How to Teach from Life
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“How to Teach from Life,” New Era, June 2018

How to Teach from Life

You can strengthen gospel teaching by using personal experiences. Here are some examples from Blake, Sean, and Aidan.

Finish Together

Photographs by Richard M. Romney

They are cross-country runners now, but Blake, Sean, and Aidan will soon be missionaries. And they want to arrive in the mission field ready to teach. Thankfully, they have already learned a simple method that will enable them to be more effective as they share the message of the Restoration.

Finish Together, Finish Strong

Preach My Gospel says it this way: “Talk about how living a principle has blessed your life” ([2004], 199). Teaching in the Savior’s Way says, “As you prepare to teach, think of examples and stories from your own life … that can make gospel principles come alive” ([2016], 22).

Here’s how Blake, Sean, and Aidan used this method as they helped to teach priesthood lessons and joined in Sunday School discussions.

Ever Broken a Bone?

“Have any of you ever broken a bone?” Blake asked members of his priests quorum. He gave each person a chance to respond. Then he told the story about breaking his leg during the state high school cross-country championships and how his teammate Sean picked him up and carried him to the finish line.

“Just like Sean helped me to do something I couldn’t do for myself,” Blake explained, “the Savior has done something for each of us that we could not do for ourselves.”

Then he showed a video, “Mountains to Climb,” where President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency bears testimony of the Savior’s Atonement.

Build on the Rock

Sean and his Sunday School class read and discussed Helaman 5:12 from the Book of Mormon.

“It tells us that if we build our foundation on the Son of God, we will be able to get through trials,” Sean said.

He talked about Blake’s example of enduring pain and adversity through faith in Jesus Christ. “We have both dedicated ourselves to following the Savior,” Sean said. “We know that whatever we face, He will get us through.”

Talents and Covenants

After talking about winning the national championship, Aidan surprised his quorum when he said, “In the grand scheme of things, running doesn’t really matter that much.” That got their attention. “But,” he said, “Heavenly Father does care about the talents He has given each of us.”

Finish Together, Finish Strong

Together, they read Matthew 25:15–30, the parable of the talents. “The biggest thing to remember is that you have to work to develop the gifts the Lord has given you,” Aidan said. “It’s a little like a covenant-He puts something in for us, but we have to put something out as well.”

Liken Scriptures to Yourself

Whether you’re a cross-country runner or an everyday student busy with a host of other activities, you’re already having experiences that will enable you to liken the scriptures to yourself (see 2 Nephi 11:2, 8).

As you see how the gospel applies to your own life, you’ll be able to use your personal experiences to bring its doctrines and principles alive for others.