Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh how I love institute!

So if you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking an institute class from Bro. Frogley at the University of Utah Institute. At the beginning of this semester, I was concerned with how I was going to keep the motivation to get through the next year of hard classes after a summer semester.

Luckily, on the first day of the semester, I went to Bro. Frogley's class, and after it was over, I knew that throughout the semester, my institute class would be what would help keep me motivated about working hard and doing well in all of my other classes. It really has too.


Brother Frogley teaches differently than any seminary or institute teacher I've ever had before. He's so focused on ensuring that we not only hear what he says, but that we have a change of heart and desire to do something about what we learn from the Spirit. I'm in his 3 Nephi - (Sermons of the Savior) class. We started in chapter 11, and we're only just finishing chapter 13 right now. We take so much time analyzing every scripture by defining words, even conjunctions and their functions :) and Brother Frogley does an amazing job at teaching us what he has learned about the scriptures and how much information is packed in each verse, so it takes forever just to get through one section - and I love it. It's cool that at the end of class I think "Oh man, it's already been an hour?" and not wanting to leave because I'm learning so much about what I should be changing in my life.

So, if I could explain it all to you in greater detail, explaining every verse like we have in class, I would. But I can't right now, because of time. So I recommend taking a class from him and actively participating so you can understand what I'm talking about. However, as a brief example, I will explain a couple of verses from chapter 13 that we talked about today:

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

I'm even going to have to shorten this, because I think we spent 30 min. talking about these few verses. Basically, we were trying to determine how we can become "grace-giving servants" to those around us. When we talked about treasures, in the context of v. 21, we discussed how the heart is the center of the soul, and whatever is in our hearts (our treasure) will be what determines our confidence, our power, our support, etc. Treasures on earth (money, prestige, even family) are corruptible, and therefore are not guaranteed to be eternal. Really, the only thing that we know is incorruptible is God. So our treasure, we decided, should be the Savior, which should be the focus of our hearts. The next couple of verses (some of my favorites) are "next" for a reason. They answer the question "How do we keep the Savior in our hearts all the time?". Because the eye is a "conduit" to the heart, if we view good things, or if we view the Savior in all things, then our hearts will automatically become focused on him, and the result is that "[our] whole body shall be filled with light".

Again, this is a watered-down version without a lot of the amazing comments that people give in class, and reading this is probably less influential on you than hearing it was for me in a spiritual setting, but even then, isn't that cool how many new insights you gained from those few verses? We do that with every scripture we read.

So yeah, take institute, because it'll give you the boost and motivation you need to do better.


  1. You are awesome. I don't know if it's my computer but your links aren't working. I'll check it again at home.

    Those used to be my favorite verses because I loved the thought that we could be building up a type of "savings account" in heaven. I have a new perspective on the subject now, but sometimes my original perspective gives me more motivation to have a spiritual perspective on life.

  2. Those are links from the version of the scriptures (to the footnotes). I took them out. :)

  3. Ok that was officially awesome. Seriously thank you for sharing that.
    I love 23 because it's like it doesn't matter how much light you are surrounded by you still have to choose to keep that light in your heart to get out of the darkness. And at the same time on the other end of the spectrum you can have complete light even amidst the darkness.
    Scriptures are so cool, and so is institute.