The Savior taught in order to change lives. He wanted His disciples to do more than just hear His words, so He invited them to act on His teachings with faith. He knew that as His followers lived the doctrine He taught, they would come to know that it came from God (see John 7:17). His teachings would be a protection to them in times of turmoil, confusion, and adversity (see Matthew 7:24–27). Remember that building faith and becoming more Christlike does not happen in one brief class period. As you invite those you teach to act on true doctrine, you help them extend the learning experience into their homes and daily lives (see D&C 43:8–10).
People are more likely to make meaningful changes in their lives when those changes come from their own exercise of agency. When you extend invitations to act, be sure to respect the agency of those you teach. For example, rather than always extending invitations to do something specific, consider inviting learners to think of their own ways to apply what they have learned. You could say, “How could you strengthen your relationships with your siblings?” or “Write down one spiritual impression you received and how you will act on it.”
Question to ponder. When has an invitation from a teacher helped me exercise my agency?
Scriptural example. After telling the parable of the good Samaritan, the Savior said, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37). What do I learn from this invitation and others the Savior extended?
When the Lord gives a commandment, He often promises blessings for keeping that commandment. When you extend an invitation to live a certain principle, help learners discover the blessings that God has promised to those who live that principle. You might also bear testimony of the blessings that you have received by living the principle.
Question to ponder. When have I been inspired to live a gospel principle by hearing a testimony of promised blessings?
Scriptural example. How did the Savior use promises to inspire His disciples? (see Luke 12:22–31).
When you follow up on an invitation to act, you show learners that you care about them and how the gospel is blessing their lives. You also give them opportunities to share their experiences, which strengthens their commitment and allows them to support one another in living the gospel. There are many ways to follow up on invitations. For instance, you might provide time at the beginning of class for learners to share what they have done to act on an invitation. Or you could follow up by sending class members a text message or email.
If you share a teaching assignment with another teacher and teach on alternate weeks, it may be necessary to coordinate your efforts to follow up. For example, you might offer to begin your lesson by following up on any invitations the other teacher extended on the previous week, and you could ask the other teacher to do the same. Or it may be more appropriate for an auxiliary, quorum, or class presidency member to extend and follow up on invitations.
Question to ponder. Why is it important to follow up on invitations to act?
Scriptural example. The Savior gathered with His Apostles so they could tell Him what they had done and taught (see Mark 6:30). How can I follow up on invitations to act?