Helps for the Course Instructor

"Helps for the Course Instructor," Part G: The Teaching the Gospel Course, ()


Purpose of the Course

This course provides a foundation that will help Church members become more effective gospel teachers in their homes and in the Church. The lessons in the course are designed to be taught as part of an organized class. They may also be studied individually or as a family.

Course Overview

The Lord has commanded us to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77). As the Master Teacher, He has set the example for us to follow. In latter-day revelations, He has given us specific commandments about how we should teach (see, for example, D&C 42:12–14; 50:13–22; 52:9; 88:122). His example and His commandments guide us as we strive to improve as teachers.

Lesson 1, “The Importance of Gospel Teaching in God’s Plan,” sets the tone for the entire Teaching the Gospel course. It focuses on the Lord’s grand design to teach us the plan of redemption. The lesson teaches that we can assist in this sacred work.

Lessons 2, 3, and 4 present three fundamental principles of gospel teaching: “Love Those You Teach,” “Teach by the Spirit,” and “Teach the Doctrine.”

Lesson 5, “Invite Diligent Learning,” focuses on helping individuals take responsibility for learning the gospel. Lessons 6 and 7, both titled “Create a Learning Atmosphere,” show how to prevent and solve problems that can arise in teaching situations. In lessons 8 and 9, both titled “Use Effective Methods,” you will teach and discuss the effective use of a variety of teaching methods. Lesson 10, “Prepare Every Needful Thing,” shows how to plan lessons.

In lessons 11 and 12 you will help class members apply everything that they have learned in the first 10 lessons. Lesson 11, “Improve upon Your Talents,” helps class members make a personal plan for improvement and shows how the many resources available in the ward can help them carry out this plan successfully. Lesson 12, “Go Forth and Teach,” gives class members the opportunity to teach one another by sharing what they have learned during the course.

Format of the Course

For information on when the course should be held, who should attend, and adaptations that can be made, see Improving Gospel Teaching: A Leader’s Guide, page 10.

Preparing to Teach the Course

It is recommended that you read all 12 lessons before the course begins. This will help you see how the lessons work together to provide a foundation for gospel teaching. It will also alert you to principles of gospel teaching that you should exemplify as you teach the course.

Using Church-Produced Materials

In addition to this book, you will need the scriptures and the “Gospel Teaching and Leadership” section of the Church Handbook of Instructions. You may also want to refer to the materials listed in “Church Resources for Teaching the Gospel,” page 105 in this book.

Contact the meetinghouse librarian to learn of the resources available in the meetinghouse library.

Working with Class Members

Materials Class Members Will Need

Class members should bring their scriptures to class. In addition, they should bring a notebook or journal in which they can write notes, assignments, and insights. Each class member should bring a copy of this book to class.

Helping Class Members Participate in Class

Each lesson includes instructions to help class members play an active part in the learning experience. For example, class members may be invited to write in their notebooks, express their ideas, or share personal experiences. As you prepare lessons, ensure that you plan enough time for class members to participate in these activities.

Assignments

The lessons in this course contain two different types of assignments:

  1. 1.

    Invitations to prepare a portion of the lesson. These assignments are listed in the “Preparation” section of many of the lessons. They give class members opportunities to participate and to teach one another. You should prayerfully consider which class members should be given these assignments. In extending the assignments, give class members time to prepare.

  2. 2.

    Assignments to practice specific principles outside of class. These assignments are an important part of the course because they will help class members continue to improve as teachers. You should give these assignments at the conclusion of each lesson.

Supporting Individual Class Members

In addition to teaching the lessons in the course, you should take time to support class members individually. Class members will experience greater success as you contact them between lessons to offer encouragement and assistance. They may want to talk about the experiences they are having as they apply the principles taught in the lessons.

The Promise of Divine Assistance

Ponder the note to the teacher on page 234. As you exercise faith, pray for assistance, and apply the principles you will be teaching in the course, you will help class members become “instrument[s] in the hands of God to bring [others] to the knowledge of the truth” (Alma 17:9).