Monday, March 1, 2010

"In Our Own Language"

A friend of mine told me of a man he taught while on his mission many years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The man was old and had never learned to read nor could he write his name, but when the missionaries taught him the gospel he believed what he was taught and joined the Church. Surprisingly, as he thirsted for more knowledge he found he could read scriptures. You’d hand him a newspaper and he could not decipher one word, but you’d hand him a Bible and he could read it all. It was amazing!

One day the missionary was teaching a Cottage Meeting in the old man’s modest home. My friend mentioned something about the world being round and was startled when the old man whacked him across the back of the legs with his cane saying, “The Bible says the world has four corners and there’ll be no teaching of false doctrine in my home.”

While this man experienced an obvious miracle, it is important to realize that the Lord manages to teach all of us in whatever way is best for us. As Nephi said, “For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding” (2 Nephi 31:3).

If we have the desire, the Lord will teach us on the level we understand even if it takes a miracle. But by “according to their language” He doesn’t just mean English or Spanish. He speaks through our understanding of life and the things around us. If we like to garden he’ll teach us about His ways as we garden or cook or fix engines or play sports. If we are engineers or doctors or nurses or parents or teachers or mechanics, the Lord will give us insights and knowledge according to what we understand and through the things we do, if we are watching and wanting to learn.

Picture: "Heavenly Hands" by Greg Olsen

1 comment:

DizzyLizzy said...

Thank you! You have stated so eloquently something I have been unable to put into words. This definitely has been my experience in a tiny branch far, far from home!