Introduction to the Teacher Manual

The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, (2004), v–vi


This course is designed to help students improve their lives temporally and spiritually by following inspired counsel. They will learn that knowledge of spiritual truths taught in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation can help them in their earthly challenges. As they apply gospel principles to their temporal lives, they will understand the need to train and qualify themselves for sufficient employment to meet the needs of their families. Improvement based upon gospel principles will help them fulfill their purpose in mortality and will increase their capacity to serve the Lord and His children.

Use the materials in this manual as you prepare for your classroom teaching experience. Each chapter contains the following sections:

  • “Introduction,” providing an overview of the purpose of the lesson and its value for your students.

  • “Principles to Understand,” listing basic principles to be taught.

  • “Teaching Suggestions,” providing teaching ideas for each principle.

  • “Suggested Student Assignments,” containing activities for the students to complete outside of the classroom. They reflect the competency expectations for this course (what the students should be able to do as a result of this course).

Select the teaching suggestions you wish to use in the classroom. An icon () identifies the beginning of a teaching suggestion that can be used independently. Some teaching suggestions include statements from General Authorities that are not found in the student manual. These statements provide additional material for teachers to share in lesson presentations and are shaded so they can be easily recognized. Use or modify the teaching suggestions to fit your students’ needs as well as your teaching style. Incorporate other teaching ideas to support the theme or principle if needed. Provide opportunities during class for your students to identify, explain, and testify about doctrines and principles in each lesson.

A student manual (item 36599) is available for use with this teacher manual. Each chapter in the student manual contains the following sections:

  • “Introduction.”

  • “Principles to Understand,” listing each principle taught in the chapter.

  • “Supporting Scriptures and Statements” for each lesson principle, including statements from the teachings of the latter-day prophets and apostles and other Church leaders.

  • “Application and Examples,” presenting hypothetical situations and accompanying questions.

  • “Points to Ponder,” containing additional questions to help students understand and apply the principles.

  • “Notes and Impressions,” providing space for students to record insights and answer questions.

Course Completion

The Gospel and the Productive Life is a one-semester course. It consists of 15 classes, each lasting 100 minutes, or 30 classes, each lasting 50 minutes. For 30 class periods, you will need to determine where to divide each chapter to accommodate two lessons.

To receive institute credit, a student is required to attend at least 75 percent of the classes.

Preparing Your Lessons

Effective teaching requires that you decide what to teach and how to teach it (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders [2001, item 34829], 19–24). As you study the lesson materials, identify the principles and doctrines you feel are important for your students, being sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit. (This is what to teach.) Then choose a teaching idea or learning activity for each of those principles and doctrines. Incorporate points of “A Current Teaching Emphasis for the Church Educational System.” (This is how to teach.) As you prepare and present each lesson, consider the following questions and suggestions:

  • What will students do during the lesson? Use methods and activities that encourage student participation.

  • How can I help keep my students interested? Change teaching methods often enough to help students stay interested.

  • What insights, solutions, or behaviors may result from this lesson? Help students apply the doctrines and principles of the gospel in their lives.

  • Follow the inspiration of the Spirit in what you say and do. Help your students understand that they must ask for the Spirit and live so that they invite the Spirit to be with them as they participate in class.

  • Ask questions and raise issues that encourage class discussion and build faith (see D&C 38:23; 43:8; 88:77–80, 122; see also Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 37–39). To encourage student responses, refrain from answering the questions you ask. Allow students time to think and develop insights for themselves. Listen carefully to your students and respond to what they say.

  • Share your testimony and invite your students to share their testimonies.

  • Have faith in God and the power of His word to interest and bless your students (see 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 31:5). Have confidence in your students and in the Lord’s ability to help you be a successful teacher.