“Introduction,” The Pearl of Great Price: Teacher Manual (2000), 1–3

This teacher manual should help institute teachers shepherd their students through a sequential study of the Pearl of Great Price.

The scriptures are presented in blocks for ease of study. The bullets at the beginning of each scripture block point out gospel principles and doctrines that teachers should be aware of as they prepare and teach each block of scripture.

Each scripture block contains suggestions about how teachers might help students discover gospel doctrines and principles. Teachers should employ these and their own teaching methods according to their circumstances and in harmony with the spirit and philosophy of education explained in Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders (1994; item 34829).

The Pearl of Great Price course for institutes of religion may be taught in one semester or one quarter, with the teacher adapting the presentation of the lessons according to the number and length of class sessions (see the pacing guides on pages 4–5).

Each teacher needs this manual (item 34704), and teachers should also periodically review Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook. In addition, the teacher and each student needs a set of scriptures and the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (item 35852).

Teaching the Gospel

The first objective of education in the Church is to teach “students the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the standard works and the words of the prophets” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 3). This teacher manual helps teachers achieve this objective, providing material for effectively teaching the Pearl of Great Price.

The scriptures contain the word of God and have been preserved and brought forth by His power. Teaching the scriptures is a sacred service, and is one of the best ways to “invite all to come unto Christ” (D&C 20:59).

Effective Teaching

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, acting under the direction of Jesus Christ. His role is to teach, testify, reveal, guide, enlighten, comfort, and sanctify (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 12). When a person teaches by the power of the Holy Ghost and the students also have the Holy Ghost, the Lord said that they “understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22).

A teacher must prepare spiritually (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 18). To have the Spirit as you teach, you should:

  1. Live the gospel (see John 14:15–17).

  2. Pray (see 2 Nephi 32:9; D&C 42:14).

  3. Study the scriptures (see D&C 11:21).

  4. Be humble (see Mosiah 4:10–11).

  5. Have faith in Jesus Christ (see Moroni 7:33).

  6. Love your students (see John 15:12).

How to Prepare a Lesson

Effective teaching requires that you decide what to teach and how to teach it (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 19–24). As you study the scriptures, identify the principles, doctrines, and events you feel will interest your students, and those the Spirit prompts you to teach (this is what to teach). Then choose a teaching method or learning activity for each principle, doctrine, or event you have chosen (this is how to teach). As you prepare and present each lesson, consider the following suggestions:

What to Teach

  1. Begin by studying the scripture block (the verses or chapters you will be teaching) until you feel you understand the principles, doctrines, and events that are in the block (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 32). Make a list of the teachings that will be of greatest value to your students, including the scriptures that teach about Jesus Christ and that will invite your students to come unto Him.

  2. As you read, ask yourself questions that will help you understand and apply the scripture block, such as: What principles, doctrines, or events are taught in these scriptures? What gospel lessons can we learn from these verses? How do I feel when I read these verses? How are the events in these verses similar to what I and my students experience?

  3. Choose ideas that you want to include in your lesson. These ideas can come from several sources, including:

    1. Principles, doctrines, and events you discover as you study the scripture block.

    2. Principles, doctrines, and events listed at the beginning of each lesson in this teacher manual.

    3. Pearl of Great Price Student Manual.

Be selective because you will not have enough class time to teach everything that is available.

How to Teach

  1. Next, decide how to teach each idea you have chosen (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 35–43). This will come from several sources, including:

    1. Teaching methods you think of as you study the scripture block.

    2. Suggestions for teaching in this teacher manual.

    3. Personal experiences that you or others have had that illustrate gospel principles you are teaching.

  2. As you decide how to teach each idea, remember three important points (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 13–15):

    1. What will students do during the lesson? Use methods and activities that encourage students to participate.

    2. How can I help keep my students interested? Change teaching methods often enough to help students stay interested.

    3. What insights, solutions, or behaviors may result from this lesson? Constantly help students apply the teachings of the scriptures in their lives.

  3. Organize the various parts of your lesson.

  4. Decide how much time you will spend teaching each part of your lesson by prioritizing your material so you teach that which is most important for your students to receive. Avoid taking too much time on activities or instructions of less important areas and thereby sacrificing instruction on what matters most.

  5. Remember the following as you teach:

    1. Follow the inspiration of the Spirit in what you say and do. Help your students understand that they must ask for the Spirit and act and live so that they invite the Spirit to be with them as they participate in class.

    2. Listen carefully to your students and respond to what they say (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 25–28).

    3. Ask questions and raise issues that encourage class discussion and build faith (see D&C 38:23; 43:8; 88:77–78, 122; see also Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 37–39).

    4. Bear your testimony and invite your students to bear their testimonies.

    5. Have faith in God and the power of His word to interest and bless your students (see 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 31:5). Have confidence in your students, and in the Lord’s ability to help you be a successful teacher.