Panel Discussion
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Panel Discussion

2022 S&I Annual Training Broadcast with President Ballard

Friday, January 21, 2022

Sister Becky Scott: Welcome to our seminaries and institutes town hall meeting. As you can see, we’re all social-distanced today, so we’ll go ahead and take off our masks. It is wonderful to see everyone today, and we appreciate everyone’s participation. I would like to mention that through technology, we are meeting today with participants from every area within S&I globally. Welcome to all of you, and thank you for participating with us today. Adam, can you give us a little more detail about our discussion today?

Brother Adam Smith: I would be happy to. First let me say how grateful we are to be with each of you today. We love and appreciate every single seminary and institute teacher, coordinator, administrative assistant, missionary, and administrator throughout the world. You do so much good, and you bless so many people. Thank you. We know that in each of your hearts burns a love for the objective of seminaries and institutes—that you want to help every youth and young adult understand and rely on their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, to come to know and love them better and follow them more deeply. You love the objective because you love your students and especially because you love your Savior. For many, many years, S&I has been successful at helping each student come to know Jesus Christ better. But we recognize in our world today an urgent need to gather even more youth and young adults to Jesus Christ, and we want to do so by creating learning experiences of conversion, relevance, and belonging. We know that these learning experiences will occur as we are laser‑focused on the needs of our students as in each learning experience we center on Jesus Christ, His restored gospel, and His atoning mission—and as we focus our teaching on the holy scriptures and the words of living prophets as we teach the doctrine of Christ. We know that as we do these things, we will invite the Holy Spirit to perform the role only He can perform: to help these young people become converted unto the Lord, stay on His covenant path, discern truth from error, and be safely gathered in to their Savior Jesus Christ and return to their Father in Heaven.

The purpose of the resources that we’re going to introduce to you today is to define what it means to help students experience conversion, relevance, and belonging—to describe in a principle‑based way some skills and practices a teacher could incorporate to help students. We’ve also created some training resources with models and invitations to practice and incorporate. And we also want to do better at measuring our impact in the lives of students so that we can see where we are doing really well—so we can continue to build on that—and also identify opportunities to meet needs of students even better. We hope that by the end of our time together today, you’ll understand these resources and feel an excitement and a bright hope to move forward in incorporating them and applying them again with our singular goal: to help each student come to know Jesus Christ. So that’s why we’re here together today. Thanks, Sister Scott.

Sister Scott: Thank you. We appreciate all of you being here today. Let’s go ahead and get started with our first question. Sister Jessica Brandon from our North America West Area has a question for us today. Sister Brandon, please go ahead.

Sister Jessica Brandon: Thank you. So, while reviewing these training documents, this is the question: Is there a particular order to how we should focus on these skills and on these areas of focus? Are they sequential at all?

Sister Lori Newbold: Jessica, thank you so much for that question. I think the short answer is no. But in the spirit of thinking about how to maybe decide which order to go in, I would say the first thing—and I think it’s always the first thing—is that you start with faith in the Savior Jesus Christ to know that He can help you do whatever principle or practice you end up choosing. And that you would choose that through the assessment tools that we’ve given would be a great place to help you identify what experience your students are having.

Sister Brandon: Perfect. Thank you.

Brother Chad Wilkinson: I have one thing maybe to add. Thank you very much, Sister Brandon. Don’t overcomplicate it; don’t overanalyze it. These are tools to help; these are skills to help you with. In my mind—a thought on your question—in Alma 48, we have a verse of scripture that you’re all familiar with. Verse 17 says—this is Mormon interjecting something. He says, “Verily, verily I say unto you, if all men [or women] had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”

Now, what was it about him that would cause Mormon to interject this? And I think one principle among many that we could talk about is he spent some time making weak cities strong cities. So he put his focus on the weak places and made them strengths. So, through your self-evaluation, through the observations of supervisors or those that you’ve asked to help—peers, as well as your student surveys—you can start to identify what might be some weak places and maybe start there.

Sister Brandon: Just one thought—I wanted to add to what Sister Newbold said. I think that the change can be scary, and I think it’s scary to hand out assessments to a bunch of youth and young adults and wonder what you’re going to get back. And I think one of the things that’s really helped me over the years is to recognize that each of these youth and young adults is one of Heavenly Father’s precious children. And if we focus on that instead of the fear and the natural-man piece of “How am I going to be perceived?” and focus on the fact that our Heavenly Father loves each of them so much and that that’s part of our calling or our job, to help them to come to know their Savior for themselves, I find that that helps quite a bit. And I just wanted to say how much I appreciated the focus on building our individual relationships with our students so that we can help them to reach that objective.

Brother Smith: Thank you, Jessica. I think in all of these resources, we’ve really tried to focus and simplify and unify and build upon all the things that we’ve learned over the years. And I think in these resources you’ll see elements of the fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning. You’ll see elements of “Deep Learning.” You’ll see influence from those who lead us about focusing on the Savior, listening, observing, discerning, lighting a fire in our students’ hearts. And we’ve really tried to simplify it and focus it. So even though these resources are separated into different documents, we hope you see them as one thing. And that one thing is that our job is to help a student come to know the Savior better. We can’t do that without the help of the Holy Ghost.

The number-one way to invite the Holy Ghost is to love our students, focus on Jesus Christ, and rely on the virtue of the word of God. And we know that Heavenly Father is anxious and eager to help us as we try to help Him help them. And we know that as we seek Heavenly Father in prayer through a self‑assessment, as we ask our students what they need through that assessment, and as we ask a supervisor or a peer to come and give us some more information, all of that is to the point to invite revelation so that we can help a young person come to know Jesus Christ.

Sister Scott: Sister Sara Bradley, who is with us today from the Utah Salt Lake Area, could you please share your experience with us?

Sister Sara Bradley: Yes, I’d be happy to. So, after using these resources firsthand, I really just have been impressed with how simply they’re laid out and how well thought out they were. The process for me really was simple. I just began with the assessment tools. I used the self-assessment and the student assessment, and my supervisors helped. And we assessed where I was at. And then next, I determined with my supervisor where I wanted to focus based on my assessment and on my students’ assessment of where I was at. And then I went forward. I went into the new Gospel Teaching Learning handbook. I went to the “Teacher Development Skills” resource. And it just took me right to where I wanted to focus on. I read and studied those things, and then I went back into my classroom, and I really just tried to implement the practice in multiple ways, right? And hopefully I’m just increasing my students’ ability to experience that conversion, relevance, and belonging. And then the great thing was I came back and used the assessment again to assess my progress to see if anything changed. And so you really just begin again to use that assessment tool to know where to go next. And then go back into the resources to help you keep improving and progressing.

Brother Gary Lowell: What would you suggest to someone who has a hesitancy in using these tools, especially when identifying and addressing weaknesses may be a difficult thing for us to confront? And with that, will there be a professional or an administrative responsibility in conducting these surveys frequently?

Sister Newbold: Can I say something with that? And I want to say this delicately, but my experience has been, too, that sometimes we feel a lot of fear around having someone in our classroom if we make mistakes. So sometimes it’s this natural-man experience that comes over us of being afraid of someone being critical. Because I’m giving my heart and soul to these young men and young women, whom I love so much. So it’s hard to come in and say, “Lori, you’ve got to improve your heart.”

And I don’t think that’s often what we’re saying by measurement. I think what we’re really saying is let’s continue to work on creating a culture of faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, that we can change and that we can grow. And that’s what I would say to somebody. These tools are about growth. Growth happens through repentance. Repentance is about change. And it’s only possible because of the Savior. And so I think that that’s—if we could see, you know—the day I see is every teacher saying to somebody, “Can you come and watch me? These students deserve the best I have to give, and I know I’m not reaching some of them. Can you come help me?”

Brother Bert Whimpey: Can I just mention this maybe too? Because in this setting—because of our wonderful stake teachers, those who are teaching the majority of these wonderful youth—these assessment tools are a resource. And for our full‑time professional teachers, it’s expected. And we’re going to learn how to use them better, and we’re going to try to establish that culture. For our stake‑called teachers, it’s a resource that you can use according to your needs and your desires. Anything that you think would help you.

Brother Wilkinson: Gary, that’s a great question, and we appreciate all you’re doing in your assignment. Thank you. And you’re asking the question that everybody wants to. One part of measurement—in the scriptures, there are lots of inspired questions, but there are three that really have blessed me substantially. And you’re going to see this element of measurement. The rich young ruler: “What lack I yet?” 1 That question, that measurement, brought revelation from the Savior. Now, he had his choice whether to follow it or not. Paul, or Saul, on the road to Damascus: “Lord, what [would] thou have me to do?” 2 Again, that’s a measurement. And then third is Joseph Smith before the first visit of Moroni, was asking—he was seeking a forgiveness of his sins. But also the question was “What is my standing before the Lord?” 3 I think those kinds of introspective questions where we’re measuring—it’s not about someone evaluating me as much as it is “Let me get to Heavenly Father and the Savior, and let Them tell me where I am.” And as we’re open to that, I think revelation flows and we become much better than we would be on our own.

Brother Jack Menez: I just appreciated, as I heard from several comments, the idea of building a culture of improvement and relying on the Savior and even some of the worry that sometimes we become overwhelmed as teachers. That—currently in my assignment I help other teachers to improve. And so one of the things that I’ve come to appreciate is the power of the Savior to help us help other teachers and those around us, our colleagues. Ultimately, that helps our students. As our teachers rely on Jesus Christ, they can bear more testimony of His grace.

And so, as was mentioned, the rich, young ruler. I love the Savior’s example, that He says, “Here are some things you should do, and you’re already doing those things. That’s wonderful,” and then gives that one more thing that he can work on. So sometimes one of the things that we can do, I think, as administrators is to say, “Well done. I think you’re pleasing the Lord. I think the Lord would be pleased with all the good things that you’re doing, and can we join together in our faith in Jesus Christ to do that one more thing?” And that can sometimes help—as we develop that new culture of improvement, it can help avoid any feelings of inadequacy or feelings like we’re not doing enough or that we’re never going to be good enough. But rather we can fuse the grace of Jesus Christ into those efforts in a way that will produce something far more effective. And that will then flow into the classrooms, and we can bear greater testimony to our students of the power of Jesus Christ to strengthen us to do things that are too difficult to do on our own.

Sister Scott: Sister Sorenson, could you share your question with us?

Sister Jamie Sorenson: Sure thing. We have the objectives, the 3 learner outcomes of relevance, belonging, conversion, 5 ways to help me as the teacher accomplish those outcomes, and 25 practices that can help me fulfill my role as teacher. Plus, I should be Christ‑centered, scripture‑based, and learner‑focused. And I use three different evaluations to help me set a professional growth goal. It seems a little bit overwhelming. It’s a lot. So what should the focus be?

Brother Whimpey: The goal is to help youth and young adults understand and rely upon the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare for eternal life. That’s what we’re trying to do. And in that objective, our role is to help. So, how can I help? And so I could see, especially among our stake teachers—they see all these resources and say, “Well, this seems so much.” So, a teacher could say, “That’s the objective. How do I do that?” Well, I’m glad you asked. The best way to do that is to help your students have experiences of conversion, relevance, and belonging. “OK, thanks for that, but how do I create those experiences?” Well, I’m glad you asked. The way you do that is I want you to love those you teach, and teach by the Spirit, and focus on Jesus Christ, and teach the doctrine, and invite diligent learning. “OK, but how do I do that?” I’m glad you asked. Because now we have these practices, these skills, that will help you. But it’s all pointing back to the objective.

So, as a teacher sits down and opens their scriptures and thinks about their students, hopefully they’re not thinking about all of these things that are overwhelming; they’re thinking, “How can I help these students that I love? How can I help them to understand and rely upon the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ and qualify for the blessings of the temple and prepare for eternal life?” And really, when you think about it, we’re talking about the covenant path President Nelson asked us to be involved in, this gathering of Israel. And so if it seems overwhelming, if you think, “I don’t know if I can do this all,” just focus on the objective.

Brother Jason Willard: And, Jamie, maybe I could add one scripture from my favorite teacher in the Book of Mormon. This is from Brother Nephi. And he just says it this way in 1 Nephi 6:4: “For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade [my students] to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.” Everything Nephi did was to help his brothers and sisters be saved, to trust in Jesus Christ in a way that helped them ultimately receive eternal life.

And, Jamie, just thanks for asking the right question. Because actually you forgot the 7 fundamentals, the 16 trainings at the end, and all of the doctrinal mastery experiences that they should have along the way. So, next time we ask this question, will you include everything that you’ve been asked. This is a lot that you’re being asked to do, but, honestly, it comes down to one thing. I love the Savior when He’s speaking with Mary and Martha, and it seems like you’re of that Mary persuasion, Jamie, when Jesus just says, “One thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part.” 4 Jamie, we’re grateful that you’ve chosen that good part—and each of you teachers throughout the world, that you’ve chosen that good part, to sit at the Savior’s feet and to make Him the center of all you do. So, bless you in that effort.

Brother Smith: Jamie, I’d like to ask you a follow‑up question, if I could. Brother Whimpey and Brother Willard just taught us beautifully about focusing on the most needful thing, which is the objective of seminaries and institutes. But, Jamie, as a teacher, how do you know if the objective is being accomplished in the lives of your students?

Sister Sorenson: OK. I don’t know if this is the answer that will be beneficial, but it just kind of came to me as people were explaining. It’s through the relevance, belonging, and conversion that I see in their lives, right? Like, those three things really do point us to the objective. So I see it happening in the conversations that they have. I see it outside of seminary. I see it as they are in seminary taking notes and writing down their experiences. It’s those three things. Like, they really do point us to the objective.

Brother Smith: Thank you so much. Do you think it would be beneficial, Jamie, for you to ask your students even directly if their experience in seminary or institute is leading to conversion, relevance, and belonging?

Sister Sorenson: Oh, for sure. And the assessments that we give them, and maybe just even informally, of “How is this going? How is this working?” I think it would be a great gauge of how the objective is working.

Brother Smith: Thank you. Now I want you to imagine that you’ve asked your students this question and they identify something that they feel could make seminary a little bit better—let’s say in the arena of belonging—that they say, “Sister Sorenson is wonderful; we love her class; she’s so amazing.” But you see this little detail in their answers where you identify an opportunity to create more belonging. What would be helpful to you as a teacher then to be able to create more belonging among your classrooms?

Sister Sorenson: I think for me as a teacher it’s really beneficial to talk it out, to go to my supervisor and say, “Hey, here is some feedback I’m getting. Help me walk through this.” And even talking with other coworkers: “Help me walk through this. What could this be? How could I do this better?” So I think those would be beneficial.

Brother Smith: Wonderful. And the reason I wanted to ask you these questions is that’s exactly the idea behind not only the assessment but also the updated Gospel Teaching and Learning and then the training resources: so that a teacher could say, “I want my students to have the objective achieved in their lives. I’ve noticed they’re saying they need this. How do I improve that?” And then as you counsel with other teachers and your supervisor and talk with your students, you could identify something that you could improve upon. The handbook provides a description of it; the training resource provides a model of it. You have a skill now you can practice and implement and hope to improve so that—to the very purpose Brother Willard and Brother Whimpey just said—in that student’s life, the objective is achieved, which is to help them come to the Savior.

Sister Wendy Parker: It all, for me, goes back to the objective. Our objective starts with Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is the avenue that will take us to the temple—and our students—and will take us ultimately to life with our Father in Heaven. Every piece of this new program that I read focused me on Christ. Every skill centered on Christ. And that for me personally was very powerful. And as I coordinate other teachers and I help them develop those same things, this tool will be so changing to our program in such a positive way and to the students that I feel very grateful. And I just wanted to thank you so much.

Brother Whimpey: I know that Shadrack—he’s in the Africa West Area. And Shadrack has had an experience with kind of helping a student have that kind of experience in the classroom. I think, Shadrack, as you shared that, would you be willing to share that with all of us?

Brother Shadrack Bentum: Yes, Brother Bert, thank you. One student in my class was very shy and usually would not read in class, ask, or respond to questions. This persisted for some time until I applied some of the principles in “Know Each Learner’s Name, Circumstances, and Learning Needs,” with emphasis on the skill “Observe and Ask about Students’ Interests” under the “Teacher Development Skills.” I observed that the student usually came to the institute to study for school quizzes and exams. So I took interest in the course she was studying and talked to her sometimes about her schoolwork. Then I got to know she had a very good friend also in my class. And so I would usually put her in the same group with her friend during group activities, which I often used because of her. Gradually, she started reading in class, responding to questions, and sharing experiences. In one of her comments she said—she shared that she used to be very shy in class but now she feels more confident. And currently she presents group assignments on behalf of her group in class, and she will always be among the first to be in class. The learning experience has become better for her.

Sister Scott: I believe that takes us very nicely into a question that Brother Douglas Franco has. He’s from our South America Northwest region, and we would invite Brother Franco to ask his question now.

Brother Douglas Franco: Thank you. Hello, everyone. Yes, well, my question is related to the role of the teacher and the learner experience. How can we better know and be sure that what we’re doing in the class is helping the student to have conversion, relevance, and belonging experiences? For example, a Christ-centered class we’re teaching may help with conversion, but at the same time, teaching by the Spirit may help with conversion as well. So how do we be sure about this in order to help our teachers, when they have these questions or they want to improve some of these principles?

Brother Willard: Brother Franco, tell us where you teach. Where are you at?

Brother Franco: Thank you. Well, I teach in the institute of Bolivia—Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Brother Willard: Very good, Brother Franco. It’s good to have you with us today. Brother Franco, my guess is that you have had some success in knowing that those converting experiences are happening in your class. Can you think of a time when you felt the Holy Ghost teach you that those converting experiences were actually taking place in your class?

Brother Franco: Yes. I think that sometimes the students mention this—sometimes in the class or after the class. Sometimes they write to me via WhatsApp, for example, and they say, “Brother Franco, thank you for the teaching. I felt inspired to do this.” Others in the class, I see them writing even when I don’t give them instruction to write something in the journal, the study journal. They’re still writing. And their attitude shows that they are feeling this. I think that this is something that I could mention.

Brother Willard: That’s so good. It reminds me of those three words we were taught years ago by Elder Bednar about discerning and observing and listening as we teach. 5 To me that’s the essence of what you just shared with us. You had discerned some things, or observed some things, that had happened either during class or after class. And because of those observations, it’s as if the Holy Ghost is teaching you something happened today that was significant. Brother Franco, what could you do to continue to expand on that? What could you do to—sorry, I don’t know the word. What would you do to grow the opportunity for that to happen in your class more often?

Brother Franco: I’ve been thinking about—well, there are so many things. I’ve been thinking about the assessment tools. I think those help to be observed by someone else, by a colleague or someone, my supervisor, so I can feel and find the things I need to work on. But at the same time, this assessment tool given to the students also help—we’ve been using them. And it’s amazing to see what they feel, what they say, in the class—what they feel about the teacher, the class, and the role that we do. It’s amazing. We see the results, and we say, “Oh, no, this is what I need to work on.” Or this is what I’m doing great. I think using this can help, but at the same time, talking about me, maybe doing my best and, as all of you have mentioned, be guided by the Spirit. Pay attention to what they need and if doing what I am doing would help them to cover those needs.

Brother Willard: Brother Franco, thank you so much. As you shared that testimony, that desire to be better, I felt the Holy Ghost testify to me how much Heavenly Father loves you and teachers like you throughout the world. As we do our very best to love God and to love His children, He will bless us, and He will manifest how we’re doing in that class, and He’ll let us know if those experiences of conversion, relevance, and belonging are taking place to help all of these youth and young adults come closer to Jesus Christ. So, Brother Franco, and all of you, thank you so much for all the youth you’re blessing. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

Brother Franco: Thank you.

Sister Newbold: Brother Willard, I love— Thank you. That interaction with you, Brother Franco, as well, and I echo the gratitude and love for you and all of our teachers. I also was thinking about a couple of things with conversion, relevance, and belonging. I think it’s really important. We’ve had a lot of people ask for training around those specific things and to remember that conversion to the Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven, relevance, and belonging are the outcomes of what we’d be doing with teaching. But if they don’t see how it applies to their life, then it’s going to be more difficult for them to have the experience that they need. And the Holy Ghost is the one who does that.

Sister Scott: Jamie Scott shared a beautiful story. Sister Scott, could you share that with us today as well?

Sister Jamie Scott: I would love to. So, as I’ve been focusing on Christlike teachers, I’m not committed to a particular style or method, and to build faith in Jesus Christ and become more like him. So, one day as I was teaching, I had an impression to ask my students, “What kind of a lesson would help you become closer to the Savior?” And then in all four of my classes, music was mentioned. So we decided to have a day when we would learn about the Savior through music. And the students could share a hymn or a song—but anything that helped them to come closer to Jesus Christ. And some of them played an instrument. Some of them had me play a song overhead. Some of them sang. So there was a variety of hymns and songs. And either before or after they shared the music, they talked and bore testimony of our Lord and Savior. And it truly was a day when the Spirit could be felt by all. And others shared experiences that they were having right there and then. And some, the Spirit brought to their memory of truth that they had had in the past. And the Spirit retestified of that truth to them.

And there was one young man in particular who attends seminary but he would rather not be there. And he raised his hand, and he said, “I’ve not felt the Spirit in over four years. And when Ben played that hymn”—and it was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” on his viola—he said, “I felt the Spirit, and it was good.” And so I’m really thankful that the Lord knows exactly what His elect need. I’m thankful for listening and asking for what they wanted so this one particular man could feel the Savior’s love and know who he is and that he is loved.

Sister Scott: Thank you for sharing. Brother James, your hand is up.

Brother James: Oh, thank you. I want to add to what has been said so far. These experiences have been wonderful to me personally. I have tried to apply the measuring tools, observation materials, that had been given to all students last time. And I apply that to my class, and it was quite revelatory to me—just like I was taught here today that the essence of this measurement is to help us receive more revelation in the areas we can improve.

I would like to read out one of the things during this survey that one of my students in my class said about relevance in the class learning experiences. After the survey—and I was triangulating from the materials gathered. And I came across this statement from one of the questions the student responded to. And the student said, “The class has been very relevant to me because the teacher helps me to relate to the gospel topic principles that I learned that are personal to my life.” And the next person also here talked about what I could do to help him to improve. He said, “I would like my teacher to get me involved in class discussions and also ask me questions.”

So these are the things that ordinarily I wouldn’t have been able to put it— And triangulating these materials as I get observed by my students, my supervisor, and my own personal self‑assessment opened my eyes to the areas I need to improve. And I can say that these 25 skills and practices are very wonderful, very easy to even apply during lesson presentation. Thank you.

Brother Wilkins: I just wanted to share a quick experience that taught me the power of combining both a focus on the objective and also a focus in on skills. The other day in class, we were having a very Christ‑centered conversation about repentance. And not just repenting for behavior but this principle that we can approach Christ and ask Him to strengthen our weakness. And I had also been thinking about some of these skills from the training materials. And so as I was watching students discuss, one young lady I saw—I was just focused on her because of this skill. I was trying to look people in the eye and ask follow‑up questions. And I saw her just kind of wipe her eye. And so I just felt that nudge to ask a follow‑up question and say, “Nikki, will you share what the Spirit taught you?” And this young lady just opened up her heart and just wept and said that she had received an answer for a five‑year prayer, that she had been trying to repent but she never had asked for the Lord to change her heart.

And just as I was focused on the objective throughout the whole class, very Christ‑centered conversation, it was good. But because of this focus on a skill, I was so glad that I was paying attention to skills to just ask a follow‑up question, to look people in the eye. Because it took an experience that was really good to hopefully an experience that was life‑changing. So that for me just makes all the difference on why the objective is the starting point, but focusing on skills allows us to then help that objective to go to deeper places.

Sister Scott: Thank you, Brother Wilkins. The human connection of just making eye contact with somebody invites them to engage with you and to have a personal experience with you. What a wonderful illustration. Brother Mark Espidita.

Brother Mark Espidita: Well, I started using the materials that were given to us about two months ago for my new coordinator model trainings in Canvas. And I was just comparing how teachers reacted to the things that I posted in my past trainings, using the old Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook. And there wasn’t really much interactions in our discussion board. And just lately, when I started using these topics in the new handbook, I realized that teachers were more engaged; they were really open in terms of sharing their experiences.

I just want to share one of the comments—well, one of my teachers. This was a training I did a few weeks ago. And this is on praying by name for those you teach. And I got really great and amazing comments. And one of the things that was said by one of the teachers is that—I’m just going to read the comment. It says here: “This was a great reminder as teachers there are times when we are just so anxious to teach the students and to let them feel the Spirit in the class through our preparations. However, the vital thing that really matters is how the message of the lesson can be adjusted according to their needs. The students need a message that is relevant to them. That is why praying for them individually can really make a difference when it comes to preparing lessons for them. It gives a kind of avenue where the Spirit can direct us to speak and teach.” I really didn’t realize that it was going to make such a huge impact on them. So I think the materials that are in here are very helpful to our teachers. That’s all.

Sister Scott: Brother Kevin Brown, would you be happy to share with us?

Brother Kevin Brown: I just felt so strongly and appreciate so much the revelatory process that’s embedded in this whole training and all these tools that we’ve been given. You know, I wrote down in my notes, If I find out something, hopefully by the Holy Ghost, especially what I learned through the Holy Ghost and through that source, how urgently and deliberately do I act and change or apply? It is— You know, someone said before that it is the Holy Ghost that establishes relevance for our students. But it hit me today that it’s also the Holy Ghost that establishes relevance for the teacher. So what I learn by the Spirit to act on or apply, I should do quickly. And I felt strongly that as we do, miracles would happen in the classroom. And the teachers will be able to witness that.

Sister Scott: Thank you very much for sharing that message with us. We have one more hand up. Brother Castro, would you like to share with us?

Brother Castro: Yes, Sister Scott, thank you. I was thinking that— Well, in my mind came a thought or a teaching by Elder David A. Bednar. He said, “It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us. That is fundamental and foundational to the doctrine of Christ. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us.” 6 And that’s what I felt today, that the Lord truly desires to help us in this great work. And we can help our youth; we can help our called teachers to feel the same way.

Sister Scott: Thank you so much, Brother Castro. Thank you to everybody who has participated today. We have heard such wonderful testimonies of how to apply the items that we’ve been discussing today in a very personal way. I would just like to add my grave testimony. I know that this is the work of the Lord, and I know that He is interested in our personal development and in our ability to connect with the youth and the young adults that we teach. I know that He will help each of you as you apply all of these different tools that we’ve talked about in a way that is personal for you; that Christ, and through the Holy Ghost, will tell you what to work on; and that the very thing that you need to work on, as illustrated by all of our stories today, is the very thing that that person needs to hear. And that through you, they will be able to come to Christ. I bear my testimony of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.