Everything the Savior did throughout His earthly ministry was motivated by love—His love for His Father and His love for all of us. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can be filled with this same love as we strive to be true followers of Christ (see John 13:34–35; Moroni 7:48; 8:26). With Christlike love in our hearts, we will seek every possible way to help others learn of Christ and come unto Him. Love will be the reason and motivation for our teaching.
“I have prayed for thee,” the Savior said to Peter, “that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32). Think about what happens inside you when you pray for someone—how does your prayer affect the way you feel about that person? Following the Savior’s example, pray by name for the people you teach who have the greatest needs. Pray to know and understand their specific needs, and ask Heavenly Father to “prepare their hearts” (Alma 16:16) to learn the things that will help meet those needs.
Question to ponder. As I pray for those I teach, what impressions do I receive?
Scriptural example. What does Alma’s prayer on behalf of the Zoramites teach me about loving others? (see Alma 31:24–36).
Because God looks on a person’s heart, what He sees may be different from what we see on the outside (see 1 Samuel 16:7). As you strive to see those you teach as God sees them, you will recognize their divine worth, and the Spirit will teach you what to do to help them achieve their potential.
Questions to ponder. How has the love and confidence of a parent, teacher, or other mentor made a difference in my life? How could my love make a difference for someone I am trying to teach?
Scriptural example. In Luke 19:1–10, the Savior saw the publican Zaccheus differently from the way others saw him. What other examples from the scriptures show how God sees us?
Depending on your circumstances, expressing love to those you teach may mean giving them sincere compliments, taking an interest in their lives, listening carefully to them, involving them in the lesson, performing acts of service for them, or simply greeting them warmly when you see them. The way you treat people is just as important as what you teach them.
Sometimes our preoccupation with presenting a lesson can prevent us from expressing our love for those we teach. If this happens to you, consider how you could focus on what matters most. For example, before class you could ask a class member or a member of your auxiliary presidency to set up your classroom and prepare audiovisual equipment so that you will have more time to greet class members as they enter the room. You may also find that working with class members to prepare the room is an excellent way to interact with them before class begins.
Questions to ponder. Do those I teach know that I love them? What evidence have I given them? What can I do to reach out in love to someone who seems unresponsive in class?
See also the video “Love Those You Teach” (LDS.org).