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Find a pattern

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Try to identify patterns in the scriptures that can help your students overcome challenges. Look for words that repeat, phrases that describe a behavior or character trait, or doctrine, principle.

EXAMPLE During our discussion of Matthew 4, I had my students explain Jesus' three temptations to the class. I listed them on the board. Then we wrote under each how Jesus rebuked Satan: "It is written...." The kids were able to tell that Jesus was quoting scripture, so I asked them if they could think of a temptation they might resist by remembering a passage of scripture, like Jesus did. There was a pause here, but after some discussion, I think the kids took it home that scripture knowledge can help us resist temptation.

Mosiah 26:1-4. Notice the verbs which describe what the rising generation would NOT do. First, they wouldn't believe. Next, they did not understand. And finally they were not baptized. This shows the importance of these three levels of faith. First, if we do not believe then we will surely not understand. And finally this will lead us not to take righteous action (baptized). Many people want to understand before they believe, but it does not work this way. And once we understand some principle of the gospel, we need to live it or take action in keeping it to fulfill a fullness of knowledge. As an example, no one would believe that a person who can explain how to juggle but cannot juggle themselves to truly 'know" how to juggle.

In John 13:34 -- John 15 Jesus gives his final instructions to his apostles in mortality. One pattern in these chapters is the repetition and teaching of the words "love," "know" and "abide." If you go through each chapter and mark these words (and any derivative) there are some neat teachings about these concepts, and we can see the emphasis the Lord gave to his disciples in his final instructions.

(Some ideas from Panning for Gold: Various Methods to Understand and Apply the Scriptures to Ourselves by Eric Bacon, Northwest Area Seminaries)

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