During this Christmas season, I’ve been noting the many reminders the season brings for me. By nature they are not new thoughts, but Christmas reminds me of important things, I think.
Some reminders are connected to my personal circumstances, from which yours may differ in essential ways. Some are matters of my particular faith. Some are controversial, but I’ll list them here anyway — and try to resist the temptation to explain at length how each applies to the world as I see it. Feel free to make your own connections, if you will.
Unless I’m teaching, most church lessons stick in my head only until I’m exiting the room after class. Some prompt me to make an electronic note of a thought I want to remember or something I should do; I will at least see these notes again someday, and maybe they’ll do someone some good. Once in a while, a lesson sticks with me for years — like this one from Lorenzo Snow.
A few years ago, we were studying the teachings of the late Lorenzo Snow, fifth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The title of that week’s chapter was “Church Leadership and Selfless Service.” Our curriculum for those classes is different now, but when we studied teachings of past presidents of the Church, the idea was that we’d read and study the chapter in the week before our Sunday discussion, so we’d be prepared to discuss the material and our own insights. Sometimes I actually did that. More often, I read the chapter in class, during the boring moments which can sometimes be had among Mormons.
That’s what I was doing this time, near the end of the hour. If there had been time, I’d have raised my hand and shared what I was reading, though the discussion was focused elsewhere in the chapter. Our classes are informal enough that such things are usually welcome — or at least endured with patience.