionally the Spirit whispered to my mind the next thing I should do. “Tell this story” or “Point out this scripture” or “Ask for stories from everyone else” or “Ask this question” or “Say this”. It was like having a lesson book in my head, even though I had no idea what would come next until the Spirit told me. The Spirit even told me when it was time to end.

When it was all over, a lot of people told me how good the lesson was and complimented me on my readiness. I was very quick to say that it wasn’t me, it was the Lord and I was very blessed.

This experience has shown me that when we are carefully studying our scriptures, the Lord will make instruments of us to do His work. It showed me how powerful and knowledgeable the Lord is. He knew far in advance that the Sunday School teacher would be absent and He prepared a way for a lesson to be taught anyway. All I really had to do was study my scriptures and… raise my hand at the right time.