Sunday, June 6, 2010

Learning to Listen to the Holy Ghost

It was one of those nights, a "crunch" night, where you have two different places to be because your scholar phase kids are involved in one thing and you want to be somewhere else.
Thank goodness I have another child old enough to babysit so I didn't have to drag everyone else along, that definitely would have slowed us down. We had planned a departure time, 5 PM, so we could drop the scholar phasers off at their Shakespeare play performance in Clearfield and then get to our meeting in Bountiful for the original commonwealth school that we got involved when we first moved to Davis County six years ago. Crazy, I know, but Davis County, Utah is the only place in the world blessed with two Commonwealth Schools and we happen to be greedy enough to be involved with both of them. We just don't want to miss out on any of the classes and mentors offered by either. (If you don't know what a commonwealth school is, it is a terrific jr. high homeschool alternative that is based on TJED. My children absolutely love it. It provides for the social outlet children crave as they become adolescents. The idea was founded by my friends Tiffany Earl and Aneladee Milne See

I was so excited for this night. I had been anticipating it for days. At 5:30 we would hold an orientation meeting for parents who were interested in learning about Williamsburg Academy with a web chat visit from the headmaster, James Ure. James is this amazing young man who has a leadership education and is changing the world by changing youths' lives. Oliver DeMille says he is "real deal." I got to take a class from him about the Constitution. I am so blown away by his knowledge, his scholarship, and his ability to relate with students.

Then at 6:30 we would have a potluck dinner, and then at 7 PM we would have the parents' meeting. I wasn't so interested in the last part, the business meeting, as I was for hearing James talk about Williamsburg (see and socializing with my TJED mom friends during the potluck. I always glean such little nuggets of truth when I rub shoulders with these fabulous women.

The only hitch was that a book at the library just two blocks from my home was calling my name, loud and clear. I had put it on hold months ago. I had been about 60th in line and it was finally available! I really, really, really wanted to go pick it up and start devouring it. I had been waiting since Monday to go pick it up and it was now Thursday. I had been good for the past four days, doing my motherly and homemaking duties and I felt it was time for my "reward" of picking up the book finally. The only problem was that it was 4:30, dinner still wasn't quite ready, and we were supposed to leave at 5. The only other little problem was that three of my children wanted to go with me and that would for sure slow down the errand.

I kept feeling this nagging thought of, no, you shouldn't go. It doesn't matter that you really want to get that book, you shouldn't go tonight. But I kept pushing it out of my mind. We were backing out of the driveway at 4:45 and I finally decided to heed the thought. "You know what?" I said to my library-going children, "this is crazy. I feel that the Holy Ghost is telling me not to go and I need to obey." I knew they would be disappointed and I was too, but we went back into the house. I was able to finish seasoning the black beans (my potluck contribution), my husband came home right after that, and we left shortly after 5 with our food and scholar actors in tow to drop off.

We ended up being fifteen minutes late to the meeting, but the good news was that they hadn't started. I know it's just coincidence, but it almost seems like at so many of these homeschooling meetings people are just waiting for the Shumways to arrive before they start. We didn't miss out on any of the meeting with James. I am so excited to share with you what I learned about Williamsburg Academy in a future post. Youth living in TJED land (southern Utah) are no longer the only youth who can benefit from it. Through the wonders of technology, any youth with an Internet connection can get this leadership education from these astounding mentors at WA.

A scripture in the D&C says that if you don't follow the will of the Lord, you will fall. That usually does not mean physically falling. It usually means you will fall short of your goal. You will fall short of what you could have been blessed with. I know this night I was blessed with success of being at all of the meetings we had planned on because I listened to the Holy Ghost and stopped going to the candy store, I mean library. I know the Lord knows what is best for each of us and if we submit to His will, which He reveals to us, through the Holy Ghost (which for me manifests in the form of persistent thoughts and little feelings) then we will be blessed with more success and happiness than we originally planned for ourselves.

So what was this book I was so hot for? See below. I am reading it and loving it and it. It is so true that we learn best from answering questions, especially questions that we come up with ourselves, not questions someone else cooks up for us. That's as true in our education as it is in our relationships. That's why I love TJED, because it encourages our children and ourselves to ask and answer questions that nobody else can for us.

I've also noticed that asking questions can help us listen to the Holy Ghost better. Asking and answering questions is how Joseph Smith was tutored and blessed. It's how we can be blessed as well.

Change Your Questions Change Your Life Change Your Questions Change Your Life by Wendy Watson Nelson

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