Last night Tim called home to tell us he had accepted a call to teach the Gospel Doctrine class in his ward. He had a few questions as he remembered I once taught the class too. Excitement filled me for this awesome and humbling opportunity that would be his. What he would experience would in turn bless his whole family. I told him those were the best three years of my life. I thought at the time he could misconstrue what I meant.
There are special times, episodes if you will, where we feel the spirit, when enlightenment fills us, or we recognize tender mercies but those are not constants. They come and go. Because I was so overwhelmed with the responsibility and knowing I knew nothing, I understood that it was only through the spirit that I could teach. And I truly wanted to be God's instrument so peoples questions could be answered and their lives could be changed.
During part of that time I was working outside the home and every Tuesday I drove to Weiser to care for my father while my mother came into Boise to attend the temple. I took my scriptures and lesson manual with me. Each week I began my study with a prayer and although dad could not participate he was my study partner. I read each scripture passage out loud as well as the lesson. Every day thereafter my thoughts were drawn out to the lesson, studying the words of the prophets and church leaders, and praying some more. When you hear the phrase "a prayer in your heart all the day long" that was me. By the time Sunday came along I wasn't any smarter but I did have the spirit with me so I could teach what God wanted to be taught. I already loved the scriptures but now I felt them, devoured them, they were my manna. On one occasion when the class was done I rushed back to the church kitchen and fell to my knees in gratitude, thanking Heavenly Father for the precious gift of the spirit. It wasn't until I was released that a sister in the ward told me that because of the lessons she heard in Gospel Doctrine class her family was reactivated and eventually sealed in the temple. I could not take credit and immediately gave praise to God because I KNEW it wasn't me. I just got to be the instrument.
I look back on that time with gratitude. I lived better. I thought better. I treated my family better. I learned more than anyone in the class ever could!
Not every calling we are given is challenging or provides an opportunity for personal growth as well as helping those in class. Because I know what this particular calling can be, well, I'm a little envious. But more than that I know that change is afoot. It's the best change of all. Living by the spirit? There is nothing better.