The Savior, the Master Teacher, is the perfect example of obedience to His Father. To be a Christlike teacher, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to follow the Savior’s example of obedience and live the gospel with all your heart—at home, at Church, and everywhere else. This is the principal way to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You don’t have to be perfect, just diligently trying—and seeking forgiveness through the Savior’s Atonement whenever you stumble. President Boyd K. Packer taught, “Power comes when a teacher has done all that he can to prepare, not just the individual lesson, but in keeping his life in tune with the Spirit.”1
Emulate the Savior’s Life
It is helpful to study the ways the Savior taught—the methods He used and the things He said. But the Savior’s power to teach and lift others came from the way He lived and the kind of person He was. The more diligently you strive to live like Jesus Christ, the more you will be able to teach like Him.
Questions to ponder. As I think about influential teachers in my life, what Christlike qualities do I notice in them? What Christlike qualities do I feel I should develop more fully? (For a self-evaluation activity, see “Improving as a Christlike Teacher” in this resource.)
Scriptural example: Doctrine and Covenants 4:5–6 lists attributes that qualify us for service in the Lord’s work. How did the Savior exemplify these attributes? How can I develop them?
Be a Living Testimony
“You teach what you are,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught. “Your traits will be more remembered … than a particular truth in a particular lesson. This is as it should be, for if our discipleship is serious, it will show.”2 When you want to teach about forgiveness, make a special effort to forgive those who have offended you. When you want to teach about prayer, make sure that your own prayers are consistent and meaningful. Your personal experience will enable you to bear powerful witness of the principles you teach. Because you are living them, the Holy Ghost can witness that what you are teaching is true. And the people you teach will see in your life the blessings of living the gospel.
Questions to ponder. What gospel principles will I be teaching in the next few weeks? What could I do to live those principles more fully?
See also the video “Living the Gospel Brings Power” (LDS.org).
In your efforts to live and teach more like the Savior, you will inevitably fall short at times. Do not become discouraged; rather, let your mistakes and weaknesses turn you to Heavenly Father and the Savior. Draw strength from Christ’s Atonement. Remember that repentance is not only for correcting major sins. It is the process of making the changes necessary to become more like Heavenly Father and the Savior each day. After all, this is the very thing you are trying to inspire your class members to do.
Question to ponder. As I examine my life, what changes does the Spirit prompt me to make in order to be more like Jesus Christ?
Scriptural example. What do I learn about the connection between repentance and teaching from Ammon’s words in Alma 26:21–22?
For the Discussion Leader
Share and counsel together. Begin by inviting teachers to share recent teaching experiences and ask questions related to teaching.
Learn together. Invite teachers to discuss one or more of the ideas in this section. For example, you might ask, “What do you feel it means to be a living testimony?”
Invite. Ask teachers to pay attention to the spiritual impressions they receive during this discussion. Ask them to consider what the Spirit is telling them they should do to live the gospel of Jesus Christ more fully. Encourage them to record and act on those promptings.
Prepare. Decide together on a topic for the next meeting, and invite teachers to prepare.
Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently (1975), 306.
Neal A. Maxwell, “But a Few Days” (address to Church Educational System religious educators, Sept. 10, 1982), 2, si.lds.org.