“We Teach by the Power of the Holy Ghost,” Ensign, July 2014, 10–11
We believe that teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost is essential to God’s work of salvation. Effective teaching helps people grow in their faith and desire to live the gospel. Teaching can occur in many settings, such as giving lessons and talks at church; but we also teach when we discuss a scripture with a family member or when we explain to a neighbor what the priesthood is.
Consider these four principles for effective teaching:
Love those you teach. Get to know them. Prayerfully consider their needs as you prepare to teach. Try to use a variety of teaching methods: different ones can reach different people (see some ideas at right).
Teach by the Spirit. Nephi taught, “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1). As you teach, you can invite the Spirit’s influence by bearing testimony and by using the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Ghost as you prepare to teach. He can inspire you to know how best to teach.
Teach the doctrine. Approved curriculum materials from the Church, such as scriptures, general conference talks, and manuals, contain doctrine—eternal truths from God.
Invite diligent learning. As you teach, remember that those who listen are responsible for their own learning. Encourage them to ask questions, share their thoughts on the topic, and ponder how they can live the principles of the gospel. Their testimony of those principles will grow as they live them (see John 7:17).
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) spoke of the importance of good teaching: “Eternal life will come only as men and women are taught with such effectiveness that they change and discipline their lives. They cannot be coerced into righteousness or into heaven. They must be led, and that means teaching” (quoted in Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Teacher Come from God,” Ensign, May 1998, 26).
These are some teaching methods that can help you reach people with various types of learning styles:
Relate uplifting stories and examples, including stories from the scriptures and your own life.
Display pictures and physical objects. Principles of the gospel can be compared to seeds, rocks, plants, and other familiar things.
Play or sing sacred music. Hymns and Primary songs can teach doctrine and invite the Spirit of the Lord.
Ask questions that encourage those you teach to ponder and to share their thoughts and feelings.
Bear testimony of the principles of the gospel you are teaching. Testimony invites the Holy Ghost to bear witness of the truth.