Lesson 6: A Woman’s Responsibility to Teach

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 20–22


Objective

Each young woman will understand and fulfill her responsibility to teach.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 4, Jesus with Children; picture 5, Jesus Teaching from a Boat; picture 6, Sermon on the Mount (62166). All are located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    Assign class members to present the five characteristics of Christ’s teaching discussed in the second section of the lesson. Each young woman should discuss her assigned characteristic using the scripture reference provided.

  3. 3.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

We Will Have Opportunities to Teach throughout Our Lives

Scriptures and discussion

Ask three young women to read the following scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 88:77; 88:118; Mosiah 4:14–15.

  • What does it mean to teach someone?

  • Why is it important to teach others?

Emphasize that when we teach in the right way, we give others knowledge or abilities that they can use to improve their lives and the lives of others. We learn most of the things we need to know from other people, either from their words or their examples.

  • In what ways is a woman a teacher?

Explain to the young women that throughout their lifetimes, they will have opportunities to teach. They teach in their present families; in school; among neighbors, friends, and peers; in their community; and in Church callings. They will also teach in their future family situations.

If they talk with a friend, counsel someone, or touch the life of a child, they have taught. They teach daily by words, attitudes, actions, and examples. They are always teaching.

Quotation

Elder Boyd K. Packer said: “Much of what we do is teaching. Showing a youngster how to tie his shoe, … helping a daughter with a new recipe, giving a talk in church, bearing testimony, conducting a leadership meeting, and, of course, teaching a class—all of this is teaching, and we are doing it constantly” (Teach Ye Diligently [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], p. 2).

Chalkboard

Write on the chalkboard: Always a Teacher.

Discussion

Ask the young women to think of ways in which they have taught by word, attitude, action, or example during the past twenty-four hours. Encourage the young women to tell of specific things they have done.

  • Where is the most important place that anyone can teach?

Quotation

Read the following statement by President David O. McKay: “The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home” (in Family Home Evening Manual, 1968–69, p. iii).

Story

Tell the following story of how a mother’s teachings blessed her son at a time of great need.

Elder Frank Croft was a missionary in the southern United States in the early days of the Church. He taught the gospel in an area where some of the people became very angry at his teachings. A mob of armed men forcefully took him into the woods, where they told him to remove all of his clothing above the waist. They tied his arms and body to a tree and prepared to lash his back until the blood flowed.

Elder Croft had no alternative but to do what the mob asked, but as he was doing so, a letter fell from his pocket. It had been written by his mother, who lived in Utah. A short time before, Elder Croft had written to his parents telling them about the mob violence, and this letter from his mother was an answer to his concerns. The letter said:

“‘My beloved son, you must remember the words of the Savior when He said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” also “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Also remember the Savior upon the cross suffering from the sins of the world when He had uttered these immortal words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Surely, my boy, they who are mistreating you Elders know not what they do or they would not do it. Sometime, somewhere, they will understand and then they will regret their action and they will honor you for the glorious work you are doing. So be patient, my son, love those who mistreat you and say all manner of evil against you and the Lord will bless you and magnify you in their eyes and your mission will be gloriously successful.’”

The leader of the mob picked up the letter and began to read it. His face and eyes were so hard and cruel that Elder Croft knew no sympathy would come from him. He closed his eyes and waited for the beating to begin, silently thinking of his home and his beloved mother. He opened his eyes a few moments later and found that the leader had seated himself on a nearby stump and was rereading the letter. His face had undergone a great change. “Much of the hardness and cruelty in his face were gone; his eyes were slightly dimmed by moisture. His whole personality appeared to have changed. He would read a line or two or a paragraph and then sit and ponder, and deep down in the Elder’s conscience was the hope, yes, the conviction that the man’s heart had been touched by the loveliness and beauty of his mother’s letter.”

The man finally arose and said, “‘Feller, you must have a wonderful mother. You see, I once had one, too.’ Then, addressing the other members of the mob, he said, ‘Men, after reading this Mormon’s mother’s letter, I just can’t go ahead with the job. Maybe we had better let him go.’ Elder Croft was released and went his way” (Arthur M. Richardson, The Life and Ministry of John Morgan [Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., 1965], pp. 267–68).

Discussion

  • How did this mother teach her son?

  • What do you think this mother did to prepare herself to teach with so much love and power?

  • What can you learn from this mother about a woman’s responsibility to teach?

Explain to the young women that they are teachers in their homes now and also are preparing to teach their own children in the future.

Jesus Christ Is Our Example as a Teacher

Teacher presentation

Explain to the young women that there are many ways in which they can prepare now to become effective teachers.

  • Who was the greatest teacher?

Pictures

Display the pictures of Christ teaching, and explain that Jesus was the master teacher. Explain that we can learn much by studying his methods and following his example.

Ask the assigned class members to present the characteristics of Jesus’ teaching and discuss how the scripture passage they have studied shows these characteristics. As each young woman makes her presentation, write a few words of summary on the board.

Scriptures and discussion

  1. 1.

    Jesus loved the people he taught, and they felt his love. See 3 Nephi 17:3–10. (Jesus loved the people so much that he stayed longer with them because they wanted him to. He healed their sick, and they worshiped him.)

  2. 2.

    He used stories and examples that were familiar to people so they would understand and be able to apply his teachings. See Luke 15:3–10. (Jesus used the examples of a shepherd and a woman cleaning her house to show Heavenly Father’s happiness when sinners repent.)

  3. 3.

    He taught the people when they needed to be taught. He didn’t tell them to wait until it was convenient for him. See Luke 9:10–11. (Jesus and the Apostles had gone to a place where they could be alone, but the people followed them. Jesus did not tell them to go home and come back later. He taught them and healed them.)

  4. 4.

    He knew the scriptures well and had prepared himself spiritually to teach. See Matthew 4:1–11. (Jesus went to the desert so that he could spend time fasting and being with Heavenly Father. When the devil came and tempted him, he could resist the temptations because he knew what the scriptures taught.)

  5. 5.

    He prayed often for Heavenly Father to help him teach and to bless the people he taught. See 3 Nephi 17:14–17. (When Jesus prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him to bless the people, the things he said were so sacred that the people could not even write them.)

Explain that by following the example of Jesus, the young women can teach others and help them change their lives.

Case studies

In the following case studies, young women have opportunities to teach. Ask the class members to decide how these young women could use the characteristics from Christ’s life that have just been discussed.

Present the following case studies, and allow time for class discussion.

Case Study 1

Sarah met Judy, a nonmember cousin, at a family reunion. They began a correspondence and became good friends. Judy recently wrote Sarah and asked her about her religious beliefs.

Case Study 2

Lynne has been asked to help her younger brother Tom with his math. He says that he hates math and numbers don’t mean anything to him.

Case Study 3

Eileen has been called as a Relief Society visiting teacher. One sister has invited her to visit but has asked that she not give a religious message.

Case Study 4

JoAnn’s father has assigned her to discuss the subject of repentance at their family home evening. JoAnn has three younger sisters and a grandmother in her family.

Conclusion

Quotation

Explain that President Spencer W. Kimball said this about our most important teaching responsibilities:

“We remember the words of Nephi as he counseled: ‘And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ … that our children may know to what source they may look.’ (2 Nephi 25:26.) What inner strength would be in every person if he knew that the Master and His teachings were indeed his great source of guidance, his great source of correct example, his great source of help! That is our prime goal in all our teaching in the home” (“Therefore I Was Taught,” Ensign, Jan. 1982, p. 4).

Lesson Application

Ask the young women to try to use several of Christ’s teaching methods throughout the week. You may want to have them think of situations in which they might be teaching during the week.