Here I am struggling with my house plans. How am I going to fit all my rooms into a space I can afford? Can I put my cold room beside my garage? Do I really need that big of a master bedroom? Questions swirl in my brain and I feel overloaded. I have been working on this problem for weeks. I have made and remade plans so often that I have lost count. I wish I could just turn to the back of the book to get the answer-but my life has no book and the only answer I am going to get will have to come from within. I am trying to fight the urge to just go to a pre-made plan that will instantly solve my problem with a mediocre solution.
“Ahh” I growl out loud looking for something to blame this mess on. My mind searches for a scape goat and I grin. It is all my Math class’s fault!
If I only had of had Dan Meyers for my teacher,
I would be used to struggling with real life problem. He is all about teaching kids to formulate and solve problems that they relate to instead of giving kids textbook problems with cookie cutter solutions. Instead of getting his students to memorize and implement formulas, he engages them in such a way that they are eager to ‘understand’ the problem.
With that understanding, come the ability to transfer what they have learned to other similar but different problems they will encounter in every day living. Sound like a winning formula for not only math, but teaching kids the Gospel as well.Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-26 statesAnd again, inasmuch as parents have children of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized. (D&C 68:25-26, emphasis added)Elder Bednar quoted this scripture in a talk once and observed “[I] have encountered marvelous people . . . who do many of the right things but do not fully understand why. It concerns me as I see young people in our Church who know all the correct things they should do and do not have a clue as to why. They have a check-list mentality. “Say my prayers morning and night. Read the scriptures.” Why do they do these things? “Because I am supposed to. Because the prophet said. Because my mom and dad will jump my case if I don’t.” . . .[D]o we do these things without an understanding of what they are linked to doctrinally? Do we understand why? If we do not understand the why, then the power available to us through the doctrine of Christ will not be evident in our lives.”
Often when someone comes to Elder Bednar with a problem, instead of giving a solution, he asks himself what doctrine, if understood correctly, would allow this person to know what to do? When he says doctrine he explains ” the eternal, unchanging, and simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . Doctrines are never altered. They never vary. They will always be the same. You can always count on them. “So like math in order to solve our life problems, we need not expect (nor should we desire. . .oops) formula memorized answers. We should desire to understand the principles behind the doctrine (and formula’s) so that when we are faced with another different but similar problem, we have the tools to solve them ourselves (with the Lords help of course). House plans, doctrine and mathematical equations. Who would have thought the three were so intrinsically connected?