So I have a new church calling. I’ve been called as the second councilor in the Young Men’s presidency; that doubles as the Deacon’s Quorum advisor. Trying to teach a bunch of 12 to 14-year-old’s gospel oriented material and helping to inspire in them testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ and how to use the Spirit to guide them is an interesting challenge. Kids will be kids and boys will be boys. It’s a trip.
Basically, there are four types of kids: The one who’s oblivious to all things gospel related; the one who knows everything and answer ever question; the annoying one who thinks he’s funny; the one who gets stuck on some tangent because his parents forgot the Ritalin. A couple weeks ago we had a lesson about fasting. The typical spectrum of answers to my questions sort of go like this:
What’s the difference between starving and fasting?
“What is fasting?”
“Fasting is going without food or drink for 24 hours; it is for a purpose and should be combined with prayer and scripture study. Starving's just not eating. Sometimes I…”
“It means you can run fast.”
“I’m hungry. I like licorice.”
Okay…great. Why do we fast?
“Does it mean you run fast?”
“To learn to put the physical desires of our bodies secondary to things of a spiritual nature. We are asked to fast once a month – the first Sunday – and pay fast offerings. Our fast offerings should be generous and aren’t the same as tithing. Tithing is actually a…”
“Seriously, I’m really fast.”
“I like red licorice.”
Right…good. What are some of the blessings that come from fasting?
“You mean like a medal for winning a race?”Um huh...Did you know who fasted 40 days?
“There can be an increase in testimony; people can be healed. Sometimes there is rain after a drought. In our family history, there was this time my great-great-great-grandpa was a boy and there was a drought….”
“You’re blessed I don’t race you.”
“I don’t like black licorice.”
“That’s impossible. A person would die!”
“Jesus. He was in the wilderness and was tempted by Satan in three ways: turning the rock into bread, being given wealth and popularity, and also to have angels catch him. But these are also all figurative temptations… ”
“I bet I’m faster than you are. You’re old”
"Are Twizzler’s and Red Vines both licorices?”
OK! I think that's the bell. Time to go.