Teaching any gospel doctrine can be challenging, but teaching the Atonement—the most important doctrine of all—can seem so overwhelming that we don’t even know where to begin. Here are five principles that can give us a starting point.
1. Know and empathize with the concerns of those you teach
Has the person you are teaching lost a loved one? It would be important to focus on the resurrection. Is the person struggling with guilt? Teach about forgiveness. Has the person been faced with disappointment or sickness? Talk about the consolation available through the Atonement. Has the person been trying to overcome a bad habit? Testify of the divine help that can be accessed because of the Atonement. You may not have had the exact same struggles as those you are helping, but you can still find a way to empathize with what they are feeling.
For example, I have never been tempted by tobacco and do not understand why people smoke and why they have such a hard time quitting. I could easily come across sounding judgmental and annoyed except that I have struggled my whole life with overeating. As I think about how difficult it has been for me to avoid unhealthy foods it gives me a glimpse into the smoker’s challenges. This empathy opens the door for understanding and love—all of which are essential in good teaching.
The best way to come to know learners’ needs is to ask questions before providing answers. Instead of saying, “I know you’ll see your grandfather again.” First say, “What are you going to miss most about your Grandpa?” Instead of starting out by saying, “Jesus understands what you feel.” Try asking, “What has been the hardest part of your current challenge?” Instead of saying, “Smoking is so unhealthy,” ask “How is smoking holding you back from other goals?”
Church leaders encouraged Latter-day Saints to use technology and social media to hasten the work of salvation. Find out what you can do to follow this counsel with the tips below!
At the BYU Campus Education Week in August of last year, Elder David A. Bednar told Latter-day Saints that their efforts to communicate gospel messages through social media channels was a good beginning, but only a small trickle. “I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood,” he said. “I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.”
In August, the Church’s Handbook 2 was updated to include the following: “Members are encouraged to use the Internet to flood the earth with testimonies of the Savior and His restored gospel. They should view blogs, social networks, and other Internet technologies as tools that allow them to amplify their voice in promoting the messages of peace, hope, and joy that accompany faith in Christ” (Chapter 21.1.22).
Whether your parents are divorced or going through a divorce, this article is for you. Here are a few things you should understand and remember.
I remember the night I first learned my parents were getting divorced as if it were yesterday. It was my final winter semester at BYU, and I was in the process of figuring out where I would end up for graduate school the next fall. The news about my parents was as devastating as it was surprising. In more ways than I can now describe, it was the night the whole world felt like it came crashing down on me. Of course, I had friends both inside and outside the Church whose parents were divorced; I just hadn’t ever imagined it could happen to my family.
During the nearly 12 years since my parents’ divorce was finalized, I have reflected a lot on the painful realities of divorce—especially for LDS families. The phrase, “I thought families were supposed to be forever” frequently ran through my mind during the months leading up to and following my parents’ divorce.
Throughout this experience, I have felt the truth of what modern prophets have repeatedly taught us: our most difficult trials can become our most powerful teachers—if we let them. Here are six truths I learned after my parents’ divorce that I hope every Latter-day Saint with divorced parents understands:
1. With the Savior in Your Life, Hope Is Never Lost
Many parents find that they have to confront teaching their children about physical intimacy much earlier than expected. Here are five principles children should understand about physical intimacy that will help them develop a desire for a chaste life.
1. The body is a temple.
As the Lord describes the body he declares, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you” (1 Corinthians 6:19). God created our bodies, our entire bodies. This means from our heads to our feet and every part in between. When the private, sacred parts of the body are referred to with slang terms, nicknames, or in disgusted tones, a part of the body God created is being mocked.
I’ve had a few parents confide in me that they feel the actual names of the sacred parts of the body feel dirty. However, we've been counseled to use the appropriate names Heavenly Father has given these body parts: "Talking to children frankly but reverently and using the correct names for the parts and functions of their bodies will help them grow up without unnecessary embarrassment about their bodies" (Gospel Principles, 2009, 225). This creates an appropriate attitude for our body parts, rather than invoking feelings of shame or filth.
Speaking with reverence and using proper terminology will give children an understanding that their private body parts are not dirty, but divine. When something feels divine, we treat it with reverence and respect. Your child’s body is a temple. Anytime we are speaking with our children about their bodies, we are standing on holy ground. The feelings, words, tone, and spirit should reflect the ground upon which we stand.
The Mormon Channel embraces all forms of digital and social media, providing people all over the world with new ways to connect, communicate, and share Heavenly Father’s message of love and light.
The Mormon Channel: Sharing God’s Love Worldwide
Commissioned by the First Presidency in 2009, the Mormon Channel—the Church’s official media channel—is crossing boundaries of faith and language to give inspiration, offer hope, and show that through the love of God, we can always find joy.
From the first LDS Church radio broadcast in 1922 to the first televised general conference in 1949, the Church has stayed on the cutting edge of technology development, always looking to the future for innovative ways to share the gospel.
With the start of the Mormon Channel in 2009, the Church launched its newest chapter in broadcasting—digital broadcasting. The Mormon Channel embraces all forms of digital and social media, providing people all over the world with new ways to connect and share Heavenly Father’s message of love and light.
Enlarging the Reach of the Gospel
During October general conference in 1924, President Heber J. Grant told the nearly 600,000 members of the Church that, with the development of new technology, “it is estimated that in the neighborhood of a million people will be able to hear all that is said. . . . To have the voice carried for thousands of miles seems almost beyond comprehension.”