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<small>(Back to [[My Mormon / LDS Talks and Lessons]])</small>
 
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[[Image:WordlePaulineSmith.png|right|500 px]]
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[[Image:WordleTeachSpirit.png|right|500 px]]
 
__TOC__
 
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==Summary==
 
==Summary==
This talk about what it means to give Christlike service.  Given on 10 March 2011 at Pauline Smith's funeral, in the Ashburn, VA Stake Center.
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This talk suggests that gospel teachers are like matchmakers--helping students to develop a relationship with The Spirit.  Given on 15 April 2012 in the Sacrament Meeting of the Sterling Park Ward, Ashburn, VA Stake.
  
 
Word cloud created at [http://www.wordle.net Wordle.net].
 
Word cloud created at [http://www.wordle.net Wordle.net].
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*[[Media:PaulineSmith V1.0.pdf|PDF]]
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*[[Media:TeachSpirit V1.0.pdf|PDF]]
*[[Media:PaulineSmith V1.0.doc|MS-Word]] (in RTF format to ensure no pesky macros)
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*[[Media:TeachSpirit V1.0.doc|MS-Word]] (in RTF format to ensure no pesky macros)
  
 
==Title Page==
 
==Title Page==
 
<big>
 
<big>
  
'''On Pauline Smith'''
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'''On Teaching by The Spirit'''
  
<br>A Talk Given at Pauline Smith's Funeral Service<br>
+
<br>A Talk Given in Sacrament Meeting<br>
in Ashburn, Virginia
+
in the Sterling Park Ward<br>
 +
of the Ashburn, VA Stake
  
 
<br>By D. Calvin Andrus<br>
 
<br>By D. Calvin Andrus<br>
 
<small>mailto:calvin.andrus@gmail.com</small>
 
<small>mailto:calvin.andrus@gmail.com</small>
  
<br>10 March 2011, Version 1.0
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<br>15 April 2012, Version 1.0
 
</big>
 
</big>
  
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==Talk==
 
==Talk==
  
 +
Good morning, brothers and sisters.
  
 
====Introduction====
 
====Introduction====
  
Dear friends and family of Pauline SmithMy name is Calvin Andrus. I am a friend of the Smith familyI had the great honor and privilege to serve in the Church with Pauline.  I would like to reflect for a moment on what that has meant to me and others.
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There are times in my life when I feel like I don't quite measure upDo you ever feel like that?  We know we can be better but just aren't?  Like, we did get all our home or visiting teaching done. We yelled at the kidsWe ate too much ice cream. We had a bad attitude about serving in the churchDoes any of this sound familiar? Of course it does.  And I have a solution for you.  One that works for me every time. It is called "Reality TV!"
  
====Background====
+
====Reality TV Show====
  
Our family has known the Smith family for 26 yearsWhen we first moved to Sterling our backyard fence had a gate that opened up on to the Guilford Elementary school yard.  It turns out that straight across the school yard, the Smith's had a backyard fence that also had a gate that opened up on to the school yardWe could walk back and forth the Smith's pretty easily.
+
One particular reality TV show stars a high society matchmaker.  She finds millionaire men who are not married and matches them with very pretty young women.  The show arranges for exotic datesAfter a few minutes of watching the show, it becomes apparent why these men are not married.  Their personalities got stuck in middle school.  They are very socially inept.  You can also tell the young women have been pretty their whole lives.  They are fussy, high maintenance, and appearance-focused--both social and physical appearance.  It is a show about loser millionaires and gold-digger women.  We keep hoping something good will happen by the end of the show, but it almost never does.
 +
 
 +
Every time I happen to come across this show, I start to feel better about myself within just a couple of minutes.  I am so much better than the losers in that show.  These shows allow me to feel "morally superior."  I think that is the reason they are so popularMost people in America can watch those shows and feel morally superior to the people in those shows.
  
I have been assigned to be the Smith's home teacher several times over the yearsEarly on, my older two boys, Stan and Ryan, would go with me across the school yard to visit the SmithsI felt like a good home teacher, because every time I would go home teaching, Christie would have a boyfriend there waiting for us to give a lesson.  I later learned that Christie just had a boyfriend over all the time and it had nothing to do with us as home teachers.  As home teachers, we were proud of Rob and Mike for going on missions . . . and, that Robin married a magician.
+
So let's look a little deeper about the formula for the showThe four ingredients on the show are 1) the man, 2) the woman, 3) the matchmaker, and 4) the date.  The matchmaker claims to really understand both people and can engineer the perfect date to get these two people to fall in love on cameraIt is a simple formula -- put these four ingredients into a bowl, stir, and out pops a couple we a great romantic relationship.
  
Sister Andrus teaches piano in our home after schoolFor a number of years she hired Jessica to tend our two daughters, Brooke and Chelsea, in the afternoons before I got home from workOur daughters just loved being with Jesse in the Smith homeShe introduced them to cheerleading as well as arts and crafts.
+
We have to wonder why the producers don't fire the matchmaker, because she never succeeds in putting together a good relationshipOh, wait a minute, maybe that is why the keep her onShe purposefully puts people together she knows won't connectWe viewers love to see the participants crash and burn.  This show is not showing us a recipe for success, but rather a recipe for disaster.
  
During that time, the Smiths got a dog named Bear.  Soon after getting the dog, Scott brought the dog over to our house to show us the new prize.  One of the pictures in our family photo album is a picture of Scott, the puppy Bear, and our sons Stan and Ryan standing in front of our garden.  A few years later, Scott was a scout when I was a scoutmaster.  Having Scott in my troop lead me to conclude that if Isaac had been a scout, it would not have been a sacrifice.  We were very pleased when Scott went on his mission, though he couldn't leave without breaking his arm first.
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====Teaching in the Church====
  
More recently I was their home teacher again.  This time, I would take our youngest son, Trevor, with me. Trevor loved going to the Smiths, in part because they had a pet ferret.  The Smith home was a place my kids liked to visit.  I appreciate the atmosphere of warm love that exists in that house and made my children feel welcome.
+
So, I know you are asking, how a reality TV matchmaking show is like teaching in church? Frankly, I've been wondering that myself!
  
If you have ever spoken to one of the Smith kids, you will notice something strikingThey are always smiling. That doesn't happen by accidentThe are happy people because they had a mother who taught them, by example, how to be a happy person.
+
In a church teaching situation we have similar ingredients.  Instead of a matchmaker, we have a teacherWho is the teacher trying to match together? The students on the one hand and the Spirit on the otherInstead of creating a date to foster the relationship we give a lesson.  Teacher uses the lesson to help the students improve their relationship with The Spirit.  
  
====Craig Hale====
+
So, as a teacher, our job is to 1) know our students well enough to understand what will hold their attention and how they are susceptible to the Spirit; 2) it is also our job to know The Spirit well enough to understand the circumstances under which He touches people; 3)then, knowing both the students and The Spirit, the teacher can design a lesson that will allow improvement in the relationship the students have with The Spirit.  Does this make sense?  The teacher is the good matchmaker.  The teacher has the best interests of the student at heart.  The teacher knows how to build a relationship with The Spirit.  The teacher uses the lesson to help the student and Holy Ghost to make a serious connection.
  
Pauline served as Relief Society President for about five years. She was called by Bishop Craig Hale, with whom she served for about a year.  She then served with me during the first four years while I was Bishop.  Five years is a long time to be a Relief Society President, especially when she had also spent five years as the Primary President.
+
(if enough time)
  
Bishop Hale now lives just south of Logan UtahHe wrote me a short note this week about PaulineWhat he remembers most is the blessing that it was for Scott to have his mother be the Relief Society PresidentIt was during that time that Scott decided to go on a missionServing a mission set the stage for Scott's marriage in the Bountiful Temple, which Bishop Hale attended, and fondly remembers the sweet spirit in that ceremony.
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In reality TV, they try to design a date that will enhance relationship buildingThe dates are exotic but generally don't workWe are fortunate in the church to have lesson material, while not so exotic, does in fact workThe subject matter works in our favorTeaching gospel principles, especially from the scriptures and the modern prophets, is naturally designed to give the teacher a head start advantage in helping the student-Spirit relationship work.
  
====Serving Together====
+
====Conclusion====
 
 
As Pauline served with me, one of the least visible assignments she received as the Relief Society President was to fill out food orders for those in need.  When I asked Pauline to visit a sister to fill out a food order, I also asked her to do an inventory of the food and  kitchen supplies.  That is, I asked Pauline to do an in-home visit and specifically look in the kitchen cupboards of the sister who was to receive assistance.  As stewards of the Lord's Storehouse, it was important to get a first hand view of the situation to be sure we allocated the right amount of food to the family.
 
 
 
No woman wants another woman inspecting her kitchen cupboards.  No woman wants to ask another woman to look in her cupboards.  It is a very socially difficult task.  I know it took a lot of courage for Pauline to fulfill these assignments.  Nevertheless, Pauline was able to do so with love, humility, grace, and cheerfulness.  On a number of occasions, Pauline found the cupboards quite bare, and made sure the sister received more food than was originally planned.  In every case I know, the receiving sister felt the deep love and concern Pauline had for her.
 
 
 
Another less visible assignment of the Relief Society President is to tell the Bishop things no one else will tell him.  Pauline was always respectful of the Office of Bishop, and always kind to me personally.  We would meet on a regular basis.  She would always come in with a list of sisters in the ward that needed attention of one sort or another.  After going over the entire list, I would ask, "Is there anything else?"  There were a few occasions where she would say "yes, there is something else." She would then mention some things I had said, or decisions I had made, that could have been said or done better to help move the kingdom forward.  I had complete trust that she had the best interests of our ward at heart, and I always felt better when she left than when she had come in.  She knew how to lift my spirits, even in delivering a possibly unwelcome message.
 
 
 
====Phyllis Mitchell====
 
 
 
The whole time Pauline was the Relief Society President, Sister Phyllis Mitchell was her counselor.  Sister Mitchell was subseqently called to be the Relief Society President in our ward.  Phyllis and Pauline had known each other since the days they were young marrieds in the Arlington Ward.  I asked Phyllis for a few words about Pauline.  Here is what she had to say.  Begin quote:
 
<blockquote><P>
 
Ever since I have known Pauline, one thing has stood out: her lovely alto voice.  It was a pleasure to sit next to her in the choir, because she always was "on" the part. 
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
When I was called to be Relief Society President, I was very grateful for all the years I served as her counselor, learning from her; it made the transition almost easy.  One very unique thing about that Presidency was that we all worked full time.  Pauline was fortunate to work for a member of the Church, so was able to take emergency calls during the day. 
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
As Relief Society President, Pauline emphasized a couple of areas.  One was Visiting Teaching.  She was very good at staying on top of keeping the assignments up-to-date, and seeking inspiration for who should be partners, and who should visit whom, and motivating the sisters to be good Visiting Teachers.  It was her idea to hold the Visiting Teaching Conference on a Sunday, and to get the brothers to cover Primary and Young Women, so that all the sisters could attend. 
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
Pauline also emphasized continually training ourselves to carry out our callings correctly, and be led by the Spirit.  At first, when we were figuring out what we were supposed to be doing, we read the Handbook at all our Presidency meetings.  That practice continued even after we had covered it all, and we felt like we knew what we were doing.  It was very useful to study it again;  invariably, we learned something new, something we needed to tweak to make it better, or were reminded of our duties.  It helped keep the purposes and objectives of Relief Society in mind as we made plans and decisions. 
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
For a long while, until Pauline became ill again, she held a weekly craft group at her house (one of those Enrichment special interest groups).  For people who are sort of craft-challenged like me, it was very nice to have someone who knew what materials to use, had the right tools, was willing to teach us how to do it, and patiently help to get it to come out right.  It was a favorite activity for many sisters in the ward, for the chance to get together with other sisters in a casual setting.  She was also willing to help one-on-one when needed.  Thanks to Pauline, I have several decorations around my house, some of which were gifts she made for me, and others she helped me do myself.  Pauline saw the potential and the good in people, and was successful on many occasions in getting them to rise to that potential.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
To sum Pauline up, she was kind, willing, humble, conscientious, unpretentious, and caring.  She was a great role model for me, and a good friend.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
End of quote.
 
  
====Linda Andros====
+
Let me conclude by reading a portion of a talk that Matthew O. Richardson gave in the October 2011 General Conference.  He said,
  
Another one of Pauline's close friends is Linda Andros.  Linda and Pauline grew up in the same Stake in Wyoming.  During the time Pauline was our ward Relief Society President, Linda was the Stake Relief Society President.  Linda can't be here today because she is serving a mission in Greece.  Upon hearing of Pauline's passing, Linda sent me some reflections which I would like to read on her behalf.  Begin quote:
+
<blockquote>
 
+
Moroni helps us understand how we can teach by The Spirit without replacing, diluting, or dismissing the Holy Ghost as the real teacherMoroni said the Saints conducted their experiences [quote] "after the manner of the workings of The Spirit." [unquote]  This requires more than just having The Spirit with usTo conduct ourselves "after the manner" of The Holy Ghost means that we may need to change our way of teaching to emulate the way the Holy Ghost teaches.  As we align our manner with The Holy Ghost's manner, then the Holy Ghost can teach and testify without restraint.
<blockquote><P>
+
</blockquote>
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies…” Pauline Smith exemplifies that woman described in Proverbs 31. She is such a loving woman, always looking for the good in every person and every circumstance (and she has faced some difficult challenges in her life).  Her rich alto voice, her artistic talent, her industry, her kindness, her faith in Jesus Christ are all hallmarks of Pauline and these and many other talents, she shared freely with others, as she constantly served her sisters, her friends and her family.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
As Relief Society President, Pauline was humble, willing to learn, and eager to serve the sisters and to do things rightShe had a gift for recognizing the talents of others and an ability to bring together many sisters with varied talents for the benefit of all concerned. Whether it was a funeral dinner, an enrichment meeting, or visiting teaching conference it was carefully planned to meet the needs of those involved. Each Relief Society event that she planned was lovely and uplifting and always had Pauline’s special touches: delicious food, a carefully carried out theme with programs, invitations, decorations, etc. and most importantly: sisters who Pauline had loved into attendanceMany times I have been the beneficiary of one of Pauline’s handmade favors that became keepsakes. I counted myself lucky to have her as my Relief society president.  I was often away on stake business or family visits, but whenever I attended our ward, she always welcomed me with a warm hug and loving words that let me know I had been missed!  While she was Relief Society President, she did something each week that was extremely meaningful to the mothers in the ward with young children.  Each week, they were invited to bring their children to Pauline’s house.  While the kids played in the yard, the mothers enjoyed learning a craft from Pauline and visiting with each other.  Afterwards they would eat a potluck lunch together.  I know that the young mothers treasured this time together with Pauline.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
<blockquote><P>
 
One thing that comes to mind that exemplifies the way Pauline did things in her life was actually something she did after she was released as Relief Society President.  We were planning a stake Humanitarian Aid service project.  As part of that, we wanted the sisters to be able to tie a quilt to be placed somewhere in the world where a sister needed to be warm and to feel loved.  I asked Pauline if she would buy the material and have it set up for the sisters to tie that evening.  She willingly accepted and was enthusiastic about the assignment.  I had asked her because of her expertise in knowing  what kind of supplies to buy and how to set up a quilt.  I was thinking of the most simple tied quilt—a twin sized sheet on the front, some batting, a sheet on the back—set up on some frames for the sisters to tie.  But Pauline did something amazing, and this is typical of Pauline:  She carefully chose some beautiful and colorful matching fabrics and pieced together the most beautiful queen-sized quilt!  The many hours she willingly spent on creating the intricate design reflected her willingness to share her love and talents with even an unknown sister.  The night of the service project, the sisters tied the quilt, then Pauline took it home and bound it and the finished product was one any sister would have been proud to have on her bed!  Today, somewhere in the world, a sister who needed love and warmth and some beauty in her life is enjoying Pauline’s beautiful creation.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
End of quote.
 
 
 
====Bob Andros====
 
Linda's husband--and missionary companion--Bob Andros also sent me a note which I would like to read.  Begin quote:
 
<blockquote><P>
 
As  you know, Pauline and Bob were called and set apart as temple ordinance workers in the Washington, DC temple.  They had a Friday night shift assignment which is one of the busiest shifts at the temple and, due to Friday night rush hour traffic, one of the most difficult to staff at the temple.  When she began her Chemo therapy, she had every reason to be released.  I was serving as a Recorder at the time.  Both she and Bob asked me to request they not be released despite the rigorous treatment program and the fact that she would undoubtedly miss some evenings.  After talking with the shift coordinators and a member of the Temple Presidency, it was agreed that despite the anticipated absences, they could continue to serve on Friday nights whenever she could muster the strength to do so.  On occasion, I would see Bob there even when Pauline was unable to come.  It was always so touching for me to see her there, knowing full well that she had every reason to be excused but she wanted to serve the Lord despite the difficulties and inconvenience her condition imposed on her.  Her service in the temple is something most people would never know about but to me it defined her love for the Lord and her desire to serve despite the obstacles.
 
</P></blockquote>
 
End of Quote.
 
 
 
====Conclusion====
 
  
Before going to the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer the Great Atonement, Christ prayed, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)We come to know God, by being Christlike in all we say and doWe will miss, so much, our friend Pauline, who was such a great example to us, of being Christlike in all she said and did.  Her companionship helped us come to know God, as we engage in our common quest for life eternal.
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To this I add my witness.  Over the years, our family has had the great blessing to have been taught by the wonderful teachers in this ward; teacher, who brought The Spirit into our lives. We are profoundly gratefulI know teaching by The Spirit worksIt is an ongoing blessing in my life.
  
 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Latest revision as of 11:17, 9 June 2012

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WordleTeachSpirit.png

Summary

This talk suggests that gospel teachers are like matchmakers--helping students to develop a relationship with The Spirit. Given on 15 April 2012 in the Sacrament Meeting of the Sterling Park Ward, Ashburn, VA Stake.

Word cloud created at Wordle.net.

Versions:

  • PDF
  • MS-Word (in RTF format to ensure no pesky macros)

Title Page

On Teaching by The Spirit


A Talk Given in Sacrament Meeting
in the Sterling Park Ward
of the Ashburn, VA Stake


By D. Calvin Andrus
mailto:calvin.andrus@gmail.com


15 April 2012, Version 1.0


Cc-by-nc-sa.png


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Talk

Good morning, brothers and sisters.

Introduction

There are times in my life when I feel like I don't quite measure up. Do you ever feel like that? We know we can be better but just aren't? Like, we did get all our home or visiting teaching done. We yelled at the kids. We ate too much ice cream. We had a bad attitude about serving in the church. Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. And I have a solution for you. One that works for me every time. It is called "Reality TV!"

Reality TV Show

One particular reality TV show stars a high society matchmaker. She finds millionaire men who are not married and matches them with very pretty young women. The show arranges for exotic dates. After a few minutes of watching the show, it becomes apparent why these men are not married. Their personalities got stuck in middle school. They are very socially inept. You can also tell the young women have been pretty their whole lives. They are fussy, high maintenance, and appearance-focused--both social and physical appearance. It is a show about loser millionaires and gold-digger women. We keep hoping something good will happen by the end of the show, but it almost never does.

Every time I happen to come across this show, I start to feel better about myself within just a couple of minutes. I am so much better than the losers in that show. These shows allow me to feel "morally superior." I think that is the reason they are so popular. Most people in America can watch those shows and feel morally superior to the people in those shows.

So let's look a little deeper about the formula for the show. The four ingredients on the show are 1) the man, 2) the woman, 3) the matchmaker, and 4) the date. The matchmaker claims to really understand both people and can engineer the perfect date to get these two people to fall in love on camera. It is a simple formula -- put these four ingredients into a bowl, stir, and out pops a couple we a great romantic relationship.

We have to wonder why the producers don't fire the matchmaker, because she never succeeds in putting together a good relationship. Oh, wait a minute, maybe that is why the keep her on. She purposefully puts people together she knows won't connect. We viewers love to see the participants crash and burn. This show is not showing us a recipe for success, but rather a recipe for disaster.

Teaching in the Church

So, I know you are asking, how a reality TV matchmaking show is like teaching in church? Frankly, I've been wondering that myself!

In a church teaching situation we have similar ingredients. Instead of a matchmaker, we have a teacher. Who is the teacher trying to match together? The students on the one hand and the Spirit on the other. Instead of creating a date to foster the relationship we give a lesson. Teacher uses the lesson to help the students improve their relationship with The Spirit.

So, as a teacher, our job is to 1) know our students well enough to understand what will hold their attention and how they are susceptible to the Spirit; 2) it is also our job to know The Spirit well enough to understand the circumstances under which He touches people; 3)then, knowing both the students and The Spirit, the teacher can design a lesson that will allow improvement in the relationship the students have with The Spirit. Does this make sense? The teacher is the good matchmaker. The teacher has the best interests of the student at heart. The teacher knows how to build a relationship with The Spirit. The teacher uses the lesson to help the student and Holy Ghost to make a serious connection.

(if enough time)

In reality TV, they try to design a date that will enhance relationship building. The dates are exotic but generally don't work. We are fortunate in the church to have lesson material, while not so exotic, does in fact work. The subject matter works in our favor. Teaching gospel principles, especially from the scriptures and the modern prophets, is naturally designed to give the teacher a head start advantage in helping the student-Spirit relationship work.

Conclusion

Let me conclude by reading a portion of a talk that Matthew O. Richardson gave in the October 2011 General Conference. He said,

Moroni helps us understand how we can teach by The Spirit without replacing, diluting, or dismissing the Holy Ghost as the real teacher. Moroni said the Saints conducted their experiences [quote] "after the manner of the workings of The Spirit." [unquote] This requires more than just having The Spirit with us. To conduct ourselves "after the manner" of The Holy Ghost means that we may need to change our way of teaching to emulate the way the Holy Ghost teaches. As we align our manner with The Holy Ghost's manner, then the Holy Ghost can teach and testify without restraint.

To this I add my witness. Over the years, our family has had the great blessing to have been taught by the wonderful teachers in this ward; teacher, who brought The Spirit into our lives. We are profoundly grateful. I know teaching by The Spirit works. It is an ongoing blessing in my life.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Cc-by-nc-sa.png