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Shadowing the Savior in Seminary

It is a long week.


Saturday I had the last tech rehearsal for Honk and family came in town for baby Ben’s blessing. After rehearsal, my mom helped me make a baby blessing outfit. Sunday we blessed my first grandson and through a brunch to celebrate.

I don’t usually work on a Sunday, but an important meeting for a new job I’m doing over the summer was moved to Sunday afternoon. I spent a couple hours in meetings. Then I stopped by the Jessop’s for dinner in celebration of Jon going through the temple for the first time since he leaves on his mission in a couple weeks.

Monday was spent getting Honk ready and doing all those little finishing touches. I’ve been have trouble with the sound system and I spent some time on the phone with the sound engineers to work it all out. Then I buzzed over to Salem for orientation for CET. CET is shaping up to be a wild ride. What did I get myself into? LOL. With a quick stop back at the HS on the way home to solve one last problem before Tuesday’s marathon, I finally got home around 9:30pm.

Tuesday I went straight to the HS from seminary. Let me tell you, it is hard to get 3 kids out the door in 10 minutes! I went to work hanging and setting 6 new lights, changing 4 lamps, and reprogramming the board… and once again trouble shooting sound issues. I sure wish people would stop pushing buttons! I finished just in time for 550 kids to arrive from area elementary schools for your 9:30 performance. We got a quick lunch before we prepped for 630 kids for our second performance. I ran home and taught 3 voice lessons and headed back to the school for our 6:30 performance for local senior citizens. Home late left me with little time to prep for Seminary.

My usual MO is to spend all Sunday afternoon studying the material and sketching out lesson ideas. Then I spend about an hour prepping the lesson the day before. That has not worked this week. I am way behind!

Today I needed to teach the end of Jeremiah and Lamentations. I didn’t feel ready. I had found an idea labeled “Windows into the soul of a prophet”. I introduced it by reminding the students that Jeremiah was a extraordinary prophet. Called to work with people though rampant apostasy and bitter opposition, he never faltered and rarely flinched throughout his ministry. His life and writings are exceptional treasures and worth a great investment of time and reflection. And some of the verses will require time and reflection. Jeremiah is distanced from us not just by time and geography, but by language and idiom and circumstance and translation. But your knowledge of the plan of salvation and the unchangeableness of God will sustain you. Pay a price and the results will be spectacular.

We talked about how Jeremiah’s time and the conflicts around him were much like is happening in the world today.

Eyes are often said to be the windows to the soul. I wanted to explore the windows of Jeremiah’s soul so that we could all gain a better understanding. Then I gave a “window” to pairs of students with a few quotes and scriptures to read and discuss and had them teach that principle to the rest of the class. Here is the “window” and what the kids shared as their insight:

Window #1. A CALL TO SERVE. Jeremiah was called to his ministry by God. Jeremiah, like so many others called and sent was afraid. But God doesn’t let send people to work things out on their own. He gives us everything we need.

Jeremiah was to root out, pull down, destroy, and throw down. He was also to build and to plant. Which do you think prophets would rather do? Which do they most often have to do? Consider the following verses and determine which Jeremiah would be doing most of the time:

Window #2: PERSECUTION. In his call, the Lord warned Jeremiah that the kings, the princes, the priests, and the people would oppose him, and they did. But the antagonism against him become much more personal than that. My students pointed out that Jeremiah was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter.

Window #3: LOVE. He was motivated to do what he did because he loved the people. Jeremiah had charity for his people, deaf and wicked and hateful though they were. He loved them.

Window #4: DISCOURAGEMENT. Nearly everyone gets discouraged. Bad days come with distressing regularity. Sometimes doing the right thing at the right time is hard.

Window #5: NO SUCCESS. No one was repenting. No one was listening. The people were rejecting him.

Window #6: TESTIMONY. Some people change paths when the road is too difficult, choosing instead a path that is not so steep and rugged, or even reversing directions entirely. Jeremiah had enough excuses and enough difficulty to consider such an alternative. But he could not turn away from the thing the Lord had commanded him to do. His testimony gave him courage.

Window #7: COMMITMENT. The testimony of Jeremiah sustained him when his instructions were difficult, dangerous, and even deadly. That testimony became the foundation of his commitment to the work and the word of the Lord.

Window #8: SUFFERING. Jeremiah’s labors with Judah seem to have dragged him into a state of almost continuous suffering. We talked of all the examples in the scriptures.

Window #9: ENDURING. Jeremiah kept going. He finished his assignment from the Lord.

Window #10: LAMENTATIONS. Every word of Jeremiah was fulfilled. Many times the people and the princes and the priests imprisoned him. Often they determined to kill him. But when the judgments of which he had prophesied had finally come, what did he do? He lamented over the loss of his people.

As I wrote down what the kids were sharing as “The Windows to a Prophets Fire” I began to get excited! I was learning! This list confirmed that Jeremiah, like all prophets, was a shadow of Jesus Christ!

Window #1. A CALL TO SERVE. Jesus was called to his ministry by God.

Window #2: PERSECUTION. Christ was opposed on every turn. Christ was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter.

Window #3: LOVE. He was motivated to do what he did because he loved the people.

Window #4: DISCOURAGEMENT. The Savior was did experience some level of discouragement. In the Garden of Gethsemane He felt the weight of the world. At that moment, when the Father needed to leave Him, I’m sure the Savior felt the weight of discouragement.

Window #5: NO SUCCESS. Many people reject Christ’s message. Many refuse to repent. Many choose to not listen.

Window #6: TESTIMONY. Christ’s knowledge of the truth carried Him through His difficult hours.

Window #7: COMMITMENT. Jesus showed us the way by committing to God’s plan.

Window #8: SUFFERING. Christ suffered for us. Through His suffering we are all saved.

Window #9: ENDURING. To endure is to finished. Christ finished the work He was sent to do.

Window #10: LAMENTATIONS. Every word of Jesus Christ is fulfilled. He mourns the loss of any of us who choose a different path.

At any rate, it was exciting to teach and learn by the Spirit this morning.

I don’t do justice to the feelings of the morning or the lessons I’ve learned.

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