Extend, Exemplify, Teach


Extend, Exemplify, Teach

Part of our Relief Society focus is to extend ourselves to others, to exemplify gospel principles in our daily lives, and to teach others. We follow King Benjamin’s admonition: “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15.)

To Extend Ourselves

To extend means to broaden, expand, and spread. Women have many opportunities to expand their influence. A young Israelite maiden who was taken captive by the Syrians became a servant in the house of Naaman, a mighty man of valor who was captain of the Syrian army. Naaman was a leper. The young maiden knew of Naaman’s condition and told her mistress, Naaman’s wife, “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” (2 Kgs. 5:3.) Because of her testimony, Naaman visited the prophet Elisha and was healed.

The young maiden was under no obligation to help her captor. But because of her great faith in the prophet, her respect for Naaman and his wife, and the self-confidence she had, she did. She enlarged her influence beyond her duty as a servant so she could help someone in need.

How do we extend ourselves to bless others?

To Exemplify Gospel Principles

To exemplify is to be an example of what you believe.

Priscilla Sampson-Davis was given a Book of Mormon while she was visiting Holland in 1963, but the Church was not organized in her homeland of Ghana until 1979. For sixteen years, she met regularly with other converts in Africa, awaiting baptism.

One of the sisters whom she visit taught could not read. So, to give this sister the opportunity to drink deeply of gospel truths, Sister Sampson-Davis read the scriptures to her often and explained their meaning. She lived the counsel Paul gave to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12.)

How can we exemplify the principle of charity?

To Teach Others

To teach is to help another person learn how to be or to do something.

Naaman’s servant and Sister Sampson-Davis each took time to teach someone important lessons. They exemplify the counsel given us in Doctrine and Covenants 88:77–78: “And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you.” [D&C 88:77–78]

Grace attends us as we are diligent in teaching the gospel. Not only are our lives enriched as we do so, but our teaching enlightens the souls of those who learn the truth.

How has someone blessed your life by teaching you?

[illustration] Illustrated by Ron Peterson