Teachings of Presidents

“Introduction,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter (2015), iv–viii

“Introduction,” Teachings: Howard W. Hunter, iv–viii


The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have established the Teachings of Presidents of the Church series to help you draw closer to your Heavenly Father and deepen your understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Church adds volumes to this series, you will build a collection of gospel reference books for your home. These books are designed to be used for personal study and for Sunday instruction. They can also help you prepare family home evening lessons, prepare other lessons or talks, and answer questions about Church doctrine.

This book features the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter, who served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from June 5, 1994, to March 3, 1995.

Howard W. Hunter

Personal Study

As you study the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter, prayerfully seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The questions at the end of each chapter will help you ponder, understand, and apply President Hunter’s teachings. The following ideas may also be helpful:

  • Write thoughts and feelings that come to you from the Holy Ghost as you study.

  • Underline passages you want to remember. Consider memorizing these passages or noting them in your scriptures next to related verses.

  • Read a chapter or passage more than once so you can understand it more deeply.

  • Ask yourself questions such as, How do President Hunter’s teachings increase my understanding of gospel principles? What does the Lord want me to learn from these teachings?

  • Ask yourself how the teachings in this book can help you with personal challenges and concerns.

  • Share what you learn with family members and friends.

Teaching from This Book

The following guidelines will help you teach from this book, whether at home or at church.

Prepare to Teach

Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost as you prepare to teach. Prayerfully study the chapter to become confident in your understanding of President Hunter’s teachings. You will teach with greater power when his words have influenced you personally (see D&C 11:21).

Most chapters contain more material than you will be able to discuss in one meeting. Prayerfully select the teachings that you feel will be most helpful.

Encourage those you teach to study the chapter in advance so they will be better prepared to participate in discussions and edify one another.

In preparing to engage those you teach, give special attention to the “Suggestions for Study and Teaching” section at the end of each chapter. In that section you will find questions, scriptures, and a study help or teaching help. The questions and scriptures correlate with the material in the chapter. The study and teaching helps apply more broadly in learning and teaching the gospel.

Introduce the Chapter

As you introduce the chapter, seek to establish an atmosphere in which the Spirit can touch the hearts and minds of participants. You may want to use one or more of the following ideas:

  • Read or review the section titled “From the Life of Howard W. Hunter” at the beginning of the chapter, and then discuss it.

  • Discuss a quotation, picture, or scripture from the chapter.

  • Sing a hymn together.

  • Briefly share a personal experience about the topic.

Encourage Discussion about President Hunter’s Teachings

As you teach from this book, invite others to share their thoughts, ask questions, testify, and teach one another. When they actively participate, they will be more prepared to learn and to receive personal revelation.

Allow good discussions to continue rather than trying to cover all the teachings. Guide the discussions so they focus on President Hunter’s teachings.

The questions at the end of each chapter are a valuable resource for encouraging discussion. You may also develop your own questions that are specifically for those you are teaching. Some other ideas for encouraging discussion are provided below:

  • Ask participants to share what they have learned from their personal study of the chapter. It may be helpful to contact a few of them in advance and ask them to come prepared to share what they have learned.

  • Assign selected questions at the end of the chapter to individuals or small groups. Ask participants to look for teachings in the chapter that relate to the questions. Then invite them to share their thoughts and insights.

  • Read together some of President Hunter’s teachings in the chapter. Ask participants to share examples from the scriptures and from their own experiences that relate to those teachings.

  • Ask participants to choose one section and read it silently. Invite them to gather in groups of two or three people who chose the same section and discuss what they learned.

Encourage Application and Sharing

President Hunter’s teachings will be most meaningful when individuals apply them in their lives and share them with others. You may want to use one or more of the following ideas:

  • Ask participants how they can apply President Hunter’s teachings in their responsibilities at home, in the Church, and in other settings. For example, you could invite them to ponder and discuss how they can apply his teachings as husbands, wives, parents, sons, daughters, home teachers, or visiting teachers.

  • Invite participants to share their experiences with applying what they have learned.

  • Encourage participants to share some of President Hunter’s teachings with family members and friends.

Conclude the Discussion

Briefly summarize the lesson or ask one or two others to do so. Testify of the teachings you have discussed. You may also want to invite others to share their testimonies.

Information about Source Materials

The teachings in this book are direct quotations from President Howard W. Hunter’s sermons and articles. Quotations from published sources have retained the punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and paragraphing of the original sources unless editorial or typographic changes have been necessary to improve readability. Because the quotations maintain fidelity to published sources, you may notice minor stylistic inconsistencies in the text. For example, pronouns referring to Deity are lowercased in some quotations and capitalized in others.

President Hunter often used the terms men, man, and mankind to refer to all people, both male and female. He also frequently used the pronouns he, his, and him to refer to both genders. These language conventions were common in his era, and he was typically referring to both women and men when he used them.