3 CES and the Mission of the Church

Teaching The Gospel A CES Resource for Teaching Improvement, (2000), 14


Principles to Emphasize

Help Heavenly Father Accomplish His Work

“Teaching the gospel is one of the most important ways of helping [Heavenly Father] accomplish his work” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders [1994], 3).

Help the Church Accomplish Its Mission

“The Church Educational System’s purpose is to help the Church accomplish its mission by providing religious education. All who are asked to teach and lead in CES become part of this great mission” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 3).

Suggested Training Activities: Help Heavenly Father Accomplish His Work (15 minutes)

Handbook

Invite teachers to read the section entitled “CES and the Mission of the Church” (handbook, 3–4). Ask teachers:

  1. What is the role of teaching in accomplishing Heavenly Father’s work? (see handbook, 3).

  2. How did the Savior exemplify the importance of teaching in accomplishing Heavenly Father’s work?

  3. When has your life been influenced by someone teaching you the gospel?

Video

Distribute handout 3 in preparation for the video. Show presentation 3, “The Role of Teaching in God’s Work” (0:52). This presentation shows an excerpt of an April 1998 conference address by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. A portion of the excerpt is provided on the handout. As teachers view the presentation, have them listen for what Elder Holland identifies as the two most significant purposes or tasks of our lives. Following the video, ask teachers:

  1. What did Elder Holland identify as the two most significant purposes or tasks of our lives?

  2. Why do you think teaching is one of the most important ways we can help Heavenly Father accomplish His work?

Read 1 Corinthians 1:17–21 together and invite teachers to look for the significance of teachers in the Church. Ask: What do you think Paul meant when he used the word foolishness to describe what teachers do?

Quotation

Read together the following comments by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about 1 Corinthians 1:17–21. The statement is also provided on handout 3.

The Foolishness of Teaching“Now let me point to the source of my text and my title, ‘The Foolishness of Teaching.’ It is a paraphrase of Paul’s words. ‘For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel’ (1 Corinthians 1:17). And I will use preach and teach, for our purposes, as synonyms. Preaching is teaching and teaching, in many respects, is a perfected form of preaching. . . .

“‘For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.’ (1 Corinthians 1:21.)

“Now I turn it to the teaching aspect:

“‘It pleased God by the foolishness of [teaching] to save them that believe.’” (The Foolishness of Teaching [address to religious educators, 18 Sept. 1981], 2–3).

Suggested Training Activities: Help the Church Accomplish Its Mission(25 minutes)

Handbook

Invite teachers to review the second paragraph under “CES and the Mission of the Church” (handbook, 3). Then ask:

  1. What is the mission of the Church? (see handbook, 3).

  2. What are the three aspects of the Church’s mission? (see handbook, 3).

  3. In what ways do you think students are invited to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” as they participate in religious education? (Moroni 10:32).

Discussion

Invite teachers to review the material under “CES and the Mission of the Church” (handbook, 3–4). Write the following list on the board, and ask teachers to define the four elements listed. Write teachers’ descriptions on the board, beginning with the bottomelement, “Your Commission,” and moving to the top element, “Heavenly Father’s Work.”

Heavenly Father’s Work The Church’s Mission The Objective of CES Your Commission

Ask teachers:

  1. How does a CES teacher’s commission relate to the CES objective?

  2. How does the CES objective relate to the mission of the Church?

  3. How does the mission of the Church relate to Heavenly Father’s work?

  4. How are Heavenly Father’s work, the mission of the Church, and the CES objective influenced by a teacher’s acceptance and fulfillment of his or her commission?

Video

Show presentation 4, “A Brief History of CES” (10:33). As teachers view the presentation, have them look for how CES helps the Church accomplish its mission by providing religious education. Following the video, ask teachers: In what ways are you and your CES colleagues vital in accomplishing the great mission of the Church?

Quotation

Read and discuss the following statement from handout 3 by Elder Boyd K. Packer, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

A Godsend for the Salvation of Modern Israel“In the history of the Church there is no better illustration of the prophetic preparation of this people than the beginnings of the seminary and institute program. These programs were started when they were nice but were not critically needed. They were granted a season to flourish and to grow into a bulwark for the Church. They now become a godsend for the salvation of modern Israel in a most challenging hour. We are now encircled. Our youth are in desperate jeopardy. These are the last days, foreseen by prophets in ancient times” (Teach the Scriptures [address to religious educators, 14 Oct. 1977], 4; italics added; or Charge to Religious Educators, 3rd ed. [1994], 88).

Ask teachers: In what ways is teaching the gospel in seminary and institute an answer for youth “in desperate jeopardy”?