By Chandler Kendall
As a student I often feel at the mercy of the teacher to receive the knowledge and intelligence that I’m seeking to find when I go to class. Whether this is sitting in on a lecture or even listening to a talk in church, I have the attitude that it is the role of the presenter to entertain and engage me enough to make the content interesting. However,, as I was watching a video while giving a tour,, it dawned on me that this is not how it has to be. In one of the gallery’s video stations, there’s a clip of Professor, Gaye Strathearn, talking about the role of a teacher and a student in the learning process. She describes how a teacher has to go through the process of creating lesson plans with the Spirit, considering deeply how they are going to present the information. Simply put, if you don’t have the Spirit you cannot teach—basic LDS doctrine .
But then she talks about the student coming to learn, having put in as much effort to have the Spirit as the teacher, being prepared to engage their minds, and coming with a repentant attitude. It struck me that she would suggest that it was the student’s responsibility to be prepared to get what the Spirit has for them to get out of class. It is the student’s responsibility to come feeling repentant. It made me consider what repentance has to do with my education and how it would help me gain more out of the experience I have in my classes. Lucky for me, as part of my major I study Greek, so I looked at the Greek word for repentance, which is metanoia, and learned that it means “a change after thought.” In other words, after thinking and pondering, our thoughts and minds should change in accordance with God’s: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) So I figured that, no matter what class I’m in, I can actively seek things that will help me better understand the mind of God and use that to change how I view the world as a natural man. Or in other words, as I come to class with a repentant attitude I will be able to obtain intelligence that will draw me closer to Jesus Christ regardless of the skill and charisma of the teacher. I think for all of us it would be wise to take time after our classes to ponder upon the things we have learned and use the Spirit to discern those things that will better enable us to obtain the mind of Christ. As we do so we will see Jesus more in the world around us and we will better keep our covenant to always remember Him and to take His name upon us.