Learning Experience 1: Living and Teaching in the Savior’s Way

New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook, 2016


This learning experience covers the following concepts:

  • Teaching, your great responsibility

  • Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher

  • Living and teaching as the Savior did

seminary class

Key Concepts

Welcome to Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (S&I). In seminary and institute programs throughout the world, thousands of teachers and leaders help the youth and young adults of the Church learn and apply the doctrine and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are grateful for your desire to serve the Lord in this important assignment.

The Great Responsibility of Teaching God’s Children

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following regarding the responsibility of teaching God’s children:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“We are so grateful to all who teach. We love you and appreciate you more than we can say. We have great confidence in you. To teach effectively and to feel you are succeeding is demanding work indeed. But it is worth it. We can receive ‘no greater call’ [Teaching—No Greater Call (resource materials for teacher improvement, 1978)]. …

“For each of us to ‘come unto Christ’ [D&C 20:59], to keep His commandments and follow His example back to the Father is surely the highest and holiest purpose of human existence. To help others do that as well—to teach, persuade, and prayerfully lead them to walk that path of redemption also—surely that must be the second most significant task in our lives. Perhaps that is why President David O. McKay once said, ‘No greater responsibility can rest upon any man [or woman] than to be a teacher of God’s children’ [David O. McKay, in Conference Report, Oct. 1916, 57]” (“A Teacher Come from God,” Ensign, May 1998, 25).

Christ teaching in synagogue

Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher

You will receive divine help as you seek to grow and develop as a teacher of God’s children and strive to pattern your life and teaching after that of the Savior.

video iconTake a moment to watch the video “The Master Teacher” (3:51), available on LDS.org. In this video, President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles describes certain aspects of teaching the gospel.

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share iconAs you watch the video, listen for essential reasons why you must live and teach as the Savior did. Record your insights and impressions in a study journal or another place where you can refer to them and share them with your inservice leader or group.

Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook Activity

handbook cover

Concerning the Savior as a role model for teachers, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

President Boyd K. Packer

“What better model could we find? What finer study could we undertake than to analyze our ideals and goals and methods and compare them with those of Jesus Christ?” (Teach Ye Diligently, rev. ed. [1991], 22).

The following activity will help deepen your understanding of how the Savior taught and influenced others and how He helped them to learn, to grow spiritually, and to become converted to His gospel.

Study the preface on pages v–vii in Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (2012). Highlight or underline action words that describe the different ways the Savior taught and ministered.

After you study these pages in Gospel Teaching and Learning, record your responses to the following questions in the margins of your handbook. (You are encouraged to write notes in your handbook margins throughout these lessons.)

  • What do you notice about the Savior’s way of living, teaching, and leading?

  • How did He help others to learn, to grow spiritually, and to become converted to His gospel?

Summary and Application

Principles to Remember

  • No greater responsibility can rest upon any person than to be a teacher of God’s children.

  • Christ is the Master Teacher. We should try to live and teach as He did.

  • We teach what we are, which means that our discipleship, our traits, our testimonies, and our commitment to the gospel can influence others as much as our words.

President Boyd K. Packer

“The gift to teach must be earned, and once it is earned, it must be nourished if it is to be kept” (Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, 345).

“Therefore, What?”

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is known to have asked, “Therefore, what?” at the end of meetings with the Quorum of the Twelve in order to inspire discussion on how the topic at hand could be applied to change people’s lives (see Jeffrey R. Holland, “Therefore, What?” [CES Conference on the New Testament, Aug. 8, 2000], si.lds.org). At the end of each learning experience, ask yourself “Therefore, what?” and think about how you might personally apply the topics and principles discussed.

To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.