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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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 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?
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?
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 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 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?