thank you Darla. The article was very enlightening.. Often have heard to see life's problems as challenges but this puts a whole new light on things.
Yes, we too often use the modern, secular meaning of words when we discuss gospel topics and thus miss the mark. In school and most everyday situations, a "test" is used to demonstrate proficiency to an authority who needs to determine whether or not our abilities are sufficient (think drivers test). Since the Lord is omniscient, this definition of "test" is inappropriate--"Trial" is much closer to what is really going on. A trial is something one experiences and may learn from. There is no learning or change involve in taking a school "test"--until one sees the errors made and receives an explanation of how to avoid a repetition. In a "trial" the learner doesn't require a human proctor to tell him how he is doing. A test alone does not change behavior or outlook; a trial does. Another thought--very young people can differentiate between infants, adolescents, and senior citizens, but they have no idea what is is to "be" a senior citizen with the accompanying experiences and infirmities. Only the "trials" of many years can give them that--no "test" exists to accomplish that!
I'm not sure the word "learning" encompasses the entire purpose of our mortal phase of existence, but perhaps we don't have a good word to express what it really is. When a body builder pumps iron, he or she isn't "learning" in the normal way we think of learning, but is becoming. It seems we need a word that also captures the increase in strength and stability we acquire through our difficult experiences.I recall when a word in "I am a child of God" was changed from "...all that I must know..." to "...all that I must do...", and wondered why it wasn't changed to "...all that I must be..." or even "...all that I must become...".
Having become a substitute teacher as my fourth (5th? 6th?) career experience, I have gained a much deeper understanding of the value of testing. The real value comes when we can undergo a process wherein we evaluate what we thought we knew and compare it with what we should have known, then be given an opportunity to learn and apply the truths that fill in that gap.
I see this often in students who think they know how to do a certain type of math problem or maybe know how to describe a historical event; however, when they actually have to "do it" to demonstrate that knowledge, they come up short. If they realize the gap between perceived knowledge and actual knowledge, they then become much more proficient and, with time and persistence, can become completely knowledgeable in that particular subject. The "test" has then become their best teacher and most considerate tutor.Forget the grade. What really counts is what we become after taking multiple tests with gradual improvement following each one. That's what I tell the students. Only a few believe me...but I'm convinced it is absolutely true.
Thank you Sister Isaacson, for yet once again saying such important things in a beautiful way.
The word "test" does indeed imply grading and with that comes the "test anxiety" that Maryann wrote of.
Pres. J. R. Clark wrote: "when we finish our careers here...." Yes, this is why were here to learn, produce, grow, contribute, enjoy, etc. To Become.
Love this. Thank you again.
That was well said. Focusing on dealing with the real to gain the experience thus we prove what is true.
In much of my later adult years I've been reluctant to use most of the language associated with test / trial or similar. This has been because of my deep concern about the connotations surrounding these words. When used, they represent a limited view of the purpose of mortality; and, can inhibit the mindset necessary to live in a more spiritually empowered way.
Your article is an excellent exploration of how we can think more carefully about living in this second estate of ours!!!
The differences between our choices in premortality and our choices in mortality include our physical bodies and the veil between heaven and earth. The lusts, appetites, and passions of physical bodies complicate our choices in mortality. Our personal character weaknesses, which were largely unknown to us in our premortal state, get exposed in mortality. Our earthly experience provides for the growth and development needed to become more refined and god-like, as we repent and obey God's commandments. (See Southwick, "The Reason for Everything" pages 5-8)
Thank you Sister Isaacson for your insight. Your article has very helpful to me.
The beautiful truths expressed here will bring a great deal of peace to so many who are suffering from spiritual "test anxiety." Thank you for reminding us that the Lord has placed us in the perfect environment to enable us to experience, to learn and to become. The word "test" suggests that our Heavenly Father's plan is to put a big red "F" on our foreheads every time we don't measure up to perfection. I feel the love of the Savior reflected in this article. Thank you for your clarity regarding the truths about why we are here and also your gentle encouragement!
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