Every Member a Teacher

    “Every Member a Teacher,” Ensign, Sept. 2000, 71

    Every Member a Teacher

    Speaking in general conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “Every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, or will be, a teacher. Each of us has a vital interest in the content and effectiveness of gospel teaching. We want everyone to have great gospel teachers, and we want those teachers to help all of us find our way back … to our Heavenly Father. …

    “… Our Savior’s occupation was that of a teacher. He was the Master Teacher, and He invites each of us to follow Him in that great service” (“Gospel Teaching,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 78).

    Elder Oaks identified six fundamental principles of effective gospel teaching that will help each of us in our quest to be better teachers. As gospel teachers we should (1) accept callings and teach because of our love for Heavenly Father, for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for each student; (2) concentrate entirely on the needs of those being taught; (3) teach from the prescribed course material, emphasizing the doctrine, principles, and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ; (4) prepare diligently and strive to present the lessons in the most effective ways; (5) teach as directed by the Spirit (see D&C 42:12–14); and (6) measure the success of the teaching by its impact on the lives of the students (see Ensign, Nov. 1999, 78–80).

    Effective gospel teaching involves more than simply presenting a lesson. It accomplishes what President Gordon B. Hinckley asks of teachers: “We must … get our teachers to speak out of their hearts … , to communicate their love for the Lord and this precious work, and somehow it will catch fire in the hearts of those they teach” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 619–20).

    Photo by Steve Bunderson