Lesson Helps

FHE: Teaching


Since every member is a teacher... we all have a sacred responsibility to learn some basic principles of teaching. (William D. Oswald, "Gospel Teaching—Our Most Important Calling," Ensign, Nov 2008, 95-98.)

Song: "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" Children's Songbook, p. 177.

For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true (Alma 29:8).

Object Lesson:

Materials needed: A hand puppet

Procedure: Show your family the puppet. Explain that no matter how cute or decorative this puppet is, no lesson can be taught with it sitting idly on the shelf. Place the puppet on your hand to illustrate how it comes to life and can capture an audience's attention. Explain that we will find similarities in our teaching experiences. We can put hours into making our lessons decorative and attractive but we may still find the lesson does not really touch the lives of our class members. The key to bringing our lessons to life and captivating our listeners is the presence of the Spirit. We as teachers should diligently seek to teach by the Spirit. The Spirit enables us to teach lessons which can change the lives of those we teach. (Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Sharing Time, Family Time, Anytime, [Salt Lake City: Book, 1992], p. 98-9.)

Brainstorm ways each member of your family can be a teacher.

Story: Marvel Young

My mother, Verna Fowler Murphy, was one such noble teacher. From her earliest years, she had a burning testimony of the gospel and was able, even as a teenager, to express it well. She was especially good at teaching little children about the Savior and his gospel in a way that impressed them deeply. She loved to teach Sunday School and Primary children, never realizing that her teaching would help her own unborn daughter in the years to come. One of the little children in her Sunday School class in Ogden, Utah, was Johnny Emmett. He was so thrilled with her stories of the Savior that he would go home crying to his mother, saying how wonderful the gospel was and how much he loved the Savior. At Christmastime, she told them the story "The Other Wise Man," by Henry Van Dyke. The next day, Johnny's mother called my mother and told her how impressed he had been with the story, and how he cried as he told her that he wanted to be like the Other Wise Man and to help others in every possible way when he grew up. Years later, I was laboring in the Eastern States Mission, in Binghamton, New York. One day, as my companion and I were tracting and receiving many rejections, we became very dejected. When we were about to give up for the day, I was impressed that we should knock on just one more door. We did so, and when a lady appeared at the door, I told her that we represented The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly called the Mormon Church. She immediately threw open her door and invited us in so quickly that my companion and I looked at each other in amazement.After we were seated, she explained that if we had come to her door a year before, she would never have allowed us to enter, because she had been a devout Catholic and had not wanted to listen to missionaries from any other church. However, a sad experience in the last six months had changed her thinking, especially concerning the Mormons. She said that her husband had just passed away at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He had been attended by a Mormon doctor at the clinic, who had done everything in his power to help her husband to live. He had also gone the extra mile to help her to have faith in the Lord, in spite of their many problems. She said, "That doctor was an active member of your church; he taught classes every week in the church there, besides being so busy helping everyone medically. He truly lived as the Savior would want us all to live. I feel that any church that could teach a man to be as wonderful as that doctor was must surely be wonderful, too. I am now ready to listen to anything you have to teach me." My companion and I were thrilled, and before we began to teach her the gospel, we asked the name of the doctor who had inspired her so greatly. She said, "His name was Dr. John L. Emmett, of Ogden, Utah. "Truly, the effects of my Mother's gospel teaching in Sunday School had affected at least one little child so deeply that he radiated the spirit of the gospel by the way he lived. He impressed all whom he knew with his fine example. Without knowing it, he had also helped two lady missionaries find a "golden contact," transforming a discouraging day into a thrilling one. Surely we were led by the Spirit to that special door on that very special day! (Leon R. Hartshorn, Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, vol. 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975]).

Activity: Have each member of the family choose a picture from a Church magazine or the Gospel Art Kit and give a one-minute "lesson" about their picture. If they have trouble beginning have them say, "I chose this picture of [this] because [reason]" or "This picture is about [this]" (adapted from Virginia H. Pearce, Creating Terrific Talks, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 15).

Click here to download the pdf version.

Lead image from Shutterstock
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