October 1, 2008

love <3

i had the most tenderly precious experience today with my girls. i did a special lesson where i split up my boys and girls to teach them separate lessons, then they taught each other when we grouped back together. it was my b4 class today and the lesson went spectacularly. i sent my boys (all 9 of them) to be taught about nicodemus -baptism and a change of heart- while i kept all my 19 girls and moved them to the front of the classroom. the scripture block was john 4, and we started out by discussing what water is and what it's like to be so thirsty that all you want is a nice, ice cold drink of water. we read the first few verses and discussed the importance of Jesus walking through samaria, though He was a jew. we then watched a little movie that portrayed the entire event.

after the movie, the lesson started getting good. before this, many of my girls had glazed-over eyes and sleep in their thoughts. watching the movie in the dark didn't help. It was when we dove into the scriptures that they came alive and the true learning happened. we read verse 10 and discussed "living water" as Jesus states it. next to john 4:10 i had them write in their margins cross-references to 1 Nephi 11:25 and D&C 63:23.

but i asked what is living water? Jesus is trying to teach this samaritan woman of spiritual matters, but she's stuck on the physical meaning of water. she must have thought this stranger was telling her of a beautiful, clear fountain or waterfall to where she could go and never have to fill another water pot again. then Jesus tells her to go get her husband, but she replies that she does not have a husband. the Savior gives her credit for telling Him the truth. in verse 18 He points out that He already knows she's had five live-in boyfriends and is now living with a sixth. this woman of samaria decides this man must be a prophet for he knows of her past and present immorality!

every day of her life, this woman had been seeking for one thing!! love. l - o - v - e. she's been seeking for it, yet her many failed relationships show that she has not found it! her lifestyle is not fulfilling her need to be loved. she probably desperately needs to know that she is not alone in the world, that someone knows and loves her. well, then, what is this living water that Jesus Christ is speaking of? nephi, as the Lord reveals the meaning of lehi's dream, tells us that the living waters represent the love of God. love. she's been searching everywhere for love and has only found cheap imitations of the real thing. what did Christ just give her in five minutes that she's spent a lifetime searching for!?!? love! He fills her empty "water pot" of the soul with His overwhelming mercy and overflowing love.

sorry if this seems like overkill - i can't count how many times i said 'love' throughout my lesson but i know it was a lot. it's just that i worked so hard to get this concept into the minds of my sweet 9th grade girls. how many of them have been looking for love in all the wrong places? how many of them have seen horrible (personal) examples of what "love" is, in the world's perception? but where is the only place any of us can find real, eternal love and acceptance? the Lord. He can heal our hearts, wipe our tears, and give us hope. He loves us and knows our hearts, our desires, and our potential. that sweet moment i experienced with my darling girls today will remain with me for the rest of my life. the spirit was there and i know for sure that i was edified. i believe that the girls were, too. i love this gospel. i love my Savior. i am so grateful for my knowledge and understanding of the Lord's love for all of us. it's more than we can comprehend!