This afternoon, we received a "payday" text message from Brett Hamilton.
He and other members of his group (those who finished their missions last month) made the trip to Ogden to hear Brian Green report to his home ward about his mission. We were unable to attend, because we were in charge of our 10 month old twins while our son and his wife spoke in church. To brag a little - we kept them in sacrament meeting the entire hour - a previously unattained feat. (our secret - Sister Robison's dangly jewelry)
You can imagine our delight in receiving this text this afternoon, stating that every missionary in Elder Hamilton's group spoke to their home ward without using notes. They prepared well and then let the Spirit direct their thoughts once they were at the podium. This is something we emphasized our entire mission using scriptures like these:
Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
D&C 84: 85
Here's what we taught to members and missionaries during our mission: Study deeply, make an outline, and gather materials. Then, when starting to speak or teach, take a moment to look into the eyes of those you are going to teach, say a prayer in your heart to know - not what you need to say, but what Heavenly Father wants these people to learn - and then have the courage to walk away from your notes and teach by the Spirit. We've found that often the the prepared material is interwoven with other thoughts and words that come in that very moment.
Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?
To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.
Our son and his wife spoke without notes as well, by the way.
So it was a good day!