I wanted to tell you about the time our mission had with Elder Bednar. First of all, I've never heard such good singing before in my life than I did right there with Elder Bednar. Our mission did a remarkable job at being reverent. So now, I'm going to almost quote to you what it is that I wrote in my journal over the last few days (no, I haven't written down everything yet) (it's probably the best couple journal entries I've made in a long while) (the reason it's not "quoted" is because I'm changing things as I type it up):
I don't think the word "marvelous" is sufficient to say what a great conduit of the spirit Elder Bednar is and how much revelation he helped us accept/allow into our hearts tonight. I asked him something to the effect of "How can I go about learning how to use the tools I am given such as the priesthood because I don't believe I have been utilizing the tools I have been given?" After relating the question to himself he gave me a 3 step answer:
1. Pick the subject
(power) (authority) Priesthood, (long-suffering) Patience, Nature of the Godhead (he said this is the single most important thing I can learn about), or Christ's character
2. Go through a blank paper-back Book of Mormon marking everything relevant to that particular subject. Don't do a word-search, because you'll miss things hidden in other passages. Read through it marking it as the Spirit directs you throughout to that subject.
examples he gave:
Patience --> use BoM (usually just Book of Mormon)
Priesthood (what I asked him about specifically) -->BoM & D&C
Christ's Character --> 3 Ne 11 & New Testament
(Side note: Elder Bednar has an entire bookcase full of copies of paperback Book of Mormon, one for each subject he wanted to study)
3. After I've gone through it, read the notes and markings I've made in that particular BoM and make a 1 page summary of it (only one side of that one page)
He said it will take lots of time. "This is a Christ-like quality we're talking about developing"
If I want to learn something, I need to go through the process of learning it. The help I should be seeking is how and where can I find the answer, not having somebody just tell me the answer. This includes asking general authorities questions. The best thing they could do for you if you asked them a question is not give it to you, but to lead you where to find it yourself. Here is a list of question examples regarding asking a question to anybody (investigators, children, prophets).
Seeking learning by faith questions (a major topic he helped us learn about):
- Would you take some time to teach us about ____? (spirit of discernment for example)
- Where can I go to find answers for ___?
- What can I do to help motivate members in missionary work?
- What did you learn about ___?
- Why do you think it's important you ___?
Bad questions (some specific to wasting the one question you might ever have an opportunity to ask to a member of the twelve apostles):
- What are the ___? (the "guess what's in my head" game)
- What/where is kolob?
- Where is the sword of Laban?
- How can I get/make ____ do ___? (answer, you can't, you can't get anyone to do anything. If you have this mindset you are seeing others as object not as agents.)
Notes should be taken like the purpose of the small plates were. We should not be writing down everything that we hear, rather just those things that are of great spiritual importance that is revealed to us through the power of the Spirit.
There is this pattern that Elder Bednar was a conduit of the Spirit in teaching us about:
Observing + Listening -->(helps us)--> Discern + Know what to Say
Who is in the better situation to discern? It's the person that isn't talking. If we're in a lesson with a Mother and Father and the Father isn't as prevalent to act as the Mother is, his best situation to discern the truth would be to listen to his wife share what she is learning, because he loves and trusts her and not us missionaries yet.
(From here it's continuing from last night's entree, above was Saturday night/Sunday morning entree).
Now I wanted to continue off where I left off yesterday in writing down my notes from the mission meeting with Elder Bednar.
When I develop a spiritual gift it will be able to use me as an instrument to bless others, and he trusts me enough to not get in the way of the blessing he's passing through me.
"work harder + smarter"
Pay attention between the difference of these two invitations:
- "Will you pray about the Book of Mormon so you know it's true?"
- "Will you pray about the Book of Mormon so you will join this church when you know it's true?"
It's a completely different invitation.
Rely on the precision + power used in the Book of Mormon, not by other worldly interpretation of it.
My vocab needs to change:
participate -->(should be)--> act
get people to --> help them act on their own accord
The whole meeting lead me to learn how to learn by faith and apply those things I learn.
...I'm going to need to stop here because of lack of time... sorry, I'll continue next week if I remember to bring my journal.
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker