“Lesson 5: Invite Diligent Learning,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 208–12
To help class members understand that individuals are responsible to learn the gospel; to help them see how they as teachers can help others fulfill that responsibility.
Note to the Teacher
The Lord has commanded us to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). As President Spencer W. Kimball taught, this commandment should be obeyed diligently: “One cannot become a ‘doer of the word’ without first becoming a ‘hearer.’ And to become a ‘hearer’ is not simply to stand idly by and wait for chance bits of information; it is to seek out and study and pray and comprehend” (“How Rare a Possession—the Scriptures!” Ensign, Sept. 1976, 2).
An individual’s decision to study the gospel diligently is a righteous use of agency. Teachers who understand the doctrine of agency will not try to force others to learn the gospel. Instead, they will strive to teach in a way that will encourage others to put forth diligent effort to learn the gospel.
Prayerfully study the scripture passages in this lesson. Seek to apply them to the purpose of the lesson.
Study the section of this book titled “Invite Diligent Learning”(pages 60–74). Also study “Principles of Conversion,” page 300 in the “Gospel Teaching and Leadership” section of the Church Handbook of Instructions.
In advance, ask three class members to help you present the readers’ theater on pages 209–10. Ask one to read the part of the narrator, another to read the part of the Zoramite, and a third to read the part of Alma.
Make three large name tags for the participants in the readers’ theater. Write Narrator on one name tag, Zoramite on another, and Alma on the other.
Suggested Lesson Development
Each individual is responsible to learn the gospel.
Individuals learn the gospel through their faith, diligence, and patience.
Teachers should help individuals exercise their agency to learn and live the gospel.
We should not do anything that could detract from others’ desire to learn the gospel.
There are many things we can do to invite diligent learning.
Remind class members that gospel teachers should exemplify diligent gospel learning. Encourage them to evaluate their own efforts to learn the doctrines of the gospel. Invite them to determine what they can do to follow Alma’s counsel to nourish the word with faith, diligence, and patience (see Alma 32:37, 41–42).
Encourage class members to remember the sacredness of each individual’s agency. Then read the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball:
“The treasures of both secular and spiritual knowledge are hidden ones—but hidden from those who do not properly search and strive to find them. … Spiritual knowledge is not available merely for the asking; even prayers are not enough. It takes persistence and dedication of one’s life” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 389–90).