Today I put a scale like this one on the board. (Our CES director is always telling us that this is a good idea.) I handed out several pieces of paper (about 25) with descriptions of behavior on them.
- Quickly opens scriptures
- Can't help but participate
- Finds teacher boring
- Contributes, supports, builds teacher
- Won't open scriptures
- Volunteers for devotional
- Frustration; Don't want to be there
- Brings friends to church/seminary
- Contributes to reverence in class
- Inappropriate laughter
This scale represents our "readiness to receive inspiration and revelation". I asked my class, on a scale of one to ten, (one being non-receptive, ten being ready to learn by the Spirit), to tape the behaviors by the number on the scale that they felt most closely represented that specific behavior. No right answers, just opinions and impressions. We had a good discussion on this after evaluating our scale.
In Alma 12:8-11, Alma teaches Zeezrom about the "mysteries of God", and how we are able to learn them with a softened heart, through living righteously, keeping the commandments, prayer, and by following the counsel of living prophets. There are indications that we are ready to receive, or not, through the way we behave. This exercise wasn't about judging others' behavior, but it was more about noticing our own. Spiritual preparation precedes revelation. In looking at our scale on the board, we could tell that some days we show that we are not ready, yet on other days we may be. The point is to make a conscious effort to be on the high end of the spiritual preparation scale as much as possible.
While 2 young men were putting their behavior papers on the board, one of them said:
"Inappropriate Laughter? What does that mean?"
My answer was, "Well, it refers more to WHEN you laugh than HOW you laugh. In other words, laughing at an inappropriate time."
He said, "When would be an appropriate time to laugh?"
I said, "When your teacher says something funny."
He said, "What if your teacher says something she thinks is funny, but isn't?"
I said, "That's when you laugh!"
The other young man said, "You're supposed to laugh ESPECIALLY when she isn't funny."
Do you think they were trying to tell me something?