Monday, April 20, 2009


Once upon a time, about a year ago, a girl named Gordita was called to teach Sunday school. She was reluctant, but had read the Ensign enough to know that people who are called to serve in certain capacities and feel inadequate are sustained and helped by their Heavenly Father so that their weaknesses can become strengths. Plus it was only once a month. So she accepted the calling.

Yesterday, a beautiful spring day, was Gordita's Sunday to teach. She was nervous as usual but there were two mitigating factors that made this Sunday especially anxiety inducing.
1. She'd had a nightmare that week that Sunday school was a complete disaster and she had forgotten that she was supposed to teach and showed up unprepared, with ugly hair, and dirty clothes. That dream had felt so real.
2. TC, a superior teacher with awards to prove his superiority in teaching, was teaching in the competing gospel doctrine class.

In order to reassure herself, Gordita began to talk herself up. Before she knew it, she had taken this positive self-talk too far and developed a false arrogance. She told herself that there were plenty of people who loved her teaching and wanted to be present in her room over the other one. She was, after all, a wonderful teacher. Maybe even the best in the ward, stake or area. Hello! How could someone named Gordita not be a good teacher? She may not know the most about the scriptures, or the deeper meaning and symbolism in the gospel, or just the plain old gospel for that matter, but she was dang good at reading that manual and following along. And she was very good at asking people to read scriptures and at writing stuff on the board while listening to the answers class members were giving. Psh. What more could you ask for in a Sunday school teacher?

But before class began she sat at the front of the room reading over her lesson and building herself up to near-haughtiness. She heard someone behind her ask, "Who's teaching in this room today?" The lady next to her answered, "That sister there. I can't remember her name." And then the first lady got up and walked out of the room.

Can you hear the air squeaking out of Gordita's over-inflated balloon? That was a quick snap back into reality, and humility. No more false arrogance and inflated egos for her. Goodbye pride. Hello humility! For a few days anyway.


  1. i'm pretty sure that lady got up to go to the bathroom right at the beginning so she wouldn't miss any of your lesson... and then accidentally got lost on her way back... i would LOVE to come to your class.

  2. I would have totally stayed in your class, too! If she really knew you she wouldn't have walked out.

  3. I think you have a leaky balloon. You're a great teacher, and this is really not lip service! It's kind of exciting in our ward the way you never know who you're going to get when you sit down in a classroom. But the last time you taught I was genuinely excited when I found out it would be you. Alas, my son had an emotional breakdown before I got to find out what the lesson was about, but I'm sure it was a great one, as usual.

  4. Thank you all for the kind words. My balloon is filling up with joy and good feelings!


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