Elaine Wagner, a faculty member in the mathematics department, spoke to students, staff and faculty at the BYU-Idaho Center March 1.
Wagner opened her address and said she was grateful for the opportunity to speak with students and faculty and to be a small part of this great university.
“To begin, I should say that I am typically not a dreamer of profound dreams,” Wagner said. “When I dream, I am most frequently dreaming about obtainable, mundane things.”
Wagner said one dream that has changed her, even though it was not even slightly as profound as Lehi’s dream, happened many years ago.
Wagner said at the time, she was momentarily between primary callings. Wagner received a phone call asking if she could substitute teach a primary class. She agreed and found that the lesson was about the 10 lepers.
“I love this story in the New Testament,” Wagner said. “The opportunity to talk about gratitude both for others and for the Lord excited me.”
Wagner said because the Savior’s life was short — only 33 years — Luke recorded and preserved a few precious stories and teachings.
“I believe this event with the 10 lepers is included in Luke’s record not just because gratitude is nice but because developing a strong spirit of gratitude is vital to our salvation,” Wagner said.
Wagner started her primary class and asked the children, “How would you feel if you were a leper?”
Several children said they would feel sad and would miss their families.
Wagner said she told the children there is a man named Jesus who heals sick people.
“My dream began with the primary lesson I had just taught, but as the children left the classroom, instead of pride at a well-taught lesson, I felt an aching sadness,” Wagner said.
Wagner said in her dream she could feel the Savior’s rebuke that she had missed the most important part of the lesson with the lepers.
Wagner could see herself diseased, bruised and hurting. She said she realized that the lesson she had taught was about more than gratitude, it was about the Atonement.
“Each of us walk around with wounds,” Wagner said.
Wagner said this dream has caused her to ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“Looking back at this experience, the spirit taught me that we need to be united with Christ,” Wagner said.
Wagner said Christ is the master teacher. He is the keeper of covenants. He is the perfect example, the healer and the forgiver of sins. He came to earth to suffer, die and rise again. He is the advocate with the father.
“Christ did all of this because he knows you and he loves you,” Wagner said.