Learning a New Way of Learning

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“Learning a New Way of Learning,” Liahona, March 2019

Come, Follow Me

Learning a New Way of Learning

As we move forward, consider these five principles that guide learning and teaching the gospel.

It has been two months since we began using Come, Follow Me for Primary, Sunday School, and the home. What are your first impressions? How have these new resources helped you and your family?

Think about your answers to these questions as you read the following principles that can help us successfully use these new resources. We will discuss how these five principles can apply to both learners and teachers.

Gospel study

Photographs by Tiffany Myloan Tong

Principle 1: The new curriculum is about elevating learning in the home.

For the learner:

There are 168 hours in a week, and only a few of those hours are spent at church. So while you may be learning a lot in your Church classes, you will also want to strive to learn and live the gospel throughout the week. Think of spiritual learning like exercise: you will see greater benefits if you exercise several times a week than if you exercise just one day a week. And to the extent that you study the scriptures at home, you will be filled with insights and spiritual understanding that will bless your life and the lives of others as you share what you are learning.

For the teacher:

It may not be enough simply to give a good lesson on Sunday. One of the goals of a teacher should be to encourage personal and family study of the scriptures. What experiences did class members have studying the scriptures this week? What insights can they share? You might find it helpful to view your role like that of a choir director teaching singing and bringing out all of the voices into one beautiful harmony. You can teach a lesson, direct the discussion, and bring all you know to the experience, but you won’t make inspiring music if class members don’t share their own insights and inspiration.

Principle 2: The Lord wants us to learn and grow in our doctrinal understanding.

For the learner:

When you study the scriptures, you can find gospel truths—doctrine—that help you know God better and find greater understanding to face your challenges. You may also find that some gospel truths are stated directly in the text while others are implied. Think of your search for truth like a search for buried treasure. You may need to dig a bit to uncover and discover truth, but in the end, you will have “the brightest prize to which mortals or Gods can aspire.”1

For the teacher:

Teachers are more than facilitators and moderators; they have an obligation to teach doctrine—to testify, guide, and inspire. As you prepare to teach by studying, pondering, and praying, you will be prepared to help those you teach better understand and act on an inspired doctrine. Have confidence in your role as a teacher in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With concerted effort, you can teach more like the Savior.

Church members in Vietnam

Principle 3: Personal revelation is central to gospel learning and teaching in the Church.

For the learner:

President Russell M. Nelson recently invited Church members to “increase [their] spiritual capacity to receive revelation.”2 As you study God’s word, you show Him that you want to receive revelation. Personal revelation often comes when you are studying revelation that the Lord has already given to His prophets. Paraphrasing the ninth article of faith: when you study all that God “has revealed,” you prepare yourself to receive all that “He does now reveal” and all that “He will yet reveal.”

As you receive revelation, develop the habit of recording your impressions and acting on them. Not only does this show the Lord that you value the things He is teaching you, but to be changed by what we learn, we must apply it.3

For the teacher:

Revelation about what to teach in class can come to you in many ways. It may come as you study the scriptures for yourself. Or it might also come as you review the Come, Follow Me resources for the home or for Church classes. When inspiration comes, record and act on the impressions you receive.

Even after you make plans for what you might do in class, do not be afraid to respond to inspiration during class to meet the needs of those you teach.

Principle 4: The new materials are resources, not the source.

For the learner:

The word of God is a source of spiritual knowledge and strength. Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families is meant as a resource to support your personal and family scripture study. Use it as a guide or aid as you study the New Testament. If you are a parent, you can use it to plan inspiring family home evening experiences and support your family in studying the scriptures together. Single adults could gather and use it for scripture study as a group. Use the resource in any way that helps you and your family draw on the power that comes from learning and acting on the word of God.

For the teacher:

Remember that members of your class are having powerful experiences as they study at home. Spend time in each class finding out what they are learning. The Come, Follow Me resources for Sunday School and Primary provide suggested activities to help you create engaging learning experiences for those you teach. But don’t feel bound by what is written on the pages. Modify or create activities that you feel will build on the faith, understanding, and testimonies of class members. If some learners do not feel the desire to share much, that is OK. Help them know that their faith is also expressed by being there and desiring to hear the word of God.

Principle 5: We can improve our efforts to minister to others.

For the learner:

Your efforts to minister to others can be blessed by what you learn in the scriptures. You may find something in your study that you can share with someone else. In the New Testament especially, you will find scriptural examples of how the Savior and others ministered in powerful ways. The Lord’s invitation to “come, follow me” (Luke 18:22) is about what you will do after you have studied—putting into practice the things you are learning and feeling. So as you study the life of Jesus Christ this year, look for what His life teaches you about how to minister to others and how your own ministry can bless the lives of those around you.

For the teacher:

A teacher is responsible for serving not just the people who come to class but also those who don’t attend. As a teacher, be aware of who is in class and who isn’t. You can minister to members outside of class by visiting them in their homes, calling them on the telephone, or sending them an electronic message, and encouraging them to participate in learning the gospel at home and at church. Your influence is greater than you know, and your love and concern for others will make all the difference.

As we stay focused on the guiding principles behind the new Come, Follow Me curriculum, we will be more successful in making it part of our lives and allowing it to change our lives in the ways God intended.