Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: In Tune by Gerald N. Lund

In Tune: The Role of the Spirit in Teaching and Learning, by Gerald N. Lund
2013, 182p, LDS Non-Fiction
Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are all teachers. Not only do we have a glorious mandate to "teach all nations" the gospel (Matthew 28:19), we also have numerous charges to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom" (D&C 88:77). In formal and informal settings, as parents or leaders or friends, we are constantly teaching and learning.

Not only has the Lord commanded us to teach, but He has taught us what we are to teach and how we are to do it: diligently and by the power of the Spirit. But how do we know if we're "doing it right"? What signs can we watch for that the Spirit is actually present in a teaching setting?

In this insightful companion volume to Hearing the Voice of the Lord, bestselling author Gerald N. Lund brings his decades of experience working in the Church Educational System to the topic of teaching and learning by the Spirit. He discusses common misconceptions, important questions we should ask about our teaching, and the role of the Holy Ghost in the process.

"The Lord has given the responsibility to save His children to teachers," writes Elder Lund. "The charge is clear. It is specific. It is inspiring. And, gratefully, the Lord blesses us greatly when we strive to carry out His will."

As members of the church, we are charged with teaching. Bro. Lund gives lots of scriptures to illustrate this point. He also gives many examples of the resources the Church commits to preaching and teaching the gospel, including providing meetinghouses, sending out missionaries, maintaining websites, preparing curriculum and producing movies and videos. 

There are many scriptures, quotes by general authorities and stories given throughout the book to illustrate his points.  He starts with chapters that focus on teaching and learning by the spirit and the functions of the Holy Ghost. Then he discusses the principles in action and ends with putting ourselves in tune.

One of my favorite stories was when he told of a mission tour he was doing and the mission president and his wife told them of a recent baptism. It was an older man named Bro. Jones who tended to be crusty and gruff. At the man's baptism, the mission president asked him what it was that made him decide to listen to the missionaries. The man told him that he was home one day watching television and could see out his front window. He saw two young men in white shirts and ties coming down the road. When they reached the gate to his picket fence, they opened it and started up his walk. As he watched them, the thought came to him: "I didn't know that God made young men like that anymore." So he let them in. Bro. Lund makes the point that the missionaries would have known that they had the Spirit with them when they taught Bro. Jones that day, but neither of the young men probably knew that their teaching by the Spirit began as they opened the gate and started up the walk, yet if that hadn't happened, nothing else would have followed.

Towards the end he shares four ways we can better help nurture others as we teach, and the focus there is on preparing ourselves so we can create an environment for the spirit to be felt and to teach directly from the scriptures. There's a lot of great information and insights in this book. I learned a lot from reading it and will definitely read it again and again!

You can read Chapter 1 here.

Elder Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He also did extensive graduate work in New Testament studies at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California, and studies Hebrew at the University of Judaism in Hollywood, California.

During his thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, the author served as a seminary teacher, an institute teacher and director, a curriculum writer, director of college curriculum, and zone administrator. His Church callings have included serving as stake president, bishop, and teacher. Elder Lund served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008.

Elder Lund is a prolific author; his novels include the Work and the Glory series, the Kingdom and the Crown trilogy, Fire of the Covenant, and The Undaunted. He has also written several books on gospel topics, including Hearing the Voice of the Lord and Divine Signatures.

He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.


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