Prepare Your Minds – 3 Nephi 17:1-3

1 Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.
2 I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
Effective teachers are observant. They watch their students and recognize when they are at capacity and are unable to absorb any more material. They challenge their students, but are also aware of their limitations. They understand what their students are capable of, and they lead them from where they are to the next level of progression. 
As the Savior demonstrates in this passage, successful teachers also recognize that learning is an active process. They expect their students to participate fully, and they explain to their students what they must do to achieve the desired outcome. Notice the assignment He gives to this group of Nephites and Lamanites:
  • Go home. 
  • Think about what you’ve learned today. 
  • Pray for understanding. 
  • Prepare your minds to learn more. 
It’s a reasonably open-ended and self-directed assignment, but it also sets a clear expectation. No matter how capable the teacher, no matter how valuable the material, the students will only learn if they are willing to put forth some effort.
Today, I will think about the people I teach–at home, at church and at work–and consider how I can help them fulfill their role in the learning process. I will strive to more accurately understand where they are, and I will encourage them to do the work which will help them learn effectively. 
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