Notes from Institute: Teaching

Realizing that because my schedule isn’t filled with secular classes this semester, I have the special opportunity to attend more Institute classes when I’m not working. Now that my work schedule is solidified, I decided to attend this one, taught by Brother Andrew Bryan, with involves teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today we focused on viewing the context of scripture.

The Audience of Sermon on the Mount

We all know of Matthew 5’s Sermon on the Mount.

…but the first sermon is actually within the very first verse. And no words are spoken.

Matt. 5:1 reads

 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain:and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

So many different lessons can be learning from this first verse

  • Example of leaving the world
  • Going to a higher level of learning
    • The Temple   (hills & high places)
  • To be taught by Christ, one must work for it  (climb a mountain)
  • Leaders of the church are first taught, then they go back and teach the multitude
  • etc

With a selective audience, the sermon on the mount takes on a whole new meaning. 

*Note that disciples does not just refer to the 12 apostles. It was any true followers of Christ. In the picture above, all those in attendance were Christ’s disciples.

What does it mean to become as a little child?

Mosiah 3:19 

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever,unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Well, take a look at the context.

Look at the verses before this scripture.


 16 And even if it were possible that little children could sin they could not be saved; but I say unto you they are blessed; for behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall,even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins.

 17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means where by salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

= Children are 100% dependent on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.


 18 For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

Mean drink damnation if they do not humble themselves and become as little children.

So again, what does it mean to become as a child?

It means that we must become 100% dependent on his atonement. To humble ourselves enough to accept that is is through him & by him that we are saved after all we can do.

THIS is what it means to become as a child.


  • A student I know well shared a story of his father, sitting down with him and his fiance when they were first engaged, and his father talked to them about this very thing- becoming like a child. 
    • Becoming like a child also implies that you are willing to submit to child-like rules. Boundaries. 
    • These Boundaries can sometimes make you feel like you are being treated like a child.
      • “Come on, we’re two grown adults. We aren’t little high school kids. We don’t need to follow strict rules like avoiding being alone together in the dark or lying down next to each other That’s what we did in high school. We’re in college now. We can handle it. We can control ourselves….”
      • See how these and other boundaries can sometimes seem like you’re being treated like a child? Well… remember what it means to become as a child. 
      • In order to be covered 100% by the Atonement of Christ, we need to be 100% reliant on it. On Him. And when boundaries are set, we need to be humble enough to accept them and live by them.
  • On a personal note, Katie and I have been identifying Cooper’s actions now that he’s crawling all over the house. This morning while we were studying together, he started crawling towards a power-cord bar filled with electric cords. There was just enough rscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-32-42-pmoom between the couch and recliner to reach these cords. As Coop was approaching the chords, I placed a pillow in his path, blocking the path to danger.
    • Cooper’s response was very interesting. He didn’t get fussy. He didn’t start climbing over the pillow to get a peek at what was being blocked. He immediately stopped, realized that a boundary had been set, then turned around and crawled away without giving a second thought. 
    • I think this is what it means to be like a Child. When boundaries are established, rather than sneaking a peek at what & why, rather than questioning or getting upset, or getting angry…. we simply stop, identify the boundary, then turn around and go somewhere else- do something else that is not blocked by boundaries
  • The follow up lesson, particularly in the dating & serious relationship example, is that some boundaries are temporary. Once a couple is married and sealed in the temple, certain boundaries are not only lifted, the pathway is greatly encouraged, healthy, and free of prior consequences. Relationships are strengthened in many other ways than physical prior to marriage, and once those aspects are strong, the physical & intimate aspects can then help a relationship blossom. 

Death, the Sabbath, and what they have to do with Doctrine & Covenants 59

We didn’t get to this part of the lesson, but we did scratch the surface as an example of how knowing the historical context of a scripture can pull new meanings into common scriptures we are already familiar with, especially in D&C.