Conduct Edifying Discussions

(5.5, Teaching the Gospel)

“All teachers need to understand that when feelings are expressed, we are standing on sacred ground. Feelings should not be demanded, but when shared willingly, they should always be respected and never criticized in any way” (Walter F. Gonzales, “Teaching as the Savior Taught,” Liahona, Sept. 2004, 31).


encourage others to participate
Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. He may prompt you to ask certain questions or to include certain people in the discussion.

Help participants stay focused on the topic.

Encourage participants to share their thoughts by creating a loving atmosphere (see D&C 88:122).

Do not be afraid of silence after you ask a question. Often those you teach need time to think or to look in their books before they share ideas, testimonies, and experiences.

listen sincerely

Listen sincerely, and seek to understand everyone’s comments. Express gratitude for their participation. Treat all comments with equal respect. Let them know that you are listening to them, not just thinking about what you will say next.

Look for different ways to include sisters in the discussion. For example, you might have them discuss questions in small groups or with the person sitting next to them.

Consider contacting one or two sisters in advance. Ask them to come to class ready to answer one of the questions you have prepared.

Do not end a good discussion just because you want to cover all the material you have prepared. Listen to the Spirit to help guide you.

(The above points are adapted from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, pages xi-xii.)

Articles about involving class members in learning:

Back to the Sunday Relief Society Meetings main page