DarkJedi wrote:Is it possible to talk with the young man more privately sometimes? Let him know you understand he struggles and bear your own "testimony" that is more gray.
I think I'll want to have a talk with his dad first. We're on good terms. I'm also on good terms with the young man, so this sounds like it might be a good way to go short-term.
Curt Sunshinew wrote:I simply would teach a lesson soon about faith - and about how even a "knowing" testimony of Jesus as the Christ is not a gift that is given to everyone. That is in the D&C in crystal clear terms, so you could teach the lesson and be teaching totally orthodox doctrine.
ydeve wrote:There is a scripture that directly contradicts, talking about spiritual gifts and how for some it is given to believe on others' words. it's probably not helpful to share it right then as a rebuttal, though.
Nice idea, Curt, to teach this from the D&C. (IIRC, it's said in the BoM and NT as well.) I think I'll make this my long-term strategy. Like you say, ydeve, I need to let the lesson on knowing cool for a bit so I don't sound like I'm contradicting. My counselor really is a wonderful man, and I'd hate to undermine his good influence on the young men.
Even before my FC I was highly annoyed at church culture for putting so much emphasis on knowing, and so little emphasis on faith. (Guess which shows up more in the scriptures?) Pre-FC, teaching a strong lesson on faith is totally something I would have done to try to correct the overall imbalance anyway.
Roy wrote:You could talk to this counselor and let him know that you are concerned about some of the implications of the thought that he just mentioned. I would focus on that these are young boys with nascent testimonys. We cannot expect them to spring up fully formed like mighty redwoods. They start as saplings and need nurturing and support.
This will be easier now than it was before. My counselor already broke the ice: he confided in me tonight that he chose that lesson specifically for our struggling young man. ("Someone's not getting it? Time to double down!") Next time we speak, I can start with, "You know, I was thinking about what you said the other day, and I'm worried..."
I can refer him to the new Elder Bednar video, too.
catamount wrote:We had a great discussion about how the prophet and apostles are men doing the best they can and it's up to us to figure out how to make the teachings work in our lives and how to start developing a good belief system.
Wonderful! Did you really manage to talk about it in exactly those terms? "Doing the best they can?" Owning your own belief system?
SilentDawning wrote:I would even consider drawing an analogy between knowing, and believing, and how both are valid in living the gospel. For example, when learning math, sometimes we learn how to do it mechanically and it works -- we get the right answer. We might not completely accept the theory behind it, or even understand the why of some of the mechanics, but as we follow the steps, we see things line up. We get a round number. It looks right. We are able to duplicate in other contexts and it seems to work. But we still don't have full confidence in math. We only know basic algebra, in fact, we don't actually know it deeply, but we have faith in the theory to try the mechanics and find we get useful answers most of the time. Not all the time, because we still don't know the deep underpinnings, and we mistake which set of steps work in which specific situations. But that is enough of a testimony -- to have faith in theory to apply it in practice.
And what we find that in doing the steps, we start understanding the theory.
I love this. It really works for me. I can just imagine walking the young men through proving the correctness of the multiplication algorithm everyone learns in grade school, using the distributive law. A pillar of fire surrounds us all as I bear testimony of the field axioms.
OK, so I worry about the time it would take to draw this analogy.
But I do love it.
[It reminds me of the first time I proved a differentiation rule from the limit definition, and when I constructed the reals from the naturals as an exercise. Stuff just clicked that hadn't before. I wish I could pour that kind of experience right into people's minds, but it's something you have to work hard for. Also... another math nerd! Yay!]
Thanks, everyone, for your ideas.