Love Those You Teach

IssuesI had a wonderful experience last night attending a regional training meeting for Young Women Presidencies broadcast in fourteen different locations along the Wasatch Front.  What a blessing it was to be in attendance and be taught by such exemplary women of the Church.  One of my favorite things taught comes from Moroni, chapter 7 verse 48:

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren [and sisters], pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ…”

For some, loving each class member comes easily.  For others, it takes time, patience and prayer.  In either case, the love we develop for those we have stewardship over does not happen on our own.  It is a love that is bestowed upon us from Heavenly Father.  This love helps us accomplish the service He has asked us to perform.  We must not only love our students, but we should teach with love.

“A gospel teacher should always teach with love for the students. … Love of God and love of His children is the highest reason for service.  Those who teach out of love will be magnified as instruments in the hands of Him whom they serve.” – Dallin H. Oaks

How can loving those you teach make a difference in their lives?  Deiter F. Uchtdorf has taught, If you want to influence learners for good, you should not only love to teach; you should love each person you teach.  As you show your love for those you teach, they become more open to learning from you and more aware of their eternal worth.  Seek to understand those you teach. As you do, you will be better able to teach lessons that meet individual needs. Reach out to each individual in your class, remembering that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10).

How might you accomplish this?

  • Learn class members’ names and call them by name.
  • Pray for each member of your class.
  • Do all you can to know class members’ interests, needs and struggles.
  • Listen attentively to class members as they share and express sincere appreciation for their participation.

In preparation for a Mia Maid lesson on the Commandments, I had a recurring thought – How can these young women live the Commandments and stand for the right if they do not have confidence in themselves first?  Oftentimes young women who struggle making correct choices lack feelings of self-worth.  They must learn that the more practice they have in hearing the Holy Ghost, the more confident they will become in following promptings received.

“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly: then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood (D&C 121:45).”

We can help their “confidence wax strong” by helping them discover the true meaning of the doctrine each week.  If we only identify the WHAT they may not understand HOW or WHY it’s even important to apply to their life.  This is when it is crucial you know the members of your class.  Each girl is fighting her own battle.  You will be prompted by the Spirit to discuss things that are pertinent to individual needs and struggles.  For example, in my preparations I was led to six different issues I believe the young women face today, I am sure there are more, but these seemed to be on the minds of the girls in my class.  Loneliness (D&C 84:88, Isaiah 49:16); Choosing Good Friends (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10); Standing in Holy Places (D&C 87:8); Modesty (Nephi 3:7); Moral Cleanliness (Nephi 41:10, D&C 46:33); Confidence (D&C 121:45); and Feeling the Spirit (D&C 42:14).

I searched LDS.org to find quotes, stories and scriptures to help us learn together.  The Church has also recently published a Mormon Message that addresses many of these same things – watch VIDEO.  I know as the young women share selected quotes and personal experiences all will be uplifted and edified.  Be flexible, this may take more than one Sunday class to accomplish the desired outcome.   Great power will come from hearing their peers testify.  Oftentimes the young women will share things in such a way we simply cannot.  Sharing helps reinforce what they already know and understand.  Their testimonies and confidence will grow in the living the commandments.  Beginning with genuine love and prayerful lesson preparation, we can help each young woman recognize her contributions to class are essential.

Activity Suggestion:  Download and print off cards.  Pass out to the young women and leaders in your class.  Give them a few minutes to read over their card and answer the question(s) at the bottom.  Before class begins, consider asking one young woman (I asked the class president) to share first.  It only takes one to share and then others will feel more comfortable doing so.  Ask each class member to discuss something that impressed them, including a sentence or quote, and answer at least one question for the class.  I had studied much on these issues a week or two before we met and shared bits and pieces throughout class time.  The Holy Ghost help me recall things I studied without the use of an outline.  My eyes were focused on each of the girls faces.  I heard the phrase “Spirit Driven” in relation to teaching last night.  Apply this every time you teach by letting the spirit be the driving force of what you say and when you say it, instead of relying solely on your notes or outline.  I’d love to hear about your experiences with this!  Feel free to leave your comments on the blog where we can learn from each other.

Printing Tip:  The .pdf file is available by clicking on the title or .jpeg by clicking the image (faster download, but not as sharp).  I have created the majority of my handouts in 4 x 6 size.  This allows you to download them, convert them to .jpeg and send them to photo printing website, such as Costco, to print as a photo for very little cost.

Friends

Friends

Friends

Friends2

Heavenly Father’ s Love

HeavenlyFathersLove

Help From the Holy Ghost

HelpFromHG

Loneliness

Loneliness

Low Self-Esteem

LowSelfEsteem

Modesty

Modest

Promptings and Practice

PromptingsandPractice

Standing in Holy Places
Standing

Service

Service2

Self Confidence

Self-Confidence

Sexual Purity

SexualPurity

Guard My Virtue

Guard

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Meaningful Discussions

DiscussionOne of the most common questions I hear concerning the new curriculum is, “How can I get the youth talking and engaged in a meaningful discussion?”

As teachers, we must learn to become better discussion facilitators instead of long-winded lecturers.  Here is something powerful I read recently that can be applied to gospel teaching:

Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you.  Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.”

In order to accomplish this we must do two things:  First, invite the youth to ask any questions they have pertaining to the doctrine.  Do this at the beginning of the learning experience so they can listen for answers in class.  If you don’t have the answer, help them find it in the scriptures or through reading the words of the prophets.  If the searching is unsuccessful, commit to getting back to them after church, or you can discuss it further at your weekly activity.  Secondly, ask the youth questions that encourage them to think deeply about the gospel.  After you ask a question, wait patiently for their answers.  This is so important.  Rarely will you have a young woman throw her hand in the air eager share as you finish stating the question.  The Holy Ghost speaks to our minds and hearts when it is quiet.  Don’t be uncomfortable sitting in silence.  The reverent atmosphere is powerful and sacred.  The more patient you are, the more meaningful the response.  Get into the habit of asking, “Does anyone else feel this way? or “Has anyone else had a similar experience?” when someone finishes sharing.  These simple questions could be the most significant you ask.  We are taught by the Holy Ghost when we hear others applications of the gospel and testimony.  Impressions come into mind that maybe hadn’t before.  Don’t take this opportunity away from anyone.  When their responses come listen intently and encourage others to do the same.  Think about it, we have only one mouth to speak, but have been given two ears to hear.  Listening must be twice as important!  Keep eye-contact and place your focus on the individual sharing, it takes great courage to share for some.  Greater emphasis needs to placed on what you are hearing, not the reply you will be giving.    Continue trusting in the Lord that he will keep his promise and “fill your mouth” with the right thing to say.  In September I posted questions to consider using for the remainder of the year.  I have felt impressed to share them again.  Consider using them in the coming weeks, or let them serve as a guide in creating some of your own.

Young Women: Becoming More Christlike

How can I become more Christlike?

What are some of the attributes of Jesus Christ?

Which of these attributes do you most need to develop? Whom have you seen or known in your life who exemplifies these attributes?

Which Christlike attributes do you seen in the members of your class?

How can you encourage each other to follow the Savior’s example and become like Him?

What stories from the scriptures show how the Savior treated others and how you should treat them?

What are you doing or what can you change in your life to become more like the Savior?

How can I develop Christlike love?

When have others shown you Christlike love?

What effect has this had on you? When have you felt Christlike love?

How do you develop Christlike love for others?

Why is it important that you learn how to love others as Christ did?

How can you reach out to others when you feel lonely or feel like giving up?

How can you learn to be more thoughtful about others and their feelings and needs?  How will this make a difference in your life?

How can I be more Christlike in my service to others?

What have you learned from the scriptures about how Christ served others?

When have you been blessed through the Christlike service of others?

How have you followed the Savior’s example of service?

What opportunities do you have for service?

When have seen members in your class serving others? What experiences can you share?

How might your families be affected as you seek to serve them more?

How has your service to others made a difference in their lives?

What are some ways you can serve in the Church besides having a calling?

What blessings have you received through the service of Church leaders and teachers?

How can I learn to be more patient?

What experiences have taught you about patience (including both major trials and less dramatic experiences)?

What has helped you to be patient during challenging times?

What influences do you face in today’s society that may lead you to become impatient?

How might you learn patience and trust in the Lord’s timing and promises?

What blessings will come to if you are patient?

Why is it important to be grateful?

What are some things you are most grateful for?

How has being grateful increased your happiness?

What can you do to develop an attitude of thankfulness?

How could having a grateful attitude be a blessing to you now and in the future?

Sunday School:  Becoming More Christlike

How can I invite others to become more like the Savior?

What role have others played in your life in becoming more Christlike?

What opportunities do you have in inviting others to make positive changes in their lives?

To become like the Savior you must know him.  How have you grown closer to the Savior?  How might you help others do the same?

What stories in the scriptures show how the Savior treated others and how you should treat them?

What are you doing, or what can you change in your life to become more like the Savior and invite others to do the same?

How can I show love for those I teach?

How have you been influenced by a teacher who showed love to you?

How have you developed love for those you teach?

In what Church settings might you be invited to teach? What other teaching moments will you have in your lives?

How can learning to love those you teach help you become better teachers?

How did the Savior compare gospel truths to familiar objects and experiences?

Which of the parables of Jesus are most memorable to you, and why?

What objects surround you in your daily life remind you of gospel truths?

How can I use the scriptures to help others become more Christlike?

What scriptures have you used recently to teach a gospel principle?

How has your study of the scriptures helped you become a better teacher?

How do you use the scriptures when you teach?  Why is it important to do so?

What scripture stories or passages are relevant to you in your day?

How can you use what you read in the scriptures to help you make righteous choices in your daily life?

How can I use questions effectively as I teach?

How have you seen effective teachers use questions to help others ponder and apply the gospel?

How do you use questions when you teach?

What do you know about asking questions that will help you become better teachers?

What can I learn about gospel learning from the Savior’s example?

What Christlike attributes do you feel are important to gospel learning?

How has developing these attributes helped you in your efforts to study and teach the gospel?

Conference Quote Cards

OCTOBER 2013 GENERAL CONFERENCEFULLPIC

It’s time to review what we learned this weekend from L.D.S. General Conference!  Gather your family, or in an upcoming Church class, discuss what was learned and felt while listening General Conference.  Print off Conference Quote Cards from all sessions.  Invite each person to select one or two cards including selected quotes that were meaningful to them. Encourage participation through reading quotes, asking questions and expressing feelings and testimony.  Consider writing other key points or applications in the space provided on card.  Download Conference Quote Cards (4×6): Holland, Valenzuela, Uchtdorf, Stephens, Soares, Packer, Nielson, Monson (Welcome), Hales, Dyches, Dube, Christofferson, Bednar, Ballard, Scott, Oscarson, Oaks, Monson, Maynes, Eyring, Anderson, Cook, Hamilton, McConkie, Nelson, Ochoa and Vinson.