Becoming More Teachable
In her devotional address, Melissa Heath gives four recommendations to become teachable
“Becoming More Teachable” was the topic that Melissa Heath, associate professor of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, chose for her university devotional address given last June. This was an appropriate subject to represent the McKay School of Education.
As she considered her topic, Heath asked herself, “What makes someone more open to being teachable?” She thought about the teachings in the Bible and The Book of Mormon and decided on four strategies to suggest. “I hoped that the Holy Ghost would be a witness to the truth of the things I was saying,” said Heath.
Heath organized her address by developing these strategies to help us all become more teachable and guide us in our eternal progression:
- Stick to the gospel’s fundamental principles.
- Have a grateful heart.
- Conquer pride by choosing to be humble.
- Recalibrate and get back on track.
Heath focused on sticking to the fundamental principles of the Gospel by obeying God’s commandments in our lives and through our education. She said, “Obedience allows us to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and keeps our minds open to learning and feeling the love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father.” Heath referred to examples of prophets from The Book of Mormon who were obedient and had faith in Jesus Christ.
Having a grateful heart was Heath’s second recommendation. “Choosing to have a grateful heart is an important strategy in becoming more teachable because it prepares our hearts to be humble and open to the promptings of the Spirit,” Heath said. She gave the example of noticing and being grateful for the beauty of the world and being willing to express gratitude to the Lord. “Feelings of gratitude soften our hearts and open our minds to learning,” Heath said.
For her third principle, conquering pride by choosing to be humble, Heath listed the characteristics of pride that impede learning, such as destroying unity, destroying the ability to learn, and impeding the ability to take correction or feedback. Her antidote was to consider humility as a choice. “When we are humble, we are teachable, opening our minds and hearts to spiritual learning,” Heath said. She emphasized how important it is to conquer pride with humility in order to become teachable.
Heath’s final strategy to become more teachable is to be willing to recalibrate and get back on track. She said, “From a spiritual sense, when we realize we are going in the wrong direction, we must stop and get back on the right track—and the sooner the better.”Heath talked about how Satan wants people to feel worthless and lose hope, but the Savior wants the Atonement to be used regularly, and He is a source of hope.
Heath linked all four points back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then applied them to being teachable. “Living these strategies takes courage and honesty, a willingness to submit to the Lord’s eternal truths, and a trust in God that He knows each of us personally and wants us to become more teachable,” said Heath.
July 10, 2012