• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, September 19, 2011


Gold - a dense, soft, shiny metal - is a chemical element that has monetary, symbolic and practical uses. These combine with its high malleability, ductility, conductivity, and resistance to corrosion (and most other chemical reactions) to make it among the most sought after of treasures.

Pure gold has a bright yellow color which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. It is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals. The practice of using this property to confirm the presence of gold in items gives rise to the term 'acid test'.

I bought some gold this week. 

It was a tiny amount that cost a very few dollars.

inexpensive gold filled bead caps
I bought some bead caps that are covered in gold.
I asked my husband to cut them into fragments.
He successfully quartered each one.
I now had lots of 'flakes of gold'. 

I teach Sunday School to 14 year old youth.

I admire them.

This year we are studying the New Testament. We learned, this week, that the book of 2 Corinthians contains prophetic counsel that applies in our day, and Paul's teachings in 2 Corinthians are similar to the teachings we hear in General Conference from prophets now living on the earth.

Henry B. Eyring observed, "when the words of prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention ... Don't discard the counsel but hold it close. If someone you trusted handed you what appeared to be nothing more than sand with the promise that it contained gold, you might wisely hold it in your hand awhile, shaking it gently. Every time I have done that with counsel from a prophet, after a time the gold flakes have begun to appear and I have been grateful." Conference Report, April 1997 Ensign, May 1997 page 26.

I got some sand!
I put it in small bags.
I added four gold flakes to each bag.
Four because 2 Corinthians teaches 4 key concepts.

I couldn't even see the gold flakes, even when I carefully and slowly shook the bag. To find them again I had to get a sieve and sift the sand looking for them.

M. Russel Ballard gave a conference talk about gold flakes. I downloaded a short video (abt 3.5 min long) of the object lesson that is in his talk and my lesson manual, onto our laptop to show at the first of class. It is great. I love the old prospector. He helps the young man. Close to the end we see him pick up a flake of gold with the tip of his pinky finger. He has become rich one flake at a time.

Near the end of class I gave each student a bag of sand.
Its physical value was less than 30 cents.
I attached it to President's Eyring's quote.
Of course I asked lots of questions.
I always ask questions.
And they give answers.
My students know many answers.
They like answers that are short.
I try to keep my answers to less than 10 words.

Why were Paul and Timothy able to avoid despair despite fighting without and fear within? We learned in a previous class (about 1st Corinthians) that Paul knew by personal experience almost every miserable unhappy event that can happen. So how can he constantly be so cheerful?
How can I overcome tribulations, trials and general unhappiness?
  Paul teaches me, 'pray - turn to God and trust him'.

He speaks of 'the weak and beggarly elements" of our lives. Is there anything 'less gold' than an unending round of bitter thoughts and schemes towards those that affront us?

Why should I forgive someone that picks on me and does mean things to me? President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that our homes often are where forgiveness is needed most.

How can I have a loving, safe happy home?
   President Hinckley taught that we should sit down together and speak quietly to each other. Doctrine and Covenants Section 42 teaches me how to live (starting in verse 17) and specifically counsels me how to talk with someone that offends me.
 (verses 88-92)

What does it mean to be sorry? 
   Paul taught that it is internal, a desire in my heart. It means I want to never hurt or make anyone or anything afraid or unhappy.

Can I do that? Really? sincerely?
Become more kind? More gentle?
More loving and forgiving? Every day?
How can I become so perfect?
Chapter 13 verse 11 commands me to do so.

Prophets teach that I can become perfect, small choice by small choice, by living perfectly within the knowledge I have, while acquiring more knowledge -sifting for, searching for gold!

Kindness begins with me.

General Conference begins this Saturday.
A broadcast for all women is first.
More broadcasts happen starting 1 October 2011.
Prophets will be speaking.
Access to listen and watch is free.
It is available to anyone anywhere.

Will I find any treasure?
I will be prospecting this weekend, for sure!
And next weekend too.
Looking for gold
What about you?