Teaching Moment: We Are All Teachers and Learners

Contributed By Larry Nielsen, Church News contributor

  • 1 August 2016

Primary children participate in a Sunday lesson.

“Amid the hum and commotion of all the children coming into the room, combined with the Primary leaders trying to achieve some quiet reverence, one of our 4-year-olds whispered in my ear the following sentence, ‘We are all teachers and we are all learners.’” —Larry Nielsen, Pineae Gardens Ward

The second Sunday of March 2016 found us in our Church building attending our meetings of the day. After sacrament meeting, my wife and I picked up our lesson materials and walked to the Primary sharing time room.

Our Primary has two CTR classes of 4- and 5-year-olds. As our six Primary CTR class members came into the sharing time room, I had the same feelings since our call to teach was extended to us more than a year earlier. I had a sense of hope that my wife and I could effectively teach, help, and instruct 4-year-old children in a classroom setting. One of our young class members sat next to me as she and some of the other children were taking their seats.

Amid the hum and commotion of all the children coming into the room, combined with the Primary leaders trying to achieve some quiet reverence, one of our 4-year-olds whispered in my ear the following sentence, “We are all teachers and we are all learners.”

I responded that she was right, we are all teachers and learners. It was very impactful to hear those words from a 4-year-old in a setting like that. A week and a half passed. I was at home reading the March 2016 Ensign magazine. In the first sentence of President Thomas S. Monson’s message the words almost jumped off the page: “We are all teachers and we are all learners.” Our little class member had been instructed by diligent and loving parents who adapted a prophet’s message to the ears and minds of their young children. Two wonderful parents being valiant servants in the dutiful and solemn right of guiding their children in the paths of righteousness. Thanks be to all who take seriously the same charge.

In the same article President Monson wrote: “In the Church, the goal of gospel teaching is not to pour information into the minds of God’s children, whether at home, in the classroom, or in the mission field. It is not to show how much the parent, teacher, or missionary knows. … The basic goal of teaching is to help the sons and daughters of Heavenly Father return to His presence and enjoy eternal life with Him.” He continued by saying that the aim of teaching “is to inspire individuals to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles” (“Learn of Me,” Ensign, Mar. 2016).

—Larry Nielsen, Pineae Gardens Ward, Centerville Utah Stake