All Church members have the responsibility to teach the gospel by the Spirit through word and example, even if they do not have a formal assignment as a teacher in the Church. Each parent, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, Church leader, classroom teacher, ministering brother or sister, coworker, neighbor, or friend has opportunities to teach.
The Lord declared: “I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:77–78).
In giving this commandment to Church members, the Lord gives a sacred responsibility. This responsibility also provides countless opportunities for meaningful service. Few experiences compare to the joy of helping others learn and live the gospel.
In all efforts to teach the gospel, Jesus Christ is the example. He showed genuine love and concern for people. He strengthened them individually, teaching gospel principles in a way that would help them with their unique needs. He awakened in some the desire to understand and live the gospel. At times He asked questions that would help them apply what they learned. He taught the saving truths of the gospel, helping His hearers understand what they needed to know, do, and be in order to receive the gift of eternal life.
Effective gospel teaching nourishes and uplifts those who are willing to listen. It builds their faith and gives them confidence to meet life’s challenges. It encourages them to forsake sin and obey the commandments. It helps them come to Christ and abide in His love.
The most effective teaching occurs by the power of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead who manifests “the truth … of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5). The Lord said, “The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:14). Only through the influence of the Spirit can gospel teaching be edifying and inspiring.
If Church members prepare spiritually, they will have the privilege of feeling the Holy Ghost teach, testify, and inspire others through them. As the prophet 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).
Spiritual preparation includes praying often, studying the scriptures, living the gospel, and being humble.
Boyd K. Packer, “Teaching in the Church,” worldwide training broadcast, 2013
Ted Barnes, “Questioning Our Discussion Questions,” Ensign, January 2017
Joshua J. Perkey, “Getting the Most Out of Gospel Principles,” Ensign, January 2011
Glen M. Roylance, “Teaching the Gospel with Power,” Ensign, September 2005
“Teaching the Teachers,” Ensign, October 2002
“Instruments of the Lord,” Ensign, March 1997