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“Introduction,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual (2017)

“Introduction,” The Pearl of Great Price Teacher Manual


This teacher manual should help institute teachers shepherd students through a sequential study of the Pearl of Great Price.

The scriptures are presented in blocks for ease of study. The bullets at the beginning of each scripture block point out gospel principles, doctrines, and events that teachers should be aware of as they prepare and teach each block of scripture.

Each scripture block contains suggestions about how teachers might help students discover gospel principles and doctrines. Teachers should employ these and their own teaching methods according to their circumstances and in harmony with the spirit and philosophy of education explained in Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (2012).

The Pearl of Great Price course for institutes of religion may be taught in one semester or one quarter, with the teacher adapting the presentation of the lessons according to the number and length of class sessions (see the pacing guide following this introduction).

Each teacher needs this manual, and teachers should also periodically review Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook. In addition, the teacher and each student needs a set of scriptures and The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (2017).

Teaching the Gospel

The first primary teaching aim of education in the Church is to “teach students the doctrines and principles of the gospel as found in the scriptures and the words of the prophets” (Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, x). This teacher manual helps teachers achieve this objective, providing material for effectively teaching the Pearl of Great Price.

The scriptures contain the word of God and have been preserved and brought forth by His power. Teaching the scriptures is a sacred service, and is one of the best ways to “invite all to come unto Christ” (D&C 20:59).

Effective Teaching

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, acting under the direction of Jesus Christ. His role includes teaching, testifying, empowering, guiding, enlightening, comforting, and sanctifying (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 11). When a person teaches by the power of the Holy Ghost and students also have the Holy Ghost, the Lord said that they “understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22).

A teacher must prepare spiritually (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 47–49). To have the Spirit as you teach, you should:

  1. Live the gospel (see John 14:15–17).

  2. Pray (see 2 Nephi 32:9; D&C 42:14).

  3. Study the scriptures (see D&C 11:21).

  4. Be humble (see Mosiah 4:10–11).

  5. Have faith in Jesus Christ (see Moroni 7:33).

  6. Love the students you teach (see John 15:12).

How to Prepare a Lesson

Effective teaching requires that you decide what to teach and how to teach it (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 52–57). As you study the scriptures, identify the principles, doctrines, and events you feel will interest students and those the Spirit prompts you to teach (this is what to teach). Then choose a teaching method or learning activity for each principle, doctrine, or event you have chosen (this is how to teach). As you prepare and present each lesson, consider the following suggestions:

What to Teach

  1. Study the scripture block (the verses or chapters you will be teaching) until you feel you understand the context (the background) and the content (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 52).

  2. Identify and seek to thoroughly understand the principles and doctrines in the scripture block. Use the section “Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events” at the beginning of each scripture block to help you. When the lesson material doesn‘t already provide concise and clear statements about the principles and doctrines you‘ve identified, write them out yourself to help you better understand and teach what you‘ve found (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 53).

  3. Choose ideas that you want to include in your lesson. These ideas can come from several sources, including:

    1. Principles, doctrines, and events you discover as you study the scripture block.

    2. Principles, doctrines, and events listed at the beginning of each lesson in this teacher manual.

    3. Pearl of Great Price Student Manual.

Be selective because you will not have enough class time to teach everything that is available. Seek the guidance of the Spirit in determining which ideas will best help students to understand the gospel truths that will help them come unto Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 53–54).

How to Teach

  1. Next, decide how to teach each idea you have chosen (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 55–57, 58–75). Teaching ideas may come from several sources, including the following:

    1. Teaching methods you think of as you study the scripture block.

    2. Suggestions for teaching in this teacher manual.

    3. Suggestions for teaching in Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook (see 58–75).

    4. Personal experiences that you or others have had that illustrate gospel principles you are teaching.

  2. Decide how much time you will spend teaching each part of your lesson by prioritizing your material so you teach that which is most important for students to receive. Avoid taking too much time on activities or instructions in less important areas and thereby sacrificing instruction time on what matters most.

  3. Remember the following as you teach:

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

    2. Listen carefully to students and respond to what they say (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 64).

    3. Ask questions and raise issues that encourage class discussion and build faith (see D&C 38:23; 43:8; 88:77–78, 122; see also Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook, 63–64).

    4. Bear your testimony and invite students to bear their testimonies.

    5. Have faith in God and the power of His word to inspire students and bless their lives (see 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 31:5). Have confidence in the students you teach 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 and the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion policy manual section titled “Adapted Classes and Programs for Students with Disabilities.”