Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Can Be a Tool in God's Hands

As I was preparing for Sunday, I was getting ready to teach my 11-year-old class and the lesson was on the destruction of the Jaredites in end of the book of Ether.  It's a crazy horrific scene of a bloody war with millions of people getting killed, bodies everywhere, and it all comes down to two guys (Coriantumr and Shiz) fighting each other and fainting because of blood-loss until finally one of them kills the other one.  Ether watches it all from a cave, and isn't sure if the last guy even survived, really.  Pretty crazy rated-R stuff to be talking to 11-year-old girls about.  But Coriantumr lives and happens to be the one that in an earlier chapter remembered the words of Ether, the prophet, and repented but had no power to help the rest of the people stop fighting.  He is mentioned earlier in the Omni, actually, which I thought was interesting.  Omni 1:20-21 says he lived with the people of Zarahemla for the space of "nine moons."

But anyway, the point in the lesson was that Ether had been preaching to these people multiple times, trying to get them to stop it!  He had gone down and told them to repent, to love each other, to follow the commandments of God and be kind again.  But they were too angry.  The spirit of the Lord no longer dwelt with them, as the scriptures said, and so Satan had full power over them.  So the lesson's focus was more on obedience to God's laws.  As I pondered this, I thought about how people often think of God's laws as rules that hold them back.  People want to have freedom, and this is often the case with teenagers - the world these girls are about to enter.  But the truth is, freedom is found in following God's laws.  His laws help us to be happy because as we do what is right, are choices have good consequences that make us happy.  Choices that are bad lead to bad consequences, unhappiness, and bondage.  So, even though a rule may seem like shackles, it is actually what helps us to be free.

As I pondered this lesson, I thought of a kite and found myself writing a poem!  It felt inspired and so I wanted to share it.  I gave the poem to the girls as a hand-out.

The Disobedient Kite
by Danielle Palmer

I once went flying with my master
He took me out on a windy day
He let me grow higher and higher
As the wind pulled me up and away

I pulled on the string he had tethered
Wishing to climb greater heights
I beckoned him softly as to whether
He’d give me my freedom in flight.

He shook his head at my imploring
Stating the string held me up
‘But the string just anchors my exploring!’
So I asked again, I wouldn’t let up.

Finally he said he would show me
The value in rules he had set
And he cut at the string from below me
Exulted, I leaned, the wind swept

But the soaring expected then faulted
And broken, I began the fall
For the connection I’d found as a burden
Was what held me up high after all.

I didn't make many edits to the thing.  It was like it just poured out of me.  It's simple, for one of my poems, but it served the purpose I wanted it to.  Then, while I was giving my lesson, we read this scripture together:

Ether 12:4
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with asurety bhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which chope cometh of dfaith, maketh an eanchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in fgood works, being led to gglorify God."

The word "anchor" caught my attention here.  Because it is the very word I use negatively in the poem to describe the lack of freedom the kite feels.  But here in the scripture, it is using the word to describe a safety and peace.  If we keep that anchor there, and hold to our faith in it, we will be sure and steadfast, always doing what is right and finding happiness!

This really testified to me that God loves the girls in my class.  Even though I rarely have more then two students at a time!  I have a very small class!  But these girls are so special, and when I really pay attention and try to follow the spirit as I prepare my lessons, the Lord will work through me.  It made me so excited to feel like I was being used as a tool in His hands to bring this message to these beautiful girls.  I learned from it too!

It made me also rededicate myself as a teacher.  I'm going to try to invest myself more in the future in the lessons I teach so I can keep the spirit with me during my lessons and so we can learn and be uplifted by His words.


  1. This is a GREAT post, Dani. I love your poem. Could I please use it with my Laurels? It is so timely - I've been racking my brain about how to do better with lessons- especially with the new curriculum change. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. So happy you like it! Sure, you can use it! :) I'm happy to help!