Sunday School Answers

I have a tendency to look for grand answers to my challenges—to ask the Lord to help me find that one thing that will fix everything. I’ve learned that such an approach can overcomplicate things.

As I was teaching the Gospel Doctrine class in my ward, I was determined to ask profound questions that would require contemplation and big, new, insightful answers. In other words, I wanted to avoid a recitation of the same old “Sunday School answers” that ward members seemed to offer each week.

As I pored over the New Testament in preparation, I was struck by the use of the word abide, which appears over and over. For example, John 15:10 says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (emphasis added).

In His great Intercessory Prayer, the Savior prays that His disciples “may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” and “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:21, 23).

Much of what I searched for was how I could be one with the Lord, how I could abide in His love, and how, as a result, I could develop extra patience—patience I so desperately needed to turn my experiences from ones that exhausted me to ones that invigorated and sanctified me.

Ironically, as I searched for both an understanding of the word abide and answers to the difficult challenges I faced on a daily basis, I was ultimately led back to the precise Sunday School answers I had been trying to avoid. I found the answers to my challenges by reading the scriptures, praying daily, serving my family and others, and attending the temple and my Sunday meetings. I learned that those simple things make the difference between enduring and enduring well and with patience.

The Sunday School answers really are the best answers.

Nurturing Our Faith

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“Serving, studying, praying, and worshiping are four fundamentals in perfecting ‘that which is lacking in [our] faith.’ (1 Thes. 3:10.) If we cease nurturing our faith in any of these four specific ways, we are vulnerable. …

“In a hardening world, the Lord can pierce our consciousness by using ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph. 6:17; see also Jarom 1:12.) However, hearing must be ‘mixed with faith’ (Heb. 4:2) and with Christian service, as we have heard again and again.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds,” Ensign, May 1991, 88.

Using Church-Approved Materials

“Teachers and leaders use the scriptures, the teachings of latter-day prophets, and approved curriculum materials to teach and testify of the doctrines of the gospel. Approved curriculum materials for each class or quorum are listed in the current Instructions for Curriculum. As needed, teachers and leaders supplement curriculum materials with Church magazines, particularly the general conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona.

Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 5.5.4.