“Introduction,” The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150 (2017)

“Introduction,” The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual


This course is designed to help students improve their lives temporally and spiritually by following inspired counsel. They will learn that knowledge of spiritual truths taught in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation can help them in their earthly challenges. As they apply gospel principles to their temporal lives, they will understand the need to train and qualify themselves for sufficient employment to meet the needs of their families. Improvement based upon gospel principles will help students fulfill their purpose in mortality and will increase their capacity to serve the Lord and His children.

Use the materials in this manual as you prepare to teach. Each chapter contains the following sections:

  • “Introduction,” providing an overview of the purpose of the chapter and its value for your students

  • “Principles to Understand,” listing basic principles to be taught

  • “Teaching Suggestions,” providing teaching ideas for each principle

  • “Suggested Student Assignments,” containing activities for students to complete outside the classroom that reflect the competency expectations for this course (what students should be able to do as a result of this course)

Select the teaching suggestions you wish to use in the classroom. Some teaching suggestions include statements by General Authorities that are not found in the student manual. These statements provide additional material for you to share in lesson presentations and are formatted so they can be easily recognized. Use or modify the teaching suggestions to fit your students’ needs as well as your teaching style. Incorporate other teaching ideas to support the theme or principle if needed. Provide opportunities during class for students to identify, explain, and testify about doctrines and principles in each lesson.

Throughout the course, students are invited to record their own thoughts or insights as well as answers to questions that are assigned in class. They will need a class notebook or study journal to record these items. Specific options for class notebooks or study journals are included in the introduction to the student manual.

A student manual is available for use with this teacher manual. Each chapter in the student manual corresponds with the same numbered chapter in the teacher manual and contains the following sections:

  • “Introduction”

  • “Principles to Understand,” listing each principle taught in the chapter

  • “Supporting Scriptures and Statements” for each principle, including statements by latter-day prophets and apostles and other Church leaders

  • “Application and Examples,” presenting hypothetical situations and accompanying questions

  • “Points to Ponder,” containing additional questions to help students understand and apply the principles

Preparing Your Lessons

Effective teaching requires that you decide what to teach and how to teach it (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion [2012], 52–57). As you study the lesson materials, identify the principles and doctrine you feel are important for students, being sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit. (This is what to teach.) Then choose a teaching idea or learning activity for each of those principles and doctrine. (This is how to teach.) As you prepare and present each lesson, consider the following questions and suggestions:

  • What will students do during the lesson? Use methods and activities that encourage student participation.

  • How can I help keep students interested? Change teaching methods often enough to help students stay interested.

  • What insights, solutions, or behaviors may result from this lesson? Help students apply the doctrine and principles of the gospel in their lives.

  • Follow the inspiration of the Spirit in what you say and do. Help students understand that they must ask for the Spirit and live so that they invite the Spirit to be with them as they participate in class.

  • Ask questions and raise issues that encourage class discussion and build faith (see D&C 38:23; 43:8; 88:77–80, 122; see also Gospel Teaching and Learning, 63–64). To encourage student responses, refrain from answering the questions you ask. Allow students time to think and develop insights for themselves. Listen carefully to students and respond to what they say.

  • Share your testimony and invite students to share their testimonies.

  • Have faith in God and the power of His word to inspire and bless students (see 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 31:5). Have confidence in students and in the Lord’s ability to help you be a successful teacher.

Adapting the Manual to Those with Disabilities

As you prepare to teach, consider the needs of students with disabilities and adjust learning activities and expectations to help them succeed. For example, some students with reading difficulties may benefit from having access to audio recordings of the scriptures (these can be downloaded from For students who have difficulty expressing themselves in writing, you may wish to invite them to give oral responses instead. For more ideas and resources, consult the Disability Resources page at