The Importance of "the first lessons"

[From a teacher in a branch church Sunday School]

In Article XX, Section 3, of the Manual of The Mother Church, Mary Baker Eddy defines "the first lessons" that shall be taught in the Sunday School. She says: "The first lessons of the children should be the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9— 13), and its Spiritual Interpretation by Mary Baker Eddy, Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5: 3-12)." Our Leader does not imply or refer to these lessons as exclusively for the younger classes. She calls them "the first lessons of the children." In her writings she does not indicate that the word "children" always refers to persons of immature age. Thus we may assume that "the first lessons" are not for little children only, but are the basic foundation of knowledge, outlook, thinking, and attitude of every Christian Scientist; so throughout his life they should be the first law of daily conscious living.

In a class of girls of eighteen and nineteen this instruction proved to be important to them. Each week the entire class took one commandment, one beatitude, or one sentence of the Lord's Prayer with its spiritual interpretation from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy to ponder and apply to the problems of the week and to use as a guide for thought and action. This procedure became habitual with these ten girls, and the study resulted in far-reaching unfoldment and in demonstrations which might not have been made so readily had it not been for this special study and application. Traits of character and limitations were corrected.

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July 21, 1962

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