When I asked Mike what came to mind when he heard Discipleship he said, "Kung Fu." I've been thinking about that for a few days and I've decided it's actually a good analogy (Mike comes up with analogies easier than anyone I know).
So, I've decided to use that and expand on it. Here is what I'm thinking:
(I'm just brainstorming right now)
1. We found a place that taught Kung Fu whose founder is a famous instructor and Kung Fu-er (like that, Kung-fuer?). He has written numerous manuals and is well-known in his field.
2. When the boys started each session they were required to take their shoes off, bow, and wait on the side to be called. When finally called, they had to hand their slip to the instructor bow, and go to their spot, standing in Focus position. Focus position is a stance where they stand with their faces to the front, hands to the side, and stand still, no moving or deviating.
3. Each lesson was geared toward the upcoming belt test. There were different levels so often the class got split up with a different instructor working with a separate group of kids depending on their skill level.
4. On test day each child tested separately, next to each other, but separately. To pass the test and receive your belt, there were specific things you had to do. Not only where there specific skills but there were specific phrases you had to learn. The boys had to learn phrases such as "Yes, Sir." "Please, thank-you, etc." They had to do specific chores around the house and prove to their instructors that they had accomplished those chores before they could take their test.
5. The instructors, while expecting a certain level of skill, clearly took into account that the children they were testing were 4 and 5 and showed leniency for a skill that wasn't done in perfection. They had to do their best. With that said, they wouldn't let someone test if they didn't feel they already had a pretty good handle on the skills.
6. Before they were given their belt, they were given the opportunity to break a board in front of their class. Will had a hard time breaking the board with his hand and rather than make him feel bad about it, they encouraged him the entire time and decided to allow him to break the board a different way, by kicking it. While Isaac could break it with his hand, Will needed a different way to do it.
7. They were not given the belt (or allowed to break their board) until a few weeks after they took the test.
Here's the comparison:
1. Jesus Christ is the Master. He has written the manual for discipleship. He is the example in everything that we should learn and follow.
2. In the Gospel, there are specific things we must do--baptism, getting married in the temple, etc. The Lord wants us to have our eye single to his glory and his work. We are to make sure we are on the strait path, with no deviating.
3. Each saint is on a different level of spirituality and testimony. Jesus Christ will gear our instruction towards our level of understanding. The Lord will prepare you along the way for the trials and tests you will have to face.
4. Each of us, while on the same journey to reach our Heavenly Father must complete the task alone. I can get married in the temple to Mike but I must stay faithful to the covenants I personally make regardless of what he does. The difference is that we have others to help us on our way, and the Spirit to instruct us, and or Savior who has already passed the test and will help us as well follow him.
5. We have been promised that we won't be given more than we can handle. Heavenly Father knows the strengths and weaknesses we possess. He knows our attempts to improve and he has provided a way for us to repent, thus allowing us to strive for perfection, knowing we will make mistakes along the way.
6. While there are specific covenants we must make, the Lord has prepared tests that are specific to us individually. He knows what each of us need to be refined and perfected. He will make provisions for us to be tested in the way that is appropriate for us personally, and make a way that we can accomplish that test.
7. Finally, often our rewards are held until later. I know I will see Laila again and have the joy of raising her. We know Ammon will have his body restored to him in his proper frame when he is resurrected. When we pass the test, we can be sure that we will receive our reward.
What do you think? Is there something I've missed or something I should change? Is there a better analogy? Let me know what you think.