Teaching in the Savior's Way

Teaching in the Savior's Way

When Nicodemus visited Jesus early in the Savior’s ministry, he began by acknowledging that Jesus was “a teacher come from God.”  (see John 3:2) Jesus was that, and much more.  Part of His role as our Savior and Redeemer was to teach us the way to Eternal Life, made possible by His atoning sacrifice for us.

We see in the gospel accounts of Christ’s life and in His ministry among the Nephites recorded in 3 Nephi, the work of the Master Teacher.  He taught with parables, inspired questions, scriptural quotations, similes, metaphors and a variety of other effective teaching tools.  He loved those whom He taught, and He taught them with words and examples that they could understand.  He taught large groups, small groups and even one person at a time.  He taught those who loved Him dearly, and those who hated Him and sought to take His life.  He taught on the land, on the sea, indoors, outdoors – wherever there were people to teach.  Underscoring all of His teaching was His magnificent perfect example – His most effective teaching method of all.

As members of His Church, we are also called upon to be teachers.  The most important teaching that we do is within our families as parents teach children on a daily basis, and as we teach each other in our family home evenings.  As Relief Society members and priesthood holders we also are assigned to go into the homes of members and teach as visiting teachers and home teachers.  As we are asked to speak in Sacrament or other meetings we are also called upon to teach.  Leaders of auxiliaries, quorums and other Church organizations also have opportunities to teach both in formal settings and in one-on-one counseling.

Almost all of us will also have the opportunity, at different times in our service in the Church, to be called as teachers in the different organizations of the Church.  When called we are typically given instruction, a class roll and teaching materials to help us get started.  A new, important resource for those called to such teaching positions has just been introduced in the Church.  Each month each teacher in an auxiliary or priesthood quorum or group will be invited to a Teacher Council Meeting.  This meeting will be held during the block time in the hour that the teacher is not teaching.  That is, the Sunday School teachers will attend a Teacher Council Meeting during the third hour of the block, and the priesthood, Young Women and Relief Society teachers attend a Teacher Council Meeting during the second hour of the block.  The Primary teachers will attend whichever of these Teacher Council Meetings do not conflict with their teaching time.  Means will be provided to help care for the children while they are in opening exercises and sharing time so that the teachers can miss sharing time the week that they have a Teacher Council Meeting.

These Teacher Council Meetings will typically be conducted by the ward or branch Sunday School presidency.  The meetings will provide opportunities for teachers to discuss successes and challenges in their teaching experiences.  Time will be provided in the meetings to learn and practice new teaching skills.  Discussion materials for these meetings are provided in a new booklet, “Teaching in the Savior’s Way”, which will be provided to all teachers and leaders.  This booklet, in addition to being helpful for the conduct of the Teacher Council Meetings, is also a great resource for teachers to study to improve their teaching.  It also has helps for leaders in orienting new teachers.  There is also a website, teaching.lds.org, where a digital version of the booklet, helpful videos and other materials may be found.

This new effort to support teachers and help them teach even more effectively will be a blessing to all of the members of the Church, including those in West Africa.  We will never completely be able to teach as the Savior did, but as we use these new tools and participate in Teacher Council Meetings, we will mirror, better and better, Christ’s way of teaching.  The Lord said, “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 88:78)  Part of our diligent teaching will now include participating in these very helpful Teacher Council Meetings.