Conference Talk: For more information on this topic read "Testimony," by Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 2008, 26-29. Thought: Knowledge encourages obedience, and obedience enhances knowledge. (Dallin H. Oaks, "Testimony," Ensign, May 2008, 26-29) Song: "I Know My Father Lives," Children's Songbook, p. 5 Scripture: And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God. (Alma 18:35) Object Lesson: Materials Needed: Several books relating to medicine. (Any profession, engineering, computer technology, etc. will work well.)
Procedure: Show the books to your family. Explain that you have decided to become a doctor and that
these books will help you achieve that goal. Ask if holding the books will give you the ability to be a
doctor. Will carrying them for a week or so give you the knowledge you need? The answers to these two
questions will obviously be no. Discuss why not.
Explain that knowledge is not gained that way. In order to gain knowledge it is necessary to put forth
effort and study from the correct books.
(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, More Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 43.)
Near the end of the course work for my doctorate at Brigham Young University I was enrolled with
three others in a philosophy class. Two of us were completing our doctorates; the other two were just
beginning their graduate work.
There arose an issue between myself and the other doctoral candidate. The professor deftly moderated
the contest without taking either side. The debate became more intense, and the other two students took
sides, one on each.
So there we were, two contestants, each with a "second." The issue grew more
important, and each day I left the class feeling a greater failure. Why should this concern
me? It concerned me because I was right and he was wrong, and I knew it and thought he
knew it, and yet he was able to best me in every discussion. Each day I felt more
inadequate, more foolish, and more tempted to capitulate.
Then one of the most important experiences of my entire education occurred. One day as we were
leaving class, his "second" made the comment to me, "You're losing, aren't you?"
There was no pride left to prevent me from consenting to the obvious. "Yes, I'm losing."
"Do you know what's the matter with you?" he asked.
I became interested and answered, "I would like very much to know."
"The trouble with you," he said, "is that you are fighting out of context."
I asked him what he meant; I didn't know and he couldn't explain it. He just said, "You are fighting
out of context."
That night I thought continuously about it. It wasn't the grade or the credit I was concerned about--
it was bigger than that. I was being beaten and humiliated in my efforts to defend a principle that was
true. The statement, "You are fighting out of context" stayed in my mind.
Finally, in my humiliation I
went before the Lord in prayer. Then I knew.
The next day we returned to class, this time to stay in context. When the debate was renewed,
instead of mumbling some stilted, sophisticated, philosophical statement, calculated to show I was
conversant with philosophical terminology and had read a book or two, instead of saying, "The a priori
acquisition of intelligence as though from some external source of enlightenment," I stayed in context
and said, "Revelation from God."
Suddenly the tables were turned. I was rescued from defeat, and I learned a lesson I would not
forget. I stand in debt to the unassuming student from whose remark I learned so much. . . .
In any field of knowledge, there are prerequisites. At a university, for example, a number of courses
there are required prerequisites. You cannot register for Chemistry 371 without first having taken
Chemistry 106. To enroll in Education 657 you must first have completed either Education 460 or 550.
And so on. If you take the advanced course first without the prerequisite or equivalent training, likely
you will founder. Without knowledge of the basic principles of a discipline, you may misunderstand,
even reject, elements that are positively true when related to foundation principles of the discipline.
In the gospel there are some prerequisite courses without which the deeper meaning of some
principles of the gospel may not be understood, in fact which may be completely misunderstood. For
instance, the conditions under which personal revelation can be received could hardly be accepted or
understood by one who has not completed the prerequisite courses of faith, repentance, baptism, and
the reception of the Holy Ghost.
(Boyd K. Packer, Memorable Stories and Parables, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 73.)
Make eighteen cards with one of the following letters on each card: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L,
M, N, P, R, S, T, W.
Make a list of the following categories: Animals Found in the Scriptures, New Testament, Articles
of Faith, Book of Mormon, Family, Pioneers, Old Testament, Priesthood, Primary Songs, Love,
Temples, Word of Wisdom, Sacrament, Children, Doctrine and Covenants, Friends, Presidents of the
Church, and Prayer.
Decide if you are going to play in teams or as individuals. Place the cards face down on the floor or
table. Have a family member choose one of the categories from the list. Have another family member
choose an alphabet card.
The first person or team that can give a word that begins with the letter, and can explain what the
word has to do with the category gets to keep the letter card. The person or team that wins that round
chooses the category for the next round. He then picks another letter and play continues.
The game ends when all eighteen letters are gone. The winner is the person or team that collects
the most letters.
(Note: You may want to let younger children say any word that begins with the letter.)
Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun for Family Night: Book of Mormon Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990],
Frozen Fruit Dessert
1 gallon pineapple sherbet, softened
3 packages (10 ounces each) frozen raspberries, thawed
5 bananas, cubed
Fold ingredients together. Put into covered plastic containers and freeze. Dessert may be made ahead of
time and stored in freezer. Makes 35 servings.
Note: You can also use equal parts pineapple sherbet and vanilla ice cream, softened.
(Lion House Classics, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2004] p. 129.)