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Those Juniors, Part 26: Willing To Do

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: The child’s will must be molded by careful attention and patient love. It is all too easily crushed—and all too easily neglected. Every child, no matter how small, can be imbued with a sense of right-doing and have their will molded in a right pattern.

The Mystery of the Will
Paul speaks of the “mystery of His will,”1  and there is indeed something mysterious about the working of the will. It is a fact that when we find a conflict between the voice of our heart’s ideal and the voices of reason and conscience, and when we submit and make our will harmonize with the will of God, we actually get back much more than we give up.

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness.”2

Bible Memorization Club, Part 1: How It Began

by Sylvia Evert

Have you ever become discouraged after starting to memorize a chapter or book of the Bible? Have you wished you had someone to inspire you and encourage you to keep pressing on? I have! That’s why I started a Bible memorization club.

It all began several years ago, in the early summer. I had decided to undertake a major memorization project—to memorize the gospel of John before Christmas. By my calculations, I’d need to memorize about a chapter a week.

Memory Text for November 23–29

Key Thought for Lesson 9, "The School of Christ"
We are powerless to serve God on our own. By yielding to God in absolute surrender, and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, we have access to God’s power.

Memory Text:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).

Project: Memory
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Those Juniors, Part 25: Molding or Crushing?

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: Everyone has innate instincts. These instincts cannot be allowed to run wild, nor can they be repressed without ill consequences. Instead, one must learn how to control them, using the three judges. The Savior Himself will aid us in this. 

The Developing and the Molding of the Will
It is clear now that the developing of the will lies in the development of the voice of reason, the building up of noble heart ideals and the training of the heart and mind to know the will of God, as well as the practice of self-control. By consistent and persistent habits of correction we can lay the foundation for reason. Very small children are able to link cause and effect together. This prepares the way for the exercise of choice. Wise parents can guide their children into the experience of choosing the right things, the right shoes, the right clothes, and every act of choosing wisely develops the will power.

In Touch

Dear Young Disciples,

I put on my helmet and tightened the strap. Then I climbed onto the 4-wheeler and waited for instructions from the leader of the ATV tour. “The rain has made things a little slick today,” he told us, “but we should have a good time.”

This will be fun, I told myself. But a few minutes later I wasn’t so sure. Perched at the top of an impossibly steep, rutted, twisting, muddy trail, I wished I hadn’t come.

Somehow I made it down, but as the trail continued, I felt more and more uneasy. With every new challenge, I wasn’t sure what to do.

Then the leader motioned to me to follow him. As he sped off, I stuck right behind. Up and down slippery slopes, across rushing streams, along the muddy, rutted trail—I followed exactly in his tracks. It was wonderful!

In fact, after a while, I started feeling so confident that I began choosing my own way. Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize that I didn’t do so well when I lost sight of the leader.

As I zoomed back in right behind him, I thought about our walk with the Lord. When we are first converted, we know how much we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But later on, it’s easy to become overconfident—to forget that our need is as great as ever.

On our own, we’re bound to make a mess of things. In fact, if we want to make a success of our Christian life, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit every minute of the day!

Your friend,

Memory Text for November 16–22

Key Thought for Lesson 8, "Flesh—or Spirit?"
When we give God our absolute surrender, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to free us from slavery to sin.

Memory Text:
“Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2, 3).

Project: Memory
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Those Juniors, Part 24: Arbiter of Destiny

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: There is a difference between the will power, the won’t power, and the want power. Self-control is absolutely necessary, and is accomplished in a great part by the three judges. 

Let us look at the accompanying diagram and trace the three possible paths that desire can branch into:1

  1. Desire may follow the pathway of self-expression, where driven by impulse and unhampered by reason, ideals, or conscience, it ministers to the animal passions of selfishness.
  2. Desire may be repressed, unrecognized, buried in the subconscious mind, where it festers and produces overt actions, strong urges, and moral disintegration.
  3. Desire may be ushered into the council chamber of the mind, where it listens to the advice of reason, the heart’s ideal, and conscience. As they decide, it becomes the will of the individual, and following the controlled, sublimated pathway, results in ennobling the life. It is, of course, quite possible that the voice of the heart’s ideal may be so wicked that it will overpower the voice of reason and conscience, in which case the will turns downward, into the path of willful sin and ministers to the selfish and the animal within us even more so than impulsive sin. From observation, however, I believe that by far the majority of the wickedness and sin we see in juniors is not deliberate, willful sin, but is the thoughtless, impulsive type. Most frequently when they take time to think through, reason and conscience influence the will to follow the controlled sublimated pathway.

In Touch

Dear Young Disciples,

I had my misgivings about climbing up into the small attic, although two of my friends already sat aloft. The boys had made it look easy, and now Alyssa wanted to attempt it. But I had a skirt on, and there wasn’t even a ladder. I doubted the climb would be simple.

“Here.” James reached down. “Alyssa, you grab my hand; and Heidi, you lift her up.”

In a moment, Alyssa peered at me from her perch in the attic. “Wow! That was awesome!”

James grinned. “Now it’s Heidi’s turn!”

“No way,” I argued. “I’m too heavy for you and I can’t climb up there myself.” I grabbed the edge of the attic floor overhead and lifted myself a short distance before dropping back to the ground. “See? I can’t do it.”

“Let me help you.” James reached for my hand. With a great heave, he pulled me up into the attic. I could hardly believe he’d lifted me so far!

That experience reminds me of the many times I have come up against obstacles that look impossible to surmount. Too often, instead of admitting I can’t do it and asking for help, I grit my teeth and try to force my way in.

When I try to conquer difficulties on my own, I always fail. However, when I admit my need and ask for help, my heavenly Friend reaches down and lifts me up to Himself. In His strength, I can conquer every obstacle preventing me from consistent victory.

How silly I would be to refuse His power!

Your friend,

Memory Text for November 9–15

Key Thought for Lesson 7, "Path to Power"
When we realize our need for a Savior and our utter helplessness to keep from sin, we are ready to open our hearts to victory through the Holy Spirit.

Memory Text:
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24, 25).

Project: Memory
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10, 11).

Those Juniors, Part 23: Three Judges

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: To have the desired effect on a misbehaving child is not hard. You must work by strategy; build them up, identify with them, and gently correct them. Once this is done, they will be compelled by their own desire to be good.

Some time ago I heard a mother say to her small son, “It’s time for you to run off to bed now, dear.” But the little dear shook his head, pouted his lips, and whined, “No.”

Mother continued, “Now, be a good boy and run off to bed.”

And the little boy said, “No! No!” and stamped his foot.

The mother answered, “You are going to bed, my little son. Now run along.”

But her little son lay down on the floor, kicked his legs, and yelled, “No! No! I don’t want to.”

Blushing with embarrassment, the poor mother apologized, “My little boy has such a strong will power.”

No, he didn’t have a strong will power. That little boy had a very stubborn “won’t power.” They are very, very different. Many people are confused in their understanding of the will power. Some even confuse it with “want” power. But “want” power is not will power.

Creative Corner Online: Different Diamanté

Creative Corner Online: Different Diamanté

The diamantés we printed in Young Disciple last week all followed the opposites format: starting with one concept and bridging to its opposite, in the middle of the poem. However, that's not the only way to write a diamanté. Some poets use synonyms for the first and last word of the poem, instead of antonyms. Here's one last diamanté we received, with a different twist. Nice work, Jacob! We love how uplifting this poem is!

Trustworthy, undaunted
Watching, waiting, believing,
Time, labor, Homeland, peace
Singing, enjoying, praising,
Beautiful, perfect,

—Jacob Martin, age 17

In Touch

Dear Young Disciples,

The sun beat down on the dusty trail, and my short legs ached from what seemed like endless hours of hiking. “How far to the car?” I whined. “I’m tired.”

“Fly or die,” my dad reminded. I knew what he meant: If I didn’t want to walk and keep up with the family, I had only two options: either figure out a way to fly (impossible), or sit down by the trail and wait to die (unthinkable). That left me back at square one, trudging onward. Ignoring the beautiful scenes around me, I longed for the sight of our big blue van.

That’s what hiking used to be to me: long, dreary, and meaningless. I couldn’t understand why my family called it fun.

Slowly, over the years, I began to change my mind. Lifting my gaze off my aching feet, I realized I’d been missing miles of beauty. In the untouched wilderness, I could see God’s glory like nowhere else. In the hours of walking, I could think about life and share interesting discussions with my family.

My feet and muscles still got sore, and I still got tired and thirsty—but I enjoyed it anyway. Nothing had changed about hiking. The only change was in me.

We can say the same thing of our heavenward hike. When we try to march onward by the force of willpower, we find ourselves tired, disheartened, and defeated. But with God working in us, we have victory and joy.

Yes, it’s all about surrender—but even that comes from Him!

Hiking heavenward,

Memory Text for November 2–8

Key Thought for Lesson 6, "Impossible Possibilities"
God can work impossible possibilities in our lives—even to setting us free from the sins which make our lives miserable. His strength is available to us when we give Him our absolute surrender.

Memory Text:
“And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

Project: Memory
“And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him” (Ephesians 6:9).