The Ignorant Steward: Five Lessons in Spiritual Emancipation

I think that would be a great title for a book someday! 🙂 I’m still quite convinced that Ranciere’s model for teaching is exactly how we ought to think about things in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are equal with each other — we’re even co-eternal with God! And we have stewardships based not on merit, but based on our willingness to yield to the Spirit. The Spirit is that which gets us working. It pushes us forward. It enlightens our minds. It is one of those great things in common that points us to so many other things in common upon which our minds and hearts can ponder and get to work! As teachers or leaders or parents in Zion, our job is not to lead based on our superior intelligence, but to lead in such a way that they come to lean on the greatest Intelligence of all! Any time we get in between God and a child of God, we are guilty of priestcraft; any time a teacher comes in between the “thing in common” and the student, she/he is guilty of stultification. The ignorant one will do more and less at the same time, says Ranciere. He will do less, because he cannot verify if the student’s answer is right. But he can do more, because he can verify if the student has paid attention. Paying attention is all that is needed — and how much that applies to our work in the Church! Pay attention to the Spirit! Pay attention to the scriptures! (all of them!) Pay attention to the ordinances and think about them! Go to the temple and pay attention! Pay attention to the needs of those you visit teach! Pay attention to sacrament talks and see what the Spirit teaches you about doctrine, how to teach or not to teach, what this person needs, what those around you need, and so forth. There is so much to learn if one only pays attention, and then the work that follows is a joint quest for truth and love. We are all of equal intelligence, says Ranciere — we are all equal in that we can all pay attention and think. We are all of equal spiritual nature, I think — we are all equal in that we can repent, receive ordinances, and commune with the Spirit!


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