Teaching Children, Youth, and Adults


What do I need to know about children that will help me teach them?

It is a sacred responsibility to teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them learn to live it. As you teach children, you will find that you receive special blessings. It is helpful to understand some of the following guidelines for teaching children:

  • Children believe what you say. They are receptive to the truth, and you should teach them correct doctrine simply and clearly.
  • Children can recognize the influence of the Spirit. Teach them that the warm, peaceful feelings they have when they talk or sing of Jesus Christ and His gospel come from the Holy Ghost.
  • Children are loving and want to be loved and accepted themselves.
  • Children will follow your example. You often teach children more by your attitude and example than by your words.
  • Children have short attention spans. The best way to keep their attention is to have them participate in the lessons with stories, songs, and a variety of activities.

Teaching, No Greater Call provides guidance on the age characteristics of children by specific age groups—from 18 months to 11 years of age.

If you teach a class with children of different ages, you can have older children assist younger children with scripture reading, stories, or activities. You can also simplify parts of activities for the younger children, such as allowing them to hold pictures during a story.

Scriptures to study

Matthew 18:3; 2 Nephi 25:26; 3 Nephi 17:21–24; 22:13

Things you can do

  • Review the age characteristics for the children you teach as described in Teaching, No Greater Call.
  • Review the scriptures listed above and consider the importance of teaching the gospel to children.