Learning the words of Christ wasn’t intended only for the scholarly. Actually, the words of Christ was meant for the class opposite the scholars, it was written for the weak and the meek. At one point, even the babes had their mouths opened (3 Nephi 26). The pre-requisite to the words of Christ did not even include the ability to read the language the words were written in; even that would be provided (Joseph and reformed Egyptian). The only requirement was the heart.
The condition of the heart has and will always be what will unlock and unfold the mysteries of God. As the heart desires, it will seek. What it seeks, it obtains. Therefore, we are taught not to set our hearts upon the treasures of the world, where moth and rust doth corrupt, thieves break through and take away. Those whose heart truly loves God, will seek to know God, by understanding the words of Christ. However, how you receive the words of Christ will be dependent upon the condition of your heart as well.
There are many ways to learn. Some more effective than others. An education author produced a list of ways to learn, from least effective to the most effective:
- Lecture (auditory, and non-interactive)
- Visual (still images)
- Audio and visual combined (still images/videography combined with sound)
- Conversational (highly interactive)
Our modern education style uses the two least effective teaching methods 90% of the time. Christ teaches that “as all have not faith…” seek learning from the best books. When our hearts are stiff and un-plyable, reading the words of Christ is meant to soften the heart. Those whose heart is softened have a better ability, to learn by faith. Learning by faith is experiential. Angels giving tours of the entire creation, from the beginning to the end, is a perfect example of experiential learning. This method of learning can never fade in time. It produces the testimony that is worth sacrificing your life for.
Think about what Nephi is trying to tell us about the best way to learn the words of Christ:
2 Nephi 25:26
“26. And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
The method of education preferred by prophets were exchanges (talk/ rejoice/ preach/ prophesy/ write). Avid readers cringe at the thought of someone telling them the story before they read it themselves. I have never enjoyed reading. I found that I would rather someone tell me the story (including the end) before I go ahead and read it myself. That way I know what I’m looking for. When I have discussed and interacted with the stories before, I find that the principles are much easier to see. I have a brother in law who prefers watching the animated cartoons. I get that. The scriptures aren’t to be read like stories, but they are to be experienced, and to break free from the pages into your life.
I think that learning by faith has very little to do with scholarly attributes and much more to do with experiential learning. I believe that is what Joseph was trying to tell us when he said that he could gaze five minutes into the heavens and know more about the subject than any book ever written. Joseph is not just gazing at the heavens, but gazing into the heavens. Likewise, when Christ teaches that life eternal is knowing God, I think that we are being pointed at a different concept of knowing God. We aren’t just being invited to know about God, …but to know God and Jesus Christ. All have an equal chance to know God. The formally educated do not hold an unfair advantage against the heart of the meek.
Knowledge is promised to all who seek to know God. Doing so produces a tour through the heavens, as it was for Nephi, Lehi, Moses, Jacob, Abraham, Melchizedek, Noah, Enoch, and so forth. All scriptures address the ascension into the heavens. All things taught in scripture is intended to remove the veil from our minds. When that veil is removed, then you will be able to see who you really are, your memory can be restored, the mind and will of the Father can be yours, and you can become an equal heir to the kingdom, and receive all that the father hath.
That is the promises offered in the words of Christ, to all who will seek and knock. We are counseled to feast upon the words of Christ. The benefit of a family will be recognized as soon as they talk of Christ, preach of Christ, rejoice in Christ, prophesy of Christ, and write of those prophecies so that their children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. Families made of two or three have less of an advantage in conversation. However, even a large family that never studies the words of Christ to begin with, waists that advantage of experiential learning that is made possible to them. Our silence is insufficient.