I am in charge of Sharing Time in Primary this month. The lesson from this past Sunday was quite sparse. The topic was “I have a testimony that I am a child of God.” The manual’s lesson plan included, “invite a few children and adults to share their testimonies…” This left a lot of “up-in-the-air” time.
When I have taught in the adult classes in Relief Society and Sunday School, I always liked to leave a bunch of “room” in my lessons for the Spirit to direct me as well as class members. I tend not to do that nearly as much in Primary and keep my hands on the reigns so we don’t wander too far off the path. Because of that, I was very nervous and hesitant to not try to find some sort of filler for the lesson this week. I was reviewing my lesson before class and wondering what I should do. The Spirit gently said, “Just trust me. I will take care of it.” I couldn’t help it; my knee-jerk response was, “You know these aren’t ordinary Primary kids, right? These are “week of Christmas” Primary kids.” Again, this time with some sternness, I felt, “Trust me.”
I did. I trusted. It was an amazing lesson. Both times, at the beginning, I was nervous again because the kids were really struggling to pay attention. I thought it was going to be a train wreck and that we’d just end up having an extra-long singing time. I was proven wrong. I was touched by the sweet testimonies given by these wonderful little children of God. I was amazed by their faith and by their conviction. Any time I teach, my goal is for those in the class to feel the Spirit. I have not felt that I have been extremely successful with that in Primary but today was different. Everyone there felt the Spirit. It had nothing to do with me, but instead with those hyped-up, Christmas break kids who happen to have stalwart and sure testimonies of their divine heritage.
It can be difficult to leave space for the Spirit, not only during formal teaching situations but also the less formal teaching that occurs in the home. LJ has really been loving the book “The Christmas Train“. (Click the link to read a synopsis.) From one perspective, it is a lesson about giving and not being selfish. This year, I’ve been hearing the message from another perspective – as a parenting book. Tommy’s mom did a good thing by leaving space for the Spirit to teach Tommy the lesson. If she had refused to let him even keep the extra car, he would not have learned much from the experience. My boys are really young and it is already difficult to let them use their agency a bit and for me to have faith that they will be caught in the net of the Spirit. I can imagine that will only get more difficult as they get older and are faced with much more difficult choices. I hope that when those times come, the Spirit will reassure me by saying, “Trust me. Remember that one time in Primary at Christmastime? I got this.”