“New Aids for Families, Teachers, and Missionary Leaders,” Ensign, Dec. 1978, 48–49
Teaching: No Greater Call
A manual designed to help parents and teachers improve both the spiritual and technical aspects of gospel teaching is now available. Teaching: No Greater Call (PXIC064A; $1.50 each) contains valuable information for every teacher in the Church, regardless of previous teaching experience. Although it may be used in in-service lessons, the manual was designed specifically for individual study.
Information in each of the seven units is very helpful. For example, the first unit, “Preparing Yourself,” contains such information as teaching with the Spirit, obtaining a testimony and a vision of your calling, and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.
Discussions on reaching the one and the unique characteristics of different age groups are given in the section entitled “Understanding Those You Teach.”
The third unit, “Preparing Lessons,” gives suggestions on using available resources, teaching lessons focused on a single idea, and using humor and creativity in the classroom.
“Preparing the Classroom” gives tips on creating a warm atmosphere in the room.
Among the basic teaching skills discussed in “In-class Teaching: Essentials” are: getting the attention of the class, determining if class members are learning, making the scriptures live, using examples, teaching object lessons, teaching with variety, using questions to stimulate thinking, and helping class members apply lesson principles.
“In-class Teaching: Enrichment” discusses “nice to know” teaching techniques such as brainstorming, case studies, demonstrations, panel discussions, and role playing.
Tips on using chalkboards, flannelboards, puppets, pictures, simple drawings, projection equipment, and tape recorders are included in the sixth unit, “Preparing and Using Teaching Materials.”
The last section, “Fostering Good Classroom Behavior,” gives concrete suggestions on dealing with discipline problems.
Gospel Principles Manual
A new manual on the principles of the gospel has been prepared with a threefold purpose. First, in the developing areas of the Church, where only families or small groups can meet together, this Gospel Principles manual constitutes, with the scriptures, the total Church curriculum.
Second, it is also being recommended as a student supplement to new members and investigators enrolled in the Gospel Essentials course.
Third, families may find it useful as a resource for home evening lessons, special discussions with children, and talks or lessons for Church meetings.
Written at a simple reading level, this comprehensive manual treats nearly all of the basic topics of the gospel. Designed for either individual or class study, it contains helps for teachers, in case parents or teachers wish to discuss some of the topics in greater detail. Additional scriptures on the topic are listed at the end of the chapter. The book also contains some of the hymns of the Church, transposed to a lower key. A glossary is included to clarify any terms that may be new to the reader.
The manual is highly visual with many illustrations and color pictures. It is being translated presently into thirty-seven languages.
This book would be a fine permanent addition to any home library and is appropriate for both parents and children. It is available at the Church distribution centers for $1.20 each (stock no. PBIC0245). A hardbound edition may be purchased through Deseret Book Company for $3.95.
The Activity Book
Do members of your family want to improve their skills in camping, music, outdoor survival, first aid, speech, drama, literary arts, sports, or dance? Would they like to know more about using proper table manners, repairing home appliances, producing a filmstrip, writing a news story, or telling directions by using the sun and stars? Would you like some innovative suggestions for home evening and other family activities?
The Activity Book (PEJM1036; $1.50 each) was originally prepared for use in Young Men and Young Women functions, but many of the ideas included in it can easily be adapted for use by families.
For example, the recreation section lists thirty-six activities and games, plus needed props and the rules for playing.
The section on learning to budget includes a list of typical monthly expenditures and suggests an activity that will help teach proper financial planning.
Other sections discuss how to be a missionary, plan and plant a garden, build family traditions, establish family rules, and improve family relations. In each section a gospel theme is reinforced through fun activities.
Although some of the sections call for the assistance or know-how of an expert or a specialist, most of the activity ideas can be adapted by families. Included in each of the 320 sections is a list of items needed and a “how to do it” section.
General Missionary Handbook
A new handbook explaining the missionary program of the Church is now available for all general, regional, mission, stake, and ward leaders responsible for missionary work. Ward mission leaders, Melchizedek Priesthood quorum presidencies, group leaders, and members of standing missionary committees should have received this manual and are especially encouraged to use it.
The handbook describes the basic principles and goals of missionary work and defines duties and division of responsibilities of general and local leaders within the program. It also gives guidelines for the operation of full-time missions.
An outline on page 20 suggests a process “by which members can (1) catch the spirit of missionary work, (2) build their confidence, and (3) become fully involved in friendshipping and fellowshipping.”
Also of special interest are sections describing basic elements of the missionary program (finding, teaching, friendshipping, baptizing, and fellowshipping), aids to missionary work (Church publications, visitors’ centers, new move-in activities, open houses, socials, investigator firesides, home evenings, etc.), and preparation of missionaries (family, priesthood, and auxiliary responsibilities, and the preparation of missionary couples).