Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Strait & Narrow

I never remember to bring my camera to class, and if I had, this would be a much more interesting post. Today we studied 3 Nephi 11:20-27.  In preparation for it, I blocked off a section of my classroom beginning with the door where my class enters.  I created a very simple obstacle course with these guidelines/requirements posted in at least 6 different places in the room.

1. Sign in
2. Walk on the long wooden board
3. Weave through the cones, following the arrows
4. Sit on the bench
5. Write your name on the chalkboard
6. Put a ball from the basket into the bag
7. Walk in

Again, it was very simple, and I put arrows and signs everywhere along the way.  These were my requirements to enter into my classroom.  My class exhibited the exact reaction I needed for my lesson.  

  • A few were very careful to heed the signs and followed the instructions exactly as described.
  • A few didn't see any signs and were sent back to the door to read the instructions and re-enter.
  • A few followed some guidelines and missed other guidelines.  They were sent back until all requirements were met.
  • A few were lazy and went the wrong way, or skipped past some steps.  They, too, were sent back until all requirements were met. 
When they didn't see the purpose behind the activity (or gave me the "it's-6:00 a.m.-and-I'm-too-tired" look), I simply asked them, "Would you like to join the rest of us in class?"  If they answered yes, I asked them to follow the simple steps outlined and they would be allowed to enter with the rest of us.  Everyone eventually complied. 

Now that Christ is with the Nephites in the New World, he begins to establish his Church.  He calls 12 men, including Nephi the prophet, and gives them the authority to baptize.  "On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water. And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one." (3 Nephi 11:22-27 ) 

Jesus Christ has specific guidelines which must be followed for entrance into His church.  The baptism must be done under the proper priesthood authority by a worthy priesthood holder, the person being baptized must repent and have the desire to be baptized, both parties must stand in the water, the baptism must be performed in the name of Jesus Christ, exact wording is given for the ordinance, and the baptism must be a full immersion of the individual receiving the ordinance.  The same way I required my class to meet my requirements in order to enter into my classroom today, the Lord requires us to follow specific guidelines and requirements to enter into His kingdom.  Although my requirements were not difficult, they each had to be followed.  The ordinance of baptism is necessary for our salvation and a requirement to enter into the celestial kingdom.  What we do on earth once we have been baptized affects our future beyond this life. 
We had a very good discussion today.    In 3 Nephi, we are watching and observing carefully as the Savior reveals, piece by piece, how to obtain salvation.  There is a "part 2" to this lesson as we continue on with 3 Nephi.  More furniture moving for me.  We will watch the Nephites naturally form a zion after the resurrected Savior's visit. I plan on showing them how we can model their behavior. 'Looking foward to it!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! It seems like this generation is growing up in an era where many have the attitude that the rules can be bent..just for them, just this once. This lesson really helps cement the idea that some rules are non-negotiable, and it sounds like that if a student didn't do right on the first try but eventually followed the rules, they were welcomed into the class with the same full standing as a student who followed the rules to the letter from the beginning. What a great illustration of the Savior's love for us.

    I, too, am loving 3 Nephi. I know all of the Savior's words are important, but I figure if He felt something worth saying on multiple continents, we REALLY ought to listen.

    I was just called at the beginning of March as a mid-year replacement, so I have had to jump right into the deep end with teaching seminary. I really appreciate the insights you share.