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Sunday, August 11, 2013

God Customizes Our Curriculum



As we returned to school this past week, I reflected on how unique each student is at school.  As a mother, I realize that my own three children are very different from each other and have diverse needs emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, and scholastically.  

The same goes in the classroom.  I am not a full-time teacher.  I substitute teach in classes ranging from preschool to high school, from gifted education courses to special education.  I have literally taught a thousand different children over the past few years.  Each child is important and unique with totally different needs.  It is challenging for an educator to meet all these different needs since teachers have limited time and resources, and big classes to take responsibility for.  I watch the full-time teachers patiently and lovingly struggle to attempt to accomplish this task.

On a different note, I also had been reflecting on how Heavenly Father is the master at everything.  He is the master doctor, the master scientist, the master engineer, the master poet, the master geologist, the master therapist.... well you get the idea.  When I have a question about something, about anything, I can ask Him for help because He knows the answers.  

Then a friend emailed me this perfect quote and it all clicked in my mind. 

“The realities are that God loves us and, loving us, has placed us here to cope with challenges which he will place before us. I'm not sure we can always understand the implications of his love, because his love will call us at times to do things we may wonder about, and we may be confronted with circumstances we would rather not face. I believe with all my heart that because God loves us there are some particularized challenges that he will deliver to each of us. He will customize the curriculum for each of us in order to teach us the things we most need to know. He will set before us in life what we need, not always what we like. And this will require us to accept with all our hearts--particularly your generation--the truth that there is divine design in each of our lives and that you have rendezvous to keep, individually and collectively.”  (From "But for a Small Moment,"  NEAL A. MAXWELL,  BYU,  1 September 1974.)

I realized that one of God's most important roles is that of MASTER TEACHER.  He sent us to earth to learn.  So earth life is like school.  We didn't obtain physical bodies and come to earth to just sit around and lazily breeze through life.  We came here to LEARN.

As a master teacher, it only makes sense that Heavenly Father would have prepared perfect individualized education plans for each of us.  He CUSTOMIZED THE CURRICULUM for each of his children because he loves us.  

We will struggle to learn lessons.  We will have challenging tests.  We will feel excited when we have "ah ha moments."  We will have aides (family, friends, prophets, and church leaders) to give us advice and guidance.  We will take required courses that we didn't want to register for.  We may have classmates that we need to learn to get along with.  We have been given instruction manuals and reference books (the scriptures) to help us navigate our educational process.  We have a tutor (the Holy Ghost) to help us remember things and feel peaceful through the process.

He is the most perfect and caring teacher that ever was and His lesson plans are the best because He sees the eternal picture.

Now when I have challenges, I will remember that these are part of my customized curriculum.  And as I look at all the sweet (and sometimes sassy) students that I teach, I will remember how much each Child of God is loved and that if I have questions about how to help one of them, I can ask the master teacher for help.

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